The classes for students in grades 6-8 are designed to teach students basic fundamentals and apply what they have learned to fun hands-on activities. This year the students will get a choice of 2 classes in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Click on the course titles below to view the course descriptions
Students will have fun learning anatomy and physiology concepts and applying them to fun hands-on activities. Students will participate in a dissection activity.
Alpha, Beta, Gamma Oh My!!: Radiation Detection, Measurement, and Protection
This course will explore the basics in radiation detection, measurement, and protection. Students will:
- discuss ionizing radiation: what it is, what its biological hazards are, and how radiation is measured (with an emphasis on human radiation protection)
- learn about, and measure, different types of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron)
- identify some common sources of natural and manmade radiation
- discuss principles useful in radiation protection engineering
Note: This course involves heat (soldering irons), non-dangerous high-voltage electronics (the Geiger counter circuit), and exposure to small, unlicensed or naturally-occurring radioactive materials.
This course will explore the ins and outs of electricity. Yes, you know you have it when the lights come on, but what is it and how is it generated? Through hand on activities you will answer these questions. In the end, you never know, we might make an electrician, power plant operator, or even electrical engineer out of you!!!
This course will combine science, math and art using fractals! Fractals are beautiful patterns found everywhere in the world around us. Students will become fractal detectives as they discover fractals in trees, rivers, flowers and more! They will zoom into algebraic fractals using Xaos, free fractal software on the Fractal Foundation web site, and create fractal art, such as cutout cards and tetrahedrons of marshmallows and toothpicks. Come see why fractals are SMART: Science, Math, and Art!
Computer programming is not only a highly valued skill, it can be a lot of fun and can be a powerful tool for creative expression. Java is a popular and convenient object-oriented programming language. It has been used for interactive web pages and a variety of computer and device applications and games. This year, we will try to better accommodate new as well as repeat students by using a "go-at-your-own-pace" style. We will guide students through a tutorial of basic Java concepts, and encourage students to help each other. When students are comfortable with these basics, they can then use Java programming to compete in a multi-player taxi game over a local network. Being competitive will require students to write Java code to direct their taxis along the best routes and manage their taxi companies efficiently. While programming is a challenge, we hope to show students that it can be extremely fun and rewarding.
This course will mystify the mind as it explores the world of science through experiments using common household items. Experiments include working with eggs, vinegar, tools, magnets, water, soap, and even fire. This course will go over the science behind what drives each experiment but as the world is still not fully understood by the top scientists to ever live, some things will remain a mystery! Any allergies need to be discussed with the instructor.
Math in the Real World
This course will explore the ageless question “When will I ever use….(fill in the math concept)”. In this math application course students will look to the real world for this answer. This course will challenge your thinking while opening your understanding of the world around you !! This course is open to all math levels.
This course will teach students how to learn problem solving skills, operate and optimize a remote control car to maximize it's performance.
In this course, students will be introduced to computer programming through the use of Python and Turtle Graphics. Python is a simple, easy-to-learn, programming language. It is also robust, so it can be used to write basic programs as well as large, professional applications. Python's ease of moving from simple commands to complex software development makes it an ideal vehicle for an introductory experience in computer programming. Turtle Graphics is a drawing system developed in the Logo programming environment that was originally used for introducing students to programming. The "turtle" in Turtle Graphics is an on-screen cursor which can be given movement and drawing instructions and is used to produce line graphics. Students can understand the actions of the turtle by imagining themselves in its place and thinking in terms of commands such as "move forward," "turn right," and "raise/lower the pen." Students will be using Turtle Graphics in Python and some simple mathematics to explore concepts such as variables, loops, and functions and to draw interesting pictures.
Students will learn how robots work while using math, science, and technology in exciting robotic challenges. Students will work in teams to design, build, program and test robots to perform a variety of challenges against the clock. Note: This is a beginner's class and is for students who do not have any experience with Lego MindStorms.
Should I Stay or Should I go: Static vs. Dynamic Movement
In this course students will explore the basics of mechanics through hands-on activities emphasizing fundamental mechanical engineering and physics concepts. Students will participate in two major activities challenging creativity and design principles.
Video Game Development
This course will focus on students designing and building their own 2D video game using the GameMaker game engine. Students will learn about various aspects of the game development process including: algorithm development for game mechanics, level design, player interfaces, and usability testing. By the end of the course the students will have created a simple, functioning 2D video game.