After School Programs

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    The Downingtown Community Education Foundation wants to inspire all children to learn, grow and reach their potential.  Our mission is to enhance and enrich the education of all students through programs that support innovative and forward-thinking educational opportunities. We are pleased to work with the outstanding teachers in the Downingtown Area School District to provide these programs that engage students and encourage them to combine technical knowledge and skills with creativity.
    The "Experience" is afterschool enrichment programs for DASD students in elementary - middle school.  Fall session begins the week of October 14th and runs through December 10th. The exact schedule depends on school closings due to holidays and/or weather.  Elementary and 6th Grade Center programs run from 3:30-5:30pm.  Middle school programs run from 3:00-5:00pm

    Explore, Create, Innovate - experience and learn through fun, hands-on programs! 



    OZOBOTS (grades 1-3)
    Learn to code, create and share with this pocket-sized robot companion. Students will expand their knowledge by coding screen -free with Color codes or online with OzoBlockly.
    CODING (grades 1&2)
    Many of our daily activities involve devices that employ programs created by software developers. Students will begin to develop their own problem solving and thinking skills as they learn the concepts of computer coding.
    ROBOTICS (grades 1&2)
    Finch 1.0 Finch Tales The Finch robot is an all-in-one bot that comes with leveled programming. The software starts at Level 1 with simple blocks and pictures and levels up to Level 4 allowing for more complex coding and variables. The After School Experience includes different levels to guide your students through the experience of learning to code and build.
    Finch 2.0 Finch the Musical and Vincent Van Finch Adventures continue for Finch.  Now that you have been introduced to Finch you can learn to make your Finch sing and perform or draw and create.  You must have taken Finch 1.0 at least once before taking Finch 2.0
    Due to the diverse nature of the Finch bot and software, we highly recommend students take courses more than once to master all the skills of each level.
     FORENSICS (grades 2-5)
    Explore the science of Forensics. Learn how to fingerprint, analyze handwriting, spot the difference between real and counterfeit money, collect evidence, and solve a mystery.
     COOKING UP SCIENCE (grades 2-5)
    Experience the fun of learning science and math concepts with food.   Find out what happens when you combine liquids, how to make raisins dance.  Create a "fruit battery", build a lava lamp while learning electricity, chemical changes and more new experiments.
    CODING (grades 3-5)
    Many of our daily activities involve devices that employ programs created by software developers. In coding, students will develop their problem solving and thinking skills as they learn the concepts of computer coding which can then be used to create their own games and art. Students will participate in unplugged activities as well as self-paced activities.
    ELECTRONICS LAB (grades 3-5)
    Students learn the basics of electronic circuits and how electronic components work, which they can then apply to create a product of their own. Using breadboards they will learn to build circuits that blink, squeak, play music, tick, and whirl.
    FILM MAKING on the iPAD (grades 3-5)
    Students will use digital media to create a book trailer of one of their favorite chapter books. They will create a script with images and use iMovie to produce a final product.
    ROBOTICS (grades 3-5)
    Hummingbird 1.0 Robot Zoo & Under the Sea The Hummingbird Circuit Board is a versatile robotic component that allows students to build their own robot using recycled materials, the engineering process, and a lot of creativity. The circuit board comes with a variety of components such as different sensors, motors, and lights. Our programs give students the ability to learn about the different components and the basics of building, creating, and engineering.
    Hummingbird 2.0 Building on the skills and knowledge from 1.0 students will attempt more complicated engineering and create their own robotic arcade game.  Must have taken Hummingbird 1.0 at least once before taking level 2.
    Due to the diverse nature of the Hummingbird bot and its components, we highly recommend students take courses more than once to master all the skills at each level.
    LEGO Mindstorm Build and program your LEGO robot to perform various tasks. Use software and programming to plan, test, and modify your robot's behavior.
    SKETCHNOTING (grades 3-5)
    Commonly referred to as visual notetaking. Sketchnoting is a creative and graphic process in which students put thoughts on paper through the use of illustrations, symbols and text.  Enhances learning by improving comprehension, retention, recall, listening skills and focus.
    STOP MOTION FILM MAKING (grades 3-5)
    Stop Motion is a filming technique in which objects (such as clay models or Lego figures) are photographed in a series of slightly different positions so that the objects seem to move. Create a story board, choose sets, characters and effects to create your own movie.



    The Finch is a small robot designed to inspire and challenge students learning computer science by providing them a tangible and physical representation of their code. The Finch has support for over a dozen programming languages, including environments appropriate for students elementary through college!
    Build LEGO robots and use software to plan, test and modify your robot's behavior.
    Rocketry Basics is the first in a series of rocketry based engineering courses. This fun course has a significant academic content. The last day of the course will be launch day where students will launch the rocket they have built.  Students will receive a certificate of completion and a grade for the course. They will get to keep the rocket they built and flew in class. Successful completion of this course is required for students to participate in the higher level rocketry courses in this series.
    Learn the basic structure of film (shots, angles, lighting, music, etc.) and use their iPads and iMovie to shoot and edit a movie based on scripts developed from popular children’s stories.  Students will engage in acting techniques in order to serve as characters in the movie.
    To register click here:  Fall Experience
    Not all programs are offered at each school - program offerings are based on teacher availability. (We try to make sure that all programs are offered at least once at each school.) 
    Use the Filter section on the left side of the registration page, select "Pennsylvania" from the drop down, and then select your child's school to see what is offered at your child's school.  Update your child's current grade to make sure you can select the appropriate class.
    Fees:  $150/class          $75/class for students eligible for or participating in Free & Reduced Lunch program
    10% sibling discount will be taken at end of registration - make sure to register all siblings at the same time.
    The Downingtown Community Education Foundation is committed to insuring that every child has the opportunity to participate in "The Experience".   Scholarships are available - please contact Jackie Fenn 

    Please consider increasing your registration payment for this session as a tax deductible donation to support our scholarship efforts.  Just $10 or $20 can make a difference! 

    A minimum enrollment of 7 is required for a class to run. Full refunds are issued for programs canceled by DCEF.  Refunds will be given up to one week prior to the start of the session minus $10 administrative fee.  Credit toward another program session will be given for withdrawals after the start of the program session - no refunds.  
    Parents are responsible for to picking up children on time - transportation is not provided.  (parents will be charged $5.00 for every 10 minutes beyond the end of the class.)