RCS Academy


RCS Academy is a separate program from the RCSummer Program. In order to be eligible to apply for RCS Academy, participants must be 14, 15, 16 years old by the first day of the program or be in 8th grade in the 2018 – 2019 school year. The half-day courses will be offered by some of the best and most experienced Robert College faculty from Monday to Thursday between 8:15 AM to 12:00 PM. Participants may choose only 1 course per session. There will be a total of three two-week sessions. All courses will be taught in English.

*RCSummer participants who are 14 will have the option taking part in RCSAcademy by indicating this in their registration completion form. No other registration is needed other than RCSummer registration. 14 year old RCSummer participants will be able to select voluntarily the RCS Academy course that interests them. This  element will take place from Monday to Thursday from 8:15 AM to 12:00 PM. The rest of the program day will be the usual amazing RCSummer day.

It is our goal to create even more learning opportunities for our participants and offer courses that will be new and different from what they are offered during the school year. And of course RCS Academy, just like RCSummer, is about having fun!



Sean Vander Meulen

Digital Music Production

Clem McDonnell

CSI: RCS Academy


Caitlin Dunne

Adventures in Drama & Performance


Deniz Baysal

Musical Improvision Techniques for Rock, Blues, Funk & Jazz

Ferdi Kaya

RCS Academy: STEM

Marshall A. Hoovler

RCS Academy Bestsellers List

Francis van der Hoeven

Global Issues, Global Solutions

Mehmet Salih Gençer

Physics of Sports

Muhammet R. Ertuğrul

Game Design & 3D Printing




Want to learn computer programming and 3d design, but unsure where to begin? This is the course for you! Scratch is the computer programming language that makes it easy and fun to create interactive stories, games and animations. In this course you will design and create a game for you and your friends to play! You will need to think about its different parts and plan your ideas before you begin making it on Scratch.

After we finished game design you are going to learn how to make 3D design objects using tinkercad. Tinkercad is a simple, online 3D design and 3D printing app for everyone. Tinkercad is used by designers, hobbyists, teachers, and kids, to make toys, prototypes, home decor, Minecraft models, jewelry! After you learn tinkercad we are going to design our game logo, game mascot or any other thing from your game and then you have a chance to 3D print it.

Muhammet Ertuğrul is working for Robert College as Computer Science Teacher and he is giving Intro to programming lessons. His main interests are game design, 3D modelling and maker movement.



Participants will work in the ‘RCS crime lab to learn Forensic Science skills and then use their learning to solve a number of cases including at least one crime scene simulation on campus! It is going to be Clem McDonnell’s third year at RCS Academy’s popular course Crime Scene!

Clem McDonnell worked in Robert College Science Department for 32 years. He has taught most age groups from Orta prep to Lise 12 including Physics and General Science. He founded the RC Forensic Science Club which has been a popular club, he co-hosted with RC teacher Sibel Almas. He is a recipient of the Master Teacher Award and The Joukowsky Family Foundation Travel Award. Robert College’s legendary teacher was kind enough to be back with us once more after his retirement!



Want to be the next Nazım Hikmet, Elif Şafak, or Orhan Pamuk? Then this is the course for you! During the RCS Bestsellers course, students will learn to excel in a variety of creative writing genres. Each day students will study novels, short stories, poetry, plays, or graphic novels from around the world to see why great writing is considered great. Then they’ll put this knowledge into practice by creating their own original work. And the best pieces from each student will be published in a student anthology at the end of the course! Bring your creativity to a whole new level and join RCS Bestsellers!

Marshall Hoovler has been an English teacher at Robert College for seven years and has worked in education for fifteen years. He has taught L9 English, Modern Novel, and World Literature and has worked in the school’s Writing Center for three years. His love of classic and modern literature and his 3,000 comic books make him the perfect reader for your future bestsellers! 



