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Graduation 2020

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Nobles Summer Seminars
July 6-July 30

Serious—and fun!

Nobles Summer Seminars are an extension of the Nobles academic program, well-known as one of the most intense and joyful learning communities in the Boston area—or just about anywhere. Humor is part of the Nobles mission statement so, while we are serious about curiosity and intellectual growth, we also appreciate the fun of it. At Nobles, there is a saying that “relationship before task” is key to teaching and learning. Now, Nobles faculty members are translating their own love of working with students and love of subject matter to the virtual realm. Given the complexities of geopolitics right now, maybe Politics and Ethics is your thing. Or try Four Short Weeks/Four Short Stories, or Fiction Into Film, or American Greats with legendary Nobles teacher Dick Baker.

We are excited to introduce Nobles Summer Seminars, which include these and other incredible offerings. There’s so much to explore, and we can’t wait for you to join us for this summer adventure.

Passion-based courses

Through Nobles Summer Seminars, students learn about relevant, real-world topics. Want to learn about gardening and the science behind it from a veteran teacher who learned to garden from her father? Explore artificial intelligence (AI) with a Nobles Robotics teacher? Or take your French to the next level with a native speaker? Students can explore these or other emerging interests: American culture (baseball! film!); Asian-American fiction; astronomy; poetry; playwriting; queer literature and much more! We are incredibly excited about the richness of these offerings.

The Nobles Summer Seminar experience

Nobles classes are small, so you will get to know your classmates and teachers well and receive personalized attention. Nobles classes include both synchronous and asynchronous components, so you have the opportunity to connect live with teachers and classmates while also engaging in meaningful independent work. Classes will meet for three days per week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for four weeks, July 6-30.

What’s the value? Furthering your interests. Engaging fully in areas of curiosity. What else? Learning from teachers with deep experience, who love their topics almost as much as they love teaching young people new things.

FAQs

 

Why should I take a Nobles Summer Seminar?

The courses in the program allow you to pursue your intellectual interests and passions. Due to small class sizes, each course fosters significant student engagement and allows you to receive targeted feedback. Our experienced Nobles faculty members bring expertise, enthusiasm, and a desire to support each and every student who enrolls in the program.

What is the time commitment of a Nobles Summer Seminar?

Each course includes three 50-minute online synchronous sessions per week plus an additional 2-3 hours of asynchronous work. Opportunities during the week also exist to meet individually with your teacher.

How are students graded in a Nobles Summer Seminar?

Students will receive feedback on each major assignment or project throughout the course. At the conclusion of the course, students will receive a narrative comment summarizing academic growth and progress. We do not assign course letter grades.

Do I receive high school credit for completing a Nobles Summer Seminar?

We do not award formal high school credit as part of the program. We do distribute a certificate of completion that can be shown to registrars or referenced during a high school or college application process.

How much does a Nobles Summer Seminar cost?

Each course costs $500/per class, plus any required books or materials.

What are Nobles Summer Seminar policies and guidelines?

You can download the policies here.

What do I need for class materials?

A working laptop and internet connectivity are necessary for participation in the course. Soon after you enroll in your course(s), your teacher will be in touch with you regarding any additional required materials (i.e. novels, calculator).

Nobles Summer Seminars

American Culture: The Intersection of Sport and Society

Teacher: Voulgaris, Panos
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

“I learned early on that sports is a part of life, that it is human life in microcosm, and that the virtues and flaws of the society exist in sports even as they exist everywhere else.” – Howard Cosell, prominent journalist.

Sports play an enormous role in contemporary society. This course will examine the influence of sport on American life by exploring issues of race, education, politics, violence, culture, commercialization, and the overall impact of the multibillion-dollar industry. Through an investigation of the vital intersection of sport and society, the course will reflect on the substantial role of athletics in American culture.

American Dystopias in Fiction, TV and Music

Teacher: Cluff, Adam
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

“The future is already here–it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

-William Gibson. In short stories, novels, television adaptations of novels, and symphonic music, American artists have been building, creating, and imagining dystopian worlds that look a lot like our world as we live through the coronavirus pandemic. This course will explore these fictional worlds for the purpose of helping us attempt to make sense of the changes in our world over the past several months; changes that continue to unfold. Dystopia as an art form shall serve as our anchor. Lyman Tower Sargent defines dystopian art as depicting “a non-existent society that readers view as worse than contemporary society but that normally includes at least one utopian enclave or holds out hope that the dystopian can be overcome.” Tom Moylan claims that dystopian art is made “to map, to warn, to hope,” which we shall endeavor to undertake together through reading, television, music, and the creation of our own dystopian art.

