11th Grade Courses

Two Term Courses

These courses meet two out of three terms and earn 10 credits. Students in grades 10-12 seeking permission for Honors work in English and/or History may do so in the first term next year.

English 11: Rhetoric

The View (Required)

This term of 11th grade English (Rhetoric) is required for every junior. Focusing on the power of voice, we will explore and cultivate our voice through creative non-fiction, non-linear storytelling, and poetry. Possible texts include Pulphead, The Empathy Exams, and The White Album.

For the second term of English Rhetoric students choose one of the following courses:

The Prose and Politics

This term of 11th grade English (Rhetoric) will explore how storytelling informs politics—the politics of government, race, joy, and all other aspects of the human condition. Possible texts include The Buddha In the Attic, Between the World and Me, 1984, and The Wind Up Bird Chronicles.

The Protest

This term of 11th grade English (Rhetoric) dives into the idea that change can come through acts of defiance and transformation. We will explore the notion of ‘protest’ in our writing about and analysis of the literature. Possible texts include We the Animals, Othello, and Citizen.

Global History III: World History

Empires – Rise and Fall (Required)

What is an empire? Is there more to imperialism than simple colonialism? What drawbacks and benefits do imperial systems offer both their creators and their subjects? What types of imperialism are there? Can empires be created and sustained without war? In this class, you will embark upon a journey through time to examine the legacy of empires: how they build and maintain economic, cultural, and political hegemony as well as why and how they fail.

For the second term of Global History III student choose one of the following courses:

Revolutionary Times

What is the reason behind major ideological and cultural revolutions? In this course, you will explore some of the most revolutionary events and ideas of their time, from the Renaissance and the Reformation to Darwinism, and from the French Revolution to the Arab Spring. You will analyze how people’s ideas and actions have transformed society, sometimes unintentionally, and the long-lasting global impact of these transformations. You will discuss the role of those revolutionary ideas and actions in provoking political change. You will compare and contrast their philosophical origins and political legacies and assess their achievements against their goals.

The Majority World

What are majority world countries? What is their role in a globalized world? What are their strengths and challenges? Are majority world countries a monolithic bloc? From South Africa to China, and from Brazil to India, you will explore the political, economic, and cultural emergence of majority world countries, from their fight for independence to their new status in the 21st century. You will learn about the evolution of what used to be called “third world countries”, their relations with western nations and former colonizing powers, and assess their achievements on the global arena.

Math: Advanced Calculus

This course covers all of the topics of an introductory Calculus course, exploring concepts in depth with a greater emphasis on both the abstract aspects of calculus and its various applications in the real world. Students will be expected to enter the class with a firm grasp of all concepts covered in previous math courses.

Prerequisite: Precalculus and departmental permission. Offered at the Honors level only.

Math: Calculus

This course includes all of the topics of an introductory Calculus course, including limits, differentiation and integration, and applications.

Prerequisite: Precalculus and departmental permission. Honors level requires departmental permission.

Modern Language: Chinese I

This introductory course for Mandarin Chinese is designed for students who have no previous exposure to the language. It stresses the building blocks of spoken and written communication- pronunciation, tones, stroke order and radical recognition. Students will be able to engage in basic daily interactions in Chinese using speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Grammar is introduced incrementally through story telling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: introductory greetings, family, dates and time, hobbies, visiting friends, making plans, studying Chinese and school life. Students will also study cultural and historic elements of the Chinese-speaking world. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation. By the end of the first year, students should know approximately 300 words.

Two terms course.

Modern Language: French I

This introductory course provides students with the basic skills to read, write, speak and understand introductory-level French. The emphasis of the class is to acquire language through constant exposure to comprehensible input with the use of storytelling and reading. In the second term, the teacher uses French exclusively in class. Vocabulary will be taught communicatively through stories and with some thematic units including greetings, telling time, weather, school, sports, food, making plans, family, and clothing. Grammar will be acquired mainly through listening and reading, although there will be some direct instruction. Students completing this class will be able to comfortably use the present tense of common regular and irregular verbs, articles, subject pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, commands, question formation, possessive adjectives and more.

Two terms course.

Modern Language: Spanish for Native Speakers

This course offers Spanish-speaking students the opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting in the same way that native English-speaking students study English language arts. In this course students will review grammar structures and develop academic vocabulary that will help them critically analyze a text, write essays, and acquire new information in different content areas. Students will examine not only linguistic but socio-cultural issues, developing a greater understanding of their Hispanic heritage. Students will develop their ability to think, write and speak maturely and persuasively in Spanish as they debate a variety of contemporary polemics. The course is divided into units, each one focusing on a particular Spanish-speaking author. Reading selections written in standard academic Spanish will serve as a departure point for discussion, writing and grammar activities. The instructional approach integrates language and content with emphasis on grammar and acquisition of new vocabulary, as well as developing techniques to write academic papers in Spanish.

Two terms course.

Modern Language: Spanish I

This introductory course provides students with the basic skills to read, to write, to speak, and to understand introductory-level Spanish. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics discussed include: introductory greetings, friendship, school, sports, leisure activities, food, family, clothing, the home, and health. Grammar is learned incrementally, and the topics introduced include: indefinite and definite articles, subject pronouns, the present tense of regular verbs, the present tense of irregular verbs, adjective agreement and placement, possessive adjectives, direct and indirect objects, and the preterit tense of regular verbs. Students also study aspects of various Spanish-speaking countries. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Two terms course.

Performing Art: Acting - Intermediate

Intermediate Acting continues the actor’s process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games, improvisation and scene work. Students learn to discover their inner resources and use them to inform their acting work. Students’ work will focus on actions and objectives, sense memory, subtext, and character analysis and creation. Individual and group exercises culminate in scene work from comic and dramatic plays.

Prerequisite: Foundations of Theatre or permission of instructor

Performing Art: Acting - Scene Study

Scene Study continues to support the actor’s process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games; but the focus is on applying techniques to scene work from scripted plays. Students explore different characters while collaborating closely with other students as actors (Term I). After further training in scene work and directing, students can choose to direct scenes (Term II). They also continue to analyze dramatic scenes from the multiple perspectives. Authors studied include: Lorraine Hansberry, Arthur Miller, Moliere, and John Patrick Shanley.

