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:

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.

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 storytelling 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.

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 while introducing a cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the term by working on developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading 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. This course can be taken more than once.

Can be take for one or two terms.

Prerequisite: Men’s Ensemble or Circa or permission from the instructor.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

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.

Performing Art: Instrumental Music - Instrumental Ensemble I

Instrumental Ensemble 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 their instrument with at least one year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are 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: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.

Open to all grade levels.

Performing Arts: Instrumental Music - Afro-Caribbean Ensemble

In this advanced music elective students will specialize in and learn a variety of Afro-Caribbean standards. They will explore Caribbean culture and history to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of their music. Musicianship skills developed will include sight-reading, technique, improvisation, ear-training, ensemble skills, intonation and theory. Styles covered will include Calypso, Reggae, Bomba, Merengue and Son. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year as well as some additional school forums. In addition to honing their music skills, students will make cross-cultural and historical connections. Auditions are open for the following instruments: Bass, Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Strings, Brass and Woodwinds. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are 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

Open to grade levels: 11, 12

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.

Open to 11th and 12th graders.
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.

BVR-X: 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.

BVR-X: Game Design

What makes a great game?  The right balance of strategy and luck?  A compelling story and an immersive experience?  Unique rules and mechanics?  In this course, after analyzing successful board games, card games and video games, students will generate their own ideas and create virtual and/or physical prototypes.  Storytelling, coding, graphic design, artificial intelligence and systems thinking will all be incorporated within this course.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Introduction to Investing

Should you invest in the common stock of Apple Inc. 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 (a) the fundamentals of the stock market, investment vehicles, and basic principles of investing, (b) key aspects of personal finance, including budgeting, credit cards, and investing for retirement, and (c) the time value of money and risk as it applies to analyzing these personal finance questions. Students will learn to create and maintain a diversified portfolio through a virtual stock exchange, and there will be opportunities for research and other projects based on student interest.

Open to 11th and 12th graders or by departmental approval (from math or science).

Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Paradigm Shifts

At various moments in human history, perspective has changed in dramatic ways.  The most famous example might be the Copernican Revolution: the shift from an earth-centered view of the universe to widespread acceptance that the earth orbits the sun.  In the modern world, attitudes about issues like sustainability, gender and technology are evolving rapidly.  In this class, students will examine historical and current paradigms shifts, interviewing experts in a range of fields about their outlooks.  Students will also attempt to anticipate the next wave of paradigm shifts: how might we view our world differently 50 years from now?

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Podcasting

In this course, students will develop and produce their own podcasts on topics of their choosing.  By listening to and studying professional podcasts, students will learn about both technical and narrative components.  We will also examine the particular challenges and opportunities presented by the podcasting format.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Prerequisites: None

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 Disillusion

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: Dystopian Literature

Drought. Destruction. Economic collapse. Genocide. Fascism. Hurricanes. War. People try to understand these events through various mediums – the news, documentaries, and songs, for example – but dystopian literature gives us a fascinating lens to use. What are these authors saying about life? Government? Free will? Fate? Survival? Beauty and joy? How do we understand different ways of leading people? You will use literature, film, art, and historical and current events to explore these questions, and you will present your ideas in debates, discussions, and creative and analytical writing.

Possible texts: 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ender’s Game, Brave New World, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

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. 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: History and Literature of Boston

In this course, we will investigate the city of Boston, the arc of its development, and the cultures which have clashed and melded to make the city we know. The class will track commonalities connected to the “U.S. East Coast” urban experience, yet also highlight the “uniqueness” of Boston. This co-taught interdisciplinary course will help students understand Boston by looking closely at historical, literary, and artistic experiences and artifacts through a variety of lenses. Units on immigration, politics, and popular culture will direct study of the history and literature of the city.

Possible texts: Caucasia, Danzy Senna; The Friends of Eddie Coyle, George V. Higgins; The Given Day, Dennis Lehane; All Souls, Michael Patrick MacDonald; Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas

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: 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: Songbook

In this course we will examine writing about popular music. Our two main texts will be Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run and Nick Hornby’s Songbook; we will also read selections from various authors like Patti Smith, Lester Bangs, and Albert Murray. We will listen to music and explore how to write and talk about the musical vibe through language. Each student will be required to write numerous short essays on music that will culminate in his/her own SONGBOOK collection.

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.

English: The Writings and Readings of Nature and Meditation

The influx of technology and increases in population since the 1980’s have forced us to rethink our place in nature. This course represents a return to nature through the authors who have continued to shape our spiritual connection to the outdoors, such as Wendell Berry, Henry David Thoreau, Annie Dillard, and Bill McKibben. In this course, we will meditate frequently, take walks through the woods, learn yoga, study Buddist, Taoist and Hindu texts on mindfulness, visit Massachusetts farms, and avoid technology whenever possible. Through this return to nature, we hope you will learn more about yourself and your place and impact on the planet.    