Syllabus

Junot Diaz “Monstro” (2012) (Short Story)

N.K. Jemisin “The Ones Who Stay and Fight” (2018) (Short Story)

Ursula K. Le Guin “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” (1973) (Short Story)

Ling Ma: Severance (2018) (Novel) (Purchase for course)

Philip Roth/David Simon: “The Plot Against America” (HBO TV Series) (2004/2020)

Margaret Atwood/Bruce Miller: “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu TV Series) (1985/2017)

Michael Gordon: “Dystopia” (Thirty Minute Symphony LA Philharmonic) (2015)

Final Project: Create your own Dystopia: Fiction, Music, TV/Film Script and/or adaptation of already written dystopia to another medium.

American Greats

Teacher: Baker, Richard
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

A reading of three of the most celebrated authors of the 20th Century: Fitzgerald (Tender is the Night), Hemingway (Farewell to Arms) and Faulkner (Light in August).

Applied Algebra Word Problems and Projects

Teacher: Strudwick, Jane
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Prerequisite: Algebra II

Description: The goal of this course is to put algebraic skills to use in applied word problems and projects. All of our activities will be using math skills students learn in algebra II and applying them to solve new and fun problems. Students will be encouraged to collaborate and discuss different ideas for approaching challenges, focusing on using mathematical language and improving their creative problem-solving skills. We will use technology to build our understanding of graphs and how they relate to their equations as well as to help us make models based on real-world data. The class is designed for students of any level who have already taken an Algebra II course who want to deepen their applied understanding of the subject and talk creatively about math with their peers.

Argument Mapping for X-Ray Vision

Teacher: Carlson-Pietraszek, Jennifer
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

If you have ever disagreed with someone and, when they tried to explain their views, thought, “That doesn’t make any sense!”, you’ll love this seminar.If you’ve ever struggled to express your ideas so that others can understand your point, you’ll love this seminar.If you dig puzzles and logic problems, you’ll love this seminar.We will utilize tools and materials created by ThinkerAnalytix, an educational non-profit that works in partnership with classroom teachers and Harvard’s Department of Philosophy, to learn how to create argument maps.Argument mapping provides us with a type of “x-ray vision” that exposes arguments’ hidden structures and, according to a growing body of research, improves critical thinking skills, increases standardized test scores, and helps people get into college and to secure desired jobs. Once you learn to “see” arguments this way, you become much more facile at building sound arguments – and at identifying holes in others’ arguments.

Argument Mapping for X-Ray Vision

Teacher: Carlson-Pietraszek, Jennifer
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

If you have ever disagreed with someone and, when they tried to explain their views, thought, “That doesn’t make any sense!”, you’ll love this seminar.If you’ve ever struggled to express your ideas so that others can understand your point, you’ll love this seminar.If you dig puzzles and logic problems, you’ll love this seminar.We will utilize tools and materials created by ThinkerAnalytix, an educational non-profit that works in partnership with classroom teachers and Harvard’s Department of Philosophy, to learn how to create argument maps.Argument mapping provides us with a type of “x-ray vision” that exposes arguments’ hidden structures and, according to a growing body of research, improves critical thinking skills, increases standardized test scores, and helps people get into college and to secure desired jobs. Once you learn to “see” arguments this way, you become much more facile at building sound arguments – and at identifying holes in others’ arguments.

Artificial Intelligence and DeepFakes

Teacher: Scott-Hiser, Alycia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

A “deepfake”, or DeepFake, is a video created using artificial intelligence (AI) showing real people doing and saying things they never did. How can one spot them, and why does it matter? People have been altering images in various ways since the early days of photography. Over time the tools and technologies available to the average person for creating altered imagery have increased at a rapid pace. These days many people understand that the phrase “that was Photoshopped” essentially means a software application was used to manipulate pixels. With recent advances in Artificial Intelligence, it is now becoming easier to manipulate a more powerful medium, videos. Students are taught to think critically about their sources for academic research and consider context and bias as important factors. The next frontier in the era of “Fake News” is understanding how and why these deepfake videos are made and the dangerous implications they hold for society. What are the ways we can tell the difference between a regular video and one that has been manipulated by a machine algorithm? Are there AI tools that spot the subtle discrepancies in AI-generated videos? (The answer is yes!) This class explores a cross-section of emerging technology, art/artifice, and ethics, ultimately empowering learners as consumers of digital media.

