Once you have chosen your campus, it is time to select your courses and customize your SIG experience. SIG is committed to fostering the recognition of each student’s unique abilities as well as providing opportunities to explore new interests. We encourage students to choose a course schedule that includes areas of passion and strength, but also allows for the exploration of new interests. Students take four classes in the four-period day. All campus courses are ninety minutes long and run for 15 sessions during the three-week program.
Tips on Choosing Courses and Making Your Schedule:
The most important thing to consider when choosing courses is to create a schedule that helps the student develop individual passions and also to pursue topics of interest. We suggest that parents with any academic questions or concerns contact the SIG office. Here are guidelines we have found helpful to students:
- Choose two courses within an area of strength, such as science or humanities.
- Try a course in a new area of interest!
- Choose a course from the arts or fitness offerings.
Please Note: Personal computers are required for all M and S level students (ages 13-17), and are highly recommended for all students. Some younger age level courses require that the students have a personal computer, as noted in the course descriptions.
Students can change courses on the second academic day only if an appropriate course alternate is available.
Evening Study/Tutorial Period
SIG provides a nightly Study Period for residential and extended commuter students. This self-directed study period allows additional time to conduct research, to work on individual and group projects, and to receive academic coaching as needed.
Please Note: Not all courses run at all campuses. Students must choose alternative courses 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 courses. Our final schedule of courses is reflective of the preferences of students enrolled at that campus. Course schedule adjustments by campus occur in April. Students may transfer to another campus if there is space on the alternate campus.
* E-level courses for the SIG at Miami Residential/Commuter program are open to students ages 8-10.
|E15||Period - 2||Speaking of Winning…What's Your Point?|
Are you tired of losing arguments? What can help you win an argument? Come improve your communication, argumentation, and reasoning skills by engaging in debate and public speaking simulations in topics of interest and controversy. Build your confidence as you communicate, model leadership, and address peer groups. Learn the basics of crafting an argument, preparing a speech, and debating an opponent to communicate your message within a public forum.
|E16||Period - 3||New 2019!Be Wise—Philosophize!|
What makes an action right or wrong? What is more important, to be happy or to do the right thing? What does it mean to be human? If you ever think about big questions like these, you might be a budding philosopher. Philosophy is the study of knowledge, how we think, what we value, and how we are. That's a lot to think about! In this class you will engage in observing, considering, and discussing the world around you. Come pose your own big questions, increase your reasoning and logic skills, and gain an understanding of some of the great philosophical thinkers who have shaped our society and our world.
|E17||Period - 1||New 2019!Creative Math Problem Solving StrategiesFull, closed to further enrollment|
Do you know what's more important than finding the correct answer to a math problem? It's identifying the strategy that helped you solve the math problem! Develop your math problem solving ability by using mathematical reasoning strategies, creativity, and originality to arrive at clever solutions. Critique the limitations of math problem solving strategies, while inventing new ones. Investigate logic problems, games, and math puzzles to stretch and challenge your math expertise. Unleash the math whiz within you!
|E20||Period - 4||Code, Create, and Animate: Game Design 101 |
Have you ever wondered how the computer games you play are created? Learn the basics of computer programming for games through online applications designed to help students explore and create a computer game of their own. Learn to solve coding puzzles and use critical thinking skills to solve new challenges and missions using Scratch™. Put your imagination to work while creating a one-of-a-kind web game to share with your friends and family! (Scratch™ is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab.) scratch.mit.eduStudent must bring a laptop and have access to an email account to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements:(1) A Windows 7 or later, ChromeOS, Mac OS Yosemite 10.10 or later, or Linux computer; (2) a version of Adobe Flash Player released on or after June 15, 2016; (3) a relatively recent web browser: one of the latest two versions of Chrome (Windows, ChromeOS, Mac or Linux), Firefox (Windows or Mac only), Safari (Mac only), Edge (Windows only), or Internet Explorer 11 (Windows only). If your computer doesn’t meet these requirements, you can try downloading and installing Scratch 1.4, which you can still use to share projects to the Scratch 2.0 website. For more information, please email Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|E21||Period - 3||Civil Engineering: Infrastructures That AmazeFull, closed to further enrollment|
Civil engineering is everywhere—in our roads, in our water, and in our buildings, to name just a few places. Civil engineers help to create a safe environment as they design, construct, and maintain our built environment. Come try your hand at projects related to building structures like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Find out what it takes to make buildings and houses safe from disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes. Use principles of physics and mathematical skills to understand concepts such as force, arches, compression, loads, water pressure, suspension, and truss to engage in experimental building activities. Consider whether being a civil engineer is in your future.
