IEA Academy is excited to announce that we will continue to offer both in-person and online courses for the Fall 2021 session.
In-person classes are held for 90 minute meetings at our Learning Center in Pasadena on Monday through Saturday. Classes are offered afterschool and 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.
Online & In-Person Session Dates: September 20 to December 17, 2021. No classes November 22 to 27.
Early Bird Application Deadline: Monday, August 9, 2021
Application Deadline: Monday, August 30, 2021*
* NEW! Classes with space are open for enrollment until September 7
In Person, Mondays from 4:00-5:30pm Did you know that the link between math and architecture goes back to ancient times, when the two disciplines were virtually indistinguishable? Pyramids and temples were some of the earliest examples of mathematical principles at work. Today, math continues to feature prominently in building design, from the Kunsthaus Graz in Austria, to Seattle’s Central Library, to LA’s Disney Concert Hall. Through hands-on projects, students will advance their application of geometry concepts such as dimensions and conversions, area and volume, shapes and angles, 2- and 3- dimensional pictures, rays, lines, segments, and more! Mastery will be demonstrated by students’ ability to independently construct and create structures, building on their intuition that Math + Design = Awesome. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In Person, Mondays from 4:00-5:30pm From Actinomyces (beneficial bacteria in our digestive tract that helps us break down food) to Varicella Zoster (the tiny virus that causes chicken pox) the microscopic world is wildly diverse in structure, function, and impact on our lives. If you’ve ever wondered about the culprits behind common diseases or the heroes behind some of life’s core processes, this class will help lead you to answers through hands-on activities, case studies, and engaging discussion. By the end of the class, students will be able to understand the cause, mode of transmission, signs and symptoms, and cures for illnesses, as well as how some microbes are beneficial to humans and the environment. Mastery will be demonstrated by classroom participation and activities in which students act as doctors and microbiologists in intriguing case studies.
In Person, Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30pm Students in this class will be presented with advanced robot challenges through research, testing and building designs using multi-port Hub motors and actuators. Skills will be higher ordered thinking, group cooperation, and problem solving. Mastery will be demonstrated by the application of the engineering and coding methods in field challenges, and the construction of creative projects. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $75 materials fee is required for the purchase of a Makeblok mBot Coding Robot Kit.
In Person, Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30pm 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.
In Person, Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30pm Are you a fan of fantasy, monsters, and magic? Have you ever dreamed of going on an adventure in which you starred the hero who achieved the impossible? Would you like to discover your inner strengths while journeying alongside a cast of larger-than-life characters? If so, then Dungeons and Dragons awaits! But do not expect D&D to be a mere game, for it is so much more! 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 by advancements in game strategy and collaboration with peers.
In Person, Wednesdays from 10:00-11:30am 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 stories from near and far while interpreting them in different formats, visual, audio, poetry, etc.
In Person, Wednesdays from 10:00-11:30am When it comes to finding the values of unknown quantities, Algebra + Yoga can do wonders. In this class, mathematical skills such as solving inequalities, factoring, and building fluency with algebraic symbols will be practiced at intervals with breathing and movement techniques that support balance, concentration, memory, and relaxation. Each class, students will be introduced to self-paced exercises that will build confidence, strength and flexibility as they tackle increasingly challenging math equations. Prerequisites: Comfort with arithmetic through multiplication and division, as well as fractions. MATERIALS REQUIRED: Students must bring a yoga mat. A $10 materials fee is required for the purchase of MathWise Algebra workbook.
In Person, Wednesdays from 12:00-1:30pm We the People explores how intelligent people with very different beliefs worked together to design a government that was more just than any in existence at that time. In this class we will learn about what each branch of government can and cannot do, and why we chose to design it this way. We built in the ability to change our Constitution, and we began to add to it before it was the law of the land. We will look at these changes and discover the reasons why they are important.
In Person, Wednesdays from 12:00-1:30pm Have you ever wondered how math is used in everyday life? How what you see and do connects to logic, creative inquiry and problem-solving? Get ready to put your math cap on! In this class, students will be challenged to explore mathematical ideas at their own pace through building projects, games, worksheets, and assessments. Students will build on their foundation and understanding of perimeter, area, and volume of Euclid’s element while being able to develop, discuss and use accurate, generalizable procedures to define and analyze dimensions. Mastery will be demonstrated by students using their conceptions and content knowledge to create story board math problems. Prerequisites: Students should be confident with addition, subtraction, and multiplication and begin understanding division. Students should be able to record their thinking.
