decats 2020 courses

2-4-6-8… Cheer is Great!  

(Grades 3 and 4 Only)

Area of Interest:  Physical Education, Team Building

This is a beginner's course into the wonderful world of cheer! 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 also! We will have a great time and enjoy the sport of cheerleading! 


Business Academy

Area of Interest:  Strategy, Problem Solving, Entrepreneurship 

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, equips them with the success skills they need, and sets them in the right direction for understanding entrepreneurship at a young age… oh and did we mention it's fun?!

NOTE: A few assigned days scholars will need to bring an electronic device (iPad or cell phone) to create a promotional video.



Area of Interest:  Physical Education

Ever want to learn to run?  Then Couch to 5K is for you! That’s right, it’s more than just making those feet move quickly.  There’s a whole process that involves warming up, cooling down and building your skills and endurance.  Start with walking and gradually build up to running for 20 minutes a day. This is a great course for those who already run and just want to stay active, or for those just learning to run.



(Grades 3 and 4 Only)

Area of Interest:  Food, International

Buona Sera Scholars! Take a tour of Italy with DECATS! We will learn about the different regions of Italy, its language, culture and fashion, the people and the food (yes, we get to eat it too!). Come tour Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Naples, and Sicily, learn phrases in Italian, sing songs, and mangia on pizza, antipasti and Italian sweets or dolci too! ALLERGY WARNING  This course involves the handling and consuming of foods. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should select this course with caution.


Cocina Con Salsa 

Area of Interest: Food, International

¿Te gusta comer comida Mexicana? Explore Mexico and other Latin American countries without ever leaving Houston! Learn to make tasty Mexican dishes, and then make them at home for your family as you will create a book of your favorite recipes. Buen provecho! ALLERGY WARNING  This course involves the handling and consuming of foods. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should select this course with caution.

Cocoa Motion

(Grades 5 and 6 Only)

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 the handling and consuming of foods. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should not select this course.

Crazy About Comics

Area of Interest: Language, Fine Arts

Inside all of us, there is a superhero just waiting to appear!  Unleash your hidden power by drawing and writing comics and stories that introduce your ideas to the world.  Learn how to design awesome characters and draw and draft cosmic comics. Are you up for the challenge of being the next greatest superhero story?  The world is waiting for you!


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.

DECATS Apprentice

(formerly Jr. Apprentice)

Area of Interest: Strategy, Team Building

Scholars will participate in team challenges to become the next DECATS Apprentice. Challenges will test creativity and require leadership and teamwork. Scholars in this course will be expected to put forth an effort and a positive attitude to help their team achieve as many points as possible. In the end, only one scholar will be awarded the title of “DECATS Apprentice”!

DECATS Detectives 

(Grades 3 and 4)

Area of Interest: Logic, Science, Problem Solving

Want to learn what detectives use to help them solve a crime?  This course will grab your attention with activities of fingerprinting, lip marks, footprints, and blood spatters.  An all-point bulletin will be put out the final week for the scholars to solve a crime. Who did it??


Escape DECATS!

(Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: Logic, Problem Solving, Strategy, Team Building

Calling all game masters! Escape DECATS is looking for motivated problem-solvers who have a desire to lock people in a room and create unforgettable adventures.  Designers must be willing to work with a team, enjoy crafting stories, and exhibit the skills of determination and resolution especially in the face of extreme challenges.  Scholars will experience multiple opportunities for problem-solving from many angles. If you are up for the challenge then this course may be for you!

Faith in Action is Love

Area of Interest: Spiritual, Team Building

A servant heart is not only a true gift but a blessing.  Join us on a quest to find out about service opportunities in our community.  We will travel to a few organizations that offer training and hours of service to youth and adults.  We will research and present many options for service and helping those in need. “In this life, we cannot do great things.  We can only do small things with great love.” ~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta

*Recommended for Scholar Aide Consideration


Full of Grace

Area of Interest: Religion, History

Did you know most cultures have their own devotion to Our Lady?  This course will travel to different lands and explore different cultures considering Marian apparitions and devotions.  We will answer the questions, why did Mary choose to appear here? And, what is the everlasting message she brought to the people of various lands?     

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead 

(Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: Problem-Solving, Team Building

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 compete 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 you to bring in your own yoga mat. 

