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SAVY Spring 2020 Courses

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

The status of each course (full, waiting list closedfull, waiting list only; available, limited spaceavailable) can be seen below. Please contact our office at 615-322-8261 or if you have questions about the length of a specific waiting list.



On a hot summer day there is no place better to be than a swimming pool! Have you ever wondered what thinking and planning was involved in creating your favorite swimming pool? Did you know that architects and engineers used principles of mathematics and measurement to ensure that your favorite swimming spot is a fun and safe place? In this course, you will learn about engineering design processes, including measurement and modeling for structures such as swimming pools. Why do we measure? What goes into taking accurate measurements? Why is accuracy so important? What should we consider when choosing a measurement tool? You will answer these questions and more as you create a model for a community pool! Get ready to dive into a problem-based task that requires critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and lots of fun with measurement.

*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, Splash!, from the College of William and Mary.

Environmental Explorations: Dig It! – full, waiting list only

You just received a message from an environmentalist living on Queen Anne’s Island. The inhabitants are in trouble – their island is slowly eroding away Can you help them? Bring your investigation skills and get ready to take on the role of an environmental scientist as we try to solve this crucial real-world problem. 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 you well in saving this island. As a member of a team of scientists, you will work with your peers to create a preservation park to help the island maintain its natural resources for the sake of the humans and animals that call this island home. Hurry, time is running out! We need your help to dig into the problems surrounding erosion and unearth a good solution to stop it!

*Course is adapted from an evidence-based science curriculum, Dig It!, from the College of William and Mary.

First and Second Grades

Intro to Robotics and Programming – full, waiting list only

Computer programmers are learners, dreamers, strategists, and creative thinkers as they develop complex codes to solve everyday problems. The skill of coding is becoming more and more important in our technology-driven world. Being able to code may be fun and sound cool to your friends, but how is coding used in real life? In what ways do computer programmers help make our lives easier? How do computer programmers turn lines of code into action? What are the thinking processes and personal characteristics needed to write successful code? Come learn the answers to these questions and more as you challenge your mind and test your creativity while learning the basics of computer programming! In this introductory coding course, you will take on the role of a programmer to solve coding challenges by developing working scripts based on your level of ability. You will take these new coding skills and transfer them to program a Lego Boost robot, that you have built with a team. By the end of the course you will have plenty of new ideas about how to use coding to solve small and big challenges in our world today, and you will have the knowledge of coding required to develop creative and useful solutions to all sorts of difficult problems.

*Lego Boost robots and will be utilized.

Operation Save the Beach – available, limited space

Congratulations, you have been appointed to the town council! As a member you make many important choices about your town, and you have just been asked to make a very big decision that could impact your city for years to come. You will have to decide if a children’s camp should be built on the beach in your city. At first you love the idea of the camp. However, there are also problems with the camp. People in your town are concerned that construction will cause the beach to erode. The camp director wants to begin construction right away. What will you decide to do? You owe it to your town to protect the beach from erosion, but you know the camp can also be great for your city. Is there a way to protect the beach and continue the construction on the camp? After learning about erosion and environmental protection, you will work to develop scientifically based regulations that will satisfy the long-term needs of the town and allow for continued construction for the new camp. Without an effective plan, the beach will disappear. Will your plans help save the beach?

*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, Where’s the Beach?, from the College of William and Mary.

Secrets of the Moli Stone – full, waiting list only

A stone tablet has just been unearthed. What an exciting discovery! The only problem is that the information on it is written in a secret code. The tablet is covered with unusual symbols and interesting mathematical markings. What do these symbols and markings mean? What information are they trying to tell us? How do we interpret meaning in symbols that aren’t words or in numbers that seem unfamiliar? In this class, you will take on the role of a mathematician to unravel the secrets of the Moli Stone. To solve the mystery, we will begin with an exploration of our number system as we explore the concepts of place value and base 10. Did you know that we use a base 10 system but you can do math in a different system? We will compare and contrast our base 10 system with systems different from our own and also investigate how cultures and groups of people use particular number systems. No stone will be left unturned in this mysterious mathematical adventure that will reveal new number understanding!

*Course adapted from an evidence-supported math curriculum, Unraveling the Mystery of the Moli Stone, from Project M3.

