New Middle School Courses Offered in STEM Summer Program


April 16, 2018

A student shares his robotics project with Mr. Jim Parsons. DPIE added six new classes to its Middle School Summer Program this year. Enrollment is open to students from all school districts. Subjects range from Mathematics and Robotics to Writing, Leadership, Dance and more.

DPIE is introducing six new classes to the Middle School Summer Program, with more diversity of instruction and ways for students to tap into their creative talents. Classes are open to students from all school districts.

Are you looking for something fun and different for your middle school student to do this Summer? Are you seeking a fun way to stimulate your child’s mind and interest in education? Or are you simply trying to avoid the “learning loss” that many middle school students suffer over the course of summer vacation? Whatever your motivation, the DPIE Middle School Summer STEM Academy may be just what you and your kids are looking for. For the 7th straight year, DPIE's Academy is offering STEM and STEAM courses for middle and high school students during it’s 2018 Summer Program. In response to parent requests for a wider range of topics, DPIE is introducing six new classes to the Middle School Summer Program, with more diversity of instruction that offer a variety of ways for students to tap into their creative talents. At the same time, DPIE is still offering popular classes like Automation & Robotics, Design and Modeling, Leadership, Bridge to Algebra 1 and Writing as an Exploration. Classes are open to students from all school districts.

New Performing Arts Classes

Dublin High School's Ms Sharlene Sabonis will be teaching Beginning Dance Intensive this summer.


DPIE has recruited Dublin High’s drama and dance instructors, Ms Katt DeLapp and Ms Sharlene Sabonis to introduce a new 6-week “Actor’s Workshop” course and a three-week “Beginning Dance Intensive” program. “The DPIE Board is committed to bringing more arts opportunities to students in Dublin,” said DPIE Board President Katherine Utsumi. “This year we are really excited to introduce two performing arts programs as options to students in our summer program.” Excited about offering her middle school dance program, DHS dance teacher, Ms Sharlene Sabonis, said, “I love the idea of offering a three-week introductory dance class to the middle school students. A 2-hour and 20-minute class length is ideal for a dance class. Students who enroll will be working on flexibility and technique in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip-Hop and they will have fun while building their self confidence.”

New Opportunities to Improve Writing Skills

Ms Werner

Ms Amanda Werner, Fallon Middle School, will be teaching Web Design and Writing in this years Middle School Summer Program. For the first time, students will have two opportunities to improve their writing skills. Ms Sara Longyear from Wells, will once again teach her popular “Writing is an Exploration” course and Ms Amanda Werner from Fallon, will introduce her new “Web Design and Writing” program. Both classes will help students develop their writing abilities, while the Writing and Web Design course is perfect for the computer geek who loves the computer, but also needs to work on their writing skills. “What I love most about teaching the Exploration class in the summer, is that it gives me more opportunity to work with kids on creative writing,” said Ms Longyear. “You don’t get much time to do that during the school year and the summer class affords me the chance to introduce different styles that I couldn’t expose students to otherwise.” Ms Werner’s “Web Design and Writing” class will provide students the opportunity to enhance their writing skills, while also building their own website to publish their work. “The class should be a lot of fun for those students who are into technology, but also need to improve their writing ability,” said Ms Werner.

New Technology Based Class

Ms Suzanne Wallace, Fallon Middle School, will be teaching Introduction to Application Design for Mobile Devices this summer.


This year, DPIE has added another innovative technology based class,”Introduction to Application Design for Mobile Devices,” to go along with our traditional technology offerings. “Students will learn foundational computer science concepts through writing applications for phones and tablets,” said Fallon instructor Ms Suzanne Wallace. “We will use MIT App Inventors coding environment and Android tablets to create a variety of games and there will be plenty of room for students to use their creative skills.” DPIE is offering an intermediate class in session 2, for students who want to take the skills learned in session 1 to a higher level. Fallon instructor, Mr Jim Parsons who teaches both the Automation and Robotics and Design & Modeling classes, is returning to teach in the Summer Academy for the 5th straight year. Asked why he enjoys teaching in the Academy, Mr Parsons said, “having students in a larger time block is a great way for them to dive deep into the projects they build during my classes. There’s not only more time to build, but students have more time for reflection and reshape their ideas and projects.” “Having more time with students gives me the time to create curriculum that pushes the students to go beyond and to use their imagination in fun and creative ways,” continued Mr Parsons. “This environment and the project based learning lessons we use allows students to thrive.”

The Science of Forensics

Ms Karen Brown lectures students at Fallon Middle School. Ms Brown will be teaching The Science of Forensics during the 2018 Middle School Summer Program. Ms Karen Brown, the well-known 8th grade science teacher from Fallon, will reintroduce her crime scene investigation science methodology course, “The Science of Forensics”, to kids who will be in grades 6 - 8 next Fall. “Students will learn how to use physics, chemistry and biology to investigate clues left behind in order to solve the mysteries and puzzles of crime scenes,” said Ms Brown. “They will learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration, think creatively and have lots of fun in this crime solving course. Kids will discover how real-world scientists use the scientific method to solve real-world problems.”

New Bridge to Algebra 1 Classes Added

Ms Mary Kimbell works with a student at Fallon Middle School. Ms Kimbell and Ms Megan Wasson will be teaching popular Algebra prep courses in the Middle School Summer Program. These, as with all summer classes, are open to students from all school districts. Sessions 1 and 2 of our Bridge to Algebra 1 classes filled quickly this year, we have added a second class in session 2, which will run between June 25 - July 12. The classes being taught by Fallon math teachers, Ms Mary Kimbell and Ms Megan Wasson, are in high demand and designed for students who will be taking either Math 3 or Algebra 1 in the Fall. The Bridge to Algebra 1 class was designed by DUSD teachers to fulfill an identified gap by increasing the depth of understanding of critical algebraic and number sense skills. The class targets students who have strong number sense and algebraic skills and are interested in more exposure to algebraic practices before attempting an Algebra 1 class. Students must have successfully completed a year-long math class that covers the 7th grade common core math standards taught in Course 2 and 2/3,” expanded Ms Kimbell. “The class should help students develop the background they need to experience success in their 8th grade math program.

Spaces Are Limited, Enroll Now!

Over 200 Dublin families have already enrolled their children in the DPIE Middle School Summer Program and spaces are limited, so enroll now. Class descriptions are available here: All enrollments are taken online and students may enroll in 1 - 4 classes during the summer session. Middle school classes are held four days a week and Session 1 runs June 5 - June 22 and session 2 runs June 25 - July 12. Just click on the red “Enroll Online” button on the web-page to reserve your child’s seat in our program.