In Person, Wednesdays from 2:00-3:30pm 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 REQUIRED: A $50 materials fee is required for the purchase of a Sphero Mini robot.
In Person, Wednesdays from 2:00-3:30pm Dinosaurs ruled the planet for over 150 million. They flourished just about everywhere . . . except California. For much of the Mesozoic, our beloved Golden State was at the bottom of the sea. It was not until the Cenozoic, the Age of Mammals, that California became inhabited by fantastic prehistoric beasts. Here in Fauna of the La Brea Tar Pits, prepare yourself for a paleontological journey where you will learn about the incredible megafauna that used to roam ancient Los Angeles just a few tens of millennia ago and gets up close and personal to fossils from Ice Age icons such as the mammoth, sabertooth cat, and more!
In Person, Wednesdays from 4:00-5:30pm How do the 118 elements of the periodic table combine and react to create the world around us? This class will cover the properties of matter, atomic structure, acids and bases, electrochemistry, types of reactions, and chemical bonds. Through hands-on experimentation, engaging discussion, and examination of groundbreaking chemists throughout history, students will become comfortable predicting reactions and carrying out the scientific method to explain their outcomes. Mastery will be demonstrated by explaining the work of a past or present chemist of your choice to your classmates. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In Person, Wednesdays from 4:00-5:30pm Have you ever wondered about the invisible friends and foes that make up the microscopic world around us? This course is designed for young students who want to investigate and gain in-depth knowledge of the biology of bacteria, viruses, and more. Students will explore both beneficial microbes and disease-causing pathogens while learning how they grow, multiply, and impact our lives both positively and negatively. Classes will include hands-on experiments, creative projects, and inquiry-based exploration into the microscopic world and its large-scale effects. Mastery will be demonstrated by direct feedback, question and answer sessions, and creative projects. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In Person, Thursdays from 2:00-3:30pm 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.
In Person, Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm Welcome to the world of Zaha Hadid, David Adjae, I.M.Pei and more! Students in this class will take a deep dive into the realm of architecture as they examine the materials and buildings that make up our cities and investigate current design problems. Through digital tools and physical models, students will survey three main building types: the domestic home, the office, and the community centre. Each session will offer insight into the concepts and language of architecture practice. By the end of this course, students will have gained a keen awareness of our built environment along with some fun design skills! No prior design or arts experience is required."
In Person, Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm Whether you are new to the board or a budding chess master, this course will challenge you to learn the rules and structure of the game while adding complexity to your next move. Students will have the opportunity to foster their creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and sportsmanship in a fun, friendly, and competitive environment while learning the foundations of the game such as piece value and how they move across the board. Students will proceed to practice tactics and strategies, as well as Opening and Ending Principles of the game. Mastery will be demonstrated by students engaging in gameplay under tournament-style conditions.
In Person, Thursdays from 4:00-5:30pm 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 REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In Person, Fridays from 11:00am-12:30pm 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.
In Person, Fridays from 11:00am-12:30pm 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 REQUIRED: A $40 materials fee is required for the purchase of a CoderZ license.
In Person, Fridays from 1:00-2:30pm Welcome to Wildlife of Disney! In this class, we will separate the fact from the fiction as we take an in-depth look at the animals in some of our favorite Disney films. We will discuss not only actual animal biology and natural history while examining real animal artifacts, but the impact of artistic license, pop cultural ideals, and storytelling symbolism behind the depictions of beloved animated classics such as The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and more!
In Person, Fridays from 1:00-2:30pm 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.
In Person, Fridays from 3:00-4:30pm In this class, students will learn the fundamentals of science; chemistry, physics, geology, environmental science, life science, and more through hands-on experiments! Starting with fundamental principals 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 to lab and field experiments, and the construction of creative projects. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In Person, Fridays from 3:00-4:30pm 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.
In Person, Saturdays from 10:00am-11:30am 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. 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. Students will become cell experts through hands-on activities, discussion, and using a microscope to see living cells in action. 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. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $25 materials fee is required.