Adventures in Drama and Performance will take students through a progression of skills that will enhance and improve their abilities to act and perform on stage in both standard drama and musical theatre. There will be a focus on learning the English terms for the theatre as well as acting and choreography. Students will have the chance to learn famous musical theatre standards and perform monologues from Shakespeare to modern works. They will progress from basic performance skills of body language and projection, to conveying emotion to an audience effectively and performing short scenes in front of an audience. Not only will students get to explore drama, they will have fun in a supportive and creative environment where the only limit is their imagination.

Caitlin Dunne is originally from Massachusetts, USA before she found her way to New York City where she worked for eleven years teaching English, Drama, & Music in The Bronx. She received a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in 2007 to the United Kingdom that created a desire to explore teaching overseas. She took the leap internationally in 2014 and has been at Robert College for three years where she  teaches English and is one of the Co-Coordinators of the Lise Prep program. Her passions include Musical Theatre, Chocolate, and a good book to get lost in for hours on end.




Electronic music over the last fifty years has transformed from an experimental academic pursuit to the primary method of music production. In this course, participants will learn about the history of electronic music, from Kraftwerk to the electro-pop of the ‘80s, to mainstream techno, to gear geeks like Aphex Twin and up through the computer revolution of recent years. Participants will learn to use the basic tools of electronic music, including sampling sequencers, drum machines, synthesizers, and effects processors, all through a powerful digital simulator. Participants will learn some basic elements of song structure and then use these electronic tools to analyze and remix others’ work as well as create and publish their own songs.

Important Note : Students will need to bring a laptop and headphones every day.

Sean Vander Meulen Originally from the U.S.A., Mr. Vander Meulen (a.k.a. DJ Trogdor the Burninator) is a physics teacher at Robert College. This is his second year at RC, and he has lived and taught in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He has loved music since an early age, and has played drums in a number of bands with styles ranging from jazz to pop to metal. He plays a number of other instruments, most of them poorly.



Are you interested in world history? Do you ever read or watch the news and think, we could do better than that? Would you like to be top-notch debater or Model UN delegate? Bringing together history, politics, and international relations, we will examine the roots of current world issues, brainstorm creative solutions, and hold debates about their possible effectiveness. This course will be exciting for young people interested in world history, current events, and developing English skills. In particular, people who enjoy Model United Nations will have a chance to push their research and debating skills to new levels.

Important Note : For each session, participants will need an internet-connectable device: preferably a laptop or a tablet, although a smartphone will do in a pinch.

Francis van der Hoeven has been an English and History teacher at national and international schools in Canada, Switzerland, and Türkiye for over 25 years. He has supervised middle school and high school Model UN for several years. In addition to teaching English at Robert College, he is one of the supervisors of RCMUN.



RCS Academy STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math ) activities to explore the scientist in you. Explore science the exciting way, by trying out simple and fun experiments.

Each day, you will leave with new knowledge, a super fun day behind, and a thirst for the next day’s learning. Even if you have no interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), join us have a great memory! You’ll be glad you did.

We will also improve our practical skills through the use of hands-on playing and building. You will have lots of fun to explore science by trying out simple and fun -do try this at home- experiments.

Do you love being able to answer the question, “Why?” Science is an international language of its own, which you will learn to understand and speak by immersing yourself in it.

  • Explore magnetic cereal.
  • Get amazed with walking water.
  • Have fun with invisible bowl.
  • Make the paper clip move without touching it.
  • Build up your magic fountain and water rocket!

Excited yet? Then come bolster your budding scientist mind.

Ferdi Kaya is a Boğaziçi University graduate with an Integrated B.A and M.A degree in teaching physics (Secondary Schools Math and Science education) He is a certified STEM teacher. He has facilitated ATIC (Abu Dhabi Technology investment company) STEM winter academies for secondary school kids twice.





How can we use DNA to track the spread of a virus? How can medical tests and scans tell us about what is going on with our health? How do survival strategies work in nature? Can patterns in the natural world be described? To answer these questions, we need math and it is not the type of math typically taught in school. This course will use simulations, puzzles, computers, and nature walks on Robert College’s Faralyalı Trail to answer these important questions and to discover how math relates to biology.

