Study Groups

 

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WINTER 2018
Good news! LACI will be adding some new members over the 2017-2018 sessions! Please contact us if you’d like to be put on our waiting list.

Tuesdays, 10:30 – 3:00
8 weeks, 1/9 to 3/6, skipping 2/20 (if the snow cooperates!)

10:30 – 11:30

Planets Near and Far 
ages 5-9
Instructor: Miss Nell
10:30 – 11:30
In this study group, you’ll create science experiments and hands-on projects to learn more about the planet Earth and the other planets in the solar system. Learn about Earth’s natural phenomena by creating volcanoes, experimenting with how tides work, and making layers of the Earth out of play doh. Then, do projects to answer questions like how did the moon get its craters? What’s an eclipse? Which planet should be represented by cotton balls? Which planet’s storm can be represented by making red marbleized paper? At the end of this study group, you’ll be up to your elbows in all things planetary!

Photography Challenge! 
ages 6-9 (there’s an ages 10+ in the afternoon … we’re running two sections of this)
Instructor: Madeline Rush
10:30 – 11:30
Are you ready to snap some awesome shots? In this study group, we’ll take on a different and fun photography challenge each week. One day, it might be a letter hunt; the next, a challenge to snap the most colorful photo; and another may be to portray shadows in the most unique way possible. You will learn everything from basic camera skills to the rule of thirds, perspective, and backgrounds. We will put our skills to use trying out the new concepts every week. Watch and see how your photos change, your portfolio grows, and your skills deepen.

Wildlife Art: Drawings, Paintings and Prints Celebrating your Love of Animals THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 7-11
Instructor: Jen Swan
10:30 – 11:30
In this study group, we will find inspiration from the animals of land, sky and sea in a series of fun and colorful works of art. From drawing the muscular form of a running horse to the patterns found on a sea turtle’s shell, each project will include skills in drawing, color mixing and portraying the textures of fur, feathers and scales. There will be a $10 materials fee for this study group.

How Things Work: Electronics Edition
ages 9-11
Instructor: Michele Rush
10:30 – 11:30
Does someone in your family own a television? A cell phone? A car? A Playstation or Nintendo? A computer? A microwave oven? Have you ever ridden on an airplane? Have you ever had an x-ray taken? Have you ever watched NASA launch a rocket into space or have seen video from the International Space Station? What do all these things have in common? Electronics! How do all of these devices work? We will explore the components that make up an electronic device – transistors, LEDs, resistors, capacitors, and more. You will make your own electronic circuits and gizmos along the way.

Escape from Mesoamerica!
ages 10+
Instructors: Emily Goss and Yuliana King
10:30 – 11:30
Help! You’re stuck in Mesoamerica and the Spanish conquistadors are on their way. It’s only a matter of time before the fall of civilization and you’ll perish, along with the many Mesoamerican citizens, if you can’t get out in time. Solve the puzzles to learn more about the Mesoamerican culture, and if you can use the clues to escape successfully, you’ll save yourself and perhaps some of the innocent Mesoamerican citizens. Perhaps you can singlehandedly alter this history of the Mayans, Aztecs, Olmec, and other civilizations … if you dare!

DnD, Percy Jackson Style THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 11+ (there’s an ages 9-10 in the afternoon … we’re running two sections of this)
Instructor: Christina White
10:30 – 11:30
Attention Half Blood campers – all hands on deck! Mr. D is in a dither. The Oracle has orated a new prophecy. The world needs saving and the Gods … well … they’re tied up at the moment. So, once again, it’s up to the campers to fix things. Are you up for the challenge? In this study group, you’ll play a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with a Percy Jackson twist … think Annabeth, Grover, and Riptide!

Be a Trial Lawyer!
ares 12+
Instructors: Jemmie Piersol-Freedman and Debbie McDuffee
10:30 – 11:30
Are you motivated to learn more about the U.S. Justice System? Are you curious about what it’s like to be on a jury, or to argue a case like a real lawyer? After learning a bit about the court system, you’ll be split into teams and receive a mock case to discuss and create a plan of action with your teammates, and then argue the case like real lawyers. At the end of this study group, it will be “case closed” and the winners will be announced!

1:00 – 2:00

LEGO Ships 
ages 5-9
Instructor: Eva Yarger
1:00 – 2:00
Ahoy, mate – all aboard the nearest large watercraft to learn about different types of ships and how to build them using LEGOs! In this study group, you may discover the towing capacity of a tugboat, how ships survive sailing through the icy oceans in the winter, and how many sails a schooner has. Besides building with LEGO, you may do some other fun hands-on projects as well, like art, science experiments, and games. So set sail straight for this study group!

Knitting and Crocheting
ages 6-10
Instructor: Samantha Rowe
1:00 – 2:00
All you yarnies out there, gather for a study group to celebrate your love for knitting and crochet projects. This study group will serve beginners and more advanced knitters and crocheters with appropriate projects for everyone to challenge and further their skills. The beginner projects will be friendship beaded bracelets and knitted bracelets and animals, and the more advanced projects will be neck warmers and shawl squares. Everyone will finish the study group with a project that they love to take home and enjoy!

LACI-Haven (based on the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull)
ages 9+
Instructor: Lynn Krieche
1:00 – 2:00
Welcome to LACI-Haven! Enter if you dare! Join Kendra and Seth on a new adventure. They’ve travelled from Fablehaven to help us explore our own LACI-Haven. Come with us as we meet up with dragons, fairies, trolls, satyrs, and demons. Make an eavesdropping candle, cook up a potion or two, and explore mapmaking of this fantasy world. We’ll create our own law of the land, like Fablehaven’s “law of the harvest.” It may be dangerous, so we’ll make a mini safe hut. But consider yourself warned! Anything can happen! Activities will be scaffolded to be age-appropriate for all participants.

DnD, Percy Jackson Style
ages 9-10+ (there’s an ages 11+ in the morning … we’re running two sections of this)
Instructor: Christina White
1:00 – 2:00
Attention Half Blood campers – all hands on deck! Mr. D is in a dither. The Oracle has orated a new prophecy. The world needs saving and the Gods … well … they’re tied up at the moment. So, once again, it’s up to the campers to fix things. Are you up for the challenge? In this study group, you’ll play a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with a Percy Jackson twist … think Annabeth, Grover, and Riptide! Prerequisite reading skills at a third grade level will be needed for this study group.

Creating Inspired Imagery 
ages 10+
Instructor: Jen Swan
1:00 – 2:00
“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.”-Paul Cezanne
In this study group, we will explore the connections between our emotions and our art, thinking about the meanings of color and using expressive imagery as we draw and paint what we feel. We will paint to our favorite music and see how the sounds and instruments effect our choice of color, line and speed of painting. Using mixed media including inks, paints, colored pencils and pastels, each class will be filled with time to be creative, express your individuality, and draw and paint what inspires you most. There will be a $10 materials fee for this study group.

Photography Challenge!
ages 10+ (there’s an ages 6-9 in the morning … we’re running two sections of this)
Instructor: Madeline Rush
1:00 – 2:00
Are you ready to snap some awesome shots? In this study group, we’ll take on a different and fun photography challenge each week. One day, it might be a letter hunt; the next, a challenge to snap the most colorful photo; and another may be to portray shadows in the most unique way possible. You will learn everything from basic camera skills to the rule of thirds, perspective, and backgrounds. We will put our skills to use trying out the new concepts every week. Watch and see how your photos change, your portfolio grows, and your skills deepen.

Horror Writing, Not Horrible Writing
ages 11+
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
1:00 – 2:00
Writing truly scary stories takes a lot more than just grossing out your readers! It requires the knowledge and skill to build suspense, keep your readers interested with original ideas, and avoid cliches. In this study group, we’ll create a writer’s toolbox to help you write your horror stories, but you’ll be able to apply these tools in all kinds of writing. Through fun writing exercises, interactive writing games, and your private (possibly creepy) writer’s notebook, you’ll fine-tune your writing skills. And yeah, you’ll learn how to write disgusting stuff too!

