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Summer Enrichment

Peak is thrilled to offer these new summer enrichment opportunities throughout June and July of 2018! Our extraordinary teachers have created these unique and fun experiences stemming directly from their personal areas of interest. They are designed for students to have a lot of fun while keeping their minds sharp.

Scroll down for our full listing of classes. Reserve your student’s place in one or more of our classes today by clicking the blue button at the bottom of the page!


List of Enrichment Classes & Dates (descriptions below)

  • Astronomy: How Small Are We?
    • 07/17 – 07/21, 9am – 12pm daily
  • Bridges: The Art of Creative Problem Solving
    • 07/16 – 07/20, 9am – 12pm daily
  • Crashing into AP Calculus
    • 08/13-08/16, 11 am-2:30 pm daily
  • Design Your Own Planner
    • 07/09 – 07/13, 12:30pm – 3:30pm daily
  • Do Bees Build It Best: A New Approach to Geometry
    • 07/09 – 07/13, 12pm – 3pm daily
  • Introductions to Computer Science
    • 06/04 – 06/07, 11 am-2:30 pm daily
  • Keep It Fly with Tie-Dye
    • 06/18 – 06/20, 12pm-1:30pm daily
  • Logic Puzzles: The Trick to Making Things Click
    • 06/18-06/22, 5:00pm – 7:00pm daily
  • Origami: Bringing Paper to Life
    • Session 1: 06/18 – 06/22, 10am – 12pm daily
    • Session 2: 07/09 – 07/13, 10am – 12pm daily
  • Recycled Fashion: Reuse, Remake, Repurpose
    • 06/18 – 06/22, 12:30pm – 2:30pm daily
  • Spreadsheets for Beginners
    • 06/09, 06/16, 06/23. and 06/30, 1:00pm – 4:00pm each day
  • Summer Reading SOS
    • 07/16 – 07/27, times dependent upon student sign up
  • Tales from Beyond: Fiction Writing Class
    • Session 1: 06/03 – 06/14 (individual days listed in description), 4pm-5:30pm each day
    • Session 2: 06/11 – 06/22 (individual days listed in description), 5pm-6:30pm each day
  • The Game of Pig
    • 06/25 – 06/29, 9am – 12pm daily
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
    • 07/16 – 07/20, 12pm – 3pm daily
  • What Do You Mean I Have to Read?
    • Session 1: 06/11 – 06/27 (individual days listed in description), 6:30pm-8pm each day
    • Session 2: 07/09 – 07/25 (individual days listed in description), 4pm-5:30pm each day
  • Why Nietzsche Still Matters
    • 07/07, 07/14, 07/21, and 07/28, 1:00pm – 5:00pm each day


Astronomy: How Small Are We?

Teacher: Rachael Vermiglio

Over the course of the week, students will gain a better understanding of where humanity and Earth fits into the Universe around us. Students will conduct a series of hands-on labs during the day as well as a moon observations at night on their own time which will enhance our group discussions each session.  Each student will be given a Cardboard Galilean Style Telescope Building Kit, constructed in person and the student’s own to keep when the week is done. This telescope will be used to make nightly observations of the sky as well as a hands-on tool to use to understand optics and the historical impact of the telescope. Topics that we will cover include a brief history of astronomy and the telescope, optics, motions of the night sky, constellations, the moon and other solar system bodies, moon phases and eclipses, lunar space program, and understanding astronomical distances.

Targeted Skills: Building Perspective, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, basic mathematics, basic optics.

Dates and Times: 07/16 – 07/20, 9am – 12pm daily

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $200, all materials included. Students will need to bring a laptop computer.



Bridges: The Art of Creative Problem Solving

Teacher: Andrew Flynn

Through teacher-guided, hands-on, exploratory learning, students will design, engineer, and test the functionality and structural integrity of their own bridge. Students will use everyday items (e.g., wood, clay, wire, etc.) to build their bridges. They will also research different types of bridges, sketch a blueprint of the bridge they envision, write a report that provides details on how their bridge will be used, how it makes life easier for the community and, upon completion, explain the process it took to design and complete their bridge, and how they can improve their bridges. On the final day, we will strength-test each bridge and the engineers of three bridges able to hold the most weight will receive awards.

