The Circle Project

The Center for Diversity in Engineering, partnering with engineering faculty members Keivan Esfarjani and Hui Ma, has initiated The Circle Project, a virtually-hosted summer project, in an effort to support engineering students' professional development. The overall goals of the program are to offer a platform to engage our engineering students with the community and create a pathway of discovery for 1st-12th grade students by introducing them to math, science and engineering concepts.

The Circle Project received an overwhelming amount of interest from across all majors in the engineering school. Our students are passionate about engaging with 1st-12th grade students and serving our community. They are currently preparing to host weekly and bi-weekly interactive lectures that are appropriate for many ages. From a Harry Potter–themed class to The Science of Cooking, students have come up with intriguing topics in math, science, and engineering that to captivate and motivate the minds of young learners. 

  • Course Details and Offerings

    Course Details, Descriptions, and Flyers



    Course Duration

    Classes will take place Monday through Friday, June 29th, 2020 through August 14th, 2020 from 2:00PM to 5:00PM EST with two scheduled breaks in between. Each class will extend over one or two weeks depending on its level and contents. Offered classes will repeat throughout June 29th to August 14th.

    Course Offerings and Topics 

    Our students offer to teach a wide range of topics for kids of grades 1 - 12 covering:

    • Physics of flight, collisions, amusement parks, time travel, and superheroes
    • Forensics and crime investigation
    • ​Coding for gamers 101, website design
    • Game theory, the math behind decision making, geometry, origami and solving the Rubik’s cube
    • Basics of the economy and business planning: create your lemonade stand
    • Engineering design process
    • The Human Body: A Feat of Engineering
    • Engineering our immune system
    • The Science and chemistry of food, fermentation, cooking
    • The Earth and sustainability
    • Science and ethics of infectious diseases


    Course flyers are hyperlinked below for your reference, sorted according to increasing grade level. Please find additional details regarding registration in the "Registration Information" section of this page. 

    Space Warriors: Exploring Beyond Earth's Boundaries **NEW OFFERING**
    Grade Level 1 - 4 | One Week Course | Weekly Offering 8/10 - 8/14
    In this class, students in grades 1-4 will be learning about outer space! Through hands-on activities, students will have the opportunity to learn about the solar system, astronomical units, gravity, and the phases of the moon. Additionally, students will learn about the sun and even map out constellations. Our course is designed to combine math, science, and hands-on activities to make learning and STEM fun! I have attached a flyer for Space Warriors that gives an overview of topics and activities that will be covered in our course.

    ​Earth Warriors: A Summer Class for Kids Who Want to Go Green!
    Grade Level 1 - 4 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/20 - 7/24, 7/27 - 7/31
    In this class, kids will be learning about nature and the environment. Through hands-on activities, students will have the opportunity to study topics including plants, animals, water, land, and environmental impact. Students will learn about animal habitats then see animals in action through virtual field trips which may include a national park, zoo, or aquarium. Students will participate in scavenger hunts in their backyards to learn about native plants and animal species. Additionally, participants will learn about the Earth's water and land and the impact their own actions have on the environment.

    Baking and Learning Course
    Grade Level 2 - 6 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 7/13 - 7/17, 8/10 - 8/14
    This 1-week long course will focus on utilizing elementary math and science concepts to make delicious treats! We will be learning about fractions, units, time and much more while making banana pudding, instant ice cream, and other delicious treats!

    ​Math Mysteries
    Grade Level 4 - 5 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings  7/20 - 7/24, 8/3 -8/7
    Join us to solve themed mysteries using logic and math! Work in teams with your peers on fun, collaborative problems. The theme will change each day so get ready to put on your investigator hat and get to work. 

    Hogwarts Online: Harry Potter Themed Science and Math Class
    Grade Level 4 - 6 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/6 - 7/10, 7/13 - 7/17, 8/3 - 8/7, ** NOW OFFERING 8/10 - 8/14 **
    Calling all Harry Potter fans. Enter the magical world of Harry Potter, and take classes such as Potions, Arithmancy, Herbology, Ancient Runes, Defense Against The Dark, Care of Magical Creatures, and more at Hogwarts online. In these classes, students will learn muggle skills such as chemistry, astronomy, biology, and logic. Along with classes everyone will be sorted into a Hogwarts house and play games and participate in other activities to compete for the house cup. Throughout the week students will use the skills they learn and a little bit of magic to solve a mystery at Hogwarts.

