Fall 2019 Learning Lab

Fall 2019IMG_20190614_143540872

Learning Lab Classes

October 12 – November 16

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SESSION 1   9:30-11:00

How Is It Made?   Ages: 3-4
Curious about – well, everything? Bring your destructive hands to us and take stuff apart with a purpose! Fabric, marker ink, paper and more – we’ll take things apart and figure out how they are made. After the destruction (always fun!), we’ll make new versions of the items. Share good books to encourage your creative (de)construction projects. STEAM concepts (science, technology, engineering, art and math) will be active here.  Instructor: Kristin Soifer

NEW!  Dynamite Dinosaurs   Ages: 4-5
Are you ready to fly, stomp and roar while learning about dinosaurs? Be a paleontologist and dig your way to the facts! Make a volcano and create your own fossil. “Excavate” a dinosaur from the Ice Age. What did dinosaurs eat? What happened to their food source? Sort dinosaurs into two categories. How did they become extinct? What environmental changes may have had an impact on their survival? Build your own dinosaur. Determine where it would live, what it would eat, and anything else that we need to know! Facts, fun and new concepts about our favorite creatures of the past.  Instructor: Mary Edstrohm

NEW!  Weather Watchers   Ages: 5-6
Witness the wild, wonderful world of weather! Experiment with the water cycle – evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. Can we make it rain indoors? Measure rainfall using the rain gauges we make. Create lightning using static electricity. How do hurricanes and tornadoes form? How are they different? Make snowballs on our very own snow day. Make a cloud viewer to explore the different types of clouds. Create a rainbow wind sock or weather vane and build a group anemometer to help us track wind velocity. Observe and graph our weather findings.  Instructor: Linzie Hagler

NEW!  Experiments + Creations = Take Home Treasures   Grades: K-1
Creative chaos or STEAM-based experimentation? It’s both, as we create something different each week and use our creations as the basis for our experiments. Design and build a boat to test its ability to float. Experiment with rocks and make crystals. Consider different aspects of color and paint something that expresses your findings. How can you make bubbles of various sizes? What works best to make bubbles? Experiment with slime. Discover the dynamics of air by making paper airplanes. And more! Take home the results each week!  Instructor: Beth Crites

NEW!  Be a Bridge Builder   Grades: 1-2
Explore the fascinating world of bridges! Will you build a graceful arch, a sturdy beam or a soaring suspension bridge? When you decide how long your bridge will be, how do you decide what materials to use? Will you put piers in the middle of the water and what materials will you use – concrete, steel or wood? Every decision is important. One mistake and your bridge could come tumbling down! Today’s bridges are different from the ones of the past, but the basic parts are the same; we’ll discover why. Engineer your own bridges to test for height, length and strength. Let your inventive mind and spirit spark new ideas in bridge building.  Instructor: Jennifer Sciuto

NEW!  Body Brainiacs   Grades: 1-2
Wonder how your body works? Journey through the human body and discover what makes us human! How do the different parts of the brain affect all other parts of our bodies? How do the heart and lungs work together to deliver oxygenated blood throughout the body? Create an edible heart model and check your pulse at rest and while exercising. Build a model set of lungs. Then follow your lunch on its journey through the digestive system. How do the small bones in your back help the body bend while the long bones do not? Experiments and activities get us to the heart of the matter!  Instructor: Kara Viviano

NEW!  Great (Art) Masters and a Makers’ Challenge   Grades: 2-3
Art like a master! The works of all-time greats, like Van Gogh, Monet, Da Vinci, offer us an array of color and art media. How did they do it? Make art materials and then create your own masterpiece in the style of some of the greats, like a burlap and plaster fresco a la Michelangelo using egg paints that we make. Mix colors (and maybe materials) to paint like Monet; how do you make secondary and tertiary colors to get just the shade you want? Create a Ghiberti relief from recycled objects. Follow the principles of Fibonacci or Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” to use symmetry in design. Art, technique, creativity and more!  Instructor: Lisa Bader

EV3 Robotics for Beginners   Grades: 2-3
Programming basics using LEGO® MiNDSTORMS® EV3 Kits! 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 basic features of the kits. Work with a team and apply the engineering process to test solutions based on real-life robotics technology. Problem-solving skills and creativity will prove that the possibilities are endless! Note that we’ll do our work with iPads which limits us to basic programming functionality.  Instructor: Lisa Hummel

NEW!  Become an Inventor!   Grades: 3-4
What does it take to be an inventor? Basic skills that you probably already have! Bring your creativity, interest in solving problems, and willingness to dig into a topic. Explore the works of famous inventors like Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, James West and Temple Grandin; recreate some of their projects, consider patents and trademarks, and develop your own inventive-thinking skills. Identify a problem in the community and tackle it with improvisation, flexibility and tinkering to develop a solution and design a prototype. Try some of the strategies of our famous predecessors!  Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