For students to become self-sustaining and independent thinkers, it is important to expose them to the areas of STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) that promote practical problem-solving skills and make them competitive learners. By learning how to build bridges, students will learn how engineers work & think and what goes into designing and building a complex and necessary structure used by people in all parts of the world.

Targeted Skills: Basic physics, geometry, writing composition, problem solving, design

Dates & Times: 07/16 – 07/20; 9am – 12pm daily

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $185/student, materials included



Crashing into AP Calculus

Teacher: Chris Crawford

You might not be ready to take the AP test but you could be close. The course lasts 4 days; each day will consist of 2 x 1.5 hour sessions with a 30 minute break in the middle. If you are taking AP Calculus your senior year, this could help you breeze through it and focus on other pressing matters your last year.

Prerequisite: A solid algebra 2/precalc. background or IB SL math.

Dates and time: 08/13 – 08/16, 11 am-2:30 pm daily

Location: Cherry Creek

Cost: $200, minimum 4 students enrolled to run class



Design Your Own Planner

Teacher: Miranda Podmore

School planners tend to be drab, cramped, boring, and aren’t always used by students for a variety of reasons. But what if students could design a planner they want to use during the school year?

Over the course of this class students will create a planner for the 2018/2019 school year that is tailored to the student’s personal likes and needs. Students will be encouraged to be creative and design the pages to their liking using various mediums (collage, watercolor, colored pencils, etc). These pages will be scanned and formatted electronically to be printed for each student.

Targeted Skills: art and design, tactile and visual learning, 2D design, attention, constructive communication, interpersonal interaction, imagination and creativity

Dates and time: 07/9 – 07/13, 12:30 – 3:30pm daily

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $225, materials and planner printing included



Do Bees Build It Best: A New Approach to Geometry

Teacher: Joyce Whitney

Bees store their honey in honeycombs, which they make out of wax, but do bees really build their honeycombs with the best possible shape?  To analyze this problem, students will  investigate regular polygons and prisms using geometry and trigonometry to find the answer to the question. Students learn more about the mathematical concepts involved as well as learning about bees!

For students to become self-sustaining and independent thinkers, it is important to expose them to the areas of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) that promote practical problem-solving skills and make them cooperative and competitive learners.  Students will explore the basic concepts of geometry from a different perspective.

Targeted concepts:  discovering formulas for the area of rectangles, triangles, parallelograms, and trapezoids, discovering, proving and applying the Pythagorean theorem, developing principals relating the volume and surface area of a prism to the area and perimeter of its base, reviewing right-triangle trigonometry, similarity, the triangle inequality and the angle-sum properties for triangles, examining the concept of tessellation and discovering which regular polygons tessellate.

Dates & Times:  7/9 – 7/13; 12 pm -3 pm daily

Location: Cherry Creek

Cost:  $185 per student, materials included.  Students need to bring a graphing calculator preferably a TI



Introduction to Computer Science:

Teacher: Chris Crawford

You might never see this math until college but you could get a head start with this brief introduction which will cover topics like boolean logic and truth tables, logic gates, base 2/8/16 arithmetic, algorithm design, and matrix transformation for 2 dimensional modeling using vectors. No advanced math is required but a solid algebra 2/precalc background is necessary. The course lasts 4 days; each day will consist of 2 x 1.5 hour sessions with a 30 minute break in the middle.

Dates and times: 06/04 – 06/07, 11 am-2:30 pm daily

Location: Cherry Creek

Cost: $200, minimum 4 students enrolled to run class



Keep It Fly with Tie-Dye

Teacher: Andrew Flynn

Description: Few things remind us of summer more than tie-dye. This engaging and pressure-free activity allows students to relax and have fun while they learn and practice both common and advanced tie-dying techniques dating back to the 1960’s. During our three days together, students will tie-dye two t-shirts, a polo shirt, and a full sweatsuit! All materials are included!

