Oregon State University

Courses for 2016

Classes for 2017 will be posted in Spring 2017

Class Descriptions for Adventures In Learning 2016


Actors Boot Camp

Instructor: Rod Davidson

A boot camp is defined as a training program with discipline. Actors Boot Camp will challenge you with theatre games, improvisation, monologue and scene study, exploration of the actor's instrument - all meant to expand your creativity, imagination and self-confidence. Showcase your talents or learn new skills in this fun workshop taught by Hollywood actor Rod Davidson.

American Sign Language

Instructor: Terry McNamara

Come learn how to talk with your hands!  This class offers the basics of American Sign Language, from learning the alphabet, to understanding how gestures and facial expressions are an important part of this rich language.  We will learn how to introduce ourselves, talk about our families, friends and favorite activities. And more. Some history of American Sign Language will also be incorporated into this class.  Come and turn off your voice and turn on your hands.

Beading Embellishment by Hand

Instructor: Marianne Dickson

$5 materials fee

Come learn how to hand sew various types of beads onto fabric. Trace over designs provided or create your own. The class will begin with a ‘sample’ created by each student where they learn the various types of stitches and fringes created with seed and bugle beads. Students can then bring in clothing to use for their own design ideas. T-shirts, jeans, leggings, anything you like, can be used for transferring designs and adding one of a kind embellishment. Supplies will be provided and previous hand sewing experience is not needed.

Minecraft: World of Humanities

Presenter: Jack Standeven

$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: Turtle Robotics

Presenter: Jack Standeven

$5 Computer User Fee

Get your inner geek on. You love Minecraft. You love robots. You love computers. Now do all three together. Learn to code using Lua programming language to control robots with the ComputerCraft Minecraft mod. Program your robot, then turn it loose to dig, build, craft, solve puzzles and do silly robot tricks all in the world of Minecraft. Careful, you might want to become a robot engineer after this class!

From Observations to Experiments: Inspiring Tomorrow's Citizens and Scientists

Instructor: Alexander Rose

$5 materials fee

 Science starts with observing the natural world. Natural history involves observing the happenings of the plants and animals that share the world with us. Observations become ecological understanding through seeing connections between members of ecosystems. Experiments can build upon what we learn from observations. Ecological interactions set the stage for evolutionary change. If we see ourselves as part of the living world, our "biosphere," then we become more invested in its health and our own. Do you love being outdoors? Do you enjoy gardening? Do you love watching animals and trying to make sense of them? Do you ask questions and suggest explanations about the natural world? Would you like to hone your observational skills? Do you want to take a class that will be very hands-on and take place indoors and out? If so, then this class is for you!

3D Modeling & Printing : CANCELLED



Mindstorms/Lego Robotics

Presenter: Kimberly Gregory

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

Instructor: 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

Instructor: 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

Instructor: Troy Morris

$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.

Speech and Debate: War of the Words!

Instructor: Sravya Tadepalli

Like to argue? Want to be a lawyer, a politician, or an actor?  Maybe you’re quieter, and want an opportunity to come and speak your mind. Come here armed with words! Speech and Debate is back, with all new interactive activities designed to teach the basics of speech and debate skills, from presenting a strong argument, to telling a good story, to debating everything, from morality to politics to pop stars . We will learn how to talk proudly and persuasively and utilize fast-paced games, fun activities, fascinating discussions, and exciting simulations to apply our speaking skills to the world outside. Come join us!


Instructor: 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.

Design Your Future City

Instructor: Kaisa Laukkanen

$5 materials fee

Design and build a city to your liking.  How would you like people to live, play, travel, and work in your city?  The sky is the limit!  Will you base your design on a city you know and like, or begin a completely new design?  Begin with geographical features, like mountains, rivers, and lakes. Add residences, businesses, and industries. Plan parks and bike paths. What makes your city unique?  Will there be any special features or attractions?

Draw What You Like

Instructor: 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.

Model Rockets

Instructor: Leif Vong

$25 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.”

Social Media

Instructor: Sarah Blount

Look at the world around you and discover endless possibilities for great journalists! Work with an editorial team to put together your own online newspaper by choosing your own multimedia approach to hone your interviewing and story-telling skills. Pitch ideas, create video news stories, write investigative articles, fun features and personality profiles, and get the shots that tell it all. At the end of the two week course you will edit the final news piece and show it off on the web.

Veterinary Medicine Explorations

Instructor: 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!


Summer Reads Book Club

Instructor: Sarah Blount

$10 book fee

Are you excited for summer to come because it means more time for reading? Are you rarely spotted without a novel in hand? Then this course is for you! We will be reading and discussing Graham Salisbury’s Under a Blood Red Sun, the story of a young Japanese American growing up during the political upheaval of WWII. As a group, we’ll have some lively discussions about the book, as well as some cool connections relating to Japanese culture and the history of WWII. 

Amazing Math Class

Instructor: 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.

Expanded Drawing

Instructor: Jill Baker

$5 materials fee

What makes a drawing a drawing? Drawings do not always occur on paper, nor are they always permanent or made by hand. We will begin with the basic elements of art- line, color, shape, texture, value- as they are used in drawing to explore new and creative ways of drawing.

The Journal as Art

Instructor: Jill Baker

$5 materials fee

Not just a space for ideas, observations, and sketches, artist journals and sketchbooks can be beautiful and interesting works of art. Using beginning book making techniques, we will make three unique artist journals and fill them with drawing, collage, writing, and mixed media.

Contact Info

Dennis Hickey, Coordinator Precollege Programs for TAG Youth
Oregon State University
110 Snell Hall
Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Copyright ©  2016 Oregon State University