2:00 – 3:00

This last hour of programming will be based on stations that the students can participate in for 5 minutes, or get immersed in for the whole hour. There’s always be some sort of service project and some sort of art project going on, and our stations evolve as the kids’ interests do. The kids play board games and go outside for free play as well. Some examples of past and current stations:

– sewing station: the kids have sewn bean bags to use with Toss Across, pillows, clothes for stuffed animals. They are currently sewing quilts for the Children’s Hospital NICU.

– Yearbook committee: the kids working together to create a yearbook for LACI.

– Service projects: making lip balm for FIT; baking for FIT; making no-sew fleece blankets for Project Linus; making fleece scarves for CityReach youth; decorate holiday bags for Northboro’s senior citizens; raking for the church where we rent space; etc.

– art station: pointillism; leaf printing; Zentangle; chalk pastel landscapes; collage; etc.

We’ll also be looking for input from the kids about what they want to try out, learn more about, games they want to play — just about anything their curiosity and imagination drives them to want to do during the last hour of association day.

PAST STUDY GROUPS

These study groups are no longer in session, but we left them on the site to give you an idea of what types of study groups have been offered in the past.

Sewing: Build-a-Bag
all ages
Instructors: Sarah Olsen and Cathryn Carpenter
1:00 – 2:00
Get your thread on! In this study group, you can choose from two different patterns to sew your own tote bag from the ground up. You’ll learn some basics, like how to read a pattern, important sewing vocabulary and how to troubleshoot the use of a sewing machine. Call upon your math, measuring, and sewing skills to complete this project, and learn lots of new skills along the way. You’ll also learn about bags throughout history and their uses, from the “pockets” used in Medieval times, up through designers like Kate Spade and Coach and how their innovations inspired the modern bag.

Strength and Flexibility Training
all ages
Instructor: Yuliana King
1:00 – 2:00
Are you up for the challenge of becoming as strong and flexible as you can be, now and for your lifetime? Join us for invigorating and informative sessions designed to make you stronger and flexible today, and teach you ways to continue your own exercise routine in the future. You may not become Mr. Fantastic or Supergirl, but you’ll optimize your own power!

Lego Challenge!
ages 6-9
Instructor: Emily Goss
1:00 – 2:00
Who likes to build with Lego? Who doesn’t?! Lego can be used for so much more, though. Every week, we will explore a new set of challenges. You will be given a pile of Lego bricks and a goal — your team will work together to solve the problem. We may create an obstacle course of Lego puzzles and builds to see who can complete them first or with the most flair. Other weeks, we might explore a theme such as vehicles, patterns, or storytelling. Come play Lego with us!

Re-Write This Book!
ages 8+ (activities will be scaffolded for the ages of the kids who sign up)
Instructor: Lynn Krieche
1:00 – 2:00
If you love stories but wish you could change the ending, create new characters, or change the setting to outer space, now’s your chance! In this study group, you’ll read a story, discuss it with the group, and then re-write it! Other activities may include creating artwork for the book, cooking recipes from the book, making costumes like the characters’, and other hands-on activities. Curling up with a good book has never been this much fun!

Art with Jen Swan
ages 10+
Instructor: Jen Swan
1:00 – 2:00
This study group will focus on the media and techniques that you choose … everyone’s favorites! As a group, you can discuss with Jen what you most would like to do, and Jen will make it happen! Maybe you’ll hone your figure drawing techniques one week, then shift gears and create animal sculpture based on ancient artifacts the next. Bring your artistic interests and creativity to this all-art-all-the-time study group and let Jen work her magic! There will be a $20 supply surcharge for this study group.

Return to the Temple of Terror: Tenher’s Revenge
ages 10+
Instructor: Christina White and Debbie McDuffee
1:00 – 2:00
The God of Puzzles, Tenher, is back with more diabolical schemes and plans. Always on the hunt for new bones for his collection, he is undertaking a new endeavor: mini temples! Each week, participants will explore a different mini temple and see if they escape before time runs out. The temples will be loaded with puzzles and gizmos.  Survivors from previous run-ins with Tenher are welcome to return — Tenher has armed himself with new puzzles and contraptions!

Advancements through the Ages — Stone Age
ages 12+
Instructor: Aubry Shackelford
1:00 – 2:00
Discover for yourself some of the greatest innovations of all time: how they were made, how they work, and what impact they had on future technologies. For the stone age (Paleolithic and Neolithic), we will make things like our ancestors of that time did: make flint knives with sheaths to put them in, create and use clay pots, and even build a fire. This is part one of a series of study groups that will take you all the way through to the computer age. Participate in one, two, or all of them during the coming sessions of LACI.

 

 

Cooking for a Cause
all ages
Instructor: Cathleen Dinsmore
10:30 – 11:30
LACI loves to cook and loves to give, so what could be more fun than a study group that cooks meals for people living in shelters? You’ll get to decide which meals you make, and plan the main meals, side dishes, and desserts. While the cooking happens, you’ll learn about and discuss other ways you can make a difference in the lives of local people who are struggling with injustices and obstacles that we are fortunate enough not to face. All of the chopping, measuring, and assembling will be done by you, so be ready to dig in like a top chef!

Scientific is Terrific!

ages 4-6

Instructor: Bridget Christanski

10:30 – 11:30

You’ll look at everything through the eyes of a scientist after the fun you have in this study group! Every day will be different … one day, you may construct a Lego city or marble run roller coaster when you are engineering. As chemists, you’ll perform experiments that go pop, fizz, and poof! You’ll explore the land and its features — and its creatures! — as naturalists, botanists, biologists, geologists, and archaeologists. Projects, crafts, experiments, and more will surprise and delight you every class!

 

Abracadabra! Alakazam! It’s Magic! THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 6-8
Instructor: Miss Nell
10:30 – 11:30
Are you fascinated by magic and not only want to learn some tricks, but also how and why they work? In this study group, you’ll explore illusions, sleight of hand, and card tricks. By the end of the study group, you’ll be able to perform some tricks, but keep the secrets of why they work to yourself — a magician never reveals his or her secrets!

The Art and Physics of Roller Coasters THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 7-10
Instructor: Jen Swan
10:30 – 11:30
Do you love to draw, and love to build things? In this study group, Jen Swan will help you draw, design, and construct your own working roller coaster using wood, flexible piping, and other building materials. Art will merge with physics and engineering as you use your creativity and newfound science skills to create your dream coaster! Prerequisite: independent use of hot glue gun.

LACI Camp Half-Blood
ages 8-10
Instructor: Amanda Nascimento
10:30 – 11:30
Welcome to Camp Half Blood, where demi-gods can be what they were meant to be — Heroines and Heroes! Tartarus, Titans, and even the Gods themselves are constantly threatening our existence, so here at camp we will prepare you with what you need to know to deal with them. As our star camper Annabeth says, “Knowing is half the battle.”  Of course, Clarisse responds “Kicking butt is the other 90% of battle.” We will explore Greek Mythology with reference to the Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan) series, through activities selected and presented by the different cabins at the camp.

LACI Camp Half-Blood, Part 2 THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 11+
Instructor: Aubry Shackelford
10:30 – 11:30
Welcome to Camp Half Blood, where demi-gods can be what they were meant to be — Heroines and Heroes! Tartarus, Titans, and even the Gods themselves are constantly threatening our existence, so here at camp we will prepare you with what you need to know to deal with them. As our star camper Annabeth says, “Knowing is half the battle.”  Of course, Clarisse responds “Kicking butt is the other 90% of battle.” We will explore Greek Mythology with reference to the Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan) series, through activities selected and presented by the different cabins at the camp.

Design, Build, and Destroy!
ages 12+
Instructors: Debbie McDuffee and Christina White
10:30 – 11:30
You asked for weapons of mass destruction, and this was the best we could do! Become engineers as you build bridges, walls, and structures. Then, make catapults, slingshots, and other mini-weapons and try to destroy what you’ve built. It’s a battle between solidly-built structures and effectively-built weapons … which will win?

