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Summerscape Classes

Morning Courses

Afternoon Courses

Summerscape Morning Courses
9 am – 12 noon (Monday-Saturday & Monday-Wednesday)


Make the change from being a passive user to active creator. In this class we will invent our own toys, board games, and other creations using duct tape, cardboard, and whatever we can get our hands on. Stop-motion Lego animation and short movies are a possibility, in addition to learning  how to use a Makey-Makey, a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino. We will play with some toys including gravity mazes, marble towers, and gears. In short, if you like the idea of science meets art and do-it-yourself projects, this is the place for you.

Born to Read

If reading is as necessary as breathing and if you would rather read than almost anything in the world, Heck, anything! If you never have enough time to just sit and fall into a book, If having uninterrupted reading time sounds like heaven, If your reading list is so long that you have had to start rolling it up, and If you have more piles of books in your room than furniture, and If your best friend is someone who will sit there quietly and read with you, and If you get cranky if it’s been too long between reads, Then, this is your lucky summer! Summerscape is here to fulfill your deepest reading fantasy, and mystery, and adventure, and so on! In this class, we will read, and read, and read, (bring something comfy to read on – an old sleeping bag? Big pillow?) – and we will talk about and experiment with different genres and share some of our favorite bits and books…and those of us who like to write about books can write at length on our class blog and in a journal, too. And those of us who don’t can just write or draw a little. We will also visit how various libraries work and come up with some useful ideas for our fabulous book repositories here in the Queen City. We will also develop a booklist with synopsis to share with all of camp. But mainly, this one is for book lovers! You know who you are!

Instructor: Catia Gilpin, Phelps Center for the Gifted

Crime Scene Investigator

A crime has been committed, and it was one of your classmates!  How do we find out who it was?  Use a lie detector? No.  Not reliable enough.  Torture?  No. Too messy.  Have a line up?  No.  Many of the Summerscapers look alike and could be falsely accused as the criminal.  Ah ha!! Let’s use forensic science techniques to solve the crime and correctly identify the guilty person.  It has been proven reliable, is not too messy and it is easy to collect and analyze the evidence.  We will be using the same forensic techniques and scientific analysis to solve our own classroom mystery.   Please join the CSI team and help me to uncover who committed the crime. FEE $10

Instructor: Eric Wilbur, Kickapoo High School, Springfield

Goldberg & His Crazy Contraptions

Do you like the sound of pounding hammers, the feel of sticky duct tape, or the sight of marbles rolling down a tube? You will put your creative imagination to work and experience many hands-on activities as you learn about Rube Goldberg, the man who invented crazy contraptions that made simple tasks very complicated. As you build two Goldberg contraptions of your own, your imagination will come to life as balls roll, dominoes tumble, and levers tilt.

Instructor: Darlene Taylor, Phelps Center for the Gifted, BRIDGES

Whose Line?

"Whose line is it anyway?"  If you've ever seen the show, you now know what this class is all about.  These theater games will sharpen your improvisational skills and help you develop the following fundamentals: imagination, concentration, ensemble-building, confidence, observation, and creativity.  So, the answer to the question is:  "It's your line!"  Come and join in the fun.

Instructor: Michael Butcher, Kickapoo High School

Digital Image & Design

We will use digital software such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and tools such as digital cameras and scanners to explore the integration of visual design principles and digital technology.  We will study the design elements of line, balance, rhythm, color theory, texture, and value to create a wide variety of digital collages. Your friends and family will be amazed at the masterpieces you create. 

Instructor: Gary Strunk, Central High School

Movie Making Madness

There is a lot more that goes into the art of movie making than most people account for; rewrites, storyboards, setting up the shot, collecting actors and props, and the art of editing. In this class you will collaborate with other creative minds to make one of a kind video projects that are thought up by you, planned by you, and created by YOU. Learn the ins and outs of movie making in the real world, and how to get your ideas from your head, through a camera, and on to the screen.

Instructor: Sara Silkwood, Missouri State University

The Science of Doctor Who

Do you like stories about adventure?  How about robots? Or robot dogs?  Scary monsters?  Time travel? Wait!  What about romance?  Aliens?  Cowboys and cyborgs? And bowties!  (hey, bowties are cool).  Do you like dinosaurs in space ships?!   If you do, this class is for you!  Each episode of Doctor Who is so bizarre and exiting that it’s no wonder the most commonly used word in the series is  “RUN!” And this is the unbelievable part…ready?...this is a science class!  You get to watch Doctor Who and then learn the science behind those amazing stories! 

