SAVY 2018 Session 4: July 9-13
Introduction to Coding and Robotics
From apps to games to robots, computer programmers work behind the scenes to make popular technology come alive. Being able to code may be fun and sound cool to your friends, but how is coding used in everyday life? In what ways do computer programmers help make our lives easier? How do computer programmers turn lines of code into action? What are the thinking processes and personal characteristics needed to write successful code? Come learn the answers to these questions and more as you challenge your mind and test your creativity while learning the basics of computer programming! In this introductory coding course, you will take on the role of a programmer to solve coding challenges by developing working scripts based on your level of ability. By the end of the course you will have plenty of new ideas about how to use coding to solve small and big challenges in our world today, and you will have the knowledge of coding required to develop creative and useful solutions to all sorts of difficult problems.
Sphero robots and code.org will be utilized in this course.
Adventures in Algebra
Can you think of multiple ways to get to the right answer? When does one strategy work better than another? Can you justify why? What is an equation, and how are equations used to solve problems in math? Can you use mathematical tricks to solve the most challenging problems with numbers? In this class, we will answer these questions and more as we go on an unforgettable journey into the fun and complex world of algebraic thinking! We will explore how to use important strategies and games to discover mathematical patterns and formulas in careful and clever ways. We will tour the algebraic landscape as we learn how to analyze patterns, write formulas, and solve for missing variables. We will also learn how to develop clever tricks for conquering the challenging terrain of math computations as we use Hands-On Equations® to increase our understanding of algebra. Buckle up and get ready for an exciting an algebraic adventure!
Traveling Through Time: Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica
In this course, you will be transported back in time as we immerse ourselves in the archaic past of the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations that came before us. Focusing on the Maya and their lives in Central America, come ready to learn from a real-life archaeologist how scientists test hypotheses and develop conclusions about events and how people lived long ago. You will take an in-depth look at the art, writing systems, tools, and other relics these ancient groups left behind. As you take on the role of an aspiring archaeologist, historian, and researcher, you will learn about the tools and techniques that professionals use to excavate artifacts and draw meaningful conclusions about different groups of people. If you love puzzles and history, and don’t mind getting a little dirty, then this class is for you! Are you ready for an adventure through time as you explore ancient civilizations?
The Great Debate
What do you think of when you hear the word argument? In most cases, people think to argue is to fight. However, this is not necessarily true! Philosophy defines an argument as simple statements used to persuade someone of something using evidence and reason or to confirm a certain conclusion. In this class, you will learn the skills and methods that ancient philosophers used as you develop your techniques to convince others to accept your point of view. Through the use of logical arguments and appropriate evidence, you will learn how to defend your viewpoints and persuade your friends. Just like any skill, the art of arguing takes practice. By exploring specific types of fallacies that can negatively impact an argument, we will become more aware of the principles great debaters use to present their points. We will also analyze historical speeches and debates as we explore the power that good debate skills can have on others. If you are interested in honing your debating skills to discuss relevant topics that directly impact your life then look no further. Come take part in a great debate!
Math Mystery: Fractions at Work
It’s a rainy day and two siblings have just uncovered a mysterious trunk in their grandmother’s attic! The trunk is full of old artifacts from their great grandparents’ general store, The Rabbit Hutch General Store, which operated long ago. But what is hidden in the trunk? What do these artifacts tell us about what the store, and its owners, were like? Using fractions and the clues from the attic, we will piece together stories from the past as you learn new techniques to help you solve even the most challenging mathematics equations. You will practice using tricks such as common numerators, common denominators, and missing pieces of the whole to analyze items from the old store. Through modeling, drawing, and charting, you will learn new and exciting ways to approach mathematical operations involving fractions and wow your family and friends with your new skills! We will even talk about where fractions are hidden in our everyday lives. After this class you will never look at objects, or their pieces and parts, in the same way again. What kind of unexpected mathematical treasures will you uncover in this mysterious adventure with fractions?
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported math curriculum, Treasures from the Attic, from Project M3
Intro to Business: A Walk Down 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 walked down Wall Street on a trip to New York City. But, do you know what really happens there? In this course, you will learn the type of thinking and work that happens in the business world 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, but before you can serve as a financial advisor you will need to learn about economics (the study of money), investments, the stock market, and how these things relate to each other. 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 very own 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!
The Mysterious World in Writing
Grab your magnifying glasses and throw on your detective caps! Have you ever wondered how great mystery writers keep readers on the edge of their seats? Or why they choose to use certain clues to lead characters towards solving the mystery? In this course, we will explore the role of mystery in the world of creative writing. We will read and discuss mysteries by classic authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Carolyn Keene, and Franklin Dixon and then take a turn at writing short mystery stories to stump and surprise our friends and families. We will discuss writing techniques such as plot development, logic, evidence, and leading questions, and apply these ideas into our own compositions. We will also investigate riddles and contemporary mysteries in order to give us a better sense of how authors bring an intriguing world of the mysterious to life on paper. This class will give you the necessary skills to become a top-notch detective writer. From the foggy streets of London to the deserts of the United Arab Emirates to the backwoods of Tennessee, the scene is set for the next great mystery! Are you ready to start writing?
Think Like a Lawyer
How many laws have affected you today? From traffic rules to policies governing public education to guidelines regulating the quality of the food you eat, laws are everywhere! In this course, you will study and debate the relationships between the rights and power of individuals and the government. You will learn how laws are designed to consider different stakeholders and groups and the importance of thinking about multiple perspectives when making and interpreting laws. You will step into the shoes of lawyers and judges as you examine different legal disciplines like Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Property, and Torts. How do we make sure laws are interpreted correctly? Can the same law be applied to seemingly different situations? Why is a jury needed for some legal cases and not others? Using the Socratic Method and examples from legal history, you will address issues as complex as Supreme Court cases and as simple as student dress code infractions. Moot court activities will allow us the opportunity to debate important legal issues like a real attorney while learning how legal advocates craft arguments. This course will give you the tools to identify legal issues, propose solutions within the law, and think like a true lawyer. No one can object to the value of this knowledge!
This class is specially designed for those interested in exploring careers in law or politics.
Do you have a knack for creating? Are you a fan of tools and machines that make life easier? Do you often ponder how different apparatuses work? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then come experience world of engineering first-hand as you are tasked with designing, building, and testing a machine of your own. You will learn about techniques that engineers use to create new mechanisms, including Computer Aided Design (or CAD), 3-D printing, laser cutting, and other prototyping methods. You will even have a chance to try some of these yourself as you work through the engineering design process to create your invention. We will also take an in-depth look at how computers and machines are utilized by engineers to create new systems, modify existing tools, and increase the efficiency of different processes in factories, laboratories, and beyond. Engineering techniques are not only applicable in industry settings, but also in research. During the course you will have the chance to visit an engineering lab at Vanderbilt to see these techniques and technologies in action. Come ready to design and tinker.
This class is specially designed for those interested in exploring careers in engineering or research.