Oregon State University

Courses for 3rd and 4th Graders

2017 Classes will be posted by Nov. 10, 2016 

List of Courses for 2016



Each course meets for 80 minutes on each of the six Saturdays: January 23, 30; February 6,13, 20, 27;  2016.

Advanced Chess

Presenter: 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.

Beading Embellishment by Hand

Presenter: 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.


Beginning Chess

Presenter: Phil Schapker
New chess players will learn basic beginning, middle and end game play.  Discover the fundamental strategies of chess, general principles, and how to use a chess clock!  Strategies and principles of chess will be covered at various levels to meet each player's needs.

Create a Country

Presenter: Jud McClure

In this class you will be the creator of a new country. You will learn how geographical location and climate affect countries. You will create a political and physical map that shows some of the details of your country. You will create a form of government for your country. You will work out agreements with leaders (other class members) of other countries concerning many issues. You will also design a flag for your country after learning the basic vexillological  (study of flags) concepts.

Design Your Future House 

Presenter: Kaisa Laukkanen   ($10 Materials Fee)

How do you want people to live in your house? Does it have special features? Your imagination is the limit! Work with an architectural designer to design and draw a house, and then build a scale model.   How many rooms and stories will your house have?  What will be the character of your house?  Historic, Gothic, Victorian, Rustic, Classic, Modern?  Consider furniture and landscape layout as well!

Draw What You Like

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.

Hands On Science

Presenter: Natasha La Blue ($5 materials fee)

Make green fire, shimmering molecular models, elephant toothpaste, frozen bubbles, perform the "clock" reaction, and much more. Also research and prepare fascinating science demonstrations (topic, background, and safety to be approved by the class instructor) to present to your classmates during the last two periods!

Maker Exploratorium

Presenter: Ken Olsen ($15 Materials Fee)

We are all makers at heart. We just have to find our passion. Explore electronics with Arduino microcontrollers. Learn how computers work with Raspberry Pi. Learn how to program in Scratch, JavaScript and Python. Incorporate computing in textiles with soft-circuits. Take apart an appliance to see how it works. Create art from junk. Explore and utilize online maker resources. Go home with the skills and confidence to follow your passion.

Math for Smarty Pants!

Presenter:  Vanessa Otamendi

What does it mean to be a mathematical smarty pants? It sounds like it means being smart in math. And it does. Being smart with numbers is one way, but it's not the only way. There are some kids who "see" things easily in their heads. Others are good at strategy games and puzzles. All are ways of being a smarty pants in math. Come join this class and explore different fun and exciting ways to discover math!

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.


Presenter: Elena Chavarria ($15 materials fee) 

Learn how to make a Piñata as you also construct the meaning of its colors, shapes and goodies inside. Experience the enthusiasm as a guest of celebrations where a piñata will be hit. A fiesta will be hosted during the last day of class. Each student will design and craft his/her own piñata during class sessions.
We will let the pagan symbolism of piñatas transcend into many other cultural meanings which are part of our community in Corvallis, and enable us to appreciate festivities all around Latin America. Piñatas are key features in children parties, Christmas, Posadas Navideñas, Quinceañeras, and Mexican patriotic holidays including 5 de Mayo and 16 de Septiembre. Students will become acquainted with the religious-pagan origin of this symbolic craft and will master the skills to create a basic, medium or advanced piñata.



Contact Info

Dennis Hickey, Coordinator

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