Oregon State University

Courses for 5th and 6th Graders

List of Courses for 2015


Each course meets for 80 minutes on each of the six Saturdays: January 24, 31; February 7, 14, 21, 28; 2015.


All About Acting

Presenter: Rod Davidson

Hollywood actor and popular teacher Rod Davidson will be leading this fun-filled, action-packed course. Auditioning, making commercials, working on television and film scripts, presenting yourself to people with confidence, working with others with creativity and humor- these are just some of the topics we will cover in this course. If you're ready to give something new a try, or want to improve on skills you already have, join this class and get ready for "3, 2, 1, ACTION!"


Presenter: Mark Allison ($25 Materials Fee)

Discover how full size airplanes and model airplanes fly.  Build a high performance rubber band powered model airplane for flying in large indoor areas like gymnasiums or outside in large, treeless fields.  Learn how to adjust the model for long flight times.  Be introduced to modeling skills and plan-reading so you will be able to build more complex planes later and know how to adjust them.  Basic skills of coordination, ability to listen and to follow instructions are required for maximum benefit from this class.  

Action, Adventure, Games, and Glory

Presenter: Alexis Lanham

This dynamic course focuses on games that are more than just fun.  Activities could range from discovering how to work your way through a human-sized maze to, literally, supporting your group members in order to solve puzzles you can’t crack alone!  Discover not only how to work with others, but also how to be a leader amongst their peers.  You’ll walk away from these sessions knowing anything is possible!  Be challenged mentally and physically.  This course is accessible to all activity levels; there will be ways for anyone and everyone to participate!

 Participants: Please wear closed-toe shoes, comfortable clothing you can move about in, and outerwear appropriate for the weather, as some sessions may be held outdoors.

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.

Chemistry I

Presenter: Andy Cadotte ($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.

Chemistry II

Presenter: Andy Cadotte ($5 Materials Fee)

For everyone that loves learning about Chemistry, and how it shapes our world. We will look at making snowflakes, the properties of dry ice, and how to make our very own hand warmers to name a few. You will learn the fundamentals of Chemistry, and will come out of class ready to tell the world about the amazing world of Chemistry. You will even be able to conduct your own experiments at home!

Cooking Around the World

Presenter: Angela Cail ($18 Materials Fee)

Did you know that dough is alive? Do you know what umami is? What is gluten and why do we need it in pasta? Come explore these questions as we take a trip around the world—seen through a food lens. Each week we will explore a different culture and cook foods from that country, learning how food reacts to certain elements and procedures. Come join us as we explore China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, and the U.S.  Explore the traditions and geography of those lands as we take an interactive approach in learning how to make bannock, lettuce wraps, ratatouille, salsa, and hand-rolled pasta, all the while discovering how science and food preparation go hand in hand. And the best part? We get to eat everything we make!!

Creative Computing

Presenter:  Sophia Zhang

Use Scratch, a fun computer programming language, to create art, animated stories, music, and, time permitting, even games!  Scratch allows participants to think creatively, reason, and work collaboratively.

Creative Computing 2

Presenter: Sophia Zhang

Students who participated in the 2014 Winter Wonderings/STEM Academy "Creative Computing" course have an opportunity to continue working with Scratch at a more advanced level. This course will explore more advanced topics such as advanced animations, music creation, and advanced game design. Hybrid course includes all grades.

Crime Scene Investigation

Presenter: Sarah Erhardt ($5 Materials Fee)

Exactly how do investigators solve a crime mystery?  You will become a junior detective to investigate a crime scene and solve the mystery.  Along the way, learn the techniques scientists use to examine evidence, determine blood types, and perform your own experiments, such as fingerprinting and particle analysis.  This is one puzzle you don't want to miss!

Drawing and Design

Presenter: Mark Allison

Draw animals, people and landscapes.  Draw buildings in correct perspective and create beautiful designs using geometric shapes.  Have fun “seeing” in the special way that the best artists do, so you can draw anything you can see.  This class is for everyone, especially students who feel limited in drawing experience or skill.  Take this class and be surprised! 

