LCS RISE Institute

2019-20 Course Descriptions

2019-20 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.


Experimental Science (High School)

Experimental Science (Middle School)

Are you curious about how to make chocolate without caffeine? Want to engineer your own air scrubber, or discover how butterflies communicate? Middle School and High School Experimental Science sections beckon students to extraordinary learning opportunities following the International Science and Engineering Fair model, along with RISE’s own approach to enrichment. Students exercise passionate curiosity, strong reading skills, initiative, and task commitment to ask interesting questions about the natural world. By participating in a number of research competitions, they have opportunities to present their work to a wide audience. Student researchers may also have unique opportunities to travel, camp, and connect with experts.

Begun as early as the second semester of 6th, and available through 12th grade, this course is an elective for students to learn the research process while growing their skills in observation, comprehension, data collection, analytical thinking, and creative communication. In this class, students receive help in the planning and research of topics of interest, learning how to use specialized tools and techniques along the way.

Lead Instructor: Mr. Matthew Croxton

Cohort size is limited and application is required.


Urban Farm/Plant Science, Honors (High School)

Urban Farm/Plant Science (Middle School)

Do you love to make things grow? Have you always wanted to learn more about gardening? LCS runs an Urban Farm at Mass Market, located on the corner of Plum Street and Massachusetts Ave. in downtown Lakeland. The class will focus on plant science, but will also include elements of entrepreneurship and event planning.

In the course, students will dig in both at school and at the Urban Farm.

Adventures may include:

  • Investigating interesting and delicious plants from around the world,

  • Growing heirloom vegetables from seed,

  • Carefully observing and recording growth using scientific tools and processes;

  • Sharing what we learn with others;

  • Using and maintaining hydroponic grow systems at school and at the Urban Farm,

  • Hosting field trips, farm dinners, chef tasting events, and special events for the community,

  • Developing opportunities to use Urban Farm produce at school,

  • Collaborating with community groups that serve local residents,

  • Selling produce to make the Farm sustainable and distributing it through community organizations to benefit those in need.

Lead Instructor: Mrs. Jennifer Canady

Cohort size is limited and application is required.


AP Capstone

AP Seminar—Year course

This science and research-focused course emphasizes critical thinking and the development of scholarly skills useful in academic settings. By investigating real-world science topics and synthesizing information from quality sources, students develop individualized research programs for experimental inquiry. Along with producing written essays, individual and team presentations help prepare students to communicate their research findings in science competitions supported by the RISE Institute. An end-of-course exam tests the argument analysis abilities and evidence-based reasoning skills of Seminar students.

Lead Instructor: Mr. Matthew Croxton

Cohort size is limited; application and interview are required.


Programming, Honors

This high school course is designed for advanced students who want to dig into computer science. It is both engaging and highly structured,  intended for students with significant capacity and drive to learn programming, the language of computers. Students will write apps in Android Studio and more.

Lead Instructor: Mrs. Elizabeth Nuthalapaty


Entrepreneurship/Service Learning, Honors

Want to learn more about what it means to be a servant leader as you find and solve problems using principles of entrepreneurship?

In this course, you’ll work alongside mentors as you identify opportunity, plan a marketing strategy, manage inventory and payments, gather volunteers, and implement events. The fall semester focuses on the RISE Poinsettia Sale, one of the largest student-initiated events of its kind. The spring semester focuses on Slingshot, an entrepreneurship competition.

Co-instructors: Mrs. Jennifer Canady & Mrs. Elizabeth Holcomb

Cohort size is limited and 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.

Co-instructors: Mr. Matthew Croxton & Mrs. Kelly Green

Cohort size is limited and application is required.


Middle School Robotics

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 coding to provide a year-long robotics emphasis.

Lead Instructor: Mrs. Elizabeth Holcomb

Cohort size is limited and application is required.