Winterim 2022: AM Courses

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

Anatomy of a Story: Creative Writing and Storytelling

This creative writing class is for serious lovers of fiction and storytelling who want to explore and perfect their craft. Each day will include a deep dive into the most important topics in storytelling (i.e. premise, plot, characters, dialogue, etc.) as well as ample time to practice and work on our writing in class. We will learn from some of the world’s best writers and listen to some of the best oral storytellers in the nation. If you have always wanted to write a novel but have never had the time, or if you just want to learn how to tell stories that people love to listen to, this class is for you! NOTE: Don’t take this class if you are not prepared to spend a significant amount of time writing!

Instructor: Daniel Smith
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

American Sign Language

In a few days, you can 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?

Instructor: Alta Johnson
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

The Art of Celebrating: A Small Crafts Winterim Class

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 The Art of Celebrating: a small crafts Winterim class. This class is designed to engage students in celebrating others through crafting. Whether it is a birthday, anniversary, or simple a “Happy Friday,” there is always a way to turn the focus away from ourselves and make others feel special through a personalized craft, card, or fun party décor.

In the spirit of Philippians 2:1-4, another goal through these projects is to learn about Christ’s humility and live that out. Therefore, by the end of each week, students will send, to a person or group of their choice (i.e. Thank you cards to hospital workers, encouragement to nursing homes, family members, etc.), something created that week.

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

Asian Cooking 101

This course will help students learn the basics of Asian cooking technics. We will cover many essential Asian foods, like ramen noodles, curries, hand sushi rolls, fried rice, stir-fried vegetables, etc. Students will learn how to read and follow a recipe for basic Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Malaysian food. The main emphasis will be quick and authentic recipes. Come prepared to satisfy your Asian taste buds! Students will leave the class with a notebook of recipes they have mastered.

Instructor: Rochelle Yang
Course Fee: $70
Open to: Juniors and seniors

Basic Car Mechanics

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

Body and Soul

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Instructor: Rachel Chaney
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Brain Games

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


Instructor: Alyssa Strzalka
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Characters of the Bible

This Winterim class will be a Bible study for teen guys. We will be learning about God through the way He worked in the lives of biblical people. This class is a terrific way to grow your faith as you learn about the ways God used ordinary people to accomplish his sovereign purposes!

We will be delving into two main areas for the two week period:

  1. The Patriarchs (Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph)
  2. The Deliverers (Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Samson, Ruth, and Esther) 

Instructor: Dick Clancy
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Dance: Telling Your Story

Communication happens through a variety of methods, but nonverbal communication can be incredibly powerful. Dance and movements can be a 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 the ways choreography and movement can 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 grades

Design Thinking

Are you interested in designing solutions for real-world problems?  Does the idea of being equipped with design strategies that professionals use in today’s workplace appeal to you?  Then this is the perfect class for you!   Design Essentials is a class that teaches students the critical process of “Design Thinking,” which is the method of designing a solution for a problem by including the person or people group who experience the problem in the design process.  This 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.  While this is a required course for students who are in Academy by Design, all students are welcome to enroll in the class!

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

Film Analysis and Composition

This course will use a variety of films (6), and as a class we will watch the films and analyze the worldview of the writer/director, along with the worldview of the characters in the film. We will learn the skills that can be used to distinguish worldview in film and understand what motivates and drives the characters, depending on their worldview. The class will consist of individual analysis, group discussion, and written responses to the films.

Instructor: Daniel Ball
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades except students who have just completed the similar course during first semester

Food, Film, and Forgiveness

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: Trish Main
Course Fee: None
Open to: Girls only

Golf 101

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Instructor: Tate Fritz
Course Fee: $100
Open to: All grades

Gainz and Glory

We play 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 fun field trips to Ninja Warrior gyms, Crossfit box, cycling classes, and more. We’ll learn the way to program workouts, plan and correctly follow an individualized diet, 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 female students, not just athletes. We hope you can join us!

