Pre-College Programs

Courses Starting the Week of July 19, 2015 (28)

Forensic Science: CSI Providence - Senior SPARK

Forensics is the application of science to answer questions pertaining to the law. Methods used to solve criminal investigations have progressed significantly over the past thirty years. Investigators and scientists now collaborate and use forensic technologies to uncover facts associated with criminal cases. This course will uncover the truth behind criminal investigations...

One Section Offered »

Understanding the Human Body: An Exploration of Anatomy - Senior SPARK

Have you ever wondered how your body does all the things that it does? Our bodies contain 206 bones and over 600 muscles, all coordinated by a central computer called the brain. In this course, you will learn how your body’s components work as one to keep you going everyday.

This exciting hands-on course will provide an opportunity to answer your questions...

One Section Offered »

Leadership and Global Health

Despite world-wide advances in technology and development, providing basic health care to people in resource-poor settings continues to pose enormous challenges. Now more than ever, the global community is focused on overcoming inequities in health care and reducing poverty as a means of curbing the spread of disease and improving lives. Building on this momentum, this course...

One Section Offered »

From Brain to Sensation: Neurobiology of Perception - Junior SPARK

Taste! Smell! Sound! Sight! Touch! Our world is alive with stimuli and these are just some of the many senses we use to explore it. But how are all of these senses transformed into our everyday perceptions?? I’ll give you a hint: it involves your brain! The brain is a fascinating organ- it only weighs about three pounds, but has billions of specialized cells that make...

One Section Offered »

Conquest, Control, and Interconnections: The History of the Roman Empire

Spanning from Britain to Iraq, the Roman Empire connected vast areas and different cultures in a time before the internet, telephones, or mass media. How did the Romans gain such an Empire, how did they govern it, and ultimately why did it fall? This course examines the history of the Roman Empire and considers the unique social, cultural, and political concerns of an imperial...

One Section Offered »


Do good‐looking people earn more? Are 'Emily' and 'Greg' more employable than 'Lakisha' and 'Jamal'? Can cancer affect housing prices? Does living near a fast food restaurant cause obesity? Is corruption a cultural trait? This one-week core economics course will examine selected discoveries in applied microeconomics and explain them...

One Section Offered »

Writing for College and Beyond

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Four Weeks

Are you ready to start writing the way college students write? Challenge yourself intellectually and creatively as you explore and experience writing as a form of inquiry, and a part of social conversation.

The first half of this course offers you the chance to think carefully about writing narrative prose, which is in effect a form of storytelling. Thus you begin the course...

One Section Offered »

Putting Yourself into Words

This week-long workshop will explore the balance between self-expression and effective communication essential to writing powerful personal narratives, college admissions essays, and creative reflections. As you write and receive feedback daily, you’ll learn not only about purpose, revision, and style, but also about writing as a means of exploring, learning, figuring...

Four Sections Offered »

Nanotechnology: The Small Wonder from Atom to Space - Senior SPARK

In this hands-on course, you will learn about nanotechnology and its broad spectrum of applications in current life. You will experience the fundamental rules behind nanotechnology through interesting experiments, activities and games. You will also see how scientists at Brown conduct leading nanotechnology research. In addition, you will get a chance to design your own nanotechnology...

One Section Offered »

RobotC : An Introduction to Programming using LEGO Robots - Junior SPARK

Do you like LEGO's? Do you like robots? Have you heard of the Mars Rover? Do you want to learn about ultrasonic, light, and sound sensors? Do you like computers? If these questions appeal to you, then you will want to register for this course.

This LEGO robotics course will feature fully customizable LEGO robotic rovers (car-like vehicles). Students typically...

One Section Offered »

Introduction to Engineering and Design

Are you considering a career in engineering? Are you fascinated by what engineers do? In this course, students will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of the engineering design processes, an appreciation of the far reaching impacts of engineering, a grasp of the various fields of engineering, and a better understanding of the profile of an engineer, including the typical...

One Section Offered »

Engineering Biomedical Systems

Have you ever wondered how scientists make pacemakers or grow cartilage for joint repair? In this course, you will learn how these scientists, called biomedical engineers, develop devices and tissue-engineered technologies that often times save lives!

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to biomedical engineering analysis, specifically relating to...

One Section Offered »

Mechanics of Materials and the Engineering of Catapults

If you like the idea of applying physics concepts to hurtling objects through the air, then you're in for an exciting week. From forces to launch angle, kinematics to bending stress, and composites to prototyping, you'll get the chance to do some quality engineering backed up by college-level scientific concepts. Will you be part of the team to engineer the ultimate...

One Section Offered »

Fluid Mechanics through Hovercraft Physics

This course introduces students to the wide world of fluid mechanics, an area that covers vast scientific fields such as aerospace engineering, bacteria locomotion, and combustion dynamics, and which is fundamental for flight, rocketry, swimming, bio-locomotion, and countless other topics in engineering. We will focus on the physics and engineering of fluids and visualize core...

