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The Fairfax County Park Authority offers a variety of activities such as classes, camps and tours in a wide variety of categories including aquatics, fitness, nature, dance, outdoor recreation, performing arts, history and many more. Special events, trips/tours and specialty workshops are listed in Parktakes, the Park Authority’s quarterly guide, available through free subscription to county citizens. .

2D Game Design (6-12 yrs)

This class offered by STEM exCEL builds upon the fundamentals and concepts of game design within a real game engine currently used by many indie development teams. Students of all levels design and build their own game from the ground up and learn 2D game art and programming logic.


3D Modeling for 3D Printing (8-12 yrs)

In this class offered by C3, students learn how to 3D model on efficient and constructive ways that will allow for objects they design to be printed out while learning about the technology and terminology of 3D modeling and 3D printers. Any supply fee payable to instructor at first class.


Adventures in Game Design (8-12 yrs)

In this class offered by Digital Kidz students learn the secrets behind their favorite games and how to make a fully functional arcade-style video game that will play on a computer or on a smartphone.


Adventures in Robotics (6-8 yrs)

This Digital Kidz program immerses students in the exciting world of robotics using the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3. Combining the LEGO building system's versatility and intuitive drag-and-drop programming software, students work in teams, make friends and create robots from day one in this adventure.


Astronomical Seminar & Telescope Viewing

(9-Adult) The roll-top observatory at Turner Farm holds a classroom seminar and nighttime observing session focused on a specific astronomical topic each month. Topics include planets, comets, open clusters, double stars, stellar color spectrum, globular clusters, galaxies, nebulae and more. Telescopes are used to view the objects discussed in the classroom (weather dependent). Check the Analemma site for monthly topics. www.analemma.org. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.


Electronics w/Minecraft Redstone (8-12)

In this class offered by STEM exCEL, students explore electronics in a virtual world with essentially infinite resources. Using Minecraft's wire system called Redstone, students can build constructs representing real-world electrical circuits and simple computer projects. Students gain an initial understanding of circuitry, electronics and electrical theory to understand virtually how real circuits, switches, bread boards, etc. are used. Any supply fee payable to instructor at first class.


Engineering Mania-Building Bridges (6-12 yrs)

In this class, offered by Curiosity Zone, little engineers will use their creativity and out of the box thinking to build and test various structures such as bridges, platforms and ramps using a variety of materials. In each class session, there will be a challenge to build a structure using different materials and constraints on material.


Engineering Mania-Mechanics (6-12 ys)

In this class offered by Curiosity Zone, little engineers build and test various contraptions such as launchers, pipelines, zip lines and more using a variety of materials. A different structure will be built each class.


Engineering with Little Bits (6-9 yrs)

In this class offered by C3, students are introduced to basic electronics including input/output through hand-on learning and projects. Students combine everyday supplies and color-coded modules to create different projects such as custom flashlights, touch sensors, alarm clocks and more. Any supply fee payable to instructor at first class.


Family Fun Night at the Telescope 6+

(6-Adult) Have you ever wondered about the earth in space and the other objects that make up our universe? Bring your family and take a guided tour of the heavens and see the color of stars, open and globular clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.


Fashion Illustration (6-12 yrs)

Create and present your own fashion line illustrations in the form of a mini-portfolio using digital illustration technology with STEM exCEL. Develop 2D art in different styles learning to illustrate major articles of clothing and accessories. Engage your artistic creativity while utilizing fashion terminology to explore the incredible world of fashion design. Learn how to hone your art style to create an age-appropriate fashion collection.


Intro to Computer Science & Coding 5-8

In this class offered by STEM exCEL, students are introduced to programming and computational thinking. Through behind-the-computer projects including online and offline group and individual activities, students learn algorithms, functions, variables, conditionals, abstractions and more in a fun environment. Students experience developmental and project teamwork as they translate problems into graphical and written programs. Any supply fee payable to instructor at first class.


Intro to STEM with LEGO I (5-6 yrs)

In this pre-engineering program, offered by PlayWell, students build engineer-designed projects such as boats, snowmobiles, catapults and merry-go-rounds, then use special pieces to create their own unique design. Students explore endless possibilities using the LEGO building system.


