SAVY 2018 Session 2: June 18-22
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 a zoologist, a scientist who studies animals! In this course, we will investigate the ways that animals survive and thrive on our planet. Together we will learn about the characteristics that make animal species different and examine the unique habitats that different animals call home. We will also study characteristics of living things, learn about animal life cycles through observations of your very own pet mealworm, and determine what type of habitats are best for different creatures. 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!
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, Survive and Thrive, from the College of William and Mary
Data Discoverers* – Course canceled
This course is sure to be full of new discoveries as you learn how to conduct experimental research by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data using a variety of graphs, charts, and plots. Do you like to ask tricky questions and then seek out possible answers? Are you an aspiring researcher with a desire to understand why and how data and numbers can be used to answer your most intriguing questions? Have you ever wanted to develop your own survey for people to complete? You will experience firsthand the steps of the research process, including how to formulate great research questions, design investigations, create quality surveys, collect data through questionnaires, analyze results, and present findings to a real audience. Come along for a hands-on, practical mathematical journey where you will be encouraged to ask great questions and use data to uncover possible explanations. You will leave this course discovering opportunities for data collection everywhere!
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported math curriculum, Digging for Data: Collecting, Displaying, and analyzing Data, from Project M3
Cracking the Cases: Investigations in Forensic Science
We have a mystery on our hands, and we need your help to solve it! Someone has stolen a very important tool from our classroom but we don’t know who. Where do we start to solve this mystery? How would a detective in the field approach the case? What information can we gather from the scene and how do we analyze and extract meaning from it? Using the scientific method as our guide, we will develop hypotheses, conduct experiments, and analyze information to figure out the case of the missing microscope. Together we will take on the role of biologists, chemists, and researchers as we practice different techniques that scientists use to solve tricky cases, such as DNA extraction, chromatography, and fingerprint analysis. After collecting and studying evidence, we will make predictions about what we think happened and debate our ideas to come to a final conclusion. Do you think you have what it takes to crack the case?
Secret Worlds: Animal Communication
Caw-Caw! Ribbit Ribbit! Moooo! Have you ever listened to the birds and squirrels that flit and hop around your yard? Do you ever wonder what they’re saying when they make noises? Once we open our eyes and ears to the animals around us, we realize that the world is abuzz with movement and noise of different creatures. Each species of animal has a communication system which has evolved over millions of years to convey information about individual identity, group membership, motivation, and danger. In this class, you will follow in the footsteps of ethologists (scientists who study animal behavior) to learn about the surprising ways that animals communicate these different types of information in order to survive! We will discuss how their sounds travel in waves through the ground, air, and water and pass through senses such as vision, touch, and smell. We will also study how humans provide new challenges for animal communication through our own noises and pollution. You will then have a chance to take on the role of activist as you choose one negative impact that humans have on animals and develop a plan to fix it. The secret life of animals will be less of a secret as you learn tricks to interpreting and understanding their unique behaviors.
We all have idea seeds in our minds. These idea seeds might come from observations of the world around us, from memories, or from our imaginations. Did you know that if you tend idea seeds closely, you can grow them into stories? No one else has a story garden exactly like yours! In this class we will take on the role of author as we explore the steps of the writing process. We will practice growing ideas, developing plot and characters, and using writing tools such as alliteration, personification, simile, onomatopoeia, and rhyme to make our stories one of a kind. Together we will uncover the characteristics and challenges of different formats of books, from picture books to chapter books, as we work through hands-on activities and create our own stories. You will also learn about the process of publishing a book from a published author. Grab your best ideas and get ready to bring them to life!
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 takes another seat at random? You can 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 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.
The Story’s Silhouette: Archetypes in Literature*
Have you ever heard the saying “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?” In literature this saying rings true with archetypes, characters or storylines that have been used as models for authors and screenwriters for centuries. From damsels in distress and evil geniuses, to the hero’s journey and the struggle between good and evil, archetypes can be found in all different types of literature and media. Through the concept of encounter, you will examine the patterns, symbols, and motifs associated with common archetypes as you analyze primary source documents, literature, art, and popular media. Together we will follow various archetype encounters with conflicts and challenges to explore questions such as “How do archetypes reflect the human experience?” and “How do archetypes reveal human strengths and weaknesses?” After this class, you will find the silhouette behind the story, as the story itself sheds a whole new light.
*Course adapted from an evidence-based ELA curriculum, Encounters with Archetypes and their Real-Life Counterparts, from Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth