PacificQuest 2011

PacificQuest is an exciting opportunity for gifted students to explore college-level courses and receive one hour of college credit for their work. It is a one-week residential summer experience where thirty students from grades 7, 8, or 9, will live on-campus while enrolled in the program.

Program Materials

Course Descriptions

CORE CLASS All PacificQuest students will take the following class

Biology: Exotic Animals

Anyone can have a dog or a cat as a pet, but what about a tarantula, a savannah monitor or hissing cockroaches? Learn about some of the other kinds of pets people can own and learn a little biology in the process. You will have the chance to handle and feed a variety of animals, from rats and geckos to snakes and turtles. We will also learn about the habits of these creatures and what it takes to care for them.

ELECTIVE CLASSES Choose one of the following classes:

Business As Usual: An Exploration of Business and Economics Through Time

Our world has been shaped by many factors. In this course, we will explore how business and economics have played a part in innovation, discovery and technology. We will participate in colonization, high finance, accounting and commodities trading through the use of common games such as Settlers of Catan, Monopoly and Pit. We will research the value that common, everyday items used to have and learn that some things were actually more valuable than gold.

Creative Writing: Letters to the World
"This is my letter to the world / That never wrote to me . . ."

So begins one particular poem by that elusive poet, Emily Dickinson. Let's be honest—sometimes the universe just doesn't write back. Nevertheless, this class asks you to articulate what you have to say in your own "letters," whether you're writing the song of yourself and your spectacular individuality or imagining a future that no one else has thought of yet. What particular features make you, you? How can you recreate a significant place (a salty, windswept beach; the powder-scented comfort of your Grandma's bedroom; or maybe even the slightly musty and crumb-caked back of your mom's mini-van) on the page in a way that invites the reader in? How does your transcript of what your cat is actually saying to you when it gives you that particular look shift when you explore it in free verse or move to the purposeful organization of the haiku or sestina?

Though this is primarily a writing class, we'll use short written works to jump-start our own imaginations. You will have the chance to discuss, perform, and publish your poems, short stories, and creative nonfiction as we shape our creative classroom community.