NEW!   Earth’s Polar Regions   Grades: 3-4
What would life in the Arctic or Antarctic be like? No sun for six months? And how can these areas be considered deserts? Determine how the polar regions are connected to important earth systems. Consider how plants and animals survive and adapt in the most frigid regions of our planet. Then create a “wild” version of yourself suited for this environment. Determine whether the melting of land or sea ice has the greatest impact on rising sea levels. Examine other threats to these areas and propose solutions using scientific processes. Experiments, map making and other activities will help us “experience” life in this extreme environment.  Instructor:  Andrea King

NEW!  Future Goals: Hockey Scholar   Grades: 3-5
Immerse yourself in online hockey and hands-on experiments! Investigate the scientific and mathematical basis of how the game of hockey works. Why do the pros freeze hockey pucks? How does the temperature of the ice affect players’ speed? How do players use variables to alter their sticks, skates, and pads to play their best? Which is better – a player with more speed or one with more endurance? What does a pass have to do with geometrical angles? Curriculum was developed by the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association to explore real-life applications of fundamental STEM concepts. Will you earn the Stanley Cup?  Instructor: Chuck Baker

NEW!  Constructing & Deconstructing in Chemistry – for Kicks!   Grades: 4-5
Explore structural changes in chemistry as a process of putting things together or taking them apart. What happens when you combine borax, water and glue? The chemical reaction produces slime! Experiment with other physical and chemical changes that produce slushies, volcanoes, paper and more. Consider chemical changes created through industrial methods and the impact on the human condition. How do you measure molecules and atoms using a mole? Which elements in the periodic table are artificially made? What chemical modifications can degrade polymers (plastics)? What is the effect of this process on our environment?  Instructor: Morgan Moody

NEW!   LEGO® Powered STEM Fun   Grades: 4-5
Release your creative powers and have some fun as we explore the world through LEGO materials. Work as an engineer, architect, designer and construction specialist on your own projects. Consider the physics of catapults as we design a castle siege. Build the slowest car for our turtle races. Design floating and sinking experiments using LEGO bricks. Graphing, more experiments, creating a world for your LEGO people… It’s so much fun, you’d never know that this class is based on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts. It’s a LEGO-palooza!  Instructor: Angela Rhodes

NEW!  Podcasting Like a Pro   Grades: 4-6
Passionate about podcasts? Can you talk endlessly about different topics? Maybe you’re our next podcast host! Explore what it takes to create your own podcast from the ground up. What’s involved? Do you need a script? How do you merge technology, including Screencastify, Google slides, and YouTube audio library, to make shareable productions? Practice performing for an audio audience. Do you have enough content for a series? How do you find content that doesn’t infringe on copyrighted materials or ideas? Sign up solo or grab a cohost to join in the fun!  Instructor: Megan Mills

Make Your (Chess) Move!   Grades: 5-8
Join us in the challenging world of chess! Learn moves, tactics and strategies to be a contender in a match with your friends. Apply your chess problem-solving skills to school and home, as you learn to think before making a move! For novice players, tactics can make or break your game. Will you use pins and forks or skewers? We’ll look at strategies for your advanced skills, such as attacking on opposite wings and playing to reach a better ending. Good sports behavior and coping with the consequences of your decisions are natural byproducts of the game.  Instructor: Stephen Randoll

NEW!   Today’s Superheroes – Ancient Origins!  Grades: 6-8
Superman and Hercules? Wonder Woman and Athena? Hulk and Enkidu (from the Epic of Gilgamesh)? Spiderman and Prometheus or even Achilles? Connections? The Marvel Universe reworks ancient themes from epic tales of the Viking gods, Greek gods and Roman heroes into our beloved comic book stories. How do our modern versions stack up against the originals? Get the backstories of our favorite fictional friends, from Thor and Black Widow to Tony Stark and Dr. Strange – and more! Explore the classic origins behind our modern-day superheroes!  Instructor: Art Koenig

Moving & Shaking – An Introduction to Engineering    Grades: 6-8
Will you be a mover and shaker in future engineering research? Test your mettle by working with Washington University (WU) professors in their scientific laboratories. Explore basic engineering principles and consider some of the problems facing the world today, everything from water treatment to wind power, developing nanostructured materials for biological use – different professors teach each year with their own research focus. Class meets weekly on the WU campus at Whitaker Hall. Class size limited to 12, with priority registration for girls before September 20, 2019.   Instructors: Jessica Wagenseil and Patricia Weisensee


