Global Online Academy

Global Online Academy (GOA)
Rising 9th – 12th Graders
June 18 – August 3
$750 for St. Christopher’s students
$1,000 for non-St. Christopher’s students

Global Online Academy courses encourage students to pursue their passions and connect with classmates and a teacher from many different schools, all while not being tied to a single location. Designed to cover the same material and be as rigorous as our semester and year long courses, GOA summer courses are teacher-paced, mostly asynchronous online courses that focus on students applying course concepts to relevant, real world issues. Students should anticipate a significant amount of active learning: conducting interviews, engaging their location and community, doing research, and collaborating on projects. While these courses are online, students do not spend all of their work time looking at a computer.

Courses Offered

List of 7 items.

  • Computer Science I: Computational Thinking

    Computational thinking centers on solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior. It has applications not only in computer science, but also myriad other fields of study. This introductory level course focuses on thinking like a computer scientist, especially understanding how computer scientists define and solve problems. Students begin the course by developing an understanding of what computer science is, how it can be used by people who are not programmers, and why it’s a useful skill for all people to cultivate. Within this context, students are exposed to the power and limits of computational thinking. Students are introduced to entry level programming constructs that will help them apply their knowledge of computational thinking in practical ways. They will learn how to read code and pseudocode as well as begin to develop strategies for debugging programs. By developing computational thinking and programming skills, students will have the core knowledge to define and solve problems in future computer science courses. While this course would be beneficial for any student without formal training as a programmer or computer scientist, it is intended for those with no programming experience.
  • Computer Science II: Java

    This course teaches students how to write programs in the Java programming language. Java is the backbone of many web applications, especially eCommerce and government sites. It is also the foundational code of the Android operating system and many tools of the financial sector. Students learn the major syntactical elements of the Java language though objected oriented design. The emphasis in the course will be on creating intelligent systems though the fundamentals of Computer Science. Students will write working programs through short lab assignments and more extended projects that incorporate graphics and animation.

    Prerequisite: Computer Science I: Computational Thinking or its equivalent.
  • Fiction Writing

    This course connects students interested in creative writing (primarily short fiction) and provides a space for supportive and constructive feedback. Students gain experience in the workshop model, learning how to effectively critique and discuss one another’s writing in an online environment. In addition to developing skills as readers within a workshop setting, students strive to develop their own writing identities through a variety of exercises. The course capitalizes on the geographic diversity of the students by eliciting stories that shed light on both the commonalities and differences of life experiences in different locations. Additionally, we read and discuss the work of authors from around the globe. Students’ essential responsibilities are twofold: to engage in the class as readers and writers and to focus on their development as readers and writers. Both require participation in discussions of various formats within our online community, as well as dedicated time outside of class reading and providing feedback on one another’s work and writing original pieces for the workshop.
  • Game Theory

    Do you play games? Do you ever wonder if you’re using “the right” strategy? What makes one strategy better than another? In this course, we explore a branch of mathematics known as game theory, which answers these questions and many more. Game theory has many applications as we face dilemmas and conflicts every day, most of which we can treat as mathematical games. We consider significant global events from fields like diplomacy, political science, anthropology, philosophy, economics, and popular culture. Specific topics include two-person zero-sum games, two person non-zero-sum games, sequential games, multiplayer games, linear optimization, and voting and power theory.
  • Introduction to Investments

    In this course, students simulate the work of investors by working with the tools, theories, and decision-making practices that define smart investment. We explore concepts in finance and apply them to investment decisions in three primary contexts: portfolio management, venture capital, and social investing. After an introduction to theories about valuation and risk management, students simulate scenarios in which they must make decisions to grow an investment portfolio. They manage investments in stocks, bonds, and options to learn a range of strategies for increasing the value of their portfolios. In the second unit, they take the perspective of venture capital investors, analyzing startup companies and predicting their value before they become public. In the third unit, students examine case studies of investment funds that apply the tools of finance to power social change. Throughout the course, students learn from experts who have experience in identifying value and managing risk in global markets. They develop their own ideas about methods for taking calculated financial risks and leave this course not just with a simulated portfolio of investments, but the skills necessary to manage portfolios in the future.
  • Introduction to Psychology

    What does it mean to think like a psychologist? In Introduction to Psychology, students explore three central psychological perspectives – the behavioral, the cognitive, and the sociocultural – in order to develop a multi-faceted understanding of what thinking like a psychologist encompasses. The additional question of “How do psychologists put what they know into practice?” informs study of the research methods in psychology, the ethics surrounding them, and the application of those methods to practice. During the first five units of the course, students gather essential information that they apply during a group project on the unique characteristics of adolescent psychology. Students similarly envision a case study on depression, which enables application of understandings from the first five units. The course concludes with a unit on positive psychology, which features current positive psychology research on living mentally healthy lives. Throughout the course, students collaborate on a variety of activities and assessments, which often enable learning about each other’s unique perspectives while building their research and critical thinking skills in service of understanding the complex field of psychology.
  • Medical Problem Solving I

    In this course students collaboratively solve medical mystery cases, similar to the approach used in many medical schools. Students enhance their critical thinking skills as they examine data, draw conclusions, diagnose, and treat patients. Students use problem-solving techniques in order to understand and appreciate relevant medical/biological facts as they confront the principles and practices of medicine. Students explore anatomy and physiology pertaining to medical scenarios and gain an understanding of the disease process, demographics of disease, and pharmacology. Additional learning experiences include studying current issues in health and medicine, building a community-service action plan, interviewing a patient, and creating a new mystery case.
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