Nobles Summer Seminars
July 6-July 30

Serious—and fun!

Nobles Summer Seminars are an extension of the Nobles academic program, well-known as one of the most intense and joyful learning communities in the Boston area—or just about anywhere. Humor is part of the Nobles mission statement so, while we are serious about curiosity and intellectual growth, we also appreciate the fun of it. At Nobles, there is a saying that “relationship before task” is key to teaching and learning. Now, Nobles faculty members are translating their own love of working with students and love of subject matter to the virtual realm. Given the complexities of geopolitics right now, maybe Politics and Ethics is your thing. Or try Four Short Weeks/Four Short Stories, or Fiction Into Film, or American Greats with legendary Nobles teacher Dick Baker.

We are excited to introduce Nobles Summer Seminars, which include these and other incredible offerings. There’s so much to explore, and we can’t wait for you to join us for this summer adventure.

Passion-based courses

Through Nobles Summer Seminars, students learn about relevant, real-world topics. Want to learn about gardening and the science behind it from a veteran teacher who learned to garden from her father? Explore artificial intelligence (AI) with a Nobles Robotics teacher? Or take your French to the next level with a native speaker? Students can explore these or other emerging interests: American culture (baseball! film!); Asian-American fiction; astronomy; poetry; playwriting; queer literature and much more! We are incredibly excited about the richness of these offerings.

The Nobles Summer Seminar experience

Nobles classes are small, so you will get to know your classmates and teachers well and receive personalized attention. Nobles classes include both synchronous and asynchronous components, so you have the opportunity to connect live with teachers and classmates while also engaging in meaningful independent work. Classes will meet for three days per week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for four weeks, July 6-30.

What’s the value? Furthering your interests. Engaging fully in areas of curiosity. What else? Learning from teachers with deep experience, who love their topics almost as much as they love teaching young people new things.

Questions? Please email summerseminars@nobles.edu.

FAQs

 

Artificial Intelligence and DeepFakes

Teacher: Scott-Hiser, Alycia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

A “deepfake”, or DeepFake, is a video created using artificial intelligence (AI) showing real people doing and saying things they never did. How can one spot them, and why does it matter? People have been altering images in various ways since the early days of photography. Over time the tools and technologies available to the average person for creating altered imagery have increased at a rapid pace. These days many people understand that the phrase “that was Photoshopped” essentially means a software application was used to manipulate pixels. With recent advances in Artificial Intelligence, it is now becoming easier to manipulate a more powerful medium, videos. Students are taught to think critically about their sources for academic research and consider context and bias as important factors. The next frontier in the era of “Fake News” is understanding how and why these deepfake videos are made and the dangerous implications they hold for society. What are the ways we can tell the difference between a regular video and one that has been manipulated by a machine algorithm? Are there AI tools that spot the subtle discrepancies in AI-generated videos? (The answer is yes!) This class explores a cross-section of emerging technology, art/artifice, and ethics, ultimately empowering learners as consumers of digital media.

American Culture: The Intersection of Sport and Society

Teacher: Voulgaris, Panos
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

“I learned early on that sports is a part of life, that it is human life in microcosm, and that the virtues and flaws of the society exist in sports even as they exist everywhere else.” – Howard Cosell, prominent journalist.

Sports play an enormous role in contemporary society. This course will examine the influence of sport on American life by exploring issues of race, education, politics, violence, culture, commercialization, and the overall impact of the multibillion-dollar industry. Through an investigation of the vital intersection of sport and society, the course will reflect on the substantial role of athletics in American culture.

American Greats

Teacher: Baker, Richard
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

A reading of three of the most celebrated authors of the 20th Century: Fitzgerald (Tender is the Night), Hemingway (Farewell to Arms) and Faulkner (Light in August).

