ExplorSchool Classes

ExplorSchool 2017 Classes

Students will pick one class in the morning and a second class in the afternoon. Note: several of our morning classes are repeated in the afternoon. The afternoon class is not a continuation of the morning class.

Morning Classes
8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Afternoon Classes
12:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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Morning Classes

ArchKIDtecture
Have you ever wanted to design a building? Redecorate your bedroom? Build a skyscraper? Join us to learn all about the architectural elements that surround us! In ArchKIDtecture students will design floor plans, create blueprints, build 3D models, practice architectural drawing techniques, study the elements of design and create interior design “inspiration boards”.
Sheila McCormick: M. Ed. from University of Minnesota, currently teaches sixth grade math in Roseville.

Art and Science of Special Effects
Ka-boom! Special effects help to make your favorite movies and televisions shows more exciting, suspenseful, and engaging. Have you ever wondered how special sound and visual effects are created? Some of the most appealing special effects reach back to the early stages of theater and are still fun to create today! Explore how to construct your own effects and the artistic and scientific principles behind them. Learn why medieval special effect artists were called the “Master of Secrets.” You will work with your fellow artist and technicians to create unique recordings, performances and the effects to support them. Discover the Master of Secrets within you!
Brenda Barrett: Brenda currently teaches elementary students as a curriculum specialist in White Bear Lake. She also worked with CLIMB Theater to teach K-12 students creative activities to deal with real life issues. Brenda has taught gifted students at MITY classes since 2008. She enjoys finding new and curious connections between the worlds of art and science.

The Art of Historical Investigation (offered by the MN History Center)
Description coming

Kids on Broadway
If you have ever dreamed of performing in a broadway show, this is it! In this class you will work on the skills that will make you a “triple threat”: acting, singing, and dancing. You will also get to explore your imagination in the world of improvisation. Anything is possible! “Kids on Broadway!” will culminate with a performance of the pieces worked on during class.
Ann Whiting: Hamline U, UMN, journalism. Performing Arts instructor, Highland Catholic School; Artist in Residence, Steppingstone Theatre. Composer of music and educational theatre. Has performed at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Troupe America, Mystery Café and in commercials and industrial films.

Mock Trial: The Best Defense Doesn’t Have To Be Offensive
Have you ever thought it would be fun to be a lawyer or a judge or to be part of a trial? Learn how to do an opening statement, objections and closing arguments. Learn how to lead witnesses and influence your friends. Perfect your public speaking skills, your persuasive skills and your problem solving skills. Perform such famous roles as judge, bailiff, lawyer and witness. You will learn basics of research and trial preparation as well as improve your ability to think on your feet. Our two weeks will culminate in a trial performed in front of a jury of your peers.
Tom Rodefeld: BA, History, Augsburg College; MA, curriculum & instruction U of MN, secondary education license…currently teaches social studies at Irondale HS in Mounds View, where he coaches hockey, volleyball and track.

Creating Cool Chemistry
Have you ever looked carefully at the word chemistry and noticed the last three letters? TRY!!! To explore the mysteries of chemistry you will try many experiments in this hands-on class. Discover how the chemicals used on winter roads are used to make ice cream! Transform milk into glue! Implode a pop can without even touching it! Eat marshmallows frozen in liquid nitrogen! Extract iron filings from Total® cereal! Make hot and cold packs! Curious and intriguing results will be observed while improving your lab skills. Come discover chemistry concepts that will change the way you look at the world around you.
Tim Larson: BA Elementary Education (Minor in Chemistry), University of WI-Eau Claire, M.Ed. from St. Mary’s University, Currently teaching 6th grade science at Fridley Middle School, Enjoys playing sports and spending time outside.

Crimes and Clues
Have you ever thought about becoming a forensic scientist? Would you like to learn more about DNA, fingerprints, blood, mystery powders, and the analysis of tracks, hair fibers, and handwriting? This is your chance to learn the basics of what it takes to become a forensic scientist. You will learn how to gather physical evidence, clues, and observations of crime scenes. After exploring the basics of crime science investigation you will use your skills to collectively solve a crime. Can you crack the case?

