Courses for 2012
2D Animation and Website Design with Adobe Flash CS5
Area: Computer Animation
Instructor: Kristin Harris
This is a hands-on introductory course in the basics of animation and website design with Flash. Students will learn how to use Flash's drawing tools to design characters for an animated short and design an educational Flash document as well as a website.
Body Quest: An Exploration in Anatomy and Physiology
Instructor: Kim Geier
In this aptly named study of anatomy and physiology, students spend much of the time dissecting a fetal pig and comparing it to humans. Students also spend some time comparing the anatomy of other vertebrates by dissecting a variety of specimens. In the past students have visited a necropsy lab, an autopsy lab, the College's cadaver lab, a physical therapy facility, and a museum about medicine at the time of the Civil War in order to see how far knowledge has come.
Brave New World: Understanding Your Genetic Future
Instructor: Rebecca Ross
Topics in genetics and biotechnology will be explored in this class and will include hands-on labs on karyotyping of chromosomes, DNA electrophoresis of Lambda DNA, transformation of E. coli, DNA extraction, and lab activities on plasmids and recombinant DNA, restriction fragment length polymorphisms(RFLP's), mitochondrial DNA, probes, PCR(polymerase chain reaction), mutations, DNA sequencing, and micro-arrays. Research reports and power points on genetic disorders and on bio-ethical topics will be presented by student teams. Field trips are planned to the Virginia Tech Bio-informatics Center, the VT Virtual Reality Cave, and the University of Virginia Medical School Genetics Department.
Instructor: Brennan Kraje
In this course, we break out physics topics that are not usually covered in-depth, if at all, in typical high school physics courses, spending several days to a week of detailed research and discussion on each.
We explore the history of scientific philosophy: Why did Aristotle never get "F-ma"? Why a 2000-year delay before Newton got it? We explore relativity and quantum physics: their historical development, their undisputed experimental verification yet apparent incompatibility. We explore nuclear physics, radiation safety (health physics), and how to assess and control your personal radiation exposure risks (had a CAT scan recently?) We take a simplistic algebraic "textbook" equation for calculating rocket velocity and explore how to extend it through calculus and optimization techniques into a "real world" analysis typical of a space exploration career environment (Mars rover, anyone?) We'll find room for other topics as well, maybe even one or two suggested by course participants.
Calculators, computers, and physics lab equipment will be used as they are relevant to the topics we cover.
The Dark Night Sky - Serious Questions for Real Astronomers
Instructor: Harold Butner
What precisely is a comet? Are we really in danger of colliding with a comet or an asteroid? Have such events happened in the earth's past? These questions will provide a starting point for an investigation of current understanding of the age, size, and nature of the universe. Students will keep a nightly journal of a variety of naked-eye observations of the night sky, will use the Internet as a source of information, will use telescopes to observe astronomical phenomena, and will analyze a variety of astronomical data in the laboratory.
The Science of Strength
Instructor: Steve Smith
The Science of Strength will encompass a broad range of scientific and theoretical constructs applicable to the development of a sound strength and conditioning program. The program will focus on aspects of strength and conditioning that maximize an individual's athletic potential while reducing the risk of injury. Implementing a functional and sport-specific program will provide athletes the underlying structure required to perform at their optimal level of play. Areas covered in the course include muscle physiology, biomechanics, psychological components for optimal sports performance, nutrition, and various applications for fitness testing.
Instructor: Mike Coco
In this course we will explore the art and craft of mathematical problem solving. We will examine problems ranging from celebrated classics to challenging contest problems. Our primary focus will not necessarily be finding their solutions but the process of inquiry, exploration, conjecture, and proof that is at the core of mathematical thinking. No special mathematical background is required.
To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before: Doing Experimental Mathematics
Instructor: Thomas Brown
(Past Instructor: Kevin Peterson)
This course will engage students in experimental mathematical study of the nature of conjecture and its role in mathematical research. Students will work in groups, using software tools such as Excel, MATLAB. Maple, and Geometer's Sketch Pad, as well as pencil and paper and physical models, to explore patterns and trends found in mathematics. Groups will form conjectures based on these observations and test those conjectures. Students will explore theorems taken from a diverse range of mathematics including, but not limited to: geometry, graph theory, chaos and dynamical systems, calculus, topology, cryptography, and number theory. Neither special mathematical background nor knowledge of programming languages is prerequisite. Students will learn the software as needed.
Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink
Area: Environmental Science
Instructor: Diana Duckworth
Voted by past students as one of the best summer residential Governor's School experiences and particularly relevant in light of recent droughts in Virginia, this course provides a comprehensive field-and laboratory-based study of water resources. Basic hydrology, including water movement, stream and lake dynamics, as well as sources of pollution, laboratory techniques for water quality analysis, and water treatment techniques form the core for this course. Course content also includes analysis of land use as it affects water supply, water quality, and watershed management decisions.