Argument Mapping for X-Ray Vision

Teacher: Carlson-Pietraszek, Jennifer
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

If you have ever disagreed with someone and, when they tried to explain their views, thought, “That doesn’t make any sense!”, you’ll love this seminar.If you’ve ever struggled to express your ideas so that others can understand your point, you’ll love this seminar.If you dig puzzles and logic problems, you’ll love this seminar.We will utilize tools and materials created by ThinkerAnalytix, an educational non-profit that works in partnership with classroom teachers and Harvard’s Department of Philosophy, to learn how to create argument maps.Argument mapping provides us with a type of “x-ray vision” that exposes arguments’ hidden structures and, according to a growing body of research, improves critical thinking skills, increases standardized test scores, and helps people get into college and to secure desired jobs. Once you learn to “see” arguments this way, you become much more facile at building sound arguments – and at identifying holes in others’ arguments.

Big Picture Astronomy

Teacher: Liskowsky, Joe
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

This course in astronomy engages students with a big picture view of the universe; topics for discussion include the origin of the universe, the formation of the solar system, stellar evolution, the emergence of life on Earth (and possibly elsewhere), and the historical development of science. Technical skills will be stressed through labs, and assignments in class will give students opportunities to understand the material from a deep level while giving them a chance to apply skills learned in their math courses. Additionally, students will use technical computing to solve numerical problems and express their findings in written reports, developing their scientific communication skills.

Fiction into Film

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

How can analyzing the film adaptation of a novel allow us to better understand what it is that literature does, and vice versa? Identifying elements of narrative form and discussing how they function in the two media, this course explores the complex interaction between literature and film. With a focus on literary analysis and analytical writing, the course may include the following texts and their adaptations: “Orchid Fever” by Susan Orlean, the short stories of Raymond Carver, Push by Sapphire, “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Body” by Stephen King; The Color Purple by Alice Walker; “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx, Atonement by Ian McEwan, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber; “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie

Four Short Week/Four Short Stories

Teacher: Brodie, Clara
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

In this course, you will have one goal: to write four new short stories. Each week, we’ll explore a different short story form or theme to inspire our work including stories by authors such as Aimee Bender, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, and Karen Russell. At the end of each week, you’ll submit a new short story draft for impressions and feedback from your fellow writers.

Introduction to Geometry

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 10
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

Prerequisite: Prealgebra or Algebra I

Description: This course will explore some of the essential theorems and deductive logic of Euclidean geometry. We will begin with points, lines, and planes and move into properties of triangles, including a short introduction to right triangle trigonometry. This course is ideal for students entering a Geometry course in the fall or for students who have a background in PreAlgebra or beyond.

Introduction to Geometry B

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 10
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Prerequisite: Prealgebra or Algebra I

Description: This course will explore some of the essential theorems and deductive logic of Euclidean geometry. We will begin with points, lines, and planes and move into properties of triangles, including a short introduction to right triangle trigonometry. This course is ideal for students entering a Geometry course in the fall or for students who have a background in PreAlgebra or beyond.

Politics and Ethics in a Red State/Blue State America

Teacher: Gallagher, Alex
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

As we approach the 2020 election in November we will examine long-standing political philosophies, their influence over ethical decision-making, and the challenges that our current leaders face given the hyper-intense partisanship that currently divides our nation. This course will ask students to engage in a daily examination of their own philosophies while also studying how the United States has lost sight of that which ties us together by only focusing on that which divides us.

Quadratics

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 8 – 9
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

This course will provide an in-depth look at one of the most essential functions – quadratics. We will look at how to FOIL, how to factor, and how quadratics can be categorized into three different types. Graphing, solving, and an introduction to transformations with quadratics will round out this course. This course is ideal for three groups of students: 1)the advanced PreAlgebra student who is looking for a challenge, 2) any student who is looking to supplement their Algebra 1 background, 3) any student entering Geometry who would like to review this essential skillset. Note: 7th graders eligible with permission from instructor.

Queer Literature

Teacher: Sokoll, Talya
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Voices of Queer people, especially of those who come from multiple oppressed identities have often been silenced due to systemic homophobia, transphobia and racism. Despite this the LGBTQIAP+ has shown an amazing resiliency that is present in the rich canon of LGBTQIAP+ literature. Readings will cover both historical and contemporary writing by, about and for Queer people. We will read a variety of texts including poetry, essays, short stories and a novel. Content will be tailored to the grade level. The discussion of the literature will be contextualized with reading about, discussing and researching Queer history in the US.

