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Odyssey Programs

50 Acacia Avenue 

San Rafael, CA 94901

P: 415.485.3255




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Course Descriptions


Illustrate Your World! 

Entering grades 2-3-4

Instructor: Katy Bernheim 

 Pick up your pencils, pens and paints. We will make our own sketchbooks, and in the spirit of curious naturalists, we’ll venture out into the world to see what plants, insects, animals and people are up to on a summer morning. We’ll do observational drawings and paintings, and brainstorm ideas to create our own storybooks inspired by our artwork. Along the way we will also explore various bookmaking and paper engineering techniques. Back at the studio we will put it all together to make dynamic, colorful, illustrated graphic narratives.


The Wonders (and Science) of Nature

Entering grades 2-3-4

Instructor: Frank Marrero

Love the outdoors? Students will engage their minds and sense of wonder as they are led to explore the natural world. Activities and instruction will be balanced with ecological concepts and guided play. Students will create ecosystems, play habitat games, and act as owls searching for (toothpick) prey. Art projects in nature, using natural objects, will compliment habitat sensitivity and service to our environment. Sharing nature with children is a natural summer odyssey.


Dazzling Discoveries

Entering grades 3-4-5

Instructor: Julie Levinson

Enjoy science and math that will help you understand the amazing worlds of electricity and problem solving. Check out these exciting subjects with a range of fun experiments, creative projects, and challenging activities.  Learn about magnets, create electrical circuits, build a telegraph, experience pointillism, play games, and solve puzzles. These brain-stretching activities will allow you to experience science and math in a fun and exciting way.


The Art of Wonder through the Magnifying Glass

Entering grades 4-5   

Instructor: Beth Kraft 

Ready for a journey into the world of wonder and boundless imagination?  Want to take a closer look into familiar objects that surround us and uncover mysteries that you’ve not seen before?  In this class, we will infuse art, science, and writing.  Through close observation, questioning, and artistic expression students will develop higher order thinking skills, increase creativity, and build a deeper connection and empathy with the natural world.  Using several different magnifying tools, we will increase the scale of objects and thus, increase the wonder.  Students will use a variety of art mediums to creatively display the magic they discover.  The artist, writer, thinker, and poet will emerge as students learn to express themselves through analogy, metaphor, and similes.


The Art Problem Solving

Entering grades 4-5-6   

Instructor: Ruth Leader Kraft 

Do you love a creative math challenge? We challenge you to use your brain power and your creativity to problem solve by creating spirographs, building models, manipulating tiles, experiencing pointillism, playing games, solving puzzles, and drawing geometric designs. These brain stretching activities will allow you to experience math like you have never experienced it before. Bring your skills of persuasion to explain how and why these puzzles work, after having stumped your friends and family. Warning; this is not your everyday math class.


Tune Up!

Entering grades 4-5-6

Instructor: Libby Silvestri

Do you have a load of song lyrics stuck in your head? Do you find yourself humming and singing to yourself... and to others?  Do melodies and song lyrics seem like they are telling your story? Thought of writing a song but don't know quite how to get started?

Using both classic and contemporary songs and jingles, this workshop will explore the basic structure of a song, identify song genres and themes, examine what makes a song stick in your head, and what makes another last over decades - even centuries! The concept of music as a reflection of the times will be a focal point as well. We will also be breaking out the art supplies and set to visual the lyrics to one of your own favorite songs.

Come get a fine-tuning to last you a lifetime and increase your musical and lyrical pleasure, appreciation and talents.


Written and Illustrated by...

Entering grades 4-5-6

Instructor: Nancy Wilson

Do you dream of writing a book someday? Interested in using your drawing skills to illustrate your ideas? If so, you should know that your someday has just arrived. Join our publishing company and learn how to tap into both sides of your brain. Then use your new-found creative power to not only write but also illustrate an original book in a very short period of time. No pressure -- just lots of fun and excitement (and lots of writing and illustrating)!

Yes... It is Rocket Science 

Entering grades 5-6-7

Instructor: Ron Pembleton

How would you like to build and launch a real rocket? From paper airplanes to plastic bottle rockets, you will learn the principles of flight and put them into action. You’ll construct your own solid-fuel rockets from Estes kits and send them into space. You’ll learn how to determine just how high your rocket could go, and the best way to bring it back. This class is always a real blast!


Animal Safari Class

Entering grades 6-7-8

Instructor: T.C. Moore

Ever wanted to go on a Safari? Take an Art Safari, where we will explore animals, their forms and movement. You will develop your understanding of how to draw and model animals with an emphasis on coat, colors and movement. Highlights will include constructing a phenakistiscopeand a thaumatrope, to see your favorite animals move whenever you wish. This is a great opportunity for you to express your love for animals, as well as, increase your understanding of what makes them so fascinating.


Art Studio for Tweens and Teens

Entering grades 6-7-8-9

Instructor: Molly Blauvelt

Open your eyes and use your hands to express your imagination. We will explore a range of sculpture ideas and a variety of materials including clay, which we will glaze and fire. Projects will include Southwestern style pinch pots, mask-making and sculpture with found objects and recycled bits. We will be inspired by nature, art history and folk art from around the world. Individual ideas and creative problem solving are encouraged. Each artist will draw daily in their individual sketchbook.


You Be the Judge!

Entering grades 6-7-8-9

Instructor: Kate McDougall

How would you like to be lead counsel in the Big Bad Wolf ’s criminal trial? Did he eat the bacon or was he framed? Would you like to be the judge? Learn how a real criminal trial operates as we take famous “characters” to court. In this exciting simulation, students will form teams for both the prosecution and defense, act as presiding judges, witnesses and defendants, and serve on juries. Prosecutors and the defense will learn how to offer evidence and how to shape a good argument. Judges and jury will determine how to listen critically for the truth, and everyone will have loads of fun.


Writing for the Silver Screen

Entering grades 6-7-8-9

Instructor: Peter Gavin

Itching to become a famous screen writer? Are you interested in creating memorable characters and realistic dialogue? What makes certain scripts superior and others forgettable? Discover why some movies grab you from the opening scene, while others are so boring you demand a refund. Learn about dramatic structure, screenplay paradigm and script format. Discover how to analyze both classic and contemporary films from a screenwriter’s point of view. Who knows, this class may be the launching pad for your Hollywood screenwriting career?

Note: as part of the class we will view many scenes and scene sequences from a wide variety of G, PG, and PG-13 movies.


Geometric Art and the Cerebro-Visual Pattern

Entering grades 7-8-9

Instructor: Micah Franks

Witness the beauty in the universe and recreate it using math tools, your artistic taste, and your mind’s desire to see logic and order out of the chaos that surrounds us. We’ll use geometric constructions, origami, collage, and a cornucopia of color to design circular and linear patterns, explore symmetry, reflection, transformation and isometry. We’ll build 3-dimensional modular origami structures as well as create a frustum, a truncated pyramid, out of nothing more than a circle.

Click here to download a course description (PDF).

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