Summer Quest Classes

2014 Summer Quest Classes

Grade 2-3 Courses

Grade 3-4 Courses

Grades 4-5 Courses

Grades 2-3 Courses

"Ahoy Ye Matey!"

Welcome all ye pirates.  Come aboard and experience a “jolly good time” as we explore the seven seas as pirates.  We will learn the history of piracy, be introduced to some of the famous pirates of old, explore trade routes, tie knots, and consider the weaponry used in the battles of the sea.  We will finish with an exploration of treasure hunters of today, using GPS devices to hide and hunt treasure.  FEE = $10

Instructor: Jonna Choat, Phelps Center for the Gifted, Springfield

Toy Box Physics

What does Force & Motion have to do with toys?  Join us as we investigate what’s really hiding in a toy box!  We’ll set up a matchbox track course in the classroom.  Then we’ll roll toy cars, marbles, and balls of various masses down the ramp.  Who invented the Slinky? How does it walk down stairs?  We will answer questions that you have while using toys straight from the toy box!  FEE = $10  

Instructor: Susan Trotter, David Harrison Elementary, Springfield

Everyday Science

Do eggs float?  Can you separate flour and salt after they have been combined?  Will liquids stack?  To answer, come join us for two weeks of hands-on experiments as we explore the world around us.  We will be using materials found in your kitchen and creating our own snacks.  Be ready to come away with a new appreciation of science and how much fun it can be.

Instructor: Joellyn Szura, Wanda Gray, Springfield


Grades 3-4 Courses


In this class we will do hands-on science activities such as isolating DNA, separating colors, and investigating the Doppler Effect.  Wondering is the beginning catalyst for both science and poetry. You will use poetry forms to make connections and more deeply experience science. We will write various forms of poetry as we reflect and connect our science activities. You will get to take home a science lab notebook with creative poetry.

Instructor: Dr. Scott Petrich & Connie Petrich, Drury University & Phelps Center for Gifted

Magical Science Show

Arthur C. Clark, famous science fiction writer once said, “magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.”  Let’s put on a magic show by using science.  In this class you will not only learn about how amazing science can be, but you will also get the chance to impress your friends and family by performing these astounding tricks of prestidigitation right in front of their very eyes!  Don’t be afraid.  No one will disappear or be turned into a rabbit and everyone will have fun and learn just how amazing science can be!                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Instructor: Jackie Carl, Central High School in Springfield

I Want to be a Veterinarian!

Do you love animals?  Would you like to be a veterinarian?  In this class we will look at how you become a veterinarian and what they do. We will take a field trip to a veterinary clinic to see what a small animal facility has to offer. We will explore several other aspects of working with animals. We will discuss animal rights, responsible pet ownership, and ways animals benefit humans.

Instructor: Tracy Piatchek, Immaculate Conception Elementary, Springfield

Calling Future Astronauts

Space travelers come be part of the SQT team and travel beyond earth this summer.  We’ll start at the moon, visit our solar system, fly off to black holes, jump from star to star, and finally venture to distant galaxies. You will work as a team to create our solar system and deep space. You will also investigate NASA’s current space programs.  What’s happening now, and what lies in your NASA future of space exploration.

Instructor: Penny Olive, Fifth Grade Teacher, Bingham, Springfield

Grades 4-5 Courses

Game On!

Do you like to play board and/or RPG card games?  Do you like being creative and have you ever made or wanted to make your own game?  Are you passionate about something that you think would make a good game?  That’s what we are going to do in this unit!  You will learn about game logic and design, system-based thinking, and probability and statistics.   You will play games and analyze them to figure out how these elements all work together to make not just a good, but a great game.  Finally, you will get to use all that you have learned and your creative thinking skills and artistic flair to design and create your own game which you can play with your friends and then take home!

Instructor: Catia Gilpin, Phelps Center for Gifted in Springfield   

R2D2: Research, Robots, Design, Discovery

If you like to work with computers, want to learn about robots and programmable machines, and would enjoy building and controlling LEGO machines, this is the class for you!  In this exciting, hands-on class, you will learn important science and math concepts as you build a variety of projects with LEGO Mindstroms kits, then write computer programs to make the machines perform specific tasks.  Motorized cars, trash collectors, remote controlled machines, and many more will be included among your projects.

Instructor: Betsy Cannella, Phelps Center for Gifted in Springfield