Hamster Haven – Kristen Jesperson

If you had to design a community specifically for hamsters, what would it entail? In this summer program, students used design-thinking concepts to create a city that would be fitted to fulfill a hamster’s needs. To start off the class, students observed two live hamsters and conducted their own research to determine what a hamster needs in order to survive and thrive. After doing so, students discussed their findings with their classmates and then came up with a determination of how a hamster’s environment should look. Students, then, worked in groups of four to create a habitat that was fitted for our furry friends, Jack and Sal. Our last day together was spent testing out our inventions and saying goodbye to our hamster buddies. View photos of the class here.

Kitchen Chemistry – Bekka Schultz

In Kitchen Chemistry, Summer Scholars discovered that the kitchen is a science lab waiting to be explored. Using simple ingredients found in around the home, students made fireworks, volcanoes, and homemade bouncy balls. Students also created lava lamps after observing the densities of different liquids and had an ooey-gooey time playing with “Oobleck,” a unique, non-Newtonian fluid. In many experiments, students created carbon dioxide and used it to blow up balloons, carbonate lemonade, and made gummy worms wiggle and squirm. Students especially enjoyed experiments that involved tasting our experiment materials. They determined why Pop Rocks candy pops in your  mouth and used chromatography to discover that black jellybeans are made with blue, pink, and yellow dyes. Making and tasting ice cream was a favorite! View photos of the class here.

Minecraft II – Virtual Engineering – Matt Hovern

In Minecraft II – Engineering, students were introduced to the concept of electrical circuits. Minecraft has an item called redstone that acts as wiring. Using redstone, students constructed analogs of simple electrical circuits. Throughout the week, students integrated circuits into construction projects. Students made items such as automatic doors, traps, and even roller coasters! View photos from the class here.

Clubhouse Architecture I – Steve Wells

Our plan was to design and build a “City In The Woods”. To accomplish this we divided 14  students into 4 groups. On Day 1 the teams chose their team name and we visited the job site. Each group chose their site and then begin to develop their plan. On subsequent days the scholars cleared their area of brush and cleared a main highway so that there would be access to each individual site. The scholars also designed their project and identified the supplies needed to construct their project. Each day brought success as well as challenges that were overcome by the scholars by working well as a team with a common goal. There was teamwork with other teams as they bartered for materials. One group traded logs for sticks or rocks that could be used for their project. On Day 5 we finished our projects and parents and family members were invited to visit the site. Juice and Lemonade was served to all inside our “Mall”. The Scholars were instructed on how to use basic tools, how to use rope to bind sticks and logs to build walls and roofs. Most of all they excelled in Teamwork and how to reach a common goal. “WOOD CITY” consists of a Mall , a Mini Mart, a Supply Store and a Town Hall. In Clubhouse Architecture II we will continue on to further develop our City. View photos from the class here.

Minecraft IV – Virtual Engineering – Matt Wartenberg

Read All About It! – Emily Salazar

Students learned the structure of and practiced writing newspaper articles. Students learned some photography basics (rule of threes, depth of field, framing). Students learned Photoshop basics (how to cut out an image, change backgrounds, edit an image). Students learned how to use Illustrator and Canva.com to create art and infographics for their articles. Students learned layout basics for a magazine spread (e.g. – the golden ratio). Students learned some editing and proofreading tools. The final publication can be found here.


View additional high-resolution photos of Junior Scholars here.