LCS RISE Institute

2018-2019 Course Descriptions

2018-2019 Course Descriptions

This page lists RISE courses that have limited enrollment and require an application process. For information about other RISE courses not listed here, please talk to the instructor for information about enrollment steps, or submit an inquiry through the contact form.


Middle School RISE Experimental Science

Are you up for a challenge? Middle School Experimental Science takes the lid off the achievement ceiling and invites hard-working students to do extraordinary learning following the International Science and Engineering Fair model. Students must have passionate curiosity, strong reading skills, drive, self-discipline, and task commitment. Student researchers will participate in a number of research competitions and have opportunities to present their work to a wide audience. Student researchers may also have unique opportunities to travel and connect with experts.

Designed for students in 6th through 8th grade, this course is an elective for students to learn the research process while growing their abilities in reading comprehension, data collection, analytical thinking, and structured documentation. In this class, students receive help in the planning and research of topics of interest, learning how to use applicable tools and techniques to study their system of study.

Students are accountable for making work products that are shown in competitions and public venues. These include, but are not limited to: lab meetings, proposal presentations, research talks at competitions, literary and research paper publications, science fair posters, and outreach communications to explain their work to others.

Students new to Experimental Science are expected to bring passion and capacity for sustained inquiry, high reading comprehension ability, and well-developed written and verbal communication skills. For students that are unsure of their commitment level to long-term research learning, the RISE Flex course should be considered, as it provides enrichment opportunities in research for students who require a lower level of engagement.

Lead Instructor: Mr. Matthew Croxton

Cohort size is limited and application is required.


RISE High School Experimental Science, Honors: Pre-AP Capstone

Experimental Science is an honors high school elective that is designed to allow students to produce original research, and is structured around the International Science and Engineering Fair model. This model, as RISE implements it, does not emphasize formal, direct corporate instruction, but places much more focus on independent inquiry through research and experimentation. Students interact with advanced sources of knowledge, exercise critical thought, and implement much of the planning and execution of their research plans themselves. Facilitators within RISE, and through university partnerships, assist students whose research interests and resource needs align with their own capacities.

Students receive accountability for generating their work products through scheduled public displays and presentation of their research. Such venues include, but are not limited to: lab meetings, proposal presentations, research talks at competitions, literary and research paper publications, science fair posters, and outreach communications to translate their work to a lay audience.

It is anticipated that this research course will serve as a bridge to two AP courses that are planned for implementation across the next two academic years. These courses, once approved, will provide students with formal recognition of their research activities, as well as building scholastic research skills in preparation for advanced college work and for research and communication at that level.

“AP Capstone™ is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.

AP Capstone is comprised of two AP courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the discipline-specific study in other AP courses.”

Lead Instructor: Mr. Matthew Croxton

Cohort size is limited and application is required.


RISE Flex: Middle School and High School

Middle School: Ungraded in 6th and 7th grade; select 8th graders have an opportunity to take the High School course

High School: Credit awarded based on performance level; Honors credit is available

RISE Flex is designed for curious students to undertake interesting, project-based work at school and beyond. Students will be assigned to a collaborating LCS faculty member across the campus for a flexible period. Students will have the freedom to study and complete school work as necessary, while working on meaningful, interest-based projects.

This program follows the Schoolwide Enrichment Model, which is often used with academically gifted and talented students. At LCS, we are interested both in high-end learning opportunities for academically talented students and also in developing the strengths and talents of all students. We call our approach “I Will” rather than simply “IQ”.

Working groups will be developed each semester depending on student interests pairing students with adult mentors and experts in areas that may include:

  • Youth in Government
  • The Congressional Awards (age 13.5+)
  • 3D printing and Assistive Technology
  • The Science of Fishing
  • Game Design
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Visual Media
  • Urban Farm
  • Event Planning
  • Technology Student Association

Middle School RISE Flex is ungraded. The purpose is to encourage risk taking and minimize anxiety for students for whom a GPA is not yet an issue. High School RISE Flex is graded with an opportunity to earn honors credit based on meeting a high level of creative production.

Lead Instructor: Mrs. Jennifer Canady

Application is required.


High School Visual Communication, Honors

Visual Communication is an honors high school elective that emphasizes project-based visual production using digital photography as a vehicle for media output in print and on screen. Students learn how to apply design principles for communication, while negotiating some of the real-world ethical and economic considerations facilitated by contemporary digital practice. This course is designed to help students build confidence in using the camera as a tool, not just an output device. As students grow their capacity and comfort level, they also discover some of the practical applications and limitations of the medium, as well as learning how to produce work with excellence in both technical and expressive qualities. A major emphasis during the course is the development of color insight and adjustment capabilities.

This course features direct and supportive instruction throughout, but is centered on producing work for critiques—graded, formal review sessions that enable thoughtful reflection and helpful communication between peers and by the instructor. Students are expected to show their work and have it judged in public venues, as well as using their skills to serve, instruct, and enrich the broader LCS community.

Lead Instructor: Mr. Matthew Croxton

Cohort size is limited and application is required.


Middle School Robotics (MSR)

Middle School Robotics will challenge students to think creatively as well as develop problem solving skills. The course will provide a structured approach to programming, building, and mechanical design. Documentation of the engineering design process is paramount in robotics, which is why MSR will teach students to properly document/keep track of their individual and team progress.

It is expected of students to be open and willing to work together in a team setting in order to complete a goal.

The FIRST curriculum is structured to promote the iterative design process and will allow students to design, build, program, and test their robotic designs. This curriculum is built around the FIRST Tech Challenge game. Students will learn the necessary skills in order to compete in the FTC competition. While all students will have a chance to participate, those who exhibit excellent problem solving and teamwork skills may be invited to join the competitive robotics team, which is an after school activity.

The course will be structured in a way to utilize the engineering design process. This will be assessed by Weekly Engineering Notebook Entries, weekly self & peer evaluations, Design Presentations, and occasional quizzes. Middle School Robotics is a semester course that can be paired with RISE Flex to offer a year focused on robotics.

Lead Instructor: Mr. Paul Teleweck

Cohort size is limited and application is required.