Interim Term - Jan. 9-19, 2018

Interim Term, held for two weeks at the beginning of each January, provides underclassmen at EHS a unique opportunity to add depth and value to their high school experience through the inquiry of diverse topics unavailable during the regular curriculum. These courses encourage students to explore personal interests or dive into new areas of study - see course list below.

In addition to these courses, the Interim Term Grade Level Learning (GLL) classes educate students in areas that will lead them to greater success in high school and beyond. Freshmen take courses such as Communication and Online Etiquette; sophomores focus on the Choices program with courses on Stress Management and Decision Making; and juniors enjoy in-depth presentations from College Counseling on Essay Writing and Test Taking Strategies.

Each day during Interim Term, the students participate in Community Time, where they break off into advisory groups each day for team-building exercises and a little fun competition.

This year, besides the abundant offerings on campus, four travel experiences are featured: Close Up in Washington, DC; Costa Rica, and the Disney Imagineering trip -see trip details below.

Interim Term 2018 Courses

1. Advanced Baseball Statistics: The Game within the Game/John Drexel & Matt Fox

We will take a non-traditional approach to evaluating a player’s overall worth as a baseball player. Using Major League Baseball, this class will discuss the development of modern theories, various data sets, publications, and research methods commonly used in the sabermetric industry. Topics include: game strategy, park factors, DIPS theory, MLB’s economic system, clutch hitting, and the MLB Draft. Students will draft their own team and learn to most accurately assess the most valuable players to ever play the game.

2. Ancient Myth, Modern Interpretation/Danielle Ranneft

Myths in ancient times were used to explain the origin of the world, the seasons, lessons of life, and even wars involving gods, goddesses and heroes. These myths have captured the minds and imaginations of generations of writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. Explore some of the most powerful myths and appreciate modern interpretations of them. Write a poem or short story, paint or sculpt a work inspired by a favorite myth.

3. The Birth of the Rainbow Nation-South African History/Garmon Ashby

Birthplace of Trevor Noah, Elon Musk, and the world’s first successful human heart transplant, South Africa is often referred to as one of the most beautiful countries on earth, but it has always been home to an uneasily coexisting blend of tribes and races. Students examine South Africa’s struggle with colonialism, its attempt to achieve nationhood, and the turbulent and bloody era of white minority rule. They will also learn how negotiation, compromise, and reconciliation enabled this country to emerge as one of the most progressive democracies of the modern age.

4. Brazilian Percussion/Charles Estes & Johnny Motley

This course is an introduction to Brazilian percussion styles, techniques, and cultural connections. We will cover a general history of Brazilian music and performance techniques of specific percussion instruments. Students will interact with local capoeira masters and perform on appropriate instruments.

5. Burn After the Reading: The Secrets of Codes/Stephanie Gloor

This course will explore the different types of ciphers and how they were used throughout history. Students will learn how to encrypt/decrypt messages using the Atbash cipher, the Cesar Shift, the Pigpen/Masonic cipher, the Polybuis Square, the Vigenere cipher, the Playfair cipher, the Columnar Transposition cipher, and book ciphers.

6. Chinese and Korean Culture/Alice Davidson & Kate Liang

This class will introduce EHS students to aspects of Chinese and Korean culture, including language (both spoken and written), traditional art and music, food, games, films, famous people, and landmarks. We will also explore the mysteries surrounding the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea.

7. Cryptozoology, UFOlogy, and the Paranormal: I Want to Believe/David Framel & Pejman Milani

In the world of Cryptozoology, UFOlogy, and the Paranormal, photographic and video evidence of the existence of unknown creatures, “lights in the sky,” and ghostly images is compelling, but is it all a complete hoax? The class is designed to evaluate a history of stills and videos and discuss their credibility, while students analyze methods of photo fakery and ultimately create believable forgeries that rival what is out there, using computer graphics, Adobe Photoshop software, and iMovie.

8. Disney Prep/Eric Lerch

The Walt Disney Corporation is a leader in the entertainment industry, and its characters are among the most recognizable figures around the globe. Get ready to immerse yourself in the values and culture of this global powerhouse as you engage a modified version of Disney’s award-winning employee developmental program. You will experience the richness of Disney’s artistic heritage through its films and music as well as the corporate strategies that make it unique, culminating in a project to design a new theme park attraction. Whether you are interested in business or the wonderful world of Disney, this could be your first step to a career as a Disney Cast member.

