In the interest of safeguarding the health and well-being of IEA’s families, teachers and staff, IEA Academy is excited to announce our Spring 2021 course offerings will take place both online and with limited, in-person instructing. Online classes will be held in live online video sessions once a week for one hour per session over the course of 12 weeks. In-person classes will be held for 8 weeks at our Learning Center in Pasadena in 90-minute sessions. All courses will offer hands-on learning and high-level content that fit with IEA’s mission to serve the whole gifted child.
IEA is committed to providing the best possible Academy program for your family. In an effort to provide compelling and safe classes, online courses will be limited to 8 students, while in-person classes will be limited to 5 students. All in-person classes will take full health precautions.
Financial aid is available for families in need.
Online Session Dates: January 25 to April 26, 2021
In-Person Session Dates: February 22 to April 19, 2021
Early Bird Application Deadline: December 18, 2020
Application Deadline: January 4, 2021
Time to rise to the challenge! Students will work within the given criteria and constraints to meet a challenge each week. Classic engineering challenges will be mixed with structural art and a few longer term projects. Some weeks the challenge will be more functional in nature and others will have aesthetic requirements. In either case, students work through the design process (Explore -->Plan -->Create -->Test -->Refine) to solve the challenge. Materials range from recycled materials to standard craft materials and occasionally fine art supplies.
The abilities to observe, recognize, and describe characteristics; distinguish similarities and differences; and identify and complete sequences, classifications, and analogies are the building blocks of critical thinking. This class is designed to introduce younger students to formal and informal logic, making logic studies accessible and relevant to younger learners. Topics throughout the course will allow students to connect language to logic as they improve analytical and problem solving skills. Students will analyze arguments, analogies, and syllogisms; solve language and mathematical puzzles; and identify logical fallacies - extending students will begin to examine symbolic logic. The skills developed and practiced throughout the class will continue to serve students across all academic disciplines. Mastery in this class will be demonstrated through active participation in group problem solving, ongoing assessments of independent practice, and completion of a final project. Prerequisites – Previous exposure to fractions; understanding of parts of a whole.
Have you ever read a book and wished you could walk around in the world it created? From Percy Jackson to Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, a great fantasy or sci-fi series can have a profound impact on a reader and even change how we look at the world around us. In this class, we'll be looking at these series, figuring out what makes them so engaging, and using those tools in our own writing. We'll write our own parodies and spin-offs of our favorite stories, and work on developing our own fantastic worlds. In this supportive class environment we'll find out how to banish writer's-block, support our fellow authors, and bring people into our stories the same way the best fantasy authors do.
Technology is often driven by the need to defend territories or the desire to conquer new ones. Students will learn about offensive and defensive techniques in medieval warfare, and learn Tinkercad to design and 3D print defensible castles. Students will then take on the role of military advisors and invent “secret weapons” that would have been plausible at the time but were not invented until much later. For the final few sessions of the course, we will table-top play the Battle of Agincourt, a famous battle where the English prevailed over a far larger French force and won because of superior technology and tactics. We will however add a twist, adding in the student-developed secret weapons to the respective sides. Mastery will be demonstrated by being able to discuss strategy and technology appropriate to the period. Note: Tuition for this course is $470. Each session runs 75 minutes for a total of 15 hours and includes 3D-printed student products.
Geometry has very practical roots in making things. We will use a mix of 3D prints, paper and some common household items to build geometrical intuition and estimation skills. In particular, we will start with the basics (rectangular solids, circles) and go on to conic sections, astronomy applications and more. We will demonstrate with models created in OpenSCAD (openscad.org)
In this class students will conduct hands-on experiments to investigate questions that span across divisions of science. Explore the world of innovative science, art and engineering through exciting scientific projects. From how to design rovers, to building with straws, to dissecting an owl pellet to exploring our solar systems, this class will inspire the curious young mind to discover through questioning, gathering and evaluating evidence, and communicating to others their scientific findings. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the scientific method to lab and field experiments, and the construction of creative projects. Please report any allergies/medical conditions or sensitivity to food and plant material. Materials list will be provided.
Please note that we hope to run this class IN PERSON for 8 weeks starting in February should it become safe to do so per local authorities and health guidelines. Please only enroll in this class if you are open to attending IN PERSON at our Learning Center in Pasadena. This class will meet on Mondays from 4:00-5:30pm from Feb. 22-Apr 12 (8 weeks). Tuition for this course is $435.
Learn how and why the world of electronics, smartphones and computers work. This hands-on class will help students explore the basic principles of electronics and conduct experiments using manipulatives for the understanding of Voltage, Amperes, Watts, and Ohms. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the scientific method in the lab and building experiments, and the construction of creative projects.
