Courses

Active Learning in STEM

i2 Learning has partnered with over 20 of the world’s leading STEM organizations to develop 60 unique hands-on STEM courses. All courses are 20-25 hours of hands-on, project-based curriculum, designed to be taught over the course of a week. The courses can be run for students of all abilities and backgrounds in grades 4–8 and all curriculum maps to the Next Generation Science Standards.

SAMPLE COURSES

For a complete list of i2 Learning courses, please email contact@i2learning.org

COURSE TOPICS

Challenges of Engineering

Genetics, DNA & the Human Body
The Science of Smart Cities
Time, Space & Other Dimensions
Robotics & Electronics
Our Transforming World

App Inventor

Topic: Challenges of Engineering

Developed By: MIT Edgerton Center

 

Smartphones and tablets have changed computing and the world. This is your opportunity to build an app that will improve your community. In this course you will design and develop Android apps using MIT App Inventor. After an introduction to App Inventor and app design, you will work in small groups to brainstorm an app concept, prototype your concept, and build a working app.

Digital Game Design (StarLogo)

Topic: Challenges of Engineering
Developed by: MIT Edgerton Center

 

Creating a game on a computer allows you to be an artist, sound designer, programmer and storyteller all at once, with room to express yourself in any of those areas. In this course, you will learn how to think about game design, and then build a game of your own using StarLogo Nova, an online tool that lets you create and share 3D games. Creativity is more important than past programming experience for this course.

Digital Game Design from Scratch

Topic: Challenges of Engineering

Developed By: Derek Breen, author of Scratch For Kids For Dummies

 

In this course, you will use Scratch to create an original video game with custom graphics, sound effects and music. You will begin by remixing an existing game, gradually gaining design skills and confidence. When you are ready to develop a whole new game, you will learn how to focus your ideas, integrate player feedback and refine your 2D game before sharing it with the world. No prior computer programming experience is required. (This is a companion course to Digital Game Design.)

Engineering Design Workshop I & II

Topic: Challenges of Engineering
Developed by: MIT Edgerton Center

 

Explore how engineers design and build our magical modern world. In this course we will learn about the process of engineering design, first in a series of engineering challenges, and then by designing and building your own underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Underwater games and challenges will test just how well your ROV performs. (2 week course)

Kinetic Sculpture

Topic: Challenges of Engineering

Developed By: MIT Edgerton Center

 

Students are introduced to key concepts and skills of kinetic sculpture, including balance, gearing, energy sources and design-oriented thinking. They will use the work of Alexander Calder, Anne Lilly, George Rhodes and Arthur Ganson as examples of various forms of moving sculpture. Each day they use the principles they are learning as the basis for their own creations, and at the end of the week they bring together their complete array of new skills to create a large-scale, chain-reaction-type artwork.

Contagion: Pandemic Response

Topic: Genetics, DNA & The Human Body
Developed by: Engineering is Elementary, Museum of Science

 

Was it just a bad flu season? Within days, hospitals were overrun. The infection quickly spread into a global pandemic with millions of people seriously ill. Schools and businesses closed, and people were not allowed out of their homes. What would you do? In this course, you will explore how we can prepare for outbreaks of highly contagious diseases in a world where we are more connected than ever. You will consider real-life and fictional epidemics — Spanish Flu, the Black Plague, and even zombies — to engineer and test a system to respond to an outbreak and prevent a pandemic.

CSi2: Crime Scene Investigations

Topic: Genetics, DNA & The Human Body

Developed By: Jessica Cohen PhD

 

Have you ever wondered how law enforcement uses science to catch criminals? Have you ever watched a crime show on television and questioned if the techniques they were using are real? If so, this is the course for you! Through this course you will become a member of a crime scene unit and learn how to act a crime scene, gather evidence and analyze data. You will learn about fingerprints, fibers, hair, dental impressions, tool marks, blood spatter and much more!

Engineering Prosthetic Devices

Topic: Genetics, DNA & The Human Body
Developed by: Engineering is Elementary, Museum of Science Boston

 

Today, people can regain the function of a missing limb, such as a hand or leg, with the aid of a prosthetic device. Using what we’ve learned from these technologies, engineers have created prosthetic devices for animals, such as dogs, horses, sea turtles and dolphins. Considering important factors such as comfort, durability and functionality, in this course you will have the opportunity to engineer prosthetic devices for a variety of species. The week will culminate with groups using their biomechanical engineering skills to design a prosthetic tail for a unique species of fish.

