Academic Curriculum

Academic Curriculum

Barrett Summer Scholars will offer non-college credit courses during the program. Below are examples of the elective and required courses you will take. The 2018 course list will be provided with program acceptance notification. Some elective courses may be more popular than others and will have limited space. Course offerings are not final and are subject to change based on instructor availability and participant interest.

10th grade program: June 3-15 at ASU Tempe and June 17-29 ASU Downtown Phoenix

All 10th grade participants will take a version of The Human Event, a critical thinking humanities course that is required for all first-year Barrett, the Honors College students. The Human Event is a critical analysis of the great ideas human cultures have had from the beginning of recorded history to the present. This course includes review of various classic and contemporary literature & active participation in class discussions.

A number of elective courses will be available that will provide a broad introduction to academic programs that are available on the Tempe and Downtown campuses. Some elective courses may be more popular than others and will have limited space; participants will be placed in one of their top three choices. Course topics for the 2018 program are listed below. Topics are subject to change based on instructor availability. 

Tempe ElectivesDowntown Electives
  • Introduction to Engineering - This will be a lab based introduction to engineering course in which students are introduced to the engineering design process through a variety of multidisciplinary and interactive projects. Students will learn about using engineering models and the physical principles on which they are based as well as performing research, analysis, and taking experimental measurements to solve real-world problems. The course will culminate in a team design competition in which the students will solve an engineering design problem from conception through construction and testing.
  • Sustainability - Transforming the Future - Living sustainably is much more than just "being green"! Learn how the three pillars of sustainability (society, environment and economy) affect everything from the food you eat to the temperature of the entire planet! The earth is a SYSTEM and we will learn about the connections between people and the environment while investigating current environmental issues. From here we will develop the skills necessary to make sustainable choices now and in the future!
  • Introduction to Design - Envisioning the Future - Barrett Scholars will be introduced to the design disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, and visual communication design. Students will consider the aesthetic, functional, economic and socio political dimensions of today’s rapidly changing world and the role designers can and do play in shaping the future. The course will introduce design process’s, basic design skills, tools available to designers as well as visit with professional designers and work collaboratively to conceptualize solutions to design problems. At the end of the course, students will have an understanding of design disciplines as well as the potential each discipline can make in shaping the future.
  • Supply Chain Management - This course will teach you how design, marketing, engineering and business all need to work together to create a successful product. Students will discover supply chain basics such as purchasing, operations, logistics and beyond. In addition to this students will also gain experience in creating a resume, participating in mock interviews, learn how to shine in today’s competitive market, and create a final project around starting their own business.
  • Engineering projects with Entrepreneurial Mindset - An an engineer you'll be working on exciting projects, creating new devices, and products. These products often are directed toward customers with specific needs. You may even want to start our your on venture (start-up company) to cater to those needs, or create a new market for a new product. In this course, you'll work in teams to create prototype of a product. Your own peers or college students will the customers, who will use that product! You'll learn about engineering design process while considering customer needs. Along the way you'll learn about mechanical design, electrical circuits, micro-controllers, and programming.
  • Introduction to Journalism - Barrett Summer Scholars will explore the world of journalism in a hands-on workshop incorporating still photography, audio and video. Students will anchor their own radio newscasts, shoot video reports, and learn how television newscasts are produced in a modern broadcast studio. The course will be hosted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, one of the top journalism schools in the nation.
  • Discover Nursing - Do you have what it takes? - Students will explore the nursing career through high technology resources, hands-on activities, participation in a simulated patient care experience, and meet ASU nursing faculty and students.  Come interact with “patients” at ASU Hospital.  Experience what it is like to be a nursing student first-hand.  Students are introduced to innovation concepts and have an opportunity to brainstorm and problem solve solutions to real world healthcare challenges.  CPR and basic first aid training is included and Red Cross authorized certifications will be issued at the completion of the course.
  • Integrated Approaches to Healthcare - Students will be introduced to a variety of health care disciplines and health care settings.  Students will tour medical facilities, learn from guest lecturers, and participate in experiential learning through hands-on activities.  Current and futuristic concepts of healthcare as well as exposure to multiple healthcare professions will be provided.  By the end of the course, students will appreciate the diverse and changing nature of the healthcare system and the professions within it.
  • Solving the World’s Problems - Public service leaders around the world, tackle the world’s most pressing problems; hunger, homelessness, social inequality, racial injustice and many more; but how do they do it? Students in this course will have the opportunity to spend two weeks learning about how to solve a problem from four unique public service perspectives: non-profit management, social work, criminal justice and public policy. Guest speakers will provide students with an idea of what it’s like to change a law, transform a city through policing or politics, or counsel a person in need. At the end of this course, students will understand four different types of problem solving and how they can make the world a better place.
  • Mindfulness - This course will introduce the concept of mindfulness while guiding learners to build skills around holistic well-being with a focus on mindful living, personal balance, compassion and resiliency. Learning modules will emphasize shifting the mindset toward positive self-dialogue by implementing a creative approach to wellness. This course will aid learners with basic mindfulness skills while preparing them for a future working within professional healthcare teams with interactive classroom learning and home-based practice. Current conventional and integrative concepts of healthcare as well as exposure to a variety of healthcare professions will be discussed.

