Upper School (7-12)
Calculus is offered from 9th grade upwards for highly precocious math students.
Pre-calculus is offered from 9th grade upwards. Highly precocious students in lower grades would take geometry with inclass differentiation focused on graphing problems preparing them for calculus.
7th grade students who are very strong in math can take our geometry class together with 7th and 8th graders.
7th grade students who are precocious in math start taking algebra together with 7th and 8th graders.
7th to 8thgrade students who are not yet ready for a full algebra class continue the Math in Focus program used in the Lower School.
9th to 12th grade students with a focus on either engineering or creative design learn to virtually model 3D shapes using Blender, an advanced open-source 3D modeling application.
Prototyping is intended for 9th to 12th grade students with a focus on creative and industrial design. Students learn traditional modeling and prototyping skills, such as how to work with plasticine clay and cast molds in silicone.
The Upper School engineering classes focus on learning electronics. Students are introduced to and practice how to apply Ohm's Law. They work with Arduino's to create products with a distinct human objective. The interdisciplinary and core humanistic concepts of MESH™ are emphasized. The course is offered at two levels, for 6th to 8th graders and 9thgraders. Engineering students in higher grades are expected to develop a year long independent studies project to solve a personally formulated problem for a distinct market, and devlop a potentially marketable product.
Applied Logic (Programming)
Students in the Upper School with an engineering focus continue to take weekly classes in programming alongside their obligatory course in formal logic. Students with intermediate proficiency continue to learn the basics of object-oriented Java programing using Greenfoot. Advanced students start working in either the NetBeans or Eclipse IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
System Architecture is for 10th to 12th graders intending to pursue a software engineer career. Students are expected to be fluent in at least one object-oriented programing language. The course is not geared at coding but analyzing and abstracting complex systems using UML (Universal Mopdeling Language) and BPML (Business Process Modeling Language).
7th to 8th grade students with an interest and precocious understanding of social sciences or dynamic organisms take biology. Our course begins with an emphsis on biological systems as a whole. Students consider the preeminent principle of the field: the biological survival instinct. They investigate how the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics dictates many of the behaviors of organisms, how energy flows through the environment and forces us to constantly be on the hunt for good energy sources. With a good understanding of organic systems as a whole, students delve into the genetics and biochemistry that make life possible and how it evolved. Students learn to use trionocular microscopes and practice DNA/RNA sequencing using our thermocycler.
7th to 10th grade students with an interest and precocious understanding of graphs and algebraic functions who take our geometry class study chemistry. Students learn to understand the underlying periodicity of elements, the structure of atoms and their valency properties that cause substances to react with each other. They practice stochiometry and using algebra to predict interactions between substance. Students have access to a fumehood for safely performing potentially volatile experiments.
9th to 12th grade students with a focus on engineering and fundamental science study physics. Our course puts heavy emphasis on making problems solvable in physics using mathematics, logic and heuristic methods such as Fermi estimation (approximate calculations when there's on little or no data, based on good guesses about component quantities). Physics students are required to take pre-calculus or calculus classes.
9th to 12th grade students with a focus on domains that involve the human psyche and emmotions (from creative design to historical studies), take our psychology course. Students learn to understand basic cognitive components such as memory and impulse and how our behavior is shaped by physiological mechanisms.They practice using the discipline to understand complex social dynamics in real environments. When appropriate (and in a controled way), students with asynchronous learning characterists work with our psychology staff to to better understand from an academic perspective their own asynchrony.
Precoscious 7th to 8th grade writers can be accelrated into a 9th grade ELA class. 9th to 12th grade students are placed in an ELA class appropriate for their proficiency level and depending on their focus in other areas of study. Students accelerated in comparative history are similarly accelerated in ELA.
Our history classes focus on understanding the wider causative movements in human history and what has driven dramatic changes in society since pre-historic times Students contrast and compare various periods and regions throughout world history, from early Mesopotamic and Indus Valley history to upheavels in modern times. Students look at how recent societal trends may be analogous to past historical transformations.
From 9th grade and upwards all students are required to take a weekly course in formal logic. 6th to 8th graders with precocious conceptual skills that have sufficiently mastered abstraction are accelerated from applied logic (programming) into our introductory course in formal logic.
Our Upper School art program is suitable both for visual artists and young engineers. The course includes both basic drawing skills such as perspective as well as more conceptual work using a wide variety of materials,electronics and digital media to express moods and thoughts about society and the human condition.
Students who have mastered an instrument are provided with small group training by our music teacher in composition and technical mastery. They are provided opportunities to practice their skills throughout the week. Students who are interested in the intersection between music and drama take our performing arts class.
Drama classes focus on the art of expressing and emotingstories on stage Our drama includes extensive use of movement and stage craft.
Our pergorming arts classes focus on the intersection of music, drama and and movement. The classes are co-taught by our drama and music teacher. In collaboration with all other disciplines and the Lower School, the performing arts classes organize an custom written stage piece for the end of the school year (for example, see Tramsmission, An Alternative Radio Show).