Learning Labs are weekend classes covering a wide range of high-interest topics.

Classes run for six consecutive Saturday mornings, and are taught by experienced teachers. Class sizes are deliberately kept small (no more than 10-12 students) to facilitate engagement and even help students form friendships!

Fall Learning Labs 2023

GRC Members:
Priority registration until September 15 (non-members may register now but will be enrolled in the order received after priority period ends).

Learning Lab Dates:
Saturdays – Oct. 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18

Learning Lab Location:
Wydown Middle School, 6500 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO 63105

Learning Lab Tuition & Payment:
Classes are $100/six-week class, payable online or by check.

No refunds after October 1st

Learning Labs Class Schedule
Fall 2023

SESSION 1: 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM

  • Ages 4-5 – Playing with Color
  • K – 1st – It’s a Hard Rock Life
  • 1st – 2nd – Fairy Tale Math (SESSION FULL)
  • 2nd – 8th – Chess: Advanced
  • 3rd – 4th – Mini Sphero Maze Challenge
  • 3rd – 5th – Harry, Hogwarts & the World of Wizardry
  • 3rd – 8th – Upcycled Artwork
  • 3rd – 8th – LEGO Mindstorms Robotics – Beginner (SESSION FULL)

SESSION 2: 11:15 AM – 12:45 PM

  • K – 1st – Playing with Color
  • K – 3rd – Chess: Beginner/Novice
  • 1st – 2nd – Mini Sphero Maze Challenge
  • 2nd – 3rd – It’s a Hard Rock Life
  • 2nd – 4th – Design + Engineering = Architecture!
  • 3rd – 6th – Legends, Castles & Mythology
  • 3rd – 8th – Cryptography & Code Breaking (SESSION FULL)
  • 3rd – 8th – LEGO Mindstorms Robotics: Advanced

ONLINE! – 6th – 12th  Storytellers of the Tabletop – D&D – 1:30 – 3:00

Learning Labs Class Descriptions
Fall 2023

  • Grades 3rd – 8th
    9:30 – 11:00

    This is your chance to learn the basics of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots! Consider a real-world problem, create your hypothesis, program your solution and test your results! Build a rover-type robot to handle some basic tasks and experiment with other features of the kits. Apply the engineering process to your project. Problem-solving skills and creativity using robotics technology prove that the possibilities are endless.

    Instructor: Lisa Hummel

  • Grades 3rd – 8th
    11:15 – 12:45

    If you’ve taken at least a beginning Mindstorms class, now you can go further! Learn more and work on harder challenges, based on your skill level. Build and program working robots which respond to your commands as well as information from their environments. Working with a partner, you can even design your own robot from scratch! You’ll learn to control your creation using multiple sensors, various moving parts, and complex programs that allow the robot to assess its environment and make decisions. You will be given a specific challenge to accomplish with your programming at the beginning of each class.

    Instructor: Lisa Hummel

  • Grades 3rd – 6th
    11:15 – 12:45

    Live through some of the liveliest legends and myths, as we explore truths and exaggerations over time. Are there connections between the Epic of Gilgamesh and King Arthur? What if the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses went head to head in battle? Does the story of the flood from ancient Sumeria remind you of anything else from ancient times? Are the activities of the Egyptian gods similar to those of the famous Greeks and Romans? Write your way through history as you attempt cuneiform, hieroglyphs and calligraphy in copperplate style. A ‘gastronomic event’ brings these cultures and stories together as we feast for fun!

    Instructor: Art Koenig

  • Grades 3rd – 8th
    11:15 – 12:45

    Are you a master code breaker? Would you like to be? Experiment with different kinds of codes – like the Caesar Cipher, Hieroglyphics, Binary Codes, and Morse Code – and try your hand at each of them! You’ll get a mini-history of each code and how it was used – and by whom. Then you can create your own code! Your problem-solving skills will be challenged as you unlock the captivating world of cryptography

    Instructor: Angela Rhodes

  • Grades 3rd – 8th
    9:30 – 11:00

    Upcycle! Recycle! Create! Use recycled materials to make all sorts of artwork. You’ll also learn some recycling science as you go – what can be recycled? What can’t? Why not? Bring in materials from home (we’ll have some, too!), and return with your own upcycled masterpieces. Materials that might otherwise be thrown away will create new and unique items for you to keep!

    Instructor: Angela Rhodes

  • Grades 1st – 2nd
    9:30 – 11:00 (SESSION FULL)

    Classic fairy and folk tales from all over the world provide a springboard for creative math problem solving in this fun class. This concept is based on the book Afterwards, which includes thought-provoking challenges (with a mathematical twist) about what happens after the end of each story. Engaging plots and characters will draw students in as they work together to solve complex problems, using a variety of strategies and math skills. Problems can be adapted to the skill level of the students to provide challenges for everyone!

    Instructor: Renee Clifton

  • Ages 4 – 5
    9:30 – 11:00

    Grades K – 1st
    11:15 – 12:45

    Let’s explore colors! What colors can we see? What about the ones we can’t see? We’ll make color-changing playdough, and investigate color wheels. We’ll mix, create and name our own new colors. We’ll read and discuss stories about color – tales like The Crayon Box that Quit and How the Crayons Saved the School. We’ll use color and water to design tie dye effects, and much, much more!

