College Prep, Less Stress

Teacher with students in the classroom

DragonWeek 2020

 

“DragonWeek” Intersession will give students and teachers opportunities to pursue personal interests through ungraded, immersive experiences in the arts, humanities, science, and technology. Below is a list of possible offerings for intersession.

Bay Area Ecology and Nature Journaling

Students will visit different local ecosystems to explore and document the biodiversity of life in the Bay Area using the iNaturalist app. Students will read selections about local ecology and will keep a nature journal with writings, drawings, maps, and other documents capturing their interactions with the natural world. Students should expect to walk 2-5 miles a day rain or shine and will need to wear good shoes and carry backpacks with them.

 

A Diverse History of Mathematics

In this session, we will explore the global development of mathematics, with a focus on non-European roots and a diverse cast of mathematicians and cultures. We will study the Ishango bone (found in central Africa), we will calculate with quipu (knots in strings developed by the Inca), and we will investigate the developments of trigonometry and infinity in China during the Song and Yuan dynasties. We will also look at more recent mathematicians, including: Japanese mathematicians Shimura and Taniyama who worked on Fermat's Last Theorem; the first great American mathematician (and son of a slave) Benjamin Banneker; and the late Fields Medal winning Iranian Stanford mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani. From Asia to South America to the Middle East to Africa, we will find that mathematics is truly a universal language.

Los Angeles Studio Art Trip

The Los Angeles Studio Art Trip is an opportunity for students to explore the diverse Los Angeles art community. Students will spend four days visiting museums and galleries and participating in workshops led by local artists. The tentative itinerary includes: The Broad, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, mural tour with the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, The Getty, Museum of Tolerance, Olvera Street, Great Wall of Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, galleries in Highland Park/Eagle Rock/Silver Lake, Glassell Park/etc, workshop with Nica Aquino...and more! Note: Students enrolled in Studio Art are highly encouraged to participate on this trip. Students not enrolled in Studio Art may participate if space allows. This trip will require travel and lodging fees. Financial assistance is available.

Virtual Reality Sculpting with 3D printing

This course will allow the students to learn basic Virtual Reality sculpting using the Oculus Medium program. Students will learn the basic tools and features that professionals use to create movie magic and beautiful 3D art. Students will also learn to export and render their file for virtual gallery showings and to use the 3D printer to bring their sculpture to life. We will also explore taking 360 images and use for “walk-through” technology using Holobuilder. This is an opportunity for students without time for art in their schedule to sample new technology and explore their artistic talents.

Exploring Local Tech Companies

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at companies like Facebook and Google? This experience will take students to Facebook and Google headquarters for a close, interactive look at some of the work these companies do every day. Students will take tours, participate in demos, and speak with employee panels. Students will also have the opportunity to do tech projects on campus.

Build A Bike And Ride: A Makers Workshop

Students will learn how to build a bike from the frame up. The class will learn the ins and outs of bike maintenance, upgrading, and repairing as well. We will use online articles as well as the book Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance to help guide us. In addition, the second half of the class will involve doing two to three half day rides in the local area. Students will need to bring their own bikes. Additionally, if any student wishes to provide the funds or parts, they can build their own bike with the help of the class.

Forensic Science

This workshop will consist of laboratory, online, and classroom activities centered around the solving of a real crime committed in the 1800s. Students will learn and carry out basic forensic laboratory procedures such as fingerprinting, blood typing, DNA analysis, etc. The results of these tests will help students identify the suspects and use circumstantial evidence to narrow  the investigation. As part of this course, we hope to have interactions with the local police department and crime laboratory.

Science, Technology, and Innovation – A Hands-On Approach

This workshop will allow students to explore science and technology through facilitated, interactive workshops and guided tours at four local science and technology museums. We will visit the following museums:

  • Computer History Museum in Mountain View
  • The Tech Interactive in San Jose
  • Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception in San Francisco
  • California Academy of Science in San Francisco

Songwriting

Students will discover effective songwriting techniques by exploring song forms, melody, rhythm, harmony, and lyrics. Through a workshop format, students will present original material and receive feedback from both the instructor and their peers. By the end of the course, participants should have at least one complete, original song. Students should have some competency on an instrument or music composition software to enroll in this course.

Building, Creating, Tinkering, and Fixing Class

Students will develop building, creating, and repair skills while exploring different tools, working within different disciplines and modalities, and creating tangible and practical items. Over the course of the week, students will practice car maintenance skills, gain experience working with power tools creating to create objects out of wood, work with clay throwing to create a ceramic item, and participate in a leather creating or glass blowing class, where they will build their own wallet or glass ornaments.

MakerBarCamp

A Bar Camp is where a bunch of people take over a lightly used or rentable urban space and camp out, spin ideas for making, and live together while building. This would be near a makerstudio in the Bay Area, where we would occupy the makerstudio full time while it is open. This would be all out creative time - live, eat, breath creative making (welding, laser cutting, sewing, wrenching, metal foundry, 3D modeling, etc). We would build whatever comes to mind based on the space's capability. Potential spaces would be The Crucible, Double Union, Ace Monster Toys, NoiseBridge, Chimera, or whatever space that accepts high school makers for an intensive week.

American Sign Language Poetry & Music Translation

Students will learn how to translate music and poems in American Sign Language. Through music and poetry, students will learn vocabulary, descriptions, variations, facial expressions, and repetitive phrases necessary to draw young listeners into the world of ASL music translation.

Greece is the Word: An Investigation of the Origins of Western Culture

This offering entails a trip to Greece (based in Athens) in order for students to explore the history, music, and literature of the Classical Period. Activities will include walking tours, museum visits, theatrical excursions, and more! In preparation, students will read a classical Greek drama and attend a seminar discussion. Students will also be active participants in the planning of the trip. Interested students must complete an application in order to be considered, and we will cap the trip at 9-12, with equal representation among classes (10th through 12th grade) and genders. This trip will require travel and lodging fees. Financial assistance is available.