RUMSON, NJ -- Drs. Margaret Ann and Stephen Chappell, founders of the successful Stars Challenge program, courses devoted to the scientific arts held at the prestigious Monmouth University, have announced the new Winter Curriculum, aimed at middle-school children in sixth to eighth grades. The classes run from January through March 2012, and tuition is only $500 per student.

The courses are as follows:

Forensics (Starting January 9):  For sixth graders, this course will dispel the myths of crime scene forensics and introduce students to the latest proven techniques in evidence collecting and examining. "This course is for students who love solving mysteries," says Margaret Ann.  "Each session will provide students an opportunity to build investigative skills and work like a crime scene investigator."  This class meets Monday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. and is taught by Ms. Shirley Hui.

Is It Science or Magic? (Starting January 9):  Aimed at answering seemingly impossible questions such as "why does oil float on water?" and "Why does cabbage juice turn some liquids green and others red?" this course teaches seventh graders how chemistry plays myriad and remarkable roles in matter composition and alteration. "It teaches how chemistry makes all this science -- not magic," says Steve.  It meets Monday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. and is taught by Ms. Roseann McCarthy.

Explore, Imagine, and Build (Starting January 9): Young physicists in seventh and eighth grades will delight in what the imagination and mastering the principles of physics can produce.  Each week, students will investigate and discover rules that govern one or two physical principles, then be allowed to explore the ideas themselves by creating and building devices that bring those principles to working life. This class meets Monday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. and is taught by Mr. John Valente.

Explore the Universe (Starting January 10):  Eighth graders who enjoy both following NASA's latest news and gazing into the sky wondering what's out there beyond our identified constellations will learn how to begin unlocking the secrets of the infinity of space.  This class meets Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. and is taught by Mr. Marc Coe.

Registration deadline is December 22nd, and acceptance notifications will be received by December 30th. For information, log onto www.starschallenge.org or call (732) 530-1061.

Parents and their children may check out photos of previous classes on www.starschallenge.org.