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Clarkson University Challenges North Country High School Students with Special Courses This Winter

Clarkson University’s Project Challenge, a unique academic program for local high school students, returns this winter with a choice of ten five-week courses. The popular program is designed to offer area students an opportunity to participate in courses that are not commonly offered in their high-school curriculum.

Clarkson faculty and administrators teach the courses on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon for five weeks under the direction of The Clarkson School. This winter’s program begins on January 17.

This year’s six new courses include "Digital Creativity" with Julie Davis, who will provide an introduction to software and concepts relating to 2-D computer generated art and design.

"World Religions" with William Vitek will explore history, customs, and the effects religion has on societies around the world.

"Science, Literature, and Peace" with Stephen Casper will examine winners of the Nobel Prize and place their outstanding accomplishments into historical context.

"Introducing Probability" with Abbas Alhakim will introduce the concepts of probability through various practical applications such as card tricks and computer applications.

"Cryptography through the Ages" with Christino Tamon will look at the science of designing and breaking secret codes from Roman to modern times and focus on the use of computer programming in modern cryptography.

And "Know Your Surroundings" with Tiffany Basara will examine the biology, ecology, and environment of the Adirondack region through hands-on field work. The class will include outdoor winter identification of trees and interactive simulation of the learned concepts.

Familiar and popular staple courses have been updated and return as well.

Students can study the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment in "The First Amendment in American Democracy" with Christopher Robinson. This class will examine how these freedoms are affected by wars abroad and terrorist threats at home.

Students will also have the opportunity to express their creative side in "Creativity and Imagination" with poet Joseph Duemer. This course features guest visual artists and students will create their own journal/notebook.

"Do it Yourself Marketing" with Brenda Kozsan will provide strategies and methods for self-assessment and practical ways to achieve positive results when searching for jobs and applying to colleges.

And Dana Olzenak will provide hands-on instruction on diagnosing injuries and the study of anatomy and physical therapy in "Saturdays with Grey’s Anatomy."

Project Challenge courses will continue until February 14, with a possible snow date of February 21. The cost of the program is $140 but participating high schools sponsor all or part of the students’ tuition. Students from nonparticipating schools may also enroll, but will likely pay the expense out-of-pocket. Enrollment in all courses is now available, but space is limited.

Schools that have participated in the past include Alexandria Bay, Brasher Falls, Brushton-Moira, Canton, Chateaugay, Clifton-Fine, Colton-Pierrepont, Edwards-Knox, Gouverneur, Herman-Dekalb, Heuvelton, Indian River, Lisbon, Lyme, Malone, Massena, Morristown, Ogdensburg, Parishville-Hopkinton, Potsdam, Sackets Harbor, Salmon River, Saranac Lake, and Thousand Islands.

Interested students should first contact their guidance counselor to see if their school is participating. For more information, contact Rick Campbell or Annette Green at 315-268-4425 or at

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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