Summer Enrichment Program Course Descriptions 2020 Current Grades 9-11

Climate Change: The Scientific Basis and Choices for the Future  

There is much discussion and political debate about climate change.  This course will review the scientific principals behind human induced climate change, the current observations that indicate that climate change is already occurring and models that suggest that continued climate change will occur in the absence of remedial actions.  Given the potential for significant changes to the earth's climate in the next 50 - 100 years, we will review both societal and individual actions that can help minimize the impacts to human society.  The discussions will include key questions like how fast will we need to act and how much will it cost.  With the knowledge gained by students in this course, students will be better prepared to influence the future debates and societal actions to address this significant risk to humanity.


Describing the World and the Things We Love

This class will give you the tools you need to describe the world in writing. Through a series of indoor and outdoor activities, you will learn how to describe people, places, objects, animals — whatever catches your attention! This course will also involve critical reading and group discussions of published essays and stories, so an enthusiasm for reading is essential. The goal of this class is to strengthen your writing skills and make you feel excited about writing. Active participation in group activities will be central to our learning. By your final class, you will have written a short creative assignment about something you love, be it baking a cake, your pet dog, or riding your bike. 


Cartoons, Movies, and Classical Music

When we go to see a movie, not many of us really think about the music in the film, but if it wasn’t there, we would surely miss it!  Film music has become one of the most important new musical genres of modern times. The music in films not only informs the viewer about characters and situations, but it even gives the audience clues whether things are going to go well for the characters in the film, or not. Cartoons also are usually constantly underlined by a musical background using a style of writing music aptly called “mickey-mousing” -- named for probably the greatest cartoon character ever created; Mickey Mouse! Together, we will “go back in time” to investigate the musical roots that influence music in our modern day cartoons and film. Through a combination of listening, drawing, writing short scenarios, acting out skits, watching cartoons and film clips, and class discussions, students will gain an understanding of how music has had such a great influence on the Art of Film Music over the years.  


Math Around the World

Have you ever wondered about how different civilizations, past and present, have used math? Come explore the mysteries of mathematics as we travel through time and around the world. We will discover how people in places such as Ancient Greece, Egypt, China, and beyond developed their own number systems and understanding of math, and learn about some of the tools they used to advance mathematics. Get ready to be anthropologists, engineers, researchers, mathematicians, and more!


Greatness through Game Theory

Math is an important part of our everyday lives. For example, game theory, which involves mathematical models of conflict and cooperation, can be discussed in subjects like economics, political science, psychology, and biology. In this course, you will learn how to use game theory for everything from finding winning strategies for popular games to predicting future events. We will do a number of experiments to discover when it is better to cooperate and when it is better to compete with your colleagues in order to win. In this class, active participation and group work will drive our learning as you gain problem-solving skills, learn how to think strategically, and study how to mathematically depict strategies.