Summer 2021 GoSciTech Course List

Adventures in Chemistry

What makes glue sticky? Why is some plastic flimsy when other plastic is sturdy? What makes blue jeans blue? Adventures in Chemistry will answer all of these questions (and more!) by studying materials we see in the world around us. In this course we will look at the chemistry of materials, investigating the structure and composition of materials, as well as the processes to create and use them. We will use hands-on experiments to explore adhesives, dyes and a variety of polymers. 
Instructor: Dr. Dasiy Bourassa-Dowd
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Anthropology: The Study of Us

Are you interested in knowing how humans developed to look the way we do, or how a forensic anthropologist can identify a person by only their skeletal remains?  Are you curious about different foods, languages, music, religions, clothing, and games from different cultures around the world?  If so, this class is right for you!  We will touch on the four different subfields of anthropology: cultural, linguistic, archaeology, and biological for the week. You will gain introductory knowledge in the field of anthropology as a whole, with more emphasis on the archaeological and biological aspects, including being outside learning about site surveying, looking at tools archaeologists use, and studying 3d skull models to look at human evolution.
Instructor: Dr. Kiley Molinari
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Arduino Electronics

Have you ever wondered how a radio or a computer works? Or how your air conditioner keeps your house at the temperature you set? In this course, we will investigate electronics that make the modern world possible. Use an Arduino microcontroller to build circuits that control motors, light detectors, remote controls, and more!  You will take your kit home with you to continue exploring electronics.
Instructor: Dr. Eli Owens
Grade Level: Rising 8th & 9th

Arduino Robotics: Build, Program, Compete

Have you always wanted to build and program your own robot to use at home? We will use an Arduino Mega-compatible micro-controller to introduce programming (C/C++) and basic electronic techniques. Learn and work with different robotics concepts and construction techniques including but not limited to drive/steering mechanisms (2-wheel differential versus 3-wheel holonomic, which drives in any direction without turning!), and use different types of sensors (touch, light, sound) to control the robot's movement.  We will have competitions throughout the week to help learn from each other. You will take your robot and sensors home to continue experimenting. Robots are designed as adaptable platforms for performing other experiments.
Instructor: Dr. Dave Eslinger
Grade Level: Rising 9th & 10th

Astrophysics: Solar System

How do we know the mass of the Sun?  How do comets travel based on the laws of physics?  Physical theories and experiments will help us investigate our Solar System: Sun, planets, comets, and more.  We will explore telescopes, Kepler’s Laws, planetary surfaces and atmospheres, and how the Solar System formed.
Instructor: Dr. Patrick Briggs
Grade Level: Rising 8th & 9th

Astrophysics: Stars and Galaxies

Have you ever wondered where black holes come from? What really happened in the Big Bang? How do stars change over time? We will collect information and use mathematical models to understand the laws that govern the Solar System, stars, and galaxies. Experiments and physical theories will be used to develop a better understanding of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. We will explore topics including spectroscopy, how we measure and classify stars, where black holes come from, the variety of galaxies, and the Big Bang. 
Instructor: Dr. Patrick Briggs
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Beginning Video Game Development using Unity 2D/Unity 3D

If you want to learn the basics of the Unity3D game development program while working on cool projects than this is the class for you! Students enrolled in this course will learn core aspects of video game development and object oriented programming through a series of hands-on projects. We will flex our creative muscles as we create custom sprites, sounds and 3-D objects for the Unity3D environment. We will modify existing video games by adding in our own creations and level designs, and then improve our titles based on player feedback just like real video-game companies. This class is designed for students who have little to no computer programming experience, but who are enthusiastic gamers and/or aspiring game developers.
Instructor: Dr. Roger Newman-Norlund
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Extreme Weather and Climate

Have you ever seen strange things in the sky (not UFOs), wondered how the TV guy predicts the weather, or wanted to understand all the climate change hubbub?  In this course students will explore the atmosphere and its creatures (not aliens), from the happy little cloud to the vicious tornado.  In addition to learning why weather exists and how to stay safe from extreme weather hazards, students will observe, forecast, and even create weather with the help of scientific instrumentation.  Students will also use statistics to produce climatologies and learn why climate change exists.
Instructor: Dr. Scott Curtis
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Go for Launch!

