Classes meet Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays in Herndon, VA. Filter by subject or grade below. You can see key dates in our Google calendar or view our Academic Calendar.
Quarter beginning September 9, 2020
Code for a Cause: Technovations Team for Girls
Open Spots: 3
Imagine a phone app that could quickly reunite lost pets, connect the poor with resources that they need, or report a problem in the community! Code for a Cause is the Compass-based Technovation hub where middle school girls will participate in the world's largest technology entrepreneurship program for girls. Each year, Technovation teams solve real world problems through technology that they develop!
Through Technovation, girls work with women mentors, identify a problem in their community, develop a mobile app, and launch a startup. Since 2010, 23,000 girls around the world have developed mobile apps and startups to solve problems around a diverse range of problems, including food waste, nutrition, women's safety, and much more. In this year-long program, girls will work in teams and learn the skills they need to change the world with technology.
Girls will beging with get-to-know-you and team building activities before breaking into teams of 3-4. Each team will brainstorm to identify a problem in the community. They will propose a mobile app solution to their problem and conduct market research to see if their idea is the best possible solution. Next, the girls will learn to program their unique application using a web-based software called MIT App Inventor. In class, girls will be coached step-by-step on the process and logic of creating an interactive application. Finally, girls will learn how to brand their app, create a business plan, and look at what it would take to bring the app to market.
Girls will work on laptops provided by the instructor to eliminate technology or connectivity problems in class. However, since the app inventor platform is web-based, girls may continue to code at home. The course tuition includes a technology use/access fee.
Participation in Technovation gives girls the confidence to pursue more computer science courses (70%), and give many the foundation to eventually major in computer science (26%). Technovation teams are in 100 countries, and the program is sponsored by Oracle, Google, 3M, Adobe Foundation, and others. The Compass Technovation facilitator/instructor will be a coding coach from Coder Kids. This is a year-long program that follows the Compass Monday calendar.
2:00 pm-3:25 pm
Investigative Archaeology- Forensics
Open Spots: 1
Archaeology is the field of study that unlocks the clues to past civilizations. Forensic archaeology applies these methods to solve puzzles. In this class, students will use physical evidence to try to understand or re-create what happened to an individual through life, death, and burial or to an object though its creation, use, and after it was lost, buried, or discarded. Students will practice field archaeological techniques such as surveys, excavation, and mapping, as well as documentation, analysis, and illustration of human material culture. This archaeological lab will be guided by a scholar of art and antiquity. Dr. Erica Hughes has traveled and participated in archaeological explorations throughout the ancient world. Students will "dig" her personal photos and stories. Class discussions, group activities, and individual hands-on experiences are designed to help teens understand the creation, recovery, and conservation of artifacts and remains.
Second semester, students will explore the forensic component of investigative archaeology. They will explore issues such as the interpretation of skeletal remains, excavating Native burial grounds, and the differences between restoration and reconstruction. The class will review examples and different methods of aging artifacts through archaeological chemistry, phytolith analysis, charcoal, K-Ar and C-14 dating, isotope analysis, and dental calculus. They will look at paleoclimate as a means of site restoration and will learn proper recording techniques for forensic investigations. Example activities to demonstrate these concepts include: using the 6-6 rule to restore a smashed pot; assembling a complete, but disarticulated, human skeleton; and role-playing to debate the ethics of paving over a local heritage site.
Topics in this Series: Field Methods (Semester 1), Forensics (Semester 2). Students continuing from first semester receive priority pre-registration for second semester.
Prerequisites: 8th grade students may only enroll in this course if they successfully completed one of Dr. Hughes' 2019-20 archaeology classes.
Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of class.
Assignments: All assignments will be posted on password-protected Canvas classroom management site. There, students access assignments, upload homework, take automated quizzes and tests, track grades, and message instructor and classmates
Assessments: Points will be assigned for class activities and demonstration of forensic techniques in addition to a semester project.
Textbook/Materials: A pdf version of the required textbook will be posted on the class Canvas site for reading assignments.
