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Clarkson University Offers Unique Courses for North Country High School Students This Winter

Clarkson University's Project Challenge, a unique academic program for North Country high-school students, returns this winter with a choice of five-week courses.

Bertrand H. Snell HallThe popular program is designed to offer regional students in grades nine through 12 an opportunity to participate in classes 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 Jan. 14.

This year the program offers three new courses and one new titled course:

New Title: First Amendment in the Age of Trump -- Instructor: Associate Professor of Political Science Christopher Robinson

Students will read a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases and through discussion and mock trials consider the relation of the liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment to the quality of democracy we know in America today. The course will focus on cases on freedom of speech, religious freedom, and freedom of the press. Of particular concern is the effect of the war and national security on these freedoms. Students will read actual court cases and engage in a series of debates and mock trials that concern First Amendment questions.
New Course: Great Ideas in Computer Science -- Instructor: Associate Professor of Computer Science Christino Tamon

This course will describe some fun(damental) ideas from computer science. Most of these ideas can be phrased as simple puzzles, explained using basic mathematics, and demonstrated using friendly computer programs. Some possible topics related to these ideas include how to transmit secret messages, how to find patterns in data, how to play games on graphs, how to compress files, and others. No background in computer science is assumed, but some mathematical curiosity will be useful.
New Course: Startup Saturdays! Start a Business in Just Four Weeks! -- Instructors: Assistant Director of the Reh Center for Entrepreneurship Ashley Sweeney and The Robot Zone CEO Amanda Clapper '15

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? What about being the CEO or president of a company? This fast-paced workshop will take you from idea generation, to designing, to rapid prototyping and finally to a pitch day in just four Saturdays. During these workshops you will be exposed to leadership principles, team building, ethical decision making, financial statements and marketing principles to ensure a stable business idea. Come join us to experience the feeling of being your own boss.

New Course: Tasty Computing with Raspberry Pis -- Instructors: Assistant Professor of Computer Science Yaoqing Liu and Associate Professor of Computer Science Jeanna Matthews

Computing is changing nearly every aspect of our society. Learning to write the software and use the devices that are changing our world are both preparation for many of the best careers available anywhere and essential preparation for being a citizen of the modern world. This course will provide a taste of many computing topics including programming in Python, interactive algorithms and computer networking. We will use small, low-cost Raspberry Pi devices for many of the hands-on exercises. In partnership with Google's IgniteCS program, this class will include side-by-side mentoring from Clarkson students with expertise in computer science as well as online hangouts with Google staff. We will also discuss careers in computing and the ways in which citizens with knowledge of computing can make a difference in the world.
Engineering for Life -- Instructor: Jessica Halfacre '14

Ever wanted to design and build your own rocket, tractor, roller coaster, automobile or robotic arm? In this class you will learn how engineers are able to design the devices we see everywhere around us. You will even have the opportunity to design and build your own "Rec-Rube-y."  What is that, you may ask? You will have to register to see!
Real Medicine -- Instructors: Clinical Assistant Professors of Physician Assistant Studies Dawn White and Katharine Matthis

Big surprise!  Most of the medical information you see on TV is not accurate. Join the faculty of Clarkson’s Physician Assistant (PA) program to learn about medicine in the real world. You will explore careers in healthcare. Have you ever wondered how to take someone’s pulse and heart rate?  What do doctors look for when they look in your ears and eyes? Through the use of a stethoscope, you will be able to listen to the heart and lungs. How well do you breathe? You will learn how to measure this and look at x-rays to see what pneumonia and other conditions look like. What is a CAT scan or an MRI? Have you ever broken a bone? We’ll visualize X-rays of fractures and then do some splinting of the arms and legs. You will learn how to put stitches in and find out what happens when someone has a heart attack or stroke.
Strength and Conditioning -- It’s a Science, Not an Art -- Instructors: Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Ali Boolani and Clarkson Students

Have you ever wondered what goes into designing strength and conditioning program? Ever wanted to learn the science behind designing strength and conditioning program? This class will explore the physiology of exercise and how science can be used to design strength and conditioning programs that can help improve performance and reduce risks for injuries. Participants will be involved in a variety of activities to enhance learning through: laboratory and field evaluations and exercise techniques, brain teasers and memory tests, balance activities, strength training activities and role play. Students will learn the role of cardiovascular, muscular strength, flexibility, body composition and muscular endurance in strength and conditioning. Participants will interact with current students in our exercise physiology lab while learning laboratory and field testing. Each session consists of active participation and "hands-on" activities and exercises for the focused area. Note: Students will be performing exercises related to each body region and must come prepared with proper clothing and sneakers.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students -- Instructor: Associate Head of the Clarkson School Brenda Kozsan (a certified Franklin Covey facilitator)

Based on the famous book by Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we will explore the seven characteristics that happy and successful teens the world over have in common. For teens, life is not a playground, it's a jungle. How will you deal with peer pressure? Motivation? Success or lack thereof? The life of a teenager is full of tough issues and life-changing decisions. This class will provide students with a step-by-step framework through exercises, team activities, and role playing for boosting self-image, building friendships, resisting peer pressure, achieving goals, improving communication and relationships with parents, and success in high school, college and in life.

Project Challenge courses will begin on Saturday, Jan. 14, and continue through the next four Saturdays until Feb. 11, with a possible snow date of Feb. 18.

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. Participating high schools may sponsor all or part of the students' tuition.

If the school is not participating, the out-of-pocket expense for the program is $140 per student. Enrollment in all courses is now available, but space is limited.

The registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 6.

For more information, go to , contact Brenda Kozsan or Annette Green at 315-268-4425, or email .

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, 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 innovation with enterprise.

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

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