Asian-American Fiction

Teacher: Toussaint, Billye
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

This course seeks to explore the Asian-American experience through literature. What does it mean to be Asian in America? What are the gradients of this experience based on country of origin, generation, immigration status, language acquisition level, class, and/or Gender? We will examine how Asian American’s status in America has changed from invader to model minority to possible vector. We will also investigate modern current events, such as the Harvard Asian-American student’s lawsuit concerning admissions practices to attacks on Asians during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will read a common text and articles, however, the bulk of students’ time will be spent in book groups exploring books by authors such as Rachel Khong, Thi Bui, Thi Bui, Donia Jijan, Min Jin Lee, Mia Alvar, Jenny Zhang, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Gene Yang, Gish Jen and Haruki Murakami. Assessments include reading reflections as well as a culminating writing project.

Big Picture Astronomy

Teacher: Liskowsky, Joe
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

This course in astronomy engages students with a big picture view of the universe; topics for discussion include the origin of the universe, the formation of the solar system, stellar evolution, the emergence of life on Earth (and possibly elsewhere), and the historical development of science. Technical skills will be stressed through labs, and assignments in class will give students opportunities to understand the material from a deep level while giving them a chance to apply skills learned in their math courses. Additionally, students will use technical computing to solve numerical problems and express their findings in written reports, developing their scientific communication skills.

Drawing and Painting Portfolio Preparation Intensive / Scholastic Art Submission

Teacher: VanOot, Betsy
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Designed to support students interested in developing a strong, creative visual portfolio as a component of their admissions process for college or for Scholastic Art Awards, this studio class will provide assignment prompts and technical guidance as well as individual critiques. The course will begin with a review of student work-to-date, from which each artist will work one-one with the instructor to devise a structured plan for completing or enhancing their body of work, resulting in an intentional and dynamic portfolio. The course will focus on the development of both foundational skills and conceptual thinking.

Fiction into Film

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

How can analyzing the film adaptation of a novel allow us to better understand what it is that literature does, and vice versa? Identifying elements of narrative form and discussing how they function in the two media, this course explores the complex interaction between literature and film. With a focus on literary analysis and analytical writing, the course may include the following texts and their adaptations: “Orchid Fever” by Susan Orlean, the short stories of Raymond Carver, Push by Sapphire, “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Body” by Stephen King; The Color Purple by Alice Walker; “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx, Atonement by Ian McEwan, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber; “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” by Sherman Alexie

Four Short Week/Four Short Stories

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

In this course, you will have one goal: to write four new short stories. Each week, we’ll explore a different short story form or theme to inspire our work including stories by authors such as Aimee Bender, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, and Karen Russell. At the end of each week, you’ll submit a new short story draft for impressions and feedback from your fellow writers.

Four Short Weeks/Four Short Stories

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

In this course, you will have one goal: to write four new short stories. Each week, we’ll explore a different short story form or theme to inspire our work including stories by authors such as Aimee Bender, Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, and Karen Russell. At the end of each week, you’ll submit a new short story draft for impressions and feedback from your fellow writers.

Garden Cooks

Teacher: Jacobs, Meg
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 10
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

In this seminar, you will practice a variety of techniques for growing and cooking your own food at home. Whether you are new to gardening and cooking or have had plenty of practice, we can help you learn. We will cover topics such as space-saving ideas in the garden, companion planting, soil health, and pest and animal control, among other things. Knowing how much fun growing house plants and flowers can be, we will also introduce easy-to-do projects to make the inside of your home more colorful.

We will be cooking with fruits and vegetables that are in season, and we will have live cooking classes and videos highlighting the fresh produce. By the end of the month, we will collectively create our own cookbook.

What is required:

1. a space to garden (back yard, porch, window boxes, community plot, etc)

2. basic gardening tools (gloves, trowel, watering can)

3. a space to prepare food, kitchen tools and a few ingredients

Introduction to Calculus

Teacher: Strudwick, Jane
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 11 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

This course is designed for students starting calculus for the first time this fall. We will refresh some topics from precalculus, such as graphing, inequalities, and logarithms, with a particular focus on interpreting word problems. One thing that will be important as students move onto calculus will be understanding how we can make a graph to help us solve a question, especially word problems. The goal of this class is for students to have a fun experience where they are discussing problems with their peers, using mathematical language and notation, and applying what they have learned in precalculus to challenging new problems to help them feel confident going into calculus. Even though it is virtual, this class will be student-discussion centered. Students will explain their solution approach to their peers and hopefully will help them feel connected while deepening their understanding of algebraic, graphical, and verbal reasoning.