|E22||Period - 1||Astronomy: The Sky's the Limit!|
Do you ever look up at the sky and wonder about all the celestial bodies you can see as well as those you can't see? If so, you are like millions of people since the beginning of time who have gazed into the sky seeking answers to questions like, "How do astronomers map and find planets and stars that are light years away from Earth?" or, "How do the moon, the sun, and the stars help us tell time?" If you'd like to travel to the far corners of the universe while your feet are still on the ground, this course is for you. Come expand your knowledge about related topics of interest, from astrophysics and auroras to zeniths and zodiacs. Let the skies be your guide!
|J23||Period - 1||New 2019!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!
|J24||Period - 2||New 2019!Executive Functioning: Tools for Success|
Do you ever have trouble paying attention, holding several pieces of information in your mind at once, or getting tasks completed? If so, you might need practice in developing your executive functioning skills. These skills help you focus, tune out irrelevant stimuli, hold information in your working memory, filter distractions to control your impulses, and help you to adapt to changing circumstances. Adolescence is a critical period for developing executive functioning skills like planning, time management, and organization. This class will engage you in fun ways to develop these skills, such as playing complex games that require you to hold information in your short-term memory, engaging in sports and activities that require quick decisions and attention to rules, using the arts for two-handed coordination, self-monitoring, and using brain and mind games that also challenge your working memory and cognitive flexibility. Find and develop the executive functioning tools that work best for you in helping you achieve your future goals.
|J25||Period - 4||New 2019!The Youthful Face of Power|
We are living in a changing world with uncertain futures where the only thing you can control is yourself. Have you thought about how you want to thrive in the world? Do you have the abilities you need to create the changes you want to see? In this class, you will examine how you can develop and use your personal power to make a difference. Build your strengths, confidence, and competence. Analyze examples of power that you see around you and plan how you will develop your own powerful personality. Research youth-led movements that are becoming increasingly influential in getting their messages heard. Young people can do a lot to change the world, sometimes in such simple actions as practicing sustainable habits, raising money for a cause, writing letters to public officials calling for action, or just by being kind. Come think about a cause or a concern that you would like to affect and practice ways to be the change you hope to see in your future.
|J26||Period - 3||Algebra: Finding the X Factor|
Have you ever had to adjust a cooking recipe to accommodate more guests than what the recipe was written for? When you proportionally changed the ingredients to match the servings, you were using algebra! Algebra is everywhere and used all around us. It's the foundational branch of math that explores fundamental mathematical concepts used in advanced level mathematics. Come reason with equations and inequalities, model and graph linear functions, and solve systems using polynomials and quadratic functions. Investigate real-world applications and apply your mathematical expertise to real-world problems. Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra; Student will need a standard calculator for the course (calculator feature on a mobile device is sufficient).
|J27||Period - 2||Chemistry: The Essential Element|
Welcome to the laboratory that is the world in which you live. Experiment with domestic chemicals, environmental materials, foods, and living organisms to discover the chemical nature of substances, their properties, reactions, and uses in daily life. Engage in a series of experiments to test your hypotheses about the reaction of substances. Investigate chemical solutions to everyday challenges and unleash the chemist in you!
|J28||Period - 1||New 2019!From Galileo to Stephen Hawking: Cosmology Reframed!|
Did you know that it would take us longer than we have existed as beings to reach the center of our own galaxy? How can that be! Come investigate for yourself and gain an understanding of the theories concerning the origins of the universe and try your hand at answering some of science's most complex questions. How did our universe come to be what it is today? Could the universe as we know it exist without the concepts of space and time? How credible is the Big Bang theory? Come debate, discuss, and hypothesize your own questions about the cosmos, and expand your mind about the expanding universe!
|J29||Period - 4||New 2019!3, 2, 1…Blast Off Into Rocketry!Full, closed to further enrollment|
Did you know that rockets are the oldest type of engines? They were originally invented by the Chinese around year 1200. Come learn about the scientific principles of aerodynamics, center of gravity, point of balance, apogee, drag, and thrust and apply them to rocket launch experiments using household chemicals. Use geometry and math problem solving strategies to calculate altitude and speed and build a parachute recovery system for your model rocket kit launches. Take your rocketry expertise to new heights as you use rocket engineering principles to propose solutions for the future of space exploration and aeronautical technology. (Material Fee: $50-Includes rocket kit.) Student will need a standard calculator (calculator feature on a mobile device is sufficient) and a laptop to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements:(1) a Windows 7 or later or Mac OS Yosemite 10.10; Chromebook or tablet computers are compatible. For more information, please email Admissions at email@example.com. Student must enroll by April 1, 2019.
