Course Offerings

Online Classes Only

ABSTRACT STRATEGY GAMES

Presenter: Phil Schapker          Time: 9am - 10:20am

What do Blockus, Hive, Yinsh, Shogi, Chess and Go have in common? Not only are they fun strategy games, but they are abstract strategy games!   In this class, students will spend time learning, playing, and analyzing a variety of both rare and well-known abstract games. Along the way we will discuss, in a broader context, what the heck is abstraction anyway, and why is it so cool and important in science, math and art?!

 

MANUAL CHESS PROGRAMS I & II

Presenter: Phil Schapker          Time: 10:40am - 12pm

Students will explore the most fundamental aspects of algorithms and computer programs by building "manual chess programs"-- coded sets of instructions for playing chess to be carried out by human "computers."  Students will create "evolutionary algorithms" that swap code and change in response to competition. Over the two weeks, the students' programs will grow in complexity and sophistication, leading to a final game between the two most successful chess programs. A moderate familiarity with chess is required to do well in this class. Students who have already taken Manual Chess Programs 1 will continue to test and improve their program while incorporating more advanced chess strategies and tactics.  Each student will propose and complete a unique project to help make the class program more sophisticated. In the classroom, the class program is tested against unwitting live players on the internet, so that its official chess rating can be assessed.

 

ADVANCED CHESS

Presenter: Phil Schapker          Time: 1pm - 2:20pm

Learn strategies to dramatically improve your chess game! This class will introduce students to a broad spectrum of topics in advanced chess theory, from general opening, middle, and endgame strategies to more specific lessons in pawn structure and tactics for attacking the opponent’s king. Lectures will include examples and discussions of some of the most famous chess games. Students will have ample opportunities to play and practice their new skills and learn to record their games for later review.

 

WHAT IT MEANS TO BAN A BOOK

Presenter: Chelsea Grimm          Time: 9am - 10:20am

What is censorship? This course will focus on the process of banning books across the United States and the world, along with looking at why certain literature is censored in different places.

 

ENGINEERING THE WORLD AROUND YOU

Presenter: Demetre Makratzakis          Time: 9am - 10:20am

Do you find yourself curious about how the structures are built and why buildings don’t fall down? Have you ever wondered why certain materials are stronger than another? Have you ever taken apart or broken an object to just see how it works? Engineering The World Around You will allow students to explore the science and engineering of the materials used to build our surrounding world and understand the fundamental principles of why structures stand and why they fall. Students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they learn and test structures they will build in class. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to learn about associated career paths, project stakeholders, and the roles and responsibilities of people in engineering related professions.  

 

CALLIGRAPHY

Presenter: Kathie Bergsma-Glenn          Time: 1pm - 2:20pm

Learn the art of creative lettering.  We will learn to write in different fonts and use different writing techniques.  We will also study some of the history of lettering.  Enjoy a fun and creative course and discover your inner lettering artist. 

 

CURRENT EVENTS TOLD THROUGH ART

 

Presenter: Abby Lawson          Time: 10:40am - 12pm

Understand what current events mean to different people through their interpretations through art. Give examples of art and discuss what the piece could mean based on current events. Identify which current event it is, how the artist feels about it, and discuss why it might be important to them. Also identify any trends shown through multiple art pieces and what it might indicate in society today. Have students create their own art with a current event of their choice. Current events could include:

  • Election/Inauguration
  • COVID
  • BLM
  • Climate Crisis
  • Amy Coney Barrett