SIG Spring Online Learning Program: Academics


  • The SIG online program uses the Moodle learning platform and follows a STEAM + independent study format that is facilitated by the instructor via discussion forums and online activities. The purpose of the course is for students to engage in unique learning experiences in varied areas of interest and then to apply their new knowledge to personally meaningful products.
  • Successful completion of a course requires about 4-6 hours of work time per week and varies from student to student based on their ability, proficiency with the online platform, and their interest in the topics. Students need access to the online course at least 3 different times during the week to accomplish all tasks in a timely fashion. Scheduled real time virtual class sessions are not set by the instructor during the session, as we have students who attend the program from different U.S. time zones and multiple international countries. However, instructors have the flexibility to schedule optional real time meetings for students through virtual methods.
  • Students need access to Internet and basic word processing and presentation software (such as Word and PowerPoint) on a regular basis. Students should have a level of comfort with creating new documents, videos, and presentations, navigating the web to conduct research, and saving/uploading documents; parent support may be required for students not comfortable or experienced with these tasks.

Spring 2020 Online Courses - "Personal Power"

B level (Ages 5-6)

Biology of Me
Did you know that even when you are at rest, your body is working nonstop? Take this class and you’ll learn about your body’s organs and how they work together to perform your body’s work. Learn what cells look like under the microscope to get up close and personal with your body’s tiny parts. Learn how food and movement provide fuel for those cells and exercise for your muscles to keep your body machine going strong. Put all this information together and create a Power Plan for making the most of your biology.

Toy Biz Whiz
What do you think the next big toy will be? How would you like to be the one to create it? In 2016, the total revenue of the world toy market was 88.8 billion U.S. dollars! Toys play an important role in children’s physical, mental, social, and emotional development. In this fun class, you will research current successful toys, analyze their appeal, design your own toy for a specific audience, and then set up a business to sell and market it. Who better to design the next big toy than the people who play with them!

P level (ages 7-8)

Creativity and the Writer’s Craft
Do you love to read and write? Do you want to feel what it’s like to write in a style and manner like that of your favorite authors? Release your imagination and express yourself in language like great writers do! Create new worlds with fantastic settings and characters in our exploration of the tools and techniques used by the best authors. Read astounding works of literature, craft literary pieces with expert guidance, and write what you truly care about along with other like-minded young writers to help develop your craft.

How Do You Engineer An Idea?
The automobile, steam engine, airplane, and computer were not just great ideas that shaped the 20th century, they also showcased innovative engineering. Is there an aspect of your world that you can make a little easier with the right tools or resources? How can principles of engineering transform your idea into a real-life phenomenon? Introduce yourself to the many fields of engineering, such as mechanical, civil, chemical, biomedical, electrical engineering, and many more, to identify principles that will help your invention become a hot commodity in our world. Leverage our technology-driven age to your benefit and combine your creative mind, engineering skills sets, and an area of need to inventioneer the next sought-after product!

E level (ages 9-10)

Anticipating 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 real 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.

Building Block 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! Learn about the mechanics involved in the workings of everyday objects. Apply creativity, design thinking, 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.

J level (ages 11-12)

Unlocking the Genetic Code
Understanding the encryption on your genetic code will open your eyes to a whole new dimension of science: genetics. It was the unique genetic makeup of the infamous "swine flu," or H1N1, that enabled the virus with the ability to traverse animal species and thrive. Gain an understanding of DNA and the processes by which it codes living organisms. Study the structure of the double helix and investigate ways that scientists re-engineer it.  Consider the potential applications of this new field of research to your life and generation.

Youth and the Law
Are you looking forward to getting your driver's permit? Your first car? How about your first job? You'll be fascinated to learn the many ways the law influences these important events as well as almost everything you do. What does the law say about what we and others see and do on the Internet? How about what kinds of things we buy, eat, watch on television, where we live, and what happens at school? Debate and critique these laws, generate probing questions, and analyze what current and future opportunities exist for those interested in legal matters. Come internalize what the law means for you and others!

M level (ages 13-14)

Do you wonder what other forms of life exist in the universe within its myriad galaxies? Are you curious whether our Earth is wholly unique, or if there are other planets or beings like us? Help satisfy your curiosity through astrobiology - the scientific study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe, including extraterrestrial life and life on Earth. Explore ways of detecting life on other planets and increase your understanding of the fundamental nature of life on our own planet. The universe is your classroom!

Supreme Court Decisions: From Justice to Politics
What is it like to make legal decisions that affect millions of people? Consider the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court and its profound impact upon our nation and world. Learn about the current and most influential Supreme Court decisions, and the processes created to ensure legal fairness and compliance. What does it take to become a Supreme Court Justice? Who have been some of the great Supremes throughout history, and why do we consider them so? What role does politics play in their selection? What counterparts exist in legal systems in other countries? How would you change the Supreme Court if you could? Come, judge, and get your own wheels of justice turning!

S level (ages 15-17)

Brain Fitness: Increase Your Brain's Plasticity
Is your brain fit for life? Did you know that the best brain health workouts involve coordination, rhythm, and strategy? At the core of brain fitness is the concept of brain plasticity or brain reserve, which is the brain's ability to physically reorganize itself in response to the demands placed upon it. Study how physical activity, social wellness, and nutrition are key components to maintaining a strong, healthy brain throughout an individual's life span. Participate in brain training exercises that improve aspects of cognition, such as memory, attention, focus, and brain speed. Investigate and study how the knowledge of neuroscience and brain health can provide solutions and treatment methods to medical diseases that affect the brain.

Global Human Rights: The Power of ONE
What do injustice, inequality, and oppression have in common? The abuse of human rights! Engage with issues at a deep level and be a part of a social movement that has its roots that date back to colonialism. Be an activist and tackle issues such as child labor, woman's rights, racism, human trafficking, infanticide, and much more. Explore the three dimensions of human rights and investigate how governing bodies interpret policy and protect disadvantaged populations. Are we doing everything we can to ensure victims are given access to freedoms? Take a critical look at current organizations that support human rights and their efforts toward victories for humankind. Advocate for a cause that can impact multitudes and showcase the power you can harness for many across the world.


What is SIG-nificance?

SIG•nif•i•cance {sig-nif-i-kuhns} (n.) –
A feeling of knowing who you are and where your life is headed, similar to the feeling one gets when being part of Summer Institute for the Gifted.

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