SIG at Sarah Lawrence: Courses

Each student selects from the listing of courses to create a personal schedule. Students take three courses daily. Students should select a first choice and second choice course, for each class period (one, two and three). We ask that students choose alternative courses in case a selected class is at capacity or doesn’t run at one of the sites due to underenrollment for that course. We also encourage students to apply early to increase their chances of getting their first course choice.

Math, Science & Technology
B01Period - 2Cracking Codes: Patterns and Probability

Do you know the difference between a code and a cipher? Have you ever thought about creating your own secret code or cipher to send messages to your friends? If so, this is the course for you! You will investigate simple and complex codes, and follow the code-making pattern to creating your own codes! Cracking codes and ciphers takes logical thinking, persistence, and a solid understanding of mathematical skills such as patterns and probability. Put your math skills to the test this summer- 6.4.17. 28.18.24. 20.11.8

B02Period - 3The Curious Chemist

The way materials are put together and the way they act under certain conditions is called the study of chemistry. Chemistry helps us explain the things that happen in nature. Chemists are scientists who use each of their five senses to explore and make sense of life. Experiment with water, acids, bases, and everyday household items to discover the chemical world in which we live. Design a series of experiments to test your predictions about the reactions of substances.

B03Period - 1New!AI: Animal Intelligence at Your ServiceCancelled

Most people have heard of guide dogs, but did you know that pot bellied pigs can be trained to help individuals with anxiety? That monkeys can be trained to assist quadriplegics and diabetics? That miniature horses can be guide-horses? That the Navy trains dolphins to detect bombs and patrol the water for enemies? In this class, you'll find the answers to all kinds of service animal questions, and you'll learn what qualifies as a service animal or therapy animal, what kinds of animals can be trained for service, and how animals are trained to work in the service or therapy industry. You also will study the relationships between animals and humans, and study animal intelligence and communication. Delve into the fascinating world of animals that give a helping paw.

B04Period - 2New!Magic Carpet ExpeditionsCancelled

Earth is a mosaic of cultural complexity. Discover how culture and experience influence a region's characteristics. Compare and contrast customs in other places to those of the United States. Imagine the possibilities associated with living with host families in different countries. Create projects, journals, art work, and performances representative of various cultures you research. Gain an understanding of multiple cultures to increase your understanding of your own.

B05Period - 3New!Dinosaurs: Fact, Fiction, and Fossils

Did you know that some dinosaurs had feathers and one dinosaur had claws over three feet long? No matter what we have learned about dinosaurs from fossils in rocks, we also know that they became extinct about 65 million years ago. There are a lot of theories about why extinction occurred. Species become extinct when they are unable to adapt to changes in the environment or compete effectively with other organisms. Here's a place where you can add to your knowledge about dinosaurs, while learning about theories of extinction, how humans influence extinction, and how we can help prevent the loss of other species.

B06Period - 1Simple Machines, Complex Designs

Did you know that shovels, wheelbarrows, hockey sticks, and wooden bats are all simple machines called levers? Simple machines make work easier by enabling us to decrease our mechanical effort to move objects. The six types of simple machines are often combined in complex machines. Come learn about the six types of simple machines and create some original machine designs of your own.

Math, Science & Technology
P07Period - 2Building Blocks of Engineering: The Way Things Work

Are you a budding engineer or just want to know how to fix things? Do you stay awake at night wondering how things work? Then this is the course for you! Increase your understanding of the world around you. Learn about the mechanics involved in the workings of everyday gadgets. Apply creativity and scientific principles to improve a current machine or invent a new one that solves a problem. Learn basic engineering principles and delve into the inner workings of vital machines.

P08Period - 3New!Rain Forests: Tropical TreasuresCancelled

Does it always rain in the rainforest? What do you think? Did you know that the leaves of one rainforest tree can be 70 feet long, that hummingbirds fly like helicopters, and that the okapi has a 14-inch black tongue? In this fascinating introduction to tropical rainforests, come uncover its layers of life, learning about the dense vegetation, intense heat and humidity, and meet amazing creatures in the treetops, in the air, and in the undergrowth below. You'll learn all about the animals, plants and people that live together in this complex ecosystem and discover why the protection of rainforests is so important.

