Learning Labs

Winter Learning Labs

 Feb. 4 – March 11IMG_7851 (1)
Wydown Middle School, 6500 Wydown Ave., 63105
Each class is $100 for the 6-week session

Register here!

Check out the full brochure! (You may also register by printing out the brochure form and mailing to the office with a check.)

NEW!! Architecture Meets Mythology, Africa
Grades 1st & 2nd     9:30 – 11:00
Grades 3rd & 4th     11:15 – 12:45
Let’s travel to the home of the world’s longest river, and some of the largest animals on the planet! Create ndbele homes and cardboard pyramids. Investigate the legendary grootslang (giant snake) and abata (like a unicorn, but with two horns)! Create web art (based on Anansi) and take the windmill challenge. Immerse yourself in African art, architecture & mythology with take-home projects each week!
Instructor:  Lisa Bader

Checkmate! – Beginning Chess
Grades K – 3rd     11:15 – 12:45
If your child is just learning chess (or wants to learn!), this class is the perfect place to start. Learn the basics of chess, how to begin the game, strategies such as pins and forks, how to queen a pawn and how to checkmate with Queen and King or Rook and King at the end of the game, all while playing and having fun. Benefits of the game for all levels: Problem-solving skills, coping with the consequences of your decisions, and good sports behavior.
Instructor: Stephen Randoll

Checkmate! – Advanced Chess
Grades 3rd – 8th     9:30 – 11:00
Learn advanced concepts in chess, including openings to produce swift checkmating attacks or the win of material, learn how to plan ahead in chess and create positions where tactical themes can be used, all while playing and having fun. Benefits of the game: Problem-solving skills, coping with the consequences of your decisions, and good sports behavior.
Instructor: Stephen Randoll

NEW!! Comics for Change
Grades 2nd – 6th     9:30 – 11:00
Like to draw AND want to help change the world? Let’s see how comics and graphic novels are used to tell stories about pollution, civil rights, education, religious freedoms, and more! Using the UNICEF Global Goals, create a comic that teaches kids (and adults) about what YOU want to change for a better future!
Instructor: Chuck Baker

NEW!! CSI: Wydown
Grades 3rd & 4th     9:30 – 11:00
Grades 4th & 5th     11:15 – 12:45
Are you ready to solve a crime in which each player is suspect AND detective?  Join us as we explore intriguing secret codes, mini-mysteries and real crime scene procedures! Each student will choose a character to play during the mystery, complete with props, evidence, and character profiles. Explore crime scene techniques like fingerprinting, handwriting analysis, shoe prints and more! Will you be the Master Detective, the Suspect, or the Perpetrator?  Come and find out!
Instructor: Rochelle Spencer

NEW!! Enviro-preneurs
Grades 3rd – 8th      11:15 – 12:45
Are you a budding entrepreneur? Build your first business plan! You’ll develop a environmentally-themed business plan that includes your target market, cost analysis, marketing strategy, and more! Finally, you will pitch your plan to the class, and the winner could see their product made during this summer’s ECO Academy!
Instructor: Chuck Baker

NEW!! It’s Electric!
Grades 3rd – 4th     9:30 – 11:00
Do you like experimenting with science and seeing what will happen? Do you like designing projects? In this class we will uncover the basics of electricity and explore how to create circuits. We’ll even discover surprising objects that will complete and power a circuit. Don’t miss this electrifying opportunity!
Instructor: Rebecca Lee

LEGO Mindstorms Robotics – Beginning
Grades 3rd – 8th     9:30 – 11:00
This is your chance to learn the basics of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots! Consider a real-world problem, create your hypothesis, program your solution and test your results! Build a rover-type robot to handle some basic tasks and experiment with other features of the kits. Apply the engineering process to your project. Problem-solving skills and creativity using robotics technology prove that the possibilities are endless.
Instructor:  Lisa Hummel

LEGO Mindstorms Robotics – Advanced
Grades 3rd – 8th     11:15 – 12:45
If you’ve taken at least a beginning Mindstorms class, now you can go further! Learn more and work on harder challenges, based on your skill level. Build and program working robots which respond to your commands as well as information from their environments. Working with a partner, you can even design your own robot from scratch! You’ll learn to control your creation using multiple sensors, various moving parts, and complex programs that allow the robot to assess its environment and make decisions. You will be given a specific challenge to accomplish with your programming at the beginning of each class.
Instructor:  Lisa Hummel