Intro to STEM with Lego II (5-6 yrs)

In this pre-engineering program, offered by PlayWell, students build engineer-designed projects such as motorcycles, castles, airplanes and monorails, then use special pieces to create their own unique design. Students explore the LEGO building system's endless possibilities.


Intro to Telescopes (9-Adult)

(9-Adult) Class covers astronomy basics and how to set up and use your telescope. Course content depends on telescope type and includes observing selected objects in the sky using the roll-top observatory, weather permitting. You can bring your own telescope to class. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available


Magic Science (6-12 yrs)

In this class offered by Curiosity Zone kids make color-changing potions, disappearing ink, glowing slime, secret compartments, floating wands, optical illusions and disappearing coins. They also learn to see around corners, make amazing predictions, hide secret glowing messages, leave their shadows behind and move things with an invisible force while developing creative thinking and teamwork and learning design, chemistry, optics, physics and engineering basics.


Meteor Astronomy (9-Adult)

(9-Adult) This class covers basic meteor astronomy including what meteors are, their origins, best time to view, fireball reporting, visual and video observing techniques, movie clips from past meteor storms, how one estimates trajectory and orbits and other instrumental techniques used by amateur meteor observers. An optional observing session is held outdoors after class, weather permitting. Bring a lawn chair and warm cover/sleeping bag. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.


Meteorites-Explore Visitors from Space

(6-Adult) What are meteorites and where do they come from? What can they tell us? This course is an introduction to these visitors from outer space. Participants have the opportunity to touch and examine actual meteorites including specimens from the moon and Mars. The course is held in the roll-top observatory classroom at Turner Farm Park. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.


Minecraft Modding (6-12 yrs)

In this class offered by STEM exCEL, Minecraft Modding and Java programming are tied together to allow students more customization in their mods. At the same time, this course teaches students how to solve problems in a multiplayer game while building and collaborating. Students learn to advance their programming skills writing and implementing large scale Minecraft modifications. Any supply fee payable to instructor at first class.


Radio Astronomy (9-Adult)

(9-Adult) What can you hear from space? Learn about cosmic noise and what it tells us about the sun, the magnetic structure surrounding some of our planets and the strange decametric radio signals from Jupiter and its moon Io. Learn how our galaxy is mapped using the faint signals from hydrogen atoms and the behavior of molecules and the meanings behind the sounds of pulsars, strange, dense, fast-rotating stars. Come hear what our universe is saying. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.


Rainbows, Haloes & Glories (6-Adult)

(6-Adult) Course covers common and uncommon phenomena that can be seen in the open sky such as rainbows, haloes and glories. Sunrise and sunset phenomena like the green flash, the purple light and simple questions such as why is the sky blue and why are sunsets orange are also covered. This simple course teaches you how to better appreciate the sky both day and night. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.


Robotics, Engineering & Coding (8-12 yrs

Using 3D building instructions and the most advanced technology, students in this Digital Kidz class work with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3, the latest generation of robots. Students learn teamwork while building robots and programming them to overcome challenges. Students use sensors and a microcontroller to truly customize their creations.


Secret Science Agents (6-12 yrs)

In this forensic science class offered by Curiosity Zone, students will dust for fingerprints, build booby traps, create disguises, write secret and more while developing creative thinking, problem solving and teamwork skills.


STEAMing Gaming (7-12 yrs)

This course offered by Science Cosmos retains the Minecraft video game magic, while adding elements that facilitate learning concepts in science, technology, engineering arts and math (STEAM). Unlike traditional Minecraft, the STEAM course offers a controlled and curated environment rather than an open-ended Minecraft world. Being in the Minecraft world makes it irresistible and kids explore and learn by observation and problem solving.


STEM Challenge with LEGO I (7-12 yrs)

In this class, offered by Play-Well, students power up their engineering skills with thousands of LEGOs. Students apply real-world concepts in physics, engineering and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as catapults, pneumatic cranes, arch bridges and battletracks. Design and build as never before, and explore your craziest ideas.


STEM Challenge with LEGO II (7-12 yrs)

In this class, offered by Play-Well, students increase their engineering skills with thousands of LEGOs. Students apply real-world concepts in physics, engineering and architecture through engineer-designed projects such as belt-driven cars, truss bridges, rail racers and pneumatic forklifts. Design and build as never before, and explore your craziest ideas.


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