Supplies/Equipment: Students should purchase and bring with them each week the following tools and supplies:
Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in Social Sciences for purposes of a high school transcript.
12:00 pm-1:25 pm
Energy Economics: Strategy & Simulation RPG- The Oil Econom...
Open Spots: 2
This class will study and simulate the modern fossil fuel-based Energy Economy.
Millions of years ago, the Earth was a covered in vast swamps which buried plant life and trapped that carbon underground for what should have been eternities. Humanity, in its ever-increasing hunger for power, has tapped these energy sources across the globe in the forms of petroleum. It powers our cars, heats our homes, and gives us the ability to fly. Countries that have it get rich, and countries that do not have it fight wars for it. Some economists even use the term "petro-dollar" to describe the basis of the modern Energy Economy. But oil is not the only source of power. In the early Industrial Revolution, coal was king, and though much diminished, is still being used. Natural gas is gaining widespread popularity for its abundance, cleanliness, and comparatively cheap rates. Wind and water- power have been around for millennia but are making a comeback as plentiful, planet-friendly energy sources. The nuclear age, fueled by splitting the atom and harnessing it's power, is almost a century old, and solar is growing in popularity. Critically, we know that the oil will eventually run out.
The class will use a custom Role-Playing Game to simulate a mature industrial economy. Students will role play as energy users or providers. They will choose power sources and balance a simulated power grid. Too little energy, and it's lights out. Too much, and you go bust! The choices must balance pros and cons of the energy form. Do you go with cheap coal and gas and pay later in health outcomes and climate change? Or can you afford the upfront cost of nuclear, and the risks of meltdowns? What are the weaknesses of renewable energy sources? The student who can best apply the knowledge learned will "win" the game and end the semester healthy, wealthy, and wise! To accomplish this, students will create a business plan and run balance sheets week-by-week to justify their strategies. These strategies will have to account for decisions like, how much fuel to acquire versus how much energy/goods to produce and sell in the in-class economy. We will track this in a class ledger, updated weekly and posted online. The students' bookkeeping will reveal profit or loss and guide their choices for the next week's game. Players will learn to change their strategies and tactics based on what everyone else is doing so their businesses remain profitable. Will they avoid bankruptcy or achieve a monopoly -– true to history?
Each student's business plan and bookkeeping ledger will be updated on class Google Drive and will be developed with feedback from the instructor. At the end of the semester, students will add a reflection about what they learned and what they would have done differently in their business plan with their new knowledge and game experience.
Students are encouraged, but not required, to take both semesters of this class. First semester will use a simple energy and business model, while second semester will be more technical including more energy options and considerations, resulting in more complex business plans and game strategies. During the second semester, students will learn about the different types of jobs found in the energy industry.
Topics in this Series: The Industrial Revolution (Semester 1), The Oil Economy and Beyond (Semester 2). Students continuing from first semester receive priority pre-registration for second semester.
Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of class.
Assignments: Course documents including period plans, photographs and recreations will be made available through a class Google Drive link emailed to parents (and students who provide their email address), as well as a class reading list of articles/excerpts and YouTube playlist for any videos watched in class or assigned as homework.
Assessments: Informal assessments will be given at the instructor's discretion, but assignments will not be scored or graded. Each student's financial success in the game will be an indicator of their learning and participation for purposes of assigning a grade. Parents will also be given shared access to their student's business plan with instructor and ledger, with instructor comments at the conclusion of class.
Lab/Supply Fee: None
What to Bring: Paper or notebook, pen or pencil
Credit: Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in History, Economics, or Business for purposes of a high school transcript.
10:00 am-11:55 am
Battle Strategies & Dioramas: Modern Warfare- Korean War, 1...
Open Spots: 1
Students will engage in a hands-on 3D battle strategy game using the military dioramas that they make!
