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IEA Academy is excited to offer a robust schedule of both in-person and online courses for the Fall 2022 session.
In-person classes are held at our Learning Center in Pasadena Monday through Saturday in 75 or 90 minute meetings. Classes are offered afterschool as well as throughout the day on Wednesdays and Fridays. In-person classes take full health precautions. Please see our COVID landing page for more information on policies and procedures.
Online classes are held throughout the week in live online video sessions for 60 or 75 minute lessons.
IEA is committed to providing the best possible Academy program for your family. All courses will offer hands-on learning and high-level content that fit with IEA’s mission to serve the whole gifted child. In an effort to provide compelling and safe classes, we are committed to maintaining small and intimate classes sizes for both online and in-person course.
Financial aid is available for families in need.
Check out the fall session classes below!
Financial aid is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis to qualified applicants.
Click a course block for details!
Over the course of this class, students will become modern-day Rube Goldbergs as they design and build a machine named after the American cartoonist and inventor. Students will first learn the history and mechanics behind popular Rube Goldberg machines and then set off to build their own contraption that relies on a chain reaction to do simple tasks. As part of an interdisciplinary class combining engineering, math, and science concepts, students will propel themselves through new information as they work to create a final project that optimizes potential and kinetic energies. Mastery will be demonstrated by designing and constructing an original Rube Goldberg machine that successfully illustrates an understanding of concepts covered in class. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $15 materials fee is required; students also may be asked to bring in some common items like paper towel tubes, cereal boxes, etc for constructions.
Put on your lab coat and apron! This combination course in chemistry and culinary arts will give new meaning to the expression, “food for thought.” Students will learn the fundamentals of atomic structure and the periodic table of elements, as well as scientific techniques related to experiments in liquid chromatography, osmosis, and more. Through making concoctions such as fruity popsicles and homemade whey, students will learn to savor the chemistry behind cooking. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the Scientific Method and cooking techniques, with beginner-level analysis of Chemistry concepts. Pre-requisites: Completion of Kitchen Chemistry 1 is recommended, but not required. Please report any allergies/medical conditions or sensitivity to food and plant material. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In Person, Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30pm Calling all engineers, inventors, and builders! Get ready to take on exciting challenges that will put your innovation to the test. This course will present students with a task that combines science, technology, engineering, art, and math, then they’ll work to creatively accomplish the feat while following the guidelines. These challenges support both independence and teamwork skills while strengthening engineering intuition and hands-on building techniques. Mastery will be demonstrated by completion of a final independent STEAM challenge that will show students’ abilities to create a prototype and improve upon it based on its success. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
What would you do if you and your scientific team were tasked with communicating with beings from another planet? Alternatively, what would you do if you and your alien community were suddenly visited by a group of curious, inquiring humans? This role-playing course will give students background in the engineering and science needed to work their way through various first-contact scenarios. Aliens and humans will have to decide whether to cooperate or clash—but only once they’ve learned how to communicate with each other! Students must be active independently and in teams to problem-solve how to anticipate the actions of intelligences very unlike their own. Students will learn the simple design program Tinkercad to mockup 3D designs of aliens, extraterrestrial habitats and more. Student-designed 3D models will be printed at IEA’s Learning Center. Mastery will be demonstrated when students exhibit problem-solving skills and empathy to save human and alien civilizations.
“Courage is knowing what not to fear.” -Plato Snakes are some of the most feared creatures on planet Earth, and yet they are also one of the most misunderstood. In this class, students will learn all there is to know about snakes, from their evolution and biodiversity to their locomotion and senses, to their 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 knowledge to construct an original serpentarium that exhibits their understanding and appreciate for what makes a snake a snake
This course is for the student who desires to express themselves effectively and confidently in any situation, socially or academically. Students will develop and improve their public speaking, argumentative, and critical-thinking skills through their presentation and participation in several in-class speeches and debates. We will explore and research a variety of formats, including educational and persuasive speeches, and Lincoln-Douglas, cross-examination, and academic debate. In addition, students will develop their ability to critique, analyze, and question speeches and debates delivered by others. Mastery will be demonstrated through the development and presentation of an independent speech and participation in a group debate. Students will be invited to choose their topic matter for speeches and debates appropriate for a classroom setting.
