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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 other enrichment programs designed to stimulate creative thinking, improve logic and memory skills and give children "thinking alternatives" to sports camps and other summer camps and enrichment programs. Our summer camps include the USA Chess chess camps 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 other Active Learning Computer Enrichment Programs.

USA Chess is the largest and premier chess camp organizer for children in the United States.Founded in 1997 USA Chess has grown from one camp in Dallas, TX to more than 100 camps across the United States! We also teach chess in over 65 school chess programs in Dallas, Houston, and Wellington Florida.

Click Here for camp Locations, Schedule, and Camp Pricing

  • USA Chess Camp

    Chess instructors from all over the country teach children of all abilities in the USAChess summer chess camp. Experience chess lessons and play in a fun filled environment. Each day consists 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 week-long 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! ALL CAMPERS RECEIVE A CHESS SET,NOTATION BOOK, T-SHIRT, AND TROPHY! Ages 5-15

  • 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. Game choices include:  "Gamebuilder Video Game Creation- the Arcade Style Game" using Gamemaker. In this game each level of the game is programmed on a single screen (like Asteroids, Centipede, or PacMan). Or students can chose Video Game Creation: The Platform Style Game (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). We also offer two Kodu game creation choices. 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. Kodu game creation camps include the Go Cart Style Game and the Adventure Game. In the Go Cart Style Game children create a game where characters race a clock in one level to fill a factory and then in the next level race carts like in Mario Kart. In the Adventure Style game, children create a first person maze game. ALL CAMPERS RECEIVE A T-SHIRT, COMPLETION TROPHY, AND INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DOWNLOAD AND PLAY THEIR COMPLETED GAMES.

  • 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. ALL 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.