Two Term Class.
Prerequisite: Intermediate Acting

Performing Art: Acting and Technical Theater - Foundations of Theater

This introductory course is an overview of the major components of theater including acting, technical theater, public speaking, and script analysis. Students will begin the year working on developing the Actor’s Process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games, improvisation and scene work. Students will learn about specific script analysis tools and the design and production aspects of theatre. Practical hands-on stagecraft is taught in the various theatres and theatre-related spaces such as the scene shop and control booth. The aim of the course is to prepare students to implement and perform in a public production at the end of the spring term.

This course meets for two terms and is a prerequisite for students entering the Upper School Theater Program.

Performing Art: Choral - A Cappella

A Capella builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Circa and the Men’s Ensemble by strengthening students’ ensemble singing, vocal technique, and music literacy while introducing a cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the term by working on developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading sheet music and exploring diverse repertoire. Throughout the course, they will learn how to work independently in smaller quartets and will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals. The aim of the course is to prepare students to arrange and rehearse a cappella vocal music independently and to perform in public concerts throughout the term.

Can be take for one or two terms.
Prerequisite: Men’s Ensemble or Circa or permission from the instructor.

Performing Art: Cuban Jazz Ensemble & Trip to Cuba

This is an Advanced Jazz Elective open to Juniors and Seniors in the Instrumental Music Program. Students will be selected through an audition process held at the end of the spring term of 2016. For the duration of this class, students will specialize in and learn a variety of Afro-Cuban Jazz Standards. They will explore Cuban culture and history to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of Cuban music and its relationship and impact on North American jazz. The course will culminate with an 8-day long trip to Havana, Cuba which will take place during spring break in March 2017. Once in Cuba, students will attend “Escuela Nacional de Arte” a prestigious music school in Havana, where they will take a series of music, drum and dance workshops lead by world-class musicians. In addition to honing their music skills, students will make cross-cultural and historical connections through civic engagement work with a focus on making a positive impact on the communities they will visit. Auditions are open for the following instruments: Bass, Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Strings, Brass and Woodwinds. This ensemble performs in two formal concerts and at a couple of additional school forums.

Two Term Class
Prerequisite: Instrumental Ensemble II and audition

Performing Art: Instrumental - Beaver Ensemble

The Beaver Ensemble is a two term course open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills on acoustic instruments and making cultural connections with the music. Musicianship skills developed will include sight-reading, instrumental technique, improvisation, ear-training, ensemble skills, intonation and theory. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Each student is required to audition for placement in this ensemble and should be capable of playing their instrument with at least one year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are strongly recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Performing Art: Instrumental - Jazz Workshop

This course offers the advanced ensemble student an in-depth study of jazz performance. While playing a range of jazz repertoire, students will apply theory and learn strategies for interpreting and soloing over standard jazz chord changes. They will develop skills with swing phrasing, articulation, sight reading, and idiomatic ensemble traditions. Rhythm section instrumentalist (piano, guitar, bass and drums) will learn how to independently develop a range of instrument-specific parts for standard jazz repertoire. Students will build jazz vocabulary and develop their own voice as improvisers. Students will showcase their work in mandatory concerts throughout the year. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are strongly recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Two Term Class
Prerequisite: Instrumental Ensemble II or placement audition.

Performing Art: Instrumental Ensemble II

The Instrumental Ensemble II course builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Beaver Ensemble. This ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills.The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are strongly recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Two Term Class
Prerequisite: Beaver Ensemble or placement audition.

Performing Art: Instrumental Ensemble III

The Instrumental Ensemble III course builds on the skills developed in Instrumental Ensemble II. This ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills.The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are strongly recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Two Term Class
Prerequisite: Instrumental Ensemble II or placement audition.

Science: Advanced Biology - Engineering and Environmental Science

Over the course of this two-term class (fall/winter), students will tackle a real-world environmental science question and design the technologies and experimental methodology for researching an aspect of it. We will think critically about how we impact the places in which we live and reflect on humanity’s relationship to the natural world. Through the exploration of environmental issues we will learn about biodiversity, sustainability, climate change, and environmental justice. After choosing and heavily researching an environmental question, students will go through the engineering process to design, build, test, and implement an experiment to investigate that question. Students will be asked to use engineering tools such as drafting, electrical design, programming, and iterative design. In addition, they will be required to learn tools of project management to plan, schedule and report their work. The class will culminate with the students testing their devices and obtaining data.

This course involves significant research and field experience. Students may have the opportunity to conduct their original research locally or on a research expedition to Belize during Spring Break.

Prerequisites: Engineering Design Foundations or NuVu or Biology Foundations. Departmental permission required. Offered at the Honors level only.

Visual Art

In this class you will have the opportunity to work in all the visual art studios and with all the visual art faculty. Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of materials, tools, and techniques. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. Try something new or pursue your lifelong passion. 

This class may be taken more than once. No prerequisite


One Term Courses

These courses meet one term, Fall, Winter, or Spring and earn 5 credits each. English and History students seeking Honors designation sign contracts in the first term of next year to earn that credit.

English: African American Literature

This course will anchor itself around Jeffrey Allen Renard’s novel, Rails Under My Back, and explore the black American experience. We will read poems, essays, and excerpts from other writers that include Toni Morrison, Tracy K. Smith, and Ta Nehisi Coates.

English: Ambition, Power, and Disallusion

We will read Invisible Man and Hamlet and examine their protagonists as they battle with societal and familial expectations and their own mindset. How do they exist when other people or forces are against them? And will all this drive them mad or bring them to enlightenment?

English: Contemporary Poetry

The word “poetry” conjures up, for many, the likes of Sappho, Chaucer, Basho and Whitman; not everyone is aware of the present state of the genre. Poetry’s landscape is populated with an incredibly broad range of styles, forms, tones, influences, and subject matters. While Peter Jay Shippy re-imagines the story of Oedipus and Sarah Manguso wonders what music they play in hell, Martin Espada watches a man decapitate parking meters. By reading the poets of today, you will find proof that language, used precisely and thoughtfully, can achieve many different goals. In addition to reading and analyzing samples from the spectrum of contemporary poetry, you will have opportunities to write and workshop your own poems. A willingness to take risks, to read each night, and to take an active role in class discussions is required.

Texts: An assortment of full-length collections from contemporary poets.

