Class Descriptions for Adventures In Learning 2018 (Class descriptions for AIL 2019 will be posted by the end of March 2019)


Presenter: Brendan Garrison

$5 materials fee 

3D modeling and 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 design, edit, and share your own 3D models. You will learn the methods, materials, and limitations of 3D printing. By the end of the class, you will have prepared an object for printing on a 3D printer. (To have an object printed you must follow the specifications given to you in class.) Due to the time required to print objects not all will be printed during class time.



Presenter: Phil Schapker

What do Blockus, Hive, Yinsh, Shogi, Chess and Go have in common? Not only are they fun strategy games, but they are abstract strategy games!   In this class, students will spend time learning, playing, and analyzing a variety of both rare and well-known abstract games. Along the way we will discuss, in a broader context, what the heck is abstraction anyway, and why is it so cool and important in science, math and art?!



Presenter: Sean Caster

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.



Presenter: Angela Cail

$50 materials fee



Ever wonder how to make chocolate, why chili tastes better when made with coffee, or how to make homemade donuts?  Is cooking your passion? If so, join us as we embark on a culinary adventure! We will be working in teams to prepare breads, cakes, and of course, chocolate! Learn how to prepare foods from all over the world!  Eat what you make, since lunch is included. This is a three hour class for aspiring junior chefs or anyone who loves to squish tomatoes between their fingers, braid dough, or dip fruit into melted chocolate.. Prepare to become inspired, and mostly, to have fun in the kitchen.



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.



Presenter: Nic Anandson

Have you ever wondered what made the Romans so powerful? Have you ever wanted to engineer some of their greatest achievements? If so, journey with us on a two week expedition to learn about the history, culture, and technology of Ancient Rome. We will be learning about some of the greatest leaders, some of the greatest battles, and some of the greatest feats of technology like recreating aqueducts and catapults.



Presenter: Hollie Bates

Let’s learn about our feathered friends that wake us up at 5 o’clock in the morning, singing away. We’ll explore important features of birds, learn tips to finding and identifying birds (including by listening to their sounds), and get to explore the birds on campus! Technology advancements have given birders many tools to use, so for students interested, we will learn about keeping lists, and getting involved in citizen science opportunities.



Presenter: Hollie Bates

Plants are important to us humans because they provide food, oxygen, medicine, and help regulate the water cycle and climate. They are also very interesting organisms to study because each plant species has unique adaptations to survive in its environment.  During botany class we will keep naturalists journals while exploring campus to observe and identify a diversity of plants. Other fun activities will include experiments, art projects, and a visit to OSU's student garden!



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.



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?



Presenter: Sarah Blount

Nature, film, photography, and podcasts - find out how just about anything can move and inspire you to write more creatively. During this workshop, we will build community, gain some insight into our own personalities, and explore different paths to creative writing. 



Presenter: Sean Caster

Starting from the historical beginning with an introduction to Caesar Ciphers, and ending with One Time Pad, students will be introduced to a variety of encryption methods. Along the way, they'll pick up the mathematical tools needed to understand the building blocks of modern secrecy security including an introduction to binary numbers and the ubiquitous 'xor' operation. Beyond simply learning about secure encryption schemes, students will actually get to attack broken encryption! Spies of Rome beware!



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.



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.



Presenter: Dick Jarvinen

Description:  Do you like cards or games of any kind?  Do you enjoy working on challenging projects with others?  Then learn bridge!  Bridge is a card game played with a partner.  You and your partner work together using strategy to solve the puzzles that bridge offers.  This game features offense, defense, and communication.  You will strengthen your logic, reasoning, and math skills while you learn this amazing game.  Bridge is played across the world and is known as the world's greatest card game!  You don't need to have any card-playing experience, and you don't need to come with a partner—you will meet new friends and partners while you play!



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.



Presenter: Brian Sikora

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.



Presenter: Kenneth Thai

$5 materials fee

Calling all Minecraft survivalists! In this class we will be taking on a variety of fun and unique survival challenges that will test your ability to adapt to strange environments and thrive. Players from all levels of experience are welcome, whether you are a bonafide survival expert or this is your very first time playing.  We will be going over some basic survival strategies to help you get started as you set out to collect resources, battle mobs, and explore maps that range from a space station in orbit, to floating islands and huge sprawling landscapes. Work together to survive and complete difficult tasks, and use the skills and strategies you learn here to take on new survival challenges of your own!



Presenter: Devin Stevick

$5 materials fee

Travel to space in Minecraft!  Galacticraft allows you to explore the solar system in your own spaceship.  This is a mod for Minecraft which introduces 4 new dimensions that are based on planets and satellites in the Solar System.  These include the Moon, Mars, Asteroids and a Space Station constructed by the players themselves.  Create and customize your very own spaceship to travel throughout the solar system!  Explore the Moon and Mars with new unique mobs and dungeons!  Create sustainable colony’s and space stations to survive the cold depths of space!  Whether you want to explore and conquer a new planet, or work together to build a sprawling space station, this class is for you!



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.”



Presenter: Danielle Mendez

$10 Materials Fee


In this course students will learn how to be prepared for the outdoors. Whether on a short hike, a big adventure, camping with family, or in an emergency situation, just a handful of basic skills and techniques can greatly improve an experience, or even be life saving. Students will learn about The Ten Essentials and the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace. They will also learn how to spot potential hazards, play survival scenario games, and practice map reading, compass navigation, knot tying, and fire building. 



Presenter: Hollie Bates

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!



Presenter: Sarah Blount

$10 materials fee

This summer we'll read Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson, a graphic novel about an adorable shapeshifting teen sidekick to an evil super-villain. The story offers up a collision of medieval culture and science and technology, and will have you questioning our preconceptions of heroes and villains. We'll also read a variety of graphic novels to explore YA genres, historical accounts, and creepy tales about things that come from the woods.



Presenter: Clae Macke

Ultimate Frisbee is a fun and challenging team sport. It promotes a culture of valuing all of its members and being inclusive by gender, race/ethnicity and levels of mental and physical ability. It builds cohesion among diverse players and forms a community. It’s a safe, non-contact sport where girls and boys may play together even at the highest levels. This is a team sport in the purest sense- you literally cannot advance the disc without someone else to throw to!



Presenter: Nic Anundson

Have you ever wondered why Zeus came to be, or why the Aztecs had human sacrifice? Have you ever wondered why the Romans ‘borrowed’ the Greek gods? Well, take a journey with us around the world as we explore various cultures’ mythology. We will be examining mythological stories from around the world: from India to Norway; Peru to Japan.