A Curriculum that Matters


          

What distinguishes NCC from other computer camps is that NCC provides campers with life long computer skills. As its primary focus,
NCC provides a solid foundation in programming, focusing on languages and applications, video game and web page design.
Campers arrive with a dream and leave camp with a future.

Curriculum and Courses:

Important Notes
• During the two daily instruction periods (9am-11am and 1pm-3pm) campers focus for the week on one of the curriculum areas numbered 1-4 below.
   The course for the week is chosen in the course selection form. Click here to view the Course Selection Form.
• During Creative Computing (daily 3pm-4pm) campers may select among curriculum areas 1-8 below and thus sample courses other than the course
   they elect to take daily for the week. For example, if the camper learns Java as the course for the week, then he/she can for example
   select game design during creative computing on Monday and select a different course during creative computing on Tuesday. Instead of Creative Computing,   campers may elect to participate in sports (daily 3pm-4pm).
• In addition, NCC offers 2 additional courses ( each course is held 2 days per week 4pm-5pm). Campers may select one or both among curriculum areas 9-10.
   Click here to view the Daily Schedule

  • 1.    2D Game Design (Click to see more)

    Is game design in your future? Find out! You have a truly amazing idea for a game, but you do not know what to do with it. Transforming your idea into an actual game is a challenge. In this project oriented course, you become familiar with game design software. You learn the skills you need to turn your cool idea into a really cool game by mastering the techniques and elements that go into creating games such as action, adventure, arcade and role playing games. Two curricula are available: Stagecast Creator for 7 to 11 year old campers and Multimedia Fusion for 12 to 18 year old campers. Each week beginner, intermediate and advanced instruction is offered.

    Important: Campers take home on CD the games they create and the game design software. Campers can then continue to write games after camp.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: None. There is a $65 per week lab fee.

    NCC Game Design Partners:
    Stagecast          Multimedia Fusion 2    

  • 2.    3D Game Design (Click to see more)

    Are you ready for the fascinating world of realtime 3D game design? It is easy, it is cool. Learn to create 3D adventure, action, space, strategy and role playing games. Bring your ideas to life as you add levels, music, enemies, obstacles, and import your images. Campers think creatively and logically while designing imaginative games that explore the power of the 3D game design software. Each week beginner, intermediate and advanced instruction is offered.

    Important: Campers take home on CD the games they create and the game design software. Campers can then continue to write games after camp.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: 2D Video Game Design. There is a $65 per week lab fee.

    NCC Game Design Partner:
    3D Gamestudio    

  • 3.    Web Page Design (Click to see more)

    The HTML language is used to write web pages and is appropriate for campers of all ages. Once the camper completes his/her personal web page it is uploaded to the Internet. As the camper progresses through the curriculum he/she has the opportunity to also learn Photoshop and Flash. These software applications are used to enhance the graphics and animations of web pages. More advanced campers will learn to use cutting edge HTML5 and CSS3 styling and may also choose to integrate Javascript and Java applets into their web pages.

    Topics covered include: Text Formatting, Images, Photo Editing, Sound, Hyperlinks, Backgrounds, Fonts, Lists, Tables, Frames, Meta Tags, Mail To, graphics, animation, Cascading Style Sheets, Templates, HTML5 and CSS3 styling. The final project is the camper's personal web page uploaded to the Internet.

    This course is offered each week.

    Prerequisite: None

  • 4.    Computer Programming Languages (Click to see more)

    NCC offers many different languages to choose from. Click on any of the following to learn more about the curriculum.

    Developed at MIT, Scratch is a wonderful programming language for the very young programmer. It is project oriented and is suitable for creating animations, stories, games, art and music projects. Scratch also serves as an excellent introduction to video game design a very popular program at NCC.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: Only offered during morning camp (1/2 day) for 6-8 year olds. No prerequisites. The Scratch curriculum is continuous and campers who attend more than one week do not repeat what they already learned. Each week beginner, intermediate and advanced Scratch is offered.

