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Forks to Offer Technology Programs for Kids

Forks Community Center is offering tech-centric programs for children.

"Lights, Camera, Action." In Forks Township, some youngsters may soon have a better idea of what that phrase means.

Starting in early January, the township's Parks & Recreation Department will offer four new programs geared to help children learn the technical aspects of digital filmmaking, movie production, robotics and engineering.

"These programs will help children get ready to succeed in the technology-centric world with these hands-on and fun activities," said Rachel Sulzbach, the township's director of parks and recreation. "Kids won't realize that they are learning because the educational aspects are hidden."

Sulzbach said the township is teaming up with Computer Explorers, a company based in Center Valley that will bring in the equipment and teachers for the programs.

Sulzbach said she was attending the Pennsylvania Parks and Recreation Conference and came away with the idea for the programs after meeting with representatives there.

"I haven't really seen these programs offered elsewhere," she said.

Sulzbach has served almost a year as parks and recreation director and has added to the department's offerings and interaction with the community.

In that time, she has added American Red Cross courses, which start up again in January; Zumba classes for older adults, those with disabilities and those who want to tone their muscles; an Arts Studio session in the summer; a Mommy and Me Spanish class that, she said, unfortunately didn't catch on, and several bus trips.

One was for a Phillies/Mets baseball game, another for a flower show and a sellout on Dec. 4 to see the Rockettes. She just added a Devils/Flyers hockey game for Jan. 21.

In the meantime, she launched the recreation website in May and developed online program registration that went live two weeks ago.

The four new programs are the latest addition. They are five-week classes with hopes of having between six and 12 youngsters in each class.

The four new programs are:

  • Digital Moviemaking (Grades 1-3)

Join the COMPUTER EXPLORERS Film Festival. Students create all the artistic elements for their movies, including characters, costumes and sets. They handle all of the movie’s technical details, including using a digital movie camera, digital editing and special effects. They will bring their final movies home on CD for all to see.

Every Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012-March 7, 2012
6:30pm to 7:30pm
Cost: $60

  • Let’s Do Robotics (Grades 1 -3)

 

Yes, We CAN learn about Robotics! is the class' motto. With the LEGO™ WeDo Robotics System, young children can build and program their own robotic creations. Designed by the experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this unique system teaches children about simple machines, engineering, programming and so much more. Young imaginations soar!

Every Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 – Feb. 2, 2012
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Cost: $60

  • Lights, Camera, Action (Grades 3 – 7)

Kids become the writers, directors, actors, animators, special effects creators and editors of their own movie productions. From storyboarding to filming, student teams will make all of the creative and technical decisions. They will bring their final movies home on CD for all to see.

Every Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012-March 7, 2012
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Cost: $60

  • Rock & Roll Robots (Grades 3 - 8)

Create robots that rock and robots that roll! Using the LEGO™ WeDo Robotics System, kids' robots will include a monkey that plays a drum to a rock 'n' roll beat, a lion that roars, a bird that flaps it wings to create a big wind, a sleeping giant who will awaken on command and a boat that will rock on the rough seas. This course builds knowledge of simple machines, engineering, programming and teamwork in an environment full of Rockin’ Fun!

Every Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 – Feb. 2, 2012
6:30pm to 7:30pm

For more information, visit the Forks Township recreation website at www.forkstownship.org/recreation/

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