SAVY 2018 Session 6: July 23-27
Playing with Words*
Are you a teller of stories and jokes? Do you coin new phrases? Are you a fan of riddles and rhymes? If so, then you, my friend, like to play with words! In this class, you’ll see how authors use words and phrases to capture their readers through laughter and complex thought. Learn to recognize special literary devices, such as similes, metaphors, symbols, and personification; all tools that writers use to better communicate their ideas. You too can experiment with figurative language and wordplay, the very same tools that writers have used for centuries! A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a thousand words can paint a pretty awesome picture.
*Course adapted from an evidence-supported science curriculum, Beyond Words, from the College of William and Mary
The Mirror of Mythology – Course canceled
Καλώς ορίσατε στον Όλυμπος*! Here you will begin your journey into the fascinating world of mythology! Together we will travel back in time as we delve into the legends and beliefs of ancient Greece. We will read the original stories of heroes such as Hercules and Achilles, study fearsome mythological creatures such as the Minotaur and the Hydra, and discuss the significance of famous gods and goddesses. We will learn how mythological stories shaped the culture of the ancient world and examine how classic myths are reflected through some of our favorite modern-day books, movies, and buildings. After this course, you may never look at the Parthenon or the Tennessee Titans the same way again!
*Welcome to Mount Olympus!
Come join us on a journey to understand the human body’s most complex organ, the brain! In this course you will explore what scientists know about this organ and investigate how scientists unlock mysteries of how the brain works. Have you ever wondered how your foot communicates with your head? Did you know that light is involved in how we see color? Do you know why? In this class we will apply our own personal experiences as we explore brain related questions that puzzle us. You will also learn about the role neurons play in how the brain functions as you investigate how these cells talk to each other using electricity and chemistry. Through inquiry-based, hands-on activities in Vanderbilt science labs, you will use problem-solving skills and creativity to answer big brain questions as you hypothesize, observe, and investigate. Get ready to collaborate and learn about one of the fastest-growing scientific fields– neuroscience!
Rising 3rd and 4th Grades
Unearthing Information: Archaeology and Ancient Civilizations
In this course, you will be transported back in time as we immerse ourselves in the archaic past of the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations of Central America. Focusing on the Maya people and society, come ready to learn from a real-life archaeologist how scientists test hypotheses and develop conclusions about people who lived long ago. You will take an in-depth look at the architecture, math, astronomical, and writing systems, tools, and other artifacts these ancient groups left behind. How are the lives of ancient peoples related to civilization today? What kind of lessons can we learn from their successes and failures? As you take on the role of an aspiring archaeologist and historian, you will learn about the field and research techniques that professionals use collect data and draw meaningful conclusions about different groups of people. If you love puzzles, history, and culture, then this class is for you!
Programming and Robotics
Robotic engineers are learners, dreamers, strategists, and creative thinkers. Robots are cool to play with, but how are robots used in the real world? Can robots really help make our lives easier? How do robots turn lines of computer coding into action? What are the thinking processes needed to successfully code a robot to complete a task? Come learn the answers to these questions and more as you challenge your mind and test your creativity by programming Sphero interactive robots! In this course, you will take on the role of a robotics engineer as you brainstorm hands-on solutions to real-world problems through computer programming. You will program how your robot moves, looks, and interacts with apps, including augmented reality games, as you try to solve robotic challenges. After taking this course you will have new ideas about how to use coding and robotics to solve big problems in our world today!
Sphero robots and code.org will be utilized in this course.