9. EHS Project Runway: History, Design, and the Fashion Industry/Beverly Rutledge & Hillary Houle

Do you have a passion for fashion? Join us and learn about the history of fashion and how current designers are reinterpreting design. We’ll discuss basic sewing and construction terms, and then develop a collection based on your story. Finally, you’ll create one of your designs to wear on the EHS Runway.

10. For Those About to Rock... A History of Rock/Alice Berry

"What’s your favorite band? Who are that group’s favorite artists? Who influenced them? What influenced them? Would you like to be able to talk knowledgeably with your favorite musicians about their biggest influences? We explore the beginnings of rock (blues, jazz, and country), follow it through the major periods of popular music, and end up with a better understanding of your favorite rock bands today.”

11. From Princesses to Kardashians: Women in Popular Media/Emily Barron

The media, consisting of both the film industry and television, often portrays women in a diminished light drawing the assumption that they are somehow weaker and less intelligent than men. This class will focus on breaking down those barriers. Using Disney movies and other forms of popular media, students will examine the messages that these forms of entertainment convey about the norms, roles, and cultural expectations of women in modern American society.

12. God’s Creatures GREAT and Small/Beth Holden

In this course, we’ll explore the world of animals from household pets to wildlife. We’ll talk to a veterinarian, study pet topics from therapy animals to rescue organizations, meet with someone from the Wildlife Center of Texas, and visit the Houston Zoo to meet with a conservationist. We’ll also explore the world of animals from the viewpoint of theology: from the creation narratives in Genesis to discussions about euthanasia and death. Students will help to put together a pet blessing service.

13. Hip-Hop Dance/Kristina Burgess

This hip-hop class incorporates a variety of old and new urban dance styles. The dancing represents body movements that go with the beat and rhythm of hip hop music. Hip hop dancing is very dynamic and helps the dancers improve flexibility develop body balance, and coordination. Also, we will take a look at the history of hip-hop dance.

14. Intro to Dance/Frank Vega

Even the Impact Dancers and Fred Astaire had to start somewhere, and you can start in this dance class for complete beginners, even if you think you have two left feet. Learn ballet, jazz, and tap, as well as some history of the art and discipline of dance. Dance to classical, pop and hip-hop music, just to name a few styles. You'll even help choreograph a final piece.

15. Is Faith a Blind Leap: Mind-bending Ideas about God /Joshua Smith

Does science contradict religion? Is there evidence that God exists? How do we know and how might we start investigating the questions? These questions and others have concerned the greatest philosophical and scientific minds in Western History. This course will provide a brief history from the classical period, medieval, modern, and contemporary eras from the Western philosophical tradition and then have an analysis of topics pertinent to God and philosophy. There will be light reading, videos, audios, debates and etc.

16. Lego Robotics/Michael Hunt

Interested in robotics or think you might be? Why not take this course to explore the possibilities? You’ll have fun unlocking your imagination, practicing creative problem-solving, and exploring the world of building and programming robots. You’ll construct robots out of LEGOs and teach them to meet a variety of physical challenges.

17. Love is Hilarious: Modern Day Romance in Film and Literature/Bob Matthews

Ice Cream? A blanket? Tears at a predictable ending? If this setting feels familiar, come examine the Romantic Comedy through an intelligent and critical lens. We will identify the traditional structure of the modern romantic comedy, look back at some of Hollywood’s most memorable offerings in the genre, identify the modern classics, and find out exactly how Greek and Elizabethan Theatre birthed the movies that people love to cuddle up with today. With all of this new knowledge, each student will write an outline and do a fantasy casting of their very own romantic comedy.

18. The Magic of the Mind/Alan Bradshaw

We love the idea of magic because it makes what was previously believed to be impossible, possible, in a matter of seconds. The real-life performance of magic gives us the pleasure of seeing what we think we know about the world being proven untrue and, even if we know it is a trick, we are delighted at the results. This course will seek to explain the psychology, biology, the history, and cultural importance of magic. In addition to learning about the background of magic, students will study the psychological ideas behind sensation and perception, social psychology, and behavioral economics. Finally, students will come to understand how magic tricks are perceived in the brain, along with how to create one themselves.

19. Man Up! The Psychology and Culture of Being a Man in Modern Society/Dan Binder

What does it mean to be a man? In today’s increasingly diverse and gender-neutral society, men and boys are more confused than ever about their roles, their behaviors, and what it means to be an honorable, well-rounded man. In this class, we’ll dig beneath the stereotypes of “chicks, cars, and muscles” to explore deeper understanding of what it means to ‘man-up’!

