Course Options

Our build-your-own-experience format allows students to choose a focused experience (all courses in one discipline), a multi-disciplined experience, or an experience somewhere in between.

YOU get to decide what your week at IDEAS 2016 will be.

You'll be able to choose which four courses/service opportunities you would like to be involved in during the week. If you want to spend the week digging strictly into mathematics, statistics, and computer science, you can do that. Maybe the sciences (agriculture, chemistry, and engineering) are what you want to concentrate on. Or, you're free to design a week where you take classes from multiple disciplines (agriculture and STEM, arts and media, or social science and humanities). It's all up to you.

A limited number of full-registration scholarships will be available.  

Agriculture / STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) Courses

Introduction to data science / risk management
Nathan Tintle, statistics
If you are interested in this course, you might qualify for a math/stats scholarship.

The rapidly growing field of data science is about how to leverage massive amounts of data (big data) to make predictions and draw conclusions (predictive analytics). We'€™ll explore some of the main strategies used to draw conclusions from data and look at a number of case studies from a diverse set of disciplines. A hands-on data science project will be part of this course. The behavior of the stock market and financial markets is uncertain, and how we manage risk'€”whether through investments in the stock market or other financial strategies'€”can be complex. We'€™ll look at some standard strategies for financial risk management and the mathematical and probabilistic principles behind these strategies. A stock market simulation game will be part of this course.

Introduction to nursing
Deb Bomgaars, nursing
What does it mean to be a registered nurse? You will learn what the profession of nursing really involves! We will discuss different roles and education of nurses. We will have fun practicing skills like assessments, vital signs, and shots. You will also work in a group to care for a '€œpatient.'€ Nursing is a good option for anyone who likes caring for others.

Making computer games
Nick Breems, computer science
If you are interested in this course, you might qualify for a computer science scholarship.

Stop playing computer games and start designing your own instead! You'€™ll learn about basic programming techniques that can be used to create a simple computer game. Then you'€™ll design, implement, and test a game of your own.

The mathematics of games
Tom Clark, Mike Janssen, Valorie Zonnefeld, mathematics
If you are interested in this course, you might qualify for a math/stats scholarship.

Is it possible to apply sound reasoning and logic to a game where players can deceive? Can probability, statistics, and modeling help you win Settlers of Catan? Why isn'€™t Tic-Tac-Toe fun, but Connect Four is? Mathematics is useful not only for launching rockets but also for winning games. Come see how!

Using engineering to model the mechanical performance of the human body
Kayt Frisch, engineering
What affects our ability to jump? Understanding the forces that act on the human body and its position in space is crucial for designing sports equipment and effectively treating injuries. We will use motion capture and force plates to explore the forces and motions of the human body during daily motions like jumping and walking.

Arts / Media Courses

Edit film like the masters
Mark Volkers, digital media production
Film editing is the '€œhidden art,'€ yet it'€™s one of the most critical stages in filmmaking. Orson Welles said, '€œFor my vision of the cinema, editing is not simply one aspect. It is the aspect.'€ You'€™ll get started on the path of film editing using the same hardware and software used by editors of almost every major Hollywood film and TV show today. You'€™ll also spend time thinking about what makes excellent editing versus adequate editing.

Improvisation for everyone
Teresa Ter Haar, theatre arts
Not just for actors, improvisation lets anyone practice flexibility, quick thinking, and expression. Plus, it'€™s fun! This hands-on workshop will teach principles of improvisation through the use of improv games and activities. 

Introduction to film music
John MacInnis, music
Students will watch and dissect exceptional examples of film music in genres stretching from the beginning of film'€”in the 1800s'€”through present-day blockbusters, such as Jurassic World and Interstellar. Students will walk away with tools for perceiving and describing the many different narrative contributions of music to film. 

Introduction to music therapy
John MacInnis, music
Students will learn a basic history of music therapy, procedures employed by music therapists in the United States, populations served increasingly by music therapists (e.g., kids with ADHD, soldiers suffering from PTSD, seniors with Alzheimer'€™s, etc.), as well as new and exciting developments in this growing discipline. 

Stage combat
Josiah Wallace, theatre arts
Learn safe and effective techniques for creating the illusion of violence for theatre and film. This is a highly physical workshop covering basic falls, tumbling, hand-to-hand combat, and single sword fighting skills.

Worship band
The New City and Jon De Groot, campus ministries
This class will be an introduction to the makings of a worship band. We will explore this through three lenses: leadership, theology, and music. The students will spend time practicing with The New City (Dordt College'€™s summer traveling worship team) and learn how team dynamics and personalities can play into serving people in musical worship. The class will culminate with the students leading a portion of IDEAS closing worship time. 

Social Science / Humanities Courses

Argumentation, persuasion, and debate
Donald Roth, political science
Do you like to argue with your friends, parents, or teachers? This course will develop your ability to reason and communicate on your feet through an introduction to parliamentary debate. Students will learn some fundamentals of this style of competitive debate, discuss basics of reasoning and persuasive argumentation, and participate in exciting rounds of friendly competition.

Conversational Spanish: it'€™s all fun and games
Mary Beth Pollema, education
Do you want a chance to practice speaking Spanish in fun and interactive ways? We will use a variety of games, hands-on experiences, and digital technology to build on the vocabulary we already know and apply our knowledge in authentic conversation. Basic (Spanish 1) proficiency as a minimum is desirable, but all proficiency levels are welcome.

Mind your own brain!
Bruce Vermeer, psychology
How are the mind and brain related to one another? How does each work? This course will help answer these, and other, questions about the incredible world of neuroscience'€”a very special part of God'€™s creation!

Simulating history
Scott Culpepper, history
You will be taken back in time through several historical simulations or games that transform you into historical figures facing the challenges of their times. Destinations include Ancient Greece, a medieval village during the Black Death, and the American Revolution. Come join us for an exciting journey through the past that will help us appreciate how the lessons of the past can help us with the problems of today.

Speechifying: a public speaking boot camp
Bruce Kuiper, communication
A workshop designed to help you gain and develop public speaking skills. Components include impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, and argument. A connecting theme throughout the workshop will be designing speeches for competitive speaking events.

The other shoe: glimpses into cultures around the world
Bruce Kuiper, communication
You will explore the customs, traditions, languages, and artifacts from various countries. We'll pay special attention to 10 of these cultures, but we'll also learn some key skills to develop when dealing with any culture. At the core of our time together, we'll explore ways in which we can move from "stranger" to "friend."