Session 6: (July 24-28)
Rising 1st Grade
Survive and Thrive – full, accepting applications for waiting list
In this course, we will investigate the ways that animals survive and thrive on our planet.Have you ever wondered how animals can sense when danger is near? Are you curious about why groups of birds sometimes fly in formation? Do you ponder how some animals can survive in the blistering heat of the desert or in the coldest months of winter? If so, you are already thinking like an animal scientist! Together we will learn about the characteristics that make animal species different and examine the unique habitats that different animals call home. You will also study characteristics of living things by studying life requirements and life cycles through observations of your very own mealworm! You will then take on the role of scientist and animal advocate as we try to tackle serious questions related to environmental preservation and animal protection. If you love animals and enjoy science, then you will certainly thrive in this class!
Beyond the Pyramids: Egyptian Explorations – available
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
Secrets of the Moli Stone – waiting list closed
A stone tablet has just been unearthed. What an exciting discovery! The only problem is that the information on it is in a secret code. The tablet is covered with unusual symbols and interesting mathematical markings! What do these symbols and markings mean? 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. We will then compare and contrast the use of place value and bases in number systems that are 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!
Environmental Hydrology: Working with Water – available
We use it every day– to drink, to cook, to brush our teeth. 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? How do we provide water that is safe for people to use? The study of hydrology involves investigating water-related questions like these. In this course, we will take on the role of a hydrologist to explore many topics including the hydrologic cycle, water conservation, and rising sea levels, as well as engineer solutions to hydrologic problems. Using field and laboratory techniques, we will identify characteristics of streams, explore the physical processes controlling water and landscape interactions, and learn from a real hydrologist how to analyze water quality. We will also learn about the challenges in water management. You may even have a chance to use your knowledge of the world of water to model healthy watersheds and design your very own water treatment plant!
Rising 4th and 5th Grades
Mystery and History: The Age of Exploration – full, accepting applications for waiting list
The study of history is more than memorizing names and dates– it is a series of many mysteries that must be unraveled! Bring your best investigation skills as we take a trip back in time to the exciting world of early America. With primary sources as our guide, including diaries, letters, and journals of historical figures, we will uncover facts about the earliest cross-cultural encounters between Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans in what is now known as North America. We will focus on several mysteries that date as far back as the 15th century, including the loss of Henry Hudson’s ship, the fabled Seven Cities of Gold, and the lost colony of Roanoke. Using different types of evidence, you will make your way through each historical mystery and then present arguments about what you think may have really occurred. Get ready to take on the role of a historian as we work to decipher the unknown secrets of the Age of Exploration!
Industrial Microbiology – available
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!
Rising 6th and 7th Grades
Wildlife Ecology: Oh Deer! – available
Congratulations! You have been asked to serve as the assistant to the mayor in a small town in Tennessee, and the mayor has just informed you of your first assignment. Your task is to work with a variety of stakeholders to determine how best to control a deer population that is growing exponentially and is negatively impacting the city. The deer are eating citizens’ landscaping and increasing citizens’ exposure to the dangerous bacteria that cause Lyme Disease. In this course you will combine math and science to develop a solution to solve the growing deer problem. You will be challenged with developing your understanding of biology and linear modeling in order to develop this solution. To complicate matters as you work towards an acceptable result, you will have to consider the problem and solution through multiple lenses, including environmentalists and animal activists. Can you develop a solution that appeases everyone and is justifiable based on research? Oh deer, you have quite a challenge!
Planetary Astronomy – available
The history of the universe is written in the sky! In this course you will take on the role of an astronomer to investigate our wide universe. Did you know that NASA has identified over 2,300 planets outside our solar system and has determined that as many as 21 may be habitable? In this course you will use astrophysics, publicly available data, and the power of statistics to better understand our planet-filled universe. You will learn how to identify and characterize different types of celestial objects and how the study of light is essential to astronomy. We will also take what we know about our own solar system to generate models for studying extrasolar planets. In this way, you will gain firsthand experience in how scientists pose research questions, design studies, and present their findings to their peers. Get ready to contribute your own voice to our global, astronomical dialogue! This course will help you ask and answer questions as wide and diverse as the universe itself.