Class Descriptions for Adventures In Learning 2017

2018 Courses will be posted by the end of March 2018.


Minecraft: World of Humanities

Presenter: Courtney Ahlgren

$5 Computer User Fee

Come explore the civilizations of Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, Greece, India, China and more. Take on the role of an explorer. Go on missions, unlock ancient secrets, explore ancient temples, tombs and puzzles. Get lost in a gloriously detailed world full of surprises. All done in the Minecraft. World of Humanities is a Minecraft Adventure mode world set in the ancient past. If you ever thought it would be fun to create your own adventure world someday, this class will give you plenty of ideas.

Minecraft: Creative Free Build

Presenter: Courtney Ahlgren

$5 Computer User Fee

Your a minecraft block building artist. You have built cool minecraft houses, forts and roller coasters. But have you been in a room full of fellow Minecrafters and built something huge together? You have the ideas. We have the world. We need your to help building our massive Minecraft world. We started it last summer. Now it is going to be even bigger and better with your ideas and help.  If you are a castle maker, red stone engineer, city planner, undersea architect, pixel artist, dungeon designer, or just a  landscape shaping / road building / bridge building maniac, this is the one for you.

Mindstorms/Lego Robotics

Presenter: TBA

Create and program LEGO Robots! Learn about “smartbricks” and work with the Mindstorms NXT kits. Start by building a simple robot, practice driving it, and program it to go around obstacles by “reading” touch sensors. Progress to advanced techniques of LEGO Robotics programming and mechanics, and apply you new skills to complete a challenge project. At the end of the course, you robot will have an opportunity to share what it has learned.

Advanced Chess

Presenter: Phil Schapker

Learn strategies to dramatically improve your chess game! This class will introduce students to a broad spectrum of topics in advanced chess theory, from general opening, middle, and endgame strategies to more specific lessons in pawn structure and tactics for attacking the opponent’s king. Lectures will include examples and discussions of some of the most famous chess games. Students will have ample opportunities to play and practice their new skills and learn to record their games for later review.

Manual Chess Programs

Presenter: Phil Schapker

Students will explore the most fundamental aspects of algorithms and computer programs by building "manual chess programs"-- coded sets of instructions for playing chess to be carried out by human "computers."  Students will create "evolutionary algorithms" that swap code and change in response to competition. Over the two weeks, the students' programs will grow in complexity and sophistication, leading to a final game between the two most successful chess programs. A moderate familiarity with chess is required to do well in this class. Students who have previously taken Advanced Chess are encouraged to join.

Bridge Building

Presenter: Keyshawn Davis

$10 materials fee

Balsa wood bridge building is a fun test of engineering skill, vision and problem solving. Throughout history a bridge builder was one of the most important people within a society and their bridges meant freedom because people could explore, trade and thrive. Learn building skills, and apply engineering, basic physics, applied math and static designs. Bridge building is for explorers, engineers and visionaries.


Presenter: Grayson Munn

$5 materials fee

Have you ever wanted to have a foam fight, make slime, or grow crystals? Does the secret world of chemistry excite you? Do you want to understand the secrets of the universe’s smallest particles? Then we have a class for you. In this class you will learn the ins and outs of chemistry all through hands on learning and labs. We will use everyday items to do the labs so you can go home and show your friends, siblings, and parents. We will also have a demonstration day in a lecture room at OSU where you will be shown experiments that will amaze and enthrall you. We will also make ice cream on the last day.  How? That is a secret. If you’re ready to have fun, this class has plenty to offer.

Draw What You Like

Presenter: Kaisa Laukkanen

$10 materials fee

Express yourself through visual art.  Choose and bring topics you are interested in drawing  - animals, landscapes, mythological creatures, characters from books/movies/games, or a story you have written, etc. Draw items to look surreal or original, dramatic, proportional, three-dimensional, and beautiful.  At the completion of the class you will have improved your drawing ability and learned tools or methods that will continue to improve your drawings. This class uses lots of imagination. Come, learn, share inspirations, and have fun!  All skill levels welcome, especially those that feel limited as artists.

Create Your Own Country

Presenter: Kaisa Laukkanen

$5 materials fee

Create your own, new country, and design your country’s flag. Choose a location, climate, and a selection of limited natural resources. Determine what kinds of products your country can make, given your choices. Make trade deals with other countries (classmates) on limited resources. How much gold will you hand over for clean, drinking water? Determine a system of government for your country and make deals with other nations (classmates) on policies. Can you keep the peace, or will your country end up in war?

Model Rockets

Presenter: Zack Bryant

$40 materials fee

Become a real rocket scientist! Learn to build and fly a model rocket. Anyone who has ever tried to launch a rocket has always wondered: Why does a rocket need fins? What happens if I launch it without them? Can I put the fins near the top? Can I make a short rocket? How high is it supposed to go? How high did it really go? What is the best design to use? Why did the tree eat my rocket? By building and launching different rockets and taking data, learn how to optimize your team’s design. The class will build and launch air rockets, water rockets and Estes engine powered rockets. Learn about school, club, and national rocket competitions. Learn about how making and flying full size rockets can become your dream job. When you are done with the class you will be able to proudly say, “Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I AM a rocket scientist.”

