Summer STEM 2021 Course List


Ever thought of becoming a doctor? Learn the basic anatomy and physiology that all doctors must master. Watch animal dissections, learn the structure of the human skeleton, and conduct at-home experiments using your own body!
Instructor: Dr. Shayna Wrighten or Ms. Kris Amatuli (depending on week)
Grade Level: Rising 8th & 9th


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 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 subfields of anthropology: cultural, linguistic, archaeology, and biological over the week. You will gain introductory knowledge in the field of anthropology as a whole through virtual museum exhibits and collections, videos on food and sports around the world, language apps, footage of archaeological sites, and by studying 3D skull models to look at human evolution.
Instructor: Dr. Kiley Molinari
Grade Level: Rising 8th
, 9th & 10th

Beauty of Math

Flexagons! Polyominoes! The Tower of Hanoi! Do those sound like math terms to you? If not, join this class to learn what flexagons, polyominoes, and the tower of Hanoi are and why they are mathematical creations. We'll explore interesting mathematical structures and see that mathematics is a field that encompasses much more than just numbers.
Instructor: Dr. Nicole Kroeger
Grade Level: Rising 8th
, 9th & 10th

Chemistry at Home

What makes glue sticky? Why is some plastic flimsy when other plastic is sturdy? What makes blue jeans blue? Chemistry at Home 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, investigate their structure and composition, and learn about the processes to create and use them. We will use hands-on experiments to explore adhesives, dyes and a variety of polymers. 
Instructor: Dr. Daisy Bourassa-Dowd
Grade Level: Rising 6th & 7th or 8th
, 9th & 10th (depending on week)

Data in the Cloud

Have you ever wanted to learn about databases, structured and unstructured text, schemas, SQL, DBL, and DML? Of course not, because that is boring! In this class, you will use an artificial intelligence engine to classify images, interactive maps to display data, and a web portal to simplify it. We will create forms to collect information, dashboards to display it, and forums for discussions. Whether it is managing a space station or a lemonade stand, students will create simple applications with hands-on projects. At the end, we will make everything available through a smartphone app and nobody needs to know there is a database underneath it all. No programming required.
Instructor: Mr. Mark Bailey
Grade Level: Rising 8th
, 9th & 10th

Engineering Around Town

Do you like to design cool things? Do you want to change the world? Discover the engineer within you by using online software, doing hands-on activities, and learning about different types of engineering. Participating students will need a computer that can run the Bridge Designer software.
Instructor: Dr. Dimitra Michalaka
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Experimental Photography

Jump into the world of experimental photography by using the camera, light sensitive materials, and post-processing techniques in non-traditional ways! Use everyday items to transform your photos into unique works of art. This photography course merges art, science, and technology by exploring basic camera functions, accessible photo manipulation software, and creative photo-based processes. Participating students need to have a camera (DSLR or Mirrorless preferred; point and shoot, prosumer, or smartphone are just fine), a tripod or something to stabilize the camera, and a way to get the image from the camera to the computer (cloud service, connection cables, or card reader). Additionally, students need a computer that can run the program PIXLR.
Instructor: Mrs. Julie Mixon
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

French Language & Culture

If you’re taking French in school now or will start soon, this class will give you a crucial leg up! We’ll demystify French grammar and phonetics – spoiler alert: it’s not as hard as people think – and find out the best (mostly free) places to get French-language news, music, literature, film, television, recipes, and more. We’ll learn about the fascinating places on every continent where French is spoken and see some of the amazing art of the Francophone world. Last but not least, we’ll try our own hands at some of the visual and acoustic art forms we discover.  By this course’s end, all students will be poised to take ownership of their own French learning, and they’ll be in great shape for future experience inside or outside the classroom!
Instructor: Dr. Antonio de Ridder
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Graphic Design

Are you creative? Do you like to solve problems? If so, design might be in your future. This class will explore graphic design through the stages of the design process, from the original concept sketches to a final design of pixels on the screen. You will learn the basics of Graphic Design by applying the design process to exercises that you create. Use sketching and drawing to get your ideas out of your head and onto your computer. Participating students need access to a PC or Mac computer. Programs will not run on Chromebook or mobile devices such as phones or tablets. A mouse is also recommend for easier control over application tools. Participating students will need a computer that can run FireAlpaca 2.4.4, Inkscape 1.0.2, Scribus, Brackets 1.14.2
Instructor: Mr. Greg Fry
Grade Level: Rising Rising 6th & 7th or 8th
, 9th & 10th (depending on week)