In addition to developing this artistic skill, our goal will be to have fun and to socialize. Having a friend or two present is strongly encouraged and reflected in the package rates below. Please reach out to Andrew with any questions you may have!

Targeted Skills: spacial awareness, problem-solving, tactile & visual learning, 3D comprehension

Dates and time: 06/18 – 06/20, 12pm-1:30pm

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: 1 Student – $185/student; 2 Students – $167/student; 3 students – $155/student



Logic Puzzles: The Trick to Making Things Click

Teacher: JB Devries

Formal logic can be dry and stuffy, but understanding how it communicates relationships between ideas can expand critical thinking immensely.  This quick course will cover the basics of logical notation and explore a variety of ways the logic can be used to solve problems both practical and trivial.

While the course will explore the basics of symbolic logic, it will focus on less formal systems for mapping ideas.  Quick sketches in the form of two-way tables, venn diagrams, and interaction maps will form the basis for diagraming complex interactions and scenarios.

Practical puzzles will be drawn from a variety of sources including problems in modern biology.  More abstract puzzles will be drawn from a variety of sources and model setups used on standardized tests such as the LSAT and GMAT.

Targeted skills: logic, organization of information, problem solving

Dates and times: 06/18-06/22, 5:00pm – 7:00pm daily

Location: Cherry Creek

Cost: $150



Origami: Bringing Paper to Life

Teacher: Miranda Podmore

Origami, better known as the Japanese art of paper folding, dates back to the 6th century Japan. The popularity of origami can be traced through the centuries, with more modern interest dating to the 1950’s when origami patterns became widely available. Today, origami takes many shapes (no pun intended), and incorporates advanced mathematical theories.

In this class, students will learn a variety of paper folding techniques that will allow them to create a variety designs all with one sheet of paper. From creating cranes to stars, this class challenges students to be patient and to focus, while having fun and learning about a different culture. At the end of the week students will have the opportunity to research a folding technique not covered in class and teach the class an origami design.

Targeted Skills: geometry, problem solving, art and design, tactile and visual learning, 3D comprehension, attention, presentation skills, communication, imagination

Dates and time:

Session 1: 06/18 – 06/22, 10:00am – 12:00pm daily

Session 2: 07/9 – 07/13, 10:00am – 12:00pm daily

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $210, materials included (origami book and paper)



Recycled Fashion: Reuse, Remake, Re-purpose

Teacher: Miranda Podmore

In a world of fast-fashion and quick changing trends, how can anyone keep up? One option is to go against the grain and make your own clothes! No need to throw away those old clothes, it’s time to re-purpose them and make something brand new.

In this class students will learn about the fashion industry, fast-fashion, slow-fashion, and design. Further, they will learn valuable hand sewing skills that can be use to help mend clothes and create new ones. Students will use old t-shirts to create a variety of new clothes from provided design instructions or taught techniques. The options are endless as students can tie, braid, weave, cut and hand-sew t-shirts together in variety of ways.

Targeted Skills: geometry, basic math, problem solving, art and design, tactile and visual learning, 3D comprehension, attention, communication, planning, imagination and creativity

Dates and time: 06/18 – 06/22, 12:30pm – 2:30pm daily

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $225, materials included (t-shirts and sewing kits)

 



Spreadsheets for Beginners

Teacher: JB Devries

One of the most important skills that goes untaught in formal education is basic use of spreadsheets. These fundamental tools for fast, simple data analysis and presentation have roles to play in both education and the workforce.

Students will learn to import, analyze, and present data using Google Sheets. We will explore practical applications in science, mathematics, and social science. Data sets will be provided but students will need to bring laptops to follow along during the class.

Through guided examples and individual exploration, students will gain the skills they need to confidently approach large sets of data, repetitive calculations, basic programming, and effective visual presentation.