 

Dinosaur Timeline
ages 5-8
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
10:30 – 11:30
Are you interested in learning about the variety of dinosaurs throughout the different time periods? This study group will focus on the dinosaur timeline. You’ll travel back through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of ancient history and learn about the different types of dinosaurs and their habitats. Which dinosaurs and mammals lived together? Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? What plants thrived when, and what was the weather like? By the time this study group is finished, you’ll be an expert in the Mesozoic Era!

Take Apart and Explore
ages 8-11
Instructor: Aubry Shackelford
10:30 – 11:30
Ever wanted to take something apart to see how it works? What’s inside a computer, how many lenses and mirrors does a telescope have, why does the window shade roll up after you pull it down a little bit (and how does it stick in the first place)? We’ll take stuff apart and see what’s inside to figure out how it does … well, whatever it does.

Nature and Art Through the Ages
ages 9+
Instructor: Jen Swan
10:30 – 11:30
In this study group, you’ll travel through time and learn how the natural world has inspired artists throughout history, and create some amazing art of your own. Starting with prehistoric times, you’ll do charcoal drawings when you study ancient cave paintings, and you may re-create the pottery of different ancient cultures and make clay beads. Then, zip to the Renaissance and check out Leonardo Da Vinci’s botany and bird studies. You’ll also meet John J. Audubon and learn about drawing and painting birds. We’ll head outside for our own inspiration, keeping a nature journal and focusing on what inspires us as artists too.

Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
ages 10+
Instructor: Michele Rush
10:30 – 11:30
Do you want to learn how scientists find, examine and evaluate evidence from a crime scene?  You’ll learn about blood and blood splatter analysis, forensic botany, forensic entomology (insects), soil examination, casts and impressions, and more. If you love all the gory details of science investigations, then this study group is for you!

Architecture: Designing the Home of the Future
ages 11+
Instructor: Yuliana King
10:30 – 11:30
Want to learn how to design your own New England dream home? This study group will walk you through the process. First, we’ll look at the environment and learn how to take advantage of things like the sunshine from the south and the short summers. We’ll also study your home site and how to best orient your building and best use the terrain and features of your lot.  Then we’ll put the house together: What kind of rooms do you need and want?  What will they look like?  Structurally, what’s necessary for plumbing, electricals, and heating/cooling?  And how will you decorate the inside and outside?  What types of materials do you want to use?  We will use lessons learned from home builders around the world to help us make our decisions.

Textile Crafts
all ages
Instructors: Sarah Olsen and Cathryn Carpenter
1:00 – 2:00
If you love sewing, weaving, knitting and more, bring your busy hands to this study group! You’ll learn the history of textile crafts like braided rugs, looms, and more, then get to try your hand at them. Create your own final project in your favorite medium.

Rocks and Minerals
ages 5-8
Instructor: Miss Nell
1:00 – 2:00
If you want all rocks and minerals, all the time, then this study group is for you! We’ll go in-depth studying, testing and classifying rocks and learning about how they are formed. You may learn about how crystals form by making Lego models or growing your own crystals. Maybe you’ll learn about the rock cycle using sugar cubes or crayon shavings. Exploring rocks and minerals using the Mohs hardness scale test, acid test, streak test and more, you’ll learn how to identify and classify rocks. By the end of this study group, you’ll know a lot more about your rock collection!

Boats, Trucks and How They Work
ages 5-8
Instructor: Eva Yarger
1:00 – 2:00
In this study group, we’ll be exploring boats and construction vehicles to figure out how they are built and how they work. We’ll do hands-on activities like building boats that float and seeing how much weight they will hold before sinking. We’ll investigate what makes diggers dig and bulldozers doze, and what simple machines have to do with all of it. Join us for fun with engineering, physics and big vehicles!

Spy Tools and Gadgets
ages 8+
Instructor: Emily Goss and Victoria Gaisford
1:00 – 2:00
You’ll have a code-cracking, invisible-ink-making, gadget-inventing good time in this study group, learning all about the history and science of spying. We’ll take a look at how spy tools were used throughout the ages and make some ourselves … perhaps even inventing new ones! Students may be split by ages when appropriate.

Art and Space
ages 9+
Instructor: Jen Swan
Nebulas, black holes, constellations, oh my! This study group will explore the vastness of space and all its beauty by combining art and science. One project may be learning about different moons then creating your own moonscape. Or maybe you’ll create op art based on how the planets revolve around the sun. How about a 3D planetary landscape? Bring your favorite aspects of space to this class … and your creativity!

One Hour Mysteries
ages 11+
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
If you like reading detective capers or watching mystery shows, this study group is for you. Put yourself in the shoes of Hercule Poirot, Calder Pillay or Nancy Drew and solve a new mystery every week. You’ll learn how to detect character motives and alibis, examine evidence, decode messages, solve logic puzzles, analyze documents, and fine-tune your interrogation skills. There’s even a possibility for you to create your own mysteries for others to solve using what you learned about solving them.

A Drop of Water

The pictures and ideas in Walter Wick’s beautiful book, A Drop of Water, are the inspiration for the science in this fun study group. You’ll learn about evaporation, condensation, snowflakes, how clouds form, and more amazing water tricks, like a “wild wave” caused by a brown egg dropped in a water glass, soap bubbles with a “shimmering liquid skin,” a snowflake at 60 times its actual size, and dew on a spider web. Hands-on experiments with water in all of its forms will make this a wet-and-wild study group!

Robots Everywhere!

This study group is all about robots and how they fit into our world. We’ll explore robots in many different ways – we may make our own scribblebots, do robot arts and crafts, and read about different robots. How do robots help people? Where are the robots in your life? You can determine the direction of this class, so bring your robot interests and ideas to the first session!

Building Chain Reactions

In this study group, we’ll experiment with dominoes, marble ramps, and Rube Goldberg machines. We’ll build our own contraptions so we can study the physics behind basic physical chain reactions. What happens when one thing causes something else to move/spin/fall? What does gravity have to do with it? Bring your building and observation skills to this fun, hands-on study group!

Marine Life: Adaptations

In this study group, you’ll learn how ocean life adapts and changes so it can survive. We’ll study different types of fish and their adaptations, and you’ll create your own, complete with the right adaptations for your chosen environment. Learn about how plankton and ocean currents live in harmony, and engineer your own way to harness energy based on what you learn. How does climate change affect ocean life? Lots of hands-on learning and creativity will be included in this study group.

Fantasy Art

Inspired by the world of fantasy creatures, dragons and mythical realms, create a series of drawings, paintings and sculpture in this fun and imaginative study group. Students will illustrate imaginative landscapes and characters while developing skills in drawing, composition and color theory. We will also work with self-hardening clay, glass gems, and metallic paints to sculpt one-of-a-kind dragon eggs. Students will be encouraged to develop their creative freedom in each project and push their imagination to new limits.

Science of Super Powers

Longer than a long weekend, more thorough than a thoroughbred, and more fun than a funhouse, it’s . . . “The Science of Superpowers”! We all know some heroes have special powers. But how, exactly, do their powers work? What lets Iron Man fly? How did the Black Widow get her superhuman strength? In this study group, you’ll explore the science and engineering behind superpowers and heroic adventures using DNA extraction, paper airplane construction, cotton swab tower building, and egg drop design. Each activity is paired with a different genre of poetry inspired by the session’s theme and hands-on activity.

Cooking Healthy Snacks and Meals

You want to be independent in the kitchen, right? We’ll teach you some yummy snack and easy meal recipes that you can make on your own, whenever you get the craving. Then learn why these yummy snacks and main dish meals are just as good for you as they are tasty. Possible recipes may include granola bites, lentil soup, pumpkin brownies and more.

Artsy Animals

In this study group, we’ll travel the globe to learn about animals while doing in-depth art projects. We’ll explore animals on each of the seven continents and do hands-on projects that show what we learned as a beautiful piece of art. Maybe you’ll choose to make a snowy watercolor resist of a polar bear for Antarctica, or perhaps a tissue paper collage of African animals. How would you depict an Asian tiger? Or maybe you would sculpt an elephant? By the end of this study group, you’ll have learned about the habitats of animals on different continents and have a collection of frame-worthy art.

