CAMP EXPLORE 2023: Full STEAM Ahead at The Westport Library!

Camp Explore returns for its fourth year of STEAM exploration in 2023. Workshops kick off June 27 and run from 10 am to 11:30 am in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum. These are cumulative programs; as such, participants are requested to attend all three days. Register below!

Camp Explore is made possible by the continuing generosity of Roz and Bud Siegel.

Microbit Makery!

Learn physical computing with the fun and flexible Microbit. A series of programming projects will encourage you to interact with the hardware, communicate with your fellow workshop members, and get physical with your creations! No prior programming experience needed. A willingness to try things, debug, and have fun is helpful!

  • Josh Burker
  • June 27-29 (Tuesday – Thursday)
  • Grades 6-8
  • Register

Josh Burker is the creative technology teacher at Marymount School Upper Middle Division in New York City. He has taught in both public and private schools for more than 20 years, working with Logo programming, robotics, fabrication, electronics, and art. He writes books, holds workshops for teachers, and consults on educational projects that he finds inclusive and disruptive. He is the author of The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun and The Invent to Learn Guide to More Fun, both of which inspire makers of all ages to explore the intersection of crafting and technology through whimsical, creative projects.

African Mask Making

Explore African culture and personal expression through mask making. Using recycled materials and found objects, students will create individual masks. Recycled art will be discussed. Layered bits and pieces of cardboard will form the masks’ different textured features. This workshop is an engaging way for children to learn about West African culture and the history of West African Mask Making. 

  • Iyaba Ibo Mandingo
  • July 10-12 (Monday – Wednesday)
  • Grades 5-6
  • Register

Iyaba Ibo Mandingo is a painter, poet, writer, actor, and playwright, arts collaborator, artist advocate, and arts educator. He came to the United States from his native country of Antigua as a young boy. Iyaba owes his love of the arts to his mother, a trained singer, and his grandparents, a tailor and a seamstress who first introduced him to colors and patterns, paving a path to the many forms of expression he employs. Iyaba studied fine arts at Southern Connecticut State University and currently teaches in and around the tri-state area as a master teaching artist. Iyaba currently resides in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where his art gallery, 9104 The Art House, serves as a workspace, classroom, and creative hub.

Jewelry Making: Novel Necklaces

Learn to create your own beautiful and unique designs! Skills include design and necklace layout (sizing, bead type), crimping, wrapping, and attaching closures. The library will supply materials for each participant to create their own necklace.

  • Sharon Cooper
  • July 25 (Tuesday)
  • Grades 6-8
  • Register

Sharon Cooper has been creating beaded jewelry for nearly 10 years. It was while working at The Westport Library that she developed her passion for beading and design. On her lunch breaks, Sharon would often browse the extensive collection of books on jewelry-making. From these books, and a one-hour class at a beading store, Sharon honed her skills and created “Novel Necklaces."

Matica Arts

Matica Arts weaves joy, rowdiness, and athleticism through juggling, a really tall unicycle, sky-high tosses with a Chinese yo-yo, and some beautiful acro-dance with a devil stick! Workshop participants will challenge their dexterity and coordination with various circus props like juggling balls and stilts.

  • Heidi Kirchofer and Joel Melendez
  • August 8-10 (Tuesday – Thursday)
  • Grades 6-8
  • Register

Heidi Kirchofer and Joel Melendez are co-founders of Matica Arts and Thrive Movement Studio. Heidi is a veteran performing and teaching artist and has traveled internationally training, collaborating, and performing. Joel is a gifted performer known for his unicycling, clowning, juggling, and improvisational and acrobatic skills. Joel is a “physical artist” who loves exploring the vast capabilities of the human body. As a physical artist, Heidi is inspired by the body’s endless movement combinations and in awe of its ability to create, work, and heal.

The Circus Duo of Heidi Kirchofer and Joel Melendez delights audiences of all ages with acts of daring and tremendous skill. Join us for a free, 40-minute interactive show in the Trefz Forum featuring all sorts of juggling, many hula hoops, a really tall unicycle, sky-high tosses with a Chinese yo-yo, and some beautiful acro-dance with a devil stick.

  • August 8 (Tuesday)
  • 10 am
  • FREE performance open to all
  • No registration required
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