Molecular Biology

Topic: Genetics, DNA & The Human Body

Developed By: Jessica Cohen PhD

 

In this course you will have a chance to learn about biological principles, laboratory techniques and how they relate to the latest fields of research and medicine. Here you will get a taste of what it is like to be a research scientist. This course will focus on advanced cell processes, human diseases, bioethics and much more! You will also have the opportunity to compare human traits and genetic make-up to other living organisms.

Surgical Techniques

Topic: Genetics, DNA & The Human Body
Developed by: New York Hall of Science

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a physician or surgeon? In this course, you will investigate how the body works by participating in a range of hands-on activities, such as dissections and construction of life-sized physiological system maps (skeletal, nervous, circulatory, immune). You will conduct simulated surgeries, perform biopsies, and learn how to suture. You will also learn about important medical/surgical breakthroughs and famous medical marvels throughout history.

Chemical Engineering: Polymers & Bioplastics

Topic: Our Transforming World
Developed by: Engineering is Elementary, Museum of Science Boston

 

Plastics are all around us, from the rubber in our shoe soles to the linings of our cell phone cases and even in the artificial turf we play on. But where do plastics come from and how are they engineered to fill so many functions? In this course, you will explore exciting new polymers that use environmentally friendly, biodegradable ingredients from plants to replace traditional plastic processing. Your challenge will be to put your chemical engineering skills to work as you engineer bioplastics from corn, tapioca and even algae to create novel materials for your own unique applications.

Engineering Ice Cream

Topic: Our Transforming World
Developed by: Engineering is Elementary, Museum of Science Boston

 

Everyone across the world needs to eat. As populations grow and we learn more about science and engineering, the way we produce and gather our food can change drastically. Urban agriculture is now in vogue, as community gardens have sprung up all over cities and the advances in hydroponics and aeroponics have taken root. In this course, you will explore the future of food and food production culminating in creating a summertime treat.

Exploring Ecological Systems

Topic: Our Transforming World
Developed by: National Audubon Society

 

In this course you will learn about birds as a jumping off point for ecological understanding. During the week you will help birds and the habitat they depend on through hands-on conservation projects. Activities will include local environmental monitoring, the implementation of habitat improvement (constructing and erecting nest boxes), and getting involved in a national citizen science initiative.

Building Vertical Farms

Topic: The Science of Smart Cities

Developed By: Engineering is Elementary, Museum of Science Boston

 

As the population grows and cities become more crowded, how can we be sure that people have access to the food they need? Some experts believe that farms stacked in levels like skyscrapers are the answer. Engineers are working to design sustainable indoor farms that could provide food for urban populations year-round. In this course, you will learn about food issues affecting urban areas and engineer your own model vertical farm.

How Computers Think

Topic: The Science of Smart Cities

Developed By: Rary Delaney, The Roxbury Latin School

 

Is it black and white? True or false? Believe it or not, it is all quite logical. Explore the bare bones of computers by mimicking their behaviors. Discover how they sort and store, add and subtract, and even detect errors. Learn how logic gates rule their pathways. Ever heard of a half-adder? In the end, you will design your own candy machine with the simplest of materials and codes. Perhaps you will invent the most efficient device! Note: this is a hands-on/ power-off course.

Spycraft: Reconnaissance and Code-breaking

Topic: The Science of Smart Cities

Developed By: Chris Mayer, i2

 

Whether in ancient Greece or in the modern world, the ability to conceal secrets has saved lives, won battles, and toppled empires. In this course, you will learn how to hide things in plain sight through clever devices and codes. However, your fellow students will be looking to steal your secrets for their own means, and teams of engineers, code breakers, and secret agents will be pitted against one another to see who would make the best spies.

3D Printing

Topic: Time, Space & Other Dimensions

Developed By: MIT Edgerton Center

 

3D printing is revolutionizing our ability to bring ideas to life, and now it’s your turn. In this hands-on course, you will be challenged to rethink how you think – you live in a 3D world, but do you think and problem-solve in 3D? Work among a creative team of flourishing inventors to brainstorm, sketch, model, print, and build static and dynamic 3D systems. By the end of the week, you will have the knowledge and skills to utilize 3D thinking and 3D printing as tools to solve problems in your everyday world!