The animal kingdom is buzzing with amazing architects of structures and systems! City-like beehives, earthworm tunnels, termite mounds, weaver bird nests, and beaver dams are examples of spectacular structures designed and built by animals. This class will look not only at animals’ impressive structures, but also how some species help keep nature in balance through pollination, decomposition, and more! Students will learn from and about animal builders, demonstrating their mastery by building a product inspired by an animal architect. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In the 21st Century, it is more important than ever to understand that events around the world can affect us here in the United States. Students will learn to think critically about world events using their historical and geographical contexts. Though news headlines can be complicated, this class will help clarify them by examining a nation’s shared borders, need for resources, diverse cultures, and more. At the end of the class, students will be able to locate countries that influence global affairs, identify their capitals, and provide a summary of why they are in the news.
When George Lucas was a young man, he became fascinated with Joseph Campbell and his studies in myth and its role in cultures all over the world throughout history. Campbellʼs concept of all myths and the heroʼs journey inspired Lucas to write his own story; to create a hero and send him on a quest, following the stages of the heroʼs journey. This class will examine the original STAR WARS trilogy and how Luke Skywalker travels through the stages of the journey. We will also talk about other films that show the heroʼs journey, such as THE WIZARD OF OZ and MULAN, comparing and contrasting them to STAR WARS.
Learn about fractions through edible math in this integrated (reading, writing, math, cooking) unit. Students explore fractions and food to learn concepts like equivalent fractions, mixed numbers and improper fractions. Through authentic problem solving with popular, kid-friendly recipes, students learn to multiply and divide fractions and work with ratios. Students will scale recipes to a large amount and an individual portion to create a class ecookbook with “Monster Recipes” and “Dinner for One” recipes. Of course, we will cook the monster version of a recipe, too! MATERIALS REQUIRED: This class requires a $25 materials fee.
In this class, students will continue their exploration of writing by building and combining various strategies in different types of poetry including Haiku, cinquain, free verse, limerick, and many more! This class will encourage students to write freely and creatively and develop an appreciation for the infinite possibilities that arise when language is combined with play. Students will explore visual modes of art-making that complement their literary adventure. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of poetic terms, forms, and processes presented in an original illustrated book of poetry. Completion of Poetry Book 1 not required.
The goal of this class is to instruct students on the molecular biology and biochemistry of viruses and virus infection. Students will learn the fundamentals of virus structure, virus multiplication (lytic and lysogenic cycles), disease mechanisms, prevention and intervention of infection, and how viruses pose threats to human and animal health through emergence and evolution. We will discuss selected examples of viruses that impact our world and everyday life. The first week the course will focus on viruses pathogenic to animals and during the second week we will focus on learning a bug (virus) per day. At the course’s conclusion, students will understand principles and themes in modern-day virology, including virus pathogenesis, vaccination, anti-viral drugs, and gene therapy.
Humans have been communicating their ideas and beliefs using their voices for thousands of years. Even with our technology, a human speaking is the most powerful persuasive tool there is. Presenting ideas and opinions orally is a skill essential to most careers and educational situations. In this class, students will examine the records of words that have that have shaped cultures from political speeches to literature and drama and learn what historical effects they had. Then students will practice in order to grow more comfortable with oral presentation, beginning with very short fragments and gradually extending the length of the document they will read aloud.
This course will answer the all-too-common question, “when will I use algebra in real life?” Students will enrich their current math knowledge and look ahead to future algebra curriculum via hands-on methods with a focus on real-life application. This course will allow students to apply their strengthened understanding of linear relationships to analyze trends, predict results, and answer scientific questions. Mastery will be demonstrated through the use of algebra to answer a relevant question of how two choices compare with one another over time.
In this course, students will take an in-depth look at the animal kingdom’s masters of toxicity, from the tiny by deadly Blue-Ringed Octopus to the world’s longest snake, King Cobra. Topics covered will include how these magnificent creatures create and utilize their toxins, the effects of poison and venom on prey, and safety protocols as precautionary measures should you be on the receiving end of a bite or sting. Mastery will be demonstrated by a final creative project illustrating concepts covered.
Calling young mycologists! Come and explore the ancient origins of fungi and amazing ways that fungi could save our planet for future generations. Through experiments and field science, students will explore different ways that fungi can be both helpful and harmful, then come up with their own ideas for fungi-based inventions. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
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.
Junior astronomers prepare to blast off into a deep exploration of all things outer space! This hands-on course will have students act as experimenters, scholars, and theorizers as each lesson takes them deeper into the field of astronomy. From the Ancient Greeks to modern day, students will investigate how astronomers have come to understand the scientific principles that govern our universe. Topics will include The Big Bang, stars and constellations, black holes, the solar system, the structure and evolution of galaxies and more! Mastery will be demonstrated by creative projects that illustrate understanding of concepts covered. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
What chemical reactions can make pigments for painting? What kind of intricate patterns can we observe through a microscope? Why is it evolutionarily advantageous for flowers to be beautiful? 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 REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
From the Falcon, Swift and Crane to the Ostrich, Owl and Emu, birds make some of the most successful (and ornamented!) vertebrates on the planet. Through in-depth discussion and observation of real artifacts and fossils, students will take a swan dive into all things avian including the natural history, ecology, and impact birds have had on mythology, pop culture and human civilization. Don’t be fooled, Ornithology isn’t just for the birds–you might just discover if the chicken or egg came first! Mastery will be demonstrated by a final creative project 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.
