This page describes USA Aloft's Young Scientist series course content. See our courses page for details on costs and reservation procedures. Unless otherwise noted, courses are available as school programs or for a general audience.
The USA Aloft Spring 2009 School Program Flyer is available for download as a PDF.
USA Aloft believes strongly in the importance of a strong science background for today's youth. Our place in the world of the 21st century will be determined by our access to a pool of young talent, well rounded in all subject areas and well founded in the sciences. This series is designed to provide an early start for teens into the world of science. The instructor for the series, David Saxe, has worked throughout his life in a highly technical environment, applying that technology to a variety of scientific areas including statistics, mathematics, psychometrics, astrophysics and computer science. Mr. Saxe has not forgotten nor neglected the appreciation of the natural world taught by his parents. His father, a zoologist with experience in botany and geology, made every venture from the home into a learning experience about the flora, fauna and environment. His mother, Martha L. Saxe, a musician and artist, insured that his scientific view of the world was tempered through the eyes of an artist. Mr. Saxe comments, "I have been extremely fortunate in my career to work closely with an array of world-class scientists across a number of fields. I am hoping that with this series, I may be able to convey some of the advantages that benefited me to a young generation."
Targeted at a teen audience, this course will introduce object oriented programming (OOP) techniques, design and implement OOP tools and apply them to a body of scientific data. Throughout, the application of the techniques to real world scientific problems will be stressed. Prerequisites are knowledge of the Java programming language or a demonstrated ability with another programming language. An interest in science is expected. We will not be teaching the Java language, but some limited assistance will be available. The course will meet twice weekly for three hours for ten weeks (60 hours.) An outside study commitment will be required. If you wish to have the course offered at your facility, please contact USA Aloft.
We will tailor the scientific problem to your needs for this course. Some areas for
consideration are a body of astronomy data, bird observational data or perhaps
a mapping (GIS) problem.
Students wishing to enter this course who lack the Java language background should contact USA Aloft. If you have programming experience you may qualify or be able to learn the language along with the material. Don't be scared off. Assume the challenge. We can offer reading material suggestions and may even be able to provide some tutelage prior to the course.
We do not supply computing platforms; students should have their own laptops or other devices capable of running a Java IDE. The space for instruction should have adequate power and provide a classroom environment (whiteboard and desks or tables). We will discuss student and environment requirements when you reserve a program.