Summer Gifted Program

Civil War History

This year, Dr. Katharine Antolini is offering a course on the American Civil War for middle school and high school students. The course will take a nontraditional approach to the history of the Civil War, focusing more on the experiences of the men and women who lived through the war rather than a strict historical assessment of major military engagements and battlefield strategies. The course begins with an overview of the significant political and social events that led to the war and then delves into specific topics such as the experiences of children who served in the war, the conditions of the common soldier fighting in the field, medical techniques and standards, and the role of espionage during the war. Thanks to Wesleyan faculty member and Civil War re-enactor, Bob Grose, students will also have the opportunity to talk with Confederate General Robert E. Lee and view actual Civil War artifacts.

Computer Programming (5th and 6th grades)

Students are introduced to the basics of computer programming starting with the BASIC language. During the first week of the course, students learn how to set up simple programs, input data, and output using print statements. Students also learn some simple graphics and sound commands. During the second week, the students write their own programs using the tools learned from the first week.

Physics (5th and 6th grades)

This course typically covers astronomy and geology topics in alternating years. Astronomy topics include the Sun, the planets, stars, and galaxies. Geology topics include minerals and rocks, plate tectonics, volcanism, and earthquakes. Students spend time in the classroom, doing experiments in labs, and outside making observations. Students use basic algebra to solve math problems.

Physics (8th grade)

This course typically covers mechanics, including Newton's Laws of motion, projectile motion, force, kinetic and potential energy, and conservation of energy and momentum. This course involves both lecture and lab work. Students use algebra to solve problems.

Physics (9th and 10th grades)

This course typically covers topics from electricity, magnetism, atomic, and nuclear physics, including light, radiation, and quantum mechanics. This course involves both lecture and lab work. Students use advanced algebra to solve problems.

Environmental Science

Course Emphasis: Environmental Science involves a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the interaction of humans and the planet. Our emphasis will be on developing foundational knowledge of chemistry, ecology, economics, and social issues which can then be applied in the application and integration of scientific principles in environmental case studies.

Learning Outcomes. At the completion of this course, you will be able to 1) identify and understand the basic concepts, theories, and laws of science; 2) be able to critically and creatively evaluate case studies and laboratory experiments using a scientific approach; 3) demonstrate quantitative skills via integration of mathematical equations and graphs; 4) be able to inform and educate others the role of the environment in our sustainable future; and 5) value the importance of environmental science as a multidisciplinary approach concerned with developing and maintaining sustainable solutions to environmental issues.

Mathematics for Fifth and Sixth Graders

An introduction to the principles of algebra and geometry. Solving algebraic equations, plotting graphs, similar and congruent triangles. Solving least-time and least-distance problems, Pythagoras’ Theorem. Applications to real world problems.

Mathematics for Seventh and Eighth Graders

The basic principles of algebra, solving first- and second-order algebraic equations, plotting graphs of polynomials, learning the conic sections, an introduction to the trigonometric functions, applications to real world problems.

Mathematics for Ninth and Tenth Graders

Advanced algebra and trigonometry, solving polynomial equations, plotting graphs of higher algebraic and trigonometric functions, learning to work with matrices and determinants, the concept of the limit, applications to real world problems.

Advanced Mathematicse

An introduction to the methods of calculus, the limit, the derivative, the integral, L’Hospital’s Rule, solving motion problems, max/min problems, finding areas and volumes, applications to real world problems.