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The following classes will be held June 10-14th or June 17– 21st

The following class list is from STEM 2012.  Check back in March for STEM Institute Classes 2013.

All of the following classes are 3 hour classes.  A full day student will pick 2 classes and a half day student will pick 1.  Your student will receive the course selection sheet once they have been accepted into the program. 

Click on the classes for more information

Digital Painting

Weeks 1 and 2

Students in this course will learn to utilize the computer as a tool for vibrant creative work. By using time-tested painting fundamentals, combined with the most advanced digital tools available, Students will create one digital painting per day for the duration of the workshop. The class will use ArtRage Studio Pro and Wacom Drawing tablets to explore digital painting through a variety of subjects. Each day students will solve a different visual problem. Ultimately, the aim of the class is to provide greater experience with and access to new media by examining the union of art and technology.

Flight Sim

Weeks 1 and 2

Have you ever dreamed of getting in the left seat of a Boeing 787 with your captain’s epaulettes on your shoulders and taking off on runway 36L? yes Or maybe you have the ‘right stuff’ and want to join NASA as a commander.
It all starts with basic flight training and this course is designed to give an introduction to becoming a pilot using a personal computer-based flight training device. The class will take a field trip to a local airport. This class will be a lot of hard, fun, focused work.

3D Design

Weeks 1 and 2

Have you ever wanted to design an object and then create it from nothing? Get your hands on and mind around software (Solidworks) where you can design 3D objects and then create them using a ‘3D’ printer. See how technology can uncomplicate prototyping while creating your own 3D design!

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App For That!

Week 2

Learn to make web-based apps (Javascript) for the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad! Students will create interactive and fun apps that can be accessed from the Safari browser. The course will start with a basic web page design, and then students will add style sheets and javascript to create an app that looks just like it came from the App Store. Students can use classroom iPads for testing and sharing.

Polymer Nano Structures: Say What!? (Tentative)

Really SMALL things can have HUGE impacts! Discover how nanomaterials can be used to solve problems ranging from Solar Energy to Biomaterials for medical devices. Students will make nanomaterials, investigate their properties, and explore how the assembly of molecules at the nanoscale can influence structure, properties, and function of everything from Silly Putty to vaccines.


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 Fashionably Mashed

Weeks 1 and 2

Science + Fashion + Math = FashionablyMashed! What is the connection between fashion design and STEM? Interested? If so, this is the class for you! Using the tools, templates and step-by-step process that professional designers use, you will design a t-shirt. You will make the decisions and solve the problems that designers confront and will even explore the opportunity of marketing your design. -- class location: Preston

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 Beyond Beautiful: Jewelry from 3D Printing + Computer Aided Design

Weeks 1 and 2

 Can a piece of jewelry solve a problem? Can bracelets and necklaces, besides being beautiful accessories, be useful to the people who wear them? “Beyond Beautiful” will take you into the world where creativity and technology are best friends. This experience is for you if you like the idea of design or if you are an aspiring designer or engineer. In “Beyond Beautiful” you will —

 · Explore how to create      jewelry that is as useful as it is beautiful and fun.

  • · Work with 3D      printing and computer aided design (also known as CAD).
  • · Learn the creative      process!

With a mix of technology and creativity you will design and make jewelry that addresses a problem you and your teammates think needs a true solution in the world today. The result will be beyond beautiful.

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Green Technology

Weeks 1 and 2

Each day will focus on a different green form of technology.  Students will be creating biofuels from sunflower seeds, building model solar farms, designing vertical farms, and modeling turbine blades.  A field trip to view technology in action will expose students to the green technology that exists in northern Colorado. 


 This IS Rocket Science! (Tentative)

 This hands-on course will introduce students to the principles of aeronautical engineering.  During the course, students will build an Estes Rocket (http://www.estesrockets.com/), calibrate it on a test firing apparatus, and use those data to relate position, velocity, and acceleration.  Students will then predict the trajectory of their rocket and fire them to test their predictions.  This course is open to model rocket beginners and enthusiasts alike.  -- class location: Fossil

Hybrid Powered Vehicles: Design and Build (Tentative)

Students will study different modes of powering small-scale cars. Then, they will use this knowledge to design and build their own multi-powered vehicles. Sources of power can include; mousetraps, electric motors, solar panels, propellers, and more. Finished vehicles will be able to switch between at least two power sources. Participants will be able to take their vehicles with them at the end of the course.

BOOM! The Science of Fire, Combustion, and Explosions and


Weeks 1 and 2

Today, everything in our lives is possible because of the burning of fossil fuels. Students will learn about the science behind the burning of fossil fuels and the environmental impact of burning these organic molecules. Students will also learn how combustion and compression engines work. Students will explore the differences in burning these different fossil fuels (kerosene, methane, propane) with modern, small-scale chemistry techniques. After learning about fossil fuels, students will see how other explosives are used in the world today and see the chemistry behind each of them. Students will learn hands on the inner working of fireworks. Finally students will be able to see how pressure is used in explosives. No previous chemistry knowledge is needed for this course.  The two classes cover different explosions.

The Human Body – An Exploration of Anatomy (Tentative)

This class will be exploring the inner workings of the human body. It is a mix of anatomy, biochemistry, and nutritional sciences. Students will see how eating a hamburger to drinking a couple cups of coffee affects every system in their body. The labs will be using modern small-scale science techniques and labs. Students will also explore how drugs and alcohol affect each of the body systems. This class shows how whatever we put into our body has a cause and effect relationship on how all of the body systems are orchestrated together. No pervious anatomy or biology knowledge is needed for this course.


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Weeks 1 and 2

A crime has been committed!! Come and investigate the crime and find out who the culprit is! Fingerprints, hair samples, cheek swabs, interviews and more! Come help solve this crime!