Introduction to Geometry

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 10
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

Prerequisite: Prealgebra or Algebra I

Description: This course will explore some of the essential theorems and deductive logic of Euclidean geometry. We will begin with points, lines, and planes and move into properties of triangles, including a short introduction to right triangle trigonometry. This course is ideal for students entering a Geometry course in the fall or for students who have a background in PreAlgebra or beyond.

Introduction to Japanese Language

Teacher: Anderson, Ayako
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

This course is for students who have no prior experience in studying Japanese. After learning Hiragana characters intensively in the first week, students will learn how to introduce themselves, talk about their age and grade, their likes and dislikes, and about their family. In doing so, they will learn basic grammar with nouns, adjectives, and verbs. The four-week intensive course will focus on Chapters 1-6 in Marugoto textbook by Japan Foundation, and expect students to review Hiragana and vocabulary every day to develop a solid foundation of the four language skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading.

Life Behind the Iron Curtain

Teacher: Puckett, Hannah
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 11 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Communism was a geopolitical reality and an economic system, but it also drastically altered European societies and influenced the way individuals moved about in the world. Everything – from relationships to one’s individual aspirations for the future, to artistic tastes to spirituality – was influenced by the implementation of communist principles in the economy and governance of eastern European states. In this course, we will explore the political, economic, and cultural realities of life under communism in the East Bloc.

Memoir

Teacher: Brodie, Clara
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Defined as a literary account of a life or event written from personal experience, memoirs are one of the most consistently compelling (and best-selling) genres on the market. They represent an attempt to create a shared memory with a reader. Think of it as the literary version of a strand of memory floating in Dumbledore’s, pensive (except no pen is as honest or as infallible as a wand). For famous authors, memoirs often serve as a place to set the record straight on the controversial and important events of their public life. Yet memoirs by unknown authors still find their way to the best-seller lists, some authors make entire careers out of writing memoirs. Why are they so irresistible? In this class, we will attempt to answer this question by reading famous examples, exploring techniques for turning memory into story, and ultimately developing our own memoirs. If you are at all interested in thinking about and writing about your life, this is a class for you. Texts may include: Reading Lolita in Tehran, Dreams from My Father, The Glass Castle, A Moveable Feast, and Fun Home along with excerpts from others.

Memoir

Teacher: Brodie, Clara
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Defined as a literary account of a life or event written from personal experience, memoirs are one of the most consistently compelling (and best-selling) genres on the market. They represent an attempt to create a shared memory with a reader. Think of it as the literary version of a strand of memory floating in Dumbledore’s, pensive (except no pen is as honest or as infallible as a wand). For famous authors, memoirs often serve as a place to set the record straight on the controversial and important events of their public life.Yet memoirs by unknown authors still find their way to the best-sellar lists, some authors make entire careers out of writing memoirs. Why are they so irresistible? In this class, we will attempt to answer this question by reading famous examples, exploring techniques for turning memory into story, and ultimately developing our own memoirs.Two sections of this course will be offered (for grades 7-8 and 9-10 respectively) with content designed specifically for each level. If you are at all interested in thinking about and writing about your life, this is a class for you.

Photography Portfolio Development and Scholastic Art Submission

Teacher: Bodall, Mike
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

This course will focus on the essentials of creating a photography portfolio for entry into the Scholastic Art awards. In our online space, we will investigate the foundational principles of making strong photographs. This course will provide the skills to create an intentional and dynamic portfolio. Each class begins with a thoughtful presentation covering digital workflow, sequencing with intent, and cultivating personal style and voice. This course will be broken down into three weekly sections of technique review, assignments focused on individual development and class discussions. By completion, each student will have a cohesive body of work and all the tools necessary to navigate the Scholastic submission process.

Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Teacher: Baker, Richard
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 11 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

A close reading of one of the most popular academic texts in the last half-century. The class would read not only the non-fiction book but would explore some of the philosophers and philosophies related to the book.