English: Great Books

When was the last time you were responsible for picking your reading for a course? At the beginning of this class, you will generate a list of books you want to read and then you will campaign for your favorite; after the campaign season ends, you’ll vote and several books will win. We’ll spend the term reading them, examining them for character, theme, structure, style, and message. Is it a Great Book? Ultimately, you will decide whether the books deserve spots on the shelf. We will also include film, music, and history in our study of the texts. You will respond to the reading in various forms of writing, class discussions, projects, and presentations.

Previous winners: 1984, Lolita, Brave New World, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Lord of the Flies, Scarlet Letter, On the Road, The Kite Runner.

English: Literature and Film

Did you like the movie or the book better? Is this a sensible question, or are we being asked to compare unlike genres? In this course we will investigate these two art forms, comparing the narrative possibilities—and limitations—of each. How do these modes of storytelling differ in terms of their effects? What can film achieve that a novel or play cannot, and vice versa? What is lost in the translation of literature into film, and what makes a “good” adaptation? We will read two novels and a play closely, and we will study a film based on each. You will think and write critically about how these stories are told on the printed page and on the screen.

Possible texts: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad; Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare; Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.

English: Money, Money, Money

What is money’s place in society? Why do most students say that The Great Gatsby inspired them more than any other text? What other stories use money — or the lack thereof — as a central theme? What is the connection between money and power? What is revealed about inequity in society? What messages are sent? reinforced? challenged? What happens when the whole system explodes? In this class you’ll read fiction and non-fiction, write, watch, and listen, and then design a question and research, collaborate, and present your findings.

Possible authors: Fitzgerald, West, Wharton, Wodehouse, Tolstoy, Austen, Williams

English: Non-Fiction in the 21st Century

Technological and scientific advancements have tangibly changed non-fiction literature and investigative reporting in our world. Authors like Malcolm Gladwell (Blink, Tipping Point, Outliers) and Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (Freakonomics) have led a charge towards using anecdotal literature to address popular psychology and economics. Programs like Serial and The Jinx have brought podcasts and investigative documentaries into the popular mainstream. In one way, they are an expression of the data-driven zeitgeist of our culture, but in another way they are re-energizing the oldest tradition in recorded history: storytelling. This class is equal parts rhetoric, investigative reporting, and creative storytelling. You will first digest this genre of literature through magazine columns, podcasts, and film, and then produce it on your own, both on the page and through modern audio/visual formats.
Possible texts: Selections from Freakonomics by Levitt/Dubner and Blink by Gladwell; NPR podcasts; HBO documentaries; other free online texts from The New Yorker, Grantland and Rolling Stone that will be provided for students.

English: Science Fiction

In the 1960’s, American literature experienced a formidable boom in science fiction writing. The complicated politics of the time led to “The New Wave,” a literary age of up-and-coming writers addressing America’s more contentious social and political events through the medium of science fiction. Future literary giants like Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, Jorge Luis Borges, and William S. Burroughs, among many others, began incorporating science fiction modes and techniques into their novels to further dissect this phenomenon we call existence. With the advent of new film technologies, Hollywood caught on to the wave and began producing America’s first big-budget, full-length science fiction movies. In this course we will read classic novels and short stories from this time period and dissect some of Hollywood’s sci-fi blockbusters like 2001: A Space Odyssey, War of the Worlds, The Matrix and Inception.

Possible texts: Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut; Dune by Frank Herber; a litany of science fiction short stories by Asimov, Dick, Vonnegut and others (these are free online texts that will be provided for students).

English: Short Stories

How does something so small pack such a big punch? Such is the nature of a short story. You’ll hone in on story elements and larger messages and practice your hand at your own short story writing.

Possible texts:  Flash Fiction, Nine Stories, selections from The New Yorker.

English: Storytelling

Each of us has an inner world of images, memories, and dreams. This internal landscape holds unlimited possibilities for storytelling. This course will help you explore your personal mythology, discover your own voices, and polish your writing skills. Through a variety of exercises, you will shape memory and imagination into elements of the short story: character, setting, dramatic structure, point of view, and theme. You will workshop your work both in class and by making use of Buzzword, a web-based program that offers a comprehensive editing platform.

Possible texts: stories and essays by Angelou, Boyle, Burnham, Cheever, Cunningham, Fondation, Forché, Miller, Minot, Oppenheimer, Painter, Salinger, Shae, Tolstoy, Updike, and Wolff.

Global History: Advanced Honors - Independent Research

An intensive, inquiry-based course that will require students to pursue an advanced independent course of research on a topic of their choice. Students in this small section will be expected to work through a number of multi-step research assignments that will include producing research based papers, research based presentations, and participate in a number of research challenges and research projects. This course is designed to hone the research skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and dissemination and is designed for the student who is interested in possibly pursuing advanced humanities research in college.

Limit per class: 12 students

Global History: Artists' Response to Social Change

Throughout history, artists have responded to social change through various modes of expression. The impact of the artist’s voice in interpreting society has often played a critical role in documenting historical events and shaping the future. This course will examine different socio-political changes through the lens of artists and artistic movements. Students will discuss the power of these artists’ work, their messages, and the movements they’ve sparked. Art’s role as a political tool will also be explored.

Global History: History of Science

What is the role of science in society? How has it evolved and challenged ethical mindsets? Using a thematic approach, this course will not only look at science’s major breakthroughs throughout history, but also its most brilliant blunders. Students will examine how scientific studies and innovations have impacted, challenged, and influenced cultures, societies, morals, and religions.

Global History: Ideologies

Why do people follow a given ideology and/or its leaders? How are movements shaped and manipulated by leaders and doctrines? Students will examine the nuances of Capitalism, Marxism, Socialism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, and other competing and often conflicting belief systems. Students will interpret these ideas from economic, political, and philosophical perspectives. Through this lens, students will confront global contemporary issues and challenges associated with these ideologies.

Global History: Illusions and Delusions - the 20th Century

How have ideas of the 20th century revolutionized humanity? This class will examine different theories and innovations that influenced and shaped the 20th century in science, technology, culture and literature, and politics. How have ideas with seemingly positive implications led to negative consequences? In order to make sense of today’s cultural, political, and economic environment, this class will explore how 20th century ideas set the stage for our current times.

Global History: Race, Class, and Identity

How have we been socialized to perpetuate stereotypes and biases toward groups of people? How do gender and identity intersect with race and class? Students will examine the work of some of the most important thinkers on race, class consciousness, and identity. Students will be encouraged to engage in authentic, personal discussions and to connect their experiences to other global voices.

