Winterim 2023: AM Courses

Morning Course Session: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Experiencing Everest, Full-Day Course - Registration Closed

Have you ever thought about being a teacher? Do you have a passion for kids coming from challenging backgrounds? Do you want to be a part of a school that is making a difference in the city of Chicago? Then this class is for you! Through this class students will have the opportunity to observe and serve at the Moving Everest Charter school in the Austin neighborhood. Students will experience the blessings and challenges of teaching as they get to know their own class of elementary or middle school students. Activities such as tutoring, lesson planning, putting together crafts, taking students to gym, and read aloud will all be a part of a typical day throughout this course. Students will also spend a couple of days reflecting on teaching and sharing experiences with one another. By the end of the two weeks, students will have a clear picture of what it looks like to teach in an urban setting at a school committed to helping all students thrive.

Instructor: Anna Joy Setran
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Activities for Lifetime Fitness - Registration Closed

Physical fitness is an essential component of everyone’s life . For too many high school students, the only physical fitness activities they experience are those that are part of the traditional P.E. curriculum or co-curricular activities . This course is designed to provide the students with the opportunity to participate in a wide range of non-traditional physical fitness activities, as well as provide a different twist on traditional physical fitness activities. Proper clothes for each day’s activity are needed.

Planned activities are subject to change based on weather.

Bowling, Sledding, Skating,
Downhill Skiing in Wisconsin, Laser Tag, Indoor Rock Climbing, Badminton Tournament, Snow Football, Snow Ultimate Frisbee, Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Wheaton.

Instructor: Neal Roys
Course Fee: $75
Open to: All grades

Basic Car Mechanics - Registration Closed

In the two weeks of Winterim, the course will provide hands-on opportunities to learn about the way cars work. We’ll work on the same car throughout the course to repair problems and prepare the car for safe and efficient operation. By the end of the course, you should feel comfortable and safe around tools and cars and will have skills either to help you understand what the mechanics tell you or to attempt some things yourself.

Instructor: Ken Wong
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades; This course may be repeated if taken previously

Brain Games - Registration Closed

Are you ready for a truly mind-blowing experience? Through the study of National Geographic’s show, Brain Games, Mr. Rivera will help you understand your mind. With an intricate series of interactive experiments designed to mess with your mind and reveal the inner-workings of your brain, this class will help you understand psychology in a fun way. Hailed by critics as “tremendous fun” that “makes science entertaining,” Brain Games turns your mind’s eye inward for a fascinating journey into the three and a half pounds of tissue that makes youyou.

The TV show and class’s corresponding study will reveal the way brains process information related to topics like love, stress, addiction, competition, food, fear, trust, and language. Interactive games capture hilarious and shocking results, and students get real-world takeaways — how to improve memory, get a better night’s sleep, make more money — to use in everyday situations.

Watch the following clip to learn more about National Geographic’s Brain Games:


Instructor: Christian Rivera
Course Fee: None
Open to: All

Coffee and the World - Registration Closed

This class will look at the importance of coffee – not just as a drink, but as a vital part of many cultures around the world. As one of the most predominant cash crops in the world, we’ll look at different places coffee is grown and explore the importance of this simple bean. What part does coffee play in our everyday lives? Where does it come from? How is it made? How does it get from the coffee farm to my cup? What role does coffee have in different cultures? Can coffee be used for evangelism? Why is coffee so expensive?

Along with learning about coffee, you will have the opportunity to smell, make, and drink coffee. You will learn about the art of roasting coffee and experience a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. This class is not just for coffee-lovers, but for lovers of other cultures and the world.

Come join us on the brew-tiful adventure – it will be a latte fun!

Instructor: Stacey Krohn
Course Fee: None, but you might want to bring some spending money
Open to: All

Cricut 101 - Registration Closed

This course will teach students how to use a Cricut crafting machine. We will explore the design side of crafting by learning the Cricut software before bringing our creations to life. Students will design projects from custom Starbucks cold cups, to originally designed apparel. The main emphasis of this course will be to help students bring their Pinterest worthy ideas to life. Come prepared to design and create! Students will leave the class with an array of projects to keep!

Instructor: Autumn Ratliff
Course Fee: $25
Open to: All

Dance: Telling Your Story

Communication happens through a variety of methods, but nonverbal communication can be incredibly powerful. Dance and movements can be a very clear and distinct way to communicate your story. No matter the skill level, in this course, students will learn the basics of dance technique, proper stretching, and strengthening. Students will discover how choreography and movement can be ways to communicate your story and worship the Lord. Students will watch dance performances and learn to critique them, while also learning the skills of performing themselves. This class is for students who love to move and be active, but also for students who are interested in learning other ways to tell stories and other ways to worship God.

