But I thought Ms. Kitty was a music teacher?

Yup. She's a music teacher with a BA in Music magna cum laude plus an Orff Level 1 Certificate as well as certificates from Harmony Road Music Course, Kids' MusicRound, James Hill's Ukulele in the Classroom, and Kindermusik. In July 2018, she earned a Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Technology from Tufts University in Boston. This camp was created as part of her graduate program.

Ms. Kitty teaches year-round at her own schools in Moss Beach and Half Moon Bay and is the music teacher for TK-4th grade at Farallone View School in Montara and K-8th at Hilldale School in Daly City. She taught TK-3rd grade music at Hatch Elementary in Half Moon Bay for 10 years.

She believes that 21st century student need to be literate in many ways to succeed and survive: reading, music and programming.

More about Ms. Kitty and why she teaches STEAM...

Her first "real" job started a few weeks after she graduated from college. Ms. Kitty was in the original San Francisco cast of Godspell and spent five years making her living in theater, commercials and nightclubs in the Bay Area, on tour and in New York City.

The next career shift, the first of many, took her into radio, audio and television engineering and video editing. Back in the dark ages of video editing with 1" tape, 3/4 and Beta-cam, editors did not just drag and drop. It was a highly technical field that require creativity in storytelling, visuals, music and sound.

Career switch five start with global internal communications for Fortune 500 company, executive producing, intranet development and marketing. PR and customer relations in start ups.

Since cats have nine lives, Ms. Kitty claims her current work is her ninth. Teaching early childhood music, Harmony Road piano classes and private piano took up the school year, but summer was another story. Just as the STEM acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math was becoming the latest educational buzzword, Ms. Kitty developed Creative Connections Camps. Each themed camp combined music, math and science in fun, unique and challenging ways.

These camps were popular on the Coast and eventually moved to Crystal Springs Uplands summer program. Camps included How to Count Like a Martian; Music: Sounds Like Science; Weaving and Quilt Math; Solar Science and Sound; Gizmos and Gadgets. Each camp combined topics Ms. Kitty found fascinating and they were an inspiration to many students.

After taking a few summers off, Ms. Kitty found new inspiration in the KIBO robot and ScratchJr among other technologies appropriate for ages four to seven years. The creator of the Tufts program, Marina Bers, is a proponent of what she calls PTD or Positive Technical Development. Not only should our kids learn computational thinking and programming, but they should be creative and good citizens of our connected world.

For more on  PTD and the reasons why your child needs to be technologically fluent,  check out Marina's new book Coding as a Playground

Other books of interest:

More on STEAM:  What is STEAM?

Backed by Decades of Research
KIBO is backed by decades of research, led by Marina Umaschi Bers, PhD. professor at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development and director DevTech Research Group at Tufts University. Review the extensive research that has gone into the development of KIBO, as well as the evidence that KIBO makes a real difference getting our youngest learners off on the right foot through playful learning.

How KIBO is Different
KIBO is different from any other robotic kit because it appeals to both technically minded kids and those that connect more to arts and culture or physical activity.

Designed for open-ended play, KIBO lets your kids make almost anything –- a character from a story, a carousel, a dancer, a race helicopter –- anything that they can think of. The child creates a sequence of instructions (a program) using the wooden KIBO blocks. They scan the blocks with the KIBO body to tell the robot what to do. They press the button and the robot comes alive. With KIBO, young children can become programmers, engineers, designers, artists, dancers, choreographers and writers. And unlike other activity kits out there, KIBO robotics kit is based on over 20 years of research in learning technologies and child development at Tufts University, including testing with thousands of children and their adults.

KinderLab Robotics: Learn more

Video: Meet the KIBO

Monday August 6 - Friday August 10 in Moss Beach (2385 Carlos Street)

Monday August 20 - Friday August 24 in Half Moon Bay (795 Main Street)

Tuition:  $325 (includes use of our KIBO robots with the latest add-ons and all materials)

Minimum: 4 campers; Maximum: 12 campers (camps not meeting minimum enrollment will be cancelled)

  • Students should bring lunch, morning snack, afternoon nibble and a water bottle.
  • Dress in layers because it's the Coast and we just cannot predict the weather.
  • Wear clothes that can get messy or bring something to cover yourself for crafting.
  • Be prepared to learn lots, think creatively and have fun.

"If you were teaching a child to write, would you only teach them spelling, grammar, and punctuation? Of course not: you would provide them with opportunities to tell stories and express themselves. In Coding as a Playground, Bers makes a compelling case that we should treat coding the same way. She argues that coding should be seen not as a technical skill but as a new literacy―a new way for children to express and share their ideas."

―Mitchel Resnick,Professor of Learning Research, MIT Media Lab, and author of Lifelong Kindergarten

Ages:   Entering 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades.
Dates:  August 6-10 & August 20-24
Hours:  9:00-3:00 After care available until 5pm (M-Th)

STEAM  is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math. We see the gray whales migrate every year off our Coast every year. In camp, we’ll experience the migration by creating our own gray whales and programming the KIBO robot to make the 6,000 mile trip.

KIBO is a robot designed to teach young child to code in a tactile, hands- on, super fun way. You do not want to miss this camp!


Programming with no screen time  : Creative & computational thinking : Learning with music

From "Little Gray’s Great Migration" by Marta Lindsey Illustrated by Andrea Gabriel