Global History: The Media and Its Influences

From the printing press to widespread use of social media, the creation of news content has been defined and redefined by the technology of its historical time. Using today’s media landscape, students will examine what qualifies as news, what ethical questions are presented in journalism, and how we are impacted today by those that craft, manipulate, and distribute the message. Students will use different media tools and platforms to question, challenge, and deconstruct media messages and their biases. Students will become better equipped to read the world and understand the news.

Global History: Theories of Justice

If you have worked really hard and have earned high grades, do you deserve to get into the college of your choice? Is it fair if you don’t? Can money buy everything? Looking at different philosophical ideas, students will engage in discussions and debates to challenge some of their perspectives on fairness and the right thing to do. Students will be encouraged to apply their philosophical approaches to authentic situations.

Independent Study

Students have the opportunity to explore English, History, Mathematics, Science, Language, or Arts topics of interest under the supervision of a member of the appropriate department. After designing a project with a faculty member, the student presents a formal proposal to the Department Heads for approval. (An Independent Study may not duplicate the content of another course already being offered by the department because of schedule conflicts.) The student works in his or her own time and meets with the specified department member during one scheduled period per week for discussions and planning. Application forms are available from the Upper School Director. Proposals must have been submitted by the regular course selection dates.

Math: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs drive our nation’s economy and lead the way when it comes to both job creation and innovation. This class will expose students to all elements of a startup company, including market research, writing a business plan, building financial projections, securing funding, pitching the business to outsiders, and launching a product. Students will work regularly with founders of startups (both successful and unsuccessful) as well as venture capitalists and other investors of early-stage companies. Students will work in teams to develop an idea for a new and innovative company, and, at the end of the course, will pitch their ideas to local venture capitalists. Companies must be designed not only to be profitable, but also to make a positive impact on an industry or on society.

Math: Introduction to Investing

Should you invest in the common stock of Apple Computer or Exxon-Mobil? How do you decide whether to get a car loan or a lease? How do you determine how much a small business is worth? In this course, we will learn about the time value of money and risk as it applies to analyzing these personal finance questions. We will also use math to explore some of the more common investments, including stocks, bonds and real estate.

Math: Precalculus - Functions

In this course, students will take a deeper look at various families of functions: rational, radical, exponential, logarithmic, parametric and polynomial. Students will learn about the ways in which domain, range, continuity, inverses, composition and transformation apply to those functions. Students will also have opportunities to analyze real-world data and generate predictive models. Topics from discrete math are often included in this course, as well.

Prerequisites: Algebra II and Geometry. Honors level requires departmental permission.
Offered at the Honors and Standard levels. Recommendations made by the department.

Math: Precalculus - Trigonometry

Students in this course will learn about angle measurement, periodic behavior, and a range of applications related to both right triangle and circular trigonometry. Analytic geometry and polar coordinates are often included in this course, as well. Prerequisites: Algebra II and Geometry. Honors level requires departmental permission.

Offered at the Honors and Standard levels. Recommendations made by the department.

Math: Statistics

This course includes the gathering of data and a variety of sampling techniques, hypothesis testing, frequency distribution, normal distribution, correlation, linear regression, theoretical distributions, and inferential statistics. This course asks students to consider questions such as these: How is data summarized so that it is intelligible? How should statistical data be interpreted? How can we measure the inherent uncertainty built into statistical data? Students will be asked to collect, analyze and interpret real data to answer real questions in their areas of interest.

Modern Language: Advanced Chinese

In Advanced Chinese, students will continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Grammar is studied incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: dining, shopping, asking for and giving directions, and expressing opinions. Students will study the culture and diversity of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of culturally rich images, videos, music, and some authentic texts. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, skits and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate Chinese skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Intermediate Chinese and Departmental Permission.

ADVANCED CHINESE COURSES:
Cuisine and Culture:
Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients, dining out and the kitchen. They will learn different expressions as well as units of measurement used in Chinese-speaking countries. They will also learn about the typical dining etiquette.

Travel and Transportation:
Students will learn practical topical vocabulary around travel, asking for and giving directions while developing their skills of reading authentic Chinese signs, understanding Mandarin of various accents and expanding their vocabulary.

Modern Language: Advanced French

At the Advanced level, students will utilize their superior reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to engage with content at a high level. At this level, students are expected to use the language exclusively to engage with complex and challenging topics. Vocabulary is acquired through exposure to authentic texts and communicative practice. Grammar is addressed primarily in the context of student work, though students will learn a few advanced compound tenses while refining their written and oral communication. These classes only use authentic materials to guide both language learning and discussions.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate French skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Intermediate French. Departmental Permission Required.

ADVANCED FRENCH COURSES:
The Banlieue:
Le Banlieue is the French word for suburbs, but it’s connotation could not be more different than it’s English equivalent. The banlieue of French cities has long been stigmatized as an unsafe and criminal place. However, it is a diverse area that defies labelling. Some banlieues are much like the American stereotype of a suburb. Others are urban areas with inhabitants from all over the world. Some banlieues have been the site of riots that shook the country and pitted French citizens against the forces of order. This class will take a deeper look at what is behind this word “banlieue” by looking at historical events as well as how it is portrayed in film, music, news media and by politicians. We will also look at how residents of the banlieue view their neighborhoods in videos, books and poems.

Being North African in France today:

What does it mean to be of North African origin in France today? How do ‘others’ see them? What challenges do they face as French citizens living in France today? Through close analysis of current events, articles, film, music and other sources, students will study the complicated history and reality of North Africans in France today. Students will look at works by Yamina Benguigui, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Khaled, and others. Themes that will come up in this class are: race, religion, assimilation, integration, as well as recent media portrayal of North Africans in France.

Art Culture & Current Events of the Maghreb:
This class focuses on contemporary issues taking place in the French Maghreb: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Students will use contemporary texts, films, music, and art to learn more about this region which was colonized by France. The Maghreb is a region where both Arabs and ‘Berbers’ have lived for centuries and a place that Jews and Muslims have called home. Students will engage in debates, write blog posts, keep a journal, and do presentations on various current topics such as the situation in Western Sahara, what it means to be colonized in the Maghreb, the tension between the indigenous people of the Maghreb and the Arabs, race and identity, post colonization, the role of religion, just to name a few topics. The class will be taught entirely in French. Works studied will include stories by Tahar Ben Jelloun, Fatima Mernissi, Music by Cheb Khaled and Idir, films by Yamina Benguigui and Nabil Ayouch, Art by Andre Elbaz and Yto Barrada.

