Middle School Project Knowmad
Summer 2018: June 11–29

Riverdale's popular Project Knowmad is back for another summer of experiential learning for students in grades 5 to 12. Knowmad uses New York City as a classroom, giving students a chance to meet professionals who are shaping the worlds of art, theater, technology, business, and public life. At the same time, Knowmad brings exciting programs to the Riverdale campus, giving students hands-on opportunities to develop their creativity and technical skills in new ways.

Our summer 2018 program includes new classes in science, technology, and the arts, as well as returning favorites. Registration is now open. Popular programs fill up early, so we encourage families to sign up as soon as they know their summer plans. Financial aid is available, and non Riverdale students are welcome to apply.

It’s going to be a great summer. Join us!

Georgia Tucker
Director, Project Knowmad

Project Knowmad 2016

Project Knowmad offers innovative learning opportunities on the Riverdale campus, in New York City, and further afield.

Project Knowmad 2016: Code Mad

From Citi Bikes to LinkNYC, new tech-based services are springing up across the city. Our students learned all about them last summer.



Middle School Knowmad Courses for 2018

Art + Activism + Food • June 11-22 • Entering Grades 6 to 8 • WEEK 2 CLOSED

This Knowmad will offer a taste of the activism that permeates certain art and food movements in NYC and globally. Throughout history art has been a creative medium for social and political change, giving voice to outrage, activism, and alternative realities. From political art in galleries and museums to street art, spoken-word artists, and pop-up art made for protests, art can tackle the salient issues of the day. In addition, recently there is an increased awareness of the sociopolitical aspects of food. We will consider how we source and consume our food, changing trends in food consumption, and our own city’s lack of access to food in certain areas. Students will meet with artists, food entrepreneurs, and social change advocates throughout the two-week program and learn about how their work is inspired by their passions. We'll get inspired and have the chance to create our own art back in the studio. We will actively nourish both body & soul through activist art and food from the growing food movement in NYC.

Available to Upper School students upon request.

Faculty Leaders: Monika Le—Mathematics; Nicky Enright—Art
Student Leader: Natalia Mercedes Rodriguez

Career Paths to Public Service • June 11-15 • Entering Grades 9 to 12 • CLOSED

This course is designed to familiarize students with legal, health, and education organizations that work on issues ranging from public health to affordable housing and education in the Bronx and Queens. By learning about public service and nonprofit organizations, this course aims to aid students in thinking about some essential questions: What meaningful internships or volunteering opportunities are available for young adults? How can they be a voice or change in identifying and addressing issues in our own city? We will meet with public defenders, educators, judges, doctors, and policy advocates to examine the importance of public service work and its relevance to all New Yorkers. We hope to help students learn more about the significance of public service work and its important role in bettering the lives of vulnerable New York residents. Along the way we will also be indulging in a taste of some of the communities we will be learning about—join us!

Faculty Leaders: Chime Dolma—History; Perla Montas—Health

Coding Knowmad • June 11-29 • Entering Grades 5 to 12 • WEEKS 1 & 2 CLOSED. WEEK 3 ALMOST FULLY SUBSCRIBED. REGISTER SOON.

A three-week learning experience exploring the latest innovations in technology and virtual and augmented reality. Students may take one, two, or three-week sessions.

Learn Swift and Build a Startup • June 11–15 • CLOSED
Faculty Leader: Andrew Abate—Computer Science

Do you like coding? Do you want to make a really cool app? Did you ever want to know what it’s like to work as a startup? Then this Coding Knowmad is just for you! You’ll learn that programming isn’t magic, anyone can do it, and it’s creative and immensely satisfying to use computers to solve problems.

In Codemad 2018: Startup, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the Swift programming language, the language that makes those amazing iPhone apps. You’ll also explore xCode as you build some really cool iPhone apps! You’ll also work in teams as a startup—pitching and prototyping your digital app ideas, and learning about the Agile Development Cycle where you plan, build, launch, and review in iterative cycles.

Throughout the week, we use the city as our developer space, touring innovative NYC technology companies and real startups to meet the (normal!) people who work there, talk about how they got involved in programming, and see the amazing things they’re doing.

Virtual Worlds: Create your own VR and AR Worlds! • June 18–22 • CLOSED
Faculty Leader: Andrew Abate—Computer Science

Don a headset and escape to new worlds and lands in the immersive experience only Virtual Reality can give. Or augment reality by using your mobile phone’s camera to mix the real world with what’s being shown on screen. In this Knowmad, you will investigate how virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) work and examine the latest VR and AR hardware including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Daydream, and Microsoft Hololens. Then learn how to build your very own virtual world using the industry standard Unity game engine. Imagine navigating your very own world in VR! You’ll also get a chance to go behind the scenes and learn how ARKit works, the augmented reality tool for iOS11, and design your own ARKit demo.

Throughout the week we use the city our classroom: we'll talk to innovative developers and look at the amazing things they're doing with VR and AR, and tour exciting VR and AR experiences that only NYC can offer. 

Escape to new and exciting worlds that you build in VR and AR this summer!

Arts Technica: Arts Meet Technology • June 25–29
Faculty Leader: Andrew Abate—Computer Science

This course is for artists, programmers, musicians, and anyone who is interested in exploring their creative side. Technology and programming are used in the arts by creators and performers, and programmers work with artists to bring life to their projects. In this course you will explore the countless ways in which technology can enhance visual arts, music, fashion, and other fields by learning the Processing programming language, 3D printing, and music applications like GarageBand and Audacity to realize different fun projects. You will talk to artists and designers, and visit museums, galleries, and installations around NYC to experience how technology has been used in innovative and creative ways. Join us for this course to explore new tools that will help you unlock your creative side.