MATERIALS NEEDED: This class requires the purchase of a REXQualis Super Starter Kit (approximately $30)
Please note that we hope to run this class IN PERSON for 8 weeks starting in February should it become safe to do so per local authorities and health guidelines. Please only enroll in this class if you are open to attending IN PERSON at our Learning Center in Pasadena. This class will meet on Mondays from 4:00-5:30pm from Feb. 22-Apr. 12 (8 weeks). Tuition for this course is $435.
More important than ever! Recycling and taking care of the environment is critical. But what can you do to be an action adventurer that helps keep global warming at bay? Students in this class will combine scientific research, problem-solving and hands-on learning to find innovative solutions for sustainability, from resource mapping to designing sustainable products, to learning about fracking and which countries are most energy efficient. Mastery will be demonstrated through creative projects that illustrate concepts covered. Become a defender of planet Earth and Go Green!
Welcome to Jurassic Life, the class 65 million years in the making! Get ready to separate the science fiction from the science fact as we take an in-depth look at one of the greatest film franchises in history, Jurassic Park. Students will have the opportunity to learn about dinosaur evolution and biology, all while examining real fossils and paleontological artifacts. We’ll discuss what the movies got right, what the movies got wrong, and even have a chance to create some of our own Mesozoic movie monsters! If you haven't seen any Jurassic Park flicks, start watching! Students will need to be familiar with the films to get the most out this class.
Ready, set, diagnose! This course is designed for students who want to investigate and gain an in-depth understanding on disease-causing pathogens, how they impact the human body and medical treatments used to stop them. Classes will include case studies, creative projects, and inquiry-based exploration into different diseases and disease-states. Mastery will be demonstrated by direct feedback, question and answer sessions, and case study diagnosis.
Planning a trip to space? You dream launch may be closer than you think! Space X is making it more and more possible that you'll get to travel via space capsule, so wouldn't you like to know what to expect before you go? What daily tasks will you need to perform? What effects will zero gravity have on your body? How is a spacesuit put together? Through research, hands-on projects and group discussion, students will map their mission while learning what it really takes to become an astronaut and how space travel is even possible! Mastery will be demonstrated through creative projects illustrating concepts covered.
From aluminum to zirconium, the periodic table organizes every element that exists - and those that have yet to be discovered! This class will dive into how elements are different at the atomic level and how those structural distinctions give them physical and chemical properties we can observe. Students will explore the different groups of elements, what gives them different qualities, why they react with one another, and how to interpret the symbols and structure of the periodic table. Mastery will be demonstrated through a project that explores and explains the observable physical and chemical properties of an element or compound.
Tired of someone else making the rules? Think you could organize a better way of living? Want to be a king or queen? Here’s your chance! In this class you will choose where your country will be and what it will be called. Big cities? Small towns? You decide. Students will go step by step to create their own countries. They will draw a map of it, make a flag, choose their laws, and write a constitution. Mastery will be demonstrated by students displaying their countries for a gallery walk and writing about their favorite part of each student’s country.
Mathematicians are Pattern Sniffers, Experimenters, Describers, Tinkerers, Inventors, Visualizers, Conjecturers, and Guessers (according to Cuoco, et. al in their iconic paper “Habits of Mind: An Organizing Principle for Mathematics Curricula). Math Circles allow students to establish these habits of mind in a comfortable environment while tackling ‘low ceiling, high threshold’ problems that are easy to understand but allow exploration at different levels. We revisit ideas again and again from different viewpoints. Math Circles are both a time to get together and discuss mathematics and also a time to circle around deep ideas in mathematics, seeing them from different viewpoints.
Orbitals, isomers, chirality, valence bonds, benzene rings… organic chemistry is a language all its own! Students will increase their O-Chem fluency by delving into the structure, properties, reactions, and mechanisms of organic (or carbon-containing) compounds. This class will expand upon any previous chemistry knowledge of functional groups and Lewis structures to molecular geometry, valence bond theory, and hybridization. By the end of the course, students should to be able to predict how various carbon-containing compounds will react or restructure themselves based on the chemicals and conditions present. Mastery will be demonstrated by students' ability to identify, differentiate and utilize organic compounds to generate chemical reactions through calculations and laboratory exercises.
Decomposers are small creatures in our environment that are like living garbage disposals. Do they eat plants? Yep. Insects? Yep. Large animals? Yep. They eat everything! Decomposers are pretty powerful but very misunderstood. As the season changes from winter to spring, we will explore the important role that decomposers play in balancing ecosystems and supporting new life.
