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Industrial Design Engineering and Art



 Mini-Term Details

​Miniterm is from Monday January 6th - Wednesday January 29th, 2020 at SOTA, SAMI and IDEA. Registration for miniterm is open on this website from 11/8 until 11/22. Every student must register for a miniterm option, even if you are participating in service and study tours or doing something else during January. 

Monday-Thursday Miniterm is from 8:45 AM - 3:20 PM
Friday Microterm is from 10:30 AM - 3:20 PM
* There is no school on Monday, January 20, 2020 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
* There is no school on Thursday or Friday January 30-31, 2020
* Second Semester Begins Monday, Feburary 3, 2020


 SOTA Campus

Wednesday Night Live
Harris Levinson, Barrett Vandiver, Mark Thomason
Live, from Tacoma, it's WEDNESDAY NIGHT! In this Miniterm, you'll write and produce your own version of Saturday Night Live! Join Harris, Mark, and Barrett, if you want to write sketch  comedy, perform it, and/or make it work live on stage. We will learn from the show's glorious years as well as its failures in order to create a SOTA/SAMI/IDEA comedy original. Cold opens, Opening monologues, Weekend Update, Digital shorts, Game Shows, Improv, and all the rest. We'll need musicians, writers, performers, costumers, designers, and managers for this production, so be ready to work hard but laugh a lot. 

Survivor: Are you ready for the Zombie Apocalypse? 
Debbie Shapiro, Anthony Blake
You need to be prepared! In this course, you will learn essential skills to keep yourself and others safe from potential fires, earthquakes, volcanoes, power failures, hiking/wilderness emergencies, and zombies. This is an active hands-on participatory class. Students will take on a variety of challenges that include: developing emergency plans, mastering and applying first aid and survival skills, solving puzzles in high pressure situations, and creating community educational presentations . Wear comfortable weather-appropriate clothing for indoor and outdoor activities. One never knows when the Zombies will arrive! 

Chicago the Musical
Gabriel McPherson, Robin Jaecklein, Emily Wickman, Mark Kloepper
This miniterm is for previously auditioned actors, singers, and dancers for the Spring 2020 production of Chicago.  Students in technical theater on this production will not start until February, with the exception of the stage management team.  Please see Gabe, Robin, Emily, or Kloepper with any questions.

OUTTA YOUR HEAD: Tales of the City, Tacoma Edition
Shelby Jawer, Kristin Orlando
Tacoma Edition. Let’s expose the Tacoma backstories that no one knows… yet. What really happens on the streets of Tacoma? What if the sculptures at the Museum of Glass could talk? What if the displays at the History Museum came alive? What stories do the paintings at Tacoma Art Museum really want to tell? What’s your story?  Let’s tell the tales of the city through creative writing and spoken word poetry. In this mini-term you will learn about letterpress, bind your own book, visit the museums and other local landmarks, learn about spoken word, and write some amazing probably not true stories and poems. At the end of the month, we will put together an official anthology of our Completely True (totally fictional) Tales of the City. Pick up your pen. Let’s write.   

Visualizing Complicated Stuff
Adam Brastad, Cornelius Brudi
When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia, the French artist Charles Minard created a beautiful visual map of the French Emperors and his army's advance and retreat (defeat), including five different sets of data that depicted the real life tragedy of over a hundred thousand people in the most comprehensive way possible. One of the reasons why Napoleon was removed from power. In this class, we visualize and represent sometimes complicated information, utilizing mathematical strategies and design, to learn how to communicate, manipulate, deceive, and exaggerate ideas. The pen is mightier than the sword!   

(re)Designing Museums
Mari Thiersch, Linnea Bostrom
Imagine your favorite museum (it could even be a zoo), what do you remember about it? Why do you like going there? What are your experiences in other museums? How can you help museums stay relevant? 

Museums hold, share, and let us interact with knowledge. They provide connections within the community through special events, exhibits, and partnerships. Museums are shifting from focusing on collections to focusing on experiences - and they need YOU to help them navigate their new course. We’ll start with the historical context of museums - why did they exist and who did they serve? Using this knowledge you will work in teams to design traveling exhibits around a topic that you choose. Learn how the museums of today operate, how they attract visitors, and engage communities - museums have a role for everyone. Museums have to adapt and evolve to stay relevant, but does that actually mean?

Lucie Kroschel, Ryan Young, Kristina Lewin
It’s raining. You have too much homework. You didn’t get enough sleep. You are STRESSED. What do you do? 
You EXERCISE. Did you know you can improve your mood, curb stress, sharpen your focus, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate? In this mini-term course we will be studying the impact of exercise not only on our physical body but also our mental and intellectual health. We will work out, study nutrition, explore meditation, and look at the impact of endorphins on our brain chemistry. We’ll (probably) also eat some chocolate. All students in this course will set a physical, mental and intellectual ‘fitness’ goal and seek to accomplish that goal by the end of the month. Sign up for this mini-term if you are ready to de-stress, re-focus, persevere through challenges and SWEAT. 