In Person, Saturdays from 12:00-1:30pm Have you ever dreamed of creating your own superhero or building your own comic book empire? Are you fascinated by the complexity of Marvel’s heroes and villains? If so, this is the class for you! Dive into the history and background of Marvel as you learn about the origins of your favorite superheroes such as Spider Man, Captain America, the Avengers, and more! By the end of this course, students will understand the history and development of a comic book artists’ craft, and have the opportunity to create their own universe of characters.
Online, Mondays from 3:00-4:00pm PT 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.
Online, Tuesdays from 1:00-2:00pm PT Students in this class will learn all about molecular biology and biochemistry of viruses and virus infection. Topics will include 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, starting with viruses pathogenic to animals and then moving on to learning a ""bug 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.
Online, Tuesdays from 2:00-3:15pm PT! Where there is matter, there is geometry-Johannes Kepler Students in this class will use a mix of 3D prints, craft materials and common household items to build geometrical intuition and estimation skills. Beginning from the basics (rectangular solids, circles, triangles) students will then advance to conic sections and applications in astronomy and architecture. Students will learn how to visualize and create math models in OpenSCAD, an open-source, free, computer-aided design program. Some coding experience will be helpful but is not required. Students will create actual 3D models to be printed at IEA’s Learning Center to be picked up or delivered from the IEA Learning Center. Course curriculum will be drawn from material in the instructors’ book, Make: Geometry (available late summer from Amazon and other retailers). Mastery will be demonstrated by the student’s ability to make and explain virtual and physical geometry models.
Online, Tuesdays from 4:00-5:15pm PT 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. Prints will be mailed or available for pickup so students can have their creation in physical form! Mastery will be demonstrated when students exhibit problem-solving skills and empathy to save human and alien civilizations.
Online, Wednesdays from 10:00-11:00am PT 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.
Online, Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30pm PT Comics and graphic novels, or sequential art, 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. MATERIALS REQUIRED: Students can successfully participate in the class using household art supplies, however, a list of recommended materials will be provided upon course confirmation.
Online, Wednesdays from 2:00-3:00pm PT Your team of investigators has been hired to solve a mystery at the strange and remote Shady Hollow Mansion. Together you will gather information and clues to solve puzzles, 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 group problem solving and creation of original puzzles. Course requirements: Students must be comfortable with communicating and collaborating as part of team.
Online, Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30pm PT 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.
Online, Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00pm PT 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: A $25 materials fee is required.
Online, Thursdays from 4:00-5:00pm PT As we enjoy the wonders of the internet, what are some of the consequences that arise from it? What are the cognitive and behavioral effects of social media and smartphones? Inspired by New York Times bestseller, Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” provides topics that will leave students pondering about the effects of the internet on our intellectual and cultural experiences. Students will have the opportunity to critique, analyze, and engage in discussions on the various topics presented in class. In addition, we will revisit different perspectives and engage in healthy debates on different viewpoints.
Online, Fridays from 11:00am-12:00pm PT Pop it up, fling it far, light it up, and make it climb. Use circuits, stored energy, friction, and mechanical motion and make your creations MOVE! Each session will introduce students to a simple mechanism that will allow their creations to come to life. Throughout the course, students will be given challenges with specific criteria and constraints. We will work through the design process (Explore -->Plan -->Create -->Test -->Refine) to solve these challenges. MATERIALS REQUIRED: A $35 materials fee is required for purchase of a supplies kit. A list of additional household materials such as recyclables and basic craft supplies will be provided upon enrollment in the course.
Online, Fridays from 1:00-2:00pm Have you ever ridden a roller coaster? Have you ever wanted to create your own? Explore the science behind the thrill of rides like El Toro, Shivering Timbers and Millennium Force by making your OWN tracks! Each session, students will develop their understanding of the physics of energy and motion while learning the importance of the engineering design process. Mastery will be demonstrated by the creation of a marble rollercoaster that incorporates concepts covered. MATERIALS REQUIRED: This course requires the purchase of a roller coaster kit ($35). Details will be provided upon enrollment in the course and will include a list of additional household craft materials.
Online, Saturdays from 10:30-11:30am PT 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.
To be notified when information about new Academy sessions becomes available, please sign up for our email list and indicate an interest in Academy.
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 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).
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 remaining tuition 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 email@example.com. IEA is an approved vendor with many charter schools, including: