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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. .

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.


Astronomy Adventures (5-Adult)

Explore the cosmos in this monthly program. Peer through the powerful telescopes at Turner Farm Park and see planets, moons, and stars like you've never seen them before!


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 with Lego at Colvin Run Mill

(6-11 yrs.) Power up your engineering skills with tens of thousands of LEGOs in this class offered by PlayWell. Apply real-world concepts in physics and engineering as you use LEGO to build the same real-world mechanical systems used in the historic Colvin Run Mill. Please bring water bottle and snack. Then, apply the knowledge from this LEGO portion of the program on a walking tour of the functioning mill as you identify these same systems on an active mill day. Tour included for all participants. Discounted tour tickets available for family/guardians of workshop participants.


Exploring the Moon (9-Adult)

(9-Adult) The Moon is as old as the Earth, and its surface is marked by craters and lava flows billions of years old. Explore these lunar features through a high-powered telescope and learn about their origins. See where the Apollo lunar landings occurred, and discuss what the astronauts found. Class meets rain or shine with alternate viewing sessions available for cloudy days. Advance registration required, no walk-in registration available.


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 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


Jedi Enginnering w/LEGO II (5-7 yrs)

(5-7 yrs) The Force Awakens in this class offered by Play-Well. Explore more advanced engineering principles by designing and building projects such as R2 units, energy catapults, podracers and more. Create more advanced motorized and architectural projects with imagination and LEGO to defend against the Empire.


Jedi Master Engineering w/LEGO II (7-12 yrs)

(7-12 yrs) The Force Awakens in this class offered by Play-Well. Explore advanced engineering concepts such as transmissions, centripetal force and gear trains by designing and building projects such as X-Wings, podracers, fortresses and more. Create motorized and architectural projects with imagination and LEGO to defend against the Empire.


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.


Mine, Craft, Build, Survival (6-12 yrs)

Bring Minecraft to life using LEGO in this class offered by Play-Well. Resourcefulness, creativity, and cooperation come together in this unique building adventure game. Roll the dice to mine for resources and use these resources to build special items to help in our adventures. This LEGO experience is an original game designed by Play-Well instructors inspired by the popular game, Minecraft. No prior experience with Minecraft or LEGO is needed.


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.


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.


STEM Fundamentals w/LEGO (6-12 yrs)

(6-12 yrs) Master your engineering skills in this class by Play-Well. Apply physics and engineering concepts to design and build gondolas, helicopters, zombie crawlers and more.


Viral Flix (7-12 yrs)

Viral Videos grab our attention and this program, offered by IncrediFlix gives students the opportunity to create the same kind of videos we all love watching online: unboxing videos, web series, review shows, top 10 videos and more. Students work in groups to write, direct, film and produce short viral video segments in a safe and fun environment! Flix are downloadable within a month after class ends.