Possible Texts: The Unsettling of America, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, The Tao Te Ching, Wilderness and the American Mind, and other short selections.

 

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: 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: The New Superpower?

Is China to replace the U.S. as the new world superpower? In this course, you will explore China’s emergence on the global arena through its diplomacy, foreign and economic policies and relationships with other nations. From the Opium Wars to President Xi’s 2017 speech regarding the global economy, a central theme of this course will examine China’s perspective on the world and the opportunities and challenges economic globalization brings to its population in the 21st Century.

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: Advanced Topics in Mathematics

In this course, students will have the chance to grapple with a range of different problems that fall outside the spectrum of traditional high school mathematics. Topics covered may include fair division, voting systems, graph theory, chaos theory and non-Euclidean geometry. Students will be asked to think creatively and apply their knowledge to complex real world problems.

Open to 11th and 12th graders or by departmental approval.

Math: Introduction to Game Theory

Game Theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is used to evaluate various social conditions. Students in this course will learn about the mathematics behind social and strategic situations. This course will focus on topics ranging from game strategy to problems of cooperation in everyday life. Case studies in resource depletion, global warming and conflict negotiation will be included. Student work will apply theory to real strategic environments.

Open to 11th and 12th graders or by departmental approval.

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.

Open to 11th and 12th graders or by departmental approval.

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:

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.

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

Hell is Others: Personal and Political Relationships in the Francophone World:

How and why we treat and interact with one another is an enduring theme as relevant to the oral tales of precolonial West Africa as it is in our own lives. This course will follow the theme of personal relationships through French and Francophone films and plays. Starting with Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis clos in which he makes the argument that “l’enfer c’est les autres” (hell is others), students will explore the effects that location, age, culture and power have on relationships. We will analyze classic films such as Le Grand Voyage about a father son road trip to Mecca, and Chocolat a film that examines the complex relationships between French colonialists and the Cameroonian people. Each film and play will connect to our theme, but will also introduce us to different cultures and stories from the Francophone world. Students will refine their French skills while readings plays, engaging in discussions and writing their own analyses of the texts we study.

Revolutions: France, Haiti and Beyond:

This course will look at Revolutions across the Francophone world and their effects on national identity. We will begin with the enlightenment philosophy that fueled the French Revolution and other revolutions since. We will look at significant moments in and the causes and aftermaths of the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution and other revolts and revolutions across the Francophone world. We will look at these revolutions through different lenses using a variety of primary and secondary sources, from official documents to novels, plays, movies and more. The class will also address current conflicts happening in the Francophone world such as in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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:

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.

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.

Latin American Social Movements:

How do writers, filmmakers, painters and other intellectuals grapple with national histories? What social and political movements have shaped contemporary Latin America? By examining contemporary literature, film and other cultural products students will discuss the interplay of social and political movements, justice and forgiveness, memory and forgetting. Students will polish their reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension skills as they debate, discuss and reflect on these complex contemporary topics.

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 storytelling 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 2017-2018. 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.

Modern Language: Foundations of French

In Foundations of French, 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:

Health and Wellness:

In this course, students will explore topics including exercise and eating habits, access to healthcare, and the cultural context and politics of food.

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.

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.

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 Chinese

In Intermediate Chinese, students 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: making recommendations, giving directions, expressing doubt and certainty, 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 Foundations of Chinese skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Foundations of Chinese and Departmental Permission. Students will eventually need to take at least two of the Intermediate level courses.

INTERMEDIATE CHINESE COURSES:
Home, School and Work: Students will learn to talk about their life at home, school and their plans for their future education and careers. They will learn the necessary vocabulary to express their likes and dislikes concerning their present life, education and future goals.

Meeting Our Needs: Students will discover vocabulary related to people’s feelings, physical and mental states, courses of actions and routines. They will also learn about people’s lifestyles and customs in China and other Chinese-speaking regions.

Social Life: Students will learn how to get to know people better through more in-depth conversations about their backgrounds and interests. They will practice necessary skills and vocabulary to plan outings, pay visits, or invite friends over for homemade meals.

Modern Language: Intermediate French

In Intermediate French, 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.

Modern Language: Intermediate Spanish

In Intermediate Spanish, 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 while introducing a cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the term by working on developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading 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. This course can be taken more than once.

Can be take for one or two terms.

Prerequisite: Men’s Ensemble or Circa or permission from the instructor.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

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

Circa introduces female singers to the fundamentals of ensemble singing, including vocal technique, music literacy, and artistic expression. Students will begin the term working on developing their voices through warm-up exercises, music reading, and vocal improvisation. They will also cultivate a working knowledge of fundamental music theory. In Circa, we will study and perform music of different styles, ranging from classical to pop. Interested 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 develop confident musicians and prepare for a public concert at the end of the term. This course can be taken more than once.