Students in this class will be introduced to foundational philosophical concepts while learning essential critical thinking skills, such as how to question, reason and debate in the tradition of Socratic thought. Drawing from influential thinkers and poignantly illuminated by children's books and The Art Of Critical Thinking: How To Build The Sharpest Reasoning Possible For Yourself, this course will guide students to discover their own insights as they hone their verbal and listening skills in spirited dialogue. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the inductive thinking method and a creative project that addresses an ethical dilemma.
Do you like drawing? Playing with words? Then this is the class for you! In this class, we will explore drawing and writing using fun and exciting exercises from cartoonist, author and teacher Lynda Barry's book Making Comics. We will draw with our eyes closed, draw as many things as we can in one minute, even draw portraits of ourselves as astronauts and pieces of fruit. We will learn about making comic book panels and storyboarding, and create stories and comics based on our own interests and ideas. We will also read and look at different types of cartoons and comics together for inspiration. At the end of this class, students will have amassed enough work to put together a book of comics. This class will focus on encouraging each student's unique drawing and writing styles. Artists and writers of all skill levels are welcome.
Lewis Carroll is probably best known for his immortal Alice books, yet as a professor of mathematics at Oxford University, his diverse interests ranged from inventing games like ‘arithmetical croquet’, to symbolic logic and propositional calculus. In this class, students will explore Lewis Carroll’s mathematical recreations, games, puzzles, paradoxes, riddles, and word plays. Through examination of his fiction, verse, diary entries, and letters, students will work to discover, evaluate, and solve puzzles and problems; analyze paradoxes; and test rules. This is an interdisciplinary class in literary analysis, creative writing, logic, and mathematics. Students will consolidate their understanding by developing their own puzzles, problems, poems, and games. Prerequisites - Some previous practice with fractions (adding, subtracting; finding equivalent fractions); exposure to Order of Operations.
Inspired by Steve Sheinkin’s book of the same name, this course will engage the burgeoning history buff with its investigation into the causes and effects of the American Revolution. Students will examine the chain of events that led to the Patriots’ fight for freedom from British tyranny, rooting out fact from fiction through hands-on activities, class discussion, and guided analysis of media, including sample texts and video clips. Mastery will be demonstrated by individual and group projects, including the creation of a timeline charting the cultural and socio-political changes that resulting in the American revolution.
Please note that we hope to run this class IN PERSON for 8 weeks starting in February should it become safe to do so per local authorities and health guidelines. Please only enroll in this class if you are open to attending IN PERSON at our Learning Center in Pasadena. This class will meet on Wednesdays from 4:00-5:30pm from Feb. 24-Apr. 14 (8 weeks). Tuition for this course is $435.
In art you will find geometry, and in geometry, art! If you find it difficult to remember math facts or formulas, here is your chance to make a masterpiece while solving the problems that puzzle you. From calculating color, to designing your dream room or garden, make geometry come alive through fun, hands-on projects that tap into your mathematical intuition and self-expression. Mastery will be demonstrated through hands-on projects illustrating concepts covered.
Where does a world like Harry Potter's come from? It seems so complete, fans can believe they really are living there -- and yet it all springs from one person's imagination. In this class, we're going to not only play games with Harry Potter trivia, but also delve deeper into what makes JK Rowling's creation so engaging, and how we can harness those same tools. We will write our own stories, in the Wizarding World, or in worlds of our own creation: What if Harry had been a Slytherin? What if Voldemort had a crisis of conscience and tried to undo his wrongs? In the second half of the class, we will imagine that we were creating our own alternate universe Harry Potter miniseries. Students will get the experience of what it's like to be on the creative team that brings a grand project like this to life.
Human beings have been making clothing from various materials for thousands of years -- with an eye towards beauty, as well as functionality. What makes a good design? How has fashion impacted society, and how has society driven fashion over time? In this course, we will dive deep into the artistry and principles of fashion design. We will cover the basics of garment construction, the vocabulary of clothing design, the history and variety of textiles, and trend forecasting. Students will exercise design principles through sketching, storyboarding, and pattern-making. Mastery will be demonstrated through a final creative project that synthesizes concepts covered in class.
*A sewing machine is not required for this class, and no previous sewing experience is needed. "
Galleries contain items of rare beauty each with its own distinct appeal. In the Art and Science of Problem Solving, students will walk through a special type of gallery, one of problems and solutions that spans explorers, inventors, philosophers and scientists of every kind. Through dynamic study and discussion around experimental design, troubleshooting, and estimation, students will learn how these problems were tackled and more importantly, the mindset it took to solve them. Topics will include Johannes Kepler, Luther Burbank, Galileo, the scientific method, genetic engineering, the problem of happiness, how to fix any machine, and many more! Mastery will be demonstrated by students’ ability to workshop present-day problems using acquired skills and understanding of concepts covered.