LEGO Robotics
Build robots. Program robots. Rule the world. We’ll help you take care of the first two steps, but where you go from there is up to you. We’ll use LEGO Mindstorms robots to help you learn what makes a robot work, how to design a robot to do what you want it to do, and how to program the robot to accomplish specific tasks. No experience with robots or programming is necessary, because the LEGO robots and the software used to program them are easy enough for beginners, but sophisticated enough for advanced users to do almost anything you can imagine.

Minecraft
Week 1: Hacking Minecraft: Mods, Skins, & Textures: New Mods explored! This class is for intermediate and Advanced Minecrafters. Students will learn how to expand their world’s abilities using popular game-enhancing mods. Participate in building challenges. Bring a USB drive.
Week 2: Java Minecraft Modding: Super-Tool: Create a custom Super-tool. Learn and use elements fo Java coding to create a Minecraft Mod. Students will create a set of tools and weapons. As well as combine the functions of the tools into one super-tool. Bring a USB drive.
Please note that there is an additional $50 fee for this class to cover rental of the computers and software. (Offered by Computer Explorers)

Outdoor Adventures in Engineering
What size is your thinking? The air up there to weather down here, stories in the rocks to sand in your socks, diversity of trees to health of all bees, rivers nearby and earth's water supply all help us think about parts working together in systems tall to small tiny and grand. Questions, experiments, nature hikes, and engineering design challenges will fill this course with learning adventures.
Heidi Ferris: Graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in science education and a minor in Geology. She is also a recent graduate from Hamline University with a master’s degree in Natural Science & Environmental Education. Most recently she taught Earth Science at Roseville Area Middle School.

Phenomenal Physics
Do you enjoy creating, designing, building, engineering, and experimenting? Do you like challenge, risk-taking, tinkering, making mistakes, and figuring things out? In this hands-on project and problem-based learning adventures curriculum, you will put on the wild hats of a scientist and an engineer. We will craft rubber band cars, hovercrafts, balloon rocket mobiles, gliders, strawkets, mousetrap cars, catapults and more to explore and discover different forces, Newton’s laws, velocity, and acceleration! You will be charged with a Rube Goldberg’s machine mission while learning about simple machines. You will create a protection device that will keep an egg safe from the dangerous forces of a tall fall. We will explore mechanical energy forms and transformations through roller coaster construction and experimentation! We will apply heat energy transfer principles in a mission to save the penguins from global warming.
Illana Livstrom graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She most recently taught 7th-grade science in North Carolina, where she led the science club, built and maintained a STEM garden project, and coached soccer. She has taught and written curriculum for a number of fun academic weekend and summer courses. Illana loves to teach and engage in exciting explorations with students. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Education at the University of Minnesota. She enjoys nature adventures, experimenting with new science tricks, engineering challenges, and learning new things.

Studio Art: Clay
Come and explore the many ways to create with clay. We will study the history of clay through examining its uses, both artistic and functional. During the first week of class we will create beads and practice throwing on the pottery wheel. In the second week we will build coil pots and throw on the pottery wheel. Students will be able to use specialized glazes to paint designs on their finished projects. Experience working in clay is not needed; students will be able to begin projects as their skills dictate.
Daryn Lowman began working in clay in 1992 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. My passion for developing my voice in clay has brought me to teach and exhibit all over the country. I completed my MFA in ceramics and sculpture form the U of M Twin Cities in 1999. In the last 10 years I served as the director of art at Hibbing Community College, and currently instruct ceramics at Saint Paul Academy to middle and upper school students.

Science, Sports and Super Experiments (This class is Cancelled)
Design and create your own sports and game related scientific experiments. Make a soccer ball "bend", learn how to run the bases faster or increase your free throw shooting percentage. You will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of human body experiments that allow you to move, jump, throw, kick, and more as you experience speed, acceleration, momentum and Newton's Laws of motion. Discover the science behind balance, coordination and muscle fatigue. Students will use team work and collaborate as we actively and creatively explore science out on the field, at the court or in the laboratory. All skill levels are welcome.
Tony Sexton: BA, biology and psychology, St. Olaf College...MA, education, U of Saint Thomas...taught at Kodaikanal International School in India...coached boys' and girls' soccer...currently teaches science and coaches girls' and boys' tennis at Falcon Ridge MS, Apple Valley

