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2017 Path Choices
Session 1: LEGO Robotics
Have you ever wanted to control the world? Or... at least control something? With a few clever design and program- ming steps, you can! In this path, students will learn to construct and program Lego Mindstorm and EV3 robots. We will build machines that can navigate an obstacle course, defend against other robots, and race at top speeds. Student projects in the past have included a functional guitar, a playful puppy, a dragster, an attack car, and a candy sorter. Outside of the classroom, we will venture to MIT’s Museum and Media Lab to observe current research in the field.
Session 2: Chaos and More!
Math Geeks and abstract thinkers unite! The development of very fast desktop computers, coupled with modern mathematics software, has opened up entirely new fields in Mathematics. This course will provide an overview of three such fields. The following topics will be explored using software written in Mathematica.
• Chaos: Material for the initial portion of the course will be drawn from the popular book, Chaos, Making a New Science by James Gleick.
• Fractals: This next topic begins with an introduction to fractals and how they often arise naturally in the world around us in such examples as ferns, shells, and trees. We will explore traditional examples of fractals from geometry such as the Sierpinski Triangle and the Menger Sponge. The topic will end by introducing the pioneering work of Benoit Mandelbrot by exploring the Mandelbrot Set and its related Julia Sets.
• Cellular Automata: Our last topic will begin with students exploring John Conway’s Game of Life, a software program which first popularized the study of Cellular Automata in the 1970’s. The course will conclude with a brief overview of Stephen Wolfram’s groundbreaking work in the field.
Students interested in taking this course should be comfortable being introduced to unfamiliar topics in Mathematics in a compressed time period and have a functional understanding of functions. (This generally means that a student is comfortably ready for Algebra II.) Familiarity with computer programming is not assumed nor expected.
Session 1: Outdoor Art
This path is designed to have students use the natural world to create beautiful pieces of art. Individuals will learn to utilize both natural and artificial resources from their environment to create art pieces of various mediums and type including sculpture, landscape, and kinetic art. The concept of form and function will be explored through activities such as constructing different types of shelters, boats, and other items of daily use. Students may even create various forms of pottery, baskets, or other articles related to hunting and gathering. Trips to local art galleries and museums will occur and conversations with local artists will help inspire Sojourners to create rare and unique pieces!
Session 2: En Plein Air Landscapes and Beaches
Are you a painter or interested in learning how to paint or draw? Do you enjoy the great outdoors on a beautiful, sunlit day? Then this path is for you! Students will create paintings and drawings using en plein air (French for “in the open air”) style. Students will explore the underlying unity in the diversity of nature and interpret nature in a series of paintings by exploring fractals, spirals, ripples, and explosive patterns found all around us. We will visit the PepsiCo sculpture garden in Purchase, New York to view site-specific sculptures as well as the Florence Griswold museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut to view en plein air paintings from the impressionistic era. Supplies will be provided but you are welcome to bring your own!
Session 1 & 2: Theater Production
Calling all shower singers, musical theater lovers, actors, performers, techies, and theater loving folk! Franklin Academy has teamed up with the world-famous Goodspeed Musicals (right here in East Haddam!) to offer this amazing opportunity. You will work with Franklin Academy faculty and Goodspeed staff to design, create, and perform in a production at the end of your Summer Sojourn session. This production will be held in the Goodspeed Rehearsal Studios where all of the actors who have crossed the Goodspeed stage have rehearsed. In addition, students will have an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Goodspeed Opera House and facilities as well as tickets to a performance of the scheduled Goodspeed production happening during your session.
While the Path class descriptions are the same for each session, the productions will be different. Students may participate in one or both sessions.
Session 1: Worst-case Scenarios
Have you ever wondered how to survive being lost at sea or how to land an airplane in an emergency? How do you get a candy bar that is stuck in a vending machine or deal with a roommate or co-worker? And how DID MacGyver get out of those sticky situations? In this path, we will use the Worst-case Scenario Survival Handbook series to explore solutions to creative puzzles and situations in order to verify or refine our best-case solutions to worst-case scenarios. Students will gain insight into problem-solving skills and create an action sequence for our very own path video. Much of our time in this path will be spent outside, so pack up your sunscreen and bring your imagination!
Session 1: Beasts and Beasties: Wonders of the Animal Kingdom
This path is for all animal lovers or those who are interested in the behavior and intelligence of our fellow travelers in the animal kingdom. In this path, students will explore the fascinating creatures of this planet. Each student will spend time observing and researching an animal of his or her choosing. Students will take advantage of experiential learning opportunities by visiting a zoological park, an animal shelter, and the Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.
Session 2: Marine Science
Summer Sojourn Marine Science is a hands-on learning adventure under the guidance of real oceanographers and marine scientists. Possible topics covered in this path include coral reef habitats, the Long Island Sound habitat, marine mammals, fisheries assessment, and physical oceanography. Students will experience the marine world through frequent trips to coastal environments for research and stewardship purposes, a visit to a research institute, and exploration at the Mystic Aquarium. Through various investigations students will gain an understanding of marine animal interactions in response to varied environments.
Session 2: We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends
Sojourners will put their ideals to work and learn helping, leadership, and job skills in the process. We will work to help several local non-pro t groups, likely including Ray of Light Farm, an animal rescue farm; the Goodspeed Opera House; and the local Land Trust. As you provide much needed assistance, you will learn about the world of non-pro ts and how they organize and fund themselves. Students will experience rst- hand how volunteering can lead to future employment or ful lling volunteer work. Sojourners will have additional experience to add to their resume or college application or to ful ll community service require- ments. And if this is not enough, we hope to have some fun as we work! This Path is limited to students who are rising Juniors and above.