Summer 2020 ATS Schedule

Course Listing

Special for Summer 2020: We are providing a scholarship voucher as listed below that can be applied toward each ATS class a student selects:

Contemporary Web Design – $100
Creative Writing – $100
Programming with Python – $100
Psychology – $100
Strategic Thinking – $100
The Golden 1 Challenge – $50
Writing Effective Arguments – $100
*The scholarship voucher will be applied during registration. Registration links are included under each class listing.

Computer Science

Contemporary Web Design
June 22 - June 26
8:30 a.m. – noon
Cost: $365* ($265 after scholarship voucher is applied)
Register here

This course will focus on the development and design of media-rich websites and is suitable for any expertise level. Students will need a computer (PC, Mac or Chromebook) with stable Internet access.

Students will learn to apply a designer’s perspective as they build web pages from scratch using a combination of coding and visual website creators. Professional design principles combined with contemporary tools will allow students to express themselves creatively on the web using design elements like text, color, links, lists, tables, coding, graphics, video, animation, and other multimedia plug-ins. Participants will also learn technical aspects of networking and cloud management. Students will participate in discussions, engage in activities, complete mini-assignments, and build a final project. Web-based resources will supplement class materials. By the end of the course, students will be able to apply both principles of design and technology skills to build contemporary web sites, providing a foundation of 21st century skills important for success in high school, college and beyond.
Estimated Daily Homework: 15 – 45 minutes
Instructor and Affiliation: Michael Menchaca, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Programming with Python
June 15 - June 25
1 - 3:15 p.m.
Cost: $365* ($265 after scholarship voucher is applied)
Register here

This introductory programming course will introduce students to Python, a language used to create popular applications such as YouTube, Instagram and Spotify. Students will need a computer (PC, Mac or Chromebook) with Python 3 (downloadable at or, an online python editor (located at High speed Internet and a webcam are recommended. Students will be introduced to standard control structures, sequencing, Boolean logic, selection and iteration, and the data types and structures used for algorithmic development. Programming skills will be developed through project-based labs such as creating graphics in Turtle, Image Processing, Fractal Graphics, Fibonacci sequencing, pi and square root approximations, cryptography and card games such as Blackjack or dice. In addition, students will explore the role of Python in artificial intelligence used in deep learning or neural networks. By the end of the course, students will have developed algorithmic thinking applicable to other subjects such as science and math and will have the power to create, develop and work with technologies of today as well as the future.
Estimated Daily Homework: 15 – 30 minutes
Instructor and Affiliation: Gary Garot, Elk Grove USD


Creative Writing: Telling Extraordinary Stories
June 15 - July 1
1 – 3:15 p.m.
Cost: $365* ($265 after scholarship voucher is applied)
Register here

This creative writing course takes students beyond the elementary to the next dimension, seeing the mundane, but writing the maniacal. Students will need a computer to view online video lectures and course materials (slides, handouts, worksheets, etc.). Online office hours will allow students to ask questions face-to-face and in real-time.

Students will create their own illustrative story, learning plot and story structure, building and evolve rich characters and exploring the discipline of chunking – the art of incorporating daily writing. Through at-home sensory detail activities students will observe, take note of, and describe in rich detail sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes (food and drinks only) in order to develop and hone their observational and descriptive language skills. Students will dive deep into setting, elaboration, motivation, obstacle development, and suspense. Working collaboratively via shared online Word documents, students will peer critique and learn to edit. By the end of the course, students will have exposed the ordinary, routine, commonplace of everyday and gone on a journey of twists and turns, conjuring a tapestry of stories.
Estimated Daily Homework: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Instructor and Affiliation: Matthew Johnson, Sacramento City College

Writing Effective Arguments
July 6 - July 24
10 a.m. – noon
Cost: $365* ($265 after scholarship voucher is applied)
Register here

This writing course will teach students how to argue effectively with anyone (and not cause a fight), how to make their own case and be clear about what they want, and how to listen to the opposing side with empathy and understanding. Students will need a computer to access course materials (which they can read online or print) and participate in class discussions.

