Active Learning Services

Chess Camps- Video Game Design Camps - Animation Camps - School Chess For Kids!

Active Learning Services operates chess camps (thru USA Chess), Gamebuilder Video Game creation camps (using Gamemaker or Microsoft Kodu), Scratch Animation Creation camps, and otherenrichment programsdesigned to stimulate creative thinking, improve logic and memoryskills and give children "thinking alternatives"tosports camps and other summercamps and enrichment programs. Our summer camps include the USA Chess chesscamps including chess lessons with chess play for children,and our Gamebuilder Video Game Design Camps and School Game Creation Programs (including our newest game creation camp using Microsoft Kodu),Computer Animation Camps and our otherActive Learning ComputerEnrichment Programs.

USA Chess is the largest and premier chess camp organizer for children in the United States.Founded in 1997USA Chess has grown from one camp in Dallas, TX to more than100 camps across the United States! We also teach chess in over 65 school chess programs in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and Washington DC.

Our Gamebuilder Video Game Creation Camps and after school programs are extremely popular and fun way for children to get exposure to computer programming and game design. We use GameMaker software or Kodu by Microsoft and Computer enrichment Animation creation programs using Scratch -developed by MIT as kids learn programming while having a blast creating their very own unique video game.

USA Chess Camp
Chess instructors from all over the country teach children (ages 5-15) of all abilities in the USA Chess summer chess camp. Experience chess lessons and play in a fun filled environment consisting of chess instruction and competitive play. Experienced instructors, selected by USA Chess for their ability to make chess fun, teach the game to players of all levels in weeklong chess camp programs. Lessons are tailored toward the skills of the children. Whether your child is a casual chess player or tournament participant, this exciting enrichment program will improve every child's game. Instructors use a range of teaching tools including demo boards, computer tutorials, worksheets, stories and historic games to keep class time exciting. Each half-day consists of two hour-long chess lessons tailored to the ability of the children and one hour of practice to play against other students and instructors. USA Chess camps are a perfect way to give children a fun week of learning chess while challenging their minds!nALL CAMPERS RECEIVE A CHESS SET,NOTATION BOOK, T-SHIRT, AND TROPHY!
Gamebuilder Video Game Creation
Children learn about game design, its history, and different types of games and then they actually program their own video game in this day long adventure in learning. Children (ages 8-16) start with basic commands and, in a step-by-step progression, the games come to life. They will also learn about different game types, and the process of game design. Campers chose which video game creation software they will work with including:  Introduction to Video Game Creation" using Gamemaker where each level of the game is programmed on a single screen (like Asteroids, Centipede, or PacMan). Or  Video Game Creation: The Sequel (also Gamemaker) : an introductory Platform style game where the game s character walks jumps and progresses along a scrolling screen encountering other objects and enemies along the way (Like  Mario or Sonic ). NEW in 2014-- KODU Video game creation. Kodu is a unique video game creation program developed by Microsoft. It is fun and easy to learn. Children have a blast building their own worlds and then adding the characters who interact, do battle, race, or whatever the child envisions. ALL CAMPERS RECEIVE A T-SHIRT, COMPLETION TROPHY, AND INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DOWNLOAD, AND PLAY THEIR COMPLETED GAMES. nn
Scratch Animation
Students (ages 8-16) are introduced to programming by creating short computer animated movies with a focus to challenge their creativity and imaginations. Campers will create animated stories using the Scratch animated programming tool which allows them to program interactions between characters. They will use a gallery of 3D characters, scenery and custom animations that are designed to help develop their story. The students will learn basic programming skills and have the opportunity broaden their imagination. nALL CAMPERS RECEIVE A COMPLETION TROPHY, T-SHIRT, AND INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DOWNLOAD THEIR COMPLETED PROJECTS.
School Programs
Active Learning and USA Chess have a number of chess enrichment programs available for schools who wish to start an after school or before school club, or other chess activity. Program costs depend on the instructor, duration of classes and driving distance. Typical programs are one hour programs one day per week consisting of a one half hour lesson (taught by and experienced instructor) and one half hour practice and play. If your school doesn't have a chess program, we can work with you to get it started. In most cases, there is no cost to the school (we bill the students or the PTA). Call us now!
1/2 Day Each (USAChess/Gamebuilder/Scratch)
Students will chose to take one half day of our chess program and combine it with one half day of one of our Gamebuilder (Gamemaker or Kodu) or Scratch animation programs to make a full day session.
1/2 Day Each (USAChess/Gamebuilder/Scratch)
Students will chose to take one half day of our chess program and combine it with one half day of one of our Gamebuilder (Gamemaker or Kodu) or Scratch animation programs to make a full day session.
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