Art: Clash of Cultures

Lots of cultures have clashed throughout history; since the LACI kids are interested in such a wide variety of history and culture … what fun to put it all in the same study group, create our own “clash” and discover it all through art! The cultures and time periods that we’ll clash are: Aztecs, Mayans and other Mesoamerican cultures;  The Victorian Era; America’s Gilded Age (think Newport mansions!); and ancient Medieval times. We’ll compare, contrast, and “clash” these cultures through artifacts and architecture, fashion, lifestyle, and art. We’ll create our own art to learn about these cultures/time periods more deeply, and by the end of the study group, you may find similarities you never expected. Projects may include working with gold: Aztec gold plaques, Illuminated manuscripts, gilding; creating architectural projects based on Mayan and Victorian structures; and exploring the textiles of these cultures/time periods.

World Mythology

Learn all about Greek mythology through hands-on projects, games, skits and more. There will be a focus on Hercules and the tales of his escapades, and we may also touch upon the Iliad, the Odyssey, Aeneid, Native American tales, African tales and Norse mythology. You’ll immerse yourself in mythology — perhaps even become an expert — so that you can succeed if you decide to partake in the National Mythology Exam.

The Culture of Dance
Get your groove on and learn about these dances from around the world. Dance will be looked at from a socio-cultural perspective: What social purposes has dance served? How do these purposes differ across cultures, across time? We’ll study the history and meanings behind dances like classical Indian dance, the Hula, Contra dancing, the Tarantella and more, and then we’ll try them out!

Our Fifty States
In this study group, we’ll travel across the country and back, learning about all of the fifty states as we go. What’s it like to live in Alaska? How much different is the weather in Arizona? Are there green hills and wooded areas everywhere across the continent? We’ll look at state flags, state birds and learn other fun facts about the fifty states, and compare the other 49 to our home state of Massachusetts.

Skin & Scales
Instructor: Leo Spinner
Skin & Scales is an eight-week course on the natural history of invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles. In this study group, you’ll climb the developmental ladder of life from the primitive invertebrates to the highly developed amphibians and reptiles. You’ll learn about the development of specific animal groups and how they fit into the balance of life. Topics will include, but not be limited to: gross anatomy, reproduction, disease, captive husbandry and other topics involving life science. Education is performed through the use of live animals and other natural artifacts.

Be a Paleontologist!
Put on your safari hats, because we’re going to be studying fossils, and it gets hot at these archeological digs! Paleontology is the study of the history of life, so we’ll look at plant and animal fossils close up. Were things different on Earth millions of years ago? It’s fun to compare plants and animals from long ago to the ones we know today. Some of them might even be the same! What’s the difference between fossilization and petrification? We’ll even make our own fossils! You’ll earn your paleontology degree in this study group!

Magnus Chase comes to LACI
First it was Camp Half-Blood, now another of Rick Riordan’s book series comes to life in a LACI study group! The Sword of Summer incorporates Norse history and the gods of Asgard into an adventure that’s sure to inspire in-depth studies of the Norse gods, building longboats, and making Freya’s jewelry. We may also go on a quest for our own swords, just like Magnus does in the book, and dig deep into Fenris the Wolf’s mythology. And you thought you couldn’t travel to Valhalla. …

Folk Tales From Around the World
Explore the world through folk tales – reading, retelling, and twisting the tale while also learning about a different culture each week. We may explore some of the foods of that culture or make a craft based on either the story or something that part of the world is known for. One week, we might visit Mexico and then head to Europe the next! We’ll taste sweets and savories and try our hand at various arts and crafts techniques. Join us for 8 weeks of globe-trotting — you won’t even need your passport!

Move into Fitness!
This fun study group will keep you moving with exercises and games that follow the Presidential Fitness Program. Each session will include some warm-up exercises, strength and aerobic training, with lots of interactive games to challenge your body. President Obama may not be able to pay LACI a visit, but rumor has it he’ll send some fitness awards our way for whoever participates in this study group.

Lego Math
Who doesn’t love Legos? Believe it or not, they are good for more than just building things. In this study group, we’ll use Legos to explore mathematical concepts like patterns, estimating, skip counting, sorting, fractions, sequencing and measurement.

Ancient Egypt, Makers’ Style
Could ancient Egyptians be considered “Makers”? A Maker is defined as a person who makes or produces something, and usually there’s a component of technology involved. In this study group, we take on the roles of ancient Egyptian Makers, producing artwork based on hieroglyphics, ancient jewelry designs and ceremonial paraphernalia. We’ll investigate the inventions that could have been used to build the pyramids and grow crops in the desert and make our own models. They may not have had computers and 3D printers, but we’ll discover that ancient Egyptians were very advanced Makers indeed!

Cooking with Authors
What do some of our favorite authors like to eat? How does food factor into their writing? Each week, we’ll study a different author or illustrator and learn a little bit about them, dive into one of their books and cook a food that they enjoy themselves. Based on the book Authors in the Kitchen, each week will have a unique theme. One week, we might check out a mystery writer and learn a bit about them and how to craft a a mystery while baking. Another week, we might look at an illustrator known for watercolors so we’ll try our hand at painting while sampling a new recipe. Each week promises to be different — there will be something for everybody!

Skin & Scales with Leo Spinner
ages 9+
Instructor: Leo Spinner
11:00 – 12:00
Skin & Scales is an eight-week course on the natural history of invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles. In this study group, you’ll climb the developmental ladder of life from the primitive invertebrates to the highly developed amphibians and reptiles. You’ll learn about the development of specific animal groups and how they fit into the balance of life. Topics will include, but not be limited to: gross anatomy, reproduction, disease, captive husbandry and other topics involving life science. Education is performed through the use of live animals and other natural artifacts.

Writing Is Only Evil if You Want it to Be
ages 10+
Instructors: Moregenne Dugas / Wiley Cordone
11:00 – 12:00
Good vs. Evil, Superheroes vs. villains, Marvel vs. DC, order vs. chaos. In this class we will discuss these themes, and learn how to write stories and scenes using fun writing prompts, art, games, group projects and discussions, and more. You will learn how to write an exciting story about whatever interests you, whether it’s pirates and monsters, or spies and crime. We will discuss the different components of writing such as story structure, how to write an exciting story, developing characters like your villains and dialogue heroes, dialogue and point of view.

Rocket through Space!
ages 6+
Instructor: Beth McShane
1:00 – 2:00
Jump in your space ship and take a tour of our solar system. We’ll make several stops along the way to explore the various hot (and cold) spots. We may even take a spin around the sun and find out a little more about our main source of heat and light. We’ll consider what life might be like on the many moons and planets in our solar system. If life existed there, what would it look like? This study group will examine the basics of rocketry, Earth’s backyard, and how life adapts to different environments.

Italy and Greece: The Cradles of Modern Civilization
ages 8+
Instructors: Christina White, Cathleen Dinsmore, Jennifer Niles
1:00 – 2:00
Modern culture is rooted in Greece and Rome — language, government, food, philosophy, education. Much of what we do today stems from those ancient civilizations. In this study group, we will explore Greece and Italy through cooking, folk tales, and hands-on activities. We’ll learn where much of our language originates from and how some of our modern day favorite foods came about. Each week, we’ll explore a historical or modern aspect from one of these countries. Most weeks, we will also sample food from this part of the world.

The Art and Math of Minecraft
ages 9+ (note: there’s a Minecraft study group for ages 6+ in the morning for younger kids with age-appropriate activities)
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
1:00 – 2:00
Minecraft is a phenomenon that has captured millions of gamers around the world, likely because it combines so many creative interests in one game. This study group is Minecraft-inspired! We’ll combine art and math with all things Minecraft for our own fun and creative adventure, offline. One week, you could make pixel art that ties into decimals and percents; the next, designing a city on a coordinate plane that you can build in Minecraft might be your project. Maybe we’ll explore arrays and the pixel patterns used in Minecraft to create our own 3D designs – then build them. Whatever the project, you can bet it will be as creative and educational as Minecraft, but in real life! You’ll also be able to go home and build your projects in Minecraft, send a file to your instructor, and see your work in class during our weekly slide show.

