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Southern Oregon University

Course Descriptions 2013

Session I Classes - June 23-29
for 5th and 6th graders

( 5th and 6th graders may choose between Session A, below, and Session B)

NOTE: We schedule classes based on the date we receive payment and registration forms. We make every effort to ensure that students get their starred choice and one of their top three choices each period. You will receive your class schedule at ACADEMY check-in.

Communication/Language Arts

Writer's Workshop

If you love to write, this is the class for you! Using a variety of journalistic and creative writing techniques you’ll learn about writing personal essays, reviews, and profiles, and how to make the ordinary seem extraordinary! By the end of the week, you’ll have learned some fun new writing techniques to use as you compile a class magazine of student work. Instructor: Rebecca Owen is a former ACADEMY student who has an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Minnesota State University. She teaches writing, plays the cello and spends time with her two horses.  

Visual Arts

An Artful Exchange: Artist Trading Cards

Inspired by Zurich artist M. Vanci Stirnemann, Artist Trading Cards are original miniature works of art that are traded like baseball cards. Use a variety of mediums and embellishments to create several of these one-of-a-kind pieces of art, and start your ATC collection by trading cards with your fellow classmates. Instructor: Sherri Beeler has taught English for 21 years, along with Paper/Altered Arts. Her published work appears in The Stamper’s Sampler and Create with Me magazines. 

Creative Clay Sculpture

Experience the art of Japan while you learn how to sculpt beautiful oranina (Japanese clay flutes), dishes, garden sculptures and other traditional Japanese pieces. Take home many of your creations that have been fired and glazed. Instructor: Wataru Sugiyama is an international sculptor and native of Japan. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States, England, Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

Glass Fusion and Design

Your imagination will explode in color when you use pictures of plant life as inspiration for your own glass fusion projects! In this class you will design jewelry, magnets, coasters, picture frames and light switch tiles. You will be amazed at how glass can change texture from the heat of a kiln! Instructor: Tia Gardner has a MAT from Lewis and Clark College and a BA from Portland State in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking. She teaches art at Sacred Heart Catholic School. 

ACADEMY students in class

Drawing the Fantastic

Experience the fun of drawing fantastic creatures. You’ll create the landscapes, towers, crevices and magical worlds where mystical creatures such as fairies, elves, ogres, dragons, sea monsters, centaurs, unicorns and dragons live. Learn drawing techniques that will help you design the fantasy creations of your imagination. Instructor: Craig Honeycutt has a Master’s in Art Education and is a local artist and art educator with more than twenty years teaching experience.

Performing Arts

Fun with Fencing

En guard…ready…fence! Safe inside a mask and jacket, you will be introduced to the exciting sport of fencing. Learn the skills of “touching” (scoring on) your partner while avoiding being scored on and learn the respect, ethics and camaraderie involved in this sport. Instructor: Dylan Shelton has fenced both foil and epee with the Southern Oregon Fencing Center for four years and has taught SOU-sponsored fencing classes.

Hip Hop Is Everywhere!

Hip Hop is everywhere – in your kitchen, your friend’s face and even in your trash can! Rhythm and style can animate everyday actions and bring out laughter, wit and the inner dancer in you. You’ll explore hip hop music, write your own raps and build a hip hop dance performance to amaze your family and friends! Instructor: Gina LoPreste is the founding Artistic Director of San Diego’s Eveoke Dance Theatre. She has spent over 25 years sowing the seeds of dance and theatre with diverse student populations.

The Wild Side of Will

If you love to get physical and play creative games you will have tons of silly and serious fun in The Wild Side of Will! Using short phrases of Shakespeare-speak you’ll jump, dive, roll, spin, slide, sword fight, die painful deaths, and journey on great adventures while exploring the magic of Shakespeare. You’ll learn the basics of projecting and using theatre voices, articulating language, and engaging scene partners with physical action. Instructor: Gina LoPreste is the founding Artistic Director of San Diego’s Eveoke Dance Theatre. She has spent over 25 years sowing the seeds of dance and theatre with diverse student populations.

Social Studies

21st Century Cobbler

People say that the secret to life is comfortable shoes. You might think that Nike and Adidas have the comfortable shoe market cornered, but now is your opportunity to beat the kings at their own game. You will design, produce and engage in a flashy marketing campaign to sell your brand new, state-of-the-art athletic shoe. You'll begin to understand the competitive world of advertisement, supply and demand, and the goal that drives all shoe companies—profit. Instructor: Justin Silva is studying Political Science at SOU. He has worked extensively with youth including children with special needs and at-risk teenagers. 

Japanse Art and Culture

Study Japanese art and culture through musical instruments, Shuji (writing Japanese characters with a brush and ink), Origami (paper folding art work), clay work and the Japanese language. Broaden your cultural horizons while having fun! You will learn about Japanese cultural traditions such as making a replica of Japan’s ancient clay bell. Instructor: Wataru Sugiyama is an international sculptor and native of Japan. He has exhibited his work throughout the United States, England, Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

Invention Convention

Inventions have changed the world. Now it's your turn to let your imagination become visible! Come up with a terrific invention, draw it up, describe it and "submit" it to the patent office. You'll make an ancient invention called the catapult to get the creative juices flowing and then your invention is the limit! Instructor: Lisa Ameijide has been a professional artist since 1974. She is a licensed teacher, TV producer and storyteller. Her goal is to encourage self-exploration through art.

