Primary Classes


Colorful Explorations - The Chemistry of Art – Cece Schwennsen

Week 2

Art and chemistry have been linked since the day the first cave dweller smeared mineral pigments on a rock wall. Today's chemists formulate pigments and dyes to precise specifications and ensure that they maintain their colors for decades. Students will make their own media including paper, crayons, and tempera paints. They will create art using a variety of techniques that involve crystallization, chromatography, drawing, and painting. 

Digital Designs – Monica Furmanski

Week 1

During this one-week session students will be introduced to creating digital designs with Adobe Illustrator. Students will explore creating logos, digital portraits, as well as graphics for their own skateboard deck! Materials and skateboard deck will be provided. 

Diplomacy – Juarez Newsome

Week 1, 2 and 3

For those interested in mastering the art of negotiation, thinking strategically, and developing a greater grasp of geography, this class is for you. With rising tension throughout Europe at the turn of the century due to imperialism, nationalism and the thirst for supremacy on the continent, conflicts emerged among the seven European powers. Diplomacy, a game of alliances and promises kept and broken, attempts to recreate the diplomatic type-roping to solve, perhaps, the impending crisis through the art of negotiations. As one of the major powers - England, Germany Russia, Turkey, Italy, France and Austria-Hungary - a skilled diplomat will realize when help is needed from others and when not to trust “so called” allies. Remember, you are a diplomat first, a commander second. To fortify skills as a negotiator, students will study several texts that define artful negotiations and provide background information regarding previous European conflicts. Let the games begin.

Engineering Design & Build – Joshua Caditz

Week 1
Students learn 21st century science and engineering skills while solving STEM challenges our science faculty designed to encourage inquisitive young minds to get excited about engineering. Come design, build, and learn with us! 

Explore Digital Filmmaking – Monica Furmanski

Week 2
Students will explore digital filmmaking using equipment provided by the Cate art department. They will explore storyboarding, stop motion, and creative editing all using Adobe Premiere Pro. No experience is necessary to enjoy this class. All necessary is a fun attitude and a willingness to explore ideas! 

Photographic Explorations – Monica Furmanski

Week 1 and 2

Using DSLR cameras provided by the Cate art department, students will explore various ways of using their cameras creatively. While exploring the Mesa, the beaches in Carpinteria, and taking short hikes nearby, students will practice capturing motion, depth of field, and other creative camera techniques. As part of this one-week program, students will also be introduced to using Adobe Photoshop to process and present their photographs. 

Ready, Set, Action! Screenwriting for Young Adults – Zohara Zamor

Week 1 and 3

In this class, students will explore the film as story. Students will analyze what makes a good script great, practice the art of design thinking, and collaborate with peers on screenwriting an original short film. Bring your eagerness and positive energy to make the classes fun.

Sports Science – Erik Hansen

Week 1 and 2

Preventing injury, running faster, running longer, jumping higher and reacting quicker than your opponents are components of athletic performance that all athletes are interested in improving. But how? What is the science behind improving human performance? In Cate’s Sports Science class, students will learn the basic components of exercise science and how they relate to athletic performance both in the classroom and in Cate’s state of the art Harcourt Fitness Center. 

Sweet Adventures: The Art and Chemistry of Baking – Cece Schwennsen

Week 2 and 3

Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of baking—from reading and following recipes to the importance of kitchen safety and food-born illness. They will also learn the science behind leavening, baking temperatures, ingredient interactions, and flavor components. Students will work alongside classmates as we practice making from-scratch versions of favorites such as a summer tart, éclairs and gougères, bread, and French macarons. 

Word Play! – Jana Ransom

Week 1 and 2

This is a writing workshop with a twist. Through games and engaging activities, students will exercise their creative writing abilities and build their vocabulary, all while having fun. We will explore poetry and prose, first by reading model texts, and then by crafting and drafting our own. From prompts and ideas to polished drafts, we will dabble in both classic and non-traditional forms, including black-out poetry, sentence composition, spoken-word poetry, flash fiction, editorial blogs, and even Tweets. In addition to our writing workshops, we will play tournaments of word games, from classics like Scrabble, Boggle, and crossword puzzles, to new favorites such as Bananagrams, Quiddler, and Balderdash.



Computer Coding Creation: Creating Stories and Video Games – James Gribble

Week 1, 2 and 3

Do you want to bring your stories, imagination and ideas to life on a computer? In this class, students will use colorful coding blocks that fit together like puzzle pieces and digital paint tools to create a story (make your own cartoon) using Scratch programming. Next, students will learn how to create a math game with +, -, x, or /. Then, we will learn how to make our own video game! Students will all get to code their own stories and games while sharing ideas with friends as they go!

Entrepreneurial Mindsets – Santina Olney

Week 1 and 2

Being entrepreneurial isn’t just about starting companies. It is about having a vision and making it a reality. It is a way of thinking that can be learned and practiced. With an entrepreneurial mindset, you’re halfway there to bringing your innovative ideas to life. All that’s left is learning the practical tools, or skills, that successful entrepreneurs have in their toolbox. For this session, we will be growing our entrepreneurial minds by engaging in creative brainstorming activities, collaborative exercises, and completing business model design methodology. In this class, students will create a business and marketing plan, a small-scale prototype, and a business pitch. Think Shark Tank - CATE style!

The Exquisite Corpse - Amy Sharp

Week 1 and 2
Taking the Surrealists parlor game Exquisite Corpse and transforming 2-D drawings into 3-D sculptures. The course will begin with learning about the Surrealists, their game, and creating drawings in small groups and as a whole group. How do things change with the number of people playing, how does the image change even though everyone is given the same directions, how much detail is needed? Join us for this wild, creative adventure into 2-D drawings and 3-D sculptures. 

Leadership and Design Thinking – Tamar Adegbile, Bryan Rodriguez, and Margot Dorion

Week 1, 2 and 3

This class draws upon the curriculum from Cate School’s leadership program and the teachings of Stanford University’s Through the model of service-leadership, students explore their own values and styles of being a leader, all while developing greater empathy for others. Through the creation of greater group and self-awareness, students engage in leadership as a deliberate practice. With these tools, students also start to explore the world of design thinking, a process which draws on methods from engineering and design, and combines them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from the business world to solve challenges and problems in an empathetic and creative way.

Social Discourse – Renee Mack

Week 1 and 2

Join together with new friends from all around the world to select, explore, and discuss issues meaningful and impactful to you. Students will generate and explore these issues each day through the use of varied social discourse and academic debate methods. While students ultimately hold the power and responsibility to direct the curriculum, some topics for study in the past have included: climate change, the existence of zoos, social media usage, global politics, dress codes, and ocean protection. Social discourse will assist with building literacy, reading comprehension, critical thinking, problem-solving, and oral expression while also encouraging students to form close bonds and supportive relationships with their classmates. For our culminating project, we will be creating a newspaper which will be distributed at the concluding ceremony.

You-topia – Christopher Ozuna

Week 1 and 2

Have you ever dreamed of being the ruler of your own country? Would you be a benevolent president, working to ensure peace and democracy for your citizens, or perhaps a powerful emperor/empress regnant looking to expand your nation's reach around the globe? Find out if you have what it takes to be a successful leader on the new planet of You-topia. Start a country from the very beginning and help it grow into a success. Learn how to use a government's power to solve problems and give citizens what they need to be happy, healthy and prosperous. Alas, you are not the only eager new leader on this planet, so you will also need to navigate trade, the environment, conflict, crises and unexpected situations with other countries trying to share the planet. You-topia needs you!

*Primary and elective class options may change from year to year based on student interest and faculty availability.