1001 Nights at LACI
ages 10+
Instructors: Emily Goss, Dina Mesbah
1:00 – 2:00
Do you like stories of long ago, of adventures, genies, trickery and scheming? Have you heard of One Thousand and One Nights? It’s more than just Aladdin. In this study group we will enjoy the tales themselves and explore the cultures behind them. We’ll try our hand at many things, like Persian miniature painting, Islamic art, writing our names in Persian. We’ll look at the map of the Middle East and see how it has changed with time. We’ll experience the spices, carpets and dried fruits of the bazaars and perhaps even make Persian food. Through it all, we’ll be exploring myths, fairytales and ‘foreignness.’

Cooking Comfort Food
all ages 6-14
Instructor: Beth McShane
11:00 – 12:00
Cooking is always fun, but there’s something about cooking warm foods in the winter that makes you feel all cozy inside. In this study group, you’ll learn to cook comfort foods – dishes like mac and cheese, homemade bread, soups, stews, baked goods and other classic comfort foods that make the winter more fun and delicious! Specific techniques and methods of cooking and baking, as well as learning about the different foods (How does bread rise? Why does cheese melt?) will be explored in this study group.

Animal Classification with Legos
ages 6+
Instructor: Sarah Olsen
11:00 – 12:00
Learn all about different animals, like sheep, elephants, turtles, giraffes, snakes, snails, owls, horses, ladybugs, and many more – and build them with Legos! You’ll learn fun facts about these animals – do they lay eggs? Breathe with lungs? Have a backbone? Then, you’ll be able to classify these animals based on your new knowledge – just like scientists do! Other activities to get to know your animals may include drawing, sculpture, and other hands-on projects. You may even get a chance to meet some of these creatures live!

The Art and Math of Minecraft
ages 6+ (note: there’s a Minecraft study group for ages 9+ in the afternoon for older kids with age-appropriate activities)
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
11:00 – 12:00
Minecraft is a phenomenon that has captured millions of gamers around the world, likely because it combines so many creative interests in one game. This study group is Minecraft-inspired! We’ll combine art and math with all things Minecraft for our own fun and creative adventure, offline. One week, you could make pixel art that ties into fractions; the next, designing a city on a coordinate plane that you can build in Minecraft might be your project. Maybe we’ll explore arrays and the pixel patterns used in Minecraft to create our own 3D designs – then build them. Whatever the project, you can bet it will be as creative and educational as Minecraft, but in real life! You’ll also be able to go home and build your projects in Minecraft, send a file to your instructor, and see your work in class during our weekly slide show.

Escape from the Temple of Terror!
ages 8+ (note: this group will be divided so that all ages are getting appropriate challenges)
Instructors: Christina White, Michele Rush, Yuliana King
11:00 – 12:00
Congratulations – you have just been hired for the job of a lifetime! The local amusement park wants you to bring their oldest attraction, The Temple of Terror, into the 21st century. The Temple is made up of several rooms which were originally filled with cheesy horror film monsters. The monsters have been cleaned out and now it’s a blank slate. The owners of the amusement park want you to create a contest for visitors. Each room will contain a puzzle, and visitors compete to see who can escape the temple first. You must create a series of different puzzles: ciphers, physics challenges, mechanical puzzles, word games, and more. We’ll use video games such as Portal, MYST, Machinarium and other puzzle/adventure games as our inspiration. On the last day of the session, we will put together our Tower of Terror for the LACI project fair for everyone to try.

Creating a Yearbook
***This study group will lay the groundwork for the Yearbook Committee, who will work as a club during the spring session to create an amazing yearbook for LACI!***
ages 10+
Instructors: Madeline Rush, Wiley Cordone
11:00 – 12:00
In order to create a yearbook with a group, you need to have certain skills for success. In this study group, you’ll examine different yearbook designs to determine what will work best for LACI, as well as deciding what sections to include in our yearbook ( parents, kids, study groups, outside play, etc.). You’ll work online to learn how to use Picaboo for the yearbook layout and online surveys to see what LACI members want to see in the yearbook (essays/stories by kids, artwork, projects, etc.). You’ll even learn basic photography skills (how to hold the camera, the best lighting, etc.). By the end of this study group, you’ll have all of these skills so you can effectively work as a team while keeping to your individual deadlines to create a LACI yearbook to remember!

Math Carnival
Ages 3-5 years
Instructors: Katie Reitz-McQuillan, Lynn Krieche, and Sarah Olsen
11:00-12:00
Do you wonder about numbers? Do you like to skip and count at the same time? Join us for some math fun! We’ll be using math and numbers in all sorts of different ways. We’ll make a geoboard, we’ll do some skip counting, we’ll make some patterns, we’ll group things by categories (size/shape/color etc) and we’ll read some fun stories that show us that math is truly all around us!

Puedo Hablar Español. Puedes? (I Can Speak Spanish. Can you?)
all ages 6-14
Instructor: Andrea Castellanos
11:00 – 12:00
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to learn for an hour … in another language? In this Spanish immersion course, we will do hands-on activities, sing songs and play games … all in Spanish! For those with some Spanish already under their belt, we will practice conversing so we can learn to think in another language. In addition to beginning to learn another language in the same way you acquired English, you’ll develop mental flexibility and an appreciation for the similarities and differences between English and Spanish. There will be activities to work on outside of the study group, since one-hour a week doesn’t really qualify as immersive language study.

The Science of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
ages 6+, ages 9+
Instructor: Beth McShane (ages 6+) THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee (ages 9+) THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
11:00 – 12:00
Since this study group received more than double the votes of the others, we’ll run two groups, for twice the fun! When you sign your child up, be sure to let us know his or her age and we will register them for the appropriate group.
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory seems to be an all-time favorite book of many kids – and adults! While it’s fun, creative and wacky, it also has lots of science and technology embedded in its pages. In this study group, we’ll explore questions inspired by the book: Can you build an ideal boat to travel down the chocolate river? Is chocolate a good building material? How did Charlie and his grandfather rise in the fizzy lifting room? Is there science involved in candy-making? Can you really make lickable wallpaper? With hands-on projects and experiments incorporating the scientific method, we’ll delve into all things science – and Wonka!

Geography: What a Wonderful World!
ages 8+
Instructor: Yuliana King
11:00 – 12:00
This study group will be a kick-off for a Geography Club (think mock Geo Bee!) that will continue throughout the winter months, culminating in the optional participation in a National Geographic sponsored Geography Bee (if you’re age 10 or up).

Do you want to explore the wonders of countries around the world in terms of land, climate, flora, fauna, human populations, cultural aspects and history? You’ll get the chance in this study group, along with the opportunity to practice researching skills and presenting in front of a live audience. Every week we’ll include geography games, quizzes or puzzles. Enhance your knowledge of the wonderful world you live in through interactive, social learning activities and work toward your goal of participating in a Geography Bee.

Ancient History through Board Games
ages 10+ (crossover class for LACI Teen, ages 12+)
Instructor: Christina White
11:00 – 12:00
This study group will be offered for anyone in LACI ages 10+, but it is also available as an alternative for the LACI Teen kids if this is a high-interest topic for them.
Explore history from a different angle! Each week we will study an ancient time period from the Stone Age to the height of the Roman Empire. Our learning will center on a game — either from the time period or a game based on that day’s topic. We’ll learn to play Senet from Egypt and we’ll see what it takes to rule (and expand) Rome with the game, Trajan. We’ll become prehistoric people with Carcassone: Hunters & Gatherers and see how the ancient civilizations fit together with Seven Wonders. This study group requires an interest in strategy games. There will be some independent work required to help us prepare for in-class discussion.

Exploring Our Community
ages 3-5
Instructors: Eva Yarger and Mary Forjette
1:00 – 2:00
What is a community and why is it important to us? Together we’ll explore the role of fire departments, hospitals, banks and more. People using ancient Roman roads and aqueducts, the Pony Express, or modern technology have all had things in common. We will compare historic and modern civilizations through stories, role play, and hands-on building. We too will collaborate and cooperate as our own LACI community.