NEW!! Minecraft Meets Conservation
Grades 5th – 8th     9:30 – 11:00
Ender dragons, creepers, farmers, foresters, and gardeners. How can we change the Minecraft world to help conservation? We’ll work on creating our own characters, quests, and tasks to transform the world of Minecraft to better our own. Journey through our world learning about all the wonderful creatures we have, challenges they face, and then transport them into a video game reality to help address the plights they face.
Instructor: Michael Mahon

NEW!! Native Peoples Around the World
Grades 3rd – 6th     11:15 – 12:45
Let’s embark into a look at some distinct social and cultural groups around the world – how are they similar? Different? You’ll investigate the Algonquin culture from Canada and the Northern U.S., the Incas from South America, Mayans from Central America, Scythians from Central Asia, and Germanic tribes from Central Europe and Scandinavia. What was each group’s way of life? Nomadic or settled? Warfaring or peaceful? What were their distinct social, economic and political systems?
Instructor: Art Koenig

Ocean Odyssey
Grades 1st – 2nd     9:30 – 11:00
Grades K – 1st         11:15 – 12:45
Go into the deep as you explore the layers of the ocean, from the trenches to the surface, and discover the animals that live there. How are ocean currents generated? How do gravity, density, and anatomy allow animals to float? Simulate an oil spill and test clean-up methods. What is the impact of an oil spill on marine animals and their habitats? Develop your hypothesis and test what might happen if an octopus had a skeleton made of bone or cartilage like their predators. Experiments, activities, the scientific method.
Instructor: Kara Viviano

Readers’ Theatre
Grades 1st – 4th     11:15 – 12:45
“All the world’s a stage. . . And one [kid] in his time plays many parts.” Do you love being dramatic? Do you love reading? This is the class for you! Collaborate with your fellow actors to practice and perform a new play at the end of class each week. Vocal expression, gestures and student creativity provide all the drama you need. You haven’t “scene” anything yet!
Instructor: Rebecca Lee

NEW!! Reptiles and Amphibians, Why Do We Need Them Anyway?
Grades 3rd – 6th     11:15 – 12:45
Reptiles and amphibians give us a glimpse into the past and our future. From the Sarcosuchus to the Komodo dragon, how do these animals impact their environments? How does Herpetoculture impact keeping these majestic animals as pets? In this lab we’ll delve into reptiles’ and amphibians’ roles in the wild and in our own lives. We’ll take a look at the role they play within their ecosystems, and how we can create natural environments to keep them within the home.
Instructor: Michael Mahon

Revolutionary Science!
Grades 5th – 8th     9:30 – 11:00
It all started with the big bang, but what sparked the big revelations of Hypatia, Claudius Ptolemy, Copernicus and Galileo? Join us to explore how the big thinkers of the past offered new advances. Start with the beginnings of scientific thought in the Middle East and Greece; continue with the medical work of Galen and the natural philosophers. Aristotle espoused beliefs, some of which held sway until the Renaissance and into the 19th century! How did Newton, Einstein and others correct some of his long-held scholarship? Black matter, astronomy, astrology, medicine, gravity – how did the great scientific minds give us these insights?
Instructor: Art Koenig

NEW!! The Science of Flight
Grades 1st – 2nd     9:30 – 11:00
Grades 3rd – 4th     11:15 – 12:45
Passengers, please buckle your seatbelts and put your tray tables up, as we explore the science of flight.  What keeps aircraft in the air? We will research the animals that fly such as bees, butterflies, birds, and bats.  Then investigate both man’s successful and unsuccessful attempts to fly.  While learning the science behind man-made flying machines, teams will build, test, modify, and evaluate their own planes and rockets.
Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

NEW!! Set Up Shop
Ages 4 – 5     9:30 – 11:00
Ages 5 – 6     11:15 – 12:45
Let’s set up shop! Our mini-entrepreneurs will explore different types of shops – grocery stores, pet adoption agencies – maybe an accessories store or an international store?? Set up a different store each week and “sell” items to your classmates. What equipment will you need? What’s your store’s name? Learn about money and change. Think about pricing and marketing your products. We’ll touch on budgeting and saving, along with wants vs. needs. Hands-on learning fun!
Instructor: Joanna Gubin