Architects of Time

Topic: Time, Space & Other Dimensions
Developed by: Engineering is Elementary, Museum of Science Boston

 

Have you ever noticed that sometimes time flies and other times it crawls? It’s difficult to measure time without an engineered device to help us. Engineers have created technologies to solve this problem throughout the course of history. In this course, you will create timekeeping devices inspired by ancient water timers and sundials and modern mechanical clocks. You will design your own time-tracking devices from non-traditional materials in order to accurately measure various periods of time over the course of the week.

Building a Lunar Colony

Topic: Time, Space & Other Dimensions
Developed by: Marilyn Doerr

 

Can we live and work away from Earth? Will we have to as our own planet runs out of resources? In this course, we will explore what it might take to set up a Moon colony – what materials we bring with us, what we will do there, how we will eat, what we will wear. You will construct models of these possible colonies and learn more about the geology and topography of the Moon to help you decide the best places to build and house those first colonies.

The Physics of Photography

Topic: Time, Space & Other Dimensions
Developed by: MIT Edgerton Center

 

Has anyone ever told you to think outside the box? In this course, you will be thinking inside and outside the box, as you make your own pinhole cameras out of boxes that take pictures. Add a splash of physics to explain the nature of light, and you have the fundamentals of photography. Develop photos and learn how the chemicals interact with nascent images to bring the photos to life on paper.

Building an Interactive Friendly Monster

Topic: Robotics & Electronics
Developed by: High-Low Tech, MIT Media Lab

 

Have you ever wanted your stuffed animals or other toys to come alive? Now they can! In this course, work with fabric and electronics to make your own interactive friend. You will use conductive thread, felt, lights, speakers and sensors, to make a soft and cuddly monster that responds to you. Learn how to use programming to make your creature play music and glow at your command.

Bytes and Beats - Programming with MATLAB

Topic: Robotics & Electronics

Developed By: MathWorks

 

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of programming with MATLAB while making your own music with sensors. With the programming language used by scientists and engineers today, you will turn if-statements, for-loops, and functions into rhythms, melodies, and harmonies through an Arduino and sensors. Working with friends you can compose and visualize your own music and invent your own symphonic creations. At the end of the course, take home your own electronics to continue fine tuning your musical inventions. No prior knowledge of programming or working with electronics is required.

Robotics I

Topic: Robotics & Electronics
Developed by: Nate Piper, The Roxbury Latin School

 

Using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology, in this course you will learn how to build different robots and program them to move. You will work with motors and sensors, and explore how light, touch, sound, ultrasonic, color and accelerometer sensors can enhance our robots. You will model real-life mechanisms and use creativity, logic and problem-solving skills. Invent your own robots, and find out how exciting it can be to bring the digital world of computers into our physical world.

Robotics II: Manufacturing

Topic: Robotics & Electronics
Developed by: Nate Piper, The Roxbury Latin School

 

Have you ever wondered about who makes the machines that make all our “stuff,” and how they work? You will learn about our world of manufacturing, and the ever-increasing role that robots play in the process. Teams of campers will collaborate to design and build a multi-robot assembly-line style BuilderBot, which will be tasked with building a new LEGO object. (Campers must take Robotics Fundamentals or have previous experience with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to enroll.)

Robotics II: Medicine

Topic: Robotics & Electronics
Developed by: Nate Piper, The Roxbury Latin School

 

Medical robotics has been and will continue to be a fast-growing and critical field of study. You will investigate the current uses of robotics in medicine, and learn how robots are helping people, simplifying procedures, and saving lives all over the world. You will design, build and program robots that emulate surgical robots and personal-care robots to provide assistance to patients in need. (Campers must take Robotics Fundamentals or have previous experience with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to enroll.)

Robotics II: Space

Topic: Robotics & Electronics
Developed by: Nate Piper, The Roxbury Latin School

 

Robots are being used in space every day — from the Mars Rover to the robotic arm on the International Space Station. In this course you will learn about the currently deployed robots in space and the unique challenges that the robots’ designers and engineers face. Building upon the skills and experience gained in Robotics Fundamentals, you will design, build, and program a RoverBot, tasked with completing a variety of challenges on a faraway planet. (Campers must take Robotics Fundamentals or have previous experience with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology.)