The Human Body: Behind the Scenes
ages 6+
Instructor: Michele Rush / Lynn Krieche
1:00 – 2:00
The human body is pretty fascinating just from what we see on the outside, but what *really* goes on behind the scenes? Is blood really only a liquid? Can our brain be tricked into moving the wrong body part? What would we be like without our bones? We are going to investigate all these things and a whole lot more through hands-on activities including making “blood” and a model of the human heart. Come along with us behind the scenes as we explore the major systems of the body.

Physics and Art of Bridge Building
ages 6+, ages 9+
Instructor: Beth McShane (ages 6+)
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee (ages 9+) THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
1:00 – 2:00
Since this study group received more than double the votes of the others, we’ll run two groups, for twice the fun! When you sign your child up, be sure to let us know his or her age and we will register them for the appropriate group.
If you like to challenge yourself with unique building projects and you love science, this study group is for you. Step aside, LEGO — we’ll be working with our own homemade mortar and concrete as we build many types of bridge designs and test them for strength. How did the ancient Romans design their bridges? We’ll answer that question, and also learn about beam, arch, truss and suspension bridges, the forces that act on bridges, and the materials that stand up to those forces. Tons of hands-on experiments and art projects will be involved. Bring your hard hats!

LACI Hobbiton THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 8+
Instructor: Emily Goss
1:00 – 2:00
Attention, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic book, The Hobbit: this is the study group for you! This group will delve deep into the languages Tolkien created for The Hobbit, and how he used ancient language roots to develop these languages. Each week, there will also be a hands-on project based on the book. One week, maybe you’ll cook up “second breakfast” or bake a batch of Beorn’s seed cakes; another week, you might create a name plaque in Dwarvish runes. Can you create a contour map that follows the storyline of the book and the quest of Bilbo Baggins? You’ll get lots of opportunity to explore the language, characters and plot of The Hobbit while having fun immersing yourself in hands-on projects.

Shakespeare Round Table – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ages 10+ (crossover class for LACI Teen, ages 12+)
Instructor: Sarah Olsen
1:00 – 2:00
This study group will be offered for anyone in LACI ages 10+, but it is also available as an alternative for the LACI Teen kids if this is a high-interest topic for them.
This study group is for more than just learning about Shakespeare and enjoying his hilarious, wacky play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sure, you’ll do all that, but you’ll get to ham it up as well as participate in hands-on projects to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the play. Dramatic readings of Shakespeare’s actual words, combined with enjoying some more modern retellings of the tale, will allow you to immerse yourself in the story. We’ll do some improvisational scenes, and we’ll also create some theater-based hands-on projects — maybe you’ll create a movie poster for this play, make a collage representing your favorite character, or create some costume / prop pieces to enhance your dramatic reading and improv scenes. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have fun experiencing one of history’s greatest playwrights!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
ages 3-5
Instructor: Eva Yarger
1:00 – 2:00
Where do lions, tigers, and bears and other large animals live? What do they and eat? In this study we will look at the habitats of different large animals. Through stories, crafts, drama and art we will compare and contrast animals and their habitats.

Insects – Be an Entomologist!
ages 6+
Instructor: Beth McShane
1:00 – 2:00
Entomologists are scientists that study insects. In this study group, you’ll hunt for insects with magnifying glasses and other tools like real entomologists, and learn through observation what characteristics all insects have (and then create your own insect!). You’ll explore the science embedded in the literature of Eric Carle, and create your own insect art based on his style. More science experiments may include learning about the life cycles of different insects and designing an experiment to see what foods attract ants. You’ll be an insect expert at the end of this study group!

Ancient Egypt Versus Mesopotamia
ages 7+
Instructor: Sarah Olsen
1:00 – 2:00
Mesopotamia and Egypt are two ancient civilizations that continue to fascinate modern society. We’ll compare and contrast many aspects of these two cultures, like cuneiform versus hieroglyphs. Did the Egyptians utilize the Nile river in the same ways that Mesopotamians relied on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers? Which civilization do you think had the best inventions and technology? We’ll also learn about some artifacts, like Mesopotamia’s Standard of Ur and Egypt’s shabti figures, and architecture – the pyramids versus the ziggurats, of course! Through the hands-on and collaborative projects in this study group, you’ll learn to differentiate these two ancient cultures and maybe even pick a favorite.

Creating Comics and Graphic Stories THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 8+
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
1:00 – 2:00
Making comic books or graphic stories is a fun, creative pastime, and there are so many ways to explore this art more deeply. In this study group, we’ll look at different styles of comics and graphic stories, figure out what sets them apart from others, and define our own personal animation style. Some of the artists’ and authors’ works we’ll examine are Marcia Williams (Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare, Greek and Roman myths), Ashley Spires (Binky series), and Bill Waterson (Calvin and Hobbes). We’ll do things like design comics to go with famous quotes, change a favorite poem into a graphic story, take scenes from a classic text, like Shakespeare, My Father’s Dragon or Little House on the Prairie, and change them into a comic book or graphic novel. By the end of the study group, you’ll have a good understanding of what elements go into creating stories with pictures, and you’ll have your own anthology of graphic stories, bound and ready to share.

Japan: Elegant or Brutal?
ages 10+
Instructor: Jen Swan and Cathleen Dinsmore
1:00 – 2:00
Japanese culture is both elegant and brutal – quite a fascinating contrast! How can a culture that produces beautiful ink brush calligraphy painting and delicate woodblock prints also claim a long history of stealthy ninja warriors and honorable, yet violent Samurai armies? And did you know that families with boys observed different traditions than families with girls? We’ll dig into Japanese history and culture, including art (block printing, ink painting), poetry (Basho’s haiku), sports (Sumo), warriors (ninjas and Samurai), holidays and customs (carp kites, dolls, beckoning cat), traditional foods (yes, we’ll do some cooking!) and pastimes (games, Noh theater). At the end of the eight weeks, you’ll have enough evidence to decide whether you think Japan’s history and traditions are more elegant than brutal … or vice versa.

Photograph Your World
all ages 6-14
Within the group, the kids will be split by age and/or skill level and instructions will be differentiated for all participants.
Instructor: Jessica Evelyn
11:00 – 12:00
In this study group, you’ll examine different types and styles of photography by looking at the works of famous photographers throughout history, like Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Then, bring your own digital camera (or borrow one from another LACI member) and try out these styles with a different creative focus each week. You’ll also learn technical skills for working digital cameras, like framing a shot with the rule of thirds, bokeh (cool use of blurring) and motion blur, how to use light, shadow, and contrast to make an interesting composition and many more techniques that professional photographers, like your instructor, Jessica, use. You may even do some post-production work on your photographs on your own computers. At the end of this study group, you’ll have a portfolio of all of your favorite photographs, along with your best one artistically matted and ready for framing.

Mapping the World THIS STUDY GROUP IS CLOSED UNLESS YOU HAVE CHILDREN WHO WILL BE PARTICIPATING IN THE AGES 6-14 STUDY GROUPS
ages 3-5
Instructor: Lynn Krieche
11:00 – 12:00
Mapping the World: Have you ever wanted to be an explorer? Wondered what those bumps on a globe meant? Ever thought it would be fun to dig from your back yard all the way to the other side of the Earth? Well, here is a group for you! We will be learning about maps, globes, and the world. We’ll be making our own maps, land formations, and a famous landmark. We’ll make a travel guide for all the places we visit around the world. We’ll meet some kids from around the world (via books!) and play some of their games.

In the Kitchen with Fruits and Veggies
ages 6+
Instructor: Beth McShane
11:00 – 12:00
Everyone knows you should eat your veggies … but in this study group, you’ll also get to cook with them, plant them, read about them, do art projects with them and more. Activities may include decorating an apron, learning about kitchen utensils and connecting math to measuring and cooking. Maybe we’ll do fruit and vegetable art printing, make some honey-glazed carrots or zucchini chips, or read Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert and cook up some of our own delicious soup. By the end of this study group, you’ll love fruits and vegetables more than ever, and have a host of new kitchen skills with which to prepare your favorite fruit and veggie recipes.