Students will go past the basics and focus on Toulmin, Rogerian and Classical methods of argument, which are most likely to be encountered in college. Through written and spoken practice, students will learn to argue effectively with their own voice. Class discussions will consist of real-life arguments from “who should clean the kitchen” to “how much TV is too much.” Students will learn to write clear and powerful arguments for school and beyond in a variety of genres including formal essays, letters and poetry. By the end of the course, students will be more prepared for the types of writing required in advanced high school classes and have a strong foundation of writing skills necessary for college composition.
Estimated Daily Homework: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Instructor and Affiliation: Sarah Hancock, Sacramento State


The Golden 1 Challenge: Financial Strategies for Success
July 13 - July 17
10 a.m. – noon
Cost: $150* ($100 after scholarship voucher is applied)
Register here

This course introduces students to finance concepts, tools, and the best practices for saving money to achieve short and long-term goals. Students will need a computer with Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader to access course materials. A webcam is recommended but not required.

Through “The Challenge,” an interactive budgeting simulation, students will learn strategies to achieve their financial goals faster, like saving up for a new Apple watch or tablet. Each student will role-play a character with a profession, salary, and family, and must navigate different budget challenges. By moving through different levels of “The Challenge” and spinning the “Wheel of Fate,” students will put their new financial skills to the test and creatively problem solve scenarios to win! Additionally, students will explore the pros and cons between checking and savings accounts and the associated tools like debit and ATM cards, as well as common digital services offered by financial institutions, like on-line bill pay. Credit bureaus, credit scores, credit checks, and loan costs will be covered, as well as how to avoid ID theft and what to do if your financial information is compromised or stolen. By the end of the course, students will have the financial know-how to become super savers for those expensive wish list items while leaving themselves with the money for their day-to-day wants and needs. Estimated Daily Homework: 15 – 30 minutes
Instructor and Affiliation: Manuel Morfin, Golden 1 Credit Union


Psychology: Brain Power
June 15 – July 1
9:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Cost: $365* ($265 after scholarship voucher is applied)
Register here

This science course will introduce students to neuropsychology and the power of the brain. Students will need a computer to access the course and participate in class discussions. A packet of course materials will be mailed to registered students to supplement online content.

Through lectures, discussions, video clips, personality assessments, and data collection and analysis, students will explore what happens in the brain to drive emotions, thoughts, personalities, sensation, perception, memory and behavior. Hands-on activities such as building a 3D brain model, a ‘brain hat’ and a neuron will allow students to identify major neurotransmitter tracts and regions affected in various disorders. Students will also learn how chemicals in the brain shape personality and behavior, and what can go wrong when the balance is altered as a result of neurological disorder or drugs. By observing optical illusions and making their own optical illusion dragon students will explore how much they can really trust their senses. Using scientific research methodology, students will explore the influence of the brain on gender differences in personality and behavior, as well as what changes in the brain during development from adolescence to adulthood. Students will develop an understanding of what is happening in the brain with disorders such as ADHD, autism, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, addiction, and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, students will work in teams to select a neurological disorder of interest to them, use critical thinking skills to explore it in more depth, and present their findings to the class. By the end of this course, students will have a better understanding of how the brain influences everyday behavior and thoughts, and what happens when disorders are present.
Estimated Daily Homework: 30 – 45 minutes
Instructor and Affiliation: De-Laine Cyrenne, Sacramento State 

Social Science

Strategic Thinking & Game Theory 
June 22 - July 8
1 - 3 p.m.
Cost: $365* ($265 after scholarship voucher is applied)
Register here

This course introduces students to Game Theory, the study of strategic interaction, which is used extensively in the fields of economics, political science, biology and business. Students will need a computer and webcam to access the course and participate in class activities. 

Students will learn how to use mathematics and intuition to model every-day interactions as games composed of players, strategies, and payoffs. Through interactive games and examples from television and movies, students will discover how Game Theory changes the way one thinks by providing a framework for considering interpersonal interactions as games where the people are players. Much the same way that two players sit at a game of chess, by thinking of interactions as a game with clear goals, human behavior becomes predictable. Students will play many of the more famous games such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, Matching Pennies, and the Hawk and Dove Game along with many others. Examples from movies and television shows will be analyzed including scenes from The Dark Knight, The Princess Bride, A Beautiful Mind, War Games, Jeopardy, Friends, and three Super Bowls. By the end of the course, students will have refined their abilities to think strategically, to pursue the best way to achieve their goals and to understand the way that others think and how they might be trying to achieve their own goals.
Estimated Daily Homework:  1 hour
Instructor and Affiliation: David Lang, Sacramento State