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Sophomore Enrichment

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Program: Sophomore Enrichment

The Sophomore Enrichment Program at the Baruch Leadership Academy introduces rising 10th graders to the college experience. This enhanced curriculum at the Academy introduces students to variety of advanced subject matter. The broad program content ranges from Financial Markets to Social Justice and Philosophical studies in order for students to discover their passions in addition to mastering the college admissions process. Not only do the students receive a well-rounded academic program, but they also experience New York City with trips to exciting locations that bring the fun to summer.

The Sophomore Enrichment Program at the Baruch Leadership Academy strives to give students a comprehensive overview of college level coursework and the college admissions process:

  • Intensive learning of college topics through panels, lectures, and workshops
  • Introducing students to the qualifications necessary for successful admissions to college
  • Exploration and investigation of various topics and pre-professional careers
  • Critical college admissions preparation including admissions essay writing workshop
  • Learning about themselves within the college process and how they would fit into the different types of colleges

A Selection of Sophomore Enrichment Topics Covered:

McLecture - Unwrapping the Happy Meal

This anthropology lecture encourages students to question what the McDonalds Happy Meal reveals about American culture. By "making the unconscious conscious" & "the familiar strange," we are able to analyze and discuss cultural norms and values associated with the demographic that purchases and enjoys a Happy Meal.

When is $20 not $20? An Introduction to Behavioral Economics

This course introduces students to the field of Behavioral Economics, at the crossroads of Psychology and Economics, which provides a framework to understand how human behavior impacts economic decisions. Students are introduced to the rational choice model of economics, before participating in a simulation where in groups, students receive $20 and must make several choices on what to purchase; throughout the simulation, several environmental and economic factors change, leading students to modify their choices. The course concludes with a student-led discussion and an analysis of the factors that influenced students’ decisions.

Grand Unified Theories, Quantum Gravity and String Theory

In this presentation by a Professor of Physics at Baruch, we trace the historical development of several key theories in the field of physics which help humans understand how the universe works. After an overview of the four fundamental forces of nature, we move on to discuss the development of Grand Unified Theories, stressing the contributions of thinkers and physicists such as Einstein, Newton, and Galileo.  Students learn about the emergence of Quantum Gravity and String Theory as the most significant attempts by physics to describe our universe. We conclude by highlighting several career paths that college physics majors can be extremely successful in: medicine, finance, the arts, and academia, to name a few.

Indigenous History and the Impact of Settler Colonialism

This class introduces students to Native American history through an indigenous lens. Students become critical readers of Native American history and artifacts. They learn about the various methods that the European colonialists and the American government us to perpetrate the genocide of an estimated 130 million natives during westward expansion through weaponized disease, forced removal, desecration of food supplies, and more.

Not Those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo of Sixteenth-Century Italy

The original Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, four giants of sixteenth-century Italy, defined the High Renaissance with their great art, talent, and invention. Life in sixteenth-century Italy will be re-imagined, and each artist’s contributions to the flourishing of the arts and culture of this time will be introduced.

The Psychology of Stress Management

Taught by a licensed clinical psychologist, this lecture offers variety of perspectives on the nature, cause, and manifestation of stress. It provides a basic understanding of how neural and endocrine systems are affected by stress and how these effects lead to stress-related disorders. This lecture provides an opportunity to practice relaxation such as progressive relaxation used in negating the effects of harmful stress complements.

Paranoid Androids: Radiohead, Analysis, and Distribution Models in the Digital Era

In this presentation, we trace the history of the band Radiohead, discussing its response to opportunities offered by digital distribution methods, positioning it in a changing music industry, and providing a model of how we can do analysis on popular music.

The Birth of Opera: Exposing Baroque Passions

In late-Renaissance Florence, efforts to rediscover the astonishing expressive power attributed to ancient Greek music shattered the emotional boundaries of the madrigal and gave birth to the new theater genre of opera. A ground-breaking synthesis of music, drama, dance, and visual art, opera swiftly rose to dominate Europe as the quintessential vehicle for the staging of overwhelming Baroque passions revealed in their lavish turbulence and inciting exquisite catharsis. Exploring the 17th and 18th centuries, this session will engage participants through exploring emblematic examples of works by composers such as Monteverdi, Lully, and Gluck; visual art, including examples by Bernini, Le Brun, and Boucher; and scenography by Vigarani and Bérain.

Data, Information, Knowledge

We begin class by asking whether the Millennial generation is better or worse off today than previous generations with respect to knowledge and technology.  In this class, students define information, knowledge, and wisdom. Students will learn how technology has changed the way humans think and acquire knowledge. The session will explore the importance of effort and persistence in learning in the framework of our information-rich society.

How to Read a Film

The verb we tend to use when talking about how we interact with a film is "watch," and often that is all we do. We watch the film--it entertains or it doesn't--and then we watch something else. To "read" a film though, is to more closely consider why the film entertains or fails to, or why that question may be irrelevant completely to the worth of the film. We read films by taking into consideration some important aspects of how films are made, how most everything we see on the screen--from the lighting, the framing, sound design, etc--are the result of deliberate choices made to enhance particular moods and themes and ideas the film hopes to explore.  In this lecture, students are introduced to important filmmaking techniques, and we carefully watch the opening scene of a popular movie and analyze the way the director uses these techniques to make meaning.

Your Best Foot Forward: Writing Stellar Cover Letters and Personal Statements

In this workshop, we demystify the unique and challenging genre of writing about oneself in order to land a job interview or a college acceptance letter: first, students learn how to closely read a job advertisement and/or writing prompt in order to determine how to respond. Then, we carefully examine a strong personal statement and analyze how the writer describes personal qualities, experiences, and talents and tailors them to the desired post. Students then draft statements of their own, using model sentence structures provided by the workshop, summarizing their work experience and interests into a well-crafted, personalized letter.

Constructing Historical Evidence through Artifact Analysis

This workshop led by a museum educator models a methodology of historical analysis to students. The lecturer demonstrates how historians extract data from everyday objects and make inferences about the people who used them.

Fear and Loathing in the Animal Kingdom: Predator-prey interactions and their impacts

This lecture by a professor of ecology demonstrates the importance of predator-prey interactions in the animal kingdom on the ecosystem. Topics covered include species, evolution, symbiotics, and ecology. Students learn how scientists determine the health of an ecosystem by examining the health of the predators and their prey.

Reading and Writing Micro-Fiction

What do we need to tell a good story? A beginning, middle, and end? A certain number of words? Or, something else? In this class, we will discuss what constitutes a compelling story as we read micro-fiction, very short narratives made up of approximately two hundred fifty words. We will consider how these micro-fiction authors tell their stories--what they include and what they omit. In the second half of the class, students write and share their own pieces of micro-fiction.

The College Admission Essay

Specialized instructors help students identify unique and meaningful personal stories that they can showcase within their college admission essay. Students are provided with guidance to begin to tell those stories in with their own authentic voices, and are encouraged to discover the pleasure of writing, reflecting, and sharing a piece of themselves with the world.

What is Globalization?

This lecture provides an overview of globalization and the major players who participate in the internationalization of the world’s economy. Students examine how multinational corporations and international institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank, and the United Nations affect globalization. The class is intended to propel students to think about economics on an international scale.

*Course material is subject to change.

 


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