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decats 2024 courses

2-4-6-8… Cheer is Great!  

Area of Interest:  Physical Education, Team Building

This is a beginner's course into the wonderful world of cheerleading! Each scholar will learn how to perform cheers, some choreography to instill into a cheer routine, and basic tumbling skills and jump sequences. We could possibly learn basic stunts! We will have a great time and enjoy the sport of cheerleading!

Activate Outdoors  

Area of Interest:  Physical Education

Do you enjoy being outside and being active?  If so, this is the course for you! We will begin our day by running laps as a warm-up.  Then, we will operate two separate fields of soccer and kickball.  Some days we may all play kickball, some days we may all play soccer, but most days you can choose which one you want to play. Water coolers will be available, and frequent breaks will be encouraged in the heat.  Please bring another shirt to change into and/or deodorant for when our class is over.  Let's get healthy, have some fun, and ACTIVATE OUTDOORS!

Birds, Bats, and Bees, Oh My!
Area of Interest: Science - (Grades 3 and 4)

Birds, bats, butterflies, and bees that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food. They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce.   Learn about myth versus reality, when it comes to these friends of the environment.  How do bats use echolocation to find food?   Why does honey come in so many colors?  How does the shape of a bird's beak and feet help it survive?  Texas is home to 660 species of birds, the largest bat colony in the United States, and many species of butterflies. In this course we learn the physical and behavioral adaptations, life cycles, and how we can preserve their habitats.   We will make a bat hotel, a bee drinking fountain, and hummingbird feeders, and explore other ways to attract these flying friends to our neighborhoods.

Business Academy

Area of Interest:  Strategy, Problem Solving, Digital Design, Entrepreneurship - (Grades 4, 5, and 6)
Learn how to start your own small business from scratch! This course is designed to mentor, support, and equip scholars with the necessary success skills to set them on the path of becoming our future entrepreneurs. Scholars will learn what it takes to succeed in our global economy, equip them with the success skills they need, and set them in the right direction for understanding entrepreneurship at a young age… oh and did we mention it's fun?!  C
omputer skills are highly recommended.
NOTE: For a few assigned days scholars will need to bring an electronic device (iPad or cell phone) for promotional video filming.


Cocoa Motion

Area of Interest: Food, Team Building

Sweeten your day with Cocoa Motion! Get ready to have some delicious fun with chocolate! Take a virtual tour of a Chocolate Factory, explore the ancient world to see how they discovered chocolate, build a chocolate sculpture, explore baking science, and more! Your taste buds will thank you for this unforgettable experience!
ALLERGY WARNING: This course involves handling and consuming food. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should not select this course.

Dance Through the Decades

Area of Interest: Performing Arts, Physical Education

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to dance your way through the decades! We’ll explore pop culture and fads through time and learn all the popular dance styles. So let’s hop aboard our time machine and bust a move as we dance through the decades.


Draw Your Perspective

Area of Interest: Art

Bring your drawing to life using pencil, colored pencil, or charcoal instead of paint. Learn how to use positive and negative space, shading, hatching, and cross-hatching. These techniques will help you improve the way you approach every art piece in the future.

Extreme Journeys

Area of Interest: Social Studies and History

Are you interested in perilous adventures?  Does the idea of discovering new continents, climbing Mt. Everest, or soaring into space excite you? Come explore humankind’s most exciting achievements!  Choose historical adventures that excite your curiosity and retrace a hero’s footsteps.  Map out and design future daring adventures of your own, too.  From Ponce de Leon to Neil Armstrong, we’ll span the best that exploration has to offer!\

Follow Your Art
Area of Interest: Art - (Grades 5 and 6)

Learn how to bring your art to a new level of expression. Paint two-dimensional visuals that express elements of colors, tones, lines, and textures. You will produce a piece of artwork that shows volume, space, movement, and light on canvas.

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead 

Area of Interest: Problem-Solving, Team Building - (Grades 5 and 6)

Are you ready to take the helm of your four C’s? That’s Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking. In this course, teams of students will compete to build contraptions, machines, devices, tools, gadgets, and gizmos. Each day, a task will be put forth.  Teams will create and complete using set parameters and materials. Which inventions will meet the challenge? Timid thinkers need not apply!

Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul

Area of Interest: Physical Education

Let’s get our minds, bodies, and souls active in this fun, free-spirited class! In this course, kids will learn beginner yoga poses that challenge individuals both physically and mentally. Incorporate good strength training and yoga to benefit your body and mind while practicing Catholic meditation. We recommend that you bring in your own yoga mat. 

Hogwarts Academy

Area of Interest: Literature  - (Grades 4, 5 and 6)

Calling all witches, wizards, and particularly clever muggles to enroll in the Hogwarts Academy for witchcraft and wizardry. Polish up your potions, transform your transfigurations, and channel your charms as we wield (and create) wands, dominate (and decorate), dragons, and triumph in a wizard duel (of wits). Through herbology, care of magical creatures, astronomy, charms, transfigurations, and more explore the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Human Habitat Dimensions

Area of Interest:  Fine Arts

Learn about indoor/outdoor living environments in a hands-on creative method. Establish a living style, create a floor plan, and select colors, fabrics, and furniture to decorate your own human habitat! Scholars will learn to draw to scale and build a mini-model.

