Eastern Oregon University > Press > Summer Institute offers focused tracks

Summer Institute offers focused tracks

EOU photo by Tessa Ortmann
EOU photo by Tessa Ortmann / The institute is an opportunity for high schoolers to experience college life and earn credits at a reduced rate. Jeremy Riggle, assistant professor of chemistry, works with 2013 attendees.
Summer Institute for high school students offers new focused tracks
News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu
Source contact: Dan Mielke | Executive Director, Eastern Promise
541-962-3941 | ep@eou.edu

June 2, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) ⎯ Eastern Oregon University is accepting registrations for its 2014 Summer Institute with two sessions available June 23-July 11 and July 14-August 1.

The immersive three-week programs enable high school students to complete coursework of interest and earn college credits at a reduced rate, all while living on campus. Cost per credit hour is $40 and room and board is $545.

Focused tracks in video game design, environmental science and musical theatre are new this year. Electives like drawing, history, Latin dance and more enable students to create individualized curriculum as an alternative.

In session one, students have the opportunity to delve into “Video Game Design” and get “Knee Deep in Science.” A total of 11 credits comprise each of these tracks.

Teaching participants to design their own 2D video game will be Aaron Boudreaux, assistant professor of computer science and multimedia, and Richard Croft, associate professor of computer science and multimedia.

Boudreaux will show students how to use GameMaker software to create original games to share at the end of the session.

Croft’s multimedia 110 class takes it a step further with an introduction to 3D modeling and animation.

“We’ll work up from household objects to rigging actual characters, and maybe some mapping and experimenting with different tools to build things,” Croft explained.

Using EOU’s electronic music lab with guidance from Luke McKern, audio/visual technician, students will create and record sounds, even dialogue and theme songs that will help bring their game together.


Students registered for the “Knee Deep in Science” track will create another type of project.

Donna Rainboth, assistant professor of education, and Jeremy Riggle, assistant professor of chemistry, are partnering with the Grande Ronde Model Watershed for this track.

From snorkeling with a fisheries biologist and studying macro-invertebrates, to unlocking the chemistry of ice cream and birding at Ladd Marsh – activities offer a different view of science and STEM careers.

“This is science that a variety of professionals are doing,” Rainboth said. “It’s real life and that’s the cool part. Those who are reluctant or think they’re not ‘good’ at science benefit when they experience it outside of the classroom.”

Fieldwork is planned on public land at Red Bridge State Park, Pocket Park in Elgin, Ladd and Catherine creeks and the Grande Ronde River.

“Students will participate in collection and analysis,” said Leigh Collins, EOU alumna and public involvement education coordinator for GRMW. “It’s good for them to experience these two different sides of research.”

Participants will design their own research assignment, gather data, conduct experiments and arrive at conclusions to share during a mini-symposium with their peers and family members.


A complete production from inception to performance is the outcome of the 12-credit “Musical Theatre” track offered in session two of the Summer Institute.

Kenn Wheeler, associate professor of theatre, Michael Frasier and Jamie Jacobson, instructors of music, will draw on strengths of their students when selecting a musical theatre review. Participants are asked to include a resume of theatre experience with their registration to assist in this process.

In addition to singing and acting, behind the scenes work that goes into a production will also be incorporated. Writing dialogue, building scenery, managing lighting, creating costumes and choreography are all technical components students will actively participate in.

“Theatre is very collaborative and we’ll overlap in a lot of areas to provide comprehensive exposure,” Frasier explained.

“That’s part of what we’re teaching, too – how the collaborative process works.” Wheeler added. “It will be a really well-rounded experience very similar to a college-level production. It’s also an opportunity for students to work with very strong professionals who have done hundreds of shows combined.”

The “Video Game Design” track is accepting 20 students; “Knee Deep in Science” is accepting 15-20; and “Musical Theatre” is accepting 25. Elective courses will be capped at approximately 20 students.

Registration forms are available at www.eou.edu/eastern-promise/summer-institute or in Zabel Hall, Room 119 at EOU. For more information call Laurie Powell at 541-962-3941 or e-mail ep@eou.edu.

The Summer Institute is a program made possible by Eastern Promise, a collaboration between EOU, Blue Mountain and Treasure Valley community colleges, InterMountain Education Service District and school districts in eastern Oregon.

Additional support comes from the Wildhorse Foundation.