Winterim 2024: PM Courses

Afternoon Course Session: 11:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Experiencing Everest (Full-Day Course)

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: Kristen Rusthoven 
Class Fee: None
Open to: All grades


It’s OK to have doubts. It’s OK to have questions. Alpha Youth is a series of conversations that explore the basics of Christianity in a supportive environment. It’s a place where you can ask honest questions or say nothing at all. Everyone is welcome. If you have decided to follow Jesus, this class is for you. If you have questions about faith, this class is for you. If you are looking for a fun and supportive community in class, this course is for you.
During this class, you will experience community building and move through the Alpha Youth curriculum. For more on the Alpha Youth experience, click here.

Instructor: David Moran and Brad Thornton
Class Fee: None
Open to: All grades

The Art of Competition - Registration Closed

Art of Competition is a perfect class for Christian Athletes. The whole class will be a
competition, with the winner receiving a gift card to a place of their choosing. Each day we’ll have an individual competition, so individuals can get points, and then we’ll have a team competition so that all members will get points. We’ll be discussing some pretty crucial and hidden aspects of being a competitor. Not all competitions will be physical, we’ll test knowledge, we’ll test cooking ability, we’ll attempt to cover a wide range of competition. We’ll also a movie that deal and discuss with some hidden aspects of competition. The objective of this class is to learn how to worship through competition. We’ll never quite obtain it, but we’ll endlessly and relentlessly strive for it. This class is for men only. Come with an appetite to have fun, to grow, and to compete. 

Instructor: Elliot Thompson
Class 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.

Instructors: Neal Roys
Class Fee: $75
Open to: All grades

American Sign Language

In a this class, you will learn the foundation of a beautiful, useful language. Although ASL takes a lifetime to master, the basics of conversation will be introduced in this Winterim class. Fingerspelling and numbers, greetings, food, home, clothing, idioms, history, culture, media representation and ministry will all be presented, with time for hands-on practice and discussion. God is calling individuals of this generation to extend their hands to an unreached people group who live among us and across the world. Will you respond?

Instructors: Alta Johnson
Class Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Animation and 3D Design

Whether its Game Design, Animation, or VFX, studios all across the world need talented 3D artists to create the amazing visuals we love to watch and play. In this course, we will learn how to create, move, and render amazing 3D scenes using industry standard software to create animations that will be reviewed by industry professionals. We’ll cover the basics of interface, modeling, lighting, texturing, and rendering in a comprehensive overview of the Cinema 4D software. We will also seek to understand more about what makes an animation great through a look at some of our favorite shots in games, movies, and more. 

Instructors: Luke Fritz
Class Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Astronomy - Registration Closed

“The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” So the psalmist writes about the wonders of the heavens. This Winterim we will explore the knowledge of our night sky in the classical study of astronomy. You will be introduced to the basics of observational astronomy and the inner workings of our created universe. Bring your warm jackets for outside activities and I’ll provide the hot chocolate!

Instructors: Stephen Zawicki
Class Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Aviation - Registration Closed

Are you interested in the aviation field? If so, this class is for you! This class will be an introduction to the amazing world of aviation. We will take a look at the basics of flight, including aerodynamics, aircraft systems, weight and balance, charts, navigation, flight planning, regulations, and weather. Offered with the help of the LeTourneau University Aviation Program, Wheaton Academy is excited about once again reaching for the sky!

Instructor: Lee Wilkinson
Course Fee: None; however, if weather permits, we will try
to schedule discovery flights with students. The cost of this
flight is an additional $100 per student should a student choose to participate.
Open to: All Grades

Children's Book Illustration

This Winterim we will be diving into your favorite children’s book classics and conceptualizing your own story. We will focus on finding a storyline you are excited about and learning how to craft it into a book. Focusing on studio time in the classroom and studying from life, by the end of two weeks you will walk away with the knowledge of how to turn an idea into a story through thoughtful imagery.