At the end of WWII, the World was divided into a bi-polar power structure. The two dominant forces, the United States and its Allies, versus the Soviet Union and its puppets. In the final months of WWII, the Soviets occupied large swaths of territory with the goal of creating buffer states. In many cases, they would run up against US or Allied forces there. This would set the stage for the next 50 years of proxy conflicts, known as the Cold War. The first such place was Korea in the 1950s. The Government of North Korea, made up of hand-picked Communist loyalists, rolled into a weakly defended South Korea to forcibly unify the country. The US found this unacceptable and led a United Nations army to beat back the North Korean armies to the border of China. This prompted the Communist North Koreans to launch a second invasion. The UN forces were pushed all the way back to the original 1950 border, which to this day is the most heavily militarized zone on Earth. In both countries, the Koreans and their respective allies wait for conflict to arise again, as the ceasefire signed in the 50s was not technically an end to the state of war.
Using artistic model-making techniques, hand tools, and historical maps, students will each form a 10" X 16" shaped, foam diorama with landscape elements (hills, buildings, rivers, bridges, vegetation, fences, etc) to represent a scene of a famous historical engagement. Students will each receive 1:72 scale miniature soldiers to populate their scene. Once individual projects are constructed, students will combine their dioramas alongside those of their classmates to approximate the larger battlefield terrain. Students will spend the remainder of the quarter learning about the tactics and outcomes of the military engagement while playing a table-top strategy game. Student strategists will use a simplified version of the Fire and Fury historical war gaming rule system for moving troops and equipment. Along with their classmates, students will see how this battle progressed and test different outcome scenarios that might have occurred with different battlefield choices.
The instructor will use maps and visual presentations to explain the historical background and circumstances leading up to the specific battle. Course documents, such as period maps, game rules and all other instructional media will be available via a Google Drive link which will be emailed to parents. There is a $25.00 materials fee payable to the instructor on the first day of class. Topics in this year's series include: WWII from the Russian Perspective, Stalingrad/Berlin (1st quarter), WWII The Battle of the Bulge, 1944 (2nd quarter), WWII The USMC at Guadalcanal, 1945 (3rd quarter), and Korean War, 1950-1953 (4th quarter).
12:00 pm-12:55 pm
Style Studio: Fashion Design & Sewing
Open Spots: 5
What's on the runways in 2020? Wide disco collars, chic trench coats, and layered skirts in simmering neons, crochet knits, and faux leather. Do you study the pages of Glamour, Vogue, Marie Claire, and wish to be involved in the world of trendy fashion? Perhaps you follow fashion influencers on Instagram. Or, do you enjoy the satisfaction of making things yourself, your way? If so, this class is for you. Each week this course will cover three parallel tracks: the history of fashion, fashion design, and sewing, with the first hour of each class being lessons and design work and the second hour dedicated to application and sewing.
Fashion trends are often cyclical, and elements of style are reimagined every few decades. Students will seek inspiration for new designs and style remixes by learning about the history of fashion in eastern and western cultures for the last century. Second semester, students will examine fashion trends by decade from the 1970s through the 2000s. The class will also highlight the work of influential designers such as Charles Frederick Worth, Gabrielle Chanel, Christian Dior, Valentino, Kenzo Takada, Prada, and others. This semester will cover chapters 4 and 5 in the textbook.
With inspiration from historical design trends, students will learn how to create fashion renderings, from initial concepts through a chic, coordinated collection. Second semester, students' design work will focus on creating a collection and sharing those designs through a collection story board. The class will also culminate with presentation of designs and a discussion of related careers including fashion design, art, graphic design, advertising, merchandising, costuming, manufacturing, retail work or virtual style influencer.)
In this class, students will also learn to sew clothing as way of sharing- and wearing- fashions that they have designed. Second semester, students will continue to learn more advanced sewing skills including further work with patterns, modifying patterns, math used in sewing, and drafting their own patterns for their unique fashion designs. The artists will learn about pleats versus gathering and finishing edges/hems. Second semester's projects will include making a scarf, a circle skirt, and a simple blouse. (Alternate projects will be offered for male students.)
Students who practice at home will find that their sewing skills are refined and perfected more quickly. However, due to the complexity of constructing wearable, functional pieces of clothing, students should understand that by the end of the year, their sewn items will be more basic than the complex designs they render in the fashion design portion of the class. It takes years of practice before designers can create the complete, detailed collection that they have designed!