“Mind Your Business,” The Movie (For Young Entrepreneurs and/or Filmmakers)
Aaron Shamp, Melissa Moore, Fisher Woodward
Do you have a million dollar idea? This mini term is for those who have said to themselves, “I should turn my idea into a business!” or “I could be on ‘Shark Tank’!” or “I want to make a film about the stories of local people!” You will learn how to create, market, execute, and manage the finances of your business as a young entrepreneur. You will also learn how to interview and film local business owners at their places of business and use your newly learned film-making skills to create a short documentary about them. The Mini Term will conclude with screenings of our documentaries and a “Shark Tank”-like presentation with feedback from local entrepreneurs.

Camp Seymour Outdoor School
David Savage, Diane Savage
This mini term will give students the opportunity to work with 5th graders at local elementary schools and also in an overnight camp environment. Our students will be cabin counselors for these 5th grade students as they head to outdoor school. Students will spend one week at Camp Seymour, working with four different elementary schools: Arlington, Blix, Mann, and Sheridan. This course is open to all 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. In order to register for this course, students will need PRE-APPROVAL FROM THE CO-DIRECTOR OF THEIR SCHOOL. The cost for the one-week stay at camp is $250 which includes three meals per day and sleeping accommodations. PLEASE DO NOT LET THE COST KEEP YOU FROM APPLYING!

DramaPod 2020: A Miniterm Odyssey
Michele Shepard, Derrick Robinson
You know that little passion project you’ve always dreamed of realizing, but never quite managed to make? Here’s your opportunity! As if there weren’t enough drama in your life, we aim to create more drama, more suspense, more conflict and resolution. Then we’ll send it out into the world for all to enjoy. This January, come to develop the technical skills necessary for producing high-quality sound in a podcast, the narrative writing skills essential for engaging and enchanting an audience, and the vocal performance skills vital for storytelling in sound. We will listen to radioplays and study examples of effective narrative structure in classic adventure stories and quirky contemporary sci-fi. Students will spend part of class listening, reading, writing about, discussing, and critiquing professional work. Creating, recording, post-production editing, and critiquing original stories will fill the rest of our time. Smaller projects building technical skills and collaborative relationships will help prepare everyone to produce fabulous radio dramas by the end of miniterm. Join us for the journey!

Creative Writers, Voice Actors, Foley Artists, Musicians, Recording Engineers: WE NEED YOU!

Photography tricks: optical illusions, levitations, fantasy and deceptions
Doris Conrath, Joanne Salomon
Learn how camera optics, space and perspective can be used to create photos that look unreal – an illusion. Using the camera (and a little Photoshop) create images of people levitating, giants in mini worlds, and mini people amongst giant objects. Learn how mirrors, magnifying glasses, and water can bend and warp how we see. Use size and scale to alter how we see the world. All students will print and mount photographs for a final exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Nation of Immigrants
Brian "Reggie" Regimbal, Lauren Stout
America’s past is a deluge of different waves of immigration.   People have been coming to this beacon on a hill since long before we were the great nation we claim to be today.   While our past is not as bright and shiny as many might believe it to be, we have always been bolstered by those who come here in search of a better life.   This class will explore America’s history, policies and stories surrounding immigration.   We will be looking both forwards and backwards.   We will be using SOTA’s commitment to community partners to create an environment where we can learn from local experts how our community is interacting with our immigrant populations.  In today’s media world there are a lot of myths surrounding immigration.   We will conclude the term by creating multimedia projects that inform the public on the realities of immigration in this country to combat the pervasiveness of those myths.  Students should be prepared to read and write about contentious issues and be open to group discussions.  Students will be asked to think about how their specific skills can best be employed to inform our community. Students should also expect that we will be walking around Tacoma quite a bit in the delightful January weather.  

Transparency: The Looking Glass
Betsy Gordon, Michael Hagmann
Identity is the fact of being who or what a person is. Inspired and guided by the Museum of Glass’s display of the United State’s first exhibition of studio glass by artists in the LGBTQ+ community, this class will embrace and explore the idea of being open about identity. As freedom to “live our truth is necessary for a liberated society.” We will explore our identities through glass art, science, and daily journaling. Be ready to learn how to cast, etch, and blow glass. Beadwork will be practiced. Social studies skills will be enhanced through a study of LGBTQ+ issues, including the AIDS crisis. Identity politics throughout history will be and we’ll look at queer and feminist theory. In joining this class, please be open to new ideas and different ways of thinking about ourselves and our world.

