What is Genius Camp?

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to learn alongside your students in a maker environment?  This August, come to MCIU to learn about the power of design thinking and the possibilities that it opens up in your classroom. You, along with your students, will design a mock cruise line including activities for both on board the ship as well as excursions, food, advertising and more.  Come excited and ready to learn about how to implement maker learning in your classroom!

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Patrice Semicek is a Project Consultant for the STEM Initiative. Patrice is a former general and special education teacher. She taught elementary aged students, as well as children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. When Patrice first started as a Project Consultant, she was part of the Reading Initiative. During this time, Patrice gained her Reading Specialist certification. After a few years, Patrice was asked to work in the Math Initiative, which led her to STEM. Patrice discovered an untapped love for math and has designed many STEM opportunities in her time as a STEM Project Consultant. Training opportunities for educators have been done at Legoland, iFly, Nature Centers, and more under her leadership. Patrice is an invaluable member of the Project Consultant team. Her presentations and events are highly sought due to her engaging personality and understanding of the material.

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Ben DeSantis is a Project Consultant at the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU). Prior to joining the MCIU, Ben was a high school teacher within Montgomery County. He also has experience teaching a graduate course, coaching, and facilitating numerous professional learning sessions.

Ben earned his undergraduate degree from Temple University in Elementary and Special Education, and earned his graduate degree in Learning Technologies from Drexel University. He also completed post-graduate work at Gwynedd Mercy University to earn his Curriculum and Instruction Supervisory Certification. Areas of PDE certification include Elementary (K-6), Special Education (N-12), Middle School Mathematics (6-9) Instructional Technology Specialist, and Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor.

In addition to designing and facilitating face-to-face professional learning sessions, Ben, in coordination with other Project Consultants, designs online learning offerings for educators. Whether it is online or face-to-face learning, Ben always tries to design professional learning offerings that are engaging, realistic, and provide exposure for practices that can be used in classrooms.