SESSION 2    11:10 – 12:40

NEW!  Dynamite Dinosaurs   Ages: 3-4
Are you ready to fly, stomp and roar while learning about dinosaurs? Be a paleontologist and dig your way to the facts! Make a volcano and create your own fossil. “Excavate” a dinosaur from the Ice Age. What did dinosaurs eat? What happened to their food source? Sort dinosaurs into two categories. How did they become extinct? What environmental changes may have had an impact on their survival? Build your own dinosaur. Determine where it would live, what it would eat, and anything else that we need to know! Facts, fun and new concepts about our favorite creatures of the past.  Instructor: Mary Edstrohm

How Is It Made?   Ages: 4-5
Curious about – well, everything? Bring your destructive hands to us and take stuff apart with a purpose! Fabric, marker ink, paper and more – we’ll take things apart and figure out how they are made. After the destruction (always fun!), we’ll make new versions of the items. Share good books to encourage your creative (de)construction projects. STEAM concepts (science, technology, engineering, art and math) will be active here.  Instructor: Kristin Soifer

NEW!  Body Brainiacs   Grades: K-1
Wonder how your body works? Journey through the human body and discover what makes us human! How do the different parts of the brain affect all other parts of our bodies? How do the heart and lungs work together to deliver oxygenated blood throughout the body? Create an edible heart model and check your pulse at rest and while exercising. Build a model set of lungs. Then follow your lunch on its journey through the digestive system. How do the small bones in your back help the body bend while the long bones do not? Experiments and activities get us to the heart of the matter!  Instructor: Kara Viviano

NEW!  Weather Watchers   Ages: K-1
Witness the wild, wonderful world of weather! Experiment with the water cycle – evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection. Can we make it rain indoors? Measure rainfall using the rain gauges we make. Create lightning using static electricity. How do hurricanes and tornadoes form? How are they different? Make snowballs on our very own snow day. Make a cloud viewer to explore the different types of clouds. Create a rainbow wind sock or weather vane and build a group anemometer to help us track wind velocity. Observe and graph our weather findings.  Instructor: Linzie Hagler

NEW!  Experiments + Creations = Take Home Treasures   Grades: 1-2
Creative chaos or STEAM-based experimentation? It’s both, as we create something different each week and use our creations as the basis for our experiments. Design and build a boat to test its ability to float. Experiment with rocks and make crystals. Consider different aspects of color and paint something that expresses your findings. How can you make bubbles of various sizes? What works best to make bubbles? Experiment with slime. Discover the dynamics of air by making paper airplanes. And more! Take home the results each week!  Instructor: Beth Crites

NEW!  Great (Art) Masters and a Makers’ Challenge   Grades: 1-2
Art like a master! The works of all-time greats, like Van Gogh, Monet, Da Vinci, offer us an array of color and art media. How did they do it? Make art materials and then create your own masterpiece in the style of some of the greats, like a burlap and plaster fresco a la Michelangelo using egg paints that we make. Mix colors (and maybe materials) to paint like Monet; how do you make secondary and tertiary colors to get just the shade you want? Create a Ghiberti relief from recycled objects. Follow the principles of Fibonacci or Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” to use symmetry in design. Art, technique, creativity and more!  Instructor: Lisa Bader

Be a LEGO® WeDo Programmer!   Grades: 1-2
Take your LEGO fun on the ‘road’ as we code and program LEGO WeDo 2.0 kits to pull, push, tug and turn. Use your design and problem-solving skills to build robots. Then put your robots to work, studying forces of motion and testing solutions to real problems, like polluted oceans and safe road crossings for wildlife. Meet Milo, the planetary rover; how would you get Milo into space? It’s LEGO fun! Returning students will be challenged at a higher level.  Instructor: Chuck Baker

Make Your (Chess) Move!   Grades: 1-4
Join us in the challenging world of chess! Learn moves, tactics and strategies to be a contender in a match with your friends. Apply your chess problem-solving skills to school and home, as you learn to think before making a move! For novice players, tactics can make or break your game. Will you use pins and forks or skewers? We’ll look at strategies for your advanced skills, such as attacking on opposite wings and playing to reach a better ending. Good sports behavior and coping with the consequences of your decisions are natural byproducts of the game.  Instructor: Stephen Randoll

NEW!  Be a Bridge Builder   Grades: 2-3
Explore the fascinating world of bridges! Will you build a graceful arch, a sturdy beam or a soaring suspension bridge? When you decide how long your bridge will be, how do you decide what materials to use? Will you put piers in the middle of the water and what materials will you use – concrete, steel or wood? Every decision is important. One mistake and your bridge could come tumbling down! Today’s bridges are different from the ones of the past, but the basic parts are the same; we’ll discover why. Engineer your own bridges to test for height, length and strength. Let your inventive mind and spirit spark new ideas in bridge building.  Instructor: Jennifer Sciuto