Instructor: Naomi Economou
Course Fee: None
Open to: All Grades

Christianity Then and Now

This course will explore the birth, growth, and branching out of the Christian church.
Students might wonder about the history of their own church branch and how it is both similar and distinct from other branches of Christianity. This course will address these questions. Possible field trips include visits to a Jewish synagogue, a Catholic church and an Eastern Orthodox church.

Instructor: Chip Dykema
Course Fee: None
Open to: All Grades

Cricut 101

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 design 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: Kimberly Schoepke
Course Fee: $25
Open to: All Grades

Food Around the World - Registration Closed

This class is designed to help you develop an incredible and adventurous palate. You will experience eight different types of foods from around the world and visit various restaurants in the Chicagoland area. You will pose as a food critic and be given the opportunity to write about each food experience. You may need to be brave at times and go outside your comfort zone. Being a food critic is not for the faint-hearted. You will try many different types of foods and record your impressions as descriptively as you can . If you are the kind of person who has a tremendous zest for life and is willing to take many adventures and risks, this course is for you. 

Instructor: Daniel Ball
Course Fee: $ 70
Open to: All Grades

Food, Film, & Forgiveness - Registration Closed

The world of film—Spiderman, The Prestige, The Spitfire Grill, and others—focuses on a theme of forgiveness and the possible consequences of refusing to forgive. This class will study the biblical texts that address forgiveness, watch several movies about forgiveness—while eating food–and compare the messages of the movies with the truths of scripture.

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

Game Design Lab - Registration Closed

Do you enjoy playing and creating games? Are you interested in how theme, story, and mechanics work together to create an engaging and fun experience? Want to learn more about game design? What about the artwork that brings a game to life?

In this Winterim design lab, we’ll learn how games work and about their basic elements, how designers create an experience for the player, and how to prototype and iterate your own game design. You’ll also have an opportunity to design the visual look and feel for a game you or another team is creating.

You’ll be playing and evaluating games to learn more about how they work before choosing known mechanics to craft your own games with an emphasis on collaboration. Designers and artists will work together to hone the look and feel of the game and its components.

In this class, you’ll learn…

  • How to unpack the term “game,” incorporating different concepts and multiple perspectives.
  • How to analyze the mechanics of paper and digital games, considering how these mechanics affect gameplay and player experiences.
  • How to design, develop, and test paper and digital prototype games using an iterative design process and incorporating user feedback.
  • How to craft a visual identity that enhances gameplay.

Instructor: Sean McCallum
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Hispanic Culture Immersion

This course will immerse you in Hispanic culture! We will explore Hispanic holidays, learn about famous Hispanic people and try our hand at making some crafts from Spanish-speaking countries. We will also play some games, taste Hispanic foods, and listen to Hispanic music. On one special class day, we will explore the music of “Zumba!” We will have a Brazilian Zumba instructor teach us special dances from all different Spanish-speaking countries. Come ready to learn to dance! Students will finish class with a new appreciation for Hispanic culture and traditions.

Instructor: Kelly Laschinski
Course Fee: None
Open to: Girls only

How to Play the Ukulele - A Beginner's Course

Are you interested in learning a new instrument? If so, this course is for you! The ukulele is a versatile instrument that is easy to learn and fun to play. In this course, students will learn the basics of tuning, strumming, and playing chords. Students will explore the history of the ukulele, the various types and sizes, as well as the genres where the ukulele is most often heard. Together we will learn and play several well-known ukulele tunes including Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Hey, Soul Sister. No prior experience with the ukulele is necessary to take this course. We will start with the basics and build from there.

Instructor: Kyra Patterson
Course Fee: $25 towards the purchase of Ukulele for each student
Open to: All Grades

Intro to Improv - Registration Closed

This Improv class is an introductory course to the fundamentals of improv. It is designed for those who have the desire to get more performance experience under their feet as well as to risk trying new things! Whether Improv is something that you’ve been doing for a long time, or if it’s something that you’ve never tried before, this class is open to all levels of experience! Each day we will have a hands-on rehearsal where everybody will be able to participate in improv warmups, exercises, and games! As we go through these exercises we will focus on the art of collaboration and listening, as well as learning how to make/understand universal humor for audiences that invites all people into the experience of Improv. We’ll finish off the course with an Improv performance that is open to all families of the students in the class, where students can take what they have learned from the class and put it into action!

