Workshop Options

Students will participate in 1 of the workshop options listed below during MST camp. During the application process, we ask students to rank all workshops in the order of what they are most interested in taking to what they are least interested in taking. We do our best to place students into their top choice, although limited space and high demand for certain workshops may affect our ability to do that. You will be notified about your workshop placement after the final application deadline of May 3rd, but before camp begins. 


Debate 101

While most people's familiarity with debate stems from political debates, such as those televised during presidential and local elections, much of what makes debate valuable is hidden from viewers. The real work within a debate includes researching issues, figuring out what functions as evidence, and developing coherent ideas. 

Debate, regardless of how it is presented, ultimately relies on the same sort of dialectical reasoning that involves a clash of ideas merged with presentation skills. A 2015 study that analyzed more than 25 million job postings from 40,000+ sources indicated communication skills were the most desired baseline skill across all industries.

This workshop is designed for students who wish to gain debate skills related to public speaking, critical thinking, and logical communication. Students will develop skills fundamental to understanding argumentation, debate, and public speaking.  These skills have been demonstrated to promote and improve academic, occupational and civic achievement, as evidenced by a study in 2000 which indicated that debaters scored high on ACT and SAT exams. 

Workshop activities will focus on gaining proficiencies that can prepare students for high school debate, including case development, argument strategies, research skills, critical thinking, public speaking, and basic argumentation and debate theory.


Yoga – A Yogical Approach

Yoga is much more than downward facing dog and child’s pose, it’s an ancient form dating back over 5,000 that consists of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India.  It was developed in Northern India and was originally a collection of songs, mantras, and rituals to be used by priests.  It was refined by the Brahmans and Rishis (mystic seers) who moved the practices from an external focus to an internal focus, teaching that individuality was secondary to harmony with others and with the environment.  This work of putting others before self is realized through self-knowledge, action, and wisdom.

The workshop will explore some of this ancient history as well as the physical-spiritual connections which comprise today’s styles.  Most participants begin yoga to learn the physical aspect of the practice, then find that the mind in connection with the body can do so much more.  Our daily workshop will include both physical practice and discussion on the eight limbs of yogic living and how they can relate to stress management, productivity, career, and life lived synchronized with self.  The workshop will also teach basic Sanskrit names of the poses, many of which are named after animals!

Lastly, participants are encouraged to bring comfortable clothing that allows for flexibility and free movement. Students of all skill levels are welcome, no previous knowledge of yoga practice is necessary.


Anime & Manga – The Heart of Pop Culture

Anime is, in fact, an abbreviated pronunciation of Animation or Japanimation in which the word gained popularity in the 1980’s. It all began in 1917 with Japanese artists Shimokawa Oten, Jun'ichi Kouchi, and Seitaro Kitayama.  According to Anime Amino, Anime is considered to be an art form by those who appreciate it. A wide range of audiences are targeted with complicated, in depth and emotional storylines.  Did you know that all Manga is drawn by hand and in Japanese, Manga means “Whimsical Pictures?”

The goal of the workshop is to come together as a group to celebrate collective interest of anime as well as a space where anyone can be free to be themselves and make friends. Our workshop instructor has a vast education abroad and hands-on experiences within Japanese culture that he hopes to share with interested students.

Hands-on experiences will include:

  • Viewing anime and anime music videos from a variety of genres. 
  • Discussing/debating anime and Japanese pop culture
  • Enjoying Japanese food/snacks
  • Reading/creating manga
  • Karaoke
  • Cosplay


Writing – From Hogwarts, to Hobbits, to Hercules!

What does Hogwarts have in common with spaceships? What does a zombie apocalypse have to do with doppelgangers or forensic science? What makes mystery mysterious? These stories are fun to read, watch, and write, but how do writers make the stories feel real? How can you use your interest in science or technology to produce realistic characters and compelling stories? Once you have a story, how do you get it published?

This workshop explores storytelling, creative writing, and publishing. In this space, we’ll create, share, and perform the stories that we imagine, using characters and worlds that we build and create to bring our ideas to life.

We will look for inspiration in science and technology to create something new and exciting in the arts. From there, we’ll learn a bit about book design, layout, and publishing, as we work to make and print a book of those stories for each student to share with his or her family and friends!

Hands on experiences will include:

  • Mapping out richly imagined worlds and universes, and designing heroes and monsters to fill them.
  • Writing and workshopping flash fiction and short stories.
  • Visit the MSU Library’s Espresso Book Machine, where students will see their story collection printed!


