SIG at : Courses

At the core of the SIG curriculum are the creative, fun and academically challenging courses that are unique to the program. SIG is committed to fostering the development of each student’s unique abilities, as well as providing opportunities to explore new interests. We encourage families to choose a course schedule, where choices are available, that includes areas of passion and strength, but also allows for the development of new talents. Courses encompass a wide range of humanities, math, science, arts, recreation, and multi-disciplinary areas.

Each student selects from the listing of courses to create a personal schedule. Students take four courses daily. Students should select a first choice and second choice course, for each class period (one, two, three and four). 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.

Please Note: Not all courses will run at all campuses. We ask that students choose alternative courses, where available, in case a selected class is at capacity or is not offered due to under-enrollment. We also encourage students to apply early to increase their chances of getting their first choice course. Our final schedule of courses is reflective of the preferences of students enrolled at that campus. Students may transfer to another campus as long as there is space on the alternate campus.

B01Period - 2Rooting out Letters and Numbers

Thousands of years ago there were no numbers to represent "two", "three", or any other numbers other than "one". Fingers, rocks, sticks, and other items were used to represent such numbers. There was little need for number systems until people formed groups and started trading, which created a demand for money. Word and letter systems similarly developed from picture-based wall paintings and drawings, eventually turning into symbols to stand for sounds and letters. Come explore the beginnings of our current math and writing systems; discover how this information can help you in future learning, and invent a new system of your own.

B02Period - 3The Curious Chemist

Chemistry studies the way materials are put together and the way they act under certain conditions. 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 experiments to test your predictions about the reactions of substances.

B03Period - 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 original machine designs of your own.

B04Period - 3NEW in 2017! Zoos by You

How are zoos designed? Our desire to protect animals and provide environments in which they will thrive provides a challenge for zoologists. This course will provide information about zoology, endangered species, the environment, animal laws, math, and design as students think about creating a special kind of zoo (e.g. certain animals, petting zoos, zoos in open areas, zoos in urban areas, teaching zoos, zoos that entertain). If you care about animals and want to create a great zoo, this class is for you.

B05Period - 2NEW in 2017! Unexplained Phenomena

Can you explain the unexplainable? Do you like puzzles? Then you are a fan of unexplained phenomena! Work with your curious classmates to answer puzzles that have baffled humans for years. What do Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster have in common? What about the ancient Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge? Come find out more about these mysteries and others and come to your own conclusions about them.

B06Period - 1NEW in 2017! Sunshine Science

What's so hot about the sun? How can a star that is 93 million miles away be the source of all Earth's energy, cause the seasons, affect the weather, and burn your skin? This renewable resource is truly amazing. Come find out more about the benefits and dangers of sunshine and conduct experiments to show how the sun's light can be used to help us in our everyday lives.

P07Period - 3Just Write

Do you love to read and write? To tell stories? To share with others what you think or what you are doing in letters, journals, newsletters, or emails? In this class you will get to experiment with different types of written expression to discover where your writing interests lie. In addition to factual writing, you might create imaginary worlds with fantastic settings and characters. You might write an amazing play or script involving your favorite characters! You might also want to learn more about haikus and other forms of poetic expression. The limitless possibilities of expressing yourself through writing are at your fingertips in this class!

P08Period - 2Eureka! 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 process- many 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 to work yourself by creating your own invention!

P09Period - 1Practical Math: Practically Everywhere

Do you sit in math classes and wonder how you will ever get to use the math you are learning? Much of math is computation and procedure, but in the real world there are numerous applications. Discover how math can be applied in our jobs and lives. In this course you will explore probabilities found in gaming, money operations found in finance, shapes and angles found in architecture, and more! You'll become friends with graphs, numerical comparisons, and equations as you problem solve real-life applications. You will be engaged in much more than just calculations so be sure to bring your calculator to save your time for the other exciting aspects of math.

P10Period - 3Building 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.