This hands-on course will include engaging learning activities and application projects while seeking to expand students’ knowledge of geometry. Students will apply their math skills to geometry concepts such as perimeter, area, symmetry, types of shapes, surface area, angle types and relationships, parallel and perpendicular lines, and more! We will also apply these concepts to art, architecture, probability, and other areas of math to ensure student understanding of geometry’s important presence in the world around them. Mastery will be demonstrated by students’ ability to independently construct a three-dimensional, complex shape, then determine its surface area and other characteristics. Prerequisites: Students should be confident in addition, subtraction, and some multiplication.
Are you eager to get to know your way around a science lab, but unsure which field to focus your curiosity? Students in The Lab will have the opportunity to conduct a wide range of experiments in Chemistry, Biology, Physics and more. These experiments will include activities such as applying the Tyndall Effect to separate pure substances from heterogeneous mixtures, growing bacteria in student-made agar plates, and using a dissection microscope to observe the growth of tardigrades. In the process, students will also learn lab safety practices and proper use of scientific equipment. This course is designed for students who are interested in exploring a variety of Natural Sciences, as well as students who are eager to practice scientific inquiry within a lab setting. Mastery will be demonstrated by student’s application of the scientific method to draw viable predictions and conclusions based on data gathered through hands-on experiments. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $35 materials fee is required.
This class will provide students with knowledge of genetics through an overview of the history of the study of inheritance, a discussion of the origins of genetic variation and diversity, DNA replication mechanisms, and real-life applications. Students will also learn about the mutations in the human genome that cause genetic disorders. Finally, we will discuss the development of genetic techniques, such as sequencing and genetic engineering, and its role scientific research and modern medicine. Mastery will be demonstrated by accurate predictions and conclusions based on genetic data, fluency in genetic terminology and pathologies, and an understanding of both the positive implications and potential problems associated with genetic engineering techniques. Pre-requisites: Students must be comfortable with higher levels of probability math problems and general knowledge of DNA as the mechanism for inheritance.
In this class, students will learn the seeds of science; chemistry, physics, geology, environmental science, life science, and more through hands-on experiments and discovery! Starting with fundamental principles like the scientific method and discovery though questioning. Students will learn about the micro and macro of science across divisions. From sunlight and photosynthesis to the origin of our Earth and solar system, this class will build a foundation for learning by gathering and evaluating evidence, communicating scientific findings to others, and instilling a quest for knowledge. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the scientific method in lab and field experiments, and the construction of creative projects. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In this class, students will study the history and ongoing issues in the Environmental Justice movement and investigate case studies of communities struggling with environmental inequities. Students will develop critical-thinking skills by analyzing how pollution and environmental harm connect to injustice. Students will demonstrate mastery by “building” their own city and considering where they will establish different elements, from parks and libraries to waste facilities and industrial plants, then compare their city design with those in the real world.
Ready to put your imagination to the test? Innovation Lab is all about taking what already exists and reimagining the possibilities. Students will have the opportunity to develop their creativity and engineering skills as they collaborate to tackle real-world challenges that result in new and improved methods and creations. How could you make ecofriendly sneakers? How could you build a better lunchbox? Get ready to bring your ideas to the table for innovative and interdisciplinary solutions that play on your ingenuity! Mastery will be demonstrated through hands-on projects and collaborative activities that illustrate concepts covered. Completion of Think Tank 1 not required. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
The human body can do amazing things! How does it taste and digest food, observe the world, breathe air, and pump blood? In this class, students will interactively learn about the systems of the human body and gain a deep functional knowledge of how different organs work together. Through hands-on projects and lab activities, students will better understand how the various human body systems work both independently and together. In addition, students will investigate how things like poor food choices can damage these vital systems, as well as the strength of the body’s healing power when put to the test. Mastery will be determined by hands-on projects and lab activities. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
Up, up, and away we go! This course will explore how balloons can be used to power a vehicle, absorb chemicals, or propel a hovercraft. Students will experiement with physics, chemistry, aerodynamics, and more using ordinary balloons. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
Forensic scientists use biology, chemistry, logic, and even computer science to crack cases and solve mysteries. In this hands-on course, students will learn and apply techniques such as hair analysis, untampered evidence collection, and DNA fingerprinting. Through the power of observation, logical reasoning, scientific tests, and modern DNA technologies, students will learn how crimes are solved and test their own detective skills. Mastery will be demonstrated through successful solving of a simulated case involving all skill types developed over the course of the session. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $15 materials fee is required.
