decats 2019 courses

  • A House Divided

(Grades 5 and 6) Area of Interest: History


Love History?  Want to travel back in time? Picture yourself on a Civil War battlefield. Role-play different characters in order to learn about Union and Confederate life in camp and on the homefront. Re-enact battles, portray notable figures, carry dispatches, act as spies, and compete as teams to see if you can change the course of history.


  • Books to Movies

Area of Interest:  Language


Is the book always better than the movie? Study how an author’s craft and character’s motivations are transformed from the page to the silver screen.  Put a spin on old and new favorite stories as you explore all the ways literature can be interpreted. What choices would you take if you were sitting in the director’s chair?


  • Ciao DECATS  (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 to 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

 (Grades 3 and 4 Only) 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.


  • Code, Game, Play!

(Grades 5 and 6 Only) Area of Interest: Technology, Logic, Strategy


Calling all program designers and artists!  Do you like to design and create on the computer?  Are you frustrated by the lack of choices when creating characters, music, and graphics?  If so, we want you to come on out and “Scratch” with us! Learn how to mix different types of media clips (graphics, photos, music, and sounds) in cool new creative ways.  Design your own Scratch project and bring it to life! What do you want to create on Scratch?


  • Crazy About Comics

Area of Interest: Language, Technology


Inside all of us there is a superhero just waiting to appear!  Unleash your hidden power by creating digital comics and stories that introduce your alter ego to the world.  Learn how to design awesome avatars, draw and draft cosmic comics, and free the world from boring blogging! 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 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??


  • Digital Media Factory  (Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: Technology, Website, Advertising, Digital Design


Are you ready to virtually start the business of your dreams? Join the Digital Media Factory! You will learn many resources to create your own website, business cards, promotions flyers, brochures, and your own printed ads to advertise and grow your business!


  • Dinner @ DECATS

Area of Interest: Food, Team Building


In this course, scholars will work with each other to create and execute a restaurant concept.  Scholars in this course will apply and interview for various restaurant positions and will be assigned tasks to help get ready for the grand opening of a restaurant.  Tasks will include menu creation/design, staff training presentations, tablescape design, uniform design, food prep/cost, hosting, and serving. This course is designed to provide scholars with the opportunity to be creative, practice communication skills, use problem-solving skills, and learn a little about what goes into starting/opening a food service business.  At the conclusion of DECATS, each scholar in the course will have the opportunity to invite 2 guests to be served a meal in the restaurant they created!


  • Dominating Divas

Area of Interest: History, Spiritual


What characteristics did these women possess that helped them shape their society?  Have you ever wanted to be in charge of judge and jury? Run a government? Make big decisions?  Come learn how these women broke the mold in history for various time periods!


  • Escape DECATS!  (Grades 5 and 6)

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


Calling all game masters! Escape DECATS is a 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 challenge.  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's heart is not only a true gift but a blessing.  Join us on a quest into finding 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 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!


  • Games People Play

Area of Interest: Physical Education, Team Building


Does exercise boost brain power?  Is it true that there are over 8,000 sports in the world? This course will allow scholars to explore their health and fitness while learning and playing sports and games.  You are bound to have some fun! Come play old games with a new twist or games that are not usually played in school. Have fun staying fit! This course is offered twice in 3rd period and 4th period.


  • Great Minecraft Humanities Challenge

Area of Interest: Technology, Team Building


Do you have what it takes to survive in Ancient Greece?  Find out by completing the Great Minecraft Humanities Challenge!  Test your skills and mettle in this ultimate Minecraft world!  You will face characters from ancient civilizations, search for lost treasure, explore real-world locations, play games, and work together to help to build new creations.  This course is offered twice in 2nd period and 4th period.


  • 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 play the games while learning tricks of strategy and offensive/defensive play, and they will have the opportunity to create their own games using the information they have gathered from our experiences.  This course will also focus greatly on the concepts of team building, sharing knowledge and learning to win ( and lose) gracefully.


  • Iron Chef DECATS  (Grades 5 and 6)

Area of Interest: Food, Strategy, Team Building


Are you ready for a cook-off challenge? Kitchen Stadium 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.


  • Jr. Apprentice

Area of Interest: Strategy, Team Building


Much like the NBC show, “The Apprentice”, scholars will participate in team challenges to become the next Junior 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 “Junior Apprentice” and will hear those infamous words, “You’re Hired.”


  • 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!


  • 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.


  • Play-Write!

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!


  • Poem Who’s Boss

Area of Interest:, Language, Team Building


Do you love to write? Are you ready to become a literary artist?  Learn the different ways you can turn words into poetry, prose, and lyrics and study the men and women who perfected this skill. Practice how to get your inspiration and how to put those ideas into various types of poems.  We will have the opportunity to share our poems with others, as we learn to appreciate and provide constructive feedback. Our culminating project will be a book of poetry that can be a wonderful gift or memento to keep forever.


  • Project X-35

Area of Interest: Logic, Science


The United Federation of Planets (UFP) is seeking competitive bids for a new advanced rocket launch vehicle that will reduce the costs of launching payloads into Earth orbit.  In this short course, you will explore rocket history and basic rocketry skills, as well as design, build, and launch a water rocket!


  • 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  

(Grades 3 and 4) 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 the 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.  This course is offered twice in 2nd and 4th period.


  • Siege Warfare  (Grades 5 and 6)

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.


  • St. Joseph’s Carpenters

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.  Calling all Mad Scientists!!


  • 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 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 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.


  • The Great Outdoors

Area of Interest: Physical Education


Want to get outside and enjoy the summer? How does fishing and biking sound? You will learn about different types of fish, what fishing equipment is needed, how to use it, and how to catch fish. You will be taught bike safety as we cycle around. This is not a beginners course - scholars must know how to handle a bike. Chaperones and drivers will be needed.

  • Yoga and Building Strength with Mind and Body

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 those challenge individuals both physically and mentally. Incorporate good strength training and yoga benefit your body and mind. We recommend to bring in your own yoga mat. Come find your inner warrior! Namaste