AEROBIC Newspaper: Telling St. Paul Stories
Can you march, do squats or pushups while you write and type? Does your idea of summer fun include walking to research St. Paul’s historic neighborhoods such as Summit Avenue? Or sleuthing out the history of cookies in local bakeries? If so, we need you—and your active feet, hands, minds and imaginations—on our staff of The Aerobic Newspaper. We will engage mind and body in fitness learning while we tell stories in print, on the Web site we build and through an interactive iPad magazine we design with Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite. Walking 1-3 miles a day, we'll report, research, interview, photograph, and film. In our Newspaper office we’ll write, edit, design, layout and publish while we apply a continuous-movement theory of metabolism known as NEAT, short for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
Anne Brataas: BA, English, Colorado College; MS, Zoology, UMN; MS, Environmental Science, Miami U; all MA coursework in History of Science, Technology and Medicine, UMN is president of The Story Laboratory LLC. She is an award-winning journalist; has worked at the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, and created many scientific and children’s publications.

Afternoon Classes

ArchKIDtecture
Have you ever wanted to design a building? Redecorate your bedroom? Build a skyscraper? Join us to learn all about the architectural elements that surround us! In ArchKIDtecture students will design floor plans, create blueprints, build 3D models, practice architectural drawing techniques, study the elements of design and create interior design “inspiration boards”.
Sheila McCormick: M. Ed. from University of Minnesota, currently teaches sixth grade math in Roseville.

Art and Science of Special Effects
Ka-boom! Special effects help to make your favorite movies and televisions shows more exciting, suspenseful, and engaging. Have you ever wondered how special sound and visual effects are created? Some of the most appealing special effects reach back to the early stages of theater and are still fun to create today! Explore how to construct your own effects and the artistic and scientific principles behind them. Learn why medieval special effect artists were called the “Master of Secrets.” You will work with your fellow artist and technicians to create unique recordings, performances and the effects to support them. Discover the Master of Secrets within you!
Brenda Barrett: Brenda currently teaches elementary students as a curriculum specialist in White Bear Lake. She also worked with CLIMB Theater to teach K-12 students creative activities to deal with real life issues. Brenda has taught gifted students at MITY classes since 2008. She enjoys finding new and curious connections between the worlds of art and science.

The Art of Historical Investigation (offered by the MN History Center)
(course description coming soon)
Instructor: bio

Musical Theater
(course description coming soon)
Patty Hall: BA, Theatre, UMN…has taught and created theater courses in Minneapolis schools, directed Theatre for the Young in Duluth, MN…national award winner for performances at The Kennedy Center…currently works for children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis

Mock Trial: The Best Defense Doesn’t Have To Be Offensive
Have you ever thought it would be fun to be a lawyer or a judge or to be part of a trial? Learn how to do an opening statement, objections and closing arguments. Learn how to lead witnesses and influence your friends. Perfect your public speaking skills, your persuasive skills and your problem solving skills. Perform such famous roles as judge, bailiff, lawyer and witness. You will learn basics of research and trial preparation as well as improve your ability to think on your feet. Our two weeks will culminate in a trial performed in front of a jury of your peers.
Tom Rodefeld: BA, History, Augsburg College; MA, curriculum & instruction U of MN, secondary education license…currently teaches social studies at Irondale HS in Mounds View, where he coaches hockey, volleyball and track.

Creating Cool Chemistry
Have you ever looked carefully at the word chemistry and noticed the last three letters? TRY!!! To explore the mysteries of chemistry you will try many experiments in this hands-on class. Discover how the chemicals used on winter roads are used to make ice cream! Transform milk into glue! Implode a pop can without even touching it! Eat marshmallows frozen in liquid nitrogen! Extract iron filings from Total® cereal! Make hot and cold packs! Curious and intriguing results will be observed while improving your lab skills. Come discover chemistry concepts that will change the way you look at the world around you.
Tim Larson:: BA Elementary Education (Minor in Chemistry), University of WI-Eau Claire, M.Ed. from St. Mary’s University, Currently teaching 6th grade science at Fridley Middle School, Enjoys playing sports and spending time outside.

