The Accelerated Learning Academy offers three tracks: Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Applied Mathematics, and Medical Science. See descriptions below.

Biomedical Engineering and Technology Track

Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary field, so it has many applications to the traditional engineering disciplines, including Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Materials Science. Each workshop in the Biomedical Engineering and Technology track will provide students with a brief introduction to a traditional engineering discipline, applications to biomedical engineering and the human body, and emphasize the use of technology. Each workshop will include a brief lecture, group activities, and hands-on demonstrations. Each workshop will also include real-world applications. To expose students to new ideas, career paths relevant to each workshop topic will also be discussed.

Workshop I: Mechanics

December 2-4, 2016           
In this workshop, students will learn the basics of simple machines, evaluate the mechanical advantage of simple machines, and design compound machines to accomplish a simple task (Rube Goldberg Machine). Students will also apply these concepts to the ultimate machine: the human body! This will allow students to gain an appreciation for how the body moves and how different conditions can affect its performance.

Workshop II: Electronics

March 3-5, 2017                  
This workshop will provide students with brief introductions to electronics, engineering, and technology. Students will learn how electronics and technology are used to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and other medical conditions. Students will also learn about bioelectrical potentials and their role in the human body.

Workshop III: Materials Science

May 5-7, 2017                      
In this workshop, students will learn about different materials engineers commonly use. They will also learn how to determine the strength of materials and for which applications they are most suitable. These concepts will be applied to the human body in a lecture on tissues engineering and regenerative medicine.  Students will learn how engineers use scaffolds and cells to repair damaged organs and tissues and treat cancer. They will also learn about biomaterials and how they can help the body heal itself.

Applied Mathematics Track

Mathematics, like other theoretical and applied fields, is based on observation and theorization. In mathematics, objects are represented pictorially or symbolically and are observed and described in terms of their properties and their relationships with other objects. The objects of mathematics are of two types: either (1) visible by sight and tangible or (2) only visible in the mind and intangible. For objects of either type, you can notice how one or more objects are related to each other and described the relationship. As mathematical objects move, relationships among them will either change or remain unchanged. That is, relations among mathematical objects are either variant or invariant. In each workshop, through hands-on explorations, you will observe mathematical objects and both investigate and theorize relations that exist among the objects. Through observation, investigation, and theorization you will develop and further extend your knowledge of operations on rational numbers, combinatorics, geometry, and algebraic functions. In addition, you will reflect on your workshop investigations to become aware of how to facilitate mathematics learning.

Workshop I: Combining Combinatorics                       

December 2-4, 2016
In this workshop, students will explore two different collections of visible and tangible objects to notice and construct mathematical relations among the objects of each collection. This exploration will reveal theoretical and applied ideas about combinatorics. Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics that studies the enumeration, combination, and permutation of collections of objects and relations that define properties of the collections. Students will also reflect on the underlying structures of the combinatorial arrangement of the two collections of objects and comb for how the structures are connected.

Workshop II: The Algebra of Fractions

March 3-5, 2017
In this workshop, using a collection of visible and tangible objects, students will establish language to describe proportional relations among the objects and construct ways to operate with these proportional relations algebraically. From the algebraic descriptions and operations, students will derive ways to transform the relations into numbers and examine how to work with the visible and tangible objects to extend their insights into operations on fractions. Students will relate their new insights to the traditional algorithms for operating on fractions.

Workshop III: Finding Functions and Querying Quadrilaterals    

May 5-7, 2017                
In this workshop, students will collaborate and use a dynamic mathematics software, GeoGebra, to construct and manipulate visible and tangible mathematical objects. They will explore pairs of objects, one dependent on the other, and verbally express the functional relation between each pair of objects. Students will extend their descriptions to experience functional relations among pairs of objects as graphs in the Cartesian coordinate system. Also, students will use GeoGebra to construct quadrilaterals and query the objects that their quadrilaterals beget and notice interesting relations among them.

Medical Science Track

Medical Sciences encompasses basic sciences of medicine, medical specialties and other interdisciplinary fields dedicated to understanding animal/human health, as well as diagnosis and treatment of disease conditions.  Significant progress and advances over the years in medical sciences has improved human health, and we are now living longer.  However, many challenges exist in mental disorders, aging, obesity and emerging disease outbreaks like Ebola and Zika.  The medical science workshops provides an introduction to the latest advances and understanding of mental and neurological disorders, including emerging diseases of viral origin or defective immune system to other selected diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity and endocrine disorders to gender and ethnic difference in heart disease.  Each workshop builds on these advances in medical sciences using specific disease conditions to the individualized medicine of the future. 

Student Learning Outcomes from the Medical Science Workshops:

  1. Prepare students with the foundation and introduction to medical and biotechnological careers.
  2. Students will be able to organize and synthesize medical and biotechnological information and knowledge into a logical sequence.
  3. Communicate clearly in an organized fashion and prepare participants and readiness for success in careers in medical and biotechnology.

Workshop I: Peripheral and Central Nervous System (CNS) Disorders                                           

December 2-4, 2016    
In this workshop, students will will be introduced to peripheral and central nervous system and explore mental and neurological disorders from basic science to therapeutic approaches.  This will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of specific pancreatic disorders in diabetes, cancer and obesity. Students will learn how functioning in the nervous system is important in maintaining homeostasis in health and disorders. 

Workshop II: The Body's Natural Defense Mechanisms    

March 3-5, 2017         
This workshop will provide students with a brief introduction to the immune system that defends us against diseases and pathogens that cause them.  Students will learn about the body’s natural defense mechanisms and uncover how the immune system can act as a therapeutic target in health and disease.  Students will also learn about gender and ethnic differences using heart disease as a specific example.

Workshop III: Future of Medicine                                  

May 5-7, 2017        
With a number of break-throughs in medical sciences and new tools in decoding and sequencing the human genome and increasing knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms in human diseases, students will learn how genetic mutations and epigenetic modifications from the environment induces vulnerability to disease conditions in this workshop.  Also, students will be introduced to the endocrine system and how glandular and hormonal effects lead to a number of disorders of the endocrine system.

Successful program completion requires attendance at all three program sessions for students’ selected track. Each session will take place from Friday at 6 p.m. to Sunday at 2 p.m.