SAVY 2018 Session 1: June 11-15
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.
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, Splash!, from the College of William and Mary
Secrets of the Moli Stone*
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
Electrifying Engineering: Electricity and Circuitry
Electricity is all around us. It powers the refrigerators that keep our drinks cold, it brings our favorite toys to life, and we couldn’t watch our favorite television shows without it. But what exactly is electricity and how does it work? How can we control the lights in our house with just the flip of a switch? What happens when we plug a microwave or alarm clock into a socket? Get ready for an electrifying adventure into the world of circuitry as we discover how electricity powers our world. We will start by investigating where electricity comes from and how engineers use technology to transform electricity into useful energy. We will then examine the different types of circuits that we interact with everyday and then try our hand at building and testing models of our own using hands-on circuitry kits. The light bulb will go off multiple times in this electricity exploration!
Dabbling with DNA: Genetics Around Us
Have you ever wondered why you look or act a certain way? Have you considered questions like —Why do I have blue eyes and my mom and dad have brown eyes? Why am I left-handed? Why do all of my siblings have red hair? If you find yourself asking these types of questions, then you are already thinking about genetics. We will answer these questions and more in this science course that introduces you to the cells in your body and how a special molecule called DNA plays a role in making you unique! You will learn the basics of Mendelian genetics, explore the double helix, investigate natural selection, and examine how scientists use genetics in fields such as microbiology, engineering, and agriculture. Understanding genetics will allow you to better understand yourself and the world around you. By the end of the course you will be able talk about the “rules” of genetics like a real scientist as we investigate ways that DNA can be modified to create new organisms, medicines, and foods.
Mighty Metamorphosis: Transforming Thinking in Literature
From a caterpillar becoming a butterfly in its chrysalis to the tadpole becoming a frog in his pond, transformations are all around us! But transformations are not unique to the natural world. Transformations of characters, settings, and perspectives also appear within strong writing in order to guide a reader toward a story’s central meaning. Transforming Thinking is designed specifically for the student with a flair for the written word. How does the evolution of a character build the reader’s understanding of the story’s whole? How do words and images within a story alter our thinking? How can the actions of others change the world as we know it? Through the lens of transformation you will examine both narrative and persuasive elements essential to the analysis of stories, advertisements, modern art, historical events, and even within your own writing. Using powerful famous speeches, short stories, and personal narratives as your guide, you will uncover your own creative and persuasive voice, transforming yourself into the writer you have alway wanted to be!
Written in Bones: Bioarchaeology
Bones tell stories about the people who came before us– how they lived, the foods they ate, and even what kind of illnesses they had. In some cultures bones also play a vital role in religion and society, offering a way to help people learn about the past. But how do we “read” bones? What techniques do scientists use to piece together the stories of our ancestors? How is bioarchaeology relevant to our lives today? Through case studies and hands-on activities, you will learn the practices unique to the field of bioarchaeology, where the subjects of archaeology, chemistry, cultural studies, and biology collide. We will start with an investigation of bioarchaeological chemistry to explore the cellular structure of bones and learn how scientists use this to answer questions about diet and migration. We will then gain insight into how bones can tell a story of the past as we practice analyzing bones using forensics tools. With a real bioarchaeologist as your guide, you will learn the field and laboratory techniques of bioarchaeological scientists and leave this class knowing how to uncover the past that is written in bones!
Biology and the Body*
Calling all future doctors, nurses, and biomedical researchers! 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 a medical mystery. Through the mindset of a physician, you will explore the complex systems of the body and their connections to one another as we uncover the biology behind the disease tuberculosis. Together we will discover how our cells, tissues, and organs 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 of the body that do not have quick fixes– problems that real scientists and doctors ponder everyday!
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, No Quick Fix, from the College of William and Mary