Musicology – Monday
Music experts and newbies alike will love this week of exploring topics in STEM through music! On our first day of Musicology, students received their own harmonicas to explore playing/performing songs through trial and error. The students then explored the condition synesthesia by using their creative side and expressing the music they heard in colorful, imaginative drawings. In the afternoon, students listened to some good vibrations while learning how sound is composed of waves. They then used this knowledge to begin to build their own electronic instruments composed of a vibration circuit and keyboard!
Ask your students: What is synesthesia? (A perceptual phenomenon in which one sense involuntarily triggers another; E.g. looking at the number 4 causes a mint taste in one’s mouth)
What is a wave? (The transportation of energy through a medium (water, air, etc.) without transporting matter)
Book Recommendation: A Mango-Shaped Space By Wendy Mass
This young adult novel is recommended for 5th-8th grade students and expands on the topic of synesthesia (which was explored this morning by the students). The plot revolves around Mia Winchell, a thirteen-year-old girl, struggling to understand and be understood by her peers, friends, and family due to her synesthesia. The novel received the American Library Association Schneider Family Book Award in 2004 and has since received several other awards.
Innovation Through the Ages
In this program, students will be introduced to pivotal moments in technological and artistic innovation and the physics and science behind them. Students will work in groups to create, imagine, design, and recreate key innovations that moved the Western world from antiquity to modernity. Tools and techniques used by engineers and artists to transform their communities will be utilized as students solve the same problems innovators faced throughout history. Projects may include architectural studies and early perspective techniques; the mechanics of trebuchets and catapults, and the principals of flight and development of the first flying machines.
IMSA’s Integrated Science Program is a selective application course focused on providing STEM education opportunities to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Partial to full scholarships are available.
This uniquely IMSA program, combining two weeks of online learning followed by one week of engaging hands-on learning on campus in Aurora, explores the links between biology, chemistry, and physical science. Taught by IMSA faculty, participants delve into scientific topics including gas laws, osmosis/diffusion, and how water affects climate.
With a solid foundation from two weeks of online courses, students arrive at IMSA for a week of hands-on activities in our labs. Students live in the residence halls, experiencing life at IMSA first hand as a student. At the conclusion of the program, students are presented with a Certificate of Completion.
Genetics: Nature or Nurture?
Genetics has become a cutting-edge science, not only in the field of biology, but also because of the enormous social and medical reach of its discoveries. In this program, students will explore the environment’s role in gene expression. Are traits controlled by inherited genes or by a combination of genes and the environment? Students will experiment with Drosophila (fruit flies) a widely used model organism in real-world genetics investigations and will also practice doing or modeling genetic techniques such as DNA isolation, gene-editing, PCR, etc. Students will also use statistical analyses to quantify research outcomes.
Physiology and Biomedical Engineering
Physiology and Biomedical Engineering have never worked better together than in this program! Students will learn physiology applications by using engineering to visualize the relationships between structure and function of both the digestive and cardiovascular systems. “Working” models of both systems will be designed, engineered, and built during the course of the week. Students will also have the opportunity to model different pathological conditions in their models such as atherosclerosis and Crohn’s disease and explain the biophysical and biochemical basis of their creations. Through model-building and testing, dissections, chemistry experiments, and possibly even a laparoscopic surgery simulation, students will come away with a newfound appreciation for these crucial systems. The week will culminate with the students presenting their creations at a showcase for parents.
Game Day STEM
How does a diver minimize their splash and maximize their score? How can a vaulting pole bend without snapping? How is sports equipment made to accommodate forces? The underlying STEM principles for the sports you know and love will be explored. Students will build and race a robotic swimmer, re-engineer an archer’s bow, and test cycling gears! Participants will discover how STEM concepts are applied to a variety of sports, helping athletes maximize their performance.
What does it take to be a marine scientist? Become an ocean explorer with us during our brand new ocean-themed STEM experience! Students will follow the engineering design cycle as they design, build, submerge, and test their own submarine. They will also learn the science behind (and model) fascinating ocean-phenomena like bioluminescence, perform dissections of marine creatures (including a squid), and study the ocean’s micro-organisms. If you’re ready – dive in!
Is there a doctor in the house? This program provides budding medical students a general understanding of human anatomy through hands-on explorations of the heart, blood, skin, bones and muscles! Participants will perform a (sheep) hearts dissection, practice suturing, explore the physics of blood flow, and much more. They will also engage in a fun and challenging bioengineering project that will allow them to apply engineering principles and practices to the structure and function of the human body.
Design, tinker, build, test—then do it again! Working in teams, participants will engage in hands-on activities as they explore the engineering design process through electrical, chemical, and biomedical engineering. Students will design, build, and race boats, build a solar powered car, and test the principles of force and motion through a week-long Rube Goldberg project culminating in a competition.
Space & Weather
IMSA’s weather forecast for Summer 2019…? “Cloudy with a chance of meteors!” We are hosting a camp that will explore the space and weather phenomena that have fascinated humans for centuries. Students will have to “think like an astronaut (or aerospace engineer or meteorologist)” in order to take on a series of space/weather-related challenges including how to design space gear that can withstand the harsh environs of outer space, capture lightning in a bottle, and use chemical reactions to launch rockets. Along the way, there will be some close encounters with glowing galactic goo, swirling satellites, and helpful hovercrafts. Come join us for a week that will be out-of-this world!
Calling all mini-Makers! Have you ever wanted to develop and assemble your own toy? Light up your creations? Build a waterslide? Students will hone their inquiring, designing, creating, and building skills on multiple engaging projects. Throughout the week they will be learning about circuits, physics, engineering, and even coding a dance that other students will perform. So put on your thinking caps and come join us makers!