Poetry and Protest

Teacher: Bryant, Oris
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

This course will use the study of poetry to examine the fundamental aspects of protest throughout history. Utilizing the voices of various poets, the course will examine both current and recent protest movements to understand and untangle the artists’ role in society. The course will study a myriad of poets who used their voices to speak out. Students will also have the opportunity to write poetry in their own voice.

Politics and Ethics in a Red State/Blue State America

Teacher: Gallagher, Alex
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

As we approach the 2020 election in November we will examine long-standing political philosophies, their influence over ethical decision-making, and the challenges that our current leaders face given the hyper-intense partisanship that currently divides our nation. This course will ask students to engage in a daily examination of their own philosophies while also studying how the United States has lost sight of that which ties us together by only focusing on that which divides us.

Power

Teacher: Carlson-Pietraszek, Jennifer
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

This course will pull back the curtain and allow learners to understand – and utilize – the machinations of power. We will draw on University of Iowa Professor Kenneth Brown’s course entitled “The Power of Influence”; French philosopher Michel Foucault’s “Madness and Civilization”; and one or two current-day inequalities. Finally, learners will identify a wrong they feel needs to be addressed and strategize a plan to implement their own power as an agent of change.

Progressive French Grammar

Teacher: Seck, Amadou
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:00 am

The aim of the course is to help students review/improve/master their knowledge of French grammar. From articles, pronouns and conjunctions to the subjunctive, conditional phrases and the indirect discourse, this course will offer hands-on drills and activities in order to prepare the students for a smoother transition into oral proficiency.

Quadratics

Teacher: Gallagher, Karen
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 8 – 9
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

This course will provide an in-depth look at one of the most essential functions – quadratics. We will look at how to FOIL, how to factor, and how quadratics can be categorized into three different types. Graphing, solving, and an introduction to transformations with quadratics will round out this course. This course is ideal for three groups of students: 1)the advanced PreAlgebra student who is looking for a challenge, 2) any student who is looking to supplement their Algebra 1 background, 3) any student entering Geometry who would like to review this essential skillset. Note: 7th graders eligible with permission from instructor.

Queer Literature

Teacher: Sokoll, Talya
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Voices of Queer people, especially of those who come from multiple oppressed identities have often been silenced due to systemic homophobia, transphobia and racism. Despite this the LGBTQIAP+ has shown an amazing resiliency that is present in the rich canon of LGBTQIAP+ literature. Readings will cover both historical and contemporary writing by, about and for Queer people. We will read a variety of texts including poetry, essays, short stories and a novel. Content will be tailored to the grade level. The discussion of the literature will be contextualized with reading about, discussing and researching Queer history in the US.

Queer Literature

Teacher: Sokoll, Talya
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Voices of Queer people, especially of those who come from multiple oppressed identities have often been silenced due to systemic homophobia, transphobia and racism. Despite this the LGBTQIAP+ has shown an amazing resiliency that is present in the rich canon of LGBTQIAP+ literature. Readings will cover both historical and contemporary writing by, about and for Queer people. We will read a variety of texts including poetry, essays, short stories and a novel. Content will be tailored to the grade level. The discussion of the literature will be contextualized with reading about, discussing and researching Queer history in the US.

Race, Gender, and Ability in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Teacher: Toussaint, Billye
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Speculative fiction is fascinating because writers can manipulate race, gender and ability in a myriad of ways while imagining a new future. In this class, we will explore the works of authors such as Octavia Butler, Nnedi Okorafor, and Tomi Adeyemi in order to explore ideas such as how do race gender and ability constructs shift and intersect in new and different ways when characters are forced into radically different situations? We will be examining images, film, fiction, and nonfiction. We will read one common text as a class, students will read an additional text in a s

Scratch to Python: Start Programming!

Teacher: Scott-Hiser, Alycia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

Young people around the world learn about computer programming through Scratch, a block-based coding platform developed by the MIT Media Lab in 2007. It is currently used in 150 countries and available in over 40 languages. The visual blocks are put together like puzzle pieces, making it easy to learn, while introducing basic programming concepts like variables, loops, and conditionals. Scratch is a fun and easy to use way for students to create interactive stories, games, and animations with minimal instruction. As a first programming language, Scratch is a springboard for the 21st-century skills of computational thinking, creativity, and collaboration.

In this class, we will start with Scratch (no experience necessary), and then apply what we learn to Python. This general purpose, high-level programming language will introduce students to simple syntax, interpreting error messages, and the importance of debugging. Emphasizing code readability, Python is often the next step in a student’s entry into the world of computer science.