Topics in this Series: Style Studio: Fashion Design and Sewing I (Semester 1), Style Studio: Fashion Design and Sewing I (Semester 2). Students continuing from first semester receive priority pre-registration for second semester.
Prerequisites: If a student wishes to enroll in the 2nd semester of this class without having taken first semester, he/she should plan to schedule an individual, 2-hour "sewing machine basics" session with the instructor ($130) to cover some of the sewing principles needed for class.
Levels: There will be different levels of the sewing instruction: a basic pattern for those new to the craft and a more complex version of the same project for those with more advanced sewing knowledge. Interested students with advanced sewing skills may take the course and sew their own projects during the second hour. These students would be asked to review their projects with the instructor in advance.
Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of class on reading assignments and completing or practicing the sewing skill/step covered in class.
Assignments: Projects and readings will be given out in class and will also be communicated via email.
Assessments: Individual feedback is given in class. Formal assessments will not be given.
Textbook: Students should purchase Fundamentals of Fashion Design, 3rd Edition, by Richard Sorger and Jenny Udale (ISBN# 978-1474270007) before the first class. Additional information will be distributed as handouts in class.
Equipment/Fabric: Students must bring to class each week:
Lab/Supply Fee: A class fee of $45.00 is due payable to the instructor on the first day of class for a project box, including a sewing kit (with 1 pack of sewing machine needles, thread, and hand sewing essentials), sketchpad, folder, tracing paper, colored pencils, eraser. The supply fee also includes the shared cost and use of a lightbox for tracing. The cost of photocopied class documents is included in the course fee.
What to Bring: Instructor-furnished sewing kit, art supplies, sewing machine, bobbins, owner's manual, extension cord, fabric, and images/sample photos, swatches, and other assigned materials.
Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in Fine Arts or Career Education for purposes of a high school transcript.
12:00 pm-1:55 pm
Cybersecurity Basics: Networks
Quarter(s): 3, 4
Open Spots: 4
More than 4.4 billion people saw their personal data stolen in just three of the top data breeches in the last decade! Key personal, financial, and business data is unintentionally released, or worse, hacked, when digital information is not properly secured in cyberspace. Cyber-viruses crippled and compromised major businesses long before Coronavirus was in the news. This is why the cybersecurity industry is in high demand, with a job growth projection of 38% per year and starting salaries in excess of $100,000!
This course is an introduction to fundamentals of cybersecurity in an interactive, information technology (IT) class taught by a cybersecurity expert and college professor. The course is designed to give students an overview of cybersecurity as a potential career field and get them interested in pursuing cybersecurity learning at a higher level.
Second semester, students will learn about computer network concepts including networking protocols and network architecture with basic network security. The class will cover information related to network concepts, installation, configuration, media and topologies, along with network management and security.
Topics in this Series: Operating Systems/Hardware (Semester 1) and Networks (Semester 2). Students continuing from first semester receive priority pre-registration for second semester.
Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of class completing reading and virtual labs.
Assignments: Homework will be a combination of reading chapters, completing online quizzes, virtual labs, and a semester project. All assignments will be posted on password-protected Canvas classroom management site. There, students access assignments, upload homework, take automated quizzes and tests, track grades, and message instructor and classmates.
Assessments: Points will be awarded for the competition of assignments, quizzes, and projects, and parents can assign a grade based on the number of points earned as compared to the number of points available.
Textbook/Materials: Second semester, students should purchase or rent the CompTIA Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals, 6th edition, by Mark Ciampa (ISBN 978-1337288781). This text is available as a paperback or e-book.
Software Fee: Students will have to pay a fee of $119 (estimated) for a one-year subscription to the Cengage online learning platform which allows students to complete virtual lab exercises.
What to Bring/Equipment: Students must bring a PC or Mac laptop to class each week. These should be no more than 3 years old. Chromebooks and tablets cannot be used. Students should also bring their laptop charger and a 6 foot extension cord to class each week.
Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in Technology or Career Exploration for purposes of a high school transcript.
2:00 pm-4:00 pm
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