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Previous Courses

* Please note that course selections and availability are different each summer. Courses listed here provide an outline of the types of courses and topics offered each year at VSA, but exact courses may not be repeated across summers.

VSA 2019 Courses

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Rising 7th-8th Rising 9th-10th Rising 11th-12th
Aerospace Engineering Agents of Change or Hot Rhetoric Biology of Cancer


Behavioral Economics Astrophysics Computational Thinking, Programming, and Cybersecurity
Biology of Cancer The Avengers Meets The Hero with a Thousand Faces Geology in the 21st Century
Is Green Energy the Answer? Biology of Cancer Gold, God, and Glory in the Making of the Modern World


Math and Music Destabilizing History Med School 101
Neuroscience and Music Fantasy Fiction Writing Microscopy of Nanomaterials


Philosophy of Law Gold, God and Glory Perfect Shuffles, Permutations, and Decimal Expansions
Rhetorical Advocacy and Criticism Math and Music Policy Making and Quantitative Analysis
The Science and Ethics of Genome Editing Nanoscience and Engineering Rhetorical Advocacy and Criticism
Sensors and Big Data Analysis Philosophy of Law


Sensors and Big Data Analysis
Stellar Astronomy Policy Making and Quantitative Analysis


Treating the Whole Person
Writing Poetry and Free Verse Strength and Structure of Engineering Materials Writing Short Stories

VSA 2018 Courses

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Rising 7th-8th Rising 9th-10th Rising 11th-12th
Programming in Python Agents of Change Microscopy of Nanomaterials
Conservation Biology Nanoscience of Engineering Adaptive Engineering
Abstract Mathematical Modeling Climate Change Programming and Computer Science
Stellar Astronomy Writing Poetry & Free Verse Med School 101
Business of Chemical Engineering The Fourth Branch of Government Neuroscience of Brain Dysfunction
The American Legal System Graph Theory Special Topics in Mathematics
Anthropological Approaches Bioarchaeology Beyond Calculus
Biopsychology of Sleep Mathematical Reasoning Novel Writing
The Science of Emotion Clinical Psychology The (Big) Business of Social Change
Writing Music City Ecostatistics Identity in the 21st Century
Kinematics for Mechanical Design Programming for the “Interconnected Age” Economic Analysis in the Real World
Philosophy and Contemporary Media  Philosophy and Film New Problems in Rhetoric

VSA 2017 Courses

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3
Rising 8th Rising 9th-10th Rising 11th-12th
Programming in Python Programming & Computer Science Special Topics in Mathematics*
Creative Writing & Pop Culture Math & Music Alzheimer’s Treatment & Research
Diabetes Research & Treatment Agents of Change Writing Short Stories
Microeconomics Criminal Law New Problems in Law
Planetary Astronomy Nanoscience & Engineering Bioarchaeology: Research & Implications
Consumerism in American Society Writing Fantasy Fiction Identity in the 21st Century
Bioarchaeology: Biographies in Bones Behavioral Economics Addiction in the Modern Age
Environmental Engineering Consumerism & Identity Microscopy of Nanomaterials
Combinatorics Neuroscience of Brain Dysfunction Comparative Electoral Politics
Digital Storytelling Lying with Statistics Mathematics of Cryptography
The Business of Chemical Engineering Bioarchaeology: Methods & Applications Adaptive Engineering
Abstract Algebra Med School 101*

Summer 2016 VSA Courses

Session 1 (June 12-17)

Rising 8th

Session 2 (June 19-July 1)

Rising 9th & 10th

Session 3 (July 10-29)

Rising 11th & 12th

Cultural Linguistics Agents of Change New Problems in Law
Pop Culture and Philosophy Identity in the 21st Century Medicine, Health, and Society
 Religious Imagery in Graphic Literature Comparative Electoral Politics Novel Writing
The Craft of Fiction Environmental Law Phenomenology of Confession
Stories from Auschwitz: History and Literature of the Holocaust Secret Shakespeare The Global War on Drugs
Game Theory Writing Poetry and Free Verse Mathematical Reasoning: Theorems, Proofs, and Refutations
Complex Systems Theory Combinatorics Special Topics in Mathematics
Introduction to Nanotechnology Math and Music Mental Illness in Media
Neuroscience and the Psychology of Memory Astrophysics Ecological Paleontology
Introduction to Applied Statistics Microbiology and Immunology Engineering in Adaptive Technologies
The Changing Earth: Human-Environment Interactions Nanotechnology and Engineering Med School 101

Summer 2015 VSA Courses

Session 1 (June 14-19)

Rising 8th

Session 2 (June 21-July 3)

Rising 9th & 10th

Session 3 (July 12-31)

Rising 11th & 12th

Introduction to Nanotechnology The Making of Martin Luther King, Jr. Medicine, Health, and Society
Introduction to Game Theory Abstract Algebra: Permutations, Symmetries, and “Space Donuts”
Crime and Punishment in U.S. History Antisemitism and Comic Book Heroes Much Ado About Knotting
Pop Culture and Philosophy Stories Untold: Frontiers in Human Geography Psychology and Media
The Spatial Age: Geographic Information Systems and Research Music and Cognition
Magical Realist Literature Archaeological Chemistry The Science of Film
Math and Music Magical Realism and Historical Memory Med School 101
Game Theory Galaxies and Structure of the Universe
Volcanology Microbiology and Immunology Special Topics in Mathematics
A Case for Change Rhetoric and Advocacy Forensics and Bioarchaeology
The Chemistry of (Almost) Everything Astronomy of Galaxies Agents of Change
Elements of Fiction: Creative Writing in All Its Genres Nanotechnology and Engineering Writing Fantasy Fiction


Summer 2014 VSA Courses

Session 1

June 8-13, 2014
Rising 8 graders in 2014


Session 2

June 15-27, 2014
Rising 9-10 graders in 2014

Session 3

               July 6-25, 2014
     Rising 11-12 graders in 2014
Parody and Wit  Heroes and Villains in Literature Literature and Consciousness
Protein Therapeutics Nanotechnology and Engineering Thinking in Code
Theatre Agents of Change Medicine, Health, and Society
The Art of War Microbiology and Immunology  Med School 101
The Moving Parts of Stories Adaptations in Filmmaking Science of Film
Puzzles and Problem Solving Math and Music Special Topics in Math
The Hidden History of Slavery The Hidden History of Slavery
Crime and Punishment in U.S. History
Combinatorics and Graph Theory Abnormal Psychology  Over and Over Again: The Fibonacci Sequence
Reading Bones Reading Bones The American Legal System
Writing Short Stories Writing Short Stories Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Anti-semitism and Comic Book Heroes  Combinatorics and Graph Theory
It’s a Mystery
Astrobiology Stellar Astronomy through Dr. Who Planets in Our Universe