Scratch to Python: Start Programming!

Teacher: Scott-Hiser, Alycia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Young people around the world learn about computer programming through Scratch, a block-based coding platform developed by the MIT Media Lab in 2007. It is currently used in 150 countries and available in over 40 languages. The visual blocks are put together like puzzle pieces, making it easy to learn, while introducing basic programming concepts like variables, loops, and conditionals. Scratch is a fun and easy to use way for students to create interactive stories, games, and animations with minimal instruction. As a first programming language, Scratch is a springboard for the 21st-century skills of computational thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

In this class, we will start with Scratch (no experience necessary), and then apply what we learn to Python. This general purpose, high-level programming language will introduce students to simple syntax, interpreting error messages, and the importance of debugging. Emphasizing code readability, Python is often the next step in a student’s entry into the world of computer science.

Four Short Weeks/Four Short Stories

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

In this course, you will have one goal: to write four new short stories. Each week, we’ll explore a different short story form or theme to inspire our work including stories by authors such as Aimee Bender, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, and Karen Russell. At the end of each week, you’ll submit a new short story draft for impressions and feedback from your fellow writers.

Summer Reading Intensive

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Do you actually love reading? Are you looking for a group of like-minded readers? Do you want to read some new fiction or branch out into new genres this summer? In this course, we’ll dive into four books–one each week–that cover a range of genres, styles, and themes. Students will be expected to read a lot (200+ pages per week) as well as engage in some short analytical, personal and creative responses to the reading. Our reading list may include the following: The Dutch House by Anne Patchett, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, and Counting Descent by Clint Smith.

The Supreme Court and Modern American Society

Teacher: Hallac, Joanna
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

This course serves as an elective to examine the vital role that the Supreme Court has played over the past 60 years, specifically in regards to civil rights, privacy rights, equality, citizenship, and religious freedom, and where they intersect with our changing politics. In its role as the final arbiter of what is and what is not constitutional, the Court has shaped our society just as much as any institution in our modern history. As such, students would examine landmark Supreme Court cases and look at how their ruling and interpretation of the law has evolved over time and what impact that has had upon American society. From Brown v. Board of Education (1954) to Roe v. Wade (1973) to Bush v. Gore (2000) to Lawrence v. Texas (2003) to Citizens United (2012), the Court has completely changed the nature of what it means to be an American. This course will ultimately seek to delve deeply into these cases and their impact on our lives and politics.

User Interface and Web Design/app design

Teacher: Shumway, Andrew
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Students will learn how to skillfully design and develop a meaningful website, as well as design and create a local app for their phone. In the first section of the course, students will begin by learning the proper structure and syntax for a website. They will build on these skills each day, culminating in all students producing a personalized website. The second half of the course will focus on app design by going through the process of revamping an existing app to make it more efficient and usable by its clients. To round out the class, students will then undertake developing their own app using all of the knowledge gained through their prior work. Each project will be focused on solving a real-world problem or something to benefit the greater good of the community both locally and globally.

Nobles Summer Seminars

Artificial Intelligence and DeepFakes

Teacher: Scott-Hiser, Alycia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

A “deepfake”, or DeepFake, is a video created using artificial intelligence (AI) showing real people doing and saying things they never did. How can one spot them, and why does it matter? People have been altering images in various ways since the early days of photography. Over time the tools and technologies available to the average person for creating altered imagery have increased at a rapid pace. These days many people understand that the phrase “that was Photoshopped” essentially means a software application was used to manipulate pixels. With recent advances in Artificial Intelligence, it is now becoming easier to manipulate a more powerful medium, videos. Students are taught to think critically about their sources for academic research and consider context and bias as important factors. The next frontier in the era of “Fake News” is understanding how and why these deepfake videos are made and the dangerous implications they hold for society. What are the ways we can tell the difference between a regular video and one that has been manipulated by a machine algorithm? Are there AI tools that spot the subtle discrepancies in AI-generated videos? (The answer is yes!) This class explores a cross-section of emerging technology, art/artifice, and ethics, ultimately empowering learners as consumers of digital media.