Exploring Tide Pools THIS STUDY GROUP HAS 1 OPENING FOR A CHILD AGE 6-8
ages 6+ / 9+ split group
Instructors: Debbie McDuffee and Amanda Nascimento
11:00 – 12:00

***In conjunction with this study group, LACI will have Biomes Marine Biology Center’s Traveling Tide Pools exhibit come to us for all of the LACI kids to explore and enjoy.***

One of the best parts about going to the beach is exploring the tide pools at low tide, teeming with plant life and sea creatures. From infinite types of seaweed to barnacles, starfish, anemone, crabs, and bivalves, we’ll learn about them all in this study group.

Some activities for the younger students in this study group may include:
– literature-based hands-on activities
– constructing a group tide pool recreation
– sorting shells and learning about the creatures that live in them
– learning about tide pool food webs

If you’re 9-yo or older, you’ll get to do these types of activities:
– dissect a starfish and a clam
– learn about spiral seashells, the Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Ratio
– learn in-depth about bivalves and molluscs
– examine microscopic tide pool life

Everyone will make fish prints (from actual fish!), learn about different kinds of seaweed and make block printing artwork from these, and compare and contrast tide pools from around the world. We’ll combine art and science in a multidisciplinary class to immerse ourselves in the tide pools of NE and the world.

Solving Mysteries with Science: Crime Scene Investigation THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
ages 8+
Instructor: Michele Rush
11:00 – 12:00
Solving mysteries is more than just using deductive reasoning. Today, we have a lot more technology available to help us than Sherlocks Holmes had! Learn what it’s like to be an actual forensic scientist, by conducting scientific tests to solve real crimes. Activities may include learning to dust for fingerprints, making and analyzing a DNA fingerprint, reconstructing bones, analyzing ink chromatography, and conducting a powder analysis. If you love science and mysteries, you’ll find a healthy dose of both in this study group.

Patterns with Animals and Magic (ages 5+)
Instructor: Beth McShane
How can animals help us explore patterns? You’ll find out in this fun study group, when we build caterpillars, fish, and worms and examine some cows and chickens more closely. We might even build some people and tree patterns too. But there will definitely be magic! We’ll wave our wands and see how our magic machines and magic pots unveil the mystery of patterns to us. It will be a magical, living adventure!

Rocknology (ages 8+) THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
Geology and the study of rocks and minerals meets technology … that’s Rocknology! In this study group, you won’t just learn about geological processes, you’ll recreate them with stop-motion animation and time-lapse photography. Through hands-on activities, you’ll learn about how the different kinds of rocks are formed and build them, how the movement of water creates landforms using stream tables, about the layers of the Earth, and more. We’ll also incorporate traditional art into our study with sculpture, painting, and collage – and then combine that with the technology. We’ll debut our movies on the last day of the session with our LACI Movie Premiere!

Bookmaking Arts (ages 8+)
Instructor: Jen Swan
Ancient art and more modern art can be very different — even in the same country! You’ll make four book projects in this study group that prove it. You’ll learn about the Four Noble Ones from ancient Japan and create a book with Japanese ink painting. Then, fast-forward to a more modern Japan and create a quirky book with anime and manga. Illuminated manuscripts dominated medieval England, so you’ll learn about that and create your own book of illumination. Then, you’ll make a Steampunk-inspired book, complete with metal gears. You’ll have an enlightened understanding of ancient and modern art from two different cultures by the end of this study group … not to mention four beautiful handmade books! Click for more details on the individual book projects.

The Art and Science of Baking (10+)
Instructor: Christina White
Did you know that the basic recipes for all baked goods involve scientifically determined ratios of ingredients? Cakes, cookies, muffins, and quick breads start with a basic formula of ingredients which is then tweaked to create a wide variety of yummy treats. In this study group, we will explore these ratios (including learning about what a ratio is). We’ll also explore why we use various ingredients when we bake including baking soda, baking powder, and fats such as butter and shortening. We’ll learn how to analyze recipes to see how they utilize the basic ratios and understand what changes were made and how it affects the resulting baked good. And, of course, we’ll be baking! The final project will be to create a baked good recipe of your own and share it with your classmates.

Arctic Life: Animals, Igloos and Ice (ages 5+)
Instructor: Beth McShane
Winters are cold in New England, but what would it be like to live in the frozen tundra of the arctic? Using fascinating picture books as the jumping off point for our studies, we’ll dig deep into arctic wildlife and more. We’ll discover the history of building igloos and the nitty-gritty of ice fishing. Not all cold weather climates are the same, so we’ll compare and contrast the north (arctic) and south (antarctic) poles. We’ll learn about snowy owls, arctic foxes, polar bears, migratory birds, seals, and other arctic animals. We’ll even learn a thing or two about sled dogs. Hands-on projects with lots of room for individual creativity will make for chilly fun for everyone!

Medieval Fact and Fantasy (ages 8+) THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
Instructor: Debbie McDuffee
Everybody loves a good legend, especially if it includes knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, magicians, and kings. King Arthur might be the most famous legendary character of all … but is he really just a legend? In this study group, we’ll delve into Arthurian legend and see if we can sift through the facts and fantasy of medieval life. Do the legends accurately portray lifestyles, events, and historical figures? Then, we’ll recreate some aspects of medieval life ourselves, with hands-on projects that will definitely blur the lines between medieval history and the 21st century.

History of Fashion and Sewing Basics (ages 8+) THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
Instructor: Sarah Olsen
For those of you who want to learn to sew better so that you can create your own fashion designs, this study group is your stepping stone. You’ll learn some basics, like how to read a pattern, important sewing vocabulary and how to troubleshoot the use of a sewing machine, all while doing a simple sewing project from a pattern of your choosing. Then, you’ll need inspiration! Study highlights from the history of fashion, like why people wore what they wore, the introduction of synthetic fabrics, and fashion trends throughout history. You can choose a time period of fashion you love and want to know more about to focus on, and use that for your inspiration for your own original design.

Choose Your Own Adventure (ages 9+)
Instructor: Christina White
This is your time, your moment, to learn about or make anything you’ve been dreaming about — your choice! Maybe you want to learn about a country or a culture or a period in history, perhaps you want to build a scale model of the Golden Gate bridge or extract your own DNA. You’ll be mentored in how to dig deep, focus and present your new learning. Some tools you’ll use to delve into your content will be graphic organizers, finding exactly what you need at the library, and honing your internet search skills. Use your peers in the study group for brainstorming sessions, helping with experiments, researching ideas and other collaborations. On the last day, you’ll get the chance to present in the way that works best for your project and share it with all of LACI!

Getting Ready for Winter: Cooking (ages 5+)
How do people, plants and animals get ready for winter? In this study group, we’ll look at how people from different cultures and different time periods harvest their food and make some of their staple autumn recipes. We’ll also study how animals get ready for winter, and compare and contrast animal and human harvest habits. This study group will be a wonderful mix of history, cultural study, plant and animal study and of course, cooking!

LACI How to Train Your Dragon (ages 8+)
Based on the wildly fun book series, How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, this study group will combine all that is fun about the books with studying Viking history, Norse Mythology, dragons in myth and reality, languages and more. One week, we might make a schedule for training a Gila monster while learning about the Norse contributions to the calendar. Another week, we might learn why Hiccup is so different from the stereotypical Viking and whether or not they deserve the fierce reputation they’ve acquired. Perhaps we’ll create our own Viking shields or learn to write Dragonese, too.

Intro to Anatomy and Physiology: Dissection Lab (ages 11+)
This study group will focus on introducing anatomy and physiology through the study of the worm, grasshopper, fish, and frog. During the course of this study group, we will work on our lab skills and learn dissection technique. We’ll learn about the central nervous system, the circulatory system, muscles and bones, and more. With the grasshopper, we’ll also take an up-close look at what makes insects such fascinating and unique creatures.