Andrew Tingleff has taught math at all levels including AP calculus and AP statistics at Robert College for the last 18 years. He has been involved with special projects with Intel and the Biomath project at DIMACS, a research center in the United States, and he is a long time advisor of Robert College’s outdoor Adventure Club.



What is the minimum speed required to clear the net in volleyball? How does a footballer curve the soccer ball in flight? Is it really possible for a basketball player to stay stationary in air? You will find answers to all these questions in this course. Participants of Physics of Sports course will apply scientific method in different sports fields. For example, you will analyse video of a basketball shot using Logger Pro video analysis software and will collect data using Vernier tools in various ball games to comprehend Newton’s Laws.

Mehmet Salih Gençer has taught Physics of Sports course at Johns Hopkins University, Center for Talented Youth program for the last two summer. This year, he plans to present his expertise at RCS Academy. He taught physics at Robert College for the last five years and five years in England, Germany, Azerbaijan, prior as well. At RC, he enjoyed coaching floor hockey as well as playing it for the first time in his life.



Musical improvisation is defined as follows; “Musical improvisation (also known as musical extemporization) is the creative activity of immediate (“in the moment”) musical composition, which combines performance with communication of emotions and instrumental technique as well as spontaneous response to other musicians.

Sometimes musical ideas in improvisation are spontaneous, but may be based on chord changes in classical music, and many other kinds of music. One definition is a “performance given extempore without planning or preparation.” Another definition is to “play or sing (music) extemporaneously, by inventing variations on a melody or creating new melodies, rhythms and harmonies.”

“Improvisation is a major part of some types of 20th century music, such as blues, rock, jazz, funk and jazz fusion, in which instrumental performers improvise solos, melody lines and accompaniment parts.” In this course participants will learn some of the following improvisation techniques:

  • The basic and modern scales
  • The basic and modern chords
  • Chord progressions
  • Musical forms (blues, rock, funk, pop, jazz etc.)
  • Melodic and harmonic decorations
  • Rhythmic structures
  • Performing and improvising with the other instruments

Important Note: Students will need to bring their own instruments like guitar and bass guitar. The school has drums set, piano, keyboards and amplifiers in the studio.

Deniz Baysal has played with a lot of Rock, Funk, Blues and Jazz bands in Istanbul. He is a studio musician, arranger and composer. He has been playing in the studio recordings for 28 years. He has composed some theater and movie musics. He has been teaching practical and advanced music at Robert College for 18 years. He is the conductor of the Robert College orchestra.



RCS Academy Social Entrepreneurship Course aims to equip young people with design thinking skills to drive positive change in their schools and communities. The students who have taken these classes in Robert College in the past initiated and organized a peer mentoring program, a murder mystery night, a TEDx event, a social entrepreneurship exchange program with Bilkent Laboratory School and have been nominated as finalists in “Village to Raise a Child Social Entrepreneurship Competition” organized by Harvard University Social Innovation Collaborative with a project on creating an online recruitment platform for Syrian refugees in Turkey. If you enjoy interacting with people, listening to their stories, community building, problem solving, and designing projects to solve the social problems you observe around you, this course is for you.

Important Note : Participants will need to bring their laptops to the sessions every day. We will use Google Docs to prepare and share materials. Make sure you have a Gmail account!

Aybike Oğuz has been teaching English at different levels in Robert College for five years. She worked as an English teacher and a curriculum developer, and assumed different roles of responsibility in middle and senior management in Bilkent University and Özyeğin University Prep Schools. Her experience as a member of the senior management in the startup of Özyegin University Prep School inspired her to teach Social Entrepreneurship at high school level. She is currently the founding advisor of the Social Entrepreneurship Club at Robert College. Robert College Social Entrepreneurship Club, which started with five students in 2013, is currently run by 27 selected club members and has been working on different social entrepreneurship projects which you can read about at http://rcseclub.weebly.com. Her latest passion is teaching design thinking in (Business) English classes, the Social Entrepreneurship Club, and a peace education program entitled WINPEACE (Women’s Initiative in Peace) to empower high school students to drive positive social change in their communities. She co-authored a workshop report on the integration of social entrepreneurship training into the WINPEACE program in International School Magazine