    Learn Geometry Make Origami
    Grade Level 5 - 6 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/6 - 7/10, 7/27 - 7/31
    Learn about geometry, algorithms, and problem solving with hands on interaction with origami and the rubik’s cube. Together, we will fold the intricacies of paper and solve the seemingly unsolvable rubik’s cube all while developing useful skills such as communication, collaboration, and creativity. 

    Superhero Science Camp
    Grade Level 5 - 6 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/6 - 7/10, 7/27 - 7/31
    Have you ever wondered how Captain Marvel can fly? Or how the Flash can run so fast? What about how Frozone can create ice out of nothing? In this Superhero Science course, we will use activities and experiments to go “behind the scenes” and explain the science of some of your favorite superheroes! Additional materials will need to be acquired/ prepared by the student.

    Design a Better World
    Grade Level 5 - 6 | One Week Course e | Weekly Offerings 7/13 - 7/17
    The world needs heroes like you! Come learn about how your choices can help or hurt the earth. We will use design thinking to brainstorm and test new ways to preserve our environment! We will focus on topics such as food, fashion, and saving the rainforest. Activities may include designing a mini greenhouse, creating recyclable art, and building your own compost bin.

    The Science of Food
    Grade Level 5 - 6 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings  6/29 - 7/3, 7/13 - 7/13, 7/27 - 7/31, 8/10 - 8/14
    Come learn about the nutrition, fermentation, and chemistry of your favorite foods! Activities include making fizzy drinks, pickles, and pizza!

    The Virtual Game of LIFE with Math
    Grade Level 5 - 6 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 7/6 - 7/10, 8/3 - 8/7
    Learn about basic economic and money managing principles, the engineering design process, real-world applications of math, and more in this virtual game of life with a twist! Together, we will build our very own class "city" from the ground up with hands-on activities that will help you develop important skills such as communication, collaboration, and creativity.

    Coding for Gamers 101!
    Grade Level 5 - 8 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/6 - 7/10, 7/13 - 7/17, 7/20 - 7/24, 7/27 - 7/31
    Learn the basics and logic of coding through interactive games using a FREE coding program called Scratch. Leave with your own self-designed game with fancy animations and sounds.

    Engineering for Your Life: Engineering Design Course
    Grade Level 5 - 8 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 8/10 - 8/14
    This course will introduce rising 5th-8th graders to the engineering design process. Each class will consist of a design challenge where students will get the opportunity to innovate solutions for things they interact with everyday. Students will be taught the engineering design process, including brainstorming, interviewing stakeholders, and sketching a prototype. The class will start by designing a prototype with no knowledge of the engineering design process, and students will iterate their design as they learn more about engineering. At the end of the week, students will know how to design like a real engineer!

    Eggciting Eggsperiments
    Grade Level 7 - 8 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/20 - 7/24, 8/3 - 8/7
    Learn fundamental physics concepts using eggs while building fun contraptions! Each day will involve the learning of a new physics topic, followed by fun activities related to the topic. Activities will include egg crash car tests, egg drop experiments, catapults, and more!

    Forensics and Crime Investigation
    Grade Level 7 - 8 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 7/6 - 7/10, 7/20 - 7/24, 8/3 - 8/7
    Learn about toxicology, finger printing, DNA testing, physics principles, and more through interactive cases and role-playing! The course will end in a murder mystery interactive team-based activity applying everything learned in the class.

    Gray's Anatomy
    Grade Level 7 - 8 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/13 - 7/17, 7/20 - 7/24, 7/27 - 7/31
    Did you watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and wonder what it would be like to be a real doctor? Did you know that there is a textbook of human anatomy titled Gray’s Anatomy that students study to become doctors? Come be a part of "Gray’s Anatomy’s" newest class of medical students and learn what it’s like to be a doctor! We will explore case studies of patients, learning basic concepts of medicine and what it’s like to be a doctor; each day we will explore a new part of the body and a new part of medicine! Followed by a lecture on the human body and exciting interactive activities, you will play the role of medical students in a hospital with mystery patients, and it’s your responsibility to learn, diagnose, and propose a treatment for your patient. Being a doctor entails much more than diagnosing and treating, and you will get an enlightening journey into the world of medicine. Are you ready to be a doctor for a week?