    Python is an excellent language for first-time programmers. Its simplicity allows beginners to readily learn widely used concepts found in many advanced languages. Topics covered include variables, input, strings, conditional statements, for/while loops, graphics, randomization, arrays, nesting, sorting, multi-dimensional lists, boolean operators, file I/O, and sub-string operations. Camper projects include Hangman, Roulette and Battleship.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: None

    The Basic language provides an excellent foundation for the young programmer as it includes the important concepts that are common to all computer languages. The curriculum is divided into beginner and intermediate/advanced sections.

    Beginner Basic topics covered include: variables, strings, loading and saving programs, Print, Input, Read Data, IF conditions, graphics, Locate, random numbers, For-Next loops, and animation. Campers write age appropriate programs such as: mad libs, adventures, animated graphics, crystal ball, trivia quizzes, and more.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: None



    Intermediate/Advanced Basic topics covered include: Do loops, Gosub, string functions, advanced animation, Boolean operators, more random numbers, arrays, files, and sorting. Campers write game programs such as hangman, battleship, state capitals quiz, and other projects including a telephone book, and text processing.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: Beginner Basic

    The beginner to advanced C++ curriculum consists of a sequence of lessons. Topics covered in these lessons include: variables, input, output, IF-else and Boolean logic, string functions, loops, random numbers, functions, arrays, vector class, sorting, searching, structures, dynamic allocation, linked lists, recursion, abstraction, constructors and destructors, overloading, graphics. Campers write many programs that implement the various topics. As a culminating activity campers select among a list of advanced projects such as the games of Tetris, Tic-Tac-Toe, Checkers, Connect Four or Tron.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: Python/Basic or over 14 years old. Special circumstances allow for exceptions.

    The beginner to advanced Java curriculum consists of a sequence of lessons. Beginners start with lesson No. 1; others may start with the lesson compatible with their background. For example, campers who return for a second summer and who previously learned Java continue where they left off. This curriculum is an excellent preparation for the AP computer science exam.

    Topics covered in these lessons include: variables, strings, input, output, Boolean logic, loops, methods, overloading, objects, classes, constructors, assessors, mutators, references, arrays, sorting, searching, recursion, applets, labels, buttons, events, graphics, keylistener, and mouselistener. For a final project campers typically design and write a one or two player game of their choice. Examples of such games are: Tetris, Tron, Checkers and Connect Four.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: Python/Basic or over 14 years old. Special circumstances allow for exceptions.

    This language is an extension of C++ in that it provides excellent graphics capabilities. Some Open-GL lessons require knowledge of Algebra and Trigonometry.

    Topics covered include: Basic Drawing, Animation, Keyboard and Mouse Input, Bitmap Fonts, Recursion and Graphics, Shaders, Uniforms, Transformations, Vertex Array Objects, Drawing Meshes, Orthographic and Perspective Projections, Depth Test, Textures, Two and Three Dimensional Drawing Projects.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: C++

    Assembly language is the closest to machine code (0's and 1's). Assembly programs run fast so programmers frequently embed Assembly in C++. This is especially useful for programming graphics and performance critical routines. The Assembly curriculum includes: number systems and bases, registers, opcodes, text display, input, branch instructions, push/pop, accessing memory, data segments, time, and graphics. Campers begin working in the 32-bit i386 instruction set and more advanced campers may continue into the 64-bit AMD64 instruction set. In addition, there are advanced lessons that demonstrate embedding Assembler in C++ programs.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: C++ or Java

    JavaScript makes it possible to include interactive elements in web pages. Campers learn to add animated buttons, sound, scrolling text and pop-up windows to web pages. The campers also learn to swap images, link events, call functions, place cookies, open and close browser windows and create interactive forms.

    As campers progress they learn to write programs to:

    • have a message pop up when a web page is loaded
    • have an image turn into an animated image when clicked
    • save a person's name and then greet him/her with that message every time the page is loaded
    • create a "self-destruct" button which closes the current window when clicked
    • display a message as the user is leaving the web page reminding him/her to visit again
    • create a form to get information from the person viewing the web page
    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: Python/Basic or Beginner C++ or Java

  • 5.    Android App Programming (Click to see more)

    Want to create an App? Do you have a cool idea? This course teaches you the skills needed to program Apps for devices that use the Android Operating System using the Android App Builder. Learn to use functions such as text, graphics, touch, camera and others. Camper projects include touch and dial Apps, text based Apps and one or two player games.