Targeted skills: basic programming, computer skills, problem solving

Dates and time: 06/09, 06/16, 06/23. and 06/30, 1:00pm – 4:00pm each day

Location: Cherry Creek

Cost: $150



Summer Reading SOS

Teacher: Rebecca Gray

Summer reading: a rite of passage and the bane of most high school students’ existences. Dickens, Angelou, Tan, Steinbeck, Austen—they plague the carefree, halcyon days of June, July, and August with the threat of homework, future tests, endless annotations, and more often than not, are ignored until the night before classes resume… but what if they didn’t have to?

In this guided course, students will work through their assigned summer reading in an atmosphere that promotes discussion, creativity, and analysis, while learning to engage with the text in their own unique way. Students will additionally learn to annotate in a way that promotes information retention and interest. Small groups welcome! Encourage students to bring a friend to make the environment even better.

Targeted Skills: reading comprehension, discussion, communication, presentation, analysis, annotation, problem-solving

Dates and time: To be determined upon sign-up; students will be paired with others reading the same books. Will run from July 16th to July 27th. Students are encouraged to sign up with friends from school.

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $185 (students will need their own summer reading books)



Tales from Beyond: Fiction Writing Class

Teacher: Rebecca Gray

Do you have a highly creative student who loves to write and describe new worlds, characters, or ideas, or who loves to read and wants to become better at analysis and reading comprehension, all while crafting their own own short stories?

This two week, creative writing workshop will emphasize the skills needed for students to create, edit, and perfect their own work. Through exposure to a myriad of writing styles, stories, and media, students will engage with both their own writing and that of their peers through workshops, readings, and discussion. The ultimate goal is for students to identify and grow their writing style and voice, and ideally, build up their confidence. The course will also give handy tips and tricks for getting work published or finding creative writing internships and contests.

Targeted Skills: voice, creative problem-solving, grammar and style, reading comprehension, discussion, teamwork, editing, proofreading

Dates and time:

Session 1: (6th through 9th graders)

  • Week One: June 3rd, 5th, and 7th, 4pm to 5:30pm
  • Week Two: June 10th, 12th, and 14th, 4pm to 5:30pm

Session 2: (10th grade+)

  • Week One: June 11th, 13th, and 15th, 5pm to 6:30pm
  • Week Two: June 18th, 20th, and 22nd, 5pm to 6:30pm

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $185 (all materials included, minus laptops)



The Game of Pig:  How to thoroughly understand probability so you understand your chances in life.

Teacher: Joyce Whitney

A dice game called PIG forms the basis of learning in this course. Students will not only play the game, but will also analyze the game in order to find the best strategy for playing the game. Unbeknownst to them, the students will learn a variety of mathematical concepts and gain a better understanding of probability, as they will be having too much fun playing PIG.

For students to become self-sustaining and independent thinkers, it is important to expose them to the areas of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) that promote practical problem-solving skills and make them cooperative and competitive learners.  Colorado Lottery makes a lot of money for the state, but how many people actually understand the odds of winning?

Targeted Concepts:  Developing and analyzing strategies, calculating probabilities based on equally likely events and area models, calculating and interpreting expected values, solving problems involving conditional probability, constructing mathematical models, particularly area models for probabilistic situations, making and interpreting bar graphs, using simulations to estimate probabilities, using a computer simulation to compare strategies.

Dates & Times:  06/25 – 06/29; 9 am – 12 pm daily

Location:  Cherry Creek

Cost:  $185 per student, materials included.  Students need to bring a graphing calculator preferably a TI



The Pit and the Pendulum:  Creative Problem Solving intertwining art, science, and mathematics

Teacher: Joyce Whitney

In Edgar Allan Poe’s story, The Pit and the Pendulum, a prisoner is tied down while a pendulum with a sharp blade slowly descends. The prisoner has to escape otherwise he will be killed by the pendulum.  Students are immersed in the tale, both through reading and listening to the story, and will work to see if the prisoner has time to escape the deadly decent of the pendulum.  Students will construct pendulums and conduct experiments as well as utilize mathematical constructs (and a little help from their calculators), to see if the prisoner can escape.