Veterinary Medicine Explorations

Presenters: OSU Vet Med Personnel

Explore several facets of veterinary medicine. Different specialists at OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine will share what their specialties involve. Look at x-rays, blood, and body parts; learn how to examine an animal. Experience some of what veterinarians do; try some of these things yourself. This course is not recommended for the very squeamish!

Amazing Math Class

Presenter: Brittney Humphrey

Join us in exploring your curiosity about math and problem solving through creative and challenging ways. You’ll get to solve unusual problems and invent your own, apply existing knowledge in new situations. You will further develop your problem solving and analytical skills through modeling, graphing, and solving real-world problems. You will develop a greater passion for math through games, puzzles, and logic and reasoning challenges that will provide fun opportunities for teamwork and confidence building activities.

Speech and Debate

Presenter: Hannah Gilbert

Come learn the arts of persuasion and presentation!  Practice your public speaking skills and learn how to craft a foolproof argument in this fast-paced class filled with games, discussions, and formal debates.  Tackle topics ranging from what the best kind of ice cream is, to the plausibility of colonizing Mars, to what should be done to combat climate change.  If you want to hone your presentation skills, work on getting over a fear of public speaking, or just learn how to win that argument with your sibling, this class is for you!

Summer Reads Book Club

Presenter: Sarah Blount

$10 materials fee

Are you excited for summer to come because it means more time for reading? Are you rarely spotted without a novel in hand? This course is for you! We'll be reading The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, by Steve Sheinkin. This Civil Rights story chronicles the 244 men who made up the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, sparking controversy after refusing to go back to work in unsafe and unfair conditions (despite facing mutiny charges, decades in jail and even execution). As we read we'll discuss prejudice, taking risks, and standing up for yourself, as well as explore some lesser-known historical perspectives of World War 2.

Create Your Own Dystopia

Presenter: Sarah Blount

Dystopian fiction for young adults is hard to miss these days - the protagonists of Divergent, The Maze Runner, and Ready Player One explore futuristic adventures stemming from the often frightening global issues we face today. In this course we will discuss the appeal of dystopian literature, read some short stories, and practice creating and writing about our own dystopian worlds. 

Adventures In Cooking!

Presenter: Angela Cail

$50 materials fee (no need to buy lunch or prepare a lunch, students will eat what they cook each day) This is a two period class.

Ever wonder how to make chocolate, or how to make ravioli? Is cooking your passion? If so, join us as we embark on a culinary adventure! We will be working in teams to prepare pasta, breads, pies, and appetizers, and of course, chocolate! Eat what you make! Lunch is included. This is a two hour class for aspiring junior chefs or anyone who loves to squish tomatoes between their fingers or roll pasta with an old fashioned rolling pin. Prepare to become inspired, and mostly, to have fun in the kitchen.

My Acting Class

Presenter: Rod Davidson

" Hey, whatcha doing this summer? I'm taking an Acting class at OSU. My teacher is Rod Davidson, who used to be an Actor in Hollywood, and now teaches Acting to kids like me. It's gonna be a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to being taught Acting skills, improvisation, stage presence, and how to perform monologues and scenes. Just like professional actors. Can't wait. What am I doing this summer? You can find me in My Acting Class!"

3-D Modeling and Printing

Presenter: Deric Ntrandekura

$5 materials fee

3-D printing is a rapidly advancing technology that allows digital objects to emerge into the physical world. It has applications in many fields including medicine, engineering, and even archaeology. In this class you will learn the methods, materials, and limitations of 3D printing. You will also create, edit, and share your own 3D models. By the end of the class, you will have prepared an object for printing on a 3D printer and observe it as it comes to life.

Forensics: Criminals Beware!

Presenter: Zach Bryant

Students will be introduced the science of crime scene investigation. An emphasis is made on how science works, including making observations, inferences, and providing evidence based arguments for their claims. Students will never wonder how biology is useful to the real world, as law and science come together to make crime fighting engaging. As available, experts in the field may join us throughout the class.

The World of Architecture

Presenters: Eduardo Rojas Roman and Yair Buendia

Are you interested in exploring the world of architecture? Then this class is for you. Through the class you will be provided a wide-range of exposure to the world of architecture: famous architects, important styles and periods, and much, much, more. You will learn about different aspects of architecture and use kits to design and build your own model buildings.

Cryptography: The Science of Secrets

Presenter: Jason McClelland

Learn how people have sent secret messages to each other throughout history, from Julius Caesar in ancient Rome to modern day internet communication. We’ll explore the math and puzzles behind a variety of cryptography (‘crypto’= secret, ‘graphy’=writing) systems, crack some codes and build our own.

Zoology: Life Through a Lifetime

Presenter: Crysti Wright

Animals are an integral part of sustained life on earth. Students will learn how biologists classify living vs. nonliving organisms, and focus on the five major aspects of zoology: Animal behavior, anatomy, genetics, habitat diversity, and phylogenetic relationships. As a class, students will learn about and discuss different example species and their relatedness to one another. By the end of the course students should be able to answer the three main zoological questions: what it is, what it does, and how it does what it does. This Course involves the evolutionary school of thought.