VAMPY Courses

Innovate Kentucky seeks to engage high-ability middle grades, high school and college students through existing and new WKU programs. This will be accomplished through the Pathways to Innovation, which encompasses three new seminars offered through the Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth (VAMPY) – Sustainability, STEAM Labs and Problems You Have Never Solved Before. Below are class descriptions, photos, and podcasts from the three courses at VAMPY 2013.

Instructors: David Baxter and Jennifer Sheffield

Sustainability is much more complex than simply adding the buzzword “green” in front of our lifestyle choices. As the population of our planet tops seven billion people, we must consider the social, economic, and environmental implications of our everyday decisions and the effects they have at personal, local, and global levels. Explore how the interplay between patterns of human consumption, natural resource management, economic systems, and cultural norms are shaping our world. Students will increase their awareness of sustainability issues through readings, discussions, documentaries, site visits, and student presentations and projects.

Listen to the Sustainability podcast.

Instructor: Dr. Nielsen Pereira

People around the world now design and build Rube Goldberg®-style machines to satisfy society’s fascination with the creative contraptions. Apply the engineering design process to construct STEAM Machines™ (chain reaction machines that run on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math concepts) using everyday objects and technology such as motors, sensors, and micro-controllers. You will learn real-world engineering skills, gain experience with systems thinking and multi-team collaboration, and start exploring pathways to better understand careers in engineering.

Listen to the STEAM Labs podcast.

Problems You Have Never Solved Before
Instructors: Catherine Poteet and Amar Patel

Have you ever had to build a boat out of concrete? Mail a potato chip? Find a way to clean polluted water? Drop an egg with only a few sheets of paper to safely catch it as it hits the ground? This class is designed to stretch your problem-solving and creative thinking skills. You will be required to solve unique, real-world related problems, and then communicate your processes and findings.

Listen to the Problem Solving podcast.