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Rapp Center for Education - Classes Guaranteed to Stimulate Your Mind!

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Science and Technology

Cosmic Mysteries


with Jill Duvall

Calendar Oct 1, 2020 at 10 am, runs for 5 weeks

Students will participate in a non-technical examination of our scientific knowledge of the universe. Part of each class will be open to students who wish to contribute their knowledge and/or questions to the discussion.

Jill Duvall has a Bachelor's Degree from Georgia State University, a Master's Degree from Georgetown University, and a PhD (ABD) from George Mason University.  Her focus in all her advanced degrees was in political science and science and technology issues.  She enjoys researching the latest scientific knowledge about our universe.

Will run

Go Viral! (A Doctor's Take on Viruses)


with Hugh Hill

Calendar Oct 3, 2020 at 11 am, runs for 5 weeks

This 5-session course will be a look at viruses for those who don’t remember high school biology--or who never took it! We’ll start with what they are and how they affect all of life, then how they spread and how our bodies defend us against them. Questions addressed will include why we don’t have medicines against them and how they are different from other infectious agents. We’ll talk about some of the human maladies caused by viruses and what we can do to improve our chances. 

The subjects will include sexually transmitted diseases, so unless you want to scare your teens into abstinence, it may not be appropriate for the young. The instructor has a bias in favor of vaccination.


This class was offered before our current pandemic and delayed. It is now converted to this electronic, physically distant medium and redesigned to lead to and focus on (and spring from) SARS-COVID-19.

The course will maintain its earlier commitment to articulating science for non-scientists. Participants need not have more than high school biology – and even those who did not have this experience or remember nothing of it can enjoy our very basic review of viruses. Questions will include:  what are viruses, where do they come from, where are they, are they alive, and how do they change and spread.

Hugh F. Hill III, MD, JD, FACEP, FCLM is a Rapp resident and an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Will run

Forecasting the Weather for the Next Few Minutes to the Coming Decades


with Bob Ryan

Calendar Nov 14, 2020 at 11 am

This class provides a visual, historic, and current state of the science look at how weather forecasts are made and how climate outlooks are made.  What does the future hold for improving forecasts and what should we all be doing to better understand the changes to come in the application of weather and climate forecasts for ourselves, our family, our economy, our country and  our home, our Earth?

Come with an open mind and plenty of questions.

A fixture for decades on local television networks, Bob Ryan retired as a broadcast meteorologist in 2013. Most recently, he was chief meteorologist for WJLA Channel 7, but the bulk of his career he served as chief meteorologist at Washington NBC affiliate WRC-TV from 1980-2010.  Prior, he was the Today Show's first on-air meteorologist, which was also the first network television meteorologist position.  Ryan has a Bachelor's Degree in physics and a Master's Degree in Atmospheric Science from the University at Albany. He worked as an atmospheric researcher at Arthur D. Little Inc. Ryan is a past president of the American Meteorological Society, and he wrote and published the Weatherwise Almanac, an annual meteorology almanac for 25 years that detailed weather events of the year.


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