Crimes and Clues
Have you ever thought about becoming a forensic scientist? Would you like to learn more about DNA, fingerprints, blood, mystery powders, and the analysis of tracks, hair fibers, and handwriting? This is your chance to learn the basics of what it takes to become a forensic scientist. You will learn how to gather physical evidence, clues, and observations of crime scenes. After exploring the basics of crime science investigation you will use your skills to collectively solve a crime. Can you crack the case?

LEGO Robotics
Build robots. Program robots. Rule the world. We’ll help you take care of the first two steps, but where you go from there is up to you. We’ll use LEGO Mindstorms robots to help you learn what makes a robot work, how to design a robot to do what you want it to do, and how to program the robot to accomplish specific tasks. No experience with robots or programming is necessary, because the LEGO robots and the software used to program them are easy enough for beginners, but sophisticated enough for advanced users to do almost anything you can imagine.

Minecraft
Week 1: Hacking Minecraft: Mods, Skins, & Textures: New Mods explored! This class is for intermediate and Advanced Minecrafters. Students will learn how to expand their world’s abilities using popular game-enhancing mods. Participate in building challenges. Bring a USB drive.
Week 2: Java Minecraft Modding: Super-Tool: Create a custom Super-tool. Learn and use elements fo Java coding to create a Minecraft Mod. Students will create a set of tools and weapons. As well as combine the functions of the tools into one super-tool. Bring a USB drive.
Please note that there is an additional $50 fee for this class to cover rental of the computers and software. (Offered by Computer Explorers)
Instructor: bio

Outdoor Adventures in Engineering
What size is your thinking? The air up there to weather down here, stories in the rocks to sand in your socks, diversity of trees to health of all bees, rivers nearby and earth's water supply all help us think about parts working together in systems tall to small tiny and grand. Questions, experiments, nature hikes, and engineering design challenges will fill this course with learning adventures.
Heidi Ferris: Graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in science education and a minor in Geology. She is also a recent graduate from Hamline University with a master’s degree in Natural Science & Environmental Education. Most recently she taught Earth Science at Roseville Area Middle School.

Phenomenal Physics
Do you enjoy creating, designing, building, engineering, and experimenting? Do you like challenge, risk-taking, tinkering, making mistakes, and figuring things out? In this hands-on project and problem-based learning adventures curriculum, you will put on the wild hats of a scientist and an engineer. We will craft rubber band cars, hovercrafts, balloon rocket mobiles, gliders, strawkets, mousetrap cars, catapults and more to explore and discover different forces, Newton’s laws, velocity, and acceleration! You will be charged with a Rube Goldberg’s machine mission while learning about simple machines. You will create a protection device that will keep an egg safe from the dangerous forces of a tall fall. We will explore mechanical energy forms and transformations through roller coaster construction and experimentation! We will apply heat energy transfer principles in a mission to save the penguins from global warming.
Illana Livstrom graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She most recently taught 7th-grade science in North Carolina, where she led the science club, built and maintained a STEM garden project, and coached soccer. She has taught and written curriculum for a number of fun academic weekend and summer courses. Illana loves to teach and engage in exciting explorations with students. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Education at the University of Minnesota. She enjoys nature adventures, experimenting with new science tricks, engineering challenges, and learning new things.

Studio Art: Clay
Come and explore the many ways to create with clay. We will study the history of clay through examining its uses, both artistic and functional. During the first week of class we will create beads and practice throwing on the pottery wheel. In the second week we ill build coil pots and throw on the pottery wheel. Students will be able to use specialized glazes to paint designs on their finished projects. Experience working in clay is not needed, students will be able to begin projects as their skills dictate.
Daryn Lowman began working in clay in 1992 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. My passion for developing my voice in clay has brought me to teach and exhibit all over the country.I completed my MFA in ceramics and sculpture form the U of M Twin Cities in 1999. In the last 10 years I served as the director of art at Hibbing Community College, and currently instruct ceramics at Saint Paul Academy to middle and upper school students.

History of Horses & Humans
(course description coming soon)

 
 

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