Modern Language: Advanced Spanish

At the Advanced level, students will utilize their superior reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to engage with content at a high level. At this level, students are expected to use the language exclusively to engage with complex and challenging topics. Vocabulary is acquired through exposure to authentic texts and communicative practice. Grammar is addressed primarily in the context of student work, though students will learn a few advanced compound tenses while refining their written and oral communication. These classes only use authentic materials to guide both language learning and discussions.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate Spanish skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Intermediate Spanish. Departmental Permission Required.

ADVANCED SPANISH COURSES:

Contemporary Cuba: Past, Present and Prospects for the Future:
In this advanced Spanish course, students will refine their language skills while studying contemporary Cuban culture. We will use the Cuban Revolution of 1959 as a point of reference around which to explore the island nation’s rich history and culture. We will put contemporary Cuba in context by examining the island’s history from colonization to modern times, paying particular attention to the cultural influences of the Afro-Cuban diaspora and Cubans’ relationships with foreign powers (specifically, Spain and the U.S.). Students in this course will read primary sources, historical and current events articles, in addition to analyzing Cuban films, music and paintings. They will interview members of the Cuban emigré community in Boston and will use social media to connect more broadly with Cuban culture. Furthermore, students will use their Spanish to engage in debates about the relationship between the US and Cuba, and to write and speak thoughtfully about what the future may hold for the Caribbean nation.

Environments in Crisis:
This course focuses on current environmental challenges across Latin America. Students will be encouraged to analyze the connections between the social contexts and contemporary environmental crises. Through case studies, students will explore the interrelationships between human activity and environmental change. The topics to be studied will include the destruction of the rainforest, water pollution, exploitation of natural resources, habitat destruction and endangered species. Students will examine how social media, community engagement, and advocacy initiatives have played key roles in the positive outcomes of environmental problems.

Gender & Society in the Spanish Speaking World:
In this course, students will study gender roles and inequality throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Through literature, film, current events, and personal stories, students will have an opportunity to think critically about the impact that gender has on individuals, families, and societies. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding and express their opinions in discussions, essays and projects. One of the goals for the course is for students to make connections to their surroundings and and to effectively leverage social to actively express their views.

Boston Latino:
In this course, students will learn about greater Boston’s Latino communities. By studying the history of immigration and personal stories through diverse literature and interviews, students will have an opportunity to learn about the lives of immigrants in various parts of Boston, and see the different paths that people take in their transition to a new country and culture. One of the goals for this course is to inspire global learning in our immediate surroundings. Some of the class activities will include visits to community centers, interviews with immigrants, discussions, and collaborative as well as independent projects. Organizations such as Primary Source and Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition will be used as supplemental resources for this course.

Social Justice in Latin America:
In this course, students will investigate the key social justice issues facing the Spanish-speaking populations of the Americas. We will examine struggles for equity among various groups, including indigenous populations, political dissidents, and the poor and disenfranchised. Using a variety authentic sources from the media, such as news articles, video clips, music, brief literature and poetry, we will compare and contrast the multiple perspectives of people of Latin American descent. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding and express their opinions in discussions, essays and projects. One of the goals of this course is for students to understand the cultural forces that shape the beliefs and attitudes of diverse groups of people.

Modern Day Colombia:
While discovering what Colombia is like today economically, socially and culturally, students will gain a better understanding of the country as a whole from different angles. Students will research and learn about the drastic changes that have taken place in the last twenty years, especially in certain regions, that have revamped and revived Colombia to as it stands today.

Modern Language: Foundations of Chinese

Foundations of Chinese builds on students’ basic proficiency established in Chinese I. Students may enroll in this course having demonstrated proficiency equivalent to completion a full-year high school course. This course will continue to develop students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Grammar is studied incrementally through story telling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: hobbies, weather, dining, celebrations, shopping and asking for directions. Students will continue to study the culture of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of language use, traditions and current events. Audio and video materials along with computer software, games, projects, and presentations will be used to foster student interaction and participation. The following non-sequential, Foundations of Chinese courses will be offered in 2015-2016. Most students will want to sign up for both courses in order to be prepared for Intermediate Chinese the following year.

Make a Good First Impression: Students will learn to introduce themselves in culturally appropriate ways and learn about formal and informal speech.

Friends from the Start: Students will learn vocabulary related to background information, hobbies, leisure time and celebrations. Stude

Modern Language: Foundations of French

In Foundations of French (formerly French 2), students will continue to develop their language skills through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Vocabulary will be taught through stories and accessible texts chosen around the themes of each one-term class. The class will be driven by comprehensible input; in other words, listening and reading that is understandable. Through readings and research students will also expand their cultural understanding of France and the Francophone world. Students completing this class will be able to comfortably use verbs in the passé composé and imperfect, direct and indirect pronouns, reflexive verbs, some relative pronouns and negative expressions. Students will show the language that they can produce creatively through writing assignments, videos and projects.

Prerequisites: French 1 or MS French C. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Intermediate French the following year.

FRENCH FOUNDATIONS Courses:

Modern Life: Students will get a chance to compare their lives to those of French and Francophone teens today. They will connect with teens via email and social media. They will get a chance to see what is hip in France through various level appropriate magazines, blogs and videos including music, celebrities and film. Students will also learn about technology in the francophone world and use related vocabulary to learn about coding.

Home Life: Students will compare their home life to that of students in France. They will research cultural traditions from festivals to local dishes through level-appropriate sources such as readings and videos. Students will create projects describing a fictional day in the life of a francophone or French family based on research.

The Marketplace
Students will develop their oral and written skills in French as they learn about the buying and selling of goods in the French speaking world. From groceries and clothing to hotels and restaurants, students will learn to barter, compare and contrast. Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients and cooking. They will also learn about typical prepared foods that can be found in the marketplaces of francophone countries.

Modern Language: Foundations of Spanish

In this course, students will continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way. Grammar is learned incrementally, and the topics that are discussed include: the present progressive tense, direct and indirect object pronouns, estar + adjectives, reflexive verbs, verbs like gustar, comparatives and superlatives, the imperfect tense and the preterite tense. Students will study the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in the form of language use, customs, celebrations, art, historical figures, and current contributors to Latin American and Spanish society through a series of two or three one-term Foundations of Spanish courses. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Intermediate Spanish the following year. Course topics are briefly outlined below.