Instructor: Abby Woelfel
Course Fee: None
Open to: All

Design Thinking

Are you a “hands-on learner?” Do you like making cool stuff?  Are you interested in making an impact on the world around you by designing solutions for real problems? Does the idea of being equipped with design strategies that companies like Toyota, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Nike use appeal to you? Then this is the perfect class for you!  I teach students the critical process of “Design Thinking,” which is a method of designing a solution for a problem by including the people who experience the problem in the design process. 

Design Thinking is a cross-curricular skill that promises to prepare students not only for other classes here at Wheaton Academy but also for college and the workplace. Students will better understand how they work in teams, learn how to identify the correct problem to solve, and be equipped to design more thoughtfully and efficiently. The first week focuses on how to design while the second week gives students the opportunity to put these concepts into action by designing a real-world solution. 

Finally, Design Thinking is the foundational philosophy of our design program called “Academy by Design.” If you are interested in doing more design at Wheaton Academy, contact Mr. Burick about that program. If you are interested in joining Academy by Design or are enrolled in “AbD” as a freshman, this is a required Winterim course. However, even if you are not ready to join AbD, this course is open to you!  Again, if you have any questions, message Mr. Burick in OnCampus!

Instructor: Josh Burick
Course Fee: None
Open to: Students in Academy by Design program, and all others that are interested

Every Song Ever: The Art of Listening in the Digital Age of Music

With an endless variety of music available via streaming services, too many people are stuck listening only to the music they feel most comfortable with because they do not understand the way to listen to or appreciate the unfamiliar. This class will explore the wealth of musical genres from classical to metal, jazz to hip-hop, oldies to indie. Beginning with an exploration of the way music has been recorded and listened to for the past 100 years, students will learn the art of listening by learning to identify musical traits such as “timbre,” “texture,” “dynamics,” and “melody” that defy genre . It offers students an opportunity to become professional appreciators of music in all its diversity. Students will also be able to share some of their favorite music artists and discuss the reason they enjoy listening to their music. Finally, we will discuss a biblical worldview on listening and engaging with the lyrical content of music .

Instructor: Joel Visker
Course Fee: None
Open to: All

Exploring Architecture and Design

Have you ever stopped to think about how much of your life is spent in a building? In this class, you will explore the process and production of our built environment. Working in teams and individually you will introduce yourself through collage and model making, draft some of your favorite architectural spaces, and work through a quick design charette to design your own conceptual exhibition hall. After two
weeks of learning and thinking with our hands you will have designs that could be used within a portfolio for design school applications and will begin to look at the world a little differently.

Instructor: Heidi Metcalf
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Find Joy in Painting - Registration Closed

This class is designed for the novice but curious painter. We will work with acrylic paint, follow step by step tutorials for 8-10 individual paintings we will paint simultaneously. The goal is to learn or develop a new hobby, while enjoying the company of others when painting together.

Instructor: Jessica Hands
Course Fee: $70
Open to: All grades 

Guy's Gainz and Glory - Registration Closed

I played college athletics and love staying in shape. This experience is for those students who have an above average love for staying in shape and being healthy. We’ll take a field trip to a local body building gym. We’ll learn how to program workouts, talk about diet/ nutrition for the athlete, and see what Jesus has to say about the disciplined athlete. It’s a class for the hard working, but also fun loving student. It’s open to all boys, not just athletes. I hope you can join us!

Instructor: ET Thompson 
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades, males only

Hunter Safety

This course will promote responsible ethical hunter conduct, emphasize the importance of wildlife management, laws, and regulations, and encourage the safe handling of firearms and ammunition. Through this hunter education program, students will obtain a better understanding of their obligations to the resource, the landowner, other hunters, and themselves. Students will be shooting at a range under the supervision of a trained instructor.

Instructor: Ken Ellis
Course Fee: None
Class Requirements/prerequisites: Recommendation by a WA teacher; must be at least 14 years old
Open to: All students over the age of 14

Intro to Biblical Greek

Have you ever wanted to know about the original language of the New Testament? Would you like take your understanding of the Bible deeper? Come learn an introduction to koine Greek and take a first-hand look at the Gospels and the writings of Paul. In this course, you will learn the characters of the Greek alphabet, basic grammar, syntax, and vocabulary to the extent that we can begin reading simple verses straight from the Bible. We will also take a dive into the culture that shaped the New Testament. Finally, no Greek class would be complete without some delicious Greek delicacies such as baklava, galaktoboureko, and other pastries.

Instructor: Brian Kelly
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

The Mechanics Behind Strategy Board Gaming - Registration Closed

For many, the idea of board games conjures up family game nights with the likes of Monopoly, Clue, or Sorry. For some these are fun, but frankly, most of us do not get too excited about them. From these beginnings though, tabletop gaming has exploded in popularity in recent years due to strategic, innovative games like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride. This popularity has led to thousands of new games, many of which have widespread appeal. This class will look at some of the most influential and widespread mechanics that undergird these new games and give students a chance to put what they have learned to the test by designing their own strategy board game!