Mysteries of the Magical and Mystical Mayans
Terri Placentia, Margi Cabrera
Learn about the legends of Chocolate Money, Maya Blue and Snake Kings in this miniterm that will explore the food, art, culture and symbols of this ancient intellectual culture.  Time travel with us back to the year 600 AD, and immerse yourself in their captivating world.    

Technologically advanced far beyond their time period, the Mayan’s had an excellent understanding of astronomy and mathematics, they built impressive cities, and they used the only known written script in Mesoamerica.  Their thriving cities came to an abrupt halt: perhaps due to climate change.  Students will re-create traditional art forms and food of the Mayan people.


 SAMI Campus

Sherlocking: Deduce This 
Dustin Matthews, Stephanie Skaggs  
Are you a forensics junkie? Do you like solving mysteries? Do you like the science behind mysteries? Do you like working together with a team with a positive attitude? Are you OK with the sight of blood? 

Come read and watch Sherlock Holmes short stories and study the forensics behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries. Each week, students will study a new mystery and complete forensic labs associated with the mystery of the week. Then teams will have their go at Sherlocking by writing a mystery and creating its forensic crime scene. Scientists and mystery writers will use their deductive logic to solve each other’s crimes. Bring your observation, math, science and creative thinking skills to make and solve mysteries all month long.

Life: The Complete Instruction Manual
Jacob Hansen, Carla Parker
Just kidding! There is no instruction manual for how to live a good life. However, there is LOTS of advice… In this miniterm we will scrutinize, analyze and utilize advice on how to live well physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Expect to exercise at the YMCA and to keep a sleep journal and a food diary. Plan to engage in mental exercise from sodoku to chess. Assume that you will research beliefs about what makes life good. What the heck, maybe we will even make inspirational posters to encourage each other to live the best we know how. After all, today really is the first day of the rest of your life!
Early Xplorers
Tanja Ownbey, 
Are you interested in working with young children? Would you like to help them connect to animals in the zoo? Are you interested in how children learn and develop? If this sounds like you, come join the Early Xplorers mini term. We will learn about young children, create resources for them to connect with animals and take them out into the zoo to make personal connections with the animals.

Elements Podcast Season Three: Time Capsule
Carol Brouillette, Matt Sherls, Sam Mulvey
Today's podcast is tomorrow's historical record. Come join us as we create a digital audio time capsule to capture the essence of SAMI, SOTA, and IDEA in the wild era of January 2020. You will work in teams to identify and record key aspects of your school's culture (whatever is important to YOU!) and we'll work on the interviewing, storytelling, performing, and editing skills required to send this information into the future. Check out previous seasons of the Elements Podcast at

You Are What You Ate Project
Tran Le, Sandy Farewell
The You Are What you Ate project challenges you to become food scientists as you apply physical science, biology and chemistry concepts to evaluate and improve the nutritional health of communities. Through a series of laboratory exercises, classroom activities, and assignments, you will learn more about diets and its relationship to nutrition, food economics and ecology. The course will also allow you to promote nutritional knowledge by teaching young students at Sherman elementary school. Join us and have a fantastic time learning and promoting healthy diets.

BeeUWT: Be an Engineer and Educator
Lauren Anderson
From sketches to saws, design pollinator habitat and educational signs to teach the public about the importance of birds, bats, bees, and bugs. Fine tune 2D and 3D models, pitch your design to UWT stakeholders, and construct the finished product which will be installed on the UWT campus. To sign up for this class, be prepared to spend time outdoors scouting natural habitats, on power tools working with wood, and talking to the public about your project. A willingness to problem solve, think creatively, and engage those around you are necessary. 

Service and Study Tour: TTOWN
Mary DeWine, Rob Felix, Guadalupe Bojorquez, Kayo Charbonnel-Mackley
Act locally, in Tacoma. 

Seeking students who want to spend their January volunteering in a TPS elementary school classrooms on the Eastside of Tacoma. Weekly, students will design lessons  [think: math, writing, Spanish] to help grow student to student relationships within elementary school classrooms by modeling the practice of relationship circles; students will help support and grow elementary students' relationships to their heritage language or grow elementary student relationships with new languages; and students will tutor elementary students in their lowest performing class.

This miniterm is about celebrating languages and being a role model in your own community.

Scientific Illustration with Birds
Maria Jost, Mary Mann
Have you ever wanted to learn the art of scientific illustration?  Do you have a passion for visual details and fascination with nature?  Then this mini term is for you!  We will be working on a project with the Audobon Society and Point Ruston to produce accurate illustrations of birds for public art signage.  We will also get out into nature to observe birds, hike through the forest, and walk around Pt Ruston waterfront.  We will have a field trip to the Slater Museum at UPS to draw bird specimens.  There will be daily drawing lessons and a lot of time devoted to individual bird and environmental illustrations.