P09Period - 1Rocks, Minerals, and Crystals: Earth's TreasuresCancelled

Whether you like to collect rocks or just appreciate the beauty of a colorful gemstone, this class has something for you. You'll learn to analyze and appreciate rocks and minerals by their characteristics, grow crystals, and research related topics that really interest you. Finally you'll determine what makes things like gems valuable to humans.

P10Period - 1New!Eureka! Inventive Minds at Work!

What would life be like if Ben Franklin hadn't harnessed electricity using his famous kite and key experiment? How would your daily life change if the wheel had never been invented? In this course, we will take a look at how inventions shaped history. We will also investigate the inventing processmany famous inventors were scientists, but some were hobbyists that had a great idea and became inventors. You'll have a chance to put the invention process into work yourself by creating your own invention!

P11Period - 2New!Recreational GeometryCancelled

Did you know that geometry is found all around us both in architecture and in the natural environment? This class will focus your attention on geometrical patterns that make up much of the world. You'll see how science, math, and art work together to make beautiful and strong structures. Observe, analyze, and draw the designs and patterns you see and then create an original geometric structure of your own, such as a treehouse, playground equipment or a water park.

P12Period - 3The Detective: Master of Mysteries

Do you like to solve mysteries? Then you might be interested in what detectives do to solve crime mysteries. Would you like to learn the techniques for interviewing witnesses and interrogating suspects? Have you ever pictured yourself giving evidence in a court room? If so, then join us for a study of the world of the police detective. Discover the roles detectives play when they go undercover or gain information from an informant. Find out how detectives collect and preserve evidence for court testimony. Create a mystery for your peers to solve!

E16Period - 3Speaking, Writing, Empowering!

Learn how to be a mass communicator through developing your writing and public speaking skills. Work on precision of language, imagery, figures of speech, and the revision process. Discover how you can use the power of your words to motivate, persuade, influence, inform, or entertain others. Investigate how to turn your skills, interests, and knowledge into speaking topics. Become a communicator who will have the potential to earn applause, admiration, and financial prosperity while motivating others.

Math, Science & Technology
E18Period - 1Anticipating Algebra

“When will I ever use algebra?” you ask. Here's one way. Introduce yourself to pre-algebra through this class that focuses on applications of algebra in the world. In addition to tackling concepts of linear equations, polynomial functions and factoring, you may also have time for fun with games, tessellations, and probability.

E19Period - 1New!Storm Chasers: Understanding the Science of WeatherCancelled

From hurricanes Katrina to Sandy, or the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami, the planet has been besieged by dramatic weather in the recent past. Study the meteorological phenomenon and gain an understanding of why severe weather happens, and if it can be predicted or avoided. Investigate storm chasersscientists who put their lives on the line to study storms so that we can improve our predictions of inclement weather. Delve into the questions surrounding global climate change: could this change be causing severe weather outbreaks or is global climate change a myth?

E20Period - 3New!Planetary Science: Putting the ‘U' in Universe

Planetary science seeks to construct explanations for the structures and motions of objects in the Solar System. In this class, you'll examine how our own planet fits into the solar system and how changes in the universe affect us. You'll distinguish the planets by their properties, sizes, and unique characteristics and you'll study the processes that continue to change them by touching on physics, chemistry, and geology. Want more to think about? How about where we came from and where we're going? What has happened to our planet over the past billions of years, and what will happen to it in the future? Design your own Mission to Mars, create a plan for a planetary expedition, or design a new way to research the outer planets! Come pursue your own individual questions about Earth and its relationship to the rest of the universe.

E23Period - 2Spying: Secrets, Surveillance, and Science

Did you know that the newest satellite technology can look into your living room from thousands of miles away in space? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a spy and monitor this technology? Did you know that some of the gadgets from James Bond really exist? Come discover how spies keep—or uncover— secrets. Get an inside look at the science behind the spy's tricks of the trade. Create an original spy gadget and persuade your peers of its usefulness.

