Core

Yoga: Go With the Flow

yoga

In this apprenticeship, students will learn how to teach and practice yoga. They will learn basic anatomy, poses, flows & teaching techniques, as well as the benefits of practice for mental and physical health. Through practical experience, writing reflection and discussion, students will gain an understanding about how practicing yoga can enhance their individual lives. Through modeling, lessons, and meeting with an expert yoga teacher, students will learn how to teach yoga and to share this understanding with others. By the end of the apprenticeship, students will be able to teach others an introductory yoga class and answer questions on the benefits of yoga.

Time to Invent

time to invent

During this apprenticeship, students will learn about the Design Process.  Each lesson will focus on a specific step in the Design Process and will provide students with an opportunity to implement that step.  Throughout the apprenticeship, students will meet fictional clients who have hired them to solve various different problems using the Design Process.  By the end of the apprenticeship, students will be able to independently use the Design Process to generate original ideas and build a product that suits a specific purpose.  The apprenticeship will culminate with students working in pairs to independently implement the Design Process to solve a problem for a fictional WOW! client.  Working with the Design Process will give students the tools to approach problems they encounter both in the classroom and in their daily lives.

Solar Cars

solar cars

In this apprenticeship students will engage in the engineering process to design, build, test, and revise a solar car according to the specifications set forth by the Junior Solar Sprint (JSS). Students will work in teams to apply their knowledge of solar power, vehicle mechanics, mathematics, and engineering to several iterations of a car design. Each iteration will be improved by rigorous testing and redesigned based on data. By the end of the apprenticeship students will be qualified to compete in the JSS. Some students may actually be able to compete in the JSS while others will compete against each other on campus.

Shark Tank

shark tank

This apprenticeship gives students the chance not to take the world as it comes, but make it the way they wish it would be. They will begin to see every aspect of a business not as a “given” but as a choice that the owner made, which they will be equipped to improve on. With the guidance of local business owners, they will learn how to settle upon a successful business idea, create a brand, devise marketing strategies, plan their budget to make a profit, and make a formal presentation to loan officers to “apply” for their start-up loan. Through structured group work, this class builds investment and ownership in shared ideas.

Secrets of a Millionaire

millionaire

“A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.” - Suze Orman.

Yet how can our students experience this freedom from worry when they do not know the basics of how to manage their finances? This apprenticeship teaches the basic terminology and financial management skills critical for students’ development into responsible, money savvy adults. Although this apprenticeship is all about money, students will learn that money is the means to an end not the goal in and of itself. By knowing how to better manage their money, students will be happier and worry less. Through the applied knowledge of budgeting, saving, interest and more, students will be empowered to assist a real client with his/her individualized financial plan at the WOW! and to make smart financial decisions themselves for years to come.

Pencil Code

pencil code

Pencil Code is an exciting apprenticeship where students learn how to create simple computer programs--via Pencil Code--along with the beginnings of CSS and HTML. Students explore coding from the perspective of an artist, engineer, and designer. Each lesson is workshop-based, where students complete tasks outlined on cards, building understanding along the way of how to use, manipulate, and master various programming commands. Students create outlined projects and design unique innovations to the projects along the way. Each student creates a WOW! Portfolio of his or her work. Each portfolio features a project demonstrating various skills and showcases a final project of the student’s design that highlights his/ her skills, interests, and creativity.

One Hen Academy

one hen

Students in this apprenticeship form business teams, develop products, market their businesses, sell their products, calculate their business costs, revenue, and profit, and donate a percentage of their business profits to a charity of their choice. Through these activities, students learn how they can earn and use money to help those in need in their communities and around the world. This apprenticeship is based on One Hen Academy from One Hen, Inc. -- an enrichment program which evolved from the award-winning children’s book One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway. One Hen Academy students are empowered as financially literate and socially consciousness global citizens, equipped to lead professional productive lives and inspired to help people in need.

Mock Trial

mock trial

This apprenticeship combines an exploration of our legal system with skill-building in communication. Students will learn about the core elements of a trial from the perspectives of lawyers, judges, bailiffs, and witnesses and then will practice communicating in a courtroom through a Mock Trial that they lead. The first few lessons expose students to legal concepts, vocabulary, and opportunities to practice communicating through a variety of roles in a trial. Then the apprenticeship shifts into preparation for a Mock Trial where students will analyze a specific case, select roles to play in the trial, and develop persuasive presentations of their role. After participating in that Mock Trial in an actual courtroom in Week 8, students will reflect on that experience and prepare presentations for their WOW!. This will include an explanation and analysis of the Mock Trial they led as well as an interactive presentation on our legal system that allows students to become teachers for their community: sharing information about how to navigate trials and courts and then quizzing the audience.

This apprenticeship embeds communication skill-building -- which is essential for college and a variety of careers -- within content about our court system. In an age where the U. S. criminal justice system imprisons more American citizens than any other point in human history, the framing around a Mock Trial allows students to engage with a topic that is relevant, high stakes, and interesting to many students.