What is a robot, and how does it work? Stretch your imagination by having fun with engineering and coding to explore the world of robotics! In this class, students will become confident learners as they undertake real-world solutions. Skills will be more complex thinking, group cooperation, and problem-solving. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the building and coding methods to construct independent and group projects. MATERIALS NEEDED: This course requires the purchase of a Sphero Mini robot. Price varies depending on seller. Links to purchase options and tech requirements will be provided upon enrollment in the course.
Please note that we hope to run this class IN PERSON for 8 weeks starting in February should it become safe to do so per local authorities and health guidelines. Please only enroll in this class if you are open to attending IN PERSON at our Learning Center in Pasadena. This class will meet on Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm from Feb. 25-Apr. 15 (8 weeks). Tuition for this course is $435.
Have you ever wanted to be in the room where it happened? Now is your chance! Travel back in time to the 18th century as the United States becomes more than a dream. But whose dream will become reality in this role-play adventure? Students will portray different players from the era of the American Revolution, each with unique motivations. Will they successfully claim independence, establish a new government, and pave the way for a fruitful future? Only time will tell. After reading crucial literature from this period, students will author their own thought pieces and speeches to influence the Second Continental Congress as it works to shape a nation. Mastery will be demonstrated through the incorporation of historical thinking and philosophies in gameplay decision-making.
You don’t need an expensive laboratory to challenge your chemistry skills - look no further than your kitchen cabinet! By combining everyday ingredients, you can create exciting colors, weird sounds, creepy textures and sometimes - explosions! In this class, students will learn essential scientific equations and elements, conduct safe and fun experiments, and watch different materials react in surprising ways as they explore the exciting world of science. Mastery will be demonstrated by a project using the processes of the Scientific Method: hypothesis, observations, experiment, analysis, results conclusions and discussion. Materials list will be provided.
CoderZ is an engineer's dream, an online platform where students will build and program virtual robots. Through engaging activities, students will explore the world of engineering and coding language (block coding based on MIT's Scratch), as they animate their programmable robots. We will research and test designs and develop our bots to overcome field challenges with obstacles and turns such as “Adventure Peak”. Each class will provide students with the tools to define a problem, create a solution and share their results. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the engineering and coding methods in field challenges, and the construction of creative solutions. MATERIALS NEEDED: Students must purchase a $40 CoderZ license in order to access and engage with the course material. More information will be provided upon course confirmation.
Are you an experienced D&D player looking to step up your game, ready to map uncharted territory alongside a cast of larger-than-life characters? If so, then Advanced Dungeons and Dragons awaits! Join the journey and discover what it means to be a true hero, to face one’s fears and to work as a team to achieve a common goal. Mastery will be demonstrated through advancements in game strategy and collaboration with peers. Note: This course will run 105 minutes per session from Jan. 29-March 12 (7 weeks) to allow for optimal gameplay.
There has been so much research into finding alternative energy sources that promotes sustainability. The understanding that radioactive materials could be used as alternatives to fossil fuels sparked an ongoing societal debate about the safety and efficiency of nuclear energy that continues today. In this class, students will investigate different perspectives, as they review the science, history, and public health implications of nuclear energy. Students learn about nuclear fission and the process of radioactive decay, as well as the history and societal implications of using nuclear energy as a power source, and also have the opportunity to explore nuclear fusion and its potential as an energy source.
Are you enthralled with exciting stories, fantastical creatures, and other cultures? You are not alone! Humans have been telling stories for 3,000 years. Prepare to journey around the world, through time, and in and out of reality as you explore the mythology, folklore and fairytales that have shaped cultures and imparted words of wisdom! Students will listen to, read, write and tell stories from near and far while practicing grammar, vocabulary, and presentation skills.
What chemical reactions can make pigments for painting? Why is it evolutionary advantageous for flowers to be beautiful? What kind of intricate patterns can we observe through a microscope? Scientists of all kinds are inspired by the beauty and order of the world around us, and artists have always used technology and scientific processes as part of their creative endeavors. In this interdisciplinary class, we will become both scientists and artists as we learn scientific concepts through hands-on art projects, and artistic concepts (like balance, harmony, and pattern) through observing the natural world. Materials list will be provided.