20. Mini Medical School/Erin Russe & Cade Slepitza

In this course, students will go through “mini medical school,” learning the basics of medical terminology, and medical testing skills to formally diagnose a fictitious patient and present their findings. Students will complete CPR/First Aid certification, meet with doctors and current medical school students, analyze popular TV shows for their medical accuracy, and experience what life is really like in the medical field.

21. Model UN/Ray Balch

Students who are registered members of the EHS Model United Nations Club will use this course to prepare for the upcoming Houston-Area Model UN conference in February. Students will use class time to prepare position papers for their assigned country/committee.

22. Money, Money, Money!/Wade Summa

Don’t be intimidated by finance! Learn how to invest, save and manage your money, putting it to work for you. Learn about the history of US currency the stock market, credit cards, auto/college loans, investments, savings accounts, etc. In a low-key, relaxed environment, you’ll learn everything you need to know to handle your business, save for the future, and make the most of your money!

23. Not Your Mother’s Book Club/Jenny Cantrell & Krista Holter

Growing up, you might have seen your mother meet with her ladies’ group once a month for “Book Club” and wondered why such a club even exists. After taking this class, you will change your mind about reading and may even want to start your own book club! We will journey through the novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett in order to better understand the culture and social issues of the 1960s. We will bake Minnie’s pies, make connections with characters and themes in the novel, and discuss those ideas as they relate to literature, ourselves, and the world. You will even have a chance to make a play list of music for one of the characters in the book! Not your Mother’s Book Club will ignite your passion for reading, and if you don’t already love books, you will by the time this class is over.

24. Reggae to Reggaeton: Music of the Americas/Alex Bruton

This is a survey class in which we will listen to music, lots of music, from all over Latin America and the Caribbean. We will study and listen for trends, connections, common beats and rhythms as well as identify what makes the genres unique to the regions and countries. Music styles will include son, salsa, cumbia, rancheras, corridos, mariachis, tango, samba, rock en Espanol, reggae, reggaeton, bossa nova, vallenato, capoeira among others. Watching videos of groups playing and dancing styles will also occur throughout the course. Knowing Spanish is not a prerequisite for the course.

25. The Rhetoric of the NFL: Communications and Media/Jessica Adams

Ever wonder what it would be like to work for the NFL? Could you tactfully handle the press? Set rules and dole out consequences? Understand the complexities of cap space and build a successful roster? Stop playing fantasy- experience the NFL through the eyes of the experts!

26. Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture/Ashley Saunders

From Superman and Spider-Man, to the Avengers and the Hulk. We will explore the rise of superheroes and how they have evolved and impacted culture. Through reading, discussion, lecture, and viewing of selected film clips, students will gain a perspective on how the superhero is different from other heros in literature and film. We will also analyze the role of the super villain.

27. Sew Many Projects, Sew Little Time/Mikel Jones

This course is an advanced sewing course intended for students that have already taken sewing during EHS’s IT, or who already know how to use a sewing machine. We will focus on projects that can be completed in 24 hours, including clothing and accessories.

28. SEW much Fun: Basic Skills for Crafting and Gifting/ Katheryn Ray

Have you ever spotted your mother’s sewing machine in the back of a closet and wondered how it worked? Do you think you’d like to make fun and easy gifts for friends and family for special occasions? Is redecorating your bedroom on a budget all you can dream about? If SEW, we have the IT course for you. Learn the basics or put in some practice time if you’re beyond novice. Come ready to think conceptually and spatially as we explore the art of sewing. By the end of this course, you will have quite a few finished projects to show off to friends and family and some new skills for life.

29. SHOWTIME! How to Write and Perform a Musical in Two Weeks!/Brad Telford

Enroll in SHOWTIME! as a way to experience the American Musical first hand! During week 1 you will learn about the origin and history of the American Musical while in week 2 you will WRITE and PERFORM your own!

30. Social Entrepreneurship: Business is Dog HELP Dog/Mark Raggett

Since TOMS exploded onto the scene there have been a growing number businesses specifically designed to do good in the world. This course will study the history of social entrepreneurship, and the different models followed by these fascinating new hybrids of business and charity. We will get to hear from local social entrepreneurs (Erica Raggett of A 2nd Cup and Jeff Kaplan of New Living) who are doing business in new and creative ways. The culminating project will involve writing and presenting a business plan for your own social entrepreneurial endeavor.