One Section Offered »

Materials Science and Engineering: Where Would the World Be Without Them?

Virtually every segment of our everyday lives - be it transportation, housing, clothing, communications, recreation, sports, and so on - is influenced by materials in one way or another. In our contemporary era, sophisticated electronic devices, such as laptops and cell phones, rely on components that are made of semiconducting materials. Automobiles would not have been possible...

One Section Offered »

Engineering, Energy and the Environment

What is energy? How do we use it? Where do we get it? Why do we feel that we must find new ways of generating energy? What are the options? If you ever wondered about these questions, then this is the right course for you. If you ever saw a wind turbine and said I want to build one for myself, no need to wait!

We want energy and lots of it. In everyday life, we need...

One Section Offered »

Exploring the World of Marine Science - Junior SPARK

Students will learn the basics of estuarine ecology and environmental sciences through a variety of field exercises and data collection techniques. The one-week course will allow students to learn about Narragansett Bay in-depth by using Save The Bay’s waterfront Bay Center laboratory, classroom, shoreline and dock space, and from bay field trips aboard Save The Bay’s...

One Section Offered »

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Sustainable Development

BELL Rhode Island is a unique outdoor learning experience. The academic content of this course centers on understanding the causes, impacts, and solutions to climate change both globally and locally. In order to appreciate the many manifestations of climate change, our curriculum draws from both environmental science and environmental studies including biology, chemistry, economics,...

Two Sections Offered »

Introduction to the History of Photography

This course will introduce students to the history of photography as an art form, a technology, and as a means of visual communication, from its invention in 1839 to the recent rise of digital technologies. In addition to introducing students to the historical background of the medium and its practitioners, the course seeks to hone the skills of visual literacy that are critical...

One Section Offered »

Lessons in Leadership: What History's Great Leaders Can Teach Us Today

  • Program: Online
  • Length: Three Weeks

What makes a great leader? What is your own leadership potential, and how can you increase it? Do you have a passion -- such as literacy, the environment, or equal rights -- and hope to make an impact one day?

Great leaders often possess several key leadership skills. Based on one of Brown University's most popular political science courses, this course offers students...

One Section Offered »

Elevator Pitch for the New Media Age: Short-Form Writing and Speaking

Tweets, Facebook posts, e-mails, texts, instant messages, news alerts, ads: ours is the age of short-form communication. This course offers an introduction to different styles and genres of short-form verbal and non-verbal communication to help make you a more persuasive, concise, and creative writer and speaker. We will examine historical and current uses of the short form...

One Section Offered »

Everyday Mechanics and Special Relativity: From Earthly Speed to the Speed of Light! - Senior SPARK

Newtonian mechanics and Einstein's theory of Special Relativity is a very exciting and beautiful part of our daily life! Every single day, we see mechanics, experience it, and enjoy it through many cool activities! Every time we shoot an American football, bike, drive, take ride on a roller coaster, or fly in an airplane, we precisely obey the fundamental laws of mechanics...

One Section Offered »

Physics in Film - Star Wars and Beyond - Junior SPARK

Lightsabers clash in a galaxy far far away as a pair of droids walk slowly towards the setting of the twin suns.

It's hard to argue with the claim that Star Wars is one of the most iconic pieces of science fiction in the past century, but how does it hold up as a work of science fact? Death stars, blaster bolts, jet-packs, wormholes, space travel, the force...will...

One Section Offered »

Human Rights: Leadership and Action

The abduction of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria, the oppression of gays and lesbians in Russia, and the deaths of thousands of Ebola victims in West Africa have rightfully drawn the condemnation of human rights advocates. The recent killings of unarmed black men in the United States remind us that human rights violations are not just a problem over there; violations...

One Section Offered »

Public Policy: Leading and Creating Change

Public policy is the set of laws, rules, and regulations enacted and enforced by government. Policy is made in response to a societal issue or problem that requires attention and is made on behalf of the public. Examples of public policy include: marijuana legislation, standardized testing in schools, environmental regulations, and immigration. Policy affects virtually every...

One Section Offered »

Psychology of Resilience

The field of psychology has long focused on the harmful impact of stress, adversity, and trauma. Yet many remarkable individuals show incredible resilience in the midst of difficult, even horrible, situations. How are some people resilient in the face of abuse, torture, war, natural disaster, or terrorism? What about resilience to routine life stresses like taking exams or...

One Section Offered »

Women and Leadership

Despite remarkable progress over the last hundred years, women in the 21st century still face unique challenges in educational, career, social, and political arenas. In this course, students (1) analyze the position and portrayal of women in society, (2) explore how gender and other factors influence women’s leadership styles, and (3) propose strategies to facilitate...

One Section Offered »

Leadership and Social Justice

Leadership and Social Justice is a course designed to provide engaged students with the tools and theory needed to become successful change makers, activists, and community organizers. This course explores how grassroots movements can transform communities, cultural norms, and global systems. How are campaigns developed, initiated, and orchestrated? What factors determine a...

One Section Offered »