Short Stories, Sci-Fi, and Cinema

Teacher: Forteith, Thomas
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 10:00 am

We often think of film adaptations of literature as needing to condense lengthy novels. However, many blockbuster science fiction movies – including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Minority Report, AI, and Total Recall – were actually based on short stories. These films expanded a relatively brief tale and created a much lengthier cinematic narrative. In this course, we would read sci-fi short stories and view the films that expanded upon them, and in so doing endeavor to answer three essential questions. First, what is gained or lost in the cinematic adaptation? Second, what do the short story and the film have to say about their respective historical/cultural moments? Third, how accurately have these narratives predicted the future? As a culminating project, students would write their own sci-fi short story in which they must simultaneously comment on our contemporary condition and be predictive about the future. They then would “pitch” the Hollywood adaptation of their own work. If done right, this course might allow students an indirect method of processing these very strange times.

Summer Reading Intensive

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Do you actually love reading? Are you looking for a group of like-minded readers? Do you want to read some new fiction or branch out into new genres this summer? In this course, we’ll dive into four books–one each week–that cover a range of genres, styles, and themes. Students will be expected to read a lot (200+ pages per week) as well as engage in some short analytical, personal and creative responses to the reading. Our reading list may include the following: The Dutch House by Anne Patchett, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, and Counting Descent by Clint Smith.

Summer Reading Intensive

Teacher: Batty, Gia
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 8
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Do you actually love reading? Are you looking for a group of like-minded readers? Do you want to read some new fiction or branch out into new genres this summer? In this course, we’ll dive into four books–one each week–that cover a range of genres, styles, and themes. Students will be expected to read a lot (200+ pages per week) as well as engage in some short analytical, personal and creative responses to the reading. Our reading list may include the following: The Dutch House by Anne Patchett, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell, and Counting Descent by Clint Smith.

The Literature of the (White) Working Class

Teacher: Toussaint, Billye
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

What does it mean to be white and working class in America? The white working-class are alternately hailed as the backbone of American society and sidelined as ignorant hoards. Are there any defining features of such a huge group or are they defined by what they are not? We will explore these ideas through several texts such as “Bastard out of Carolina” by Dorthy Allison, “Winter’s Bone” by Daniel Woodrell, “Educated” by Tara Westover, “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance, and “White Rage” by Carol Anderson. We will be examining images, film, fiction, and nonfiction. We will read one common text as a class, students will read an additional text in a small reading group and complete reading reflections as well as a culminating writing project.

The Supreme Court and Modern American Society

Teacher: Hallac, Joanna
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

This course serves as an elective to examine the vital role that the Supreme Court has played over the past 60 years, specifically in regards to civil rights, privacy rights, equality, citizenship, and religious freedom, and where they intersect with our changing politics. In its role as the final arbiter of what is and what is not constitutional, the Court has shaped our society just as much as any institution in our modern history. As such, students would examine landmark Supreme Court cases and look at how their ruling and interpretation of the law has evolved over time and what impact that has had upon American society. From Brown v. Board of Education (1954) to Roe v. Wade (1973) to Bush v. Gore (2000) to Lawrence v. Texas (2003) to Citizens United (2012), the Court has completely changed the nature of what it means to be an American. This course will ultimately seek to delve deeply into these cases and their impact on our lives and politics.

Tolstoy’s War and Peace

Teacher: Baker, Richard
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 11 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

A summer read through one of the great literary works of all time. Class time would involve discussion of the book and some exposure to Tolstoy as writer and man and to 19C Russian history and culture.

User Interface and Web Design/app design

Teacher: Shumway, Andrew
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 7 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Students will learn how to skillfully design and develop a meaningful website, as well as design and create a local app for their phone. In the first section of the course, students will begin by learning the proper structure and syntax for a website. They will build on these skills each day, culminating in all students producing a personalized website. The second half of the course will focus on app design by going through the process of revamping an existing app to make it more efficient and usable by its clients. To round out the class, students will then undertake developing their own app using all of the knowledge gained through their prior work. Each project will be focused on solving a real-world problem or something to benefit the greater good of the community both locally and globally.

Welcome to Playwriting

Teacher: Bryant, Oris
Grade Entering Fall 2020: 9 – 12
Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 11:00 am

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write a play? Well, this course is for you as we will examine plot, language, character/character development, scene creation/movement and theme. The course will also examine several different kinds of plays as a basis for students to then write their own original work.