A Curriculum that Matters

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  • 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 design, cryptography, robotics and web page design. Emphas is on experiential learning, the process of learning by doing. By engaging campers in hands-on experiences and reflection, they are better able to connect.

The NCC Course Catalog

NCC offers the following courses and activities. They are available weekly beginner to advanced levels.

Python JavaScript CSS 2D Game Design Arduino Computer Lab
C++ Web Design OpenGL 3D Game Design 3D Printing
Java HTML 5 Assembler Minecraft Modding Fly the NCC Drone
Flash–Animation Photoshop Excel App Programming Cryptography

Course Descriptions

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 the games they create and the game design software. Campers can then continue to create games after camp.

This course is offered each week.

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

NCC Game Design Partners:
Multimedia Fusion 2

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 the games they create and the game design software. Campers can then continue to create 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

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

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 for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
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 for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
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 for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
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 for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
Prerequisite: Python/Basic or over 13 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, accessors, 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 for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
Prerequisite: Python/Basic or over 13 years old. Special circumstances allow for exceptions.
OpenGL is an extension of C++ in that it provides excellent graphics capabilities. Some OpenGL 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 for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
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 Assembly in C++ programs.

This course is offered each week for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
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 an interactive form to get information from the person viewing the web page
This course is offered each week for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.
Prerequisite: Python/Basic or Beginner C++ or Beginner Java

This course is for beginner to advanced Minecraft players who want to learn how to modify, change, or extend the game. This course uses MCreator, a visual block-based interface to teach mod creation. MCreator is a software used to make Minecraft mods using intuitive easy-to-learn interface or with an integrated code editor. This breakthrough learning system is mapped to key coding skills, and can be taken at the camper's own pace. It is used worldwide by Minecraft players, aspiring mod developers and educational STEM workshops. No previous experience with Java or any coding is required.

This course is offered each week. It is not available at the Virtual Camp.

Prerequisite: Knowledge of Minecraft.

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 MIT App Inventor. Learn to use functions such as text, graphics, touch, camera, GPS and other sensors. Camper projects include graphical touch apps, text based apps, and one or two player games. Advanced campers who have experience with Java can build their apps using Android Studio.

This course is offered each week.

Prerequisite: Must be at least 12 years old.

Cryptography is the science of making data and text secure by encrypting and decrypting data. Encryption is very important in internet security and is used to hide text and make it look like gibberish that is impossible to read. The gibberish can only be read after it is decrypted.

Your challenge now is to figure out the key for the following message: J MPWF ODD
Can you decipher it?

Cryptography is important for national security. The US treats codes as potential weapons and the National Security Agency (NSA) secures the US against foreign cryptanalysis and tries to break other countries’ codes. Cryptography is also used in many other applications like banking, e-commerce and passwords. This course teaches campers several algorithms for coding and decoding. Campers learn to encode and decode manually as well as by programming in Python.

This course is offered each week.

Prerequisite: Advanced Python or Advanced BASIC and must be 13 years old.

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

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 determine what this QR says?

Prerequisite: None

The sky is the limit!

The NCC drone is suitable for beginners who are new to drones.

  • The drone has 360 degree flexible movement, ranging from upward/downward, forward/backward, and rotation
  • The drone has a 3 speeds mode including an emergency stop
  • The drone will spark the campers’ imagination in play and develop engineering and technology skills
  • The NCC drone is made of durable material, which can withstand impact landing
The following activities practice use of the controls to fly the NCC drone:
  • Practice start, takeoff, and landing
  • Practice flying forward, backward, left, and right
  • Practice flying at slow to fast speeds
  • Practice flying along a marked path that includes several 90 degree turns
  • Practice landing at a marked location
  • Practice flying from point A to point B at as slow a speed as possible

Prerequisite: None.


Arduino Computer Lab 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 hardware peripherals.

Beginner project examples are:

  • A blinking LED
  • A three LED traffic light
  • Temperature measurement
  • Distance measurement

Advanced projects include:

  • Alarm system
  • Switches
  • Sensors
  • LCD 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.

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 objects with 3D modeling
  • Learn to operate a 3D printer
  • Create and print a 3D model 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 4pm to 5pm and again on Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm to 5pm.

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

About The Curriculum

  • Instruction is interactive at the computer and campers “learn by doing” with emphasis on personalized learning.
  • The curriculum continues from week to week and campers who stay more than one week do not repeat.
  • NCC provides each camper with his/her “own” computer. All courses are offered each week beginner to advanced.
  • Campers who learn 2D or 3D game design take home on their flash drive the games they write as well as a the game design software. Campers can then continue game design at home.
  • Campers who learn web page design upload their final page.
  • Each week beginner to advanced programming instruction is offered in Python, C++, Java, OpenGL, Assembly, HTML, JavaScript, and scratch.
  • NCC offers preparation for the AP Computer Science test in Java. One week of Java at NCC is equivalent to six weeks of AP computer science Java at public schools.
  • Instruction in the computer language Scratch is offered weekly to 6-8 year old campers attending the 1/2 day morning camp. All other languages are offered weekly to campers ages 9-18.
  • Popular software applications are taught daily 3-4pm during the creative computing period. Campers select among Photoshop, game design, web design, 3D Graphics, Flash, Animation, Robotics, Power Point, Excel, QR, Robot Battle, and the popular drone flying.
  • Once registered, campers complete a course selection form and select the course(s) they want to learn at camp (See Forms).
  • 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 and frequently 4:1
    • During the daily instruction periods 9am-11am and 1pm-3pm campers focus for the week on either one or two courses selected from curriculum areas numbered 1-6 below.
    • During Creative Computing (daily 3pm-4pm) campers may select among curriculum areas 1-10 above. Campers thus sample courses other than the courses they take in the mornings and afternoons. For example, if a camper learns Java daily in the morning and in the afternoon 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 (3-4pm) on Tuesday. Instead of Creative Computing campers can elect to participate in sports.
    • NCC offers 2 special courses each held 2 days per week 4pm-5pm namely Arduino Computer Lab and 3D Printing. These courses are described in curriculum areas 11 and 12 above.

    Read what parents say about the NCC curriculum