Prerequisites: Spanish 1 or MS Spanish C. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Intermediate Spanish the following year.

SPANISH FOUNDATIONS Courses:
Social Life: Students will study vocabulary related to family, friends and social life in the Spanish-speaking world. Students will build their communication skills as they tell stories about family and friends.

The Marketplace: Students will develop their oral and written skills in Spanish as they learn about the buying and selling of goods in the Spanish speaking world. From groceries and clothing to hotels and restaurants, students will learn to barter, compare and contrast.

Home Life & Leisure Time: Students will learn vocabulary related to hobbies and leisure time. They will also learn about different celebrations in the Spanish-speaking world. They will develop their communication skills as they talk about their favorite activities.

Cuisine & Culture: Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients and the kitchen. They will learn different expressions as well as units of measurement used in Spanish-speaking countries. They will also learn about the typical gastronomy of different countries.

Customs and Celebrations: In this course, students will explore assimilation and acculturation, cultural syncretism, and how globalization shapes communities.

Travel & Tourism: In this course students will know about different Spanish-speaking countries, their most important historic places, the urban and rural environment and will also practice the necessary skills and vocabulary to plan a trip and make reservations.

Modern Language: Intermediate French

In Intermediate French (formerly French 3), students will improve their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Vocabulary is acquired through exposure to authentic texts and communicative practice, and the topics that are explored include: making recommendations, expressing doubt and certainty, and expressing opinions. Grammar is refined incrementally. Students will learn a few more tenses while refining their written and oral communication. The class will use more authentic texts and documents from the Francophone world to guide both language learning and discussions. Students will study culture and diversity in the form of current events, film, music, and famous novels and stories.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of French skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Foundations of French. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Advanced French the following year.

FRENCH INTERMEDIATE COURSES:
France: A Nation of Regions:
As a country, France is known for, among many other things, its cheese and gastronomy; but each dish and each cheese comes from its own distinct region. What makes a country roughly the size of Texas have so many distinct regions with their own distinct cultures? In this class we will look at the regions of France and see what makes them unique and proud including gastronomy, art, poetry, music, literature and history. We will look at the French idea of terroir and why the foods from one area are unique to that area and cannot be reproduced elsewhere. The class will also look at how the French government and the regions themselves attempt to preserve their cultural heritage in the face of a changing world and globalization.

Action and Romance: This course will use abbreviated versions of some of the most important pieces of French literature. Students will be exposed to new tenses and review the past tense, while reading works such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Count of Monte Cristo, and or the Phantom of the Opera. Using these stories as a starting point, students will build mastery in the future and conditional tenses by reworking and re-imagining the tales.

Place & Identity: Students will explore cultural identity and how it is related to place. We will look at themes such as immigration and rural vs urban environments. Students will look at a variety of authentic sources that explore places and the people that inhabit them including Butterfly in the City and Jean de Florette, as well as representations of place and identity in poetry and music. Finally, we will look at how places have influenced and been represented in art.

Folklore: Students will be introduced to stories and different forms of storytelling from around the francophone world. We will study the oral storytelling traditions from western Africa and how it differs from, has influenced and has been influenced by French colonialism and later by modernity. Most of our sources will be written renditions of folklore, but we will also use recorded storytelling and film. Students will work on writing their own stories and reinterpreting traditional stories to their own lives.

Modern Language: Intermediate Spanish

In Intermediate Spanish (formerly Spanish 3), students continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater independence with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Vocabulary is acquired in a thematic and communicative way. Grammar is practiced incrementally, and the topics that are practiced include: imperfect, familiar, formal and nosotros commands, future and conditional, present subjunctive, present and past perfect, and past participles as adjectives. Students also study the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in the form of authentic literature, historical and literary figures, customs, celebrations, and music. Audio and video materials, Skype conferences, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of Spanish skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Foundations of Spanish. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Advanced Spanish the following year.

SPANISH INTERMEDIATE COURSES:
Health & Wellness: In this course, students will explore topics including exercise and eating habits, access to healthcare, and the cultural context and politics of food.

Me, Myself and I: In this course, students will explore their personal histories and origins, relationships with their communities, how their choices shape their future.

Urban Life: In this course, students will explore changing landscapes, displaced communities, and migration in the context of the Spanish speaking world.

Storytelling: In this course, students will explore aspects of storytelling including short stories, journalism, poetry, and oral histories and the art of the interview.

Business & Entrepreneurship: In this course, students will explore how Hispanic and Latino businesses shape communities, creating business plans tailored to the needs of Spanish-speaking communities, and designing, producing, and marketing products.

Performing Art: Choral - A Cappella

A Capella builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Circa and the Men’s Ensemble by strengthening students’ ensemble singing, vocal technique, and music literacy while introducing a cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the term by working on developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading sheet music and exploring diverse repertoire. Throughout the course, they will learn how to work independently in smaller quartets and will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals. The aim of the course is to prepare students to arrange and rehearse a cappella vocal music independently and to perform in public concerts throughout the term.

Can be take for one or two terms.
Prerequisite: Men’s Ensemble or Circa or permission from the instructor.

Performing Art: Choral - Circa - Women's Vocal Ensemble

Circa introduces female singers to the fundamentals of ensemble singing, including vocal technique, music literacy, and concert review. Students will begin the term working on vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading sheet music, vocal improvisation and exploring diverse repertoire written for women’s voices. They will also learn to critique by writing a review of one public concert. Students will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals such as leading vocal warm-ups or serving as section leaders. The aim of the course is to prepare students to perform in a public concert at the end of the term and develop a collaborative spirit within the ensemble.

No prerequisite.

Performing Art: Choral - Men’s Vocal Ensemble

Beaver’s Men’s Ensemble introduces male singers to the fundamentals of ensemble singing, including vocal technique, music literacy, and concert review. Students will begin the term working on developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading sheet music, vocal improvisation, and singing diverse repertoire written for men’s voices. They will also learn to critique by writing a review of one public concert. Students will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals such as leading vocal warm-ups or serving as a section leader. The aim of the course is to prepare students to perform in a public concert at the end of the term and to develop a collaborative spirit within the ensemble.

No Prerequisite.