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, select colors, fabrics, and furniture to decorate your own human habitat! Scholars will learn to draw to scale and build a mini-model.

I’m Game 

(Grades 3 and 4)

Area of Interest:  Team Building, Strategy, Logic

Tired of the same old computer games and YouTube videos?  Then stop being “bored” and get “board” instead! Play and create your own board games.  We will practice with games of strategy, mystery, educational advancement, and team cooperation. We will even recreate a few game shows!  Scholars will learn tricks of strategy and offensive/defensive play while learning how to win ( and lose) gracefully.

It’s Greek to Me!

Area of Interest: Language, Team Building

Have you ever wondered about why we write poetry, discuss philosophy, study math, or go to the theater to watch plays? If so, you'll be interested in this course on the foundation of Western society, Greece. We'll take a tour of the various pastimes of the ancient Greek nobility and discern a better understanding of our own society in the process.

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!

Once Upon a S.T.E.M.

(Grades 3 and 4)

Area of Interest: Logic, Problem Solving, Strategy, Team Building

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!

Pass that Spike!

(Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: Physical Education

Serve it!  Set It! Spike it!  Learn to play volleyball!

This course will concentrate on skill building, drills and the rules of the game. Learn the proper form and how to play the right way!  Great fun and a great workout for girls or boys!

Pinterest Got Your Interest?

(Grades 3 and 4)

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.


Area of Interest: Fine Arts, Language, Team Building

Do you like to write stories?  Do you often create characters and act them out with your friends?  Well, here is your chance to learn how to write plays, monologues, dialogues with characters and stories you create yourself!  We will learn how to write comedies, mysteries, and dramas, etc. We will also be writing scenes for the Let’s Put on a Show course musical, so we will get to see our writing works performed!  So if you like creative writing with interesting characters, it’s your turn to Play-Write!

Put Yourself Out There

Area of Interest: Performing Arts, Team Building

Do you have trouble being the center of attention or presenting yourself in front of others?  Learn how to be a better performer, speaker, presenter or salesperson. Improve your interview skills, and show your creative side by performing speeches, advertisements, sales pitches, acting scenes, improv comedy, and karaoke numbers. Most of all….learn to embrace “Putting yourself out there.”


Puzzlemaker Master 

(Grades 3 and 4)

Area of Interest: Logic, Strategy, Problem Solving

Create puzzle mazes, word searches, and Sudoku games. Are you a word and number game master? Do you have a favorite type of puzzle? Make and create your own while challenging your friends.

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, and tasteful food. ALLERGY WARNING  This course involves the handling and consuming of foods. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should select this course with caution.

Science Secrets 

Area of Interest: Science

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. 



Area of Interest: Logic, Science

You are the Mars Generation! Come learn about the history of space exploration, how astronauts live and work in space, and more about the Artemis project! You will work as a team to build rockets, and help keep astronauts alive! Come see if you’ve got the Right Stuff to survive Space-ology!


(Grades 3 and 4)

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

(Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: Fine Arts, Team Building

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 

(Grades 3 and 4)

Area of Interest: Science

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!!

Survival of the Fittest  

Area of Interest: Naturalist, Problem Solving

What’s your plan if you are lost in the woods?  Do you retrace your step? Do you climb a tree? What do you do? This course is designed to answer those questions.  This course will challenge students with outdoor dilemmas and equip them with the expertise to overcome even the grimmest situations. 

The Cutting Edge - Beginner

(Grades 3 and 4)

Area of Interest: Biology, Science

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 the 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 does include dissection and is best for scholars with strong stomachs. This course involves exposure to specimen preservatives.

The Cutting Edge - Intermediate 

(Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: Biology, Science

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 does include dissection and is best for scholars with strong stomachs. This course involves exposure to specimen preservatives.

What’s Cooking DECATS?

(formerly Iron Chef) 

(Grades 5 and 6)

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 the handling and consuming of foods. Scholars with dietary restrictions or allergies should not select this course.

World Divided 

(Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: History

Dive into what drove the world into war… a second time!  Take an in-depth look at who the Axis and Ally powers were and the forces behind them.  Hear harrowing tales of survivors and how they overcame obstacles to live to tell their story.  Then, put yourself into the war… which side will you take? Will you live to tell the tale?