Instructor: ET Thompson & Autumn Ratliff
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades, females only

Harry Potter and the Seeker's Journey

We will explore the expansive and immersive world that JK Rowling built about a boy who lived. We will discuss and analyze the way the Harry Potter series mirrors the key aspects of the gospel.One of the overarching themes of the series is the idea of self-sacrificial love and conquering death so that others may live, just as Christ did for us on the cross. In addition, we will critically study the themes, individual characters, and the intentional parallels that connect the magic world to our world that JK Rowling expertly interweaves into the narrative of each book. We will also evaluate how well the movies bring Harry Potter to life and the ways different mediums can portray a story.

Instructor: Leah Rinker
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

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 Lifestyle Photography

Intro to Lifestyle Photography is perfect for anyone looking to enhance their skills in portrait and everyday photography. We will start by learning the basics of your camera so you’re confident shooting entirely in manual mode! You will also learn ways to pose people naturally, to utilize indoor and outdoor natural light to create more unique images, and to perform basic editing. As with most skills, practice is the best teacher, so we will be out photographing a lot–including a full indoor lifestyle session with a family! If you love capturing pictures of people and catching those authentic moments, you will love this course!

Instructor: Laura Armstrong
Course Fee: None
Class Requirements/prerequisites: DSLR camera (any brand) with at least one of the following lenses: 50mm, 35mm, 18-55mm (standard kit lens)
Open to: All grades

Instrumental Winterim

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
Class Requirements/prerequisites: None. Students may repeat this course if taken last year
Open to: Member of band/orchestra or permission of instructor

The Mechanics Behind Strategy Board Gaming

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

Intro to Robotics - Full-Day Course

Introduction to Robotics is a course designed for students who may have an interest in engineering or robotics. This highly collaborative and hands-on course uses the Lego Mindstorms curriculum to build and program robotic tasks. Students will learn basic programming skills and explore subjects including manipulation, locomotion, perception,
and control theory. Basic engineering context such
as design, troubleshooting, logic, and optimization will be covered as students build their robots. This course will also satisfy a science elective credit.

Instructor: Gerard Cruz
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades


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.

Students should leave feeling more educated, prepared, and confident to handle themselves in many different circumstances.

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

Sports: More than a Game!

In the class “Sports: More than a Game” we will learn that the sports we love are so much more than a game. We will watch famous sports movies, such
Miracle, Remember the Titans, 42, The Rookie
(to name a few) as well as ESPN 30 for 30’s to better
understand what we can learn from sports and what
biblical principles can be applied to our daily lives .

Classes will involve not only watching the films but
also great discussions, as well as food because who can watch a movie without some kind of treat?

Instructor: Leah Dunlap
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Intro to Sports Psychology

Intro to Sports Psychology will provide a perspective of the “mental conditioning” side of optimal performance on the court/field and the classroom. In this course, students will focus on using core mental skills such as goal setting, emotional control/management, visualization, positive self-talk, motivational strategies, building and maintaining confidence and team building/team to help them prepare and perform consistently at their best. The mental conditioning skills covered in this course are not just for athletes! The mental conditioning skills can be applied to any other areas of life that requires a student to demonstrate leadership, perseverance, teamwork and communication.

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


It takes more than actors to put on a play and more than musicians to have a concert; sometimes it takes a lot more. Stagecraft will study and practice live production design, lighting for concerts and theater, audio engineering for live concerts and theater, basic rigging of scenery, and more along the way.

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

Trash to Treasure

Ever feel like you do not meet God’s standards? Or your brokenness keeps you from fully experiencing God’s grace and love? Well, Trash to Treasure is the class for you! We will explore the way God turns imperfect, broken people into beautiful vessels, equipped to embrace life and serve Him. We will do this by collecting (in thrift stores) broken, imperfect, even ugly objects and turning them into beautiful, functional, or just plain interesting art! We will also visit a house that was built using recycled materials 65 years ago and spend some time at my studio where my sister and I created a business turning a rejected objects into a product of function and beauty. Please join me and discover how fun and satisfying it is to create and explore some very hidden treasures!

Instructor: Susie Cassel
Course Fee: None
Open to: All grades

Video Editing: Theory and Technique

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

Instructor: Chris Yiesla
Course Fee: None
Class Requirements/prerequisites: An interest in editing and some experience shooting your own footage (phone, camera, etc.) If you desire to learn Final Cut, an apple laptop is required.
Open to: All grades