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Home » Courses of Study » Session II Course Descriptions

Session II Course Descriptions

 


 

 

Clay Castles and Medieval Mugs

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Ceramics is the process of introducing clay to heat in order to make it permanently hard. Potters have been using the ceramic process for thousands of years to make both functional and sculptural objects. In this class, students will learn basic handbuilding ceramics techniques including coiling, slab building and pinch pots to create sculptural castles and creatures that might live in or near them. We will also explore the basics of throwing on the potter’s wheel. In addition to techniques for making, glazing and decorating the surface of their castle and creatures, students will learn about safe practices when working with clay and glazes, talk about basic firing considerations, research the history of castles and potters, and do some creative writing.

No prior experience with clay is necessary.

Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Course fee for supplies and materials is $25.00.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
No textbook required.

Instructor
Wynne Wilbur, Professor of Art, Ceramics, Truman State University.  BA, Bethany College (Kansas); MA, Emporia State University; MFA, University of Florida.

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Creative Coding in Minecraft: An introduction to Python

This course will introduce students to the popular programming language, Python, and explore its application in Minecraft. Students will learn basic constructs, such as variables, conditional statements, loops, and functions, and use them to interact with and modify Minecraft worlds. Activities will be team-based, and emphasize creative aspects of coding, including for automation (e.g., building, farming), exploration, decoration/design, and transformation of terrain. In the last week of the course, students will explore the intersection of coding and science by addressing challenges inspired by the real world (e.g., flooding, resource management, beach erosion, animal rescue), and be introduced to Project Malmo, a platform built on top of Minecraft for machine learning and artificial intelligence research. No programming skills or experience with Minecraft is required for the course.

Students will need their own Minecraft account, which is $26.95 for a lifetime (https://minecraft.net/en-us/).

Badges
TBD

Textbook
Learn to Program with Minecraft (2016), by Craig Richardson.

Instructor
H. Chad Lane, Visiting Professor from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 
PhD, Computer Science, University of Pittsburgh (2004)


Computers in Art and Design

Computer DesignExplore how the computer has been integrated into the image-making processes by incorporating traditional art processes such as drawing and markers with modern Graphic Design software. Learn how professional artists, designers, and illustrators utilize the power of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and other software to create digital artwork and enhance images to create digital graphics such as maps, posters, and postcards. The basic features of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will be explored through tutorials and original artwork will be produced when techniques are mastered. By the end of the course, students will have a digital and print portfolio consisting of several projects. Students will also utilize digital cameras, scanners, and output to laser/inkjet printers. Quad-Core Intel Macintosh computers (the industry standard platform) power this exploration into the realm of digital imagery.

Enrollment limited to 20 students. Course fee for class supplies and materials is $65.00.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
No textbook required.

Instructor
Matthew Derezinski, Associate Professor of Art, Visual Communications, Truman State University. B.F.A., Visual Communications, Kansas State University. M.F.A., Visual Communications, Kansas State University.

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Consumer Health:  The Media’s Role in Your Well-Being

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Does vitamin C cure the common cold? Is that protein shake really going to build muscle? Is organic food more nutritious? Thanks to the many advances of the 20th century, health has become a valued entity, but health has also become something that can be bought. Although infomercials might seem to be selling a plausible weight loss supplement, how do you know whether that supplement is safe and effective? How do we sift through all of the different health care products and health information coming at you everyday? This course provides a space for students to figure out how to select which health products to use. In this course, we will cover various products relating to different health topics, such as fitness, nutrition, mental health, dental care, skin care, cardiovascular disease, the commercialization of death, the complexities of our healthcare system, and alternative medicine. Advertising is a common tactic used to get individuals to buy these questionable products, and students will spend time exploring the different ways advertisements are constructed. Students will also learn how to create advertisements around a health topic of their choosing. They will get to use iMovie, Garageband, and Canva to create posters, fact sheets, a radio PSA, podcast, and TV spot. By the end of the course, students will be able to deconstruct the advertisements they see around them, be more versatile using technology, and know how to judge the credibility of vitamin supplementation and acupuncture.

Textbook
No Textbook Required

Instructor
Nancy Daley-Moore, Assistant Professor in Health & Exercise Sciences, Truman State University.  B.S. Mercer University, M.P.H. & Ph.D. University of Georgia


 



Preparatory College Math

math_symbols2The central focus of this course is a study of algebraic topics including equations and inequalities, algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic functions, graphs, and systems of equations.  Students will work at their own pace through the course topics using the software of the Hawkes Learning System.

In addition to covering algebraic content, students will engage in both individual and collaborative mathematical explorations and problem-solving activities.  An emphasis will be placed on developing students’ critical-thinking skills.  The content of these supplemental activities will be outside the typical mathematics curriculum.

Please note:  This course is designed to have students study algebraic topics at a level commensurate with their previous experience and exposure to algebra.  Students who have not studied algebra previously will start at a lower level than those students with previous experience.  Students who complete and demonstrate mastery of all the algebra course topics during the JBA session will qualify for the opportunity to apply for three college credits for College Algebra through Truman State Univeristy.  Previous experience in algebra will maximize the opportunity for students to earn college credit by successfully completing all of the advanced course topics.

Course Fee for the Hawkes Learning System software is $65.00.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
No textbook required

Instructor
Shawn Logan, Instructor of Mathematics.  B.A., M.A.E., Truman State University.



“Read All About It”  Newspaper Reporting and Production

news

Don’t just live the Joseph Baldwin Academy experience, Report on it! Through this course, students will learn the essentials of journalism, photography and publication design, culminating in the production of a real newspaper for distribution to Academy participants and parents. Through a mixture of readings, discussions, and hands-on activities, students will learn what it takes to be a practicing journalist.

