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2012 Summer Fields courses for high schoolers unveiled

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Application period begins Nov. 1 for three-week program running from July 8 - 27, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at or 608-363-2849

From forensic science to political science and from writing to engineering, Beloit College’s upcoming, second annual Summer Fields program offers four exciting and innovative courses to rising high school juniors and seniors interested in experiencing life at a residential liberal arts campus.

The residential summer program takes place for a three-week period from July 8 – July 27, 2012, and the college will begin accepting applications on Nov. 1. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2012, but students are advised to apply early because students are accepted on a rolling basis in January.

“With Summer Fields, the college wants to introduce students to the liberal arts and sciences in an engaging, hands-on context,” said Alisa Pykett, director of summer programs.  “Students have the opportunity to explore their interests in a rigorous academic setting, meet students from across the country and earn college credit.”

Here are the four courses offered:

  • Electricity, Electronics and Power Generation: Designing and Constructing Circuits and Analyzing the Impact of Power Generation Technology: This work-shop/laboratory-based course taught by Patrick Polley serves as an introduction to electrical principles, electronic devices and the generation of electrical power. Students will construct and design circuits and devices that illustrate electrical and electronic principles and electrical power generation. This course is for those interested in engineering, physics and the technical side of how things work.
  • Fish, Fowl, Flood, Water Lily, Mud: Water in the Literary Imagination: This course takes its title from the first lines of the poem, “Paean to Place,” written by Lorine Niedecker, Wisconsin’s most famous poet and a student at Beloit College from 1920-1922 whose poetry was influenced by the Rock River. In this creative writing class taught by Chris Fink, students interested in writing, ecology and the environment will study the work of writers inspired by water, go on field trips to places such as Niedecker’s cabin on the Rock River in Fort Atkinson and Turtle Creek, and pen their own creative work.
  • China and America: Mutual (Mis)Understandings: Taught by John Rapp and Anita Andrew, this interdisciplinary course examines change and continuity in Chinese and American attitudes about each other. In addition to utilizing the China collections of the Beloit College museums and archives, the course will include films, video and guest presentations from Beloit’s China faculty as well as a field trip to Chicago’s traditional and more recent Chinatowns. This course is ideal for students interested in political science, history, current events or the economy.
  • From Crime Scene to Courtroom: The CSI Effect: For anyone interested in science, chemistry, forensic science, anthropology or criminology, students will document a mock crime scene using the methods employed by law enforcement and take the evidence to the appropriate lab for analysis. Sample analysis will include blood and DNA typing, chemical fingerprint analysis and ballistic inspection. Taught by Ted Gries and Nancy Krusko, students will write a formal crime scene report based on their analysis and present their conclusions at a public poster session.

“We are very excited about the range of course offerings and believe they will attract a dynamic group of students with varied interests,” Pykett said. “Although students concentrate on one course during the program, they form a community with all of the Summer Fields students, which really enhances the experience.”

High school students from all locales are invited to apply. Last year, Summer Fields, formerly known as Summer LABS, welcomed students from such places as Washington, Oregon, Minnesota and right here in Beloit.

Students admitted into the program eat in the college’s dining hall and live in one of the residence halls on campus (Beloit College students serving as Summer Fields mentors stay in the residence halls with them.) The cost for the program is $2,950 and includes tuition, fees, housing and meals.

For more information on Summer Fields and how to apply, visit