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SAVY Spring 2025 Courses

Applications for Spring SAVY will open 8/27/2024

Spring SAVY courses will be announced on 8/20/2024

Spring SAVY 2025

Three Consecutive Saturdays:

January 25, February 1, February 8

Course Availability Key**

Full–waiting list only
Available–limited space

Students will be able to take one course for three consecutive Saturdays.

Please contact our office at 615-322-2664 or if you have questions about availability or the length of the waiting list for a particular course.

**Please note that course availability will not be updated on the website until after applications made within the priority window have been reviewed, processed, and placed as applicable. Course availability will be updated periodically, and may not be a precise representation of course availability. 

The courses listed below are from Spring 2024.

The new Spring 2025 courses will be announced on 8/20/2024.


Table updated on November 17, 2023

Kindergarten1st & 2nd Grade3rd & 4th Grade5th & 6th Grade
(1) Beyond the Pyramids: Egyptian Exploration

(1) Animal Connections
(2) Biomedical Engineering

(3) Spatial Smarts: Delving into Dimensions
(1) Secrets of the MoLi Stone
(2) The Science of Senses
(1) Harry Potter: The Science Behind the Magic
(2) Media Mania: How We are Impacted by What We Watch

(3) Molecular Genetics

Choose a grade level below to view the course description.


Beyond the Pyramids: Egyptian Exploration

Did you know that the Ancient Egyptian civilization lasted over 3,000 years? What did we learn from the Egyptians, and how has it impacted our current way of life? Are there other ideas that we can borrow from the Egyptians to better our society? When we think of Ancient Egypt, we often think about pyramids, mummies, and hieroglyphics, but Ancient Egypt has even more to offer. In this course, we will investigate these questions and more as we critically analyze the systems within this society. You will take on the role of an anthropologist to investigate how the Egyptians’ systems of language, leadership, economics, architecture, and geography created a strong civilization that lasted for thousands of years. Don’t worry — we will talk about mummies and pyramids too. Plus, you’ll even get to try your hand at writing Egyptian hieroglyphics! 

*Some components of course adapted from an evidence-based curriculum, Ancient Egypt: Gift of the Nile, from the College of William and Mary.  

1st & 2nd Grade

Animal Connections

How does introducing a plant or animal into a community impact all living things? What is considered when building an animal’s habitat at a zoo exhibit? What are the positive and negative roles that humans play in the animal world?  In this class, you will become a scientific researcher to investigate these questions and more by focusing on animals through the lens of two scientific fields, ecology and zoology. As part of our exploration, we will discuss animal characteristics and adaptations over time, explore unique habitats and the implications of environmental changes, and investigate what endangered and invasive species have to teach us. Together we will better understand the connections between animals, humans, and the natural world. If you want to expand your animal knowledge, then fly, swim, slither, crawl, or trot your way to this class!   

* Some components of course adapted from an evidence-based curriculum, Survive and Thrive, from the College of William and Mary, ELA curriculum, Interactions in Ecology and Literature, from Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth, and Invaluable Invertebrates and Species with Spines: Inquiry-Based Science Lessons for Advanced and Gifted Students in Grades 2-3, by Jason S. McIntosh. 


Biomedical Engineering

Think engineering is just about machines? Not true! Come and learn how the world of biology, medicine, and engineering combine to solve some of our most complex problems about the human body! In this class, you will take on the role of a biomedical engineer as you study how the body works and design new technologies for it through hands-on experiments and activities. As a biomedical engineer, you might explore variations in human feet and use this information to design appropriate running shoes for athletes, or you might study the range of motion in a joint to design an appropriate brace. Situations like these involve thinking about the body as well as the support. What material is best? What design is most comfortable? How does the design support the work of the body? Biomedical engineering is complex! In order to be a successful biomedical engineer, you have to understand a lot about the body. In this class, we will start by exploring the role of DNA and genetics in the body and learn how engineers and scientists use this knowledge. By using both the scientific method and the engineering design process, we will investigate real life problems that doctors, scientists, and biomedical engineers encounter every day. 

*Some components of course adapted from an evidence-supported engineering curriculum from Engineering is Elementary (EiE) and the Museum of Science, Boston. 


Spacial Smarts: Delving into Dimensions

Have you ever dreamed of designing and building your own roller coaster? Ever wonder how photographers know how to capture the very best shots and angles? Do you like reading or creating your own maps? If so, you likely have strong skills in spatial reasoning!  People with spatial intelligence, such as pilots, surgeons, engineers, artists, and filmmakers, tend to learn visually and often think about things in terms of pictures and shapes. In this course, you will learn how to see and communicate in new dimensions as we explore and discuss the shapes and planes in the world around us. We may explore topics such as prisms, tangrams, symmetry, and reflection as we learn how to harness, predict, and move objects in space. What kind of problems might we be able to solve with this new knowledge? Who knows what you can create or where you will go in this exploration of spatial dimensions?!  

