SAVY 2018 Session 5: July 16-20
Becoming a Botanist*
You’ve just discovered a professor’s old journal and his notes are very intriguing. They suggest that plants can be used as an alternative fuel source. Could he be right? If he is correct, what does this mean for you and for me? Get your lab coat ready as we investigate this curious case! In this course, you will take on the role of a botanist to investigate this professor’s ideas about the important role that plants currently play in our lives and how they may impact our future. Before we are able to determine if plants can be used as a fuel source, we will need to learn as much as we can about the life cycle and structure of plants by conducting experiments and field investigations. Come ready to unearth knowledge about plants. Your discoveries may impact how we all think about those weeds in your backyard!
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, Budding Botanists, from the College of William and Mary
Most of us have a favorite character, whether from a good book, movie, or play. Sometimes they are people who remind us of ourselves, are people who inspire us, or just make us laugh. But how do artists bring these characters to life? What techniques do they use to make characters believable and interesting? What kind of inferences can we make about characters based on what they say, do, or how they interact with other characters? Join us for a week-long journey to uncover the secrets of character development in different forms of creative expression! In this class, we will investigate important concepts in character study including direct and indirect characterization and voice, using examples from some popular movies, books, and plays. We will also analyze different character archetypes, such as the damsel in distress, the hero, and the bully, and investigate how they can impact the plot, theme, or progression of a story. You will then have a chance to develop your own complex characters using your creative ideas the new knowledge you gain over the course of the week. Bring your imagination and get ready to become an expert in character creation!
Intro to Programming: Coding 101
Computer programmers are learners, dreamers, strategists, and creative thinkers as they develop complex codes to solve everyday problems. The skill of coding is becoming more and more important in our technology-driven world. Being able to code may be fun and sound cool to your friends, but how is coding used in real 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.
Rising 3rd and 4th Grades
A truck carrying an unidentified liquid has crashed on a busy highway and has started to leak its liquid into a nearby creek. The city is counting on you to make sure there are no negative repercussions from this spill! In this class you will take on the role of an environmental scientist. How are you going to isolate the spill? What experiments will you need to conduct to determine if the liquid is dangerous? How will you keep people and animals in the surrounding environment safe? Through a series of role-play examples, scientific experimentation, and the study of complex systems, you will learn about acid and base chemistry as you solve key problems related to the spill. We will examine the damaging effects that such an event can have on the ecosystem, economy, and human transportation. Are you ready for the challenge of coming up with an appropriate solution? The city needs your help!
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, Acid, Acid Everywhere, from the College of William and Mary
In the age of Siri, Instagram, and Twitter, do poetic uses of language still matter? What is it about poetic expression that makes the world an exciting, fresh place to live and explore? What can poetry do that novels or screenplays cannot? How do poets tell powerful stories using so few words? In this course, we will explore poetic storytelling through its many different forms. We will read poems by classical and contemporary authors, all the while remaining poetic witnesses to the world around us and looking to our surroundings for creative inspiration. From spoken word poetry to rhymed verse to free-form poems, we will study the different styles and techniques of poetry and apply them to our own written creations. Through daily reading and writing workshops, we will challenge each other to write emotional and moving verses that fly off the page! This course is for anyone who loves language, creativity, rhythm, and the performance possibilities of words. Come along, let’s play with poetry.
Rising 5th and 6th Grades
What kind of information can we gather from space? What types of celestial bodies can we observe in our own galaxy? Why is it important for us to be able to identify what we see in the sky? Get ready to go on a galactic adventure through the universe as we study the life cycle of stars and the remnants they leave behind over the course of their lifetime. Using the tools of astronomy, we will learn about stellar spectra and experience how scientists classify stars, collect astronomical data, and answer research questions about the universe. We will analyze the characteristics and movement of stars, remnants, and clusters utilizing publicly available data and models developed by scientists. Through discovery, observation, and research, you will take on the role of a real-life astronomer as you learn from one. The cosmos is awe-inspiring, and after this class, you will inspire the awe of all with your stellar knowledge!
Marvelous Mechanisms: Intro to Mechanical Engineering
Have you ever wanted to design a winning robot for a school competition, or perhaps help develop the moving parts of a satellite in orbit? Do you have creative ideas for inventions that might help make life easier? In order to be an inventor, you need to be able to conceive, analyze, and communicate your cleverly designed mechanisms. Our world is full of useful artifacts with moving parts. Mechanical engineers investigate how moving parts work together in machines and tools that help make our lives easier. In this course you will learn how to use a branch of physics called kinematics, the study of motion, to analyze different systems of movement, including pulley systems, four-bar mechanisms, and gear trains, that help us to push, lift, carry, rotate, and grasp. You will use drafting tools to sketch and design mechanisms that perform useful tasks and that satisfy realistic constraints and you will utilize mathematical concepts to support your ideas. After this course, you may never look at a can opener, airplane landing gear, or a Keurig coffee maker the same way again as you marvel at how they function!
Behavioral Economics and Game Theory
You just opened a birthday card and now have some extra cash, congratulations! What will you do with this unexpected cash? Are you itching to buy that cool new gadget or pair of sneakers you saw on TV? Will you stash it in your piggy bank to save up for something bigger? There are so many options when you have money to spend, how will you ever decide? In this class, we will explore the basic concepts of game theory and behavioral economics to uncover why people spend their money the way they do. Are there patterns in the decisions people make with their money? What factors can influence how they spend money? Can businesses successfully predict what people will buy? Through case-studies, research, and discussion, we will learn about the impulsiveness of humans and how emotions play a powerful role in decision-making. In this class, you will analyze, hypothesize, and strategize as the class takes on the role of economists to tackle real issues in the business world and practice making predictions about the consumer market.
This class is specially designed for those interested in a future career in financial planning, banking, investing, or marketing.
The Power of Persuasion
Are you passionate about your ideas? Do you consider yourself a savvy negotiator? How do you persuade someone to have the same belief as you? How can you disagree with someone’s argument respectively and with evidence? In this class, you will learn persuasion skills and methods dating back to the times of ancient philosophers as you develop new 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, family, and peers. Just like any skill, the building of an effective argument takes practice. By exploring specific types of fallacies that can negatively impact an argument, we will become more aware of the principles great debaters and negotiators use to present their points and advocate for things they stand firmly behind. Each day we will put ourselves to the test as we work to translate our ever-growing knowledge of the art of argument into practice in mock legal, political, and meeting situations..We will also analyze historical speeches and debates as we explore the power that good public speaking and debate skills can have in a wide range of settings. From the boardroom to the podium, persuasion is an invaluable skill for a variety of careers. If you are interested in debating timely and relevant topics that directly impact your life, then you need to know the secrets to powerful persuasion.
This class is relevant to careers in almost any area, but is specially designed for those interested in politics, business, or advocacy and outreach.