Summer Enrichment Program Course Descriptions 2020 Current Grades 7-8

“Who is she???” Self-Portraiture from the Stone Age to the Digital Age

How long do you spend editing the perfect selfie for Instagram? Or, creating the perfect tik-tok?  Turns out, you are part of a long and honored tradition of the thoughtful creation of self-portraiture.  From the Stone Age to Rembrandt, from Van Gogh to Kim Kardashian, people have always been interested in creating representations of themselves.  In this class, we will critically engage with this long and storied history of self-representation by engaging in academic conversations with these artists and by creating our very own self-portraits. Through these conversations and the creation of art, we will reflect on our own portraiture practices in this digital age.


Our Remarkable Bones: Investigating the Human Skeletal System(RB-E, RB-L)

Have you ever asked: what are the organizational systems of the human body, how do humans move and survive, and/or what does the skeletal system do? For all of you who want to study bones, this is the class for you.  In this class, we will explore anatomy and physiology as we answer these questions to better understand the form and function of the human body.  We will also come to understand how the human skeleton allows for movement that we need to engage in sports, dance, expression and life.


BioChem Lab For Young Scholars(BC-E, BC-L)

The field of biochemistry involves the study of chemical reactions in living organisms.  To be a biochemist, one needs to be able to think as a scientist.  In this class, students will learn how to think scientifically, by identifying a biochemical problem and a hypothesis for a way to solve the problem. Students will enhance their scientific thinking skills by performing authentic laboratory investigations on biochemical processes.  Finally, students will have the ability to translate and report findings from their investigations in oral, written, and visual formats – all along the path toward explaining basic biochemical processes.


Stories for the Big Screen

Write your own screenplay! We will learn what makes a TV show or film great—narrative structure, characters, dialogue—and we will explore the differences between genres. In small groups, you will choose your genre—action, comedy, romance—and write your own short script. Whether you’re writing the pilot for a TV show, or the screenplay for a short film, your group’s goal is to tell a great story for the big screen! If you love films, television, and creative writing, or are just curious about the screenwriting process, come join us on this adventure. 


Courtesy of the Common Circle: Exploring the Intricacies of Geometric Thought from the Greeks to 2017  

What do the ancient Greeks, Alexander Graham Bell and MC Escher all have in common? They each explored the secrets of circles, and used them to produce an astonishing number of shapes and designs. We will start in the footsteps of the Ancient Greeks, then travel into the future to see the work modern inventors, designers, and artists. In addition to creating beautiful art, you will invent and build strong structures that serve a variety of purposes, such as sport, shelter, and flight. Sign up and you’ll get to go “round” the World! 


Let’s go to the Arcade:  Designing, Creating, and Making the SEP Arcade

Everyone loves going to the arcade, whether it is a traditional stop on the boardwalk during vacation or playing the games at a restaurant, bowling alley, or the local mall.  People are drawn to the lights, sounds, and excitement of “winning” a prize or reaching a high score.  Beyond the obvious fun, did you know that a visit to an arcade connects the player to the basic principles of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics?  In this project/problem based class, students will use the design process and other STEAM skills to create and make numerous arcade-like games using primarily recycled items.  Students will tackle issues such as simple machines, force and motion, geometry, physics and more.  We will even look at the probability of “winning” at each game.  Once the arcade games have been designed and made, students will open the doors to the SEP Arcade to other SEP classes and share their creations.  So, get your design-thinking hats ready, your creativity flowing, and your making hands prepared – let’s go to the arcade.  


Learning How to Lead: SEP TEDx!!  

I invite you to join me for two weeks during which we will think, write, and speak as tomorrow’s Leaders! Throughout our time together, we will be reading and analyzing some of our past leaders’ most captivating and memorable speeches that swayed millions of people to follow them into taking action. In doing so, we will practice their art of argument and persuasion, and thereby master performative skills required for the success of any motivational speech. In addition, we will experiment with different tools for the purposes of improving team work and public speaking abilities. We will hold debates and rhetorical contests, and by the very end of our class we will conduct our own SEP-TEDx, where every student will get to articulate and argue for a cause of their choice.  Join me in learning how to lead!

Cool Cryosphere! Exploring Earth’s Icy Environments 

The cryosphere, or anywhere on Earth’s surface you naturally find ice, is an awe-inspiring and head scratching phenomena. How old is ice in Antarctica? Is there life on glaciers? How do humans effect the cyrosphere? Was Virginia ever covered by an ice sheet? These questions and many more are what environmental scientists and glaciologists consider in their work every day! In this course, students will perform experiments and build their own crafts to explore the mysterious world of ice. Just as environmental scientists have to consider, students will explore how the Earth is a dynamic system with all things interconnected: especially at the North and South Poles. Topics covered may include past, present, and future ice dynamics, polar amplification, arctic and antarctic ecosystems, impacts of glaciers on people, permafrost, and geoengineering of ice sheets. These topics are subject to change, depending on where our curiosities take us!