GIS – The Power Of Mapping

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are spatial data bases used for map making and data analysis. An understanding of Geographic Information Systems is quickly becoming critical to many professional fields including journalism, humanities, urban planning, and scientific research. Participants in this course will learn how to use GIS software for data analysis and web mapping as well as getting a conceptual understanding of the challenges and math involved in mapping and spatial data. This class will have a mix of computer learning activities and outdoor activities.

Hands-on experiences will include:

  • Gain an understanding of GIS and mapping, including knowledge about file types, data format, projections and database structure
  • Use GIS software (QGIS and ArcOnline)
  • Make maps on the web
  • Take aerial photos and know how to use them in a GIS
  • Collect data in the field
  • Understand general principles of map and data literacy


Visual Art – Creating a Beautiful World

Do you like to get messy? Would you like to create something beautiful but don’t know where to start?

Our Visual Arts workshop is tailored to all skill levels. Success on the projects will depend on your ability to follow directions and work hard (a little luck never hurts either!).  This workshop will explore a variety of artistic mediums and aims to complete as many projects as time allows.  Students will be introduced to some new ways of thinking about, and looking at, the world around you.  Expect to try something new and to create in a way unlike the ways you have tried before.  Most projects will take a few days to complete, but students may work on more than one project in a day. 

Hands-on experiences will include:

  • One Point Perspective Graffiti Name (Paint and markers)
  • Styrofoam Printmaking (Styrofoam, Paint, and Paper)
  • Clay Vessels (Brain Bowls- coil building)
  • Pop-up story (Construction Paper, pen, colored pencil, markers, and paper)
  • Crazy Collage Superheroes (magazine, scissors, and glue)
  • Glaze clay projects (paint dream boxes and brain bowls)
  • Radial Design (Marker and colored pencil)
  • Watercolor Resist Paintings (Tape, glue, crayons, watercolor, and paper)
  • Paint the famous MSU Rock (if time allows)


Music – The Science of Sound

Have you ever wondered what goes into making the music that you hear on the radio?  Do your favorite musicians really sound that great, or is there a science to their sound?

This workshop will look at how microphones, speakers, and digital recorders work. We will also explore how it is that computers can record, make, modify, and play back sounds, and their role in the process of creating music compositions and sound art. Workshop objectives include looking at the math, science, and computing involved in sampled and synthesized sound.

Hands-on experiences will include:

  • Creating several sound art pieces (Which students will take home)
  • Digital sound recording
  • Sound editing
  • Microphone, speaker, and digital recording experiences


Archery – “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”

Did you know that the bow was invented roughly 10,000 years ago? In the 1400’s, the tales of Robin Hood kept readers riveted as he took to the streets of Nottingham with his trusty bow. In 2008, Suzanne Collins revitalized those similar themes in her Hunger Games trilogy.

Today, there is a resurgence of interest in archery. The varieties of bows range from longbows, crossbows, and pyramid bows, to recurve bows and reflex and decurve bows.

In this on-site, hands-on workshop, students will have the opportunity to learn the essentials of archery. The foundation for each class will teach archers fundamentals and drills that will strengthen the archer's confidence plus increase his/her level of proficiency. All classes will build on the previous class. Students will be introduced to the recurve bow, compound bow, and crossbow. Whether you are a beginner or skilled shooter, this class has something to offer everyone! (Please note: All necessary equipment will be provided.)



New for 2017!

Our children (particularly young women) are growing up in a special time and as such, it’s important to help them reaffirm their uniqueness and gifts, as well as entrusting them with the skills that they’ll need to thrive.

MST is offering a new workshop just for girls! GATE GIRL will discuss breaking through the stereotypes of what it means to be a smart woman, while empowering girls to see that being a GATE GIRL is a gift and something to be celebrated. It will also teach girls to not downplay their abilities – instead to highlight them.

This workshop will provide an interactive environment to help girls understand how they can build their own success including understanding Body Image, Social Media/Media Literacy, Self-Care, Building Your Legacy, Career Options, College and finding your greatness. Similarly themed topics aimed at empowering young women will be presented in a safe, creative space.

*GATE GIRL is intended to empower young women enrolled in MST. In keeping with university standards, and out of respect for the students and families in our program, GATE GIRL will not include any religious or political rhetoric.