Gr.5-6 Summer Courses

2017 G&T Summer Academy Grades 5-6 Course Schedule

Course Schedule can be viewed at  You can also download the course descriptions as a PDF MSU G&T 2017 Summer Academy Course Descriptions.

Einstein Hour

All Academy students will participate in the Einstein Hour makerspace. This course will involve groups of up to five students who will build a solution to a design challenge. Students will apply the engineering design process to Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve by collaborating to brainstorm, model, build, test, and modify their solution. Students are encouraged to use information, resources, and project work from their other courses to assist with completing their Einstein Hour project.

Gr. 5-6 (Note: courses are listed to allow for themed tracks, i.e. the first course in each list is a humanities choice, the second choice is a math/business applications choice, etc.. Students have the option of taking any combination of Course 1, 2, and 3 choices.)

Period 1 Course choices:

Mysteries, Conspiracies, and Intrigues

A course guaranteed to fascinate and challenge both history and mystery lovers alike. Subjects covered include the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, the explosion of the Hindenburg, the “death” of Beatle Paul McCartney, mysterious Stonehenge, the incredible conundrum of Princess Anastasia, the true meaning of the Wizard of Oz, the Bermuda Triangle, the presidential assassinations and so much more. In short, we will investigate the most fascinating and thought-provoking events of all time. Armed with film, historical artifacts, and a dash of speculation, this course promises to be an entertaining and unique opportunity to study, learn, and enjoy the pursuit of historical truth.

Human Calculators

Can you find the cube of a 100 digit numbers? Can you do it without a calculator? How is it possible that a human being can calculate faster than a calculator? In this course, you will learn how mathematical prodigies calculate numbers in their minds. You will also apply the mathematical tips and tricks you have learned to solve real-world problems. Use your analytical and problem-solving skills, you may be the next one to be invited on the Ellen DeGeneres Show or Today Show!


How have we learned from nature to solve engineering problems? From Da Vinci's flying machine to nanomedicines, society has used the patterns, chemicals, and processes found in nature to help solve our problems. Work collaboratively and individually to explore and apply nature's solutions as our own.

If Picasso Went to the Zoo

What will happen if Picasso went to the zoo? Come to this course and find out how art, history, biology, zoology, alliteration, and poetry can be combined! Purchase of the book If Picasso Went to the Zoo will be required.

Roots of Human Behavior

What makes the mind work? From motivation to emotion, this course will explore the roots of human action and interaction. Students will explore concepts such as nature vs. nurture and the basics of human psychology.


When you look up at the night sky, do you wish that you had an ultimate telescope that could visualize different types of particles? Embark on a deep dive worthy of Einstein and Hawking, an intergalactic exploration from how stars and galaxies function to the theory of relativity. Discover how we have developed ways to observe the universe from telescopes to the Large Hadron Collider. Work collaboratively and individually to explore strange objects and analyze different types of processes. This course will encompass many advanced topics but will focus on particle physics and quantum mechanics.

Period 2 Course choices:

Building Disney

One would be hard pressed to find a more influential man than Walt Disney. From humble origins he and his descendants created one of the largest corporations in the world, invented feature-length animated films, won more Oscars than any other individuals and created an amusement park aptly labeled “The Happiest Place on Earth.” In this course we will trace the rise of this entertainment genius and the incredible success of the Disney brand. With extensive use of film clips and archival photographs we will journey through the Wonderful World of Disney. From Steamboat Willie to Frozen and beyond, to Disney World’s ever-changing landscape and intriguing food menus, to the fascinating plans for future Disney adventures, we will cover it all. Join us on our expedition to the Magical World of Disney.

Credits and Debits

This course will act as an introduction to business and financial accounting. You will learn how to account for various financial transactions and how such information is used in the presentation of the four basic financial statements (profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flows, and owners’ equity). The course will examine how well known corporations manage difficult financial decisions and present information to their owners and stakeholders. Learning activities will place you into real life scenarios that will aid in your understanding of the role of accounting.

Marine Biology

How does the ocean support life? What does the Atlanta Aquarium need to know to properly keep whale sharks? Embark on a virtual tour of aquatic creatures great and small. Work collaboratively and individually to explore and understand how the marine environment functions.

Digital Photography

“Smile!” This course will explore the techniques necessary to successfully take professional-quality photographs. Students will work collaboratively and individually to design, shoot, modify, and critique photographs of a variety of subjects in different settings. Digital cameras will be provided, however students are encouraged to bring their own digital cameras and accessories.