During this fun week of rocketry, we will design, build, and launch a variety of rockets, fueled by matches, air, water, or more potent chemicals. We will have a blast seeing things go boom and take off into the atmosphere! We will also learn what makes the rockets work.
Instructor: Dr. Anders Gårdestig
Grade Level: Rising 8th & 9th

Graphic Design: Communication through Type and Image

Are you creative? Do you like to solve problems? This class will explore graphic design through both modern and traditional design processes and techniques. From the printing press to pixels on a screen you will: Learn about the history of Graphic Design. Work with fonts and type, color and icons. Use sketching and drawing to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. Print your design with both a press and digital printers. Also, explore coding and design for the web.
Instructor: Mr. Charles Jeffcoat
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Greatest Hits of Mathematics

Have you ever wondered how mathematics is used to predict such things as sports and election results? Or how mathematics is used to create computer-animated movies and describe patterns in nature? Geometry can be used to understand everything from soap bubbles to broccoli to computer graphics. Discover strategies to fill out your NCAA bracket, predict election results, investigate strange geometric shapes, and much more in this class.  Explore the greatest hits of mathematical ideas that will give you new and fresh perspectives into your daily life.
Instructor: Dr. Jeremiah Bartz
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Photography: Where Art and Science Converge

Discover the science behind photography by working with light sensitive materials. Construct your own camera out of everyday objects. Combine photographic processes from the 1800s with modern digital techniques to make one-of-a-kind prints. Learn the fundamentals of photography that can help you make decisions to elevate your snapshots to works of art.
Instructor: Mrs. Julie Mixon
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Pre-Med: Anatomy

Ever thought of becoming a doctor? Learn the basic anatomy and physiology that doctors must first master. Cut into creatures during dissections to discover the anatomy of various animals. Meet physicians from around the state and learn what it takes to become one.
Instructor: Dr. Shayna Wrighten
Grade Level: Rising 8th & 9th

Pre-Med: Biomedical Genetics

Why do we look like our parents, but also different?  What is DNA? How does it make us all similar and unique at the same time?  DNA carries all of the information that determines the functions of our cells and how they respond to their environment.  We will learn what DNA looks like, how it is inherited by offspring, and what happens when a change, called a mutation, occurs.  Some of these mutations lead to human diseases.  We will learn how DNA is studied in laboratories and how this information is used by medical doctors.  
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Taylor or Dr. Barb Gordon (depending on week)
Grade Level: Rising 9th & 10th

Pre-Med: How Organisms Develop

Have you ever watched a sea urchin mate? If not, you do not want to miss this class! Explore embryonic development in both invertebrate and vertebrate animals by doing labs that involve fertilization in sea urchins, metamorphosis in insects, regeneration in amphibians and even the development of bird hearts. We will also discuss controversial topics such as cloning and the biology of stem cells.
Instructor: Dr. Jim Wetzel
Grade Level: 9th & 10th

Programmers of Tomorrow

Have you ever wanted to learn how to write computer code? Join us to conquer the basics of computer programming in this hands-on course. Students will be introduced to the Python programming language. Daily projects will include fun, interactive programs in Python using the IDLE integrated development environment. Basic constructs such as if-then statements, for and while loops, assignment statements, arrays, and input/output statements will be covered. This is an introductory course, and no previous programming experience is required.
Instructor: Mr. Travis Dalton
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Science and the Law

Do you have a love for science, but also an interest in the world of law? Explore the intersection of these topics, along with potential law careers for those with a scientific background. In this course, you will research ethical and legal controversies surrounding cutting-edge discoveries. Become lawyers, witnesses, and jury members in interactive mock trial sessions, draft contracts, and review patents.  Explore the legal elements of crimes such as larceny, manslaughter, robbery, and evaluate the scientific evidence that can support a criminal conviction. Strengthen your analytical and logical reasoning ability and gain confidence in your writing and public speaking skills.  This is an introductory course which focuses on basic trial procedures, the structure of the legal system, rules of evidence, contracts, constitutional and technology law. It's ideal for anyone who has ever thought about a career in the law.
Instructor: Mrs. Charlotte Lomnicki
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

The Search for Life Out There: Astrobiology & Planetary Exploration

Are we alone in the universe? Until recently, this fundamental question about humanity's place in the cosmos was the province of philosophy or science fiction. The growing science of astrobiology seeks to turn science fiction into science research and answer it once and for all. Through a mixture of classroom learning and practical, hands-on experimentation, we will explore three main research areas in this new field: the search for habitable planets elsewhere in the universe, the study of so-called "extremophiles" on Earth, and the search for habitable zones and life elsewhere in the Solar System.
Instructor: Dr. Patricia Craig
Grade Level: Rising 9th & 10th