E25Period - 2New!Science of the SuperhumanCancelled

What do Batman, Ironman and the Black Widow have in common? They are all humans who use science to their advantage! Not all superheroes are created through spider bites, genetic mutations, or have origins on other planets. In this course, you'll explore the science of the superhero - the physics, chemistry and even biology that make the superhero costumes and gadgets work. Come study the heroes and villains that make their mark using science and technology and maybe even create your own scientific hero!

J28Period - 1New!Advertising SmartsCancelled

Did you know that a typical North American child views 40,000 ads every year on TV alone? Did you also know that children 8-14 years of age are the most pursued consumer demographic? As advertising reflects and shapes popular culture in America today, you should be aware of the strategies that companies use to target their audiences and manipulate consumer appetites. Come learn how you can think critically about advertising, express your opinion about wrongful advertising in a productive way, and share your new knowledge with other pre-teens. Then use your new knowledge to create an ad campaign of your own.

J29Period - 2What's Your Point?Cancelled

Do you feel strongly about animals in research, school uniforms, bioengineered foods, global warming, or nuclear proliferation but feel unable to convince others to agree with you? This debate course will help you improve your skills of persuasion. You will have the opportunity to argue controversial issues of your choice using a debating format. The content will stress public speaking delivery, organizational skills, quick thinking, awareness of issues, and knowledge of current events. You will leave with a readiness for advanced forms of debate and increased argumentative confidence.

J30Period - 3New!The SIG People's CourtCancelled

“Hear ye, hear ye… the trial is about to begin.” Through the process of enacting trials, you will experience the justice system of the United States. You'll take on the roles of judge, jury, prosecutor, defender, or witness. Through active involvement in the courtroom drama, you will learn to organize facts, develop your speaking and questioning abilities, and understand the concepts of justice through jury deliberation.

Math, Science & Technology
J32Period - 3Algebraic Expressions

For those students who have not yet taken Algebra I, let us introduce you to linear and quadratic equations, polynomials, rational functions, and graphing. Class highlights include factoring algebraic expressions and using algebra in solving word problems.

J33Period - 1Online Design: Untangling the Web

Have you ever wondered why some websites are so successful and others are not? Do you know the differences behind the scenes of Blogs, Wikis, and photo hosting sites such as Flickr? Develop an understanding of the history of the Internet and the evolution of web design. Learn the ins and outs of designing and implementing a properly functioning website. Through this hands-on, project-based course you will be in charge of all aspects from website purpose, design, page layout, navigation and the intricate technology behind the page. Whether you are a novice or a veteran web designer, this course has something for you! A laptop is recommended. Materials fee: $25.

J34Period - 2New!Fun with Newtonian Physics

Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion laid the foundation of physics. Come explore classical mechanics as applied to everyday backyard rockets, roller coasters, and pinewood derby cars which all use principles of physics! Understanding scientific topics such as speed, momentum, and thrust will help you to shoot your rocket higher, design a faster and safer coaster, and bring home the medal at the derby! Come broaden your understanding of physics and experiment with new and exciting designs that test out principles of this exciting field of science.

Visual & Performing Arts
AR14Period - 4Get Theatrical!

In this drama class, you will enjoy an introduction to the fantasy world created in the theater. Examine various aspects of theater production, including taking on an acting role, analyzing a scene, designing a set, and performing for others. Focus will be given to thinking on your feet, creating a stage presence and projecting a character. Those who enjoy music and dance can incorporate these talents as well. Demonstrate how theatrical you can be in front of a SIG audience!

AR15Period - 4Art Alley

Do you love to draw, paint and sculpt? Then this art class is right up your alley! We'll help you express yourself in pencil, ink, and watercolor, as well as through three dimensional materials. You will learn how to create perspective, light, shading, and color, along with learning to shape sculptures. Find out about positive and negative space. Discover the artist within and create original, displayable work to share with others.

Fitness & Recreation
AR13Period - 4Sports Stop

If you love to be physically active through various team sports, you'll enjoy this sports smorgasbord. Dependent upon campus facilities available, engage in old favorites such as softball, touch football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Practice the skills of various well-known sports and field games. Then create a new sport or game that showcases your best skills and strategies and try it out with others. You will be grouped with students in your age range during activities.