    The Human Body: A Feat of Engineering
    Grade Level 7 - 8 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 7/20 - 7/24, 7/27 - 7/31
    What is a biomedical engineer? A biomedical engineer creates a bridge between biology and engineering. Thanks to Biomedical Engineers, the world can appreciate revolutionary and life-saving concepts such as artificial organs and surgical robots, to name a few. In this one-week course, students will appreciate the fundamentals in conducting science experiments, understanding engineering principles, and designing basic medical technology -- all through fun activities using easily accessible household materials!

    The Prisoner's Dilemma & Beyond: Game Theory, Strategy, and the Math Behind Decision-Making
    Grade Level 7 - 8 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/6 - 7/10
    This class will introduce students to game theory, the branch of mathematics dealing with decision-making and determining optimal strategies in games. Students will participate in simulations of games and puzzles, use critical thinking to determine winning strategies, learn about the mathematical concepts underlying rational decisions, and apply what they have learned to human behavior and the real world.

    The Science of Cooking
    Grade Level 7 - 8 | Two Week Course | Bi-weekly Offering 8/3 - 8/14
    Eat your way through homemade sourdough, cheese, fudge, and more while learning about fermentation, cellular respiration, proteins, and the chemistry of cooking! This course heavily features exciting food labs and dissections! Session 1 will focus on breads and Session 2 will focus on yogurts and cheeses.

    Python and Data Science
    Grade Level 7 - 12 | Two Week Course | Bi-weekly Offerings 7/6 - 7/17, 7/20 - 7/31, 8/3 - 8/14
    Learn the basics of Python and Data Science, without prior knowledge! We will cover fundamental Python concepts like variables and functions in the first week of class. In the second week, we will interact with data like excel sheets that show infection rates of COVID-19 and learn to graph and make predictions based on that data... all with Python!

    Applied Physics Fundamentals 
    Grade Level 8 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/20 - 7/24, 7/27 - 7/31 
    Learn the fundamentals of Physics and understand how the world around you interacts with different object. We will cover the most important topics in Physics and also see how they are applied to a Formula 1 car to allow it to achieve the amazing characteristics that make it so nimble. No need for any additional materials and no prior knowledge required.

    Design Your Own Medical Devices
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 7/13 - 7/17
    This course is designed to engage student in real-life biomedical engineering techniques with basic engineering design/CAD softwares and to allow students to come up with their own unique designs (characters, devices, or any ideas they have in mind). Real-life medical devices designed by BME professionals for the health industry will be introduced and students will learn the same procedures and techniques used in designing them!

    Build your Own Website!
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/6 - 7/10, 8/3 - 8/7
    This course will cover the basics of two of the most popular web design languages: HTML and CSS. This includes learning basic functionality and syntax and eventually developing a unique website in a hands-on project. After taking this course, students will be introduced to web development and will be able to take their skills into more advanced development including using web frameworks and JavaScript.

    Engineering on Deck: Designing and Boat Building
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 7/6 - 7/10
    Get an introduction to Engineering through designing and building a boat out of household materials! Dive into 3D modeling, prototyping, sustainability and much more!

    Engineering Our Immune System
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | Two Week Course | Bi-weekly Offerings 7/6 - 7/17
    This class will cover the basics of the two parts of the immune system, before delving into the history and science behind current vaccination techniques. Finally, the course will cover the engineering and math behind deciding the dosage and route of administration to use for any kind of medicine!

    Let's Fly Online Interactive Course
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/13 - 7/17
    Learn about the physics that go into flight. Kinematics, Newton’s Laws, Energy and Power, Fluid Mechanics, and much more! Featuring hands-on experiments such as water rockets and balsa wood gliders. Part 2 of the course will be offered based on interest the following week!

    Art x Math: A World of Functions
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/6 - 7/10, 7/20 - 7/24, 
    Students will explore & master algebraic skills and functions in an activity-based and fun learning environment. Graphing functions with an online tool, Desmos, students will learn to use functions, transformations, and operations to make beautiful pieces of art.