Third and Fourth Grades

Circuitry, Systems, and Design – full, waiting list only

Imagine that you are a newly hired engineer for the local power company. The city wants to build a special recreational complex and they need your help! There is a lot to learn about how to design and wire the complex so that it passes inspection and can withstand the stresses of weather and people. In this course we will take on the role of an electrical engineer and learn about currents, circuits, systems, and electricity. Come ready to design your own electrical system for the new building, but watch out – you never know when a storm may hit. Can your design withstand it? We won’t be left in the dark as you explore the exciting field of electrical engineering

*Course adapted from an evidence-supported curriculum, Electricity City, from the College of William and Mary.

Creative Contraptions: A Study of Inventions – full, waiting list only

Do you have chores to do at home? Do you want to make your work easier? Perhaps you want to become the world’s next inventor. How do you come up with good ideas? Maybe you have heard the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention”? What does that mean? In this class we will conduct investigations to learn more about simple and compound machines and how these machines can make work easier. We will learn about famous inventors, their lives, and how they came up with ideas for their creations. Then, it’s your turn! Apply what you have learned to design, create, and test your own invention that solves a problem or makes your life or work easier. Who knows, you may be the next Shark Tank sensation!

*Course adapted from an evidence-supported curriculum, Invitation to Invent, from the College of William and Mary.

From the Page to the Stage – available, limited space

Have you ever anxiously awaited to see the movie or play of a favorite novel only to be disappointed when you did? Theatermakers have the challenge of taking the words on the page and turning them into a unique production that will still satisfy fans of the novel. The journey from the book page to the stage is one of translation and adaptation. But what does this process look like? What do playwrights, screenwriters, actors, and directors have to consider when developing a production that will surprise and excite an audience but remain true to the written story? How can artistic choices portray the themes, mood, and tone envisioned by the novelist, and how can these choices also impact the audience’s understanding of an original novel? In this class, we will answer these questions and more through the exploration of passages of C.S. Lewis’s novel The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe and Joseph Robinette’s script by the same name. We will critically analyze the choices that Robinette made when turning the novel into a script. We will also explore how actors bring in their own interpretation by analyzing different productions and speaking directly with actors who have performed Robinette’s script themselves. After this course you will not only have the skills needed to analyze any text that you love and but you will also be able to justify what choices you would make to bring it to life for others!

Fifth and Sixth Grades

Ancient Civilizations: Digging in the Past – available, limited space

How does the past inform the present? Learning about those who have come before us can help us understand more about ourselves in this modern age and how our societies have come to be. From empires to city-states, historical civilizations from around the world have each made a contribution to the development of humankind. In this class you will take on the role of an anthropologist and use archaeological data and historical documents to explore important ancient civilizations that have shaped our world. Through your exploration you will develop an understanding of the social development, political structures, and cultural affairs of diverse cultural groups from different parts of the globe. You will also learn how geographic conditions and events have helped shape history as you compare and contrast the past with current events, issues, and problems. If you love history, archaeology, and geography, then join us as we dig up the past and look ahead to the future!

Biochemistry: The Language of Life – available, limited space

From determining the way genetic codes are transferred from generation to generation to the way proteins are produced to the way food is digested, the field of biochemistry provides the road map for how life occurs on earth and for how the body communicates with itself. Understanding biochemical processes, such as cell signaling pathways and the ability to transmit information from cell to cell, tissue to tissue, or organ system to organ system, allows scientists to comprehend how it is possible for the body to converse in this unspoken cellular language. In this course, you will learn how the interaction of organic material on a fundamental level determines our biology. We will study how biochemistry can be used as a diagnostic tool in other fields of study, including forensic science and disease detection. We may also explore how medications and treatments are developed and classified. If you’ve ever been curious about pathology, genetics, or how the human body processes chemical information, this class is for you!

World Beyond the Page: Unpacking the Magic of Harry Potter – available, limited space

Would you consider yourself a huge fan of Harry Potter? Are you still waiting for your Hogwarts letter to come? Well here’s your invitation to join us for a week-long investigation into the complex and magical universe of the wizarding world of Harry Potter! Harry Potter is more than just a series of good stories; it’s a literary phenomenon with underlying themes that reflect our modern-day muggle lives. With a critical eye, we will uncover these themes, such as social justice, the struggle for power and triumph, feminism, and other critical ideas, as we draw connections between fantasy and reality. We will not only examine the Harry Potter novels, but also the movies and other related media that were inspired by the story. This course will give you a glimpse into the world of J.K. Rowling and other creative writers as we unpack the inspiration, writing process, and other story features that have made this series a sensation.

Students should have read at least one Harry Potter novel before the start of the session