P11Period - 2The Geography of Cartography

For centuries we have sought to map our world. Much has changed since Giovanni Domenico Cassini began the first accurate, countrywide topographical map of France in the mid-1700s, which took more than 100 years to complete. Today our map-enhanced awareness of the world around us is breathtakingly precise and accessible in comparison. Come explore the techniques and technology that drive contemporary cartography, including global positioning systems (GPS), satellites, and drones, and investigate what the future holds for tomorrow's map-makers. What would you like to be the first to map?

P12Period - 1NEW in 2017!Be a Pet Vet

Do pets have personalities? Are they trying to tell us something when they bark, scratch or whinny? If you'd like to know more about the care and understanding of pets, this class is for you. You'll also have the chance to learn more about that special animal that you love the most, whether it's a fish or ferret, hamster or horse! If you have an interest in veterinary science, this class is for you.

P13Period - 3NEW in 2017!Web Game Design – Scratch the Itch

Have you ever wondered how those computer games you play are created? Learn the basics of computer programming for games through Scratch, a language designed to help students begin to explore and create a computer game of their own. The Scratch online community's slogan "Imagine, Program, Share" puts an emphasis on sharing and the social aspects of creativity as important parts of the philosophy behind Scratch. So come and put your imagination to work on creating a computer game of your own design and then share it with your friends and family!

P14Period - 1NEW in 2017!Things That Fly

Everyone knows that airplanes, hot air balloons, and birds can fly. The physical kind of flying is dependent on Bernoulli's scientific principles. But what if we look at flight in a different way to determine what it means? Have your thoughts suddenly flown out the window when the teacher calls on you to explain something? Has time ever flown by when you were on vacation? Or slowed on a rainy day? Have you ever said the first thing that just flew into your head? Join us for a study of the extraordinary flights of time, and thoughts, as well as other flying things.

P15Period - 2NEW in 2017! Biology or Grossology? You Be the Judge

Welcome to the world of grossology! Here we study all things we usually think of as gross that our human body produces but that are important to our body's healthy functioning. Come join us in investigating the impolite and fascinating science of the human body, its systems, and all of its wonderful yuckiness! You will love our engaging exploration of biological systems in a way that stimulates curious young minds in a unique, and highly engaging way. If you think a medical career is in your future, this class is definitely for you!

Visual & Performing Arts
AR37Period - 4Theater Play

Come discover your dramatic side while making friends, improving your presentation skills and engaging your creativity at the same time in this fun-filled theater course. You'll discover the many-faceted components of theater through storytelling, acting, mask-making, costume play, mime, improvisation, and theater games. Bring characters to life on stage and let the entertainer within you emerge! (Ages 5-8 only)

AR39Period - 4Comics, Cartoons, and Caricatures

In an increasingly visual culture, cartooning has grown into a highly respected art form. Do you have a favorite cartoon? What makes it fun for you? Let your imagination come out and play in this unique and energetic art class that explores drawing techniques specific to cartooning, caricatures, and comics! You will be inspired to express yourself through your own personal stories and creative characters.

Fitness & Recreation
AR41Period - 4Gaming for Strategy and Fun

What's your favorite game? Why? Here's a place where you can think about what makes a game fun. Playing games is a great way to have fun while learning. In this class you'll play all sorts of board, memory, word, and active games and then create your own games to teach new things or learn such things as teamwork. You'll sample games from the past such as those from the Ancient Egyptians or Native Americans; bring in games from home, and create new games for the future.

Academic Performance / Evaluations

The goals and expectations of the Summer Institute for the Gifted program are specifically designed and geared toward providing a richness of environment, accompanied by enhanced opportunities for learning. Parents receive a final Student Performance Review that assesses personal accomplishments and attainment of goals. This report is available online by mid-September and can be sent to the student's school with parental permission. A letter indicating successful student participation in, and completion of, the Summer Institute for the Gifted program also can be sent to the student's school if parents so indicate.

SIG Programs Provide...

Dynamic and innovative approaches for supplementing the education of our world's most gifted and talented students, ensuring that they receive the individual attention they require.

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