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Point-of-View Project: Seeing Different Perspectives

The Point of View Project is an inter-disciplinary, year-long program that gives homeschooled high school students the opportunity for a rigorous exploration of different perspectives through the lenses of film,  robotics, aquatic biology, and the humanities. Students will develop skills in analytic writing, film analysis and filmmaking; engineering design and construction, aquatics, electronics, and robotics.  This program is ideal for students interested in challenging themselves.

Cinema & Society. $300/year. Fridays, 9:30 to 11 a.m.  This course is aimed at developing critical thinking skills through the ideas and concepts of visual literacy, which here refers to the study of the ways in which a culture utilizes and relies upon moving images and visual storytelling to create a mass reflection of itself. Students will survey the history of world cinema from its beginnings in the late 19th century through today’s emerging trends and technologies. Through this, students will further engage with the development of an aesthetics of cinema and the methods and modes of analysis.

This class considers cinema as an extension of literature which requires us to understand that watching is reading and movies are texts. As such, students will be reading and discussing key texts regarding the history of cinema and the history of thinking about cinema. Students will be required to screen several feature and short films from all eras and geographies as part of our understanding of world cinematic history and the discourses that have developed in order to engage it critically. After establishing the foundations of cinematic expression and analysis, students will then create three to four short digital films, each one exploring a major mode of cinema: narrative, documentary and experimental.

In addition to their filmmaking. students will be required to write up to 8 short papers during the year.

Instructor: Lee Ferdinand teaches filmmaking at DePaul University and Columbia College. He has an MA in English Literature and an MFA in Filmmaking. He has been teaching arts and humanities at Teen Learning Lab since its inception in 2016.

Underwater Robotics/ AP Biology: Underwater Robotics. $250 for the year. Fridays, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (May move to 1:30 to 3 p.m. if a Humanities/Social Science class is added.)

Students interested in taking the AP Biology exam will get additional study materials and work sessions with Dr. Kulmala to help them study for the test. This option is recommended for highly motivated, independent learners. There is no extra fee for this option. AP Board approval of this course is pending.

This lab-intensive, 2-semester class will introduce students to several areas of science through the lens of building an underwater, remote-operated vehicle (ROV). Through weekly, immersive labs, students will learn how to build a remote-operated vehicle that can be used underwater to collect samples and data on local rivers and lakes.

Students will learn and apply concepts from biology/biochemistry, marine/aquatic biology, environmental biology, environmental biology, physics (primarily electronic circuits, buoyancy, propulsion, and underwater optics), and robotics, including some programming in JavaScript and Arduino. Students do not need a background or interest in computers or programming. Students will have the opportunity to specialize in a preferred aspect of the project, including but not limited to aquatic biology, engineering, water quality, and programming. Students will have extensive, hands-on experience working in large groups to design, create, and test their underwater ROV with two goals: first, to test their ROV against other teen-built robots in a Marine Advanced Technology Education competition in April 2019, and second, to meet goals in monitoring, data collection and documentation of local freshwater environments.

Instructor: Ruth Kulmala, MPH, PhD, is a medical researcher with a PhD in bio-medical engineering and masters’ degrees in public health and epidemiology/biostatistics. She has taught science classes extensively throughout the homeschool community. Dr. Kulmala will be submitting her syllabus to the College Board for the official AP Audit. She has successfully received AP approval for previous science classes she has taught to homeschoolers, and has served as an AP Biology Reader.