31. South American Food and Culture – Brazil and Argentina/Amalia Pflaumer & Bill Warren

Do you love the movie Rio and wish you could visit Brazil? Does the thought of visiting an Argentine steak house make your mouth water? This course will offer you the chance to sample the food, language, and culture of these two unique South American countries right from the comfort of your desks here at EHS. Join us to explore the diverse society, geography, music, festivals, etc., of Brazil and Argentina.

32. Sports and Nationalism/Travis Smith

Brothers and basketball teammates torn apart as they find themselves on opposing sides of a war that destroyed Yugoslavia. In India, Cricket isn’t a matter of or death, it’s far more important than that. In Columbia, drugs and soccer prove to be a fatal mix. Apartheid in South Africa is examined through the white man’s sport of Rugby and the black man’s sport of soccer. Guided by documentaries, we look at how sports can explain the political and social makeup of a country.

33. Storytelling on Steroids!/Kate Philbrick & Jaime Sonnier

What’s the most interesting story you’ve ever heard? Seen? Read? I bet you have a different answer for each category. In this workshop, you will produce an engaging, intimate and true multimedia story that combines the techniques from all three methods. With audio, film and still images gathered from our field trip, combined with text and graphics, you will create your own compelling, mind blowing masterpiece! Don’t miss out on being the most interesting storyteller in the Freshman, Sophomore or Junior class!

34. Strategy Gaming/Courtney Arnold

You’re invited to game night! Strategy games are a great way to offer students the opportunity to develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills in a stimulating environment. We will learn several different strategy games, understand the rules and the various strategies to win, talk about possible probabilities involved, and play games such as Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, and Monopoly. Students will collect data on strategies for winning the game and drawing conclusions on advantages and disadvantages of that strategy. Let the games begin!

35. Tantalizing Tessellations: The Art of Mathematics/Joanna Papakonstantinou & Jaime Sonnier

Come create mathematics as you create art. The relationship between mathematics and art is seen all around us in patterns, symmetry, sculpture and architecture. You will investigate the geometry and the art in tessellations. After you learn how to tessellate a plane with different geometric figures, you will create your own unique tessellation and make a fabric of the pattern. You will also learn how to use Photoshop, Cyanotypes, and digital printing with photography.

36. Visions of the Future/John Flanagan

Visions of the Future focuses on science fiction and facts in man's attempt to predict the future. The primary goal will be for student groups to present their own vision of the future, in words, art and possibly performance. Daily programs will include discussions, movies, short stories, project work, futuristic games and activities.

37. Wading into the Cosmic Ocean/Justin Hickey

In this course, students will develop an appreciation, understanding, and ongoing curiosity about the mysterious, intense, and magnificent Universe and humankind’s place in it. Students will learn about astronomy in a historical context, understanding its relevance in ancient and modern times alike, and hypothesize about what impact astronomy will have on the future of the human race.

38. Yoga/Leigh Anne Raymond

Is your life stressful? Yoga can help! Students will study the practice of yoga, including the first series of moves and inversions. Students will be taught how to incorporate different meditative practices into their daily routines to promote relaxation and well-being.


39. Costa Rica Trip/Krystal Davis, Kerry Hofmeister, Amira Kamal

January 13-19, 2018

EHS will be offering an interim term trip to Costa Rica this year. Students will be traveling to this beautiful destination filled with exploration, adventure and pura vida. Students will have the unique opportunity to experience and connect with Costa Rican culture, history and way of life. Please choose this class ONLY if you have been informed by Mrs. Kamal that you have been accepted for this trip.

40. Close Up/Kary Kemble, Shelly Edmonds

January 14-19, 2018

DC Metro - Close Up trip participants will learn the “ins and outs” of traveling in our nation’s capital—how to navigate the subway system, how to dress for the climate, a little history of the places they will visit—in preparation for the Close Up Washington trip the following week. We The People - This course, which is open only to Close Up Washington trip participants, offers students the chance to gain a good understanding of the basics of US government before visiting the capital city. Mini-lessons include discussions of the US Constitution, the purpose of politics, the roles of politicians in the federal government, etc.

41. Disney Imagineering/Isaiah Coleman, Pat Michael

January 16-20, 2018

Ever wonder how Disney Imagineers create those multi-sensory experiences and thrills within the Disney Park attractions? To find out, join us for a fun-filled and educational trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. While enjoying the parks and rides, we will also learn about energy and waves, properties of motion, the science of Disney Imagineering, sustainable practices in wildlife conservation, and leadership through Disney’s Youth Education Series. Using hand-on activities, we will learn the science behind how the rides work and how to create the sensations, special effects, and magic used throughout the Disney World park attractions.