This class will give students an introduction to the rapidly changing and incredibly important field of medicine! Students will discuss careers in medicine, how medical science is changing, and how doctors support their patients' needs while mitigating risks. They will also focus on disease transmission and medical science's "tools of the trade" for diagnostics, then will be tasked with solving a medical mystery case study using techniques and problem-solving skills. Finally, students will learn about treatments, prognosis, and the future of the medical field.
Whether you’re a budding journalist or astrophysicist, learning the ropes of writing will help you communicate your big ideas with clarity and ease. This course will take the mystery out of learning to write well by breaking down the writing process into manageable steps. Using a program called the Hochman Method from The Writing Revolution, students will learn writing strategies that will equip them to face any blank page with confidence. Sessions will focus on specific techniques and targeted feedback that match each student's needs. At the same time, students will have opportunities to pursue content based on their particular interests, with the objective to develop enjoyment and motivation in the writing process, in addition to skill and technique. This course is a continuation of Expository Writing I, however, students may join without having taken the course.
Welcome to Page One, where writing springs from imagination! This course will draw inspiration straight from the stories, poems, lyrics and even comic books that students love most. Through short reading and writing exercises, students will learn how word choice, syntax, rhythm and rhyme bring setting, characters and plot to life. Interactive games and creative projects will build skills and confidence through exploration, experimentation and play. Mastery will be demonstrated by the creation of a short written work in the student’s genre of choice, which illustrates independent thinking and progress in reading, writing, and verbal expression.
Thar she blows! Few creatures inspire such feelings of awe and wonder as do whales. In Cetology we will take an in-depth look at the natural history of these remarkable animals, from their aquatic adaptions and ecology to their fascinating evolution from landlubber to leviathan. We will discuss the impacts whales have had on human culture as well as the impacts human culture has had on whales. Mastery will be demonstrated by students developing a final project on ecological conservation efforts to support the preservation of these amazing creatures.
MATLAB is an extremely powerful tool used in a wide variety of fields from electrical engineering to the financial world. In this course, students will learn how MATLAB is used in neuroscience, starting with an exploration of electroencephalography (EGG) and what it can tell us about the brain. Students will then learn all MATLAB programming techniques necessary to interpret EEG signals, which encompasses the mathematics of waves and frequencies, also important in many fields of physics and engineering. Mastery will be demonstrated through a final project in which students will carry out data analysis of case studies to demonstrate the effect of a variety of disorders on the functioning of the brain. MATERIALS NEEDED: Students must purchase a $60 MATLAB student license in order to access and engage with the course material. More information will be provided upon course confirmation.
Imagine that it is 2030 and the world has been remade! It has been said that youth are the leaders of tomorrow, but in this course, students will have an opportunity to lead today. Each week, students will engage with different prompts to explore current global and local systems that govern society and our impact on Earth. Through in-depth research, data analysis and engaging discourse, students will be given the opportunity to reimagine and build these systems in more equitable, efficient and sustainable ways. Welcome to Minecraft where Utopia is just a few clicks away!
Fire up your brain cells and get ready to explore a fascinating microscopic world! Though cells are tiny, they are complex machines with moving parts and unique jobs to do based on their structure. Students will become cell experts through hands-on activities, discussion, and using a microscope to see living cells in action. This class will investigate single-celled organisms such as amoebas and bacteria, animal and plant cells, cellular processes, and even how some of our own uniquely structured cells work together to keep our bodies healthy. Mastery will be demonstrated by the creation of a project on the cell cycle of a specific type of cell of the student’s choosing. An at-home microscope is not required.
To be notified when information about new Academy sessions becomes available, please sign up for our email list and indicate an interest in Academy.
While there are no materials fees, some classes will require families to purchase supplies. Supplies outside of household materials will be listed in the course description. A full supplies list will be provided in the syllabus upon your child’s confirmed enrollment.
Spring 2021 Discounts
Financial Aid Available!
In an effort to ensure all qualified families have access to programming, IEA has increased our overall financial aid packages for families in need.
Financial aid is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis to qualified applicants. Please click here to fill out a Financial Aid Request form to receive IEA’s Financial Aid materials.
Tuition may be paid by Visa, MasterCard, or check (made payable to Institute for Educational Advancement).
If you will be paying tuition in part or in full using charter school funds, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. IEA is an approved vendor with many charter schools, including:
No payment is due until your child’s placement is confirmed, at which time, a non-refundable $50 deposit is required per confirmed class. The tuition less paid deposits is due after the first class meeting. Should your child withdraw before the second class meeting, you are responsible for the deposit amount only. No refunds are given for withdrawals after the second class.