|J30||Period - 3||Engineering in Action|
Ever wonder how chemical, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineers solve real world problems? Come learn basic engineering principles surrounding the stability of structures, buoyancy, heat phenomena, and electricity. Perhaps you will use your interest in scientific and mathematical principles to design towns, factories, toys, and other products that will enhance your life in the future, or maybe you will pursue one of the many great career opportunities that abound in engineering!
|J32||Period - 3||New 2019!Cloning: Copycat Science|
Dolly, the first mammal successfully cloned from an adult cell, brought science fiction to reality. Twenty-three years later, how has the miracle of Dolly advanced its heritage? The answer lies in the controversial applications of cloning technology in areas such as farming, medical science, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Explore how the science of cloning can offer solutions for human diseases through stem-cell research. Debate the legalities and ethics of cloning and the impact it has on challenges we face in society. What role can cloning, genetic modification, and genetic engineering play in solving global challenges? Propose your solution to challenging problems. Attain the previously unimaginable one gene at a time!
|J33||Period - 2||Taking Stock in Money Matters|
Investing isn't just for grown-ups anymore. Young people live in an age when the world of finance is an integral part of everyone’s daily life. This class will introduce you to the world of investing so that you can make the most of your money, even as a young person. Topics will include savings and interest, income and expenses, and the basics of the stock market. You'll invest some imaginary money to discover your risk tolerance level in a stress-free way. Student must bring a laptop, standard calculator (mobile device calculator is sufficient), and have access to an email account to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements:(1) a Windows 7 or later or Mac OS Yosemite 10.10 operating system; Chromebook or tablet computers are compatible. For more information, please email Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|M42||Period - 3||The Psychology of Fear|
Fear is often a response to perceived physical and emotional danger. Often, fear drives decision-making and behaviors in personal, societal, economic, and political spheres of influence. Analyze the psychology behind fears and phobias to understand how they can affect your life. Take a global view at how the factor of fear has driven or controlled the course of human history. Become fearless as you examine different techniques and methods of overcoming fear to bring about changes in yourself and the world.
|M43||Period - 1||New 2019!Statistics: Dynamic Data!(Open to ages 13-17)|
How does a police officer know which intersections have the highest accident rate or sports recruiters know which athlete will be the best draft for the team? Statistics! Explore how to create and interpret scatterplots, display data distributions, understand study designs through samples and surveys, dabble with probability rules to account for permutations, combinations, and random occurrences with independent or dependent events. Learn how statistics impacts weather forecasts, predicting disease, medical studies, political campaigns, quality testing, the stock market, and many more aspects of our world. Apply your knowledge to research-based data sets and use mathematical analyses and predictions to forecast key information that can illuminate solutions for the future. Student must bring a standard calculator (calculator feature on a mobile device is sufficient).
|M44||Period - 2||New 2019!Aerospace Engineering: Sustainable Solutions|
What lies in the future of aerospace engineering? Will we see flying cars, massive jets, sleek new fighters, or Mars-bound rockets? The truth is that the future lies in creating sustainable designs that protect our planet, from hybrid planes that use electricity to new winglet designs for fuel efficiency. The engineering is in the details! Come learn about new technologies that help reduce fuel consumption and automate production. Investigate the impact of advancements with aerospace technology in defense systems, commercial flight, and aeronautics. Take your creative ideas to develop faster, safer solutions for the world of flight and beyond!
|M45||Period - 1||Medical Microbiology|
The human body could be considered one of the last frontiers. This course is an introduction to human biology and the science of medicine that surrounds it. Medical microbiology is the branch of both medicine and microbiology, which deals with the study of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, all of which can cause diseases in humans. You'll examine the essential biochemical reactions that occur within the human body. Then, delve into the imbalances and resulting diseases that inevitably occur, as well as their treatments. Come see if you think trailblazing this fascinating frontier is for you!
|M47||Period - 3||Theories of Time Travel: Spacetime Physics and Wormholes|
If we could unify quantum gravity, quantum mechanics, and general relativity into one theory, physicists argue that time travel would be possible. Journey with us through a study of black holes, negative energy, and cosmic strings as we research current theories of time travel. Study the experiments of physicists around the world and what they have revealed about paradoxes and mutable timelines. Create your own theory of time travel based on your research.