Understanding the Gifted Mind

In this course, you will find intellectual peers who share the same excitement for learning as you do, as well as peers who may have similar challenges as you do in school. This course will help you better understand the academic, social, and emotional lives of gifted students and how you can better advocate for yourself.

Jr. Aviator

Learn about aviation history and the physics that makes modern flight possible. We will investigate aviation concepts, such as center-of-gravity, Bernoulli’s Principle, and Newton’s Laws, aviation occupations, and key historic individuals. Students will explore a variety of aircraft designs, including kites, hot air balloons, dirigibles, gliders, helicopters, planes, and rockets. This course is perfect for students new to aviation or those looking to build on their knowledge.

Period 4 Course choices:

Voyage through Ages

If you think history is boring, think again! This new offering will investigate the most fascinating and thought-provoking events in human history. We will explore the fall of mighty Rome, the rise and impact of the Viking invasion, the Crusades, the Tudors, and the War of the Roses. We will take a look at the founding fathers, the incredible miracle of our victory in the Revolutionary War, the impact of the death of Lincoln and JFK, and the life of King Arthur and the pursuit of the infamous Holy Grail. Join us for an unforgettable journey through the pages of time.

Social Media Marketing

In this course, you will examine the ways in which interactive technologies are changing the rules and processes for customer engagement. You will be exposed to case studies and actual examples of successful, as well as less than optimal, marketing efforts that use such tools. The social media tools to be analyzed include Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, 4Square, Tumblr, BlogSpot, and Yelp! The course will introduce you to the above commonly used social media tools in the marketing and business context by critically examining the functionality and technological underpinnings that enhance their utility as marketing devices as well as the risks that might be associated with their use.


In this class we will explore the mysterious world of Neuroscience. Discover the complex world of the brain, spinal cord, senses, and neurons. Neuroscience labs can be noisy! Crackling occurs from amplified responses of neurons, machines pump, and needles slide across paper recording responses. Be prepared to go in-depth learning about what different sections of the brain are responsible for.

Art in Nature

Can you imagine walking through an art gallery and not seeing any paintings or photographs of flowers, trees, animals or majestic mountains or languid lakes? It's impossible to imagine because nature is reflected in art! Many great works of art and the artists who create them are inspired by the colors, textures, and even the sounds found in nature. In this course, you will create and exhibit nature-inspired art projects.

G&T Debate

Prove you have what it takes to craft and deliver polished responses as part of the Gifted & Talented Debate Team! Verbal communication mastery is a highly valued skill. Work collaboratively and individually to practice your written and verbal communication skills. From doctors and lawyers to parents and politicians, your debating skills will serve you well.

Robots as Problem Solvers

Save the world with robots! This engineering applications course is designed to challenge students to choose a real-world problem to solve and use robots as the focus of the solution. Investigate the problem, then design, model, and build the solution using computer design software and available parts. You will present your solutions, critique each other’s projects, and use the feedback to improve their solutions.

Arts & Recreation courses:

Speaking off the Cuff: Improv

What does improvisation have to do with public speaking? Everything! Improvisation teaches us how to leverage creativity and already acquired knowledge in how we respond. This class will be rooted in drama techniques. The students will go through basic improvisation exercise and then discover how these are used in everyday life. Activities will include topic specific question games, creating the dialogue in clip of a silenced television show, and any others. In improvisation it is necessary to be aware of your surroundings and figure out how to use what is around you. We cannot wait to see where your imaginations and improvisation skills take you.


This chess course is designed for anyone interested in chess, especially those who are of beginning or intermediate level. Each class period is composed of instruction followed by you playing in open or small tournament games. By the end of the course, you will demonstrate mastery of rules, strategy, opening analysis, endgames, analysis of a famous game, and variations of chess. You will also be able to analyze chess using standard terminology.

Video Game Design

Make you own original games with a powerful, easy-to-use design tool and a library of hundreds of sprites! No programming skills are required! In this class, you will use Gamestar Mechanic to design your own video game. You will also have a chance to publish your games and connect with a community of over 250,000 designers whose games have been played over 5 million times! Bring your creativity and problem-solving skills and come to this recreational and rewarding class!


Need to improve your physical strength? Need to enhance your mental muscles? Need to increase overall flexibility and endurance? Then, you NEED to take this course!


GOAL! Soccer is a staple in many countries around the world, testing players on their coordination, speed, strategy, and team play. The excitement and preparation for the World Cup alone puts people all over the world abuzz. We will be outside to practice techniques and strategies, skills and drills, and learn the rules of the game. This sport helps players increase coordination, agility, and endurance.