    This course is offered each week.

    Prerequisite: Must be at least 12 years old.

  • 6.    Minecraft Modding (Click to see more)

    NCC offers in partnership with Code Kingdoms a state of the art Minecraft Modding curriculum. This course is for beginner to advanced Minecraft players who want to learn how to modify, change, or extend the game. This course uses a visual block-based interface to teach mod creation. This breakthrough learning system is mapped to key coding skills, and can be taken at the camper's own pace. Each camper is also provided with his/her own private 16 player server with which mods can be tested. No previous experience with Java or any coding is required. Campers receive a one year subscription to Code Kingdoms and with it can continue Minecraft Modding after camp.

    This course is offered each week.

    Prerequisite: Knowledge of Minecraft. Campers need to have a Minecraft account. There is a one time $65 lab fee which incudes a one year subscription to Code Kingdoms.

  • 7.    Software Applications (Click to see more)

    We offer campers the opportunity to learn about several different applications.
    Click on any of the following to learn more about the curriculum.

    The Excel curriculum consists of 9 lessons entitled: $1000 Shopping Spree, Olympic Medals, Average Your Grades, Miles Per Gallon, Money In The Bank, Multiplication Table, The IF Statement, A Data Base and Macros.

    These lessons are written in a light and lively style appropriate for all ages and cover all important Excel topics such as: cell formatting, relative and absolute cells, formulas, dragging, the IF statement, Sum and Average, clip art, graphs and charts, inserting hyperlinks, and most importantly the topic of "what-iffing".

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: None

    The PowerPoint curriculum consists of 5 slide shows that the campers create and save on their flash drives. These shows are entitled: Your First Slide Show, Backgrounds and Transitions, Make a Screen Saver, 3-D Animation, and The Bouncing Ball.

    This curriculum exemplifies NCC's approach of 'Learning by Doing' as campers learn the important aspects of Power Point through fun slide shows.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: None

    In the 3D graphics course campers can create spectacular detailed landscapes using Bryce 3D modeling software. Topics covered include: positioning objects in three dimensions, adding shadows and reflections, composition of models, using textures, and illumination using lighting. Campers can render and save their landscapes to an image file to take home with them.

    Prerequisite: None

    Robot Battle is a programming challenge that allows anyone with basic coding knowledge to program a simulated 'robot' icon on the screen. This robot can be programmed with different offensive and defensive capabilities.

    At the end of the week campers battle each others robots and run several thousand accelerated matches to see whose robot is victorious.

    Prerequisite: None

    Flash is a sophisticated software application. The curriculum is project oriented and focuses on those aspects of Flash that the campers will use in school projects and in their web design. The campers' final project creates a five page web site using Flash.

    The topics covered in the projects include: drawing and painting images, symbols, layers, effects, animation, tweening, sound, frame actions, movies, animated buttons, embedding a movie in HTML.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: None

    With Photoshop campers can learn to do everything from creating Web graphics to tweaking photos to putting their head on the body of their favorite actor. As campers advance through the lessons they learn to crop and resize images, select tools and filters, merge graphics, format a file as a JPEG or GIF, and make illustrations.

    In the end campers come to realize that the power of Photoshop is only limited by their own creativity.

    This course is offered each week.
    Prerequisite: None

    SketchUp is a program that can be used to make three dimensional objects which can be created using a 3D printer. SketchUp is a leading industry standard software for drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, civil and mechanical engineering, film, and video game design.

    Campers who also sign up for the 3D printing course (CT Only) can use SketchUp to create custom objects that they can later print out.

    Prerequisite: None

    Campers may sample these games during the creative computing period. The list of games includes Robot Battle, The Sims, Cryptology Puzzles, The Incredible Machine, Oregon Trail, Amazon Trail, Roller Coaster Tycoon, and SuperGoo.

    The Robot Battle program is especially popular. Campers program a screen icon (their robot) to possess excellent offensive and defensive skills. Then at the end of the week campers submit their robot programs. The robots are all entered in the "war". After several battles the most skillfully programmed robot is declared the winner by the computer.

