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STARS Summer Camp: Courses

2021 Academic Sessions – 2022 Sessions Coming Soon

The Physics of Light with Brett Guisti
Students will participate in a variety of hands-on activities and demonstrations that will reveal some of the amazing properties of light. These will include an introduction to the optics of lenses and mirrors, refraction, diffraction, image formation in the human eye, adding light versus adding pigments, and investigating the wave and particle natures of light.

Twisted Tales: Fresh Takes on Timeless Stories with Julie Dillard
Let’s explore classic tales to re-imagine them with cool new settings and surprising new points of view! Give a beloved story a modern twist in outer space or give a despicable villain a fresh story line…The magic is in your imagination! We’ll investigate elements of classic tales, play games and do activities to shake things up, and make time for further investigation with stations for reading, art, and writing.

Polymers Aplenty! with Beth Verano
They’re stringy and sometimes slimy. They carry genetic information and the pencils in your plastic case. They can link together, pull apart, and fold into countless shapes making them one of the most fascinating and important molecules to study. They’re polymers and this summer we will link together all the important ways these molecular chains transform our world. Through demonstrations, investigations, and hands-on experiments, students will have a blast getting wrapped up in polymers!

Meet the Instructors

Brett Guisti earned a BS in physics and an MS in technology, both from Brigham Young University. He started out his college career studying computer engineering but found he was more interested in the big questions that physics asks (and frustrated without of place commas in his code). Brett has been teaching for 14 years, including 9 years at the Davidson Academy. He has taught a variety of physics and technology related courses over the years including engineering, robotics, astronomy, philosophy of science, quantum mechanics, AP physics, and several different permutations of introductory physics. He loves the curiosity of the students in the Young Scholar program and looks forward to working with them this summer.

Julie Dillard is a teacher of pre-AP English, mythology, and science fiction courses and an enthusiastic writer of young adult and middle grade stories. Growing up in a military family, being an avid reader, and having a family of her own have offered great possibilities for writing inspiration, but the very best ideas are kindled alongside the terrific young people she has the privilege of working with every day.


Beth Verano– After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Beth decided to teach for just a few years, until she figured out what she wanted to do. It only took a short time for her to realize that education is her passion and she is now in her fourteenth year of teaching. She spent most of her career in Las Vegas, where she taught science and math courses at both the high school and college levels. In the fall of 2019, Beth began teaching for the Davidson Academy online school and is grateful for the opportunity to bring the Davidson Academy experience to students living all over the country.