BVR-X courses embody the non-linear, interdisciplinary nature of teaching and learning at Beaver. They allow students to delve deeper into the inquiry process, grapple with authentic and complex questions, and to consider the interrelationships of these issues.
BVR-X courses not only draw from different disciplines but also from a variety of fields like technology, media, entrepreneurship, science, art, and design.

In addition to the courses listed below, you can also find courses with the BVR-X designation within other subjects.

To graduate, a typical Beaver Upper School student will take 45 elective credits (9 one-term elective courses), these courses count towards those electives credits.

Entrepreneurship with a Purpose

Can entrepreneurship be the response to local and global challenges? Can it serve a purpose beyond being just a money-making endeavor? In this class, you will learn about how businesses are created and why some thrive and others fail. You will also design ideas to start your own business with empathy and a purpose in mind; business ideas that can have a meaningful, positive impact on others. This social entrepreneurship course will look at the change-making potential of people to pursue ideas, solutions, philanthropy, advocacy and investing opportunities, such as micro-financing. You will hear from experts; brainstorm start-up ideas; and put them into action. This class will allow you to present your ideas to investors and organizations that look for purposeful social entrepreneurs to make a difference.

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

Environmental Anthropology: The Healing Earth, Its People, and their Traditions

How do the cultural, economic, social, geopolitical, environmental, and other factors impact the people and groups who are the guardians of knowledge associated with land, foods, ethnomedicine, and spirituality? In this course, students will examine the practices of various ethnic groups in the New England region and throughout the United States while also learning about the history and storytelling associated with them. They will examine the symbiotic relationship between conservation, environmental stewardship, and the practices of groups who have been historically marginalized but have held onto their traditions. Students will participate in field studies, talk with practitioners, and participate in hands-on learning activities.

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

Graphic Design/Illustrator

How does design impact how we think, learn and interact? In this course we will investigate these questions as we explore how graphic communication is woven into our daily lives. Students will gain insight into a range of graphic design applications such as branding and advertising, illustration, typography, information design, and editorial publication. Working primarily with Adobe Illustrator, students will develop their digital drawing and design skills while establishing a workflow between Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: None

Intro 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
Prerequisites: None

Intro to Psychology

Do you know why you think, feel and believe your thoughts, feelings and beliefs? This course will aim to give you a deeper understanding of human behavior by studying both theories and research findings in psychology. We’ll look at key ideas that are fundamental to the field and also explore recent advances and unanswered questions. Topics may include cognitive bias, the “nature versus nurture” debate, false memories, group dynamics and personality disorders.

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

Moral Dilemmas

Have you ever wondered if a decision you made was the right one? Every day, we are faced with taking a stand on difficult moral questions. But, why do we think our opinion is morally right? In this course, you will get to critically analyze situations that affect us every day, from social media to gender and sexuality and from profiling to hating sports teams, among many topics. Be prepared to tackle challenging, real-life situations, consider alternative perspectives, understand how our brain makes decisions, and rethink your notion of morality, right and wrong, and what we ought to do.

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