Class Descriptions for Outside The Box 2020:


    Presenter: Phil Schapker

What do Blockus, Hive, Yinsh, Shogi, Chess and Go have in common? Not only are they fun strategy games, but they are abstract strategy games!   In this class, students will spend time learning, playing, and analyzing a variety of both rare and well-known abstract games. Along the way we will discuss, in a broader context, what the heck is abstraction anyway, and why is it so cool and important in science, math and art?!



    Presenter: Riley Lamont

Before humans had all the notation and "rules" about math that we do now, they played clever games with numbers. These games could reveal profound symmetries and interesting quirks of numbers themselves. We will choose as a class several puzzles from the book of Ancient Puzzles by Dominic Olivastro and discuss how they can relate to the world around us.




    Presenter: Phil Schapker

Students will explore the most fundamental aspects of algorithms and computer programs by building "manual chess programs"-- coded sets of instructions for playing chess to be carried out by human "computers."  Students will create "evolutionary algorithms" that swap code and change in response to competition. Over the two weeks, the students' programs will grow in complexity and sophistication, leading to a final game between the two most successful chess programs. A moderate familiarity with chess is required to do well in this class. Students who have already taken Manual Chess Programs 1 will continue to test and improve their program while incorporating more advanced chess strategies and tactics.  Each student will propose and complete a unique project to help make the class program more sophisticated. In the classroom, the class program is tested against unwitting live players on the internet, so that its official chess rating can be assessed.



    Presenter: Sara Cash

Come learn how to inform and persuade! Practice your public speaking skills and learn how to craft a foolproof argument in this fast-paced class filled with games, discussions, and formal debates. Tackle topics ranging from whether homework should be abolished (Yay!) to whether Barbie is a good role model for girls (Seriously?).



     Presenter: KariAnne Gonzalez

Ever wondered about where your food really comes from? Have you wanted to know more about climate change and how this impacts the food production and the World in general? Dive into the impact of food production on the climate and develop innovative solutions to solving current social justice issues that can impact positive change in your local community and around the World. 



     Presenter: KariAnne Gonzalez

Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered what you see? Throughout the centuries, many people have. The constellations tell us fascinating stories through mythological stories that explain our zodiac and times past. Dive into the journey of the story of our stars told through the incredible mythological tales from long ago. Build your own constellation, name it, and tell your own story. Learn constellations in the night sky and share these amazing stories with all you know so the lasting tales will live on. 



     Presenter: Jean Gritter  $10 fee for copy fees

Zines are mini-magazines that you self-publish about anything you find interesting. Enjoy writing stories or poetry? Drawing? Exploring current events? Want to document a fun vacation or an interesting class trip? Explain a hobby? The possibilities are endless! We will spend a week or so planning and creating content, and then a week or so laying out and copying our zines. At the end of this class, each student will have 10 copies of their original zine to share!



     Presenter: Jean Gritter 

Interested in what’s happening in the world today? Want to learn how to tell what’s true and what’s not as you read about current events? Come learn how to separate fact from fiction online, and get the real story about the events and news stories that define today’s society.



     Presenter: Chelsea Grimm

In this course, students will be reading various short stories by different authors and studying how they craft their plot, setting, characters, theme, etc. Students will then produce an original short story in their own creative voice. The ultimate goal will be to research and understand the process of how to find a way to publish their original work.



     Presenter: Jesse Felix

Light can’t bend around corners or  travel through most solid objects but Opaque, Transparent or Translucent structures show light in different ways... We will make them with peepholes, windows and reflectors playing with light and the absence of it.  We will use Led lights and paper-cutting techniques to transform antique books and wire sculptures into pieces of art. You will learn the many techniques of altering books including black out poetry,pop up pictures, paper cutting, embossing, printing with stamps and stencils.