No prerequisite.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

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 artistic expression. Students will begin the term working on developing their voices through warm-up exercises, music reading, and vocal improvisation. They will also cultivate a working knowledge of fundamental music theory. We will study and perform music of different styles, ranging from classical to pop. Interested 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 develop confident musicians and prepare for a public concert at the end of the term. This course can be taken more than once.

No Prerequisite.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

Performing Art: Technical Theater - Mainstage Design Independent Study

Mainstage Design Independent Study is a course for students with experience in Theatrical Design who are ready to design or assistant design on a mainstage production at Beaver. Students will learn and utilize design, rendering and communication tools and strategies while gaining an assistant designer or designer resume credit. The successful student would practice skills and strategies related to communication, planning and collaboration, as well as exercising creative thinking and problem solving methods essential to producing a theatrical design. Students taking this course must also take the Technical Theater Afternoon Activity in the same term. This course can be taken more than once.

One Term Class

Prerequisite Tech Theater/Design Lab and permission of instructor.

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 Biology - Molecular Techniques and Technologies

This course is an extension of the molecular and genetics concepts and techniques developed in DNA and Genetics. Students will delve deeper into genetic engineering, gene editing, and the ethics surrounding these emerging technologies. Activities will include but are not limited to directed mutagenesis of DNA, analysis of DNA by gel electrophoresis, DNA sequencing, epigenetics, and exploration of the genome. Emphasis will be placed on student-directed projects.

Prerequisites: Biology – DNA and Genetics (or equivalent). Departmental permission required. Offered at the Honors level only.

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 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)

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. All projects will be student-led and focused on addressing a human, social justice, or environmental need, and students enrolled in Engineering and Environmental Science will develop their projects from that course. In addition to learning and using the tools and approaches of the engineering studio and mindset, an emphasis of the class is to use effective technical communication to present ideas. At the end of the term, students will present their findings, designs, and prototypes to their clients and to the school.

Open to 11th and 12th graders.

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, and some 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 while developing the theoretical ideas of an introductory college physics course. 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, and some 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. In addition, we will take an interdisciplinary approach to these topics in order to elevate anatomy above simply naming structures. Instead, it will become a lens to dig deeper into who we are, how we work, and what we can become through science, art, and engineering.

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. Using the lens of the microbiome, 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, genetics, evolution, and comparative anatomy and physiology.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

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. Additionally, students will explore acids and basis as well as gas laws through both conceptual and quantitative lenses.

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: 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, forensic 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.

Open to 11th and 12th graders or by departmental approval.

Prerequisites: None.

Science: Physics and Engineering Applications

In this course, students will explore the phenomena of the mechanical world and develop the toolkit and mindset of an engineer. Learners will use their engineering skills and apply their understanding of physics to analyze situations and design new solutions.

This elective explores a selection of physics concepts (based on student interests and experience, ranging from mechanics to E&M to waves), develops foundational engineering and design approaches (ranging from research and documentation to modeling and prototyping to iteration and troubleshooting), and exposes students to a variety of tools (power tools, 3D modeling and printing, laser cutting, coding and arduinos, etc.).

This course is designed for students who (a) would like to explore physics but did not take Conceptual Physics in ninth grade, (b) would like a follow-up course to freshman physics without the mathematical rigor of Advanced Physics, (c) would like an introduction to the tools and techniques of engineering.

Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.

Prerequisites: Algebra II or equivalent.

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 Arabic

Unlike our other languages, we do not offer 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 and Intermediate Arabic are 5-credit classes.

Modern Language: Intermediate Arabic

A continuation of Intermediate Arabic. Unlike our other languages, we do not offer a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Intermediate 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. Arabic classes will meet twice a week during G-block throughout the school year. Foundations and Intermediate Arabic are 5-credit classes.

Performing Art: Choral - Select Singers (Honors)

Select Singers is an all-year course for experienced singers to advance techniques in ensemble singing and develop independent music and leadership skills.  Select Singers will explore the world of choral music beyond Beaver’s walls by attending rehearsals at other institutions, collaborating with other schools and universities in Boston and attending masterclasses in ensemble singing and vocal technique. Students should be highly motivated and committed to learning advanced musicianship skills and be prepared to sing for public concerts in smaller ensembles and quartets. Select Singers will prepare a program of repertoire for concerts at the end of each term. This course can be taken more than once.

Three Term Class

Prerequisite: Audition

Open to Grade levels: 10-12.

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 - Design Lab

Theater Design/Technology Laboratory is a course for students interested in Technical Theater and/or Theatrical Design. Students will have the opportunity to design their own experience through a combination of projects and workshops, allowing them to learn and utilize design and production tools as well as carpentry, scenic painting, props, lighting, and sound.  Student will explore how theater artists use these tools for creative problem solving and 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 course can be taken more than once.

Three Term Class

Prerequisite: Foundations of Theater or permission of instructor.

Open to grade levels 10, 11, 12.