Digital Media

Graphic Design

  • Introduction to graphic design using Microsoft Paint to created 2D and 3D graphics.
  • Learn the fundamentals of graphics design and the use of lines, shapes, textures, color, space and vectors
  • Learn to create Animated graphic art
  • Students will create designs, edit them and add them to their Digital Web Portfolios

Movie Production

  • Introduction to video production basics
  • Learn how to develop a story board and script
  • Learn about lighting, background, sound, scenes, video editing
  • Computer capture video is popular to develop gaming and other tutorials that require capturing video of a computer screen.
  • Learn how to use built in Microsoft apps to capture video of computer screens
  • Students will create videos, edit them and add them to their Digital Web Portfolio

Problem Solving

Applied Math

MathKidsWe want to encourage students to *LOVE* Math and experience and explore it in the context of real applications as one of the foundations of a technology education.

Our tutors, who include Univ of Iowa Math/Applied Math PhD and Undergraduate students, will ensure during 1×1 sessions that students are mastering math concepts based on school standards, and then also spend time in small groups exploring and applying math to all kinds of fascinating topics including robotics, engineering, music, computer programming, biology and many, many other fields of interest.

Each small group (2-3) students will be assigned a tutor. Each session will include tutoring to focus on student-specific math gaps and goals, supervised student practice and then logic puzzles, games and activities that use Applied Math to develop computational, analytical and algorithmic thinking.

Scholastic Chess

This new course starts in Spring 2020 and is presented by National Master of Chess, James Neal of Iowa City.  James has been teaching chess privately in Iowa City for the past 10 years. This course focuses on the critical thinking aspect of chess. The goal for this class is to break down tactical themes and find solutions based on a systematic approach. It is not required that students have a background or experience in chess to take this course.

ChessPawnDuring each session we will break down a theme and students will have time to work on solving chess problems associated with that theme. Students will work on key puzzles from the problem and record progress in student web portfolios.  James will review a game each session with the students to give them a practical idea of how these tactics may arise in their own games. Also, key positions will be provided for each of the students to spar among the group to test their tactical prowess and record their oversights.

Expect students to walk away with advanced tactical skills and a deeper understanding of chess. Most importantly, they would have greatly improved their critical thinking skills by regularly solving problems in an enjoyable atmosphere.

Computer Science

Our computer science courses ensure students understand how computers work as well as how to code in multiple programming languages.

Programming 1 – Web Development with HTML, CSS and Intro to JavaScript

  • Information flow, Internet and website architecture and elements – how web pages, servers and browsers function.
  • HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript within the industry standard Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Design, plan, implement and present multiple web page projects that increase in complexity.
  • Code concepts such as inputs, variables, data processing and functions as well as debugging and testing code

Programming 2 – Web Development with  JavaScript

  • Design and build more complex, interactive Web applications utilizing JavaScript.  These include highly interactive websites and game development.
  • Learn more advanced software application design, algorithm development, coding principles and tools will be practiced through individual projects.

Programming 3 – Database Development

  • Introduction to the highly integral skill of organizing managing, storing and querying data using a relational database. This course adds the next step to becoming a full stack developer and also the basis for more advanced programming projects and courses such as machine language (AI).


Robotics & Engineering

Junior Robotics-Web

Robot Build Projects and Introduction to HTML

Electronics 1 

This course provides a gentle introduction to the fundamentals of electronics.  Students will learn about the basic components that make up and control electronic circuits.  Students will learn how to create Circuit Diagrams using standard circuit symbols and then create and test their circuits using SNAP Circuits (no soldering required!).  Each diagram and circuit will be added to Student Digital Portfolios with descriptions. Each SNAP Circuit model and it’s components will be discussed and documented.

Robotics 1 – Understand components of robots and how they make these machines function, along with their varied uses. Multiple design, plan and build projects to gain hands on understanding of the following:

  • mechanisms that push, pull and lift using wheels/axles, inclined plane, wedge, lever, pulley and screw.
  • machines with motorized movement using motors, gears, drive trains. Understand speed and torque.
  • machines that use plows, scoops and friction grabbers for object manipulation mechanisms.
  • lifting mechanisms such as rotating joints, elevators, and linkages.
  • the robot’s computer (brain) for processing inputs and performing tasks through programming
  • robot sensors to detect inputs such as light, color, objects and motion

At the conclusion of this course, students will be ready build more complex robots and graduate from graphical interface programming to ROBOTC.

See Robotics for more curriculum details.