Draw NYC • June 11-22 • Entering Grades 9 to 12 • WEEK 2 CLOSED

Draw NYC is a weeklong drawing workshop designed to explore the rhythm of New York while we actively observe and draw the people, architecture, and landscape of this dynamic city. Join us as we sketch our way through the subway system en route to Coney Island, where we'll spend time capturing this historic landmark neighborhood and its unique, exciting history as we sketch locals and tourists on the boardwalk and in the amusement park. Challenge your perspective on the High Line, and while we enjoy lunch at one of the many vendors at Chelsea Market, we will create gesture drawings of patrons eating and strolling. Your sketchbooks will be filled with images from our travels to The Central Park Zoo, Grand Central Station, The New York Public Library, Wave Hill and many more. In addition, we will visit exhibitions at museums and galleries. Students will share their work on a regular basis in order to further their understanding. We will explore pencil, charcoal, ink, and watercolor. No drawing experience necessary. Materials are provided.

Students will benefit from individual feedback and instruction from two artists/teachers with strong backgrounds in both painting and drawing. Students may sign up for Draw NYC Week I, Draw NYC Week 2, or students may sign up for both to deepen and strengthen their practice.

Faculty Leaders: Betsy Fields, Angela Paris—Art

Film Lab: Kino Riverdale • June 11-15 • Entering Grades 6 to 12 • THIS COURSE IS ALMOST FULLY SUBSCRIBED. REGISTER SOON.

This Knowmad invites you to participate in the audiovisual workshop: KINO Riverdale—the community through the lens. This is a collective, non-competitive creation workshop. No previous experience is needed and we have capacity for 6 to 10 participants. During five full days participants will write, film, and edit short films/documentaries. Filming is scheduled to take place in the NYC area and will feature filming equipment for each team and a final editing space at Riverdale. At the end of the event short films will be screened to the public.

We will have the opportunity to approach film production from different theoretical and practical perspectives. We will visit places in the city where film and media are used by teenagers within the community. We will also talk to different independent filmmakers about their ideas about art and community.

Students will then create short films/documentaries and rediscover the city and its people using filmed histories to express their own ideas, hopes, and concerns.

Faculty Leader: Milena Almira—Foreign Language, Lexie Frare—Film & Drama.

Get a SENSE of NYC • June 11-15 • Entering Grades 8 to 12 • CLOSED

Feed your senses! Come along on our guided tour as we hear, see, smell, taste, and feel our way through a thoroughly unique exploration of NYC. If you are interested in investigating how NYC expands, illuminates, and assaults your five senses, join us as we visit laboratories, museums, and restaurants that offer specific visual, auditory, olfactory, physical, and gustatory experiences. What better way is there to be mindful of the present than focusing on how the physical space feeds our senses and affects our perception? You’ll see, smell, hear, feel, and taste your city in a whole new way!

Faculty Leaders: Asya Reznikov—Art; Nicole Sin Quee—Mathematics

Maker's Alliance • June 11-22 • Entering Grades 7 to 12 • WEEK 1 CLOSED. WEEK 2 NEARLY FULLY SUBSCRIBED. REGISTER SOON.

Week 1: June 11-15

Maker’s Week: The popular Maker's Alliance is back for another summer. Held in Riverdale's Makerspace, the course is an open-studio approach to making everything from stuffed animals to go-karts. Participants learn to use all manner of tools, from sewing machines to arc welders to 3D scanners, while making cool things that they dream up.

Faculty Leaders: Josh Merrow, Jason Ruff—Art


Week 2: June 18-22

Maker Zombie Sleepover: Design and build a zombie-proof structure and spend the night in it on campus the night of the summer solstice, a likely date for zombie incursion. All manner of anti-zombie strategies will be designed and implemented. Students bring sleeping bags and flashlights, all other gear will be made on-site.

Faculty Leaders: Josh Merrow, Jason Ruff—Art

New York State of Mind: History Through Photography • June 18-22 • Entering Grades 7 to 10 • CLOSED

In this Knowmad, photography and history come together. We'll learn essential photography principles and apply them to taking photos within the context of our historical investigations. We'll learn about the people of New York, past and present, as well as the many neighborhoods that helped shape the history of the city. We'll attempt to answer the question: In what ways can we capture New York City's rich history in a photo? Bring your walking shoes! We’ll walk (a lot), we’ll reflect, and we’ll culminate the week editing and sharing our photos!

Faculty Leaders: Mike Willis—History; Brian Mihok—Communications

Space Odyssey 2018 • June 18-22 • Entering Grades 7 to 9 • CLOSED

Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut? What do you need to know before traveling to space? What will it be like? Join the RCS faculty on this journey to other worlds. We will spend the week looking at how different strands of science contribute to our current understanding of space, and what questions remain unanswered. We will engage in field trips to various space-focused sites around the city and in hands-on activities involving robotics, aerodynamics, and problem solving. If you’ve always been fascinated by space and want to spend your time exploring how biology, chemistry, and physics merge to make space travel possible, then this is the course for you.

Faculty Leaders: David Eby, Shane Berning—Science

Project Knowmad 2018

Project Knowmad 2018

Apply to Knowmad 2018

The Project Knowmad application form can be found here. Please note that the application deadline is June 1, 2018

Knowmad At A Glance

Project Knowmad will run from June 11–29, 2018

Knowmad FAQs

For more information, please contact:
   Georgia Tucker
   Director, Project Knowmad
   gtucker@riverdale.edu

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