Upper Years Courses

Summer 2020 Offerings

One-Week Courses for Enrichment: 
July 20-24, 2020 & July 27-31, 2020

Personal Writing and the College Essay [Half Day]

The best college essays don’t read like college essays at all. This course takes a different approach to the dreaded document. You’ll spend a painless week working on personal narrative and creative non-fiction, writing your way into a     blog or even a memoir. Then, a college counselor and writing instructor will help you figure out how to turn what you’ve done into an essay for admission! 

Tuition: $500.00 (register by April 1 and receive $100.00 discount)

Math Foundations (Post Integrated 1/Algebra 1) [Half Day]

Refresh and revisit algebraic building blocks in a stress-free environment. You’ll practice fractions, error analysis, algebraic manipulations, graphing and graph analysis, function analysis, and build your confidence going into the new school year. 

Tuition: $500.00 (register by April 1 and receive $100.00 discount)

IdeaLab: Entreprenurial Boot Camp

Do you want to start your own company some day? Some people don't just think differently, they do differently.  Innovators and innovations are changing the world for the better. Maybe there’s a product you want to bring to market. Maybe there’s a social issue you want to address. Or, maybe you’re just dreaming about how to one day be your own boss. Students will start by examining the people and products that are addressing problems in various economic sectors. From the privatization of space exploration to a foldable straw that’s trying to keep plastic out of our oceans, we will explore the ways creative thinking takes shape and shifts norms. Then, students will identify a problem in the area of your choice and pose a solution (working as an individual or in a small team). An experienced entrepreneur will share some of the highs and lows of launching an idea and you will use design thinking workshops to build your business solution. Your group will share your findings in a project-based     presentation in the form of a trailer, podcast, product prototype, or Shark Tank style "pitch".    

Tuition: $500.00 (register by April 1 and receive $100.00 discount)

Two-Week Courses for Credit:
July 20-31, 2020
9-3:30 2 weeks (60 hours) 

Constitutional Debates [History Credit]

Few texts have inspired argument like the United States Constitution. With its layers of precedent, interpretation, and with the impact it has on the lives of millions, the Constitution is a living force in the nation’s past, present, and future. This course offers anyone with an interest in American history, politics, law or debate the chance to experience the intensity of Constitutional interpretation and argument, in a mock-trial setting. This is also a course suitable in preparation for AP US History or as a way to continue your studies of American History.     

Tuition: $1750.00 (register by April 1 and receive $100.00 discount)

Sustainable Elements of Architecture [Design Art Credit]

Climate change is a global phenomena to which all industries will need to respond.  In this project based architecture course, students look at elements of sustainability in architecture and how they can inform the final design of a building or structure. Using tools such as drawing and model making students come to understand strategies like passive heating and cooling, harvesting rainwater and building with renewable materials. Over the course of the two week class students will apply these strategies to their own unique designs in the form of a final project.

Tuition: $1750.00 (register by April 1 and receive $100.00 discount)

Mathematical Logic [Math Credit]

There’s a lot more to math than algebra and calculus. Rarely studied on its own at the high school level, mathematical logic serves as the underpinning for computer science and higher level math. Because it’s outside the standard math sequence, this course is open to any student willing to train their minds to thinking differently. 

Tuition: $1750.00 (register by April 1 and receive $100.00 discount)

The Body at Risk: Immunology in Action [Science Credit]

With each news cycle, it seems there are stories about the emergence and re-emergence of diseases, each posing a distinct threat to the functioning of the human body. In this course, students will interact with a series of case studies to learn about what happens when diseases invade the body: how the immune system responds and when it fails to control the invasion. This course gives students a close-look at an area of pressing and perennial biological study and is excellent for any student interested in pursuing medicine, biological sciences, or biotechnology.

Tuition: $1750.00 (register by April 1 and receive $100.00 discount)

Previous Offerings

Imagineering Ed Tech

Technology permeates schools, but user interfaces and devices do not always meet the needs of students and teachers. In this week-long, collaborative, project-based course, students will form a design agency tasked with re-imagining technology so that it does. Instructors will guide the students through the creative problem solving process as pioneered by creative agencies like IDEO. As a team, they will work to ideate design solutions, build tactile prototypes, present a prototype to a client, interpret feedback from the client and propose a final design. The class will be mobile – exploiting multiple spaces and venues appropriate to each stage in the creative process. This course will provide valuable experience for any student interest in design arts and sciences and/or business and entrepreneurship.

Sample Activities: 

  • Participate in daily creative team-building games (akin to a “theater game”)
  • Observe and interview classrooms and offices to gather data on how their peers use and interact with technology in the classroom
  • Use various tools to ideate collaboratively – paper, whiteboards, infinite workspace apps, digital drawing/painting and vector-based illustration apps
  • Design and prototype devices using cardstock, sticky notes, wire, and other “makerspace” materials
  • Present  the “story” of  your design to a stand-in client

Past and Present Climates

The imperative to understand our planet has never been greater. In this course, students will gain knowledge, analytical tools, and experience with technology and procedures to make sense of the strains all humans place on the earth’s climate. Students will spend an intense and immersive week learning from an experienced meteorologist and geologist and looking over the shoulders of the scientists conducting cutting-edge research at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO). On their journey, students will explore hands-on how scientists study the earth and determine the effects of climate change, focusing on techniques being used by the LDEO Antarctica research team, including radar, electromagnetic surveying, and gravity anomalies. At LDEO they will see both the Antarctic Research Lab and the Core Repository.  This course is ideal for any students who learn from experience and with an interest or curiosity in scientific research and/or environmental policy. 

Sample Activities: 

  • Explore the global causes and impacts of Antarctic ice loss using the Science On a Sphere
  • Model local effects of ice melting with our EM River stream table
  • Study and measure local gravity anomalies
  • Discover how ocean sediment cores record paleoclimate data by analyzing cores from LDEO in the MBS Environmental Systems Lab

SoundScapes: Designing Electronic Music

Film is an experience for the ears as well as the eyes. If you watch film footage with the soundtrack removed, the difference it makes is immediate and unignorable. Students in this hands-on music production course will start with raw unscored film footage and will create a soundscape that does it justice and brings it new life. Students will spend the week developing their own original soundtracks to video, using a mixture of electronic music hardware and software, including Moog Synthesizers, keyboards and alternate controllers, and the iPad. They will discover how the building blocks of music composition can be applied to their scores, as well as learn about the science behind the sounds. Students will walk away from the week with a piece of their own. This course is ideal for anyone with an interest in music, music production, and/or technology. 

Program Details

To ensure the highest quality experience for all our students, class sizes will be limited. Once the courses are full, students will be put on a waitlist.

Full-day programs: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Half-day morning: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Half-day afternoon: 12:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Half-Day Enrichment Courses: $500.00 (Register by April 1 and receive a $100.00 discount)
Full-Day Credit Courses: $1750.00 (Register by April 1 and receive a $100.00 discount)

Scholarships/Financial Aid
The MBS Summer Institute is committed to enrolling motivated learners. If cost proves to be prohibitive, please contact summerinstitute@mbs.net to inquire about financial aid.

MBS Summer Institute Handbook
An updated handbook for 2020 is coming soon.

Courses for Middle Years

(rising 6th-8th grade)

Hands-on courses in creative writing, mathematics, and design.

Read Course Descriptions

Courses for Upper Years

(rising 9th-12th grade)

Interactive and challenging courses in music, scientific research, entrepreneurship, and design.

Read Course Descriptions

Have Questions?

Please write to us at summerinstitute@mbs.net.