Each day, students will learn about a new mechanic that is popular in modern strategy board games and play multiple games that use this mechanic. Beginning in the second week, students will have time to work in groups to design and playtest their own strategy board game creations.

Instructor: Luke Regan
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Monsters, Myths, & Mysteries: The Search for Truth - Registration Closed

Is Big Foot real? Does the Loch Ness monster exist? How do we explain UFOs? Why do entire groups of people suddenly go missing? Monsters, Myths, and Mysteries: The Search for Truth is a class that looks at why we are so fascinated by what we can’t explain and how we can ultimately find and believe in what is true. 

Instructor: Eric Bowling
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades


In an online and app dominated world, hand crafts get lost in the flow of daily life. In an effort to keep this art form thriving as well as provide the creative space for students to put their hands to work, we are offering Project CRAFTING this Winterim season. In this class we will combine learning and friendly competition. Taking on the spirit of a competitive tv show like Project Runway or Making IT, you will be taking on daily craft challenges that will incorporate techniques like water coloring, mixed media, rubber stamping, and more! We will learn to be resourceful and creative as we take on these craft challenges. Challenges will include a Quickie Craft and a Mega Craft. A Quickie Craft is where a proposed craft challenge must be completed in 60 minutes or less. Then we have our Mega Craft that will take on a new level when it comes to time and challenge! No prior crafting experience is needed. We will learn together, compete together, and most importantly have a lot of fun together!

Instructor: Rachael Burick
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Service Projects Class

This course will give students the opportunity to explore service opportunities in our community, both inside and outside of the school. We will learn about local organizations that serve needs in our communities and then take trips to participate in several projects. We will also explore more personal ideas to serve individuals in need and work to meet them and tangibly love our community here at Wheaton Academy, as well.

Instructor: Melanie Marr
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Theology of Sport - Registration Closed

Framed around questions such as: What does it mean to compete for “the glory of God”? What is the role of sport in the Christian life? Does God care about sport? What is the true telos for which the Christian athlete should strive? What constitutes “failure”? Does winning matter? This course will explore the theology of sport and competition through both classroom discussion and competitive experiences. Students will compete in sports such as soccer, basketball, skiing, bowling, handball, and more followed by a critical engagement with the central questions of the course. Students will acquire a framework with which to critically think about what it truly means to be a follower of Christ and a competitive athlete.

Instructor: Virginia Poe
Course Fee: $65
Open to: All grades

Winterim Instrumental

If you are looking to spend some quality time with all things instrumental over Winterim, this class is for you. We will learn ensembles and solos, spend time listening to great music and learning some theory behind it, and prepare our work for some service-oriented performances (both virtual and potentially in-person) in the community. We will also dive into some Biblical truth regarding life and music. All in all, if you have enjoyed instrumental classes and tours in the past, this class aims to be a Winterim version of the music, service, and community that we enjoy!

Instructor: Steve Willemssen
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades; this course may be repeated if taken last year.

Women's Self-Defense - Registration Closed

In this class, we will teach proven self-defense techniques and strategies derived from martial arts, Krav Maga and Kickboxing. Each day, there will be a cardio kickboxing lesson and exercise to help develop your striking power, balance, and movement, as well as increase stamina.  You will learn how to use kicks, punches, elbows, and knees to defend yourself and others you care about.  You will also learn how to get out of an attacker’s grasp – such as releases from chokes, bear hugs etc. In addition, you will learn about situational awareness, skills related to stretching for flexibility, and self-care.  There will be three main goals for the class:

  1. To increase your knowledge and mindfulness of and to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
  2. Gain confidence of basic self-protection, ending the class with an opportunity to use those newfound techniques and confidence to break wooden boards.
  3. To develop better relationships with others in the class and strengthen your walk with Jesus.  We will then end each day with a 15-minute Bible study will where we will explore what the bible has to say about self-defense and protecting those weaker than us.

My hope is that this will be a class where you leave feeling more educated, prepared, and confident to handle yourself in many different circumstances.

Instructor: Kermit Ellison
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Worship Leading and Beginner Guitar

Do you have a passion for leading worship? In this course, we will discover and develop the basics of worship leading. Students will receive practical instruction in guitar, vocals, songwriting and the use of technology in worship leading. In addition, we will look at Biblical foundations for worship, historical practices of worship, and current conversations regarding worship leading in the local church.

Instructor: Brian Hogan
Course Fee: None, however students will need a guitar (acoustic preferred) and capo
Open to Grades: All Grades