Performing Art: The Actors' Showcase

This workshop is designed for the advanced actor developing his/her craft. It will focus on audition material for college and theatre opportunities beyond Beaver. The course will give students an opportunity to prepare audition monologues, scene work and explore plays. This course is for both the dedicated and independent drama student and students that wish to explore drama for the first time. This course will culminate in a showcase in the Black Box at the end of the term.

No Prerequisites.

Science: Advanced Chemistry – Organic Chemistry

Organic molecules are the building blocks of all life on Earth, and the carbon atom is central to the formation of all organic molecules. The importance of chemistry in biological systems will be the focus of the course, and modern biological topics will be explored. The course will investigate the properties and functions of several categories of organic molecules including alcohols, acids, and ethers. The synthesis and decomposition of synthetic and biological molecules will be performed in the lab. Experiments will include synthesizing and purifying aspirin, extracting caffeine from tea, and examining the properties and behaviors of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates as organic compounds.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Applications – Quantitative Analysis. Biology Foundations or Molecular Biology or equivalent. Departmental permission required. Offered at the Honors level only.

Science: Advanced Chemistry: The Natural Order (Equilibrium, Thermodynamics, and Electrochemistry)

The balance of chemical systems is a critically important theme in Nature. Students will cover in this course the challenging fields of thermodynamics, thermal and chemical equilibrium (including advanced acid-base chemistry), and chemical kinetics, which all describe how chemical balance is achieved. A thorough understanding of how chemical systems behave will be gained through hands on laboratory experiences, and students observe how these systems will respond to external stress. Students will research chemical system this in the context of key environmental, industrial, biological situations.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Applications – Quantitative Analysis. Departmental permission required. Offered at the Honors level only.

Science: Advanced Engineering Design - Project Studio (Honors)

Advanced Engineering Design is the second in a pair of engineering courses at Beaver. This course is intended to give students a more challenging and demanding environment to apply the skills they learned in either Engineering Design Foundations or at NuVu and allow them to solve real-world challenges. This course is largely project-based, and students will be expected to use the full term to research and design solutions to an engineering design challenge. Projects will be guided by the instructor, and the emphasis of the class is to use effective technical communication to present engineering designs. At the end of the term, students will present their findings and solutions to their clients and to the school.

Prerequisites: Engineering Design Foundations: Tools and Process or NuVu. Departmental permission. Offered at the Honors level only.

Science: Advanced Physics – Electricity & Magnetism

Advanced Electricity and Magnetism is an extension of the skills and concepts learned in Conceptual Physics. These concepts will be more rigorously explored and use more sophisticated mathematical tools than were used freshman year (geometry, trigonometry, functions, pre-calculus). The goal is to develop tools and intuition capable of describing the physical world at a very general level. The topics studied during this term include electricity, electrostatics and electric fields, magnetic fields, and the interplay between electric and magnetic fields. This course is extensively laboratory based and students will be required to draw conclusions based on evidence gathered with such devices as batteries, bulbs, capacitors, wires, hand generators, and motors. If time allows, the course may also include electromagnetic radiation (light, x-rays, microwaves, etc.) as an extension.

Prerequisites: 9th grade physics or equivalent and departmental permission. Offered at the Honors level only.

Science: Advanced Physics – Mechanics

Advanced Mechanics is an extension of the skills and concepts learned in Conceptual Physics. These concepts will be more rigorously explored and use much more sophisticated mathematical tools than were used freshman year (geometry, trigonometry, functions, pre-calculus). The goal is to develop tools and intuition capable of describing the physical world at a very general level. The topics studied during this term can be tailored to student interest but will likely draw from a list of topics including accelerated motion, vectors and projectile motion, Newton’s Laws, 2-D statics and dynamics, rotational motion, torque, and special relativity. This course includes at least one large research project in which students are required to explore a topic of interest and use their mechanics knowledge to analyze and make calculation-supported predictions for a physical situation.

Prerequisites: 9th grade physics or equivalent and departmental permission. Offered at the Honors level only.

Science: Biology Applications - Anatomy and Physiology

In this lab-based course, we will explore the integrated systems that make up the incredible human body and learn about how the structures of the body perform the functions necessary to maintain the balance of life (homeostasis). Students will continue to investigate the relationship between structure and function through dissections, projects, and discussions. We will look into the pathophysiology of diseases and disorders that compromise the functioning of our body systems and, in the final lab exercise, investigate the comparative biology of different vertebrates.

Prerequisites: Biology Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Biology Applications - DNA and Genetics

DNA is often referred to as the “code of life”. Its connection to protein synthesis and everything that happens within living systems is awe-inspiring. This course seeks to understand what we know about this connection and how our understanding has changed in recent years. Included in this course will be discussions of protein synthesis, heredity, genetics, evolution, and recombination. In addition, students will be introduced to laboratory techniques that have driven our understanding of these topics, including gel electrophoresis, bacterial transformation, proteomics, and bioinformatics. Emphasis on effective communication of experimental design and findings through formal reports and presentations will also be an integral part of this course.

*Offered in alternating academic years (2016-2017, 2018-2019, etc.)
Prerequisites: Biology Foundations. Advanced Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Biology Applications - Ecology and Systems

Ecology is all about relationship and interconnections. In this course, students will focus on the interdependence of living organisms (biotic factors) and their environment (abiotic factors) and how energy flows through Earth’s systems and connects us to all living things. Topics covered in this course include photosynthesis, cellular respiration, nutrient cycles, water quality, and ecological principles. In addition, students will be asked to critically consider the relationship between humans and the environment and explore the impacts we have on living systems. All of this will be done through the lens of a term-long aquaponics design project. Throughout the design process, students will think critically about the political, geographic, and economic challenges of food systems and connect their lessons learned to the larger global community. This interdisciplinary course integrates concepts from biology, ecology, environmental justice, coding and engineering.

*Offered in alternating academic years (2017-2018, 2019-2020, etc.)
Prerequisites: Biology Foundations. Advanced Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Biology Foundations - The Structure & Function of Life

From the development of antibiotics to solar panels, the living world has provided countless solutions to the most challenging problems we have faced as a human race. These solutions have all been developed from a deeper understanding of the relationship between structure and function, a major theme in biology. This course gives students the opportunity to study this relationship, beginning at the molecular level and continuing up through the cellular and organismal levels. More specifically, topics to be covered include biochemistry, enzymes, cellular biology, evolution, and comparative anatomy and physiology. In addition, this course seeks to help students develop advanced scientific skills and techniques along with the communication skills to articulate their findings and conclusions from independently designed laboratory experiments.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Biotechnology & Investing

The three main goals of this course are to help students achieve the following outcomes: 1) understand the fundamentals of the stock market and basic principles of investing, 2) gain familiarity with the biotech industry, including the process of how a drug is brought from the early stages of research to through FDA approval and commercialization, and 3) learn to create and maintain a diversified portfolio through a virtual stock exchange. There are also opportunities to learn about some key aspects of personal finance: developing a budget, credit cards, and investing for retirement.

