Twelve FWCD faculty members and one FWCD parent gave up their Saturday on November 4 to engage students in the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) Academic Adventures program hosted on Fort Worth Country Day’s campus. Now in its seventh year at FWCD, these Academic Adventures courses draw students in grades 4-6 from the metroplex and beyond to engage in higher-level learning.
Christine Spikes, Lynnette Burleson, Jon Shipley, Debbie Schofield, Rachel Fineman, Sherri Reed, Dorrine DeChant, Lauren Cunningham, Chuck Kraus, Jonathan Hinton, Stephen Dickey ’89 and John Cordell, as well as Dr. Emily Murphey (mother of Malinda ’22 and Henry ’26) taught courses that build upon their own passions. This session brought to campus 105 students for the day. Most students came from North Texas, but some traveled from as far away as Oklahoma and Louisiana. FWCD hosts the only Duke TIP programming in the metroplex.
“These teachers work really hard to prep their courses, and Program Coordinators Aimee Jenkins, Alicia Schordine and I run ourselves ragged preparing for the day, but it all pays off when you see the light in a kid’s eye as he or she takes such joy in learning. I had a little extra fun this time bringing in my golden retriever, Caldonia, as a patient for the Veterinarian for a Day class,” said Brad Philipson, the program’s director.
Read below for the specific classes offered to students during the fall semester Academic Adventures workshop.
Design Squad, Christine Spikes and Lynnette Burleson
Do you like to create and build? Are you a good problem solver? Then this is the course for you. We will be trying to keep Barbie from hitting the ground, saving an astronaut from sure death, building strong structures to withstand natural disasters, and launching supplies to reach behind enemy lines. We will be working in small collaborative teams and gaining more insight into the engineering design process.
What a Tangled Web We Weave: Webpage Programming, Jon Shipley
Veterinarian for a Day, Dr. Emily Murphey, DVM, and Debbie Schofield
Join a practicing veterinarian (aided by a FWCD Middle School Science Teacher) as she walks you through the science and practice of veterinary medicine. This course will involve hands-on activity with live animals, including a large (but docile) dog, so pet and dander allergies cannot be accommodated.
Genetics, Rachel Fineman and Sherri Reed
After an introduction to basic genetics, students will discover if they have dominant or recessive genes for a few easy-to- identify human traits. The class will involve the introduction of more complex traits like blood type and an activity to identify different types of “blood.” The day will finish with students genetically engineering their own monsters.
App Smash Animation, Dorrine DeChant and Lauren Cunningham
This exciting class immerses students in animation awesomeness! Students will learn traditional animation styles, including flip books and zoetropes, and progress to using iPads to create several motion-art creations. A great aspect of the class will be using the technique of “app-smashing,” which utilizes multiple apps to create an object animation with a green screen background. Creativity is used from the beginning of storyboarding to the end credits.
You Can Be in a Drumline, Chuck Kraus and Jonathan Hinton
No level of musical background is needed for this class. In fact, the less students know, the better! By the end of the session, students will be able to perform two, possibly three full drumline cadences (songs). Students will have a chance to play snare drum, bass drum, quad toms, cymbals and possibly mallets.
Electric Boogaloo, Stephen Dickey ’89 and John Cordell
Flashing lights. Loud buzzers. Hot solder. It's circuit time! Come design and construct circuits while learning about diodes, capacitors and resistors.
About Duke TIP Academic Adventures
The Duke Talent Identification Program is a global leader in connecting academically gifted students and with opportunities to support their development. Students in grades 4-6 who are registered with Duke TIP attend the Academic Adventures programs. Students must score in the 95th percentile or higher on a grade-level standardized achievement test, aptitude test, mental ability test, approved state criterion-referenced test, or at 125 or above on an IQ test to be accepted into the program and to be eligible to attend the Academic Adventures course.
About Duke Tip at FWCD
Duke TIP Academic Adventures programs are hosted on FWCD’s campus on one Saturday in the fall and one Saturday in the spring. The School’s first offering was in fall 2011 with six courses attracting 92 students. Class sizes are capped at 17 students maximum to allow for personal interaction between students and faculty. FWCD has the distinction of being the only North Texas site for the Duke TIP program. The spring Academic Adventures program will take place April 22.
Because Duke TIP programming draws talented students to the FWCD campus who might not otherwise encounter the School, it has become a wonderful program to not only enrich FWCD participants and inspire its teachers, but also to introduce the School to students who might consider applying here.
In addition to Academic Adventures, FWCD is the only non-university host site for a Duke TIP Scholar Weekend. Duke TIP Jim Aldridge Scholar Weekend at Fort Worth Country Day consists of two full days of intensive academic study where students in grades 8-11 choose a topic not typically covered in school. These courses foster greater curiosity and exposure to higher level concepts across the spectrum of math, science, humanities and technology, and offers hands-on learning experiences with similarly motivated peers. The Spring Duke TIP Jim Aldridge Scholar Weekend Program will take place February 17, 2018.