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Clarkson lists Project Challenge courses for spring semester


POTSDAM - Clarkson University’s Project Challenge, a unique academic program for local high-school students, returns this winter with a choice of eight five-week courses.

The popular program is designed to offer area students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to participate in classes that are not commonly offered in their high-school curriculum.

Clarkson faculty and administrators teach the courses from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturdays for five weeks under the direction of The Clarkson School. This winter’s program begins on Jan. 11.

This year the program offers four new courses:

Information Technology in Our World: Just do IT! with Associate Professor of Operations & Information Systems Somendra Pant will have students explore the evolution of information technology, its role in modern business and what exciting study and career options are out there.

Students will discover how the field of psychology explores human behavior, thoughts and emotions from many perspectives in Psychology: More than Reading Minds and Lying on Couches! with Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Knack.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students with Clarkson School Associate Head of School Brenda Kozsan will provide students with a step-by-step framework through exercises, team activities, and role playing for boosting self-image, building friendships, resisting peer pressure, achieving goals, improving communication and relationships with parents, and success in high school, college and in life.

Writing Software and Changing the World with Associate Professor of Computer Science Jeanna Matthews will give students a solid introduction to the fundamentals of writing software. They will write some seriously fun software like a personality quiz that you could use on your friends and a text-based game and discuss careers in computing and the ways in which citizens with knowledge of computing can make a difference in the world.

Other courses include:

Engineering for Life with Clarkson Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student Melissa Richards will provide students with an opportunity to learn how engineers are able to design the devices we see everywhere around us. Students will even have the opportunity to design and build their own “Rec-Rube-y”!

Real Medicine with instructors from Clarkson’s Physician Assistant Program will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the real world of today’s medicine.

Blood and Guts: Medical History through the Ages with Assistant Professor of History Stephen Casper and Engineering Instructor Karen Buckle will provide students with an opportunity to explore a number of different case studies from actual historical medical records and advance medical problem solving skills.

Students can study the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment in The First Amendment in American Democracy with Associate Professor of Political Science Christopher Robinson. This class will examine how these freedoms are affected by wars abroad and terrorist threats at home.

Project Challenge courses will begin on Jan. 11 and continue through the next four Saturdays until February 8, with a possible snow date of February 15.

Schools that have participated in the past include Alexandria Bay, St. Lawrence Central, Brushton-Moira, Canton, Chateaugay, Clifton-Fine, Colton-Pierrepont, Edwards-Knox, Gouverneur, Herman-Dekalb, Heuvelton, Indian River, Lisbon, Lyme, Malone, Massena, Morristown, Ogdensburg, Parishville-Hopkinton, Potsdam, Sackets Harbor, Salmon River, Saranac Lake and Thousand Islands.

Interested students should first contact their guidance counselor to see if their school is participating. Participating high schools may sponsor all or part of the students’ tuition.

If the school is not participating, the out-of-pocket expense for the program is $140 per student. Enrollment in all courses is now available, but space is limited.

For more information, go to, or contact Brenda Kozsan or Annette Green at 315-268-4425 or at

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