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. BVR-X courses are not restricted to fixed academic disciplines but draw from a variety of fields like technology, media, science, art, and design. To graduate, a typical Beaver Upper School student will take 45 elective credits (9 one-term elective courses); BVR-X courses count towards those 45 credits.

BVR-X: Electronic Jewelry and Wearable Technology

Are you interested in fabricating jewelry or designing a watch that might monitor a body signal. In this course you will investigate the fundamentals of electronics, wearable technology, and jewelry design. Over the term you have the opportunity to build new skills such as metal fabrication, circuit design, and the fundamentals of sensors. Since this course will be self-paced, students who are already familiar with topics like soldering, circuits, basic code, and design will have the freedom to explore their own projects and push their understanding further.

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

BVR-X: Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

This course will peek into the black box of AI to build an understanding of how it works while examining its shortcomings and strengths. Students will build and play with a variety of current methods and dissect the weight we accidentally afford AI. We will also look towards the future of AI and its ethical ramifications.

Open to 11th and 12th graders
Prerequisites: None

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: Intro to Entrepreneurship

This entrepreneurship course will go beyond teaching students how to start a new business. We will focus on learning how to be entrepreneurial as a dispositional skill for the 21st century. Together, we will explore the power behind critical thinking and the transformative nature of starting something. This course provides learners with the space to rethink their strengths, motivation, and strategies to launch projects to change the world within and around them. Joining this course is making a commitment to stop talking about our ideas and start putting them into action.

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

BVR-X: 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

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
Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Journalism in the 21st Century

As newspapers, magazines and TV networks are devoting fewer resources to investigative journalism, the job of watchdog reporting is now being done by bloggers, podcasters, citizen journalists and nonprofit organizations like ProPublica. In this course, you will identify situations where accountability is needed, uncover the truth through research and interviews, and deliver information in engaging ways. This course will provide opportunities to explore a variety of media options, including video, podcasting and data visualization.

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

BVR-X: Project Lab

Got ideas? Awesome! This is the class for you. This BVR-X course will focus on your ideas, what you want to discuss, research, design, and create. Come build your program and explore what you want to learn. No limits.

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

BVR-X: Sustainable Design

Engineers, architects and designers are finding new ways to reduce consumption, minimize waste, use renewable resources and even create solutions that have a net positive impact on the environment. In this course, we’ll identify situations where sustainable design can be most effective. You’ll learn about successful examples such as cook stoves that dramatically reduce fuel consumption and green buildings that generate more energy than they use.

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

BVR-X: The Art of Code (CS)

Have you ever thought about designing your own app? Have you ever wondered how self-driving cars work? Whether you’re an experienced coder or a complete beginner, this is a chance for you to learn more. In this self-paced course, students will complete a variety of projects that deepen their understanding of the various ways in which computers can efficiently solve problems. The course has three goals: 1) create an atmosphere in which all students feel empowered to take risks, 2) help students see how computer science can be applied in other disciplines, and 3) provide students with a solid foundation for college courses in computer science.

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