By Alexis Hopper, IEA Program Coordinator
Academy courses encourage students to take the lead in their learning process. But what do young inquisitive minds find so compelling about the content? Read on for five hallmarks of what makes these, and other fall courses speak to the heart and mind of gifted students, then check out our Academy Teachers page for info on the wonderful instructors who bring home the magic!
Academy classes are outside-the-box and taught by experts.
Hacker Calculus (Ages 12-14) with Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron
Students in this class will take an intuitive approach to calculus with minimal algebra and lots of 3D prints! Students will start off with models the instructors have developed and go beyond by learning to modify them and develop their own.
Siri, What’s Natural Language Processing (Ages 12-14) with Melissa Roemelle
This course will introduce students to the endeavor of using computers to analyze human language. Students will apply techniques in math, logic, and computing to intuitive exercises such as judging whether a word in an essay is misspelled or determining whether a social media post conveys positive or negative emotion.
Academy courses feed students’ curiosity through interdisciplinary discovery.
Math for Future Engineers (Ages 6-9) with Maria Melkumyan.
How do engineers design strong bridges, efficient transportation, and sturdy skyscrapers? Math! This class will explore the foundations of math that relate to engineering and will apply those topics to building projects.
Ka-Pow! Graphic Novels and The Hero’s Journey (Ages 9-12) with Alessandra Santucci.
This course will teach the tools necessary to balance art and language to construct narratives that bring the Hero’s Journey to life, from epic tales of adventure and allies to adversity and triumph! Students will learn and apply elements of creation unique to graphic novels including storyboarding, page layout, panel transitions, text distribution, and more to develop their own characters and stories.
They are collaborative and solution-oriented.
Govern and Sustain Your Own Country: Systems and Sovereignties (Ages 9-12) with Anita Russell.
Students in this class investigate what makes a country prosper and thrive, they will challenge themselves to build a system that will sustain a country of their own design. Through group discussion and creative projects, students will determine what laws their country will need, how will they make sure people follow them, and what will make their country flourish amidst inevitable challenges.
Final Appeal: To Kill a Mockingbird and the First Amendment (Ages 9-12).
This class will follow the award- NAGC curriculum by Dr. Shelagh Gallagher, which incorporates case study and problem-based learning specifically designed for gifted learners. Students will investigate a court case in which a teacher has been fired for using the novel To Kill a Mockingbird in her class and take on the role of members of the court of appeals who must decide the case by diving into the nuances of the First Amendment.
They are student-centered.
Executive Functioning: Training the CEO of Our Brain (Ages 10-14) with Amy Gilbertson.
In this course, students will gain empowering tools on how to approach their academic and personal lives with a sense of purpose, passion, and fulfillment. We will cover topics such as learning styles, motivation styles, time management, stress, effective leadership, communication, and how to break down goals into positive, sustainable action steps.
Active Algebra 2 (Ages 9-12) with Ellen Brown.
In this course, students will supplement mathematical exercises with brain breaks that support concentration, memory, and relaxation. Algebra concepts such as solving inequalities, factoring and building fluency with math symbols will be practiced with puzzles and independent exercises, while breathing techniques and movement exercises will be introduced at optimal intervals to bring body-mind awareness into the equation. Algebra 1 is not a prerequisite for Active Algebra 2, though please see the full description on our Course Description page for recommended background knowledge.
Academy courses encourage building, tinkering, art, experiments, role-playing, debate and in-depth discussion!
STEAM Building (Ages 6-9) with Cynthia Molt.
In this course, students will hone their creative engineering skills by building, testing, and improving upon their original designs for marble runs, bridges, catapults, and more. We will use the engineering design process, integrated with both artistic elements and advanced physics topics to create products that meet specific guidelines.
Secrets of the Snake (Ages 9-12) with Grayson Kent.
Take a lesson from Plato: Courage is knowing what not to fear! In this class, students will learn all about snakes, from their evolution and biodiversity to their locomotion and senses, to their colors and patterns and rightful place in the labyrinth of human history, religion and folklore. Students will have the opportunity to interact with live pet serpents, then build on their experience and knowledge to construct an original serpentarium.
The Fall Academy application deadline is August 26. Click here to learn more and to submit your application today!