History's Mysteries

Is the mask of Agamemnon a forgery or a hoax? What clues did Professor Calder find that unraveled this mystery? Using new clues and puzzles each day, you will develop skills in research and observation to explore this and other fascinating mysteries from history. You’ll find and examine real artifacts and reconstruct the circumstances in which they may have been stolen, broken or lost. The past will be present in this fabulous class for serious detectives! Instructor: Moneeka Settles has been teaching for twenty years. She has taught literature, writing and history in traditional classrooms and has received Fulbright grants to study culture in China, France and England.

Mandala Magic: Explore the Circle

The powerful symbol of the circle has served as a foundation for many cultures. Explore how Mandalas (circle designs) have been used in the past and discover how they are still used today. You will apply your ideas about the magic of the circle as you use acrylics to design and paint an original mandala all your own. Instructor: Polly Beach has a degree in Fine Arts from Antioch College. She has taught in California and has been an artist in residence in Rogue Valley schools for over 20 years.

Science/Mathematics/Engineering

Bee-lieve Me!

This fantastic class will buzz with action as you get hands-on, up close experience while studying the fascinating life and ecology of the honeybee. You’ll experience life at the SOU apiary, wear protective bee suits and use beekeeping equipment to explore the inner workings of a bee hive. You’ll record your observations in your own Bee Log, monitor the health of the queen, taste real honey, and plant native wildflowers in the garden as a food source for the honeybees. At the end of the class, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and curiosity to be lifelong friends with the honeybee! Instructor: Ryan King is a graduate from Oberlin College in Biology and Environmental Science. He is pursuing a MS Environmental Education degree with a secondary teaching licensure. He is working on a graduate thesis project to install beehives on the SOU campus as a place and community-based model for university research and K-12 education.

Mousetrap Engineering

You will be challenged to use your creativity and construction skills to design and build a vehicle that will attempt to travel thirty meters powered only by the energy of a mousetrap! Advanced designs and speedier cars will be possible for those willing to exceed the challenge. Instructor: Hector Santiago is a teacher at South Medford High School where he has taught for 6 years in biology, physical science and English He is a lead teacher for the Discovery School.

Seriously Scientific

Did you know that oxygen is released from plants? Find out how to measure how much! Dive into an up close look at ecosystems as you learn to mount slides under a microscope and use real scientific tools and methods to conduct experiments in this hands-on science inquiry class. You’ll collect and analyze specimens under a microscope from the plant, animal and soil biomes, identify as many organisms as you can to determine the biodiversity of SOU campus and challenge your intelligence with some brain exercises as you learn about neuro-science. Instructor: Chris Rennaker holds a MS in Environmental Education from SOU and a BS in Biology from Ball State University. Most recently he was the high school science teacher at Prospect High School. He has also developed curriculum for the Deer Creek Center environmental education program. 

Stuff Beyond the Stars: Galaxies, Nebulae and Clusters, Oh My!

There is so much more to the universe than planets and stars! Let's put on our time travel helmets and head out to distant nebulae (what are those?), clusters and galaxies. You'll explore objects made out of thousands of stars (hint: they're not galaxies!), learn where and how baby stars are born, and discover what makes faraway gas clouds glow. Join "Ms. Galaxy" for this exciting adventure into outer space! Instructor: Jessica Vineyard, aka "Ms. Galaxy", has been a lifelong amateur astronomer. She founded Southern Oregon Skywatchers astronomy club in 1993. She teaches special classes to people aged 5 to 95 and enjoys sharing her passion of the night sky with everyone.

Who Dunnit?

Use your intuitive and hard science skills as you conduct forensic tests on the evidence found at a mock crime scene. You will learn crime scene analysis and study physical evidence for clues. You’ll work with fingerprints, hair, fibers and hand/foot impressions. Crack the case as you investigate and examine liquid samples, test for acids/bases, fiber types, and interpret hand/foot prints from known sources, to piece together what really happened at the scene of the crime. Instructor: Hector Santiago is a teacher at South Medford High School where he has taught for 6 years in biology, physical science and English He is a lead teacher for the Discovery School.

Computers/Video/Photography

Extreme Tech

Come learn the latest and greatest in technology with state-of-the-art computer equipment. Learn how to design your own web pages, create 3D models, and manipulate digital content such as photos and videos. Combine these skills to deliver your own unique web site using integrated Google tools. Extreme Tech will whet that techno-artistic appetite by using cutting-edge Web 2.0 technology. Instructor: Anthony White holds a MAT from Southern Oregon University with endorsements in Spanish and ESOL. He has a passion for all things tech and teaches the new Digital Media class at Ashland High School.

Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling will allow you to create a story that will transform your writing into a visual masterpiece filled with voice and emotion. Learn how to create digital stories that mix images, text, audio, video clips and music to create a narrative geared for the 21st century. If you have a tale to tell, Digital Storytelling will bring your voice to a whole new level. Instructor: Anthony White holds a MAT from Southern Oregon University with endorsements in Spanish and ESOL. He has a passion for all things tech and teaches the new Digital Media class at Ashland High School.