Comics and graphic novels have become some of the most accessible and engaging media for storytelling in the world. This course will provide students with the tools necessary to carefully 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 as action-packed as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. By the end of the course, students will have completed the beginning pages of their graphic novels, and will have a road map for going all the way through to a finished product. Students can successfully participate in the class using household art supplies, however, a list of recommended materials will be provided in the syllabus upon confirmed enrollment in the course.
What is it like to plan a mission to Mars? In this class, students will delve into the world of interplanetary exploration as they investigate the surface of Mars and plan their own missions to the Martian surface. Students will learn to access and analyze data from NASA spacecraft and gain an understanding of the variety of techniques and data available to study planetary surfaces. With an understanding of relevant scientific techniques and current questions about the Martian surface, students will not only outline their own mission, but select a landing site and scientific instruments within engineering constraints. Mastery will be demonstrated through a set of mission planning exercises that will lead to development of a mission plan that is scientifically viable and possible. MATERIALS REQUIRED: This course will require the purchase of building supplies up to $30. Details will be provided upon confirmed enrollment in the course.
Your team of investigators has been called to take a case at the City Museum where the current museum director has uncovered evidence of a rare and valuable item hidden in the museum, and it is up to you and your team to find it. Together, you will gather the information and clues necessary to solve puzzles and problems, reveal passwords, and decipher codes. Clues and hints could be anywhere. Solving one puzzle may provide the clue to unlock another! The mystery will be impossible to solve without the help of your investigative team, so collaborating, communicating, and sharing with your teammates will be an important part of successfully advancing through the case; however, you must also keep your discoveries safe from prying eyes! In order to ensure only your team will be able to access important information, you will need to create your own codes and puzzles for your teammates to solve before they can safely unlock the information you want to share. Can your team solve the mystery in time? This escape-room inspired course will encourage students to observe, gather and evaluate evidence, think critically (and laterally!), communicate findings, and problem solve in a collaborative setting. Mastery will be demonstrated through ongoing group problem solving and development of original puzzles. Prerequisites: Students must be comfortable working in groups and communicating with peers.
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 learning how microscopes magnify the tiniest of details, which allows us 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.
In a world where data is in everything that we do, storytellers are needed to help us understand what is important. Students in this course will take on the role of data storytellers as they identify trends and highlight important information through the art and science of data analysis. Using the visual analytics platform Tableau, students will develop interactive dashboards with charts, maps and other visuals to develop narratives around data. Students will learn about data cleaning, the impact of visual queues, and developing dynamic visuals. Prerequisites: Students should have knowledge of basic arithmetic, including averaging and percentages.
Anatomy and physiology are the foundation of all health professions. Students will learn to identify body systems while tracing the specific regulatory pathways and mechanisms to show the cooperative functions of the human body. The curriculum will introduce the anatomy (structure), physiology (function) and pathology (disease) of the pulmonary, and neurologic systems through case studies, clinical simulation, and modeling. Students will learn and practice monitoring and intervention, as well as how to conduct a physical exam. Mastery of this course will involve a demonstrated understanding of each system and its link to cooperative functions that control the human body to help identify the effects of drugs and trauma to each system.
Have you ever read a book and wished you could walk around in the world it created? From Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to Star Wars, a great fantasy or sci-fi series can change even how we look at the real 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. Through learning writers’ secrets, 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.
Some additional materials fees and supply purchases may apply and will be listed in the course description. A full supplies list will be provided in the syllabus upon your child’s confirmed enrollment.
Fall 2022 Discounts
FINANCIAL AID IS 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).
A non-refundable deposit of $75 per class is due upon confirmation of your child’s class placement. The remaining tuition less the paid deposit amount is due after the first class meeting. There are no refunds for withdrawals after the second class.
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:
–– Academy Parent
“WE DO UNIQUE, FUN EXPERIMENTS AND ACTIVITIES TO FURTHER OUR UNDERSTANDING OF DEMANDING CONCEPTS, SUCH AS CREATING A DIAGRAM OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM MADE OUT OF DIFFERENT FOOD ITEMS TO HELP DEMONSTRATE EACH PLANET’S QUALITIES.”
– – Academy Student
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–– Academy Student
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