    Physics in the Amusement Park
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/13 - 7/17, 7/27 - 7/31
    This course will provide students in grades 9-11 information on how roller coasters and other amusement rides use various physics concepts to provide thrill. Students will learn how to apply concepts such as energy conservation, centripetal acceleration, kinematics, the use of free body diagrams, and others. At the end of the week, students should be able to posses basic knowledge on why roller coasters and other amusement park rides are built the way they are.

    Plan a Mission to Mars
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/27 - 7/31
    Students will learn how to collaborate in small and large teams. The mission construction will be broken up into three teams that specialize in their own areas and collaborate with each of the other teams.

    Project Based Intermediate Programming
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | Two Week Course | Bi-weekly Offerings 7/6 - 7/17, 7/20 - 7/31
    This course is geared towards high school students with some programming experience, but there will be a Python basics lesson on the first day of class. The goal of the class is to explore unique and interesting techniques for problem solving that are not typically covered in an introductory course. Students will apply these techniques in various projects such as small text-based games. The class will use the Python programming language.

    Stop the Contagion: an Introduction to Infectious Diseases
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 6/29 - 7/3, 7/13 - 7/17, 8/3 - 8/7
    Learn all about infectious diseases! Starting with how they infect us to how we fight them off, this course offers insight in how infectious diseases affect our bodies and how they affect the laws of the world! Come join us for a week long intro course that involves both science and ethics!

    The Beginner's Handbook for Time Travel
    Grade Level 9 - 11 | One Week Course | Weekly Offerings 7/13 - 7/17, 7/27 - 7/31
    Have you ever wondered about the science behind time travel? In this fun one-week course, learn about the physics concepts behind time travel, how time travel has been portrayed in movies, and relevant applications that scientists and engineers are developing. Explore the foundations of Newton's Laws and Einstein's Theories of Relativity, as well as real-world instances of time travel such as black holes and wormholes. We will discuss the time travel methods in movies (infinity stones, anyone?) to evaluate the extent of accuracy. We'd love to have you join us in this adventure!

    In Plain Sight
    Grade Level 9 - 12 | Two Week Course | Bi-weekly Offerings 7/20 - 7/31
    In Plain Sight is a 2-week-long challenge built around (ethically) breaking the rules. It teaches the most interesting parts of cyber security (including SQL injection, code breaking, and password cracking) by presenting students with a series of increasingly-difficult hands-on challenges. Each challenge pits the students against the clock to capture a virtual flag. Each captured flag gives points, and the top point-earners will win prizes. For 9-12th graders who want a chance to break my computers (and learn the importance of security in the process), an example flag can be found at . Be observant -- as the name implies, many of the flags will be hidden in_plain_sight.


  • Registration Information

    Registration Fees

    Registration fees are $120/week (equating to 15 hours of class per week). Service and processing fees will be applied via Eventbrite. Please note: registration fees directly support student wages for this project and there is no limit to how many courses you would like to enroll your learner in.

    Registering Your Learner for The Circle Project

    Please use the following link to register for courses after reviewing course offerings, availabilities and descriptions above:


    Once registration has been submitted, you will receive an email confirmation with directions on finalizing payment your learners enrollment. 

    Please email Amanda Fortune should you have any issues with registration, payment processing or any additional questions or concerns.   

    If you are hoping to enroll multiple students, please fill out separate registration forms. Once you receive email confirmations and are directed to the Eventbrite site, select the amount you would pay for both registrations and you will have an opportunity to add the second students' registration confirmation and name for verification purposes on our end. 

    Registration Deadline 

    As long as there is open space in a class prior to the course start date, learners can still be enrolled (pending registration confirmation). 

    Refund Policy 

    To be eligible for a refund (less service and processing fees), requests must be received no later than 48 hours prior to class beginning. Please allow up to 5 days to receive refund.  

  • Practical Information

    Accessing Virtual Learning

    Student instructors will manage their classrooms via the Zoom video conferencing platform. Once registration is finalized and enrollment in the course is confirmed, you will receive a communication from your student's instructor(s), typically the Friday before classes start. They will provide a direct link to the virtual classroom meetings, along with additional details regarding the course.

    Please note: classes are limited to 10 participants to allow instructors to tailor instruction more individually and to minimize disruption. Instructor to student ratio is 1:5.