9th grade program: June 3-8 & June 10-15 at ASU Polytechnic

All 9th grade participants will take a version of The Human Event, a critical thinking humanities course that is required for all first-year Barrett, the Honors College students. The Human Event is a critical analysis of the great ideas human cultures have had from the beginning of recorded history to the present. This course includes review of various classic and contemporary literature & active participation in class discussions.

All 8th grade participants will also take an elective course of their choosing. Some elective courses may be more popular than others and will have limited space; participants will be placed in one of their top three choices. Course topics for the 2016 program are listed below. Topics are subject to change based on instructor availability. 

  • LEGO Engineering - This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn about the engineering design process through a series of fun and challenging robotics-based activities. The activities will utilize the LEGO NXT Mindstorms kits and the LabVIEW-based Mindstorms software. Students will work in teams to build and program their robots to accomplish tasks, collect data, and interpret results. The program will culminate with an open-ended design challenge.
  • Arduino + Engineering - This course is designed for the budding mechanical, electrical, or software engineer. Through a series of hands-on, team-based activities, students will gain familiarity with design thinking principles as well as the basics of motors, electrical circuits, and the Arduino microcontroller programming. They will then learn how to combine this knowledge to design, build, test, and showcase their solution to a fun and exciting, real world-inspired engineering challenge.
  • Are we there yet? People and Technology - "Are we there yet? People and Technology" will engage students in a hands-on discovery of the ever-changing relationship between people and the available science and technology.  Each day of the course, students will be introduced to a technological, scientific, or technology/science policy-making topic, and then spend time engaging in hands-on activities to investigate the intricacies and implications of the topic.  Come to class ready to dive in and get your hands dirty (or wet or sticky)!
  • Engineering + Design - Are you interested in engineering? In knowing the innovative products that engineers design and how they do it? This is the course is for you. The major focus of this small course is to expose you to engineering design process, research and analysis, teamwork, communication methods and societal impacts of engineering. You will develop you skills (technical and interpersonal) through a hands-on design project which will be showcased on the final day of the course. The course assumes little previous knowledge, but you will learn and employ engineering and scientific concepts in the solution of engineering design problems. Students will develop their research, brainstorming and problem-solving skills, to create solutions to various challenges during the project.
  • Sustainability: Transforming the Future - Living sustainably is much more than just "being green"! Learn how the three pillars of sustainability (society, environment and economy) affect everything from the food you eat to the temperature of the entire planet! The earth is a SYSTEM and we will learn about the connections between people and the environment while investigating current environmental issues. From here we will develop the skills necessary to make sustainable choices now and in the future!

8th grade program: June 17-June 22, 2018 at ASU West

All 8th grade participants will be enrolled in a Critical Thinking course in addition to one of the electives listed below. Students will learn fundamental skills that will enable them to enhance their critical thinking skills. This includes learning how to formulate arguments, identify fallacious reasoning, and apply these lessons to everyday activities.

In addition to the Critical Thinking course, all 8th grade participants will be enrolled in an elective of their choice. Electives are math and science based. Some elective courses may be more popular than others and will have limited space; participants will be placed in one of their top three choices. Course topics for the 2018 program are listed below.  Topics are subject to change based on instructor availability.

  • Sustainability: Transforming the Future - Living sustainably is much more than just "being green"! Learn how the three pillars of sustainability (society, environment and economy) affect everything from the food you eat to the temperature of the entire planet! The earth is a SYSTEM and we will learn about the connections between people and the environment while investigating current environmental issues. From here we will develop the skills necessary to make sustainable choices now and in the future!
  • Blood Detectives: Using Science to Help Solve a Mystery - Students will explore the science behind blood spatter and bloodstain pattern analysis with both classroom and hands-on experiences. Topics will include the biological and physical properties of blood; physical properties of bloodstain formation; mathematics used in bloodstain pattern analysis; and the use of high-speed photography to capture blood spatter as it is created.
    Note: There are no biological hazards associated with this course. All blood products to be used are purchased through a reputable vendor of forensic science products and are of a synthetic nature that have been developed specifically for the purposes of studying blood and blood spatter.
  • Psychology and Neuroscience: Exploring the Amazing Brain - This course will help familiarize the student with the fundamental concepts and theories of Psychology and Neuroscience as they apply to the physiological, physical, cognitive, and social/personality aspects of the individual. Topics such as visual perception, dreams and the effects music has on the brain will be discussed throughout the course.
  • Fingerprint Detectives:  behind the crime  - Students will learn the principles of fingerprint analysis in a combined lecture-laboratory science course. They will explore the basic science and analytical techniques behind the identification of this type of crime evidence as it is performed in real forensic laboratories. The course will include the search, visualization and examination of fingerprints with a clear emphasis on practicing the knowledge acquired.
  • Shakespeare's Othello - This course is designed to provide you with an extensive understanding and appreciation of one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies, Othello, Moor of Venice. You will become familiar and comfortable with the historical background and the literary and social contexts of this play as we explore the social milieu of Tudor and Stuart England. Through a methodical study, we progress from understanding plots, characters, and themes to analyzing and discovering the psychological, cultural and social forces that influenced the author and informed his works. We will also view scenes from important productions of Othello, and together discuss these interpretations.

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