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Summer spark courses

Pre-College Workshop - Explore College Life

For students entering 10th & 11th grade
Instructors : Mrs. Rice & Ms. Eriole

Description - If you’ve been thinking about college but are not really sure when or where to start, we would love to have you join us!  Experience a week-long introduction to college campuses and the practice of exploration and reflection as it pertains to future plans. Three colleges will be visited: an urban school, a private college, and a local Massachusetts State College or University. Students will see what it’s like to go on tours, eat in the dining hall, learn what colleges offer beyond academics, and speak with Admissions representatives. Through the use of icebreakers and exploratory exercises, students will also have time to reflect on their own goals for education and how those goals can be tied to everyday thoughts, behaviors, and choices throughout high school. Journals will be provided to all participants so that students can record their thoughts and impressions throughout the week.

About Mrs. Rice & Ms. Eriole - Mrs. Rice is a Nationally Certified School Counselor who has been working at SHS since 2006. In all her spare time, Mrs. Rice can be found running around after her 7 year-old and her 4 year-old twins and binge-watching Netflix shows. Ask Mrs. Rice about her own experience studying abroad in Spain while in college.

Ms. Eriole has worn many hats over her 15 years at SHS, including college counselor, career counselor and now school counselor! She loves a good cup of tea and is always reading a book, just waiting for Game of Thrones to come back in April. Ask Ms. Eriole about her time in Residence Life working as a Resident Assistant in college.

The Physics of Sports  

For students entering 9th, 10th & 11th grade
Instructor: Mr. Patrick Collins

Description - Ever wonder how professional baseball players can throw so fast and hit so hard?  Are you amazed at how soccer players can curve soccer balls at will and cyclists can ride with no hands?  Want to learn how to run faster, and hit a golf ball farther?   Look no further than physics!  Understanding how to use physics to your advantage can improve your abilities in whatever sport you play.  When it comes to sports, don’t fear physics, it's your phriend!

This course will provide students the opportunity to study the mechanics of sport in the classroom and then apply their knowledge in practice on the playing field. Power, energy, forces, Newton’s Laws, inertia, rotation, aerodynamics, and kinematics are all physics concepts that can be more relatable and interesting when students are able to apply these concepts to their favorite sports.  The course will provide a knowledge base for all types of  students; those who are interested in the Physics, those who play sports and wish to use physics to their advantage to play their sport safely and improve their game, and students who wish to understand sports commentary such as “launch angle”, “spin rate”, and “leverage”. 

About Mr. Collins -  Mr. Collins has always had a passion for science, physics and sports. He grew up playing multiple youth sports, studied physics at Holy Cross and Northwestern and has taught physics classes at SHS for five years. Today, Mr. Collins golfs regularly but his favorite hobby is ultimate frisbee. He plays for a competitive team that travels all along the East coast and parts of Canada. He is also the club advisor and coach for SHS’ own Ultimate Frisbee team. 

Drone Technology - Beyond the Remote Controlled Toy

For students entering 9th, 10th & 11th grade
Instructor: Mr. Jeremy Mularella

Description - Fascinated with drones?  Excited about technology? Let’s put the two together!  Drones are no longer just those remote controlled toys that are easy to break but hard to keep charged. Today, these unmanned aerial robotic devices (UAVs) are tackling everything from disease control to vacuuming up ocean waste to delivering pizza, and more. Increasingly, drones are being called upon to go where a human cannot, like in search and rescue efforts and providing a bird’s eye view for sporting events, real estate and agriculture. Drone technology has significant potential to impact a growing number of industries in the coming years. During this week, students will go beyond the typical tech class and experience building a drone, writing code and testing this emerging technology, in real-world scenarios. 

Students will use the engineering design process to create their own 3D printed mini drone. They will learn how to use 3D modeling software and operate a 3D printer. Students will test, evaluate, and revise their designs with the goal of creating a fully functioning drone they can bring home at the end of the week. Students will also learn how to safely pilot a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone. They will use this popular drone to complete different design challenges that emphasize the current and future trends of drone usage in society.  Students will also learn about aviation terminology, flight physics, and current FAA regulations.

About Mr. Mularella  - Mr. Mularella was the 8 Gold Science teacher at Oak Middle School for many years before taking over the Oak Design Lab class this year. He has transitioned the old “Tech Ed” room into a school makerspace, complete with computers, 3D printers, vinyl cutter, laser cutter, LittleBits Pro Library engineering kit, and updated woodworking tools. In his free time, Mr. M enjoys photography, being outdoors, and traveling. This summer, he's headed to Greece, Italy, and Austria after teaching this class.