City Lab

City Lab includes a range of experiential, exploratory courses. These courses will be primarily 1-2 week explorations. Topics include art, cooking, languages, digital storytelling, 3D modeling and printing, and more.

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Art Classes for Rising Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders (In-Person)

Teacher: Dan Deslaurier
Prerequisite: Students will be rising third, fourth, or fifth graders during the coming 2021-22 school year. 

Choose your favorite from six different weekly sessions, or try all six! 

Lower School Art Classes SummerSessions


Session 1: My Summer Sketchbook  
Date: June 21 - 25, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $245

Student artists will learn a variety of decorating techniques and create painted papers with which they can mix, match, and trade with each other to design their own hand-stitched sketchbook. We’ll take our books out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to enjoy our own sketching adventures!

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Session 2: Parkway Pillows
Date: June 28 - July 2, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $195

Student artists work from sketches and photographs of scenes from the Ben Franklin Parkway to create images which can be drawn on or transferred to fabric and hand-sewn onto their own personally designed stuffed pillow!

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Session 3: Mixed-Media Monuments
Date: July 5 - 9, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $245

Student artists learn about the role of monuments as historic memorials or beautiful places of inspiration. Inspired by walking field trips on the Parkway and around our Center City campus, student artists design, draw and build mini-monuments and statues of their own.

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Session 4: My Mosaic - Week One
Date: July 12 - 16, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $245

During the first week of our My Mosaic offering, student artists learn about the art of mosaic. We will design and create mosaic-inspired printing plates and prints, and also have the opportunity to create our own hand-built, glazed, and fired ceramic art, which can than then used as part of a mosaic panel created in our Week Two offering.

(COVID protocols permitting, this Week One class will feature a field trip to Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.)

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Session 5: My Mosaic - Week Two

Date: July 19 - 23, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $245

During the second week of our My Mosaic class, student artists will be introduced to and experiment with traditional mirror, glass and ceramic materials while designing and creating one-of-a-kind mosaic panels. Those student artists who participated in our Week One sessions will be able to use their ceramic art in the creation of these panels.

Session 6: Savasana Stuffies  
Date: July 26 - 30, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $245

Students learn about and practice the yoga position of Savasana (the relaxation pose) and how it helps one to clear their minds and relax their bodies. We’ll design and sew small stuffed friends, inspired by Parkway Icons, to hold on our bellies during the pose, a tool to help us focus on breathing deeply and remaining still.

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Building A City (In-Person)

Teacher: Wayne Pennington
Dates: July 12-  July 16 (10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)
Prerequisite: For students in middle school

Ever wondered how a city works? Students will learn about our local city government and government operations, as well as the components of a city. Using that research and field trips around Center City for inspiration, students will then construct their own city in a large group project. 

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Cooking (Virtual)

Teacher: Steph Demko
Dates: One week sessions from July 12 - August 2, with class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday (9:30 - 11:00 a.m.)
Cost: $180 for all four weeks, $45 per week; FREE TO FSS STUDENTS 
Prerequisite: For students in fourth grade and up

In Summer Cooking Class, students will have the opportunity to develop their own cooking skills. The recipes chosen will be ones that students can independently create. We will make an assortment of foods including breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as some quick snacks and of course, a few desserts! We will also talk about the importance of a balanced diet and fueling our bodies. A survey will be sent to students prior to the course to allow for student input into the recipe choices. A grocery list for the week will also be supplied prior to the week's classes. 

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Creating Animations and Games in Scratch (In-Person) - FULL

Teacher: Mary Beth Hertz & Colleen Law
Dates: July 13 - July 16; 10:00 a.m. -  11:30 a.m.
Prerequisite: For students in kindergarten to 2nd grade

Participants will explore creating animations and games using MIT's drag and drop coding tool, Scratch. The first day will consist of a basic overview of Scratch and learning how to use the tool. On days two & three, participants will plan build their projects and on day four they will present their projects. Class size set to 16 students.


Creative Writing (In-Person)

Teacher: Maurice Williams
Dates: July 26 - July 30; 9:30 a.m. -  11:00 a.m.
Prerequisite: For students in 1st and 2nd grade

Writing that will that will engage, enrich and empower in a creative way. Through the writing prompts we will strengthen community and encourage ourselves through inspirational and explorative activities.

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Entrepreneurship (In-Person)

Teacher: Maurice Williams
Dates: August 9 - August 13; 9:30 a.m. -  11:00 a.m.
Prerequisite: For students in 3rd through 5th grade

A dream attached to strategic principles to manifest that dream does not require an age, but a decision to achieve that which they are passionate about. The program will allow for youth to envision themselves as successful business owners. The program will introduce start-up business concepts for youth to easily implement right now. From this class, participants will be able to identify their passions and understand simple strategies to transition those passions into profit

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Fun with Fabulous Fibers (In-Person)

Teacher: Kellie Bowker and Amy Danford
Dates: June 28 - July 2; 9:00 a.m. -  12:00 p.m.
Prerequisite: For students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade

Do you like creating? Do you enjoy working with your hands? How about learning new things? This week will be spent dying yarn, make fabric, sewing, weaving etc. And there will be snacks! Join Teacher Kellie and Teacher Amy for a fun, hands-on week of creativity!

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Manners and More for Elementary Students (In-Person)

Teacher: Dorlisa Young
Dates: June 22 - June 24; 1:00 p.m. -  2:30 p.m.
Prerequisite: For students in 1st through 4th grade

Do you know which fork to use during a meal? Do you wonder how many sentences you should write in a thank-you note? Can you hold a conversation with others? Participates will learn essential social and dining skills with a certified etiquette professional.

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Public Speaking (In-Person)

Teacher: Maurice Williams
Dates: August 2 - August 6; 9:30 a.m. -  11:00 a.m.
Prerequisite: For students in 4th through 8th grade

Participants will develop the confidence and skills to speak publicly with power and authority over one’s own opinion. Beyond making presentations and public addresses, participants will, without conviction, be able to advocate for themselves and understand that their voice has power. WIth the right practice, tools, and guidance, there is a public speaker in everyone.

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Urban Photography (In-Person) - FULL

Teacher: Bryan Skelly
Dates: July 12 - July 16; 9:00 a.m. -  1:00 p.m.
Prerequisite: For middle school students

Using smart phones or other devices, I would like to explore the various settings in Philadelphia.  I'd like to work with students to create a visual narrative of the city. Students should pack a lunch for this course. We will discuss photography, editing, and filtering images to tell a story.