2011 COURSES

The courses allow children with exceptional intellectual ability to extend their existing
fund of knowledge through first-hand experimentation and creative experiences.
 

4 years old or entering K 
TESTY TURTLES

Why is Testudo the official mascot at the University of Maryland? What makes Diamondback Terrapins unique? Testudines lay eggs, molt their skin and have exceptional night vision. Turtle hatchlings matured into adults more than 200 million years. Are they older than the dinosaurs? Where in the world can we find turtles? They are bony and painted; leathery and swift; tiny and speckled and enormous and quiet. Why can some stay submerged for more than five hours while others stay on land their entire life? Even though these creatures are endangered, they are used for food, medicine and cosmetics. How can they be saved? What adaptations allow some to move only two feet per minute while others move 20 mph? What is the difference between tortoises and turtles?  We will observe turtles in an outdoor campus courtyard. Create your own turtle and enter it in the Great Turtle Race. We'll have tons of fun learning about these terrific testudines!

 

Entering K or 1st
DINOSAUR DETECTIVES

[T-Rex][paleontologist][pteradon]

Was it stray asteroids or volcanic eruptions? Did predators eat their eggs?  Whatever happened to those "terrible lizards" 65 million years ago changed the whole Earth? Why did dinosaurs rule for 165 million years? Make a timeline to understand the "Age of the Dinosaurs".  Classify dinosaurs by behaviors and features.  Compare dinosaurs to animals today. Investigate theories that best explain the extinction mystery.  Become a paleontologist and dig for and identify fossils.  Discuss how fossils are formed and make a fossil.  Help put the pieces together to discover the history of these magnificent creatures.
 

Entering 1st or 2nd grades
N
IGHT CREATURES

     owlmothfireflytarantula

Have you ever wondered what goes on outside while you are asleep? We will take a walk in the "pitch black" and discover the animals of the night. We will take an adventure through a Central-American forest to find the "night walker" or kinkajou. We will peek into a cave to find a few bats, get down on the ground and discover tarantulas and listen for the hoot of the owls. How do these animals see in the dark? What is echolocation? Why do they only come out at night? Where do they live during the day? How do your pupils or sense of smell compare to a nocturnal creature?  Can you communicate as well as a firefly?  Can you create moth symmetry?  Have you ever thought about the migration or hibernation of a nocturnal creature? We will complete numerous experiments and investigations to answer these questions.

Entering 2nd or 3rd
MIGHTY MAGNETISM

magnetism1magnetism2magnetism3

Why does Mom hang your photos and artwork on the refrigerator and not on the door? What materials can we use to create magnets? Why are magnets attracted to other metals? We can make temporary magnets and find magnets in nature such as the lodestone.  How does temperature affect magnetic force? How does magnetic force change with distance? Who is Gauss? Would you like to conduct experiments to determine how electricity and magnetism are related?  If you could create an invention using magnetism, what invention would you create? Join us to explore the invisible force all around us that impacts our world.
 

Entering 3rd or 4th grades
MATTER MATTERS?

From the smallest subatomic particle to the vast dark matter in outer space, everything matters! Be a scientist and explore the wonderful mysteries of matter in all of its phases: liquids, gases, solids and even plasma. How do astronauts make a liquid magnetic? How can you blow up a balloon without touching it? Why does a buckyball look like a soccer ball? What are the properties of this type of atom that makes it so strong that it can be used to make armor? Make three dimensional models of different types of atoms with neutrons, protons, and electrons. Finding out “what’s the matter” will never be more exciting!
 

Entering 4th or 5th grades
'BOUT BOTANY

stembeeflower growth

What kinds of adaptations would a plant need in order to survive in a particular environment? Can you invent a “plant” with those characteristics? What kinds of specialized structures and growth patterns allow the climbing behavior of different vines? What pigments are found in leaves and flowers? What are the most important plants in the Towson Glen? How are they distributed? Which species of trees is the most common in this area? How does the environment around a building affect plant growth? Which plants are being damaged by insects? What are some adaptations that enable seeds to be spread from the parent plant to a new site? We will delve into these questions and more while exploring the wonderful world of plants.

 
 

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