The Unseen World of Microorganisms – Waiting list only
Why do people get sick? Why does medicine make you feel better? Is there such a thing as good bacteria? In this hands-on and minds-on science course, you will learn the answer to these questions and many others as we investigate the fascinating world of microbiology. Microorganisms come in many shapes and sizes and include bacteria, viruses, fungi, protists and more! You might not be able to see them, but by the end of this course you will know where to find microorganisms, what your cells look like, and how microorganisms impact your life. Come ready to take on the role of a scientist as you investigate microbiology by conducting experiments and participating in lab work alongside a real microbiologist!
Robotic Engineering – Waiting list only
Are you ready to challenge your mind and test your creativity? If so, then this class is for you! Come ready to learn how to build and program robots to complete tasks. You will also explore how your robot functions as you investigate the connection between energy, robotics, computer programing, and the engineering design process. Using LEGO® WeDo® interactive machines, you will brainstorm hands-on solutions to real-world problems. As you take on the role of an engineer, you will learn how to test your robot creation, manipulate variables, and refine your programming to improve on your design. If you’ve ever wanted to have your own robot, this course is your first step!
The Math Behind Games – Waiting list only
When you flip a coin, does it matter if you started with heads or tails? How important is it to stick to the rules? What is the difference between skill and luck when it comes to playing games? In this exciting course, you will use advanced mathematics to explore the laws of probability and how to determine if a game is fair. As you play a variety of games, you will discover the chances that each player can win, and you will use creative problem solving to change the rules that aren’t fair. With a combination of math skills and logic, we will analyze all types of games and even create our own games to test out in our probability lab!
Pattern Geometry: Tiles & Tessellations – Waiting list only
Have you ever wondered how math connects to what you see in nature? Do you ever think about the relationship between art and math? If so, then you have already started your exploration of pattern geometry! In this course, you will continue this investigation as you explore the math associated with tessellations and develop a code for describing patterns. You will learn how patterns of polygons can describe the Fibonacci sequence and also how patterns in a geometric picture can be used to explain arithmetic arrangements or number sequences. As you take on the role of a mathematician you will create your own Escher-esque tessellation and you may even learn to use this creation to explore the relationship to fractions and irrational numbers. In this course you will realize that math may be the art of numbers but numbers can be used to think about some pretty cool art!
Writing and the Imagination – Waiting list only
A good story or poem can make us feel like we’re somewhere else entirely—in another country, another world, or sometimes just inside another person’s head. In this class, we will explore the ways authors help us to imagine different lives and different lands. How do writers create interesting characters, strong stories, and vivid places? Why do certain sentences make us want to cry, while other sentences make us laugh? How does an author turn something imaginary into something that feels real? How can words alone convey smells, sounds, and other senses? While we think about these questions as a class, you will begin to write your own creative pieces. Using your imagination and the techniques we learn in class, you, too, will transport your readers to other places and other minds.
Cellular Biology & Protein Signaling – Limited availability
You may know that your body is made up of millions of cells, but did you ever wonder how they work together to do things like fight diseases and keep you healthy? The answer: cell signaling! In this course, we will use hands-on activities and lab investigations to explore how the body uses signaling networks of proteins. Genetics, protein interactions, and a multitude of signals within a cell are some of the things that come into play when understanding the molecular mechanisms that keep you healthy or cause disease. You will take on the role of a scientist as you use your understanding of signaling networks to tackle real life problems related to immunity and treating diseases.
Better Living through Science Fiction – Limited availability
From War of the Worlds to Ender’s Game to Divergent, science fiction has always been a genre that can depict fantastical worlds totally unlike our own while also giving us a new way to look at the world in which we currently live. In this course, you will explore and discuss the components of some of the most well known science fiction stories of all time. You will learn to analyze what great science fiction is through multiple lenses as you decide what these fantasies can tell you about our own reality. After reading and discussing science fiction favorites, you will also have a chance to try your hand at writing your own science fiction. If your imagination and curiosity is “out of this world” (or perhaps “ahead of its time!”), this is the course for you!
Think Like a Lawyer – Limited availability
How many laws have affected you today? From traffic rules to policies governing public education to laws regulating the quality of the food you eat, the law really is everywhere! In this course, you will study and debate the relationships between government, society, and individuals. To understand multiple perspectives, you will step into the shoes of government officials, judges, and community advocates. Using the Socratic Method and examples from many legal fields, you will address issues as complex as Supreme Court cases and as simple as student dress code infractions. This course will give you the tools to identify legal issues, propose solutions within the law, and think like a true lawyer!