American Culture: The Intersection of Sport and Society

Teacher: Voulgaris, Panos
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

“I learned early on that sports is a part of life, that it is human life in microcosm, and that the virtues and flaws of the society exist in sports even as they exist everywhere else.” – Howard Cosell, prominent journalist.

Sports play an enormous role in contemporary society. This course will examine the influence of sport on American life by exploring issues of race, education, politics, violence, culture, commercialization, and the overall impact of the multibillion-dollar industry. Through an investigation of the vital intersection of sport and society, the course will reflect on the substantial role of athletics in American culture.

American Greats

Teacher: Baker, Richard
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

A reading of three of the most celebrated authors of the 20th Century: Fitzgerald (Tender is the Night), Hemingway (Farewell to Arms) and Faulkner (Light in August).

Argument Mapping for X-Ray Vision

Teacher: Carlson-Pietraszek, Jennifer
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

If you have ever disagreed with someone and, when they tried to explain their views, thought, “That doesn’t make any sense!”, you’ll love this seminar.If you’ve ever struggled to express your ideas so that others can understand your point, you’ll love this seminar.If you dig puzzles and logic problems, you’ll love this seminar.We will utilize tools and materials created by ThinkerAnalytix, an educational non-profit that works in partnership with classroom teachers and Harvard’s Department of Philosophy, to learn how to create argument maps.Argument mapping provides us with a type of “x-ray vision” that exposes arguments’ hidden structures and, according to a growing body of research, improves critical thinking skills, increases standardized test scores, and helps people get into college and to secure desired jobs. Once you learn to “see” arguments this way, you become much more facile at building sound arguments – and at identifying holes in others’ arguments.

Big Picture Astronomy

Teacher: Liskowsky, Joe
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

This course in astronomy engages students with a big picture view of the universe; topics for discussion include the origin of the universe, the formation of the solar system, stellar evolution, the emergence of life on Earth (and possibly elsewhere), and the historical development of science. Technical skills will be stressed through labs, and assignments in class will give students opportunities to understand the material from a deep level while giving them a chance to apply skills learned in their math courses. Additionally, students will use technical computing to solve numerical problems and express their findings in written reports, developing their scientific communication skills.

Fiction into Film

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

How can analyzing the film adaptation of a novel allow us to better understand what it is that literature does, and vice versa? Identifying elements of narrative form and discussing how they function in the two media, this course explores the complex interaction between literature and film. With a focus on literary analysis and analytical writing, the course may include the following texts and their adaptations: “Orchid Fever” by Susan Orlean, the short stories of Raymond Carver, Push by Sapphire, “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Body” by Stephen King; The Color Purple by Alice Walker; “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx, Atonement by Ian McEwan, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber; “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie

Four Short Week/Four Short Stories

Teacher: Brodie, Clara
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

In this course, you will have one goal: to write four new short stories. Each week, we’ll explore a different short story form or theme to inspire our work including stories by authors such as Aimee Bender, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, and Karen Russell. At the end of each week, you’ll submit a new short story draft for impressions and feedback from your fellow writers.

Introduction to Geometry

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 10
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

Prerequisite: Prealgebra or Algebra I

Description: This course will explore some of the essential theorems and deductive logic of Euclidean geometry. We will begin with points, lines, and planes and move into properties of triangles, including a short introduction to right triangle trigonometry. This course is ideal for students entering a Geometry course in the fall or for students who have a background in PreAlgebra or beyond.

Introduction to Geometry B

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 10
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Prerequisite: Prealgebra or Algebra I

Description: This course will explore some of the essential theorems and deductive logic of Euclidean geometry. We will begin with points, lines, and planes and move into properties of triangles, including a short introduction to right triangle trigonometry. This course is ideal for students entering a Geometry course in the fall or for students who have a background in PreAlgebra or beyond.

Politics and Ethics in a Red State/Blue State America

Teacher: Gallagher, Alex
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

As we approach the 2020 election in November we will examine long-standing political philosophies, their influence over ethical decision-making, and the challenges that our current leaders face given the hyper-intense partisanship that currently divides our nation. This course will ask students to engage in a daily examination of their own philosophies while also studying how the United States has lost sight of that which ties us together by only focusing on that which divides us.