East meets West: Chinese your Way

Presenter: Luh Jang Chen ($10 Materials Fee)

Ever wanted to learn Chinese, but felt you needed 10,000 hours of practice and a tiger mom to learn it? Now is a time to debunk the myth of learning difficult languages. Chinese your way is taught through an art medium, you being the artist. Students will be guided through a series of projects including historical to modern Chinese calligraphy written on scrolls, Chinese painting sewn onto sustainable bags, and Chinese cultural song performances. All projects including videos of performances can be taken-home at the end of the program. Learn to express yourself through the language of Chinese.

Engineering Exploration

Presenters: OSU Engineering Personnel 

Experience a different facet of engineering each week. You will learn about engineering and in particular Sustainable/Green Engineering. Activities include chemical reaction powered cars, solar powered cars, thermolectric devices for electric power, sustainable and green engineering windmills, and the engineering behind a 3-D printer.

How Did We Get Here?: Adventures in Geography and History

Presenter: Martin Mulford, PhD

Did you ever wonder how things got to be the way they are? How countries came into being? How boundaries were drawn? How medicine and science and industry got started? Unearth answers to these and other mind-boggling questions by exploring different ways of thinking about the past, looking at our crazy world, and trying to figure out our place in it. Look back into the time when there were no nations, when there was no science, when there wasn't even a Western Hemisphere(!) and try to discover some of the solutions to the mysteries of how we got here. 

Introduction to Programming I

Presenter: Caleb Barde

This class will be a basic introduction to understanding how computers accomplish tasks and how people make them run procedures. We will be using Alice (a visual programming language) in order to make games, movies, and stories. Previous knowledge with a computer is helpful, but certainly not needed.

Introduction to Programming II

Presenter: Caleb Barde

This class is an extension of the previous class, but it should not be hard for new students to get up to speed. In this class we will go from very basic tasks- such as understanding how to place objects and tell very linear stories- to creating interesting games that can take advantage of interaction with a user and other fun things!

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.


Presenter: Jack Standeven ($5 Computer User Fee)

Come and play Minecraft on our OSU computers in a whole new way! Explore ancient cities and cultures. Travel to new lands, work as a team to build towns, bridges, and castles. Dicover the basics of Redstone engineering. Or just have fun learning and sharing new Minecraft tips and tricks. If you're a beginning Minecrafter or a long time seasoned player, you are sure to have fun as we explore Minecraft together.

Mundus Imaginalis: A Door into the History of Mural Art and the Colors of Self-Discovery

Presenter: Elena Chavarria-Correa

Learn about the amazing connections and diverse paradigms implied in symbols portrayed in mural art since the beginning of culture and collaborate on your own mural! How did the Egyptians prepare hues for their afterlife? Whaat did azuli mean for the Mayas? Be prepared to unveil the conscious and imaginary creations of our world's civilizations as you reflect upon the artistic transcendence of humankind. Express your own reality through artistic talents and gifts shared in your class as you participate in a collective mural project. 


Presenter: David Schas ($5 Materials Fee)

From building balloon powered vehicles to exploring space flight, students will become more familiar with the physical world around them. Physics students engage in hands-on and inquiry based activities that apply Newtonian concepts and mathematics. A STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) focus is the foundation to the course. This means students will be challenged to design, investigate, model, build, and problem solve to optimize their results.


Presenter: Marco Teeter

Participate in a Quest, a type of treasure hunt in which participants follow clues and hints to locate a "treasure." Then select a topic from a list of suggestions and, working with a group, develop your own quest. Plan the topic, prepare the clues, draw a map, and decide on a concluding "treasure." Enjoy this fun adventure which started in England over 150 years ago.

What Are We Made Of?

Presenters: Kelsey Kean, Rachel Henson, and Rachael Kuintzle

When you look at a building, you can see it's made of glass and bricks or wood. But have you ever wondered what YOU are made of? In this class, students will explore the building blocks of living things, such as DNA and proteins. They will also learn how to use the scientific method and will get to take home some cool scientific souvenirs.

World Challengers for the Future

Presenter: Carlos Valdes-Casillas

As community leaders heading toward key positions, this class will motivate students to place themselves in leadership roles. We will address past and current events, while they will become representatives of our communities, our state, and even our world. Participants will create proposals to challenge existing trends in order to explore "alternative roads" and imagine new paths for our communities.




Contact Info

Dennis Hickey, Coordinator

Precollege Programs for TAG Youth
Oregon State University
239C Covell Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-3502
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