*Some components of course adapted from an evidence-supported curriculum, Spatial Reasoning, from the College of William and Mary. 

3rd & 4th Grade

Secrets of the MoLi Stone

A stone tablet has just been unearthed. What an exciting discovery! The only problem is that the information on it is written in a secret code. The tablet is covered with unusual symbols and interesting mathematical markings. What do these symbols and markings mean? What information are they trying to tell us? How do we interpret meaning in symbols that aren’t words or in numbers that seem unfamiliar?  In this course, you will take on the role of a mathematician to unravel the secrets of the MoLi Stone. To solve the mystery, we will begin with an exploration of our number system as we explore the concepts of place value and base systems. We will compare our knowledge with different systems and investigate how cultures and groups of people use number systems. No stone will be left unturned in this mysterious mathematical adventure that will reveal new number understanding!  

*Some components of course adapted from an evidence-supported math curriculum, Unraveling the Mystery of the MoLi Stone, from Project M3. 


The Science of Senses

You are constantly using your senses to understand and interpret the outside world- feel the cold weather, taste spicy peppers, hear loud music. Have you ever wondered about the role science plays in using your senses? Biology, chemistry, and neuroscience are all at work as you use your senses to understand the world around you. Did you know that each signal your body receives involves your body sending information to your brain by means of electric signals? Come take a journey through the science of the senses to understand how the systems of the body help us perceive the world! As we dive into the science behind the senses, we will experience and closely examine optical illusions, learn how an animal’s ear shape impacts hearing, and figure out why the delicious flavors of pizza have more to do with smell than taste, and more! We will also compare and contrast human sensory systems with those of other animals. You will explore the senses through hands-on experiments and see firsthand how scientific investigators engage in this field of research. 

*Some components of course adapted from The SENSE-ational Science Behind How We Discover the World Around Us: Inquiry-Based Science Lessons for Advanced and Gifted Students in Grades 4-5, by Jason S. McIntosh. 

5th & 6th Grade

Harry Potter: The Science Behind the Magic

Have you ever wondered if the magic in Harry Potter could be possible for Muggles? Is there a way to make brooms fly? Could we “disapparate” from one place to another? What would we need to create a love potion?

To answer these questions, come explore the wizarding world of science!  In this course, we will discuss what would be scientifically required for magic to become possible. For example, we will investigate potential chemical compositions of Veritaserum (truth serum), love potions, and Felix Felicis (“Liquid Luck”) and discuss how each would chemically alter someone’s cognitive state to provide the desired results. We will also learn how molecular magnetism can be manipulated to levitate objects and how proteins, such as lysosomes, found in some tears have healing effects like phoenix tears. If you were disappointed that you didn’t receive a Hogwarts acceptance letter, this is your chance to become a wizard—a wizard of science! Jump aboard the SAVY Express and be transported to new knowledge.  **This course is not endorsed by Pottermore Publishing, Warner Bros., or Bloomsbury


Media Mania: How We are Impacted by What We Watch

From books and newspapers to Netflix and iPads, media is always just at our fingertips. More and more, we are spending increasing amounts of time using screens to consume media. Yet, there is still so much we do not know about the positive and negative impacts these resources have on our world. Is there a difference between watching TV and watching YouTube? Should we be reading more physical books? What about apps like TikTok and Instagram? How is AI going to impact the ways we consume media? In this class, we will investigate all these questions by becoming a “research squad” exposing the good, the bad, and the digitally altered. We will engage in various activities designed to make important research methods fun and accessible. You will take part in research methods used by academic scholars to determine what kinds of media can help and what kinds of media can hurt. By the end, you will be ready to go out into the world with a critical eye towards, as well as a deeper understanding of, the ways the world is becoming more and more dependent on the various kinds of media and the new systems through which we are consuming it. 


Molecular Genetics

Have you ever wondered why you look a certain way? Have you considered questions like —Why do I have blue eyes, but my mom and dad have brown eyes? What makes me different from a plant? Why are polar bears white? If you find yourself asking these types of questions, then you are already thinking about the complexities of genetics. We will answer these questions and more as we take an in-depth, hands-on investigation of genetics and how genes make everyone unique. Starting at the molecular level, you will learn about the DNA double helix, the processes of transcription and translation, and genetic mutations as we explore the intricacies of the genetic code in your cells. You will investigate topics such as natural selection and classical Mendelian genetics and examine the role that genetics plays in other fields like immunology and medicine. Understanding genetics will allow you to better understand yourself and the world around you. By the end of the course, you will be able to talk about the laws of genetics like a real scientist as we discuss the ways that DNA shapes every living thing.