For students to become self-sustaining and independent thinkers, it is important to expose them to the areas of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) that promote practical problem-solving skills and make them cooperative and competitive learners.  By taking a problem from a piece of fiction and then applying mathematical and scientific methods they will learn how people solve interesting problems.

Targeted Concepts:  Collecting and analyzing data, expressing experimental results and other data using frequency bar graphs, learning about the normal distribution, developing concepts of data spread, especially standard deviation, calculating the mean and standard deviation of data, both by hand and with calculators, using function notation, using graphing calculators to explore the graphs of different functions, making predictions based on curve fitting.

Dates & Times:  07/16 – 07/20; 12 pm – 3 pm daily

Location:  Cherry Creek

Cost:  $185 per student, materials included.  Students need to bring a graphing calculator preferably a TI



What Do You Mean I Have to Read?: Learning to ‘Book’ in a Very Visual World

Teacher: Rebecca Gray

In this interactive mini-course, students will learn to book in a world where media rules supreme and pages is a dirty word. By studying and discussing a variety of thoroughly modern texts (and, truth be told, some media), students will have fun while they improve their reading and writing skills and, by the end of our time together, will have completed a college-level essay on rhetorical analysis.

Using a combination of short stories, articles, poems, Youtube and music videos, TV show episodes, and a novella (“Annihilation” by Jeff Vandermeer), students will be encouraged to identify what exactly their reading and comprehension styles are, as well as their own “voice,” all while strengthening their analytical abilities both on and off the page.

Through guided discussion and modeling, students will see that “analysis” (a frighteningly academic word) is actually something they use 24/7—even when texting—and isn’t quite as scary as their English classes make it seem. Rather, it’s an awesome and empowering tool that can be used anywhere, on anything, and can make students more independent, more confident, and more successful in the classroom.

Targeted Skills: analysis, argumentation, reading comprehension, discussion, communication, presentation, teamwork, problem-solving, annotation, brainstorming

Dates and time:

Session 1:

  • Week One: June 11th, 13th, and 15th, 6:30pm to 8pm
  • Week Two: June 18th, 20th, and 22nd, 6:30pm to 8pm
  • Week Three: June 25th and 27th, 6:30pm to 8pm

Session 2:

  • Week One: July 9th, 11th, and 13th, 4pm to 5:30pm
  • Week Two: July 16th, 18th, and 20th, 4pm to 5:30pm
  • Week Three: July 23rd and July 25th, 4pm to 5:30pm

Location: Denver Tech Center

Cost: $200 (students will need to purchase “Annihilation” by Jeff Vandermeer)



Why Nietzsche Still Matters: From the Death of God to the Modern World

Teacher: JB Devries

The name Friedrich Nietzsche has become irreversibly linked to a single line from aphorism 125 of The Gay Science, “God is dead!”, reducing an entire philosophical corpus to one pithy line. This course will explore why Nietzsche — or his character, the Madman, would make such a claim, how it fits into Nietzsche’s broader project, and why the one phrase having enduring influence might be just what was intended.

A closer reading in historical context will help students explore the underlying concepts of free will, morality, and the process Nietzsche dubbed “genealogy”. We will emphasize how these concepts can apply to everyday situations that arise both in academics and the broader world.

Students will read excerpts from The Gay Science, Ecco Homo, The Birth of Tragedy, and On the Genealogy of Morals as well as modern interpretations and critics of Nietzsche’s work. The course will be reading-intensive and students will be expected to come prepared for an engaged discussion each session.

Targeted skills: logic, moral reasoning, critical thinking, historiography, close reading

Dates: 07/07, 07/14, 07/21, and 07/28, 1:00pm – 5:00pm each day

Location: Cherry Creek

Cost: $175

 


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