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 3 classes in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Click on the course titles below to view the course descriptions
ACT Exam Prep Science Reasoning (8th grade)
- Week1: Test-taking Basics; How to Scan Scientific Work
- Week 2: Graphs & Charts Analysis
- Week 3: Experimentation Q&A Section of the ACT
- Week 4: Conflicting Scientific View Points
Students will have fun learning anatomy and physiology concepts and applying them to fun hands-on activities. Students will participate in a dissection activity.
Back 2 Basics - Mechanical Engineering
Come explore some basic mechanical engineering principles as you learn how they apply in real world applications. Students will learn and understand how force, pressure, motion and energy are applied to design, build and test machines, engines and other mechanical devices. Students, in a team environment, will engage in hands-on design activities and challenges to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts learned.
Career Planning (8th grade only)
The purpose of this class is to teach students basic job hunting skills. Students will learn how to write a resume, how to interview, and how to design a path to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Crime Scene Investigation
In this science course students will participate in hands-on forensic activities such as fingerprinting and fiber analysis to solve a crime.
Essential Soft Skills for Technical Careers
Soft skills are rarely taught in schools, and are certainly not required to graduate with a technical degree.
However, soft skills are probably more important than the technical skills.
To be a successful engineer or scientist, it necessary to set goals, manage projects, articulate ideas & work effectively in teams.
This course will go over each of those soft skills with practical group exercises.
Let's combine science, math and art using fractals! Fractals are beautiful patterns found everywhere in the world around us. We will become fractal detectives as we discover fractals in trees, rivers, flowers and more! We 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 is often used for interactive web pages and a variety of computer and device applications and games. In this course, we will teach programming skills while students compete in a multi-player taxi game developed in Java. Students will run taxi companies and try to be the fastest ones to pick up passengers, take them to their destinations, and collect fares. Being competitive will require students to write Java code to direct their taxis along the best routes and manage their taxi companies efficiently. Students will learn to use computer programming as a tool for creative problem solving.
We will be conducting science experiments with household items that mystify the mind. Experiments include working with eggs, vinegar, tools, magnets, water, soap, liquid nitrogen and even fire. We 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.
This course will teach students the basic principles of managing money. It will be an interactive and hands-on experience that will allow students to balance checkbooks, pay bills, create budgets and handle unexpected expenses.
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.
This course will cover designing, building, populating and querying SQL databases. We will write scripts to create tables, indexes and relationships (DDL code). We’ll write CRUD code: Create, Read, Update and Delete to teach students how to query, add and manipulate data in the database (DML code). If time permits, the course will also explore more advanced database topics like triggers, stored procedures, and functions.
Technical Writing: What is it? How does it differ from other forms of writing?
Technical Writing: What is it? How does it differ from other forms of writing? Technical writing has become one of the most talked about careers in the high tech industry. Yet, because it is a fairly new genre, most people do not know what it is or how it differs from other forms of writing. In this class students will learn:
- How to define technical writing How to distinguish technical writing from other genres
- How to write technical pieces
- How to write information that is easy for users to follow
- How people process information and to use this knowledge to design more effective communication
- What technical writers do at work and why they are so important to the tech industry
- In addition, students will learn techniques to improve their general writing skills
Topics in Science
In this class we will study topics in physics and chemistry. We will study the effects of gravity, kinetics, and potential energy on household objects. We will explore electricity and its uses. We will build an electromagnetic and observe its effect on nearby objects. We will observe polymers behavior and study density and viscosity of liquids. We will witness the behavior of a lava lamp. We will investigate chemiluminescence and how the environment influences its behavior, and it’s role in nature.
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.