NEW!   LEGO® Powered STEM Fun   Grades: 2-3
Release your creative powers and have some fun as we explore the world through LEGO materials. Work as an engineer, architect, designer and construction specialist on your own projects. Consider the physics of catapults as we design a castle siege. Build the slowest car for our turtle races. Design floating and sinking experiments using LEGO bricks. Graphing, more experiments, creating a world for your LEGO people… It’s so much fun, you’d never know that this class is based on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts. It’s a LEGO-palooza!  Instructor: Angela Rhodes

NEW!  Constructing & Deconstructing in Chemistry – for Kicks!   Grades: 3-4
Explore structural changes in chemistry as a process of putting things together or taking them apart. What happens when you combine borax, water and glue? The chemical reaction produces slime! Experiment with other physical and chemical changes that produce slushies, volcanoes, paper and more. Consider chemical changes created through industrial methods and the impact on the human condition. How do you measure molecules and atoms using a mole? Which elements in the periodic table are artificially made? What chemical modifications can degrade polymers (plastics)? What is the effect of this process on our environment?  Instructor: Morgan Moody

NEW!   Today’s Superheroes – Ancient Origins!  Grades: 3-5
Superman and Hercules? Wonder Woman and Athena? Hulk and Enkidu (from the Epic of Gilgamesh)? Spiderman and Prometheus or even Achilles? Connections? The Marvel Universe reworks ancient themes from epic tales of the Viking gods, Greek gods and Roman heroes into our beloved comic book stories. How do our modern versions stack up against the originals? Get the backstories of our favorite fictional friends, from Thor and Black Widow to Tony Stark and Dr. Strange – and more! Explore the classic origins behind our modern-day superheroes!  Instructor: Art Koenig

NEW!   Earth’s Polar Regions   Grades: 4-5
What would life in the Arctic or Antarctic be like? No sun for six months? And how can these areas be considered deserts? Determine how the polar regions are connected to important earth systems. Consider how plants and animals survive and adapt in the most frigid regions of our planet. Then create a “wild” version of yourself suited for this environment. Determine whether the melting of land or sea ice has the greatest impact on rising sea levels. Examine other threats to these areas and propose solutions using scientific processes. Experiments, map making and other activities will help us “experience” life in this extreme environment.  Instructor:  Andrea King

NEW!  Become an Inventor!   Grades: 5-6
What does it take to be an inventor? Basic skills that you probably already have! Bring your creativity, interest in solving problems, and willingness to dig into a topic. Explore the works of famous inventors like Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, James West and Temple Grandin; recreate some of their projects, consider patents and trademarks, and develop your own inventive-thinking skills. Identify a problem in the community and tackle it with improvisation, flexibility and tinkering to develop a solution and design a prototype. Try some of the strategies of our famous predecessors!  Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

NEW!  Creative Writing    Grades: 5-8
Are you a budding author? Inspired by what you read? If you have been itching to let your creative juices flow, this class is for you! Delve into a variety of genres including graphic novel, fantasy and historical fiction. Unleash your creative genius and open your mind to a variety of writing techniques. What elements of plot will you use – backstory, flashback, flash-forward, foreshadowing? How will you develop characters? Create mood and atmosphere? What goes into a great first line? Can you add verve to your verbs? Publish your work in a class book!  Instructor: Megan Mills

Phenomenal Physics!   Grades: 5-8
Enter the field of physics and crush metal with air, bend light, inflate a balloon without adding air, and defy gravity with electricity! Follow a different physics concept each week, and write a hypothesis as well as your observations and conclusions for each experiment. Centripetal force, pressure, kinetic and potential energy, electrical charge, light and heat: Experiments for each that could have your head spinning! Keep a personal lab journal of your findings. Join the fun of phenomenal physics!  Instructor: Lisa Hummel

Girls, Enter the Computer Science World!  Grades: 5-6
Dreaming of a future where you program games, chatbots, or even software that helps doctors end cancer? Start here! Explore the world of computer programming using Python coding language. Grasp basic coding and engineering concepts. Then apply what you learn to activities and projects like chatbots. Create an interactive story or other animation using Scratch graphical programming concepts. Tap your design, logic, creativity and problem-solving abilities as we face programming challenges in teams. Will you program the next “Alexa” or “Siri”? No computer experience necessary. Students from Washington University’s chapter of Girls Who Code will teach this class. No fee; first come, first served. Class limited to 12 girls. NOTE: TO REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS, PLEASE EITHER USE THE PAPER FORM OR CALL THE OFFICE AT (314) 962-5920.