It’s Beginning to Look  a lot Like Christmas

Area of Interest:  History and Fine Arts

Get ready to dive into the enchanting world of Christmas traditions. Join us on an adventure exploring the tales of St. Nicholas, the legendary toymaker.  Ever wonder about the origin of hanging stockings or Santa's chimney exploits?  Curious about the history behind Santa's red suit? And what about holly and mistletoe?  The fun doesn't stop there... get your creative juices flowing as we craft Christmas ornaments, pop-up cards, and wrapping presents with finesse!  Dive into art as we master the art of drawing cardinals, making an elf trap, creating Christmas tree corner bookmarks, and much more.  Join us as we celebrate the magic of Christmas, unravel the traditions, and create cherished memories.

I’ve Got Your Number

Area of Interest: Math, Problem Solving - (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

I’ve Got Your Number is the ultimate course tailored to math enthusiasts who thrive on game-based learning.  Dive into a summer of mathematical exploration where dice games, cards, and board games like Beat the Teach, Love your Neighbor, Farkle, Genius Square, MasterMind, Mancala, and Dara, along with logic puzzles and engaging art projects, await. Challenge yourself to keep your math skills sharp while having a blast with strategic gameplay, problem-solving challenges, creative art projects, and mind-bending puzzles. Join us for an unforgettable journey where numbers meet fun, logic reigns supreme, creativity flourishes, and learning is as enjoyable as it is rewarding!


I Will Survive

Area of Interest: Naturalist, Outdoors 

In this course, scholars will explore the outdoors and learn to survive! Scholars will learn how to use a compass and hunt treasures, use a bow drill to make ambers for fire (Mr. Dawson starts the fire, you roast the marshmallows), and catch fish. If you love to be outdoors, this is the course for you!


Area of Interest: Team Building. Problem-Solving 

Are you a Lego maniac? Do you like to have fun designing different structures with Legos and participating in challenges? If so…this is the course for you! Build a marble maze…create a Lego zoo, participate in a Lego boat race and so much more! For creative minds, everything is awesome in LEGOmania!


Let’s Put on a Show!

Area of Interest: Performing Arts, Team Building

Lights, Camera, Action! Do you love to be on stage? Do you sing and dance throughout your day? Is acting your “scene”? Then, let’s put on a show! You will learn to perfect your craft and sharpen your talents while learning how to put a show together and perform for an audience. By using our talents, we will create a show-stopping musical revue! Scholars MUST be present for the entire session of DECATS - We perform at the end of DECATS.

Maker Mania!

Area of Interest: Technology, Fine Arts

In Maker Mania! scholars will participate in hands-on activities to integrate technology and crafting!  Scholars will have the chance to experiment with electricity by building paper and wearable circuits.  They’ll also have the opportunity to participate in design challenges!

Mission Possible
Area of Interest: Physical Education, Fitness, Nutrition

 Would you like to improve your coordination, strengthen your core, and learn fun and unique exercises?  Then let’s make your mission possible! The greatest wealth you’ll ever get is your health.  Treat yourself to a fitness experience and see a positive difference.  We will set personal goals to achieve good physical and mental health.  Declutter your mind of all negative thoughts and embrace a journey filled with joy and positivity. Ultimately, you will discover a more mentally and physically stronger version of yourself. 


Once Upon a S.T.E.M. 

Area of Interest: Logic, Problem-Solving, Strategy, Team Building - Grades 3 and 4 Only

Can you build a parachute for Jack to escape the Giant?  Or design a zip line for Little Red Riding Hood to bypass the wolf on the way to Grandma’s house?  Use everyday objects to challenge yourself to complete the Science Technology Engineering Math tasks and rescue your favorite fairy tale characters!

Pinterest Got Your Interest?

Area of Interest: Fine Arts

Guess what’s trending?  Come join the fun of PGYI!  We will be using our crafting talent to create wonderful take-home projects and some to donate!  You’ll be amazed at the choices of crafting projects offered in this course.  So, get ready for another great year, and make sure to “Pin” us on your course selection sheet.

Raiders of the Ancient World

Area of Interest: Fine Arts, History

Travel through the history of Egypt and learn of similar exciting traits that include the notable gods and goddesses, grand sculptures, unique art, interesting cultures, tasteful food, and historical contributions.

ALLERGY WARNING  This course involves the handling and consuming of foods. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should select this course with caution.(Last day only)

Come explore with me in this alluring ancient world!


