Below are just a few examples of Academy classes that are running right now.
This class explores some near-horizon technologies (e.g., quantum computing, gene editing, and space elevators) and introduces the basics of writing business plans. Students will be challenged to create products or services that could form viable businesses using these near-horizon technologies. The final event is a “shark tank” competition where students present their business plans, and each member of the audience has $50K (fake!) dollars to invest. (Designed for a group of 8th–10th graders)
Justice League: Superheroes and Social Justice
This class explores the history of superheroes as vehicles for social justice, from the creation of Superman in the run-up to World War II, to the X-Men’s fight for civil and gay rights, to the Black Panther’s Afrofuturist vision of the present, to the feminist evolution of Captain Marvel. Students will learn to deconstruct the superhero genre both as an artistic and a narrative medium, analyze how these figures relate to other mythological and religious figures, and develop their own superhero or heroes directed at the social issues that most concern them. (Designed for a group of 6th–8th graders)
Heroes and Monsters
This class explores the enduring theme of the battle between good and evil, manifested in the conflict between the Hero and the Monster. Students will learn what makes a great hero and a great monster, and they will create and present their own hero/monster pair. (Designed for a group of 4th–6th graders)
Capital Markets for Tweens
This class introduces stocks, bonds, and vanilla options, and also includes basic spreadsheet modeling and company valuation techniques. It was designed for students who want to answer questions like, “What are stocks, really? What happened with GameStop? How do people value companies?” Students have mock investment portfolios and present their own buy/sell recommendation in the final class. (Designed for a group of 6th–8th graders)