Rising 5th and 6th Grades
Theory, Criticism, and The Force: An Academic Study of Star Wars
Artists often use their work to represent viewpoints about the everyday world around us, embedding their cultural, social, and political ideas into their stories, films, paintings, or songs. How do we decipher the themes hidden in their work? Why do we even want to identify these themes? How can uncovering the creator’s viewpoint help us understand both the work itself and the world around us better? In this class, we will use the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope as a base to learn how to unpack a work through multiple lenses of critical theory and thought. Formalism, structuralism, political criticism, and mythology are some of lenses we will learn to look through as we explore one of the most popular series of our time. Through our analysis of the Star Wars movie that started it all, we will learn how to apply critical theory to other portions of the Star Wars saga and other famous series and films. Because critical thought can and should be used when interpreting all artistic works, we will also practice our newly developed skills on our favorite short stories, classical artwork, and contemporary music. A new powerful force will be with you after this course – the ability to see your favorite works in different ways!
Land, Air, and Sea: Field Ecology and the Natural World
The world is teeming with life, both visible and invisible to the naked eye, and these living organisms all work together to create the ecosystem we call home. But how exactly are different organisms related? What kinds of ecological interactions can be observed in our own backyard? Can something we can’t see with the naked eye truly impact something as large as an entire species? Join us for this week long field excursion into the many facets of ecology to answer these questions and more! Each day we will focus on a different area within the discipline and learn what it takes to become a scientist in the field. Learn from real researchers in the areas of ornithology, marine biology, entomology, botany, and microbiology as we uncover the evolution of different organisms, practice field observations and research methods, brainstorm solutions to pervasive ecological problems, and debate our perspectives on the natural world. Over the course of the week, you will not only learn how to identify and classify creatures in your environment but also take an in-depth look at how they interact to create diverse ecosystems. We will also discuss how humans are impacting the ecosystems and what we can do to help. There is a diverse world of organisms that surrounds you every day just waiting to be discovered. Get ready to get your hands dirty and see the world from a whole new perspective through the eyes of an ecologist!
Science of Emotion
Like the animated characters in the movie Inside Out, emotions can be personified as an attempt to understand the mysterious and dynamic expressions lurking within us all. But what is emotion and how does it work? In what ways can it impact our interactions with our friends and family? Do our emotions have the power to influence how we perceive ourselves in the world? In this course, students will explore the current evidence-based theories of emotion from the diverse fields of psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and biology. We will investigate how the scientific method is applied in the field to address complex questions of human cognition and behavior, and learn their complex relationship to emotion. Students will gain experience integrating knowledge across disciplines and developing testable hypotheses in the field of psychological science. As aspiring researchers and psychologists, we will discuss the historical perspectives, different theoretical approaches, and the biology and evolution of emotions. We will also examine how emotions form and change over the lifespan and how we regulate emotions in everyday life. Using real techniques from psychophysiological research, we will practice measuring emotion and even visit the Vanderbilt Brain Institute to learn about brain imaging techniques. Come learn how emotion is actually related to brain science.
This class is specially designed for those interested in a future career in psychology, counseling, medicine, or research.
Kinematics for Mechanical Design
What do an industrial robot and a living room recliner have in common? How about the landing gear on an airplane and a saxophone? A car’s sunroof and an electric toothbrush? They all use mechanisms to transform one form of motion into another! Whether it’s electric motors turning gears or someone pulling a lever or pushing a key, the result is objects in motion. In this course, we will explore a variety of mechanisms that you encounter everyday, including can openers, bicycles, Keurig coffee makers, and more. As an aspiring mechanical engineer studying kinematics (the study of motion), you will investigate pulley systems, four-bar mechanisms, and gear trains that help us to push, lift, carry, rotate, and grasp. You will also learn about tools like Laser cutters, 3D printers, and other rapid prototyping techniques that modern inventors are using to bring life to their ideas faster than ever. But before you can build a prototype, you have to define and test your concept using your new understanding of physics and motion. From a simple sketch to a precise drawing using drafting tools, you will put pencil to paper to draw and analyze existing mechanisms as well as create your own designs that produce useful motion. What mechanism will you design? Who knows, you might even create the world’s next incredible invention!
This class is specially designed for those interested in a future career in mechanical engineering, architecture, invention, or design.