Color Art (ages 5+)
Color is one ingredient in a recipe for beautiful artwork, and certain artists lend themselves to the study of this. We’ll look at Mondrian’s work and study primary colors, and we’ll paint in gold while studying Klimt. Andy Warhol’s lesser known flower prints are a great example of color usage, and we’ll make prints like his. There will be lots of books and pictures to help us learn about the artists and of course we’ll create our own colorful artwork using professional materials.

Science Art: Optics (ages 8+)
Explore the world of light and sight with art. Together, we’ll create geometric stained glass windows, fancy tessellations, and fun optical illusions to trick your friends and family. We’ll take a slightly more sophisticated take on optical illusions, reflection/refraction, transparency/opaqueness while combining science, math and optics. We’re going to get messy and create some art!

Hispanic Heritage: Cooking (ages 9+)
Hispanic Heritage month runs from September 15th to October 15th when Independence days in Mexico and Central America are observed. This year, we’re going to celebrate at LACI as well. This study group will learn about the hispanic culture through folk tales, craft, food, cooking, and games. Each week, we’ll explore Spanish-speaking countries and see how they have influenced our lives here in America through language, cuisine, and culture. Leave your passport at home – we’ll travel the world without leaving Shrewsbury!

Create Your Own Natural History Museum Workshop (ages 5+, 8+, 10+)
All it takes to make a museum of natural history is four departments: zoology, botany, geology and anthropology. Zoology is the study of animals and animal life, while anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Geology is the study of the earth and rocks, and botany is the study of plant life. We’ll learn more about these four branches of the natural sciences and then choose unique ways to represent them in our own – portable! – natural history museums. Learn more …

LACI Hogwarts (ages 8+)

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry doesn’t hold a candle to LACI Hogwarts … though we will learn some of the same things. Be prepared to learn about charms and levitation, how to make potions, the study of ancient runes, herbology and astronomy, and of course, caring for your magical creatures, all classes offered at Hogwarts. By the end of this study group, you might even know more than Harry Potter! Learn more …

Crime Scene Investigations: Forensics Lab Study Group (ages 10+)
Learn what it’s like to be an actual forensic scientist, by conducting scientific tests to solve real crimes, like murder, attempted kidnapping, graveyard vandalism, and victim identification. Analyze lipstick, blood and bones in the lab, and examine sites like an archaeological dig to analyze clues. If you love science and mysteries, you’ll find a healthy dose of both in this study group. Learn more ...

Skeleton Detectives (ages 6+)
What do skeletons tell us about their owners? We’ll become archaeologists as we discover and piece together human, animal and bird bones. We’ll solve mysteries like: How do the skeletons differ? How are they alike? How have the creatures’ skeletons adapted to their environments and their species’ needs? Bones tell us more than you might think! This study group will culminate in the dissection of owl pellets, where we’ll get to reconstruct and identify whatever critter the owl ate. Learn more …

Probability Carnival (ages 8+)
Did you ever wonder how carnival games work? What is it about dice and spinner games that people find so fascinating … dare I say addicting? It all has to do with probability, or the chances you have of winning or losing a particular round or game. We’ll investigate probability by playing some games to learn about how probability works. Then, we’ll create some games for everyone to try out as we host a Probability Carnival on the last day of the session during the 2:00 – 3:00 hour. Learn more …

Cooking Along the Silk Road (ages 8+, 10+) THIS STUDY GROUP IS FULL
Travel the historical Silk Road through cooking and hands-on projects as we learn about the exchange of goods, ideas and foods between the regions along the Silk Road. When we study China, we’ll make steamed dumplings. India brings us to some exotic spices, and we’ll make our own curry spice mix and cook up a vegetable curry. When we discuss the contributions of Rome, we’ll make hand-rolled pasta and gremolata (the recipes may change, but this gives you an idea of what to expect). You’ll get a chance to role-play and trade for the ingredients to make rice pudding. Other hands-on projects and explorations of the history and importance of the Silk Road will be included as well. Learn more …

Lego Math (ages 5+)
Who doesn’t love Legos? Believe it or not, they are good for more than just building things. In this study group, we’ll use Legos to explore mathematical concepts like patterns, estimating, skip counting, sorting, fractions, sequencing and measurement. Learn more …

LACI’s Camp Half-Blood (ages 8+)
One of the really cool things about the Percy Jackson books is that we not only get to know the Greek gods and goddesses, but we get to see how their gifts shine through in their children. Hephestus’ children are great at crafting things, especially out of metal. Athena’s children are wise and heroic. In LACI’s version of Camp Half-Blood, we’ll learn about some of the gods and goddesses who have children at Camp Half-Blood, and we’ll do activities and projects based on their attributes. Learn more …

Here’s Looking at … Eyes (ages 10+)
If you have pets, you know that a cat’s eye and a dog’s eye look very different. Why? Do they see the world differently? Do their eyes serve different purposes? What about human eyes? This study group will explore the mysteries of sight and how different animals (and humans) view the world. Learn more …

Prowling the Planet (ages 6+)
This workshop will take a close look at big cats around the globe, like lions, tigers, leopards, panthers and more, studying their traits and their habitats. We’ll look at which big cats are endangered and why, and look into organizations that are helping them, and how we can help too. Learn more …

Game Theory and Design (ages 8+) (This group will run from 1:00 – 2:30)
Do you like to play games on a rainy afternoon? Ever wish you could design your own, but you don’t know where to start? The Game Theory and Design study group will cover many aspects of game design so you can develop your own game. We’ll discuss things such as types of games, strategy, game mechanics, game logic, player interaction, and pacing. Learn more …

Fancy Field Guides: Botanical Studies, Calligraphy and More (ages 10+)
This study group combines learning how to draw botanicals (trees, flowers, herbs, plants) with a little bit of everything: the history of field guides, the specifics of detailed botanical drawings, a little Latin and of course calligraphy. At the end of the 8-week session, each participant will have designed and created their own version of a historical field guide, with calligraphic labeling, Latin names and useful descriptions. One kid’s focus may be on garden flowers, another on medicinal herbs or maybe even poisonous rainforest plants. Learn more …

Mathematicians Are People Too
You don’t need to love arithmetic to embrace mathematical thinking and the significant contributions these mathematicians made to history. In this study group, we’ll be gathering each week to read together a chapter from Luetta and Wilbert Reimer’s book, Mathematicians Are People Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians, and do a project extending what we’ve read. Learn More

Cooking with the Fall Harvest
Science, math, literacy and taste-testing all in one hour of fun! In this study group, we’ll experiment with ingredients, learn where our food comes from, try some new things and enjoy some favorites. Focus will be on fall harvest, and organic and local options will be used when available. Learn more

Creative Journaling
Learn more about yourself as a writer and a person through creative journaliing techniques. The simple act of writing can help you become a better writer (10,000 hours to mastery!), but it can also help you discover more about who you are, and that’s what will make your writing truly special … and make the experience of writing one of the more pleasurable activities of your day. Learn more …

Ancient Egypt, Maker’s Style
Could ancient Egyptians be considered “Makers”? A Maker is defined as a person who makes or produces something. In this study group, we take on the roles of ancient Egyptian Makers, producing artwork based on hieroglyphics, ancient jewelry designs and ceremonial paraphernalia. We’ll investigate the inventions that could have been used to build the pyramids and grow crops in the desert and make our own models. Learn more

Math Playground
Who says math can’t be fun? This study group is out to prove that there’s more to math than memorizing your multiplication tables and worksheets. Each week we’ll explore big picture mathematical concepts, like visual-spatial thinking and problem-solving through hands-on projects and discussion. Learn more

Author Study: Chris Van Allsburg
Come discover eight works by Chris Van Allsburg. We will be reading: Jumanji, Zathura, Ben’s Dream, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and more, then discussing basic literary concepts and different genres. Hands-on projects every session, too. Learn More

Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Artist, or Both?
Leonardo was a lot of things: scientist, artist, inventor, dreamer … a true renaissance man.  This study group investigates Leonardo da Vinci as a scientist and artist, and how the two intersect to help Leonardo create his works of genius. Learn more …

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