Summer school makes a comeback at SAS

What do “Artificial Intelligence for Games” by DigiPen, “Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation” by Columbia University, and “Political Science” by Stanford University all have in common?

Each one is an intensive summer course that you can take right here on the SAS campus.

Students can choose from normal courses like Applied Sciences, or less-conventional options such as Video Game Programming. (Photo contributed by SAS Communications.)
Students can choose from normal courses like Applied Sciences or less-conventional options such as Video Game Programming. (Photo contributed by SAS Communications.)

For two weeks in June or early July, students will have the chance to explore an academic area of interest. This could range from subjects that are offered during the school year, like geometry, to ones that are not normally available, such as Pre-Engineering. Most will be taught by high school teachers at SAS who have expressed interest.

SAS will also offer a selection of courses in partnership with select US universities. These are pre-college (i.e. high school level) courses, but they will be taught by professors from their respective universities.

According to program director Dan Skimin, Summer Semester has a unique advantage over normal semester classes. “The way we’re structuring the courses is that you’re going to take one course all day long [for two weeks] and you have the time to focus on that subject matter,” Skimin explained.

“What energizes us…is what it’s going to look like when a student only takes Applied Sciences all day long. They’re experimenting and driving their own learning, investigating things that they’re passionate about,” Skimin said.

Better yet, coursework won’t always be limited to the classroom. “All of the courses will start the day here at SAS, but some of them will venture out for educational experiences around Singapore,” Skimin said, clarifying that “teachers will have the flexibility to move around as they choose.”

High School Performing Arts Group Mireles_SAS-3669
Youth Performance Company will be open for students grade 6-12. (Photo contributed by SAS Communications.)

One of the most interesting courses available is the Youth Performance Company, which is actually open to students in grades 6-12. It will be co-taught by SAS teachers Thomas Schulz and Tracy van der Linden, as well as a special guest instructor: Michael Corbidge from the Royal Shakespeare Company in London.

Youth Performance Company will be “student devised and driven,” Schulz said. He’s most looking forward to what middle schoolers and high schoolers can bring to the table.

“Who knows, maybe we will have some inspired filmmakers in the the ensemble and that will become an integral part of the show? Jugglers? Stand up comedy?” Schulz speculated. “Anything goes!”

This is not the first time that SAS has organized a summer program. Previously, the Summer School Program was run by high school teacher Martha Began, and it catered primarily to K-8 students.

The old summer camps were discontinued for a few years due to the construction projects going on in SAS. As Skimin put it, “Huge building equipment and little kids don’t mix.”

But in September 2014, the school decided to recreate the program under a different name and direction. Like any new project, it comes with challenges, and the “biggest challenge,” Skimin noted, is “getting word out there” about this new opportunity.

It’s a dynamic process, and as more students enroll and participate in the program, Skimin and the other organizers will be making changes based on this feedback. In fact, he said, “we’re already envisioning how it’s going to evolve for 2016.”

There was one more question that I just had to ask: If Mr. Skimin was a student, what Summer Semester course would he want to take?

“Geometry” was his enthusiastic response. He’s a math teacher, after all.


Here’s the scoop on what high school course options will be available at SAS:

Summer Semester at SAS

For more details about registration, visit http://www.sas.edu.sg/page.cfm?p=2179

Author: Sheyna Cruz

Sheyna Cruz is a senior and Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Eye. This is her second year on staff and her third at SAS. She loves Model UN, murder mysteries, mangoes, milk tea and other things that don’t necessarily start with M. She can be contacted at cruz45489@sas.edu.sg.

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