Marine Biology

Why do so many people love the ocean? How have animals adapted to live in a salty, watery world? How do humans impact the ocean and the life it holds? What can we do to make sure the ocean is healthy for generations to come? Dive into these topics and more as we explore the 70% of our planet covered by water.
Instructor: Dr. Blaine Griffen
Grade Level: Rising 6th & 7th or 8th, 9th & 10th (Depending on week)

Math is a Trip

Imagine that you are about to go on a vacation to visit a large city.  You have already identified 5 local sites that you wish to visit.  Does the order in which you visit these 5 places matter?  Most likely, the answer is yes!  It depends on your specific aims and goals.  These are the kinds of decisions that individuals and companies must make in order to achieve the best outcome.  In this class we will examine mathematical concepts that will assist us in making the right choice for these decisions.   We will study topics from graph theory including Euler and Hamiltonian circuits, scheduling, critical-path analysis, and bin-packing.
Instructor: Dr. Gary Salazar
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Rockin' Robots

Have you wondered how robots work and are changing the ways we live, work, and play? Explore the world of robots, write your own code, and program an mBot! By programming its sensors, RGB LEDs, buzzers, and motors, you will give life to your smiling bot. Participating students need access to a computer that can download and run mBlock.
Instructor: Ms. Allaire Doussan
Grade Level: Rising 6th & 7th

Programming with Python

Have you ever wanted to learn how to write computer code? Join us to conquer the basics of computer programming in the Python language using the IDLE integrated development environment. This is an introductory course, and no previous programming experience is required. Participating students will need a computer that can run Python software (
Instructor: Ms. Sharon Gumina
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Science of Language

Exactly how many different sounds are there in English? How about Chinese? How do we actually make these sounds? What’s the most common sound? Also, why do people always say “one, two!” into a microphone? All these questions and more will be answered in this introduction to phonology, where we will explore the sounds of language. We’ll examine the anatomy of the mouth, and look at all the individual sounds (or phonemes), that go together like building blocks to make up the words that we use every day. Learning about the International Phonetic Alphabet will enable us to represent these sounds in written form. We’ll also use an online audio spectrogram to visually represent the sounds of our own voices so that we can understand what is actually happening when we speak! We’ll even learn some Chinese in the process! (Use of a smartphone would be nice, but is not necessary.)
Instructor: Mr. Robert Smythe
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Destination SPACE

Have you always wanted to explore space? Join us in Destination SPACE to create your own robotic Rovers, weather satellites, and remote sensing stations to explore space.   You will be introduced to weather, climatology, space weather, and satellite science and engineering. Students will build, test, and program their own mobile robotic Rovers and Weather Stations and then analyze and report the data they collect. Learn how families can launch their own Weather Station on a tethered weather balloon. No prior knowledge or experience in these fields is required to participate. All materials will be sent to students in their welcome package before camp starts. Students are encouraged to visit the Destination SPACE, Inc. website for more information; addition to the normal meeting times, the course will meet synchronously for an extra hour on Tuesday and Wednesday morning (9AM-11AM) for construction of the Rover and Weather Station kits.
Instructor: Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil & Prof. Bob Twiggs
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th

Sports Science

Do you love anatomy and physiology? Do you have a passion for sports or fitness? If you answered yes, then Sports Science might just be the class for you! By using applied anatomy and physiology to study what happens to our body under normal conditions, we will discover how your body responds to exercise, the causes of fatigue, and the science of recovery, all while having fun! We will also study proper bio-mechanics and investigate what could happen when our body doesn’t work the way it should. You can even apply what you learn to make yourself a better, smarter athlete! 
Instructor: Ms. Kristine Amatuli
Grade Level: Rising 9th & 10th

STEM's Greatest Hits!

Calling all STEM enthusiasts and explorers of science! Let your imagination and creativity inspire you as we take you on a journey exploring some of STEM’s greatest hits! If you’re curious about how stuff works, this is the course for you! Throughout this week-long adventure, you will do hands-on activities and experiments to explore the chemistry behind ocean acidification, create your own LED swag, extract DNA from a strawberry, and so much more! Get ready for a STEMtastic week!
Instructor: Dr. Kathryn Lanier or Dr. Liz Johnson (depending on week)
Grade Level: Rising 6th & 7th

Sustainable Innovations

Do you love creating innovative solutions to problems? Then this course is right up your alley! You will be introduced to the best practices in innovation with a focus on sustainability and apply that knowledge to five key areas including projects in healthcare, energy, agriculture, water, and shelter. Working in small teams, you will develop solutions for your community to address problems in those areas. Learn how to use evidence to make your solutions even better! Explore how to create sustainable models that allow your inventions to thrive long term. We will also talk about government regulations and international standards and how these influence solutions to our problems. Get ready for an innovative week!.
Instructor: Dr. Theodore Nicholson
Grade Level: Rising 8th, 9th & 10th