In the following courses, students will employ a variety of skills and will focus on topics that organically link disciplines to one another. In a world that is increasingly interconnected, we feel strongly about giving students opportunities to grapple with complex issues and practice integrated thinking. Technology and new media will allow students in these courses to take innovative approaches to research and to create content instead of simply consuming it.

BVR-X: Elegant Design

As the world becomes more interconnected and complex, we need solutions that are both simple and powerful. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to balance these two factors. Many designs fail because they’re unnecessarily complicated, hard to understand and/or overly specialized. In contrast, elegant design is minimal, easy to understand and flexible enough to solve a wide variety of problems. In this class, after using research to learn more about strong examples of elegant design, students will attempt to generate little ideas that can make a big impact.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders – Prerequisites: None

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: Open Challenges: Think, Design, Solve!

In collaboration with IDEO, a global design company, you will be put in real-world situations and be asked to think about, design, and offer solutions to real-life problems. You will choose which challenges you want to work on, what questions you want to answer, and what ideas and designs you will create to solve those challenges. You will put your skills to good use and will work collaboratively to explore authentic issues and create life-changing experiences.


Open to 12th graders only.

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

BVR-X: Universal Logic

Are there certain patterns and relationships that appear over and over again in the real world? Is there a hidden logic behind the way that things work? Do ideas evolve in the same way that living things evolve? Can we use a mix of math, science, art and code to help us see new connections, gain a deeper understanding of the world and predict the future more accurately? Topics may include biomimicry, neural networks and genetic algorithms.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders – Prerequisites: None