Clarkson University’s Project Challenge, a unique academic program for local high school students, returns this winter with a choice of nine five-week courses. The popular program is designed to offer area students in grades nine through 12 an opportunity to participate in classes that are not commonly offered in their high-school curriculum.
Clarkson faculty and administrators teach the courses on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon for five weeks, under the direction of The Clarkson School. This winter’s program begins on January 14.
This year, the program offers four new courses: Emerging Leaders 101, Engineering for Life, How to Write a Short Story, and Intro to Entrepreneurship.
Emerging Leaders 101, with Brenda Kozsan and Kevin Lobdell, will focus on learning about the characteristics of an effective leader and developing skills through personal assessment, role playing, team- building, and interacting with invited guest speakers who will share their experiences.
Engineering for Life, with Melissa Richards, will be for all those students who have ever wanted to design and build their own rocket, tractor, roller-coaster, automobile, or robotic arm. In this class, students will learn how engineers are able to design the devices we see everywhere around us. They will even have the opportunity to design and build their own “Rec-Rube-y.”
How to Write a Short Story, with Joseph Duemer, will teach students the basics of fiction writing by the drafting and revising a short story. In each class session, they will read aloud one short story and consider how it is put together. Using these insights regarding plot, point of view, setting, and characterization, students will then work on producing their own work of short fiction.
Intro to Entrepreneurship, with Erin Draper, will be for all students who have ever thought about owning their own business. This fast-paced course will focus on the entrepreneurial spirit of students and allow them to apply classroom concepts in a “real-world” context. During the class, students will be exposed to leadership principles, team building, ethical decision making, financial statements, and marketing principles.
Blood and Guts: Medical History through the Ages, with Stephen Casper and Karen Buckle, will provide students with an opportunity to explore a number of different case studies from actual historical medical records and advance medical problem-solving skills. Whether students want to become a doctor or surgeon, enter a physician assistant program, work in physiotherapy, or are just fascinated by old stories of blood, guts and gore, ‘Medicine through the Ages’ will have something interesting for you.
Contemporary Moral Issues, with William Vitek, will have students examine a number of contemporary moral issues that challenge us as individuals and as a society. They will begin by exploring the nature of a moral issue, as opposed to a legal or scientific issue, and discuss the nature of a moral argument and outline a method that will assist in resolving moral dilemmas.
Know Your Computer: How to Make Your Home Computer Work for You, with Jeanna Matthews, will have students see what kind of data goes over the network when they surf the Web or use AIM, as well as look at traces of common attacks like viruses or worms. They will write their own Web page and learn to install an operating system from Windows.
Real Medicine, with instructors from Clarkson’s new Physician Assistant Program, will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the real world of today’s medicine. Students will visualize X-rays of fractures and some splinting of the arms and legs. They will learn how to put stitches in, test their blood sugar and find out what happens when someone has a heart attack or stroke, and much more.
Saturdays with Grey’s Anatomy, with Mary Alice Minor and graduate students from the Physical Therapy Program, will provide hands-on instruction on diagnosing injuries and the study of anatomy and physical therapy. Each session will consist of active participation in the anatomy lab and ‘hands-on’ activities and/or exercises for the focused area.
Project Challenge courses will begin on January 14 and continue through the next four Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon until February 11, with a possible snow date of February 18.
Schools that have participated in the past include Alexandria Bay, Brasher Falls, Brushton-Moira, Canton, Chateaugay, Clifton-Fine, Colton-Pierrepont, Edwards-Knox, Gouverneur, Herman-Dekalb, Heuvelton, Indian River, Lisbon, Lyme, Malone, Massena, Morristown, Ogdensburg, Parishville-Hopkinton, Potsdam, Sackets Harbor, Salmon River, Saranac Lake, and Thousand Islands.
Interested students should first contact their guidance counselor to see if their school is participating. Participating high schools may sponsor all or part of the students’ tuition. If the school is not participating, the out-of-pocket expense for the program is $140 per student. Enrollment in all courses is now available, but space is limited.
For more information, contact Brenda Kozsan or Annette Green at 315-268-4425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Students in last year’s Real Medicine course practice their newly learned suturing skills.