Quadratics

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 8 – 9
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

This course will provide an in-depth look at one of the most essential functions – quadratics. We will look at how to FOIL, how to factor, and how quadratics can be categorized into three different types. Graphing, solving, and an introduction to transformations with quadratics will round out this course. This course is ideal for three groups of students: 1)the advanced PreAlgebra student who is looking for a challenge, 2) any student who is looking to supplement their Algebra 1 background, 3) any student entering Geometry who would like to review this essential skillset. Note: 7th graders eligible with permission from instructor.

Queer Literature

Teacher: Sokoll, Talya
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Voices of Queer people, especially of those who come from multiple oppressed identities have often been silenced due to systemic homophobia, transphobia and racism. Despite this the LGBTQIAP+ has shown an amazing resiliency that is present in the rich canon of LGBTQIAP+ literature. Readings will cover both historical and contemporary writing by, about and for Queer people. We will read a variety of texts including poetry, essays, short stories and a novel. Content will be tailored to the grade level. The discussion of the literature will be contextualized with reading about, discussing and researching Queer history in the US.

Scratch to Python: Start Programming!

Teacher: Scott-Hiser, Alycia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Young people around the world learn about computer programming through Scratch, a block-based coding platform developed by the MIT Media Lab in 2007. It is currently used in 150 countries and available in over 40 languages. The visual blocks are put together like puzzle pieces, making it easy to learn, while introducing basic programming concepts like variables, loops, and conditionals. Scratch is a fun and easy to use way for students to create interactive stories, games, and animations with minimal instruction. As a first programming language, Scratch is a springboard for the 21st-century skills of computational thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

In this class, we will start with Scratch (no experience necessary), and then apply what we learn to Python. This general purpose, high-level programming language will introduce students to simple syntax, interpreting error messages, and the importance of debugging. Emphasizing code readability, Python is often the next step in a student’s entry into the world of computer science.

Four Short Weeks/Four Short Stories

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

In this course, you will have one goal: to write four new short stories. Each week, we’ll explore a different short story form or theme to inspire our work including stories by authors such as Aimee Bender, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, and Karen Russell. At the end of each week, you’ll submit a new short story draft for impressions and feedback from your fellow writers.

Summer Reading Intensive

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Do you actually love reading? Are you looking for a group of like-minded readers? Do you want to read some new fiction or branch out into new genres this summer? In this course, we’ll dive into four books–one each week–that cover a range of genres, styles, and themes. Students will be expected to read a lot (200+ pages per week) as well as engage in some short analytical, personal and creative responses to the reading. Our reading list may include the following: The Dutch House by Anne Patchett, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, and Counting Descent by Clint Smith.

The Supreme Court and Modern American Society

Teacher: Hallac, Joanna
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

This course serves as an elective to examine the vital role that the Supreme Court has played over the past 60 years, specifically in regards to civil rights, privacy rights, equality, citizenship, and religious freedom, and where they intersect with our changing politics. In its role as the final arbiter of what is and what is not constitutional, the Court has shaped our society just as much as any institution in our modern history. As such, students would examine landmark Supreme Court cases and look at how their ruling and interpretation of the law has evolved over time and what impact that has had upon American society. From Brown v. Board of Education (1954) to Roe v. Wade (1973) to Bush v. Gore (2000) to Lawrence v. Texas (2003) to Citizens United (2012), the Court has completely changed the nature of what it means to be an American. This course will ultimately seek to delve deeply into these cases and their impact on our lives and politics.

User Interface and Web Design/app design

Teacher: Shumway, Andrew
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Students will learn how to skillfully design and develop a meaningful website, as well as design and create a local app for their phone. In the first section of the course, students will begin by learning the proper structure and syntax for a website. They will build on these skills each day, culminating in all students producing a personalized website. The second half of the course will focus on app design by going through the process of revamping an existing app to make it more efficient and usable by its clients. To round out the class, students will then undertake developing their own app using all of the knowledge gained through their prior work. Each project will be focused on solving a real-world problem or something to benefit the greater good of the community both locally and globally.