|M48||Period - 4||New 2019!AI: Apocalypse or Utopia?|
Twenty years ago, the digital world we can't live without was the perfect story for science fiction. In two decades from now, what will our world look like and how will we get there? Artificial intelligence (AI) is the commodity of the future. From Siri to self-driving cars, AI will help us do more with our most valuable resource--time. Explore the world of machine learning that uses algorithms to detect cancer or suggest who should be released from jail or interviewed for a job. Forecast the future with AI in the medical, engineering, computer programming fields and work with hands-on experiences that have societal implications. Be an innovator for the future and design ways that allow AI to work with humans as a co-worker, collaborator, and trusted advisor!
|M51||Period - 4||Social Entrepreneurship: It's Your Business!(Open to ages 13-17)|
Does it take millions of dollars to change the world? It doesn't! Act on your ethical and moral concerns by becoming a social entrepreneur. Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to our world's most pressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges. As a social entrepreneur, you will employ business, nonprofit, and hybrids models to create new streams of funding and development for issues close to your heart. How can you woo well-known philanthropists in your area to partner with your cause? You'll analyze social problems and their sources and determine how you can best strategize to address them. Develop your business acumen by gaining practice in creating proposals, business plans, letters, and memos. Learn more about ingenious and effective non-profits started by teens and others. Don't wait until you're an adult to make a difference in the world!
|S54||Period - 3||New 2019!American Foreign Policy: For One or For All?|
"With great power comes great responsibility." These words, spoken by the character of Uncle Ben in the Marvel movie, Spider-Man, captures the essence of the debate that surrounds America's foreign policy across generations. What is our responsibility, if any, to the rest of the world? Learn about the historical context and explore key issues that impact the development and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. Investigate the art of diplomacy and how it facilitates actions we desire from other countries. Debate the decisions the U.S. has encountered in the past to solve challenges we face with projected policies and policymaking for the future. Explore how you can be an ambassador for your generation and tackle contemporary issues and challenges that impact our social, economic, and political landscapes in new ways.
|S56||Period - 2||New 2019!Calculus: Limits-less Possibilities!|
Do you know what engineers use to determine the exact length of a power cable needed to connect two substations miles apart? or What biologists use to determine the exact rate of growth in a bacterial culture when different variables such as temperature and food sources are changed? Calculus! Come learn the language of engineers, scientists, and economists and explore how differential and integral calculus impact our daily lives. Understand how limits, derivatives, and integrals of functions unable mathematicians to create optimal solutions. Investigate rules used to calculate complex algorithms and apply your solutions to needs of the future. (Prerequisite: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, & Trigonometry.) Student will need a graphing calculator to participate in this course; TI-83 or TI-84 is preferable.
|S57||Period - 4||New 2019!The Mathematics of Finance|
Financial mathematics is an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics that combines financial concepts such as banking, investments, bonds, funds, stocks, and financial derivatives with mathematical theories to facilitate optimum investment outcomes. Explore models such as stochastic optimal control, capital asset pricing model (CAPM), and the differential game method to study the markets, develop a robust portfolio, and predict pricing and investment decisions. Navigate the world of finance through statistical theory, accounting principles, and mathematical reasoning to secure your future! (Prerequisite: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, & Trigonometry.) Student will need a graphing calculator to participate in this course; TI-83 or TI-84 is preferable.
|A65||Period - 2||Graphic Design: Where Art Meets Technology Full, closed to further enrollment |
Graphic design combines the world of art and technology to communicate and represent ideas visually. Use the basic elements and principles of art, such as contrast, color, negative space, and shape along with the use of computer programs to craft promotional pieces, publications, and digital art. Produce original layouts for newsletters, catalogues, logos, and advertisement pieces that reach an audience. Share your message through a creative collection of words, symbols, and images while using graphic design techniques to create your WOW! factor. (Technology fee: $15) Student must bring a laptop and have access to an email account to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements: (1) a Windows 7 or later or Mac OS Yosemite 10.10; Chromebook or tablet computers are not compatible. For more information, please email Admissions at email@example.com.
|A66||Period - 1||New 2019!Your Art, Your WayFull, closed to further enrollment|
Art throughout history has been used to communicate and express ideas, concepts, and emotions. This class will help you gain an appreciation for two- and three-dimensional art in historical and cultural expression, as well as in self-expression. You will experiment with a variety of media, such as pencils, paints, sculpture forms, ink, pastels, origami, etc., to explore techniques of color theory, shading, perspective, and positive and negative space. Choose your preferred medium and create an original, displayable work that expresses who you are. (Materials fee: $30)
|A67||Period - 4||Broadway Beckons: Sing! Dance! Act!|
The show will go on! Learn vocal techniques, dance and movement exercises, and character acting skills all pertaining to a selected production. The class will present a mini-musical presentation at the end of the three weeks. Some recreation hour rehearsals may be required.
