An Essdack Project


How do I get a team together?

Think about the kids you have who are geeks, techies; the kids who always want to have their hands busy, exploring, taking things apart. It’s for our kids who are budding scientists, techies, engineers, artists, designers, mathematicians, etc. Its for our kids who are Lego or Minecraft- obsessed! It’s for the kids who are always drawing and doodling. It’s for our Rube Goldberg Machine kids!Think about the kids who are great problem-solvers. Or who are bright, but need a challenge that puts them out of their "school-success” comfort zone. Campers’ ages need to be in (rising) 5th-12th grades. It’s good to have mixed-age groups, but it’s not an essential. Everyone will find their place on the team in the camp.

How do we get these kids interested?

Talk with them. Show them the flyer. Remind them of those characteristics they have that made you think of them. Show them the videos at or Talk with them about 3D printing. Send the flyer home to parents. Talk with parents about why this would be a great opportunity for their kids.

How do students benefit?

Students get to experience a true innovative learning environment where they get to construct, deconstruct, problem-solve, collaborate, think, develop, design, all sorts of mechanical and artistic stuff. Yes. Stuff. It’s up to the kids to invent and learn. It will be an immersive and exciting environment of learning.

How do schools/teachers benefit?

Schools who are looking to develop innovative learning spaces, where students are fully engaged in learning are clamoring to learn how to create these environments. This is hands-on STEM! This is an opportunity to have students and teachers experience how one phenomenal environment works. Then, once they return back home, they’re ready to begin building their own spaces that will benefit the learners back in their own schools.

How do I get parents interested?

Parents are always looking to find interesting ways to get their kids off the couch, or to pry away from video games, and this is a great way to do that. Sure, some kids go to basketball or football camps in the summer. Many don’t. This is for those kids who are content to be hanging out doing the geekier things in life. Is your kid Lego-obsessed? Minecraft-obsessed? Are they always doodling? Then this camp is probably or your kid! How much do week-long camps usually cost? Because we’re offering 5 days of fun and affordable learning. AND parents also get the added benefit of their children’s teachers learning how to recreate these types of learning environments back in their own schools.

How do I get my boss to see the potential here? My Superintendent? My program director?

All schools in Kansas are scrambling to figure out what the 21st Century learning environment truly looks like. We want to do it, but are nervous about going full-bore with classes. So send a team of students and teachers to learn how to create this type of classroom. Then they can create either an elective class or an after school or lunch-buddy program, or something else that will attract kids. It’s a low-stakes, low-cost way to get a program seed started in your school district.

What is the first step?

  1. Get your team excited and identified.

  2. Get the parents excited.

  3. Have a Q/A meeting. Let us know if you’d like us to attend in person or virtually to help field questions. We’re excited to help.

  4. Finalize team/family interest.

  5. Get the application filled out and sent in by March 1 (or sooner).

  6. Start thinking about any extra money you might need/want for extras while you’re in Hutchinson.

  7. Book your transportation and hotel accommodations.

  8. Make final confirmation by sending in registration money by May 1.

How do I get this paid for?

  • Ask parents to pay the registration and send money for meals.

  • Ask for local service organizations to sponsor financially needy and/or star academic students.

  • Ask for the district to pay for transportation costs.

  • Coordinate fundraising events.

  • Coordinate funding through STEM grants.

What are the TOTAL costs?

  • Team Registration of 8 (up to 6 students + 2 teachers) = $1500

  • Hotel $90 per nite, 3 rooms, 4 nites = $1080 (we’re working on more affordable options for those who need to stay overnight)

  • Dinner for 4 nites = $8 per person = $320 for the week

  • lunch, drinks, snacks are provided by ESSDACK

  • potential incidentals, should you choose them:

  • entry fee for Cosmosphere, Salt City Splash Water park (optional evening events) More info coming soon.

  • personalized snacks beyond what ESSDACK is providing.

Is there money required now?

Do not send money now. Once your application is approved (you should be notified by March 15), then you can spend time figuring funding options. Official registration and money are due May 1.