    Prerequisite: None

  • 8.    QR Code Programming (Click to see more)

    Have you noticed the QR codes in newspapers, ads and online? A QR code (short for Quick Response) is a square barcode that can be scanned and read by smart phones. Would you like to learn to create your own QR? Your QR can include an important message, photos or a video. It is your choice. You do not need a smart phone to learn how to create a QR. This course is offered each week.
        Can you see what it says?

    Prerequisite: None

  • 9.    Arduino Electronics Lab (Click to see more)

    Arduino projects are popular with youngsters who are interested in learning about electronics, and for good reason. Arduino consists of a programmable circuit board that connects to the computer with a USB cable. Projects are programmed in a simple language on the computer and then loaded on the Arduino board through a USB cable. Programming the Arduino board is easy to learn and the beginner can immediately create exciting projects that are capable of controlling an array of small hardware peripherals.


    Beginner project examples are:
    • A blinking LED
    • a three LED traffic light
    • Alarm system
    Advanced projects include:
    • Communication
    • Switches
    • Sensors
    • Displays

    Important: Campers take home the Arduino kit including the projects they build at camp.
    This is a two hour course offered twice a week each week. It is offered on Monday and Tuesday from 4:00 to 5pm and again on Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 to 5:00pm.

    Prerequisite: None. There is a $65 lab fee.

  • 10.    3D Printing (Click to see more)

    3D printing is considered the future of printing and manufacturing and is set to dramatically change the way products are produced. 3D printing is a way of making things. Instead of using ink, the printer prints using plastic. It prints one layer at a time to form a 3D object.

    Course topics include:

    • What is 3D printing?
    • What can you make with a 3D printer?
    • Designing with 3D modeling.
    • Learn to operate a 3D printer
    • Create and print a 3D shape of your choice.

    Important: Campers take home the 3D objects they create at camp.
    This is a two hour course offered twice a week each week. It is offered on Monday and Tuesday from 4:00 to 5pm and again on Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 to 5:00pm. This course is only available in Connecticut.

    Prerequisite: None. There is a $65 lab fee.

About the Curriculum

  • Instruction is interactive at the computer and campers "learn by doing".
  • NCC provides each camper with his/her "own" computer. Personalized learning provides excellent options for campers.
  • At each location, each week, all courses are offered for beginner to advanced campers.
  • Instruction for coed ages 8-18 beginner to advanced. Morning camp (1/2 day) for 6-8 year olds.
  • Three game design curricula are offered: 2D for campers ages 8-11, 2D for campers ages 12 and up, and 3D for experienced game designers.
    Campers take home on CD the games they write as well as a CD with the original game design software. Campers can then continue game design at home.
  • Campers learn to write their own web page and then upload it to the Internet.
  • Each week language instruction is offered for beginner to advanced in Python, Basic, Scratch, C++, Java, Open-GL, Assembler, HTML, JavaScript.
  • Instruction in the computer language Scratch is offered weekly only to 6-8 year old campers attending morning camp (1/2 day). All other languages are offered weekly to campers ages 8-18.
  • Popular software applications are taught daily 3-4pm during the creative computing period. Campers select among Photoshop, 3D Graphics, Flash, Web Animation, Power Point, Excel, QR, and Robot Battle.
  • Instruction in App Programming for devices that use the Android operating system is available to campers ages 12 and up.
  • The curriculum continues from week to week and campers who stay more than one week do not repeat.
  • Each week beginner, intermediate and advanced levels are offered. Click here to view course descriptions, course prerequisites and age requirements.
  • Upon registration campers complete a background sheet and select what they want to learn at camp. Campers are then grouped by background and by age.
Click here to read what parents say about the NCC curriculum

Staff

Many of the camp counselors are ex-campers who have been associated with the camp for many years and are excellent role models for the campers. The staff skillfully administers the camp's philosophy of motivating campers by presenting age appropriate lessons in exciting ways with examples the campers can relate to and identify with. The camper to staff ratio is 5:1.
Click here to read what parents say about our counselors



Staff inquiries are welcome. Each summer NCC has a few job openings. For employment opportunities please write to NCC.