WMU News

Summer institute offers unique learning experiences

July 6, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- From quoting Shakespeare to analyzing urine samples -- that's what 100 Michigan high school students will have the chance to do when they attend the Summer Institute for the Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University July 9 to 22.

The institute, sponsored by a grant from the Michigan State Board of Education and WMU, is an opportunity for talented high school sophomores and juniors from across the state to sample college life while exploring a range of interests more closely. WMU is one of six universities in Michigan chosen to host the institute this year. The other host universities include Eastern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Madonna University and Alma College.

"The students were selected based on how strong their interest was in the subject they applied for," says Dr. Allen Carey-Webb, institute director and associate professor of English. "The goal of the institute is to offer a really exciting opportunity for students to get turned on to learning."

Carey-Webb says this year's theme, "The Arts and Sciences: Millennial Adventures for the Mind," is focused on the factors that contribute to a changing society in a new millennium.

The institute combines nine intensive classes in which students will study one field in-depth for two weeks as well as exploratory sessions in which students will learn about a wide variety of topics.

Among the intensive classes planned are the following.

Everybody's Got a Story to Tell--Dr. Ruth Heinig, WMU professor emerita of communication, and Robin Nott, an instructor at Gull Lake High School, will lead an intensive class in which students will explore various story types and formats in order to learn how to relate original stories and captivate an audience in character.

Acting Shakespeare--James Daniels, director of performance in WMU's Department of Theatre, will emphasize voice, movement and physical actions for aspiring actors. Students will draw on material from the bard's great plays, monologues and sonnets, while exploring the need for personalization in their acting.

Audio Engineering--John Campos, recording engineer in the Department of Music's Western Sound Studio, will provide insight into the world of audio production. Consisting of in-class lecture and hands-on recording studio sessions, this intensive class will cover a wide range of topics, including sound propagation and perception, console operation, multi-track recording and mixing, and digital editing.

Chemical Energy: Harnessing Fire For Fun and Profit--Dr. Michael McCarville, professor of chemistry, will focus on the process of combustion and how to harness chemical reactions for maximum utility. Lab projects will include making fireworks, gunpowder and flying rockets.

The more than 30 exploratory sessions, which will be offered each afternoon from 1:30 to 3 p.m., will address such topics as human cloning, surviving in the woods, Latin dancing, free speech, gender differences, biology and astronomy. They include the following.

Cartoon and Comic Art Workshop--a two-day session, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19, the Design Center, Rooms 1202/1206 Sangren Hall. Paul Sizer, manager of the Design Center and a nationally published local comic artist, will introduce students to a wide range of comic art styles and techniques.

Instant Improv-- a two-day session, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 11 and 12; and Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19, in Room 2020 of Brown Hall. Taught by Paige Howard and Emily Konzen in the mold of television show, "Who's Line Is It, Anyway?," this class will test students on their improvisational skills and challenge their ability to think creatively.

Let's Build a Telescope: Monday, July 17, and Thursday, July 20, in Room 1413 of Wood Hall. Dr. Larry Oppliger, chairperson of WMU's Department of Science Studies, will teach students how to build their own telescopes to use and take home.

The Sky's the Limit!--Monday, July 10, and Thursdays, July 13 and 20, College of Aviation International Pilot Training Center. Students will tour the aviation college and experience what it's like to be a pilot in training.

Urine Isn't as Gross as you Think!--Thursdays, July 13 and 20, in Room 2025 of Haenicke Hall. Cathy Laurencig, an instructor at Portage Central High School, will teach students how to analyze their own urine samples to gain a better understanding of urinary system diseases and how to prevent them.

For more information or to arrange coverage of institute activities, contact Dr. Melissa Gibson, assistant professor of communication, at (616) 387-3155.

Media contact: Pauline Oo, 616 387-8400, pauline.oo@wmich.edu

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