Please read about the wonderful electives that our teacher team will be leading this summer.

Monday/Wednesday Electives

Wilderness Survival, Ms. Landon and Mr. Shibayama

Are you eager to explore the great outdoors? In this class, you’ll learn to build shelter, tie knots, start a fire, and stay safe in the wilderness. No matter your experience or comfort level outside of the city, this class will make you feel at home in nature. You’ll make great friends and earn merit badges along the way. Let’s go on an adventure!

To Infinity and Beyond: A Journey through the Universe, Mr. Conlon and Ms. Swong

Ever wished you could sail on the methane lakes of Titan or fall into the black hole at the center of the galaxy? If you’ve been feeling bored here on Earth, join us for this class, which travels from planets to stars to galaxies to the outer reaches of the cosmos. We’ll follow the footsteps of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein as we tackle the mysteries of the Universe through outdoor activities, games, and a planetarium visit. Students will end with a project on the topic of their choice, whether it’s the fusion of stars, alien life, or anything in between.

Epic: Adventures in Greek Mythology, Ms. Morris

Do you like learning about heroes? About epic battles and journeys to distant lands? In this elective we will learn about some of the most ancient and spectacular heroes that ever lived by exploring the fantastic stories of Greek mythology and epic. Are you ready for a journey to Ancient Greece? If you are, this elective is for you!

Arab Alif, Ms. Korewa

In this class, students will learn a new alphabet, new sounds, and new words. With a focus on reading and basic conversation skills, we will play games, listen to songs, and interact— in Arabic! We will also explore the cultures of Arabic-speaking countries—from couscous to the call to prayer and calligraphy.

How to be Funny: An Introduction to Long-form Improv Comedy, Mr. Buckley

Have you ever been stuck in a conversation where you were at a loss for words?  Do you ever find yourself daydreaming, or talking to yourself in weird accents?  Do you love to make people laugh?  If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then long form improv, the art of making things up, is perfect for you.  In this class we will examining long form improv comedy from both an academic and hands-on perspective.  We will spend time in the classroom studying the history of improv, humor theory (what makes a joke funny), how improv relates to community and how improv can be an empowering tool in our everyday lives.  We will also spend time on the stage starting with the basics of long form improv and moving on to learn how to develop hilarious and meaningful scenes.  Absolutely zero formal experience with improv is necessary, all you need is a willingness to try something new, be goofy, and have fun.

Mock Trial, Mr. Ritchin

What would it be like to serve as a witness, juror, or lawyer? In this class, students will have the opportunity to examine witnesses, design a justice system, and act out a criminal trial from opening statement to verdict. By creating their own courtroom, students will gain a deeper understanding of the American justice system and the power of persuasion.

Tuesday/Thursday Electives

Art Detectives: Investigating Impressionism, Ms. Korewa and Ms. Morris

In this elective, we will be art detectives—using clues we find in paintings to uncover the stories they hold. As part of our detective work, we will get to know the revolutionary group of artists known as the “impressionists.” How and why did these artists paint the way they did? In order to find out, we will take a virtual trip to 19th century Paris to investigate what their every day world looked, felt, and sounded like.  We will also spend time in the Yale Art Gallery training our eyes to decode the paintings and surrounding ourselves with the vibrant colors of impressionism.

Elm City Prose Pros: Creative Writing in New Haven, Mr. Buckley and Mr. Ritchin

Have you ever wondered what the person next to you on the bus is thinking about? Or what New Haven looks like through the eyes of the visitors on a guided tour? This class will aim to answer these questions and more by examining the basic principles of creative writing with a special focus on the city of New Haven and its people. The class will include a trip to the Yale Art Gallery, creative pieces based in New Haven’s public spaces, and personalized feedback on each student’s writing. Ultimately, we hope to help young students become prose pros.

Nerds Play Ball: An Introduction to Sports Analytics, Mr. Shibayama

Why do some teams win consistently? How do you know how good a player will be in the future? In fact, how do you know how good a player has already been? What is Moneyball? We will consider these types of questions in this course through the lenses of various professional sports. By the course’s end, students will be able to debate and research sports through quantifiable terms.

It’s Not Easy Being Green: Environmental Science and Awareness, Ms. Landon

“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” –Native American Proverb. Get ready to go green! In this class, we will explore mankind’s lasting impact on the environment and what we can do about. Through their own discoveries and experiments, students will examine how human populations are drastically altering natural processes. As protectors of the planet, students will investigate the best ways to minimize their impact on the environment as individuals and as a community.

From Fantasia to Star Wars: The Magic of Film Music, Ms. Swong

Why is the opening fanfare of Star Wars one of the most memorable melodies of all time? What makes the screeching violins in the shower scene in Psycho sound so scary? Why do we view Aragorn as a hero in Lord of the Rings? In this elective, we will explore how music makes movies come to life. Students will learn how composers use rhythm, melody, tempo, instruments’ unique sounds, structure, and other basic principles of music to tell a story. By the end of the summer, students will be able to recognize and express the ways that music creates emotions, advances the plot, and shapes our understandings of characters.

News of World (NOW), Mr. Conlon

This class will explore current events, happening NOW, in America and around the globe. Based primarily on student requests, the curriculum will cover a different NOW event each class, from the World Cup to the Middle East, to Russia, to Connecticut. Through debates, games, and other activities, we’ll work to understand everything going on NOW in our world!