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2017 Session 1

Session 1: (June 12-16)

Jump to: Rising 1st Grade | Rising 2nd and 3rd Grades | Rising 4th and 5th Grades | Rising 6th and 7th Grades

Rising 1st Grade

Budding Botanist  Canceled

You’ve just discovered a professor’s old journal and his notes are very intriguing. They suggest that plants can possibly be used as an alternative fuel source. Could he be right? If he is correct, what does this mean for you and for me? Get your lab coat ready as we investigate this curious case! In this course, you will take on the role of a botanist to investigate this professor’s ideas about the important role that plants currently play in our lives and how they may impact our future. Before we are able to determine if plants can be used as a fuel source, we will need to learn as much as we can about the life cycle and structure of plants by conducting experiments and field investigations. Come ready to get dirty as you unearth knowledge about plants. Your discoveries may impact how we all think about those weeds in your backyard!

Dive into Design

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.

Rising 2nd and 3rd Grades 


Think engineering is all about machines? Not true! Come and learn how the world of biology and engineering combine to answer some of our most complex biological questions! In this class you will become a biological engineer as you study how the body works and design new technologies for it through hands-on experiments and activities. We will start by exploring the role of DNA and genetics in the body and learn how engineers and scientists use this knowledge to understand and treat different diseases. By using both the scientific method and the engineering design process, you will employ problem-solving skills and creativity to make observations, formulate hypotheses, and investigate real life problems that doctors, scientists, and biomedical engineers encounter everyday.

The Mirror of Mythology

Καλώς ορίσατε στον Όλυμπος*! Here you will begin your journey into the fascinating world of mythology! Together we will travel back in time as we delve into the legends and beliefs of ancient Greece. We will read the original stories of heroes such as Hercules and Achilles, study fearsome mythological creatures such as the Minotaur and the Hydra, and discuss the significance of famous gods and goddesses. We will also learn how mythological stories shaped the culture of the ancient world and examine how classic myths are reflected through some of our favorite modern-day books, movies, and buildings. After this course, you may never look at the Parthenon or the Tennessee Titans the same way again!

*Welcome to Mount Olympus!

Rising 4th and 5th Grades 

Industrial Microbiology

Bacteria are often believed to be something negative for people, but not all bacteria are harmful. From the new energy production methods to the food we consume everyday, bacteria are actually a vital part of life! In this course, we will investigate how researchers utilize the prokaryotic world to help solve some of Earth’s biggest issues, like pollution and hunger. Through an exploration of basic microbiology, bio-ethanol production, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the use of bacteria in technical applications, you will start to discover the benefits of bacteria. Taking on the role of microbiologists, we will conduct hands on investigations– collecting environmental samples, performing genetic manipulations, and observing the power bacteria has to transform food into fuel– to tackle questions that scientists explore daily. The field of industrial microbiology is a hot topic and is only getting bigger, blazing the path of new opportunities for a budding microbiologist like you!

Puzzles and Problem Solving

How does a group of logical pirates agree to distribute their loot? If a car changes its speed according to its distance from its final destination, how long does it take the car to reach its goal? How many ways can people sit in a full airplane when the first passenger to board ignores his or her assigned seat and instead takes a seat at random? You will learn to answer these questions and many more in this course as you learn the principles of probability, logic, and game theory. In this hands-on math class, you will explore mathematical problem-solving methods by wrapping your mind around counterintuitive solutions and teasing your brain with apparent contradictions. As the class develops, you may even begin to pose your own questions for the class to solve. Get ready to get stumped and stump others in a class that is sure to make you think critically and strategize with precision.

Rising 6th and 7th Grades

Introduction to Law

Have you ever wondered what knowledge and skills are necessary to become a successful attorney? Do you know why not all cases are decided by a jury? Do you ever wonder what it means when lawyers on TV shows make objections? If you find these questions interesting, then this course is for you! In this class we will explore landmark legal cases and analyze important legal issues within them as you begin to learn how to think like a lawyer. Moot court and mock trial activities will allow you the opportunity to debate important legal issues like a real attorney while learning the techniques of proper legal research and legal analysis. Our exploration in the legal world does not end there though! We will also learn about lawsuits and all of the steps of the civil lawsuit process by exploring the world of torts. By the time you have completed this course, you will have a good idea of what is involved in the legal profession and of the importance of laws in our society. No one can object to the value of this knowledge!

Rebels and Revolutionaries

History is full of people who defied rules and traditions in order to make a statement or follow a belief. Such rebels have come from all classes, ethnicities, and walks of life. But what inspired these people to revolt? How did groups organize movements without advanced technology? In this course, we will take on the role of historians to explore upheavals during the American Revolution and Early Republic. The American Revolution was not as simple as some books make it out to be, and this course will reveal the chaos and complexity of history. Through the study of written and visual sources, including documents actually penned by revolutionaries, we will put ourselves in the shoes of different rebel groups and bring their fascinating interactions to life. By studying the rebellion of an intercultural group in urban New York, the rebellions among Native American populations, and slave uprisings, this course is sure to make you reconsider the American Revolution you thought you knew. We may not be able to rewrite history, but we can make sure that more complete versions are told. Maybe that just makes you a rebel or revolutionary too.

Biology of the Brain

Your brain is the most powerful organ in your body. It helps control your breathing, your feelings, and even your body temperature. Have you ever wondered how this giant bundle of nerves works? How are we able to remember some things but not remember others? What microscopic events happen in your brain when you see something familiar or hear your favorite song? In this course we will take an in-depth look at the biology of your brain and discuss how your brain influences other systems in your body. We will learn about the important neurotransmitters in your brain and how they contribute to your emotions, learning, and overall health. We will also  investigate the role that genetics and biochemical compounds play in your well-being and how neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, begin and develop in the brain. If you’ve ever wondered about how and why you are able to wonder at all, then you are ready to join us as we explore the biology of the brain!