Does not count as a lab-based science.
Prerequisites: None.

Science: Chemistry Applications - Quantitative Analysis

In Quantitative Analysis, students will build on the basic chemical concepts and skills learned in the foundations course. The concept of a mole will be explored and students will use stoichiometry to predict and analyze products of chemical reactions. Students will be able to assess their experimental efficiency by determination of percent yield in the different reactions/experiments.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Chemistry Foundations - Atoms and Reactions

Chemistry Foundations covers essential core content, while providing hands on opportunities for students to learn how to think like a chemist. In this course, the structure and bonding characteristics of atoms are emphasized. The organization of the Periodic Table will be explored as students discover common characteristics between families of atoms. Topics covered include atomic structure and theory, ionic and covalent bonding, molecular geometry, balancing chemical equations, and classifying types of reactions. Students will learn to identify clues that indicate a chemical change is taking place, and to predict and test reaction products. Students begin to develop skills around formalizing scientific writing skills. The course will culminate with a research project and presentation on a common drug molecule.

Prerequisites: Conceptual Physics A & B or departmental permission. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Engineering Design Foundations - Tools and Processes

Engineering Design Foundations is designed as an introductory class that does not depend on any prior knowledge. This course provides a general introductory experience with engineering design techniques, focusing on the creative design process and providing a strong foundation in project work and presentations. The introduction of basic design in this course is intended to stimulate the student’s insights and understandings concerning both mechanical and electrical design and the relationship of the design process and project management to the final product. The student will develop the necessary technical skills to communicate ideas in an understandable, efficient, and accurate manner. The topics studied during this term can be tailored to student interest, but will focus on core techniques and tools used in most engineering fields. Topics include the engineering design process, project management, hand drafting, computer aided design (CAD) software, workshop skills and safety, soldering and various electronics management, coding, and engineering report writing. This course will have several small projects designed to develop and assess the various engineering skills.

Prerequisites: None.

Science: Forensic Science – CSI BCDS

Forensics is the application of science to solve crimes using evidence that will be admissible in a court of law. A multidisciplinary approach that encourages analytical thinking and problem solving in biology, chemistry, and physics will be used. Students may cover the following topics: deductive reasoning, fingerprinting, qualitative analysis of substances such as hair, blood, metal, soil, glass, and fibers; toxicology, entomology, DNA fingerprinting, document analysis, and ballistics. Along with lab work, students may do research projects, look at the legal aspects of forensic science, take field trips, keep a science journal, and solve mock crimes.

Prerequisites: None.

Science: Physics Applications

This course is designed for students who (a) would like to explore physics but did not take Conceptual Physics in ninth grade or (b) would like a follow-up course to freshman physics that focuses on exploration and application of physics concepts without the mathematical rigor of Advanced Physics. This elective explores a myriad of physics concepts (ranging from mechanics to electricity & magnetism to waves to optics to modern physics) through the lens of real-world applications (both existing and potential). While there are hands-on components to the course, it does not count as a lab-based science.

Does not count as a lab-based science.
Prerequisites: Algebra II and Geometry.

Visual Art

In this class you will have the opportunity to work in all the visual art studios and with all the visual art faculty. Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of materials, tools, and techniques. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. Try something new or pursue your lifelong passion. 

This class may be taken more than once. No prerequisite


Three Term Courses

These courses meet 2 or 4 days per week for 3 terms and earn either 5 or 10 credits.

Modern Language: Foundations of Arabic

Unlike our other languages, we do not have a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Foundations Arabic is open to any student, but only students who have fulfilled their language requirement may take Arabic as their only language class. Other students must also be enrolled in a Spanish, French or Chinese in order to fulfill their graduation requirement. Once a student progresses satisfactorily through Foundations Arabic, (s)he may enroll in Intermediate Arabic. Arabic classes will meet twice a week during G-block throughout the school year. Foundations of Arabic is a 5-credit class.

Modern Language: Intermediate Arabic

Unlike our other languages, we do not have a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Foundations Arabic is open to any student, but only students who have fulfilled their language requirement may take Arabic as their only language class. Other students must also be enrolled in a Spanish, French or Chinese in order to fulfill their graduation requirement. Once a student progresses satisfactorily through Foundations Arabic, (s)he may enroll in Intermediate Arabic. Arabic classes will meet twice a week during G-block throughout the school year. Intermediate Arabic is a 5-credit class.

Prerequisite: Foundations of Arabic or Departmental Permission

Performing Art: Choral - Select Singers (Honors)

Select Singers is an all-year course for experienced singers to develop advanced techniques in ensemble singing and develop independent music and leadership skills to prepare them for involvement in music after Beaver. Select Singers will explore the world of singing beyond Beaver’s walls by attending and critiquing rehearsals at other institutions, collaborating in a concert with another school or university in Boston and taking various workshops in ensemble singing and vocal technique. Students should be highly motivated and committed to learning advanced musicianship skills and music theory and be prepared to sing for public concerts in smaller ensembles and quartets. Select Singers will prepare a program of repertoire for Beaver concerts at the end of each term.
This course meets during G block during all 3 terms.

Prerequisite: Audition

Performing Art: Instrumental - Ikonoclastic: All Female Ensemble

Ikonoclastic is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Students should be capable of playing on their instrument with at least one year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are strongly recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

This class meets all three terms.
Prerequisite: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.

Performing Art: Technical Theater - Stagecraft

Stagecraft 1 is a course designed for students interested in Technical Theater and/or Theater Design. Students will explore the fundamentals of carpentry, scenic painting, props, lighting, and sound with a focus on how theater artists use these tools for creative problem solving. Students will also study basic design tools and learn about how to use these tools to communicate with audience members. The successful student would gain an understanding of shop and theater safe working practices, basic construction skills, knowledge of lighting and sound instrumentation and rigging, as well as how communication, planning and collaboration are central to the health of a theater production. This class meets all three terms.

Prerequisite: Foundations of Theater or permission of instructor.