2017 Session 4
Session 4: (July 10-14)
Rising 1st Grade
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.
Beyond the Pyramids: Egyptian Explorations
When we think of Ancient Egypt we often think about pyramids, mummies, and hieroglyphics, but Ancient Egypt has even more to offer. Did you know that the Ancient Egyptian civilization lasted over 3,000 years? In this course you will take on the role of an anthropologist to investigate how the Egyptians’ systems of language, leadership, economics, architecture, and geography created a strong civilization that lasted for thousands of years. What did we learn from the Egyptians and how has it impacted our current way of life? Are there other ideas that we can borrow from the Egyptians to better our society? We will investigate these questions and more as we critically analyze the systems within this society. Don’t worry — we will talk about mummies and pyramids too and the role they played in Egyptian’s lives. Plus, you’ll even get to try your hand at writing Egyptian hieroglyphics!
Rising 2nd and 3rd Grades
Telling Tales: Traveling with The Canterbury Tales
What do old tales tell us about the time period in which they were written– the struggles faced by society at the time, the ways of life of the people in the period, and the common themes that have existed across centuries? While many times we read tales for enjoyment, tales are informative too! They contribute to our understanding of people and history. In this course we explore the ways that tales can reveal truths by studying The Canterbury Tales, originally written in the late 1300s by Geoffrey Chaucer. This collection of 24 short stories follows 29 humorous travelers who meet on a pilgrimage. On their journey they compete to tell the best tale. To understand the significance of their tales, we will explore major events of this day, read and enact adaptations from children’s versions of The Canterbury Tales, and learn about the concept of pilgrimage. To bring this concept to life, we will even make our own pilgrimage on campus while telling tales of our own creation. Telling tales may be fun, but tales can be telling too!
Who is the tallest person in your class? How much floor space do you have in your room to play? What is the distance around your neighborhood? You may not realize it, but you think about measurement everyday! In this course, you will investigate the many ways that we measure through hands-on, engaging mathematical challenges. We will explore a variety of standard units of measure, investigate the importance of selecting appropriate measurement units based on the situation, determine different ways that we measure, and combine our understanding of mathematical skills, including geometry, to solve mathematical mysteries! Get ready to measure up, down, and all around as you learn how to quantify space through measuring length, perimeter, area, and volume. After this course you will not only realize that measurement matters, you will know how to measure whatever you encounter!
Rising 4th and 5th Grades
Looking into Language
English, German, Spanish, Chinese–we may speak different languages, but we all use some form of expression to communicate complex ideas and share our stories. We often try to learn different languages, but we rarely learn about language itself. For example, where do words come from? How do we make the sounds we use in speech? Why do people talk differently today than in the past? What is the difference between accent and dialect? In this class, we will study Linguistics, the science of language, to help us answer these questions and more. We will even learn how to transcribe speech like a linguist–using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). We will then investigate the intersections of language, culture, and social relationships to help us understand how relatively small variations in how people speak are connected to larger issues in society. After this class you will never think about language, and how you talk, in the same way again!
Business Basics: Welcome to Wall Street
You have probably heard someone mention Wall Street on the news. Perhaps your parents have talked to you about it or you have seen Wall Street on a trip to New York City. But, do you know what happens there? In this course, you will learn the type of thinking and work that happens on Wall Street, as you take on the role of a financial advisor. A financial advisor helps people and companies decide what to do with their money. Before you can serve as a financial advisor you will need to learn about economics, investments, the stock market, and how these things relate. After an exploration of important money-related concepts, you and your business colleagues (aka, your classmates) will use your new understanding of economics and the stock market to propose an investment plan for your company. Will the president of the company (aka your instructor) think your plan is a good one? Get ready to justify your decisions as you show off your business skills and prove that you might be the next business star on Wall Street!
Rising 6th and 7th Grades
Introduction to Programming and Computer Science
What do cognitive psychologists, video game designers, biologists, and robotic engineers have in common? They all use programming to do their work! Computer programming is considered an art, a craft, and a discipline of engineering. Computer programming can be used both as a way to creatively express ideas and as a tool for solving problems. Computer scientists work on problems in education, engineering, health care, science, design, digital media, and so many other fields! In this class, you will be introduced to two of the major roles of computer scientists: identifying what is needed to solve a problem and designing a solution through programming. You will learn to think like a computer scientist by learning about variables, control structures, and algorithms as you tackle daily challenges and design programming solutions. Throughout the week, you will put together an overarching project that highlights your new programming techniques and that allows you to show off your skills to your family and friends.
Theory, Criticism, and The Force: Philosophy and the Star Wars Saga
Artists often use their work to represent viewpoints about the everyday world around us, embedding their cultural, social, and political ideas into their stories, films, paintings, or songs. How do we decipher the themes hidden in their work? Why do we even want to identify these themes? How can uncovering the creator’s viewpoint help us understand both the work itself and the world around us better? In this class, we will use the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope as a base to learn how to unpack a work through multiple lenses of critical theory and thought. Formalism, structuralism, political criticism, and mythology are some of lenses we will learn to look through as we explore one of the most popular series of our time. Through our analysis of the Star Wars movie that started it all, we will learn how to apply critical theory to other portions of the Star Wars saga. Because critical thought can and should be used when interpreting all artistic works, we will also practice our newly developed skills on our favorite short stories, classical artwork, and contemporary music. A new powerful force will be with you after this course – the ability to see your favorite works in different ways!