Galactic STEM Adventures (Girls Adventures in Learning…A Chance To Investigate Careers) (Tentative)

Weeks 1 and 2

This class is an “out of this world” opportunity for young women to learn about women in STEM careers. As a field trip-based course, participants will visit and even work with local female professionals from medicine, technology, veterinary science, environmental science, and much more. Students will summarize their adventures at the STEM Show on Friday.

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Pwned! Programming Your Own Video Game

Weeks 1 and 2

“Pwned” is what you say in the moment of glory! Students will advance their understanding of math and logic by learning to program video games. Starting from the theory and history of computer game design, students will leave the week with their very own 2-dimensional game. Previous programming experience is not needed.

Intermediate Robotics: Design, Build, and Program Robots (Tentative)

Weeks 1 and 2

Learn about designing, building, programming and controlling robots using the Lego NXT system. Class members will work in small groups to solve problems using their skills and teamwork. You are READY for the next step!

Advanced Robotics: Advanced Design and Programming of the Lego System (Tentative)

Week 1 and 2

For the experienced roboteer, this class will explore the principles of reliable vehicle design and programming using the Lego Mindstorms system.

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Chemistry Chaos: Thou Shalt….. Wear Your Goggles!

Week 1

Unfold the mystery of fundamental chemical reactions while creating powerful and colorful chemistry uproar on your bench! Create your own bottle rocket, fire extinguisher and hot or cold packs using common household chemicals, learn to manipulate some amazing polymers, experiment safely with dry ice and liquid nitrogen, and much more... No prior knowledge of chemistry is required.

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Video Productions: Write it! Shoot It! Chop It! Produce It! (Tentative)

In this course, the students will write a short script, learn the basics of camera operation skills and proper framing techniques, and how to edit their short movies, as well as burn them to DVD.

High Efficiency Architecture! Design and Construction of a Green Home

Week 1

Participants in this class will learn about the principles of high-efficiency building design and will construct a model ‘green’ home.


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Stream Ecology, Wading In…..the Poudre River

Weeks 1 and 2

What do organisms living in the Poudre River need to survive? How can we find out if the water is safe for living things? Spend your afternoons at different sites along the Poudre River conducting chemical tests and catching macro-invertebrates to determine the overall water quality of the river. Specialists who work for the city of Fort Collins will join us on the river to help relate our findings to current water quality problems facing the Poudre River.

Fountain Engineering: Explore Fountains AND Build Your Own

Week 1

Ready to get wet?? Students will investigate the properties of projectile motion, especially as related to the path water travels for a fountain. We will visit a local fountain park (Oak Street or Loveland Sports Complex) to take measurements, discover the velocity, angle, and equation necessary to create these water arcs, and finish by designing our own fountain park to meet required specifications. We will learn about and construct a laminar flow nozzle to aid in constructing a physical model of the fountain park (This means you get to build and test your own fountain nozzle! The testing becomes a great big water fight!). The things we will do are exactly what a local landscape engineering and architecture firm has done a few times to design actual fountains for cities across the nation.

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Week 1 and 2

Students will design and build their ultimate beach getaway cabin.  Using skills, knowledge, and artistic flare we will build a resort community from the ground up.  We will be using graphic design software and a laser etcher do design and build unique buildings and other structures. We’ll start with a map of the area then each student will be given a parcel of land.  Using civil engineering, structural engineering, and architectural design students will build a scale model of their dream cabin on their ideal lot.  Together we will learn more about structures, planned communities, scale modeling, landscaping, interior design and more.  Come build your dream!


Week 1 and 2

Have you always wanted to design your own game?  Here is your chance to do it and do it right!  In this class, each student will design and build a new game.  We will use graphic software and a laser cutting and etching machine to build the pieces for your game.  We can design the game boards and write up all the rules.  Since we will use the equipment that the professionals use, your game will look just as good, or maybe even better than, anything you can buy at the store.  Who knows?  You may even come up with the next big game.  Watch out Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, here we come!

RC Airplanes (Tentative)

Do things really fly or do they respond to the forces upon them? Discover firsthand how flight really works. You can challenge yourself by inventing and creating without all the disasters of the early inventors. You will learn the physics of flight and apply your discoveries to your own flying machine. You will gather your own observations and data for analysis of what makes efficient flight. Your goal will be to create your own foam flyer and have a remote controlled flight. If you would like to take your plane home at the end of the camp it is an addtional $75.00. -- class location: Preston and Turner

Gene Tech / DNA

Week 1 and 2

Gene Tech will survey many topics in genetics and biotechnology.  Students will investigate mutant fruit flies, prepare and run gel electrophoresis trials, genetically modify bacteria and dig into the hidden world of the DNA code.  Each day will focus on the real-life lab skills used by biologists who study and manipulate DNA.  By the end of the week you will know how to pipette, incubate, streak a plate , run a gel, use a centrifuge, and even run a polymerase chain reaction!

 Dig It! Fossils 

Week 1 and 2

Sift though Miocene aged fossil gravel to identify and keep different kinds of shark teeth. Learn how to identify different kinds of fossil wood. Use a microscope to make a collection of fossils from ancient oceans. Construct scale models of dinosaurs within minutes. Prepare and keep a fossil fish from an Eocene aged lake of Wyoming. Explore the history of life on Earth at the Preston STEM institute.

Underwater Exploration:  Underwater Robotics and Tools of Exploration

Weeks 1 and 2

Students will learn about many of the techniques that scientists use to explore our oceans, from scuba diving on coral reefs to sending deep sea submersibles to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. We will explore the challenges of underwater exploration and the technology that exists to investigate the Earth's final frontier, in part by building our own underwater robot!

Bring them Back! GIS Restoring Native Species

Week 2

Nature's Fury: Natural Disasters

Weeks 1 and 2





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