Instructor: Jackie Carl, Central High School, Springfield

Summerscape Afternoon Courses
1 pm-4 pm (Monday-Saturday & Monday-Wednesday)

The Watering Whole - Not Naked and Afraid

What would you do if you were stranded somewhere without water?  Would you drink from a stream?  Do you appreciate your water supply?  Do you really understand how we get the water we drink and use every day and what is done to it between point A and point B? We will explore, in depth, a watershed in our own community. Walking field trips will include a tour of the Jordan Creek tunnels, and off-site field trips to the Watershed Center of the Ozarks to conduct stream sampling. We will follow a water drop from the place it hits the ground until it ends up in the James River, and look at sources of pollution it may encounter. How do people on shows like Survivor get clean water to drink?  How do we?

Instructor: Elicia Ligon, Central High School Gifted Program, Springfield

Movie Classics

Do you love movies? Do the stories and the way that the films are made fascinate you? If you are a movie buff, this is the class for you. We will take an in depth look at many of the classic films that have significantly influenced modern film and film makers. Through the viewing of these films, you will become a more perceptive viewer of film while learning basic cinematic techniques that define different genres of film. Through analysis and discussion, you will acquire a keener sense of film awareness and a deeper appreciation for the art of film-making.

Instructor: Michael Butcher, Kickapoo High School, Springfield

Bodyworks for the Medical Mind!!

Does the human body fascinate you?  Are you considering a job in a health or medical field someday?  Do you like to work with your hands?  Attend Body Works!  This class is packed with hands-on projects, labs, and field trips about the human body. We will explore careers in this field by talking to experts and people currently in the medical workforce.  Some special class activities are a field trip to tour a local hospital, a dissection lab, creating models of the body systems, a visit to The Springfield Discovery Center, and so much more!  This course is ideal for students considering the medical field for a program of college study. FEE $30 

Instructor: Sarah Gurney, Willard Schools

Missouri Caves: The World Below Our Feet

Caves are a unique and special window that allows us to look into the Earth’s history. Come explore our planet in a way very few people ever get to, from the inside out.  For Millions of years caves have been a home to many strange and exotic animals as well as humans. Through our explorations we will get hands on with rare animals that only survive in the harsh environment of caves. We will also look at the prehistoric beasts that once called the caves of Missouri their home and how their extinction allowed humans to begin to use caves for shelter.  FEE $30

Instructor: Matt Forir, Missouri Institute of Natural Science, Springfield, MO

Draw Something!

Tracing, tessellating, tangling…amazing art can begin by simply putting pencil to paper. This class will explore how to create complex art using basic materials, shapes, and concepts. We will study optical illusions to see how and why certain things catch our eyes, and we will use geometry as an artistic building block. Whether you have dreams of being an artist or only know how to draw stick figures, this class has something for you. Come draw something with us!

Instructor: Meredith Burstin, Phelps Center for Gifted Education, Springfield

Who Needs a Hero?

Who is your hero, and why? Harry Potter, Odysseus, Katniss Everdeen, and Frodo Baggins share more than a bookshelf. They travel the same path of events under different costume, and they are popular literary figures because their journey is also ours. In 1968, comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell outlined this journey by looking for common elements in myths across world cultures. In this course, we will look for Campbell’s Hero’s Journey in the fiction and movies we love, in the mythology of the ancients, and in the news. If you like to dream stories or understand people, come along!

Instructor: Dr. Kris Wiley, Drury University in Springfield

Hunger Games 101

Do you like literature? Or how about science? Maybe some math too? Are you intrigued by Suzanne Collins dystopian science fiction trilogy? Have you ever considered the science that is interwoven in her novels or what other pieces of literature coincide with her stories? And what about archery, how does that fit into all this? In this class we will explore the literature, math and science connections of The Hunger Games, as well as try our hands at basic archery. FEE $40

Instructor: Audra Uzzelle, Central IB Program

Groove Theory: an exploration into the realm of rhythm (Offered 9am - noon)

In this class, we will explore the vast world of grooves and focus on the rhythms that create them. We will use percussion techniques on instruments and everyday items. Come enjoy various music styles while we layer percussive rhythms and sounds together with others sharing our interests in the primal world of rhythm.

Instructor: Jake Viele, Scholars Program, Central High School, Springfield, MO