Students will learn what makes a good story, interviewing techniques and journalistic writing styles.  Discussions will include ethical concerns in journalism, journalism’s role in society, and the use of social media in the news process. Students will also learn the art of editing. Students will also explore photography through discussions and practice. Working with inDesign software, students will learn and apply the principles of visual communication. The session will culminate with the production of a keepsake newspaper for themselves and their peers.

Course fee for class supplies and a field trip to print the newspaper is $65.00.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Supplies
Students are strongly encouraged to bring a digital camera and items necessary for downloading images (USB cables/card reader). Point and shoot cameras are also acceptable and encouraged.

Textbook
No textbook required.

Instructor
Don Krause, Associate Professor of Communication, Truman State University.  B.A., Western Illinois University; M.A, Ball State University.


Reading Between the Panels: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Sequential Art

In his book Understanding Comics Scott McCloud explains that the potential of comics is limitless, but has been constrained by its perception in popular culture. In this course we will explore the true potential of the medium by reading and analyzing comics (also known as graphic novels) as a form of both art and literature. Using McCloud’s Understanding Comics  as a guiding text we will learn about the history of comics as well as ways to interpret the combinations of words and pictures within comics. We will put our understanding of sequential art into conversation with other mediums that use words and pictures to make meaning such as advertisements, art, and film. This course will also invite students to think critically about what they read and to consider the ability of literature to shape our understanding of who we are and  how we interpret the world around us.

Daily activities will include reading, writing, and discussion. While we may try our hand at producing some comics ourselves, artistic ability is not a requirement for this course.  

Badges
TBD

Textbook
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, fiction and nonfiction graphic novels TBD

Instructor
Rachel Brown, Instructor of English, Raytown High School. B.A., Truman State University, M.A.E., Truman State University.
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The Writer’s Craft

pencil-creative-writing-250x250Emily Dickinson says the experience of a good poem is like having the top of your head come off. The haiku master Basho says it’s like being alive twice. We all have a favorite book or poem, a piece of writing that has moved us to new ways of thinking, feeling, or living in the world. One of the best ways to appreciate such moving writing is to let it move us toward creating our own poems, stories, and essays. In this course we will consider the possibilities and challenges of imaginative writing. We will explore the creative process, from generating ideas to shaping and revising, and we’ll seek to share our work with others—reading, performing, and publishing our collective and individual efforts. You will find out how your own writing process operates by learning how other writers work. Francine Prose says that literature “sets up a series of rules that the writer is instructed to observe, [and] reading will show how these rules have been ignored in the past and the happy outcomes.” We’ll spend our time recklessly learning and ignoring all the rules, remembering the poet John Ashbery’s advice to writers: “Let us leave the obedience school!” In addition to reading, writing, and work shopping, we’ll get out of the classroom to write with our feet, about the world, not as we’ve seen it on TV, but as we really find it, including both on-campus and off-campus explorations. Students who complete this course will grow as poets and storytellers, but also in their broader ability to communicate vividly, as they learn to think about audience and adapt expression to the reactions it provokes.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbooks
A Little White Shadow; Ron Carlson Writes a Story 

Instructor
James D’Agostino, Professor in English, Truman State University.  B.A., Loyola University of Chicago; M.F.A., Indiana University; Ph.D., Western Michigan University.



Why We Fought: American Wars from World War I to Iraq

war iiThe course covers the major American conflicts from the start of the 20th century to the present conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the focus of the course will examine these conflicts from the U.S. foreign policy perspective, some attention is given to the role of domestic public opinion as well as foreign perspectives on the conflicts.

There are three learning objectives for this course. First, students should gain a deeper understanding of US conflicts over the past century and how these conflicts shaped the US into the global leader. Second, students will attain a better theoretical understanding of why countries fight. Finally, students will discuss and attempt to determine what countries can attain from conflict and if it’s worth the price.

Aside from the normal classroom activities, the class will take two field trips. The first will be to Laclede, Missouri to visit the Gen. John J. Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site. Students will take a tour the famous US Generals boyhood home and see how he lived and discuss his accomplishments. The second trip will be a two day trip to the World War I Museum in Kansas City Missouri and the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. There they will explore wartime documents and memorabilia before undertaking role-playing activities where students will decide how to deal with the growing differences between the U.S. and its Soviet allies near the end of the war in Europe.

Course Fee for the overnight field trip is $150.00.

Badges
This course awards digital badges for completion of certain competencies.  Check here for more information.

Textbook
Why Nations go to War

Instructor
Michael Rudy, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Truman State University. B.S., Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; MA, Eastern Illinois University; Ph.D., University of Missouri.
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Zombie Studies: Critical Thinking and Understanding of Cultures and  Emergencies

This course teaches our students much more than the “do’s” and “do nots” of surviving the zombie apocalypse. Using a combination of films, literature, and discussion, we will study the zombie genre, using the undead as a metaphor to explain the nuances of different cultures and societies. Students will explore many STEM fields along with the humanities, learning practical skills of disaster preparedness alongside critical thinking skills in the classroom.From shelter building, to crisis management we will learn to take care of ourselves and others in times of disaster.  Surviving is only half of the battle.  The films and literature of the zombie oeuvre will serve as a jumping off point as we use zombies as a metaphor for exploring current and historical cultures and societies.The students final project will be to use what we have learned about disaster preparedness and zombies to create a Public Service Announcement that uses their critical thinking skills to link our new knowledge of these ghouls with an actual problem we could all face.  

Badges
TBD

Textbook
TBD

Instructor
Tyler Unsell, Director of Debate and Forensics, Park Hill School District. B.A., Truman State University. M.A.E., Truman State University.