Maker Movement

maker

In an age when anything can be bought at the nearby store or online, the knowledge and skills of how to make things is fading away. In this apprenticeship, students will revive this knowledge and build skills as part of the larger Maker Movement. Students will explore not only different focus areas of Makers (clothing, musical instruments, and simple machines), but also explore different tools commonly used by Makers while learning and practicing the process of innovation. During the last four weeks of the apprenticeship, students will create a final project to address a social issue in their community using the knowledge and skills they have developed in the first six weeks of the apprenticeship. Students will leave this apprenticeship with the confidence and ability to make items they imagine and use the innovation process to explore solutions to everyday problems they may face.

Life is a Laboratory

life is a laboratory

In the Life is a Laboratory apprenticeship students will explore 6 scientific concepts over 10 weeks while also learning about how scientific concepts apply to their day-to-day lives. The apprenticeship will focus on building students’ facility with making scientific observations, building and using instruments, then inferences and conclusions based on data. There will be an additional focus on students’ oral presentation skills which they will apply at the WOW! when the class runs a one day science fair where each student will present an experiment from the apprenticeship before an audience of science fair attendees.

In Your Dreams

The In Your Dreams unit is a series of inquiry-driven lessons designed to boost students’ sophistication as nonfiction readers. The culminating zine project requires students to integrate information from multiple sources, selecting details to support a central idea. Students will also gain vocabulary skills, including the use of word roots and affixes and an awareness of words’ connotations. Students will learn to “read like writers,” which requires thinking about the choices authors have made in terms of content, format, and word choice.

Girls In Charge

girls in charge

In this apprenticeship, girls will “talk back” to stereotypes and gender-based limitations by developing innovative ideas to make products that will empower girls in response to design challenges that they have identified. Students will analyze case studies of innovative female designers who are tackling these challenges head on. They will follow in their footsteps by
experimenting with the design process and ultimately building, testing, and presenting a prototype of an innovative product at the WOW!, a designer’s showcase. In the process, they will learn to think like designers as well as learn to empower and support each other as they address issues that are most important to them as young women.

Eat Smart

eat smart

This healthy eating and nutrition apprenticeship prepares Citizen Schools’ students to become knowledgeable advocates to their schools, communities and parents about the importance of (and need for) healthful and nutritious foods in their daily diet. Citizen Schools’ students build excellent oral communication skills as they gain knowledge regarding how to prepare and choose foods that are not only nutritious but also delicious. Students will review the WOW! menu and make recommendations to campus leadership on how to improve the menu as a demonstration of all they’ve learned.

Design Thinking

design thinking

Inefficiencies, distractions, and time wasted on over complicated tasks are part of the grown-up experience. But do they have to be? In this apprenticeship, students use design thinking to answer this question with a resounding “No!” The lessons in this unit focus on easing the strain of one part of the day, the morning routine! They will promote the kind of thinking that will enable students to design their way out of those inefficient tasks, eliminate distractions, and remove unnecessary complications to everyday tasks.

This unit asks students to build things based on a number of RAFT kits which will give students some technical training with physical materials. Students will use the skills learned in these design challenges to develop a solution for a large-scale and relevant challenge: “Design something to solve a problem during morning preparations for school or work."

Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)

csi

Forensics has gained publicity through TV shows such as Cold Case and the CSI series, which instantly grabs the attention of middle school students. However, forensics is also a field with a wide array of college and career pathways related to sciences and the criminal justice system. Forensics spans from traditional methods of forensic art and physical anthropology to new techniques such as digital forensics in which technicians unearth evidence from computers. This range provides great opportunities for students to engage in data collection and problem solving using a variety of strengths and leadership skills. Students will be challenged to weigh multiple potential answers to a problem in order to solve a case. The topic also includes great opportunities to use academic and technical vocabulary in the context of hands-on problem
solving.

Community Problem Solvers

problem solvers

In this apprenticeship, students will become community problem solvers. They will identify community (school, neighborhood or beyond) strengths and needs based on their own experiences and will plan for how their own unique strengths and talents can be used to make their community a better place. They will use a problem-solving process to brainstorm, vet, and select a community need and a solution to that community issue. Students will then get to test out their solution through a community service project that addresses the community need they selected.

In the process, they will reflect on their experience, practice researching in various sources and learn how to conduct an impact assessment. The apprenticeship will culminate in a WOW! Video, which will showcase students’ progress becoming community problem solvers.

Math Mysteries: Ciphers, Games and Magic

math mysteries

In Math Mysteries, students will hone problem-solving skills while working together to crack codes, play games, and master magic tricks. Each section (ciphers, games, and magic tricks) is fundamentally based on mathematical concepts and students will have the opportunity to learn through inquiry and problem solving. In the last three weeks of the apprenticeship, students will demonstrate their skill mastery in the National Spy Academy as they solve challenges in teams and ultimately thwart Dr. Chaos’ cyber-attack on the school.

Building the Next Big Tech

next big text

Students will learn about business, specifically tech businesses, and what makes certain ideas become successful companies. The apprenticeship will culminate with students pitching group business plans to an elite group of investors at their WOW! In their pitches, students will summarize the problem they are attempting to solve with their product, their solution to the problem in the form of their company, their logo, their brand name and the nitty-gritty details of their tech businesses such as cost, revenue and profit.

Brand You

Brand You.jpg

The students will start the curriculum by exploring themselves. They will discover their strengths, values and ideal career. This information will be used to create a brand promise. This brand promise will then be used to plan an endorsement for a local business. At the WOW!, students will demonstrate their mastery of communication by discussing how they arrived at their brand promise and the endorsement they selected.