Area of Interest: Technology and Problem Solving

Have you ever wanted to build and code a robot? If so, this course is for you!!! This course is an introduction to building and programming robots using LEGO SPIKE Prime. In pairs, scholars will use Lego bricks to build mini-figures and then program the mini-figures to do tasks such as picking up objects, driving, break dancing, and playing mini golf. Scholars will practice construction and programming using distance, force, and color sensors and motors. This course is good practice for scholars interested in STEM and robotics competitions.

Science Secrets 

Area of Interest: Science  - Grades 3 and 4

If you like to discover things for yourself, then this is the course for you!  WARNING: It might be messy and even explosive!  You’ll have a great time exploring many sciences including physics, chemistry, earth science, and botany.  We’ll make super bouncy balls and really cool hovercrafts!  You’ll even be able to eat an experiment or two...yum!!

Sew What?

Area of Interest: Fine Arts

Here’s what … You will experience the excitement of creating with a sewing machine. You will master basic stitches as you create fun projects. The first Wednesday volunteer parents will drive us to a fabric store.  Then you will use your creativity to choose two coordinating fabrics. Scholars will use the fabrics to stitch a unique sports bag, beach bag or overnight bag. You will further master basic sewing techniques as you create a matching DECATS pillow. Scholars will also create sewing projects for a local organization.

Siege Warfare 

Area of Interest: Logic, Strategy

History and science combine in the study of the weapons and defenses of castle and siege warfare. Use your knowledge to build model castles and weaponry and participate in an all out battle between attackers and defenders to see which technology will triumph!  You will study the physics of weaponry to build model catapults, trebuchets, crossbows, and more! This is a challenging course that requires attention to detail and patience. Task commitment is a must.

So You Wanna Be a Popstar!
Area of Interest: Performing Arts

(Focus)  Vocal and Public Performing Skills- Scholars will learn stage presence, good vocal techniques of solo and group performing while singing along to some great music from past to present! 


Area of Interest: Logic, Science -  Grades 4, 5 and 6

In Spaceology scholars will explore the parts of a rocket that make it fly high!  Learn about wing and nose cone design and the forces that propel a rocket up.  Finally, design, build, and launch a water rocket.  


Area of Interest: Physical Education, Team Building

Ever wish gym class could be every day?  Well, you’re in luck! Join your friends and fellow scholars playing some of the most fun games you play in gym class. From relay races to matball, spend an hour being active and having fun!

St. Joseph’s Carpenters

Area of Interest: Fine Arts, Team Building - Grades 4, 5 and 6

Houses, bridges, fences, decks, sleds… What do all these have in common? WOOD! Working with wood is something that people have been doing for centuries. Have you ever wanted to build something on your own, using your hands and your imagination? Woodworking is the perfect place to explore that curiosity! This unique course will drive you to understand the prep work, labor, and final touches that make each piece special and different! Come experience this one-of-a-kind course!

Super Slime 

Area of Interest: Science - Grades 3 and 4

If it fizzes, oozes, or globs, it is on the menu.  Make “gastric foam, milk maggots, and monster snot” and then devise some clever ideas to amuse and amaze your friends. We even make slime on Fridays!! Calling all Mad Scientists!!


Area of Interest: Technology - Grades 5 and 6

Tinkercad is an easy-to-use tool for creating digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed into super-cool physical objects.  You will be guided through the 3D design process via hands-on lessons that teach you the basics of Tinkercad.  Strong computer skills are highly recommended.

The Cutting Edge - Beginner

Area of Interest: Biology, Science - Grades 3 and 4

How does an earthworm breathe?  Does a crawfish have a brain?  Take this course and you could find out!  In this course, scholars will be introduced to dissections through applying anatomical vocabulary and use of dissection tools to carefully survey organisms that are part of the animal kingdom.  The Cutting Edge Beginners is open to 3rd and 4th grade scholars and will be a great way to “get your feet wet” in the exciting world of dissection!
ALLERGY WARNING: This course includes dissection and is best for scholars with strong stomachs. It also involves exposure to specimen preservatives.

The Cutting Edge - Intermediate 

Area of Interest: Biology, Science - Grades 5 and 6

What does a heart actually look like?  Now is your chance to investigate animals in a hands-on dissection course!  In this course, scholars will be introduced to dissections through applying anatomical vocabulary and the use of dissection tools to carefully survey organisms that are part of the animal kingdom.  The Cutting Edge Intermediate is open to 5th and 6th grade scholars.
ALLERGY WARNING: This course includes dissection and is best for scholars with strong stomachs. It also involves exposure to specimen preservatives.

What’s Cooking DECATS?

(formerly Iron Chef) 

Area of Interest: Food, Strategy, Team Building

Are you ready for a cook-off challenge? The kitchen will be filled with opponents ready for battle as they face off to score the highest points in taste, presentation, and originality. Scholars will learn kitchen basics, including safety, food cleanliness, the art of spices, and recipe studies. Team players with a strong stomach, wild imagination, and a healthy appetite for friendly competition should apply.
ALLERGY WARNING:  This course involves handling and consuming food. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should not select this course.

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