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SAVY Spring 2017 Courses

Kindergarten | 1st & 2nd Grades | 3rd & 4th Grades | 5th & 6th Grades


Discovering the Third Dimension

You know about rectangles, triangles, circles and squares–let’s kick it up a dimension! This course will explore the geometry of 3-D objects like cubes, pyramids, prisms and spheres. Geometry is an important part of the design process for every building you see and toy that you play with. In this class you will discover more about numbers, algebra, and measurement, and find out how geometry is used in real-world engineering as we create our own unique designs. You’ll see just how exciting geometry can be!

Environmental Explorations: Dig It!

You just received a message from an environmentalist on Queen Anne’s Island. The inhabitants are in trouble– their island is slowly eroding away! Can you help them? Bring your best investigation skills and get ready to take on the role of environmental scientist as we try to solve this scientific mystery. What do you need to know in order to tackle this challenge? Together we will learn about resource preservation, pollution, erosion, and conservation through hands-on experimentation, topics that will serve us well in saving Queen Anne’s Island. We need your help as a member of a team of scientists that will create a preservation park to help the island maintain its natural resources. Hurry, time is running out! We need your help to dig into the problems surrounding Queen Anne’s erosion and unearth a good solution to stop it!

First and Second Grades

Science of the Sea: Diving into Marine Biology

In this course we will take a deep dive into marine biology as we investigate everything from tiny invisible plankton all the way up to the giant whales that live in the oceans! Are you curious about how fish live and interact with each other in the ocean and in lakes? Have you wondered how humans impact the lives of creatures in the sea? Have you ever pondered how bodies of water can influence life on land? In this course we will explore these questions and many more! We will learn how to identify common organisms in all types of aquatic communities, examine food sources, and discuss things that can impact the health of oceanic organisms. Come ready to take on the role of a real marine biologist as we explore aquatic-related topics using the scientific method. If you are a fan of Nemo and Dory and you want learn all about their home environment, then this is the course for you!

Awesome Algebra

Do you like to play mathematical games? Do you love to learn tricks for solving the most challenging problems in math? Did you know that many tricks and games are really just the careful and clever use of mathematical patterns, formulas, and algebraic expressions? In this class you will learn how to analyze patterns, write formulas, and solve for missing variables. You will learn how to develop clever tricks for performing complex math computations. Get ready to wow family and friends with your mathematical skills and clever thinking. Algebra isn’t just fun in this class, it’s awesome!

Robotic Programming

Computer programming! Robot mazes! Controlling robots remotely! Problem solving! This course has everything you need to challenge your mind and test your creativity. Using Sphero interactive robots, you will brainstorm hands-on solutions to real-world problems through computer programming. As you take on the role of an engineer, programmer, and scientist, you will learn how to test your robot knowledge, manipulate variables, and refine your coding to improve on your design. Your instructions control the robot and can transform it into a dancer, make it maneuver obstacle courses, and instruct it to perform a variety of other tasks. In this course you will go on an exciting journey into the world of robotic programming where you will experience first hand how robots can help us perform mundane tasks that we may not want to do and difficult tasks that are extremely challenging to do. Come ready to explore how robotic programming works as you imagine how you can use it to better our lives in the future!

Third and Fourth Grades

Writing and Reflection

Powerful pieces of writing have the ability to stay in our minds for hours, days, and sometimes even years. But what makes such stories, poems, or lyrics so memorable that they linger in our head long after we have read the words? How does an author craft a piece of writing that makes us laugh, cry, or think? How does an author craft characters who are funny, frightening, or heroic? In this class you will explore such questions as you read and investigate the work of great writers like Edgar Allan Poe, e. e. cummings, Ursula K. Le Guin, William Shakespeare, and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. After examining the craft of other writers, you will have the chance to try your hand at creating memorable pieces of writing. From song lyrics to short stories, you will begin to tell your story.  

Hydrology 101: The World of Water

Water is everywhere! Did you know that approximately 71% of the Earth is covered in water? But, where does fresh water come from? How do we make sure that we don’t run out of this precious resource and provide water that is safe for people? The study of hydrology involves investigating water-­related questions. In this course we will take on the role of hydrologists to explore many topics like the hydrologic cycle, water conservation, and rising sea levels. Using field and laboratory techniques, we will identify the most important characteristics of streams, explore the physical processes controlling water and landscape interactions, and learn how to analyze water quality. We will integrate environmental science and policy to discuss pressing global water issues and water management. You may even have a chance to use your knowledge of the world of water to model healthy watersheds and construct your very own water treatment plant!

No Quick Fix

Calling all future doctors, nurses, and biomedical engineers! Have you ever wondered how digestion can influence your mood or how blood circulation can impact your immune responses? Are you curious about how diseases are spread and how they affect our bodies? Have you ever pondered how the various systems in the human body interact to keep us healthy? If so, then you are ready to join the investigative team in this class as we tackle these questions and more! Through the mindset of a biologist, you will explore the complex systems of the body and their connections to one another as we complete problem-solving detective work and interactive case studies. You will discover how our cells, tissues, organs, and systems break down during illness and what can be done to bring them back into a healthy balance. We will also examine how disease can impact health care and society at large. Get ready for a hands-on course where you will grapple with big problems that do not have quick fixes– problems that real scientists and doctors ponder everyday!

Fifth and Sixth Grades

Intro to Journalism

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Have you ever wondered about the people who write the articles in the newspaper, or on websites, or on news telecasts? These journalists are skilled professionals who have to tell their audiences the news quickly and clearly and let them know why that news matters. In this class, you will learn the skills and strategies of news journalists. You will learn tips for interviewing sources. You will also try out different forms of nonfiction writing—news reports, profiles, op-eds, and creative nonfiction—and learn strategies for concise language and clear story structure. A class on journalism would not be complete without a discussion of some of the ethical considerations that members of the news media must consider to make their stories fair, balanced, and accurate. Come ready to report on events and ideas that interest you after learning to apply the skills that real journalists use everyday!

Chromatography 101

How do environmental engineers determine water and air quality? How do scientists identify blood or clothing samples found at a crime scene? How can pharmaceutical companies determine if their drugs are pure? These questions may seem unrelated, but they all share something in common– they all can be answered through the use of chromatography. Chromatography involves separating complex mixtures into their individual components. In this course, we will explore the basics of chromatography, learning not only the process of chromatography but when and how it is used by scientists in research and beyond. As we learn the process and various applications of chromatography, we will begin to put our new skills to the test and use a variety of chromatographic techniques to solve real-world problems. This course is perfect for future scientists who want to have hands-on experiences with techniques used by a variety of scientists everyday.

Designing Shakespeare

The director, actors, sets, scripts, and costumes are key ingredients needed to bring a play to life. But the playwright is the originating artist, and from the words wrought all other choices are made. Once written, what goes into the making of a play? What do artists use as inspiration to create complex, innovative, and thought-provoking works of theater that hold your attention? Together we’ll explore these questions and more as we try to unpack the complex works of William Shakespeare! In this course we will read and critique key selections of Shakespeare and make discoveries about character, story, and the world of the play. We will feature visitations from professional artisans who will discuss the creative processes behind their work on Shakespeare productions and how their innovative designs have been translated onto the stage. Through collaborative work and in-depth exploration, students will experience the complexity of developing the rich characters, key moments, and emotional dialogue necessary to bring to life an imaginative world. After this course you will begin to see Shakespeare not only as a historical figure but as someone who is relevant in the current day– as a writer and artist, just like you, who aspired to bring his imagination to life!