Online Camp Details
What’s the difference between Intro and Full projects (24 hours - 6 weeks & 12 weeks)?
Both project types will provide your child the opportunity to learn critical STEM and soft skills while collaborating on a global team. Both culminate with a product that has real-world value, though the scope and impact of the product will vary between the full and intro projects.
The duration and content vary between the Intro and Full projects/classes.
Intro projects are 3 (1.5 hour) classes that take place weekly for a total of 4.5 class hours. They are designed to give your child a sample of the topic and online learning format to help activate their interest in that topic (e.g. Robotics, Web Design, Entrepreneurship) and allow him or her to try it out without the commitment of a full project.
The full projects are 24 class hours total. The group meets once a week for two-hour classes. The projects last 12 weeks in the spring and fall. In the summer the class duration is condensed to 6 weeks with twice-weekly classes. The Full projects allow the Explorers to do go more in-depth and dig in to a STEM topic.
Since it’s all online, what platform will my child use to do his or her projects?
Your child will be using the Nobel Explorers Learning Platform which is a collaborative online learning space where he or she can check videos, presentations, and other resources. The online meetings are held via Google Hangouts and the tasks will be performed using the Google Suite.
Are the projects done in real time during the classes or whenever students have time?
Your child can expect learning and doing in multiple formats. There will be live meetings (classes) where everyone participates online, at a scheduled time, together with the instructor. There will also be Peer-To-Peer Meetings, where Explorers work online together with a fellow student in their class. Your child will also have individual work time where he or she will work on the tasks in between classes, consume video content, check presentations, read additional materials, and so on.
How many hours a week does each program require?
- Intro projects take 1.5 hours of Online Live Meetings (classes) and 1.5 hours of individual work.
- 6-week full projects take 4 hours of Online Live Meetings (classes) and 4 hours of individual work or Peer-To-Peer Meetings.
- 12-week full projects take 2 hours of Online Live Meetings (classes) and 2 hours of individual work or Peer-To-Peer Meetings.
What does an online camp actually look like?
A virtual summer camp is an all-online endeavor where your child will work on challenging projects together with his or her peers from all over the world during the course of several weeks. It’s a true team-based experience that provides your child a lifetime of career benefits as well as the unique opportunity to meet international friends.
A physical meeting place is replaced with an online learning platform where your child can check the materials and their progress on the project.
Communication will be facilitated with tools like Google hangouts.
How does the badging and rank system work?
It is similar to Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts but with badges and ranks relevant to STEM/STEAM, teamwork, leadership, and 21st Century skills.
Explorers can earn accomplishments (badges) and achieve ranks that encompass hard (technical) as well as soft (teamwork, leadership, 21st century) skills. Think of this as similar to the leadership and technical tracks at a company.
As your child progresses, he or she will be able to showcase his or her learning journey in the project and the progress and depth of his or her knowledge. For more on this can check how it works, the gamification section.
Will my child earn recognition or a certificate for their accomplishments?
Yes. Explorers earn hard skill badges for proficiency with technical skills like Python, Robotics, Web Design, etc., soft skill badges for communication, critical thinking, negotiation, and more. These digital badges are attached to their Explorer profile online. They will also earn Explorer Ranks and will receive project completion certificates at the end of the session that can be shared physically and electronically.
Most importantly, your child will gain a love of learning, an activated interest in a STEM field, and a lifetime of benefits through future-ready teamwork, leadership, and 21st Century skills.
Why should I choose Nobel Explorers?
Nobel Explorers is an investment in your child’s future. STEM and skills like teamwork and problem-solving will be critical for future careers and, we would say, in life! Our trademark blend of STEM and soft skills taught in a collaborative global team environment is one-of-a-kind and the best way to equip your child for future success.
Who guides the instruction online? Is there a Course Mentor?
We’re proud of our team of facilitators and mentors that lead the Explorer projects. Each of them have a passion for their topic and real-industry experience in that area. He or she is present in the online team meetings and available to answer student questions regarding their tasks.
Can we, as parents, keep track of our student’s progress?
In addition to the Certificate of Completion awarded at the end of the project, you will receive a final report showing your child’s accomplishments in the Leadership and Teamwork Tree (badges) which will include a summary of the following:
- skills acquired (and the extent in which they were able to apply them)
- special awards (if any), e.g. if your child was recognized by his or her peers as helpful to the team
- overall progress, including best skills and skills that can still be further explored
The report will also include recommendations and observations from the Instructor on how your child can bring home the skills he or she has learned and apply them at home and school.
We also hope your child will share with you their progress along the way as they learn and earn new badges!
What are the age groups?
Nobel Explorers is designed for learners ages 8-10, 11-14, and 15-18. We organize cohorts of similar age groups to enable a better team learning experience. We’re not sticklers but our lower limit of 8 years was selected because it is the age that most children can manage themselves well enough to work online with other people. Ultimately, it’s a parent’s judgment as to whether your child is ready.
In the future we plan to offer an 18+ cohort to “anyone who can pretend they are under 30”. Feel free to sign up for our Nobel Explorers mailing at the bottom of this page to be notified when that is available.
Can my student sign up for multiple projects?
Yes, Explorers can sign up for more than one project as long as the class times don’t overlap. If you happen to sign up for conflicting classes, please let us know and we will cancel the class you wish with a full refund.
What materials or supplies does my student need to take part in Nobel Explorers?
To make it as accessible as possible, we designed Nobel Explorers projects so you just need:
- a working high-speed internet connection
- a headset with boom microphone (noise cancelling is even better)
- a webcam (most laptops have built-ins)
- a laptop/desktop
- a quiet distraction-free environment (a separate space with a closable door is best but any quiet area where the
- student won’t be distracted by others or by noise will suffice)
When special devices are utilized in the classes, i.e. robots, Raspberry Pis, the Explorers will be able to access centrally hosted devices and do not have to purchase them to fully participate.
Can I reserve a spot with a deposit?
Yes. We accept deposits of 40% for the full-length projects (24 class hours). Registration closes two weeks before the first class and the balance of the class registration fee is due at that time.
Scheduling and Attendance
Do you offer classes during week long breaks from school like winter or spring break?
We offer our introductory classes during school breaks to help accommodate schedules. Our full classes are only offered for longer periods (6 weeks and 12 weeks) for three main reasons:
- Meaningful and long-lasting learning requires some time between class meetings. This enables your child to accomplish tasks at his or her own pace, gives him or her time for exploration and reflection, and solidifies the 21st century skills of teamwork and leadership learning.
- Your child may choose to enrich his or her experience by going deep into the STEM topic. The pace of our classes gives Explorers the time, opportunity, and a framework to expand their learning in this self-directed way.
- Keeping it real… kids need breaks.
What if my student misses a class or two?
The instructional material and meeting notes will always be available online for your child to access outside of the meeting. We encourage them to connect with other teammates to catch up on what they missed from the in-meeting group dialogue. The impact is similar to missing a weekly class for a college course. Some make-up work should be expected.
What if we cannot make the project we signed up for? What’s your refund policy?
We get it! Sometimes schedules change. If your child is not completely satisfied or if scheduling conflicts prevent your child from attending the registered camp we will refund the full price of the class within the first four sessions.
If you are not sure you wish to commit with a deposit to a full class, we recommend our intro classes (3 week, 1.5 hours/week, $79 USD) where your child can get a feel for Nobel Explorers and our online learning environment. We will refund your full payment if you are not satisfied.