Project Ember

Community Subscriber
Berkeley, Oakland
Operated By: 
Curiosity and Grit LLC
School-Aged, Preteens, Teens
36 participants
info [at]
(415) 295-5833

At Project Ember, we empower kids to design and build concrete solutions to abstract problems.  Our prompts merge objective engineering challenges with artistic freedom in a process we call world-building. We’re in awe of the worlds kids dream up, so we don’t use prefabricated kits to solve design challenges - we use kids’ creativity. We start with a surprise prompt -safely lift a teammate off the ground. Teams use their imaginations to figure out how (levers? ropes?) and why (superhero? orbiting planet?). We also use power tools, construction grade supplies and collaboration. The design itself is up in the air, but one thing’s certain: we build big and bold. Kids will be able to get in, climb on or operate their creations.

Parent Reviews

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My son loved his experience at Project Ember. He learned how to safely use power tools, work collaboratively, think outside of the box, and be inventive. He had so much fun building a giant catapult, and I had a blast watching paint filled balloons fly in the air. It was fun, silly and brilliant! I am glad my son got to build, design and problem solve. I highly recommend this camp and can't say enough great things about the counselors.

Last summer I was looking for day camps for my 12 year old son.  He isn't athletic so it makes it hard to find a camp for him.  I found Project Ember and decided to give it a try.  He only did one week but absolutely loved it.  I asked him if he wanted to go for winter break and I figured he would rather stay home a play video games and I would have to talk him into it.  He said yes at the first mention and has been happy to get up every morning and go to camp.  He looks forward to being a junior collaborator when he's old enough.  I can't say enough good things about this camp.  My son is not that easy to engage in things and he loves this camp!!!!!  The quality of the counselors is what makes the camp such a success. 

My almost-9 year-old son did Project Ember for its first session this summer. We could not have been happier. I would whole-heartedly recommend this camp for any kiddos, girls or boys, builders or not. It was clear to me all week that the instructors were incredibly thoughtful, knowledgable, and caring about child development, community-building, and safety. I accept that many summer "camps" are really just glorified daycare, but Project Ember really rose above, to become a meaningful experience. The kids took so much pride in their work, they learned about teamwork and developed skills that will last for years if not lifetimes. I really appreciated the way staff handled a conflict between students, the way they clapped each other in in the mornings, the emphasis on positivity. My son is doing many camps this summer but he keeps asking if he can just go back to Project Ember. Thank you Josh, Katie, and everyone!

My son Ben had a fabulous day at Project Ember! Project Ember is a mix of Adventure Playland, Maker heaven with big tools and big imagination.  It is a structured focused environment where kids have opportunity to work collaboratively on a very large, fun, and creative project under supervision of excellent counselors who understand kids and the importance of exploration. I highly recommend their camps!


Josh runs an amazing program that is part "makers" and part ingenious fun. Our son went to his first camp at 5 years old. I'm not sure what we were thinking but Josh just knows how to get kids to focus and safely operate all the equipment. All the design-build happens without a hitch even if kids are using heavy power and hand tools. Our son explored mechanical principles of motion, mass and weight with giant swinging paint stampers, town eating Godzillas, giant load bearing swings made for six and more. I am not sure whether it's really all planned but the scale and scope of some of the projects teeter into creativity that's Oldenburgsque. It is always a joy to see kids in their realm and to see the look of parents' amazement when project day is complete. I would highly recommend his camp for kids 7 and up. Thank you for bringing your camp to the East Bay!