The C.O.R.E. (Chinook, Orca Recovery Education) Project
Chelsea Brown, Ralph Harrison
Chinook Salmon and Orcas are at the heart of Northwest Culture, but both are currently at risk of extinction. C.O.R.E. is a community project to raise, study and release Chinook salmon to help with Orca recovery. 

Our part in this project is to design, test, and build a temporary home for 100,000 baby Chinook Salmon at the Point Defiance Marina. We will partner with the Puyallup tribe to learn about the history, culture, and future of the Chinook and Orcas.  We will take field trips to community partners, such as fish hatcheries, to learn about ongoing salmon and orca recovery projects that we can learn from and share ideas with. 

For this mini-term, we need a range of skills- engineering, designing, construction, videography, and more! We need students that aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, use power tools, and spend most of January outside! We will get to see a project from start-to-finish, and from within this cohort, a select group of students will be chosen to travel to Alaska during micro-term. 

The Table Top Game Theory Miniterm
Duncan White, Troy Hashagen, Tim Chalberg
Are you tired of losing? Are you worried you don't have what it takes to vanquish your foes and emerge victorious? It's not you, it's your weak and predictable strategies that are holding you back. To be the best, you must train with and against the best. Board games can teach us the complex game theories that dictate systems in social interaction, economics, and the natural world. We will also explore optimal strategies and the remarkable connection between some table-top classics and the effort to create artificial intelligence.  We will play games.  You will design and build games.  It will be fun, and if all goes to plan, you might just become a strategy mastermind.


 IDEA Campus

SOTA Bots: Project Nu
Ken Luthy, Rich Williams, Brett Knisely
Project Nu: Our 13th Year!!! Students ranging from beginner to experienced level of ability will build and operate robots for the FIRST Robotics Competition with this year’s theme of “Infinite Recharge.” 
Design, program, construct robots. Learn and refine your business, public relationship and media skills. You will have opportunities to travel and compete with the team after mini-term across the Puget Sound and possibly at the world championships in Houston. It’s one of the most fun and hardest work experiences you’ll ever have.

Survivor: Language Edition
Kelilah Johnson, Ashley Miraflor
Picture this: you jump out of an airplane, deploy your parachute, and land in the middle of a country where you don’t speak the language. How do you get around? If you land in a Spanish or French-speaking country, AND you take this miniterm, you’ll be just fine! In this miniterm, you will learn survival Spanish and French for your most likely scenarios. Think… ordering in a restaurant, navigating customs at the airport, getting lost in the streets looking for the Eiffel Tower, and more! All levels of language learner are welcome. Be prepared to speak French and Spanish every day—in class and on camera. At the end of miniterm, you'll get to show off your TV Show-inspired survival videos to help others go from surviving to thriving!

SOS - Science of Survival
Johnny Devine, Kaitlin Gardiner
If you were stranded in the wilderness, would your high school experiences have prepared you to survive? Explore the underlying science necessary to survive a 3-week challenge across the climates: from the ocean to the mountains to the desert. If you enjoy applying science to solve real world problems, creating solutions for difficult situations, and spending time outside, this mini-term is for you!

IDEA Space Design
Blake Hansen, Han-Yin Hsu
Do you have a passion to design the coolest student lounge space and coffee bar for everybody at IDEA to enjoy? Do you want to light up our hallways and flavor our environment with design elements? We’ll use woodworking tools, 2D & 3D design software, digital fabrication, and a step-by-step design process to reimagine IDEA’s spaces.  Let’s refine our spaces into extraordinary places using our skills to improve our school life.

Rutter-Mylet 2020 - Let's Run for President
Peter Rutter, David Mylet
Peter Rutter & Dave Mylet are running for President of the United States…of Washington! In this course, we will explore the history of our political system and discover how it works today. We will use data to dissect claim statements and write our own. But we won’t just do this as a mock exercise, but rather learn by doing as we complete all the requirements to get Rutter-Mylet on Washington state’s 2020 presidential ballot. The course will culminate with a campaign rally in Olympia with both teachers and a few students delivering stump speeches written by our students!

F(ight) the System
Jennifer Boutell, Amy Alwert
What are your rights as a student? How do you fight a speeding ticket? What big civil rights issues are going through the courts right now and what do you need to know to be part of the fight to protect them? In this miniterm we will visit the courthouse, talk to defense attorneys and legal experts, and argue for or against a major civil rights issue in a "moot court" hearing. Has anyone ever told you that you should be a lawyer because you like to argue? This is the class for you!

Shell Eco-Marathon and the Future of Transportation
Doss Bradford, Dave Cutter
In addition to Shell Eco Marathon team fabrication and testing in preparation for the April competition, this mini-term will explore innovation in transportation technology and what the future of transportation will be.  Students will study various cutting-edge transportation systems and technology to use Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), and Integrated computer circuits and electronics to create, program and test scale models of these future systems.

Washington State History
Benjamin Warner, Kevin Heinrich
Learn about Washington State History