Roo Honors Academy

Roo Honors Academy is a one-week program designed to academically challenge and expand the minds of high school students who are currently enrolled in grades 9-11. The program will take place June 22-26, 2020, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Honors College on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Students will choose one morning and one afternoon course from among those offered (see course descriptions below). The week will conclude with a late afternoon showcase displaying the topics and projects explored by students during the week. Lunch is provided each day, and students will receive a free t-shirt.

The cost of the program is $265.00 per student. This is a selective program accepting a maximum of 30 students, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Application deadline: Friday, April 17, 2020. Click here to download the Roo Honors Academy application (PDF).

Course Descriptions

Students will choose one morning and one afternoon course from among the following options. These are non-credit courses taught by UMKC faculty members, designed to offer academic challenge and intellectual engagement to high school students. Students who successfully complete each course will receive a Recognition of Achievement from the UMKC Honors College.

  • Environmental Justice (morning session with Dr. Stephen Christ). How is it that certain groups of people do not have access to basic resources, or are systematically burdened with pollution or environmental hazards to a greater extent than other groups? We begin by exploring foundational concepts such as justice, race, and class, and applying them to a series of case studies of environmental (in)justice in the U.S. Through these case studies, we will examine environmental justice issues in urban and rural settings; the strategies and politics of poor peoples’ environmental justice movements; problems associated with protected areas (e.g. national parks) and local populations; oil development and indigenous peoples, and climate justice in the global South.
  • Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (morning session with Dr. Brenda Bethman). Using the film directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan as its starting point, this course will explore the history of Wonder Woman, movements for women’s rights in the U.S., media representations of women and media literacy, women in power, and will conclude with a module on empowerment and finding your inner superhero. We will discuss the enduring appeal of Wonder Woman and the way her popularity has both endured and evolved over time.
  • Cuisine as Culture (afternoon session with Dr. Stephen Christ). Food, from its production to consumption, is a powerful symbol of social and cultural meaning. How food is prepared and consumed is packed with cultural, gender, religious, ethnic, and class meanings among many others. We will explore how and why we eat what we do, and how food is used to create distinctions between individuals and communities.
  • Evolution of Cities and Wildlife (afternoon session with Dr. Aaron Reed). Human population growth is, ultimately, the most significant challenge to the conservation of wild populations. This class will explore how cities have evolved over time, how they threaten wildlife populations, and how conservation priorities are being incorporated in cities. We will test these ideas in the field by sampling diversity of vertebrates and pollinators in the Kansas City urban core.

How to Apply

Interested students should complete the program application form. On the application, students will be asked to respond to the following essay prompt: “What is the importance of being a self-starter when it comes to learning?” This is a selective program accepting a maximum of 30 students, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Application deadline: Friday, April 17, 2020.

Click here to download the Roo Honors Academy application (PDF).

Program Cost and Local Transportation

The cost of this program is $265.00 per student. For students who are accepted into the program, an initial deposit of $50.00 is due by Friday, May 15, and the remaining balance of $215.00 is due by Friday, June 13. This program fee includes the cost of instruction, lunch, and a t-shirt. This is a non-residential program, and local transportation is not provided, so students will need to be dropped off at UMKC before 9:00 a.m. and picked up after 4:00 p.m. on each day of this five-day program, June 22-26, 2020.

If you have questions, please email Margo Gamache, Director of Student Services, UMKC Honors College: gamachem@umkc.edu