Quail Run Creamery's co-owner, Scott "Dominic" Catino, draws on experience crafting soft cheeses and pampering the sustainable farm's bleating denizens to teach interactive classes to groups of up to 20 people. Sessions kick off with a tour of the dairy, which lets students learn how artisans prepare creamy delights and dispels conspiracy theories about Superman's role in the process. After a presentation on the history of cheeses, which is peppered with intriguing facts and trivia, tongues quiver in anticipation of a cheese plate. Coupled with tastings of Oregon wines, the platter parades seven different classifications of cheese that run the gamut from soft and mild to hard, complex, and brooding.
For 10 years, New Era Computers has taught students to bend computers to their will with software-wrangling classes that congregate in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings. Instructors employ individual attention and hands-on learning to unveil the mysteries behind Microsoft Word (a $180 value), Excel (a $225¬–$275 value), PowerPoint (a $180 value), Access (a $225–$275 value), or the accounting prowess of QuickBooks (a $225 value). Beginning courses impart basic skills, while intermediate courses delve into more complex studies and allow students to build their own scale model of the Internet. Classes meet in two-hour sessions, either twice a week for three weeks or three times a week for two weeks. New Era Computers' schedule lets prospective students peruse a convenient timeslot and teaches them how to introduce themselves in binary.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them to firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chest. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids to feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Drawing on innovations and research in cognitive science, the gray-matter specialists at Braingystics bolster clients’ mental performance with individualized neurotechnology programs for kids and adults. Training more than 60,000 kids aged 5–14 across the globe and one hyper-smart ape at the moon academy for gifted simians, Brainobrain develops the left and right hemispheres with abacus-based math exercises. The course builds confidence, memorization skills, focus, and positive thinking through creative thinking and imagination. Experienced staff guides small groups of children through 10 levels of brainwork, focusing on each level for 12 weeks, with one meeting per week ($150 monthly tuition).