|A68||Period - 1||Producing a Short Film: Less Time, More Punch! (Period 1-ages 9-12 only)|
Long before Star Wars, George Lucas directed a sci-fiction short film (1967), Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB, about a group of people living in an underground dystopia. Lucas' short film eventually served as the catalyst for his next two popular motion picture productions, American Graffiti and Star Wars. A short film, whether animated or live action, is shorter than 40 minutes long, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Analyze the various features of short films and evaluate the entertainment value of a short, compared to a feature length film. Come learn the trade of award-winning directors like Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson, and film your own SIG short film. (Technology Fee: $50) Student must enroll by April 1, 2019 and bring a laptop with software installation permissions to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements: (1) a Windows 7 or later or Mac OS Yosemite 10.10; Chromebook or tablet computers are not compatible. For more information, please email Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|A69||Period - 3||New 2019!So, You Want to Be a Songwriter?|
Do you enjoy making up songs? Think you can write a song better than what you hear on the radio? Here's your chance to develop your songwriting skills and express your thoughts and feelings through your melodies and lyrics. Learn about the basic elements of song structure. Record your song, plan a performance, and make a music video, as time allows. Explore various music genres to find your fit, research the business of songwriting, and experiment with technology in helping you compose. Communicate your unique messages musically. Student must bring a laptop with software installation permissions to participate in this course. Minimum laptop requirements: (1) a Windows 7 or later or Mac OS Yosemite 10.10; Chromebook or tablet computers are not compatible. For more information, please email Admissions at email@example.com.
|R70||Period - 3||Fencing: Footwork to Foils|
Fencing, the sport of aristocrats, is a great way to connect mind and body! For novices, this class will develop basic technique, form, finesse, and balance essential for success as a fencer. Refine your skills as you are paired with others of similar ability. The foil technique will emphasize a strong defense and body attack. Foils and fencing equipment are provided.
|R71||Period - 2||Self-Defense Sense|
Self-defense strategies are important, not only for self-protection, but also in building physical and mental discipline. This class will help you present a commanding presence as you gain control and confidence through such strategies as awareness of your surroundings, wrist escapes, defense against body holds, and blocking. A healthy lifestyle is built on self-discipline, fitness, and goal setting-the foundations of effective self-defense!
|R72||Period - 2||Back by Popular Demand!Just Dance|
Bring your sneakers and your soul! This class is all about having fun and feeling healthy. You'll learn the most up-to-date dance moves while you get a great aerobic workout! Learn body rolls, arm rolls, moonwalking and more! You too can create a new dance form like Zumba®, created in the 1990s, which pulls from the rhythms of merengue, salsa, cumbia, reggaetón, belly dance, flamenco, tango, and samba. Share your favorite dance moves or styles, from ballet to line dancing. Experience imaginative choreography and improve your stage presence, artistry, and musicality. Choreograph a solo or team performance. Get fit and be expressive at the same time!
|R75||Period - 1||Mindfulness and Meditation|
How are your posture, gaze, breath, and thoughts connected to create a sense of discipline within your mind? Understand the origins of meditation and mindfulness by exploring timeless approaches of connecting the mind and body that offer a sense of stability and relaxation. Learn how to train your mind to a state of awareness with focus. Understand how the brain uses meditation exercises to reduce stress and develop a sense of tranquility.
|R77||Period - 4||New 2019!The Personal Benefits of Personal TrainingFull, closed to further enrollment|
We know that professional athletes spend a considerable amount of time training in gyms. But, can sports training help the rest of us too? Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a weekend dabbler, incorporating sports-related training into your fitness regimen can impact your athleticism and agility. What type of sports do you want to model your training program around? Come create customized workout programs that focus on increasing endurance, strength, speed, and balance. Explore how nutrition affects training results and create a plan that maximizes your potential. Gain confidence through new mind-body connections and increase your motivation to reach your goals. If you want to set a new personal record in your sport of choice or have an edge above the competition, this course is for you!
* Final schedule of course offerings may vary by campus. All courses in this catalog, unless otherwise stated, are the property of the National Society for the Gifted and Talented. Copyright and other intellectual property laws protect these materials. Reproduction or retransmission of the materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, without the prior written consent of the copyright holder, is a violation of copyright law.
Parents receive a final Student Performance Review (SPR) that assesses personal accomplishments and attainment of goals. This report is available online shortly after the program ends 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.