Instructor: Joe Jones
Course Fee: None
Open to: All Grades

Intro to Podcasting

Do you listen to podcasts? Do you want to create a podcast? Intro to Podcasting is a beginner’s workshop that teaches you everything you need to get started. We will review the history of podcasting and how it exploded in popularity and turned into big business. You will learn the fundamentals of audio recording and editing as well as how to write and interview. By the end of our worksop, you will put together your own podcast episode.

Instructor: Matt Cozzi
Course Fee: None
Open to: All Grades

Knitting and Sewing - Registration Closed

This class is designed for those who love to be creative and try new things. You will learn all the basics of knitting and sewing in this fun stress-free class. We will be making a knitted hat and sewing a tote bag using a sewing machine. No experience necessary. All materials are included.

Instructor: Amy Burdett and Julie Grant
Course Fee: None
Open to: All Grades

Military Intelligence Operations - Registration Closed

Technology is stolen, terrorism targets a world superpower, countries go to war, war is prevented. Why and what does it mean? Come behind the scenes to explore the mysterious world of intelligence operations. You will study the concepts of intelligence collection and its role in national security objectives and become educated on the blurred lines between civil liberties versus national security Want to visit rarely seen intelligence centers and hear from intelligence experts in the field? Join us as we go behind those secret doors.

Instructor: Cory Roberts
Course Fee: None
Open to: All Grades

Pixel Bash: A Fortnight of Gaming - Registration Closed

Do you love gaming? Join us for an adventure and nine days full of electronic gaming! Each student will build and keep their own RetroPie, a retro-gaming machine enabling you to play arcade and home-console games. You’ll pick which games you install and configure, and we will extensively play-test our creations. We will have multiple gaming competitions and prizes throughout. Vintage arcade gaming will also be featured with field trips to the Flux Capacitor Arcade (private arcade of the instructor) and the Galloping Ghost Arcade, which features over 885 games and is the largest video arcade in the USA!
Game on, Warriors

Instructor: Greg Blaum
Course Fee: $100
Open to: All Grades

Rock Climbing - Registration Closed

Rock climbing is an awesome and often overlooked sport . Regardless of your skill level, join this class for a challenging and chill experience spent in the gym climbing with friends. In this class, we will be traveling to Vertical Endeavors, a nearby rock climbing gym almost every day . This class is open to all levels of climbers. If you are completely new to the sport, this class will teach you the basics of climbing, including how to belay climbers so that you can take on any top rope routes . Rock on!

Instructor: Luke Regan
Course Fee: $100
Open to: All grades

Sales, Staging & Successful Investing: A Real Estate Overview - Registration Closed

In the two weeks of Winterim, the course will provide an overview of the real estate industry. There will be three field trips over the course of the class, such as the opportunity to learn how to stage a home. The class will touch on the light-hearted side of real estate (sales and marketing, property pricing) as well as some heavier topics (negotiation tactics, and real estate ethics). Everyone will be affected by real estate in their lifetime, and this class will give each student a taste of this industry and perhaps an appetite for getting their real estate license. (Licensure age is 18!)  

Instructors: Carly Brust
Class Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Video Editing: Theory and Technique - Registration Closed

Editing is the craft of taking video footage and sculpting it into a story. In Video Editing: Theory and Technique, we’ll be exploring the reasoning behind why certain edits work, the early history of film editing, and how to use modern-day editing apps like Final Cut Pro and Premiere. We’ll shoot and edit our own footage in class and discuss our work together. By the end of this class, you’ll see videos, shows, and movies through a brand new lens, and will be able to take your footage in new potential directions.

Instructor: Chris Yiesla
Course Fee: None, need a phone with camera
Open to: All grades