Big Collaboration: Lessons from BEAM Camp for Making and Collaboration, New Hampshire


by Christa Flores -

In previous blogs I have written about my students engaging in a spring hard problem each year.  After learning new tools, material science and the basics of patterns and  structures, these projects are a deep design challenge that students engage in for an entire semester in teams of four to five. The level of cooperation that this work involves is intense and can result in a team breaking up and reforming, though this is infrequent. The value of this work is that students are able to tackle problems and design challenges that they would not be able to complete if working alone. This summer, I have had the fortune of spending a week at Beam Camp, a three week session of summer camp in the woods of New Hampshire where ten to seventeen year olds work with graduate level architects and designers to construct massive installations on their one hundred acre campus with two lakes. This blog is a reflection on my time at Beam Camp and the overall value of allowing young learners to work together to build projects that would be impossible for any single person to accomplish alone in only a few weeks.

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