    Instructor: Beth Crites

  • Grades 2nd – 8th
    9:30 – 11:00

    Grades K – 3rd
    11:15 – 12:45

    Join us in the challenging world of chess! Learn moves, tactics and strategies to be a contender in a match with your friends. Apply your chess problem-solving skills to school and home, as you learn to think before making a move! For novice players, tactics can make or break your game. Will you use pins and forks or skewers? We’ll look at strategies for your advanced skills, such as attacking on
    opposite wings and playing to reach a better ending. Good sports behavior and coping with the consequences of your decisions are natural byproducts of the game.

    Instructor: Stephen Randoll

  • Grades 3rd – 4th
    9:30 – 11:00

    Grades 1st – 2nd
    11:15 – 12:45

    Get the ball rolling in this brand-new class using Mini Sphero coding robots! Mini Sphero balls are great for learning the basics of coding and computer science and your problem-solving abilities. Use makerspace materials to design mazes and then code Mini Spheros to navigate through the maze. Mazes (and therefore the coding) will change each week as you get comfortable and go beyond the basics!

    Instructor: Shunetta Daughterty

  • Grades K – 1st
    9:30 – 11:00

    Grades 2nd – 3rd
    11:15 – 12:45

    Be amazed at the unseen wonders just beneath our feet! How do tectonic plates float on top of molten rock? Explore the formation of mountains, volcanoes and ocean trenches. Investigate caves, and create your own stalactites and stalagmites. Learn about the rock cycle and construct a geode and unique rock of your own. Geology rocks!

    Instructor: Kara Viviano

  • Grades 3rd – 5th
    9:30 – 11:00

    Calling all Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and Slytherins! Have you ever wanted to attend Hogwarts? Come put on your Sorting Hat and explore all things Harry Potter! We’ll investigate Quidditch, Potions, Arithmancy and Alchemy! We’ll explore the magical world of fantastic beasts, as well as examine different characters and how they changed throughout the series. Don’t Muggle your way out of this one!

    Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

  • Grades 2nd – 4th
    11:15 – 12:45

    Build your design thinking and 3D creativity in this hands-on class that will challenge your observation skills, critical thinking, engineering and problem solving. We’ll investigate how bridges and buildings are made and their different styles. We’ll discuss the architecture in St. Louis and Forest Park. You’ll create your own bridges and houses using just paper! Explore how architecture has changed over the years and what the future holds, including green and “smart” buildings. Join us and buttress your knowledge of all things architecture!

    Instructor: Hannah Noack-Ruebling

  • Saturdays  – 6th – 12th grades
    1:30 – 3:00 (Space is limited)

    Calling all wanderers, thrill-seekers and heroes looking for excitement, fellowship and greatness! Create characters, solve problems and fight monsters with nothing but a character sheet and your imagination! Join your fellow adventurers on this quest in the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. The focus will be communication-heavy collaborative storytelling, teamwork and relationship building through social play and lots of creative fun! No additional books or items or required, although students might want a physical set of dice to roll.

    (Parents, here’s a good introductory video to D&D if you’re not already familiar with the game)

    Instructor: Hollis Moore

    Online classes will be taught using Zoom, so students will need a device that has a camera and microphone. Headphones are highly recommended!

Young girl working with dirt in a cup

Learning Labs Registration
Winter 2023

  • Fill out the online form and submit payment securely with PayPal using a debit or credit card.

  • You may register by printing out the brochure form and mailing it to the office with a check.

    Gifted Resource Council
    10425 Old Olive Street Rd., LL1
    Creve Coeur, MO 63141

Laura Falk, M.Ed.

Executive Director

Laura brings more than 25 years of experience in the education and nonprofit sectors. Laura has worked in public and independent schools for almost 20 years, as well as nine years in nonprofit organizations. She has bachelors degrees in English and Theatre from Vanderbilt University and her masters in education from Southern Oregon University.

“As someone involved in education and organizations serving youth for my entire professional career, I particularly understand the importance of programs that address the needs and challenges of bright and talented children, as well as for their parents and teachers.”

She goes on to say, “Both my sons greatly enjoyed Equations competitions, and my younger son also participated in Creative Convention, Saturday Learning Labs, and Summer Academies. So I have seen—both as a parent and an educator—what a powerful presence GRC provides to bright and gifted students in the community..”

Outside of work, Laura can be found hiking, quilting, reading and doing word puzzles.

Megan Barr

Office Manager

Megan provides the delightful voice on the phone when someone calls GRC. She’s also a whiz with spreadsheets and databases and keeps the logistics side of the office humming. Her previous experience includes work as a technology trainer and administrative assistant at NESI, and the UMSL Computer Education and Training Center. Outside of work, Megan is a writer, crafter, and keeper of two wonderful cats, Loki and Freya.

Megan Barr

Marla Dell


Marla is GRC’s keeper of all things financial since 1995. Marla also provides the institutional knowledge in our tiny office, as she’s been involved with GRC since her son was a participant. Marla won the Gifted Association of Missouri 2001 Parent Award for her contributions to gifted education in Missouri. Marla can also often be found volunteering at her church, gardening, and playing with her new kitten Bubba.

Gifted Resource Council blue star

Stock Gifts

Contact your financial advisor and provide the information below to ensure a quick and accurate transfer of funds:

  • GRC’s broker: First Clearing Corp., Wells Fargo Advisors
  • D.T.C. #: 0141
  • Account #: 5580-7980
  • Account Name: Gifted Resource Council
  • Contact Name: Ray Palmer
  • Phone: 636-530-3401

Notify GRC of your intent to make a gift of stock, with the following information to Laura Falk, Executive Director, at 314.962-5920 or lfalk@giftedresourcecouncil.org:

  • Donor’s name
  • Name of the stock being transferred
  • Number of shares transferred
  • Transaction date
  • Name of your financial advisor or bank handling the transfer