Game Changers

How can you harness the power of play?

The experience of playing games is universal across ages, spaces, and time. Games can consist of complicated pieces, books, and tables or could be as simple as using your own hands to do the playing. The advancement of technology has allowed video games to come into play in the past 50 years, as well.

In this course, you are invited to a ‘behind the scenes’ look at tabletop games. How do you play and how do you play your best? After a closer look at the playing process, you will try your hand at game design with the ultimate goal of creating your own game from scratch.

Rocket Science Poster

Rocket Science

Throughout history, humans have been experimenting with pushing our own boundaries. Although the discovery of explosive propulsion gave us a physical boost, the momentum for exploring new frontiers was already in full effect. Over the next term, you will explore the history of rocketry and propulsion, build mathematical models to demonstrate the behavior of bodies in flight, determine content and means of meaningful communication, and then ultimately design, build, and launch a rocket of your own. At the end of the term, you will combine all of your findings into one comprehensive set of results for future studies.

Along the way, you will partake in Mini-Missions; think of these as checkpoints along the way. Not only will they be a place to check for understanding of key concepts, but you will also be able to earn ‘patches’ that will adorn your rocket on launch day for a job well done. You may also use the Mini-Missions to shore up any missing parts with your peers’ and instructor’s assistance. If you need help, you have plenty of resources. We are a team.

One last feature of this course is the inclusion of micro-biographies. Each individual is a pioneer in the individual field and contributed to the lasting history of STEAM studies. The biographies are short and are intended as teasers; there is a further studies list at the end of the course.

Maker Space

Rapid Prototyping

In this STEAM elective course, you will learn about and participate in the 21st Century human maker experience. You will look at technology being used today to create products quickly and efficiently, as well as the math and science concepts that allow these machines to work. You will apply these ideas in different scenarios, both low and high tech, creating projects on three CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines – a Cameo cutting machine, a Carvey router, and a Makerbot or Up 3D printer. You will attempt projects using ‘old world’ technology in addition to using these new technological machines, so that you can truly compare your experiences, and understand and appreciate the value of these advancements. We hope that you will begin to see how the future may change because of these technologies and find your path in the creative journey of our future.

Radio-rithmetic

Music surrounds you, is a part of you, and can be found all over the world in every culture. But what exactly makes music so powerful?

Radio-rithmetic dives into this subjective realm, using math and science to enlighten you as you investigate two main aspects of music: rhythm and pitch.

Rhythm is when you hear certain musical events, and covers beats, basic notation, meter, percussion instruments, etc. In the external investigation you will mathematically analyze the beats and rhythm of real songs, as well as what different cultures do with the idea of rhythm and why. In the action project you will choose your own song and analyze it in a similar fashion, to determine what makes it so special.

Pitch is more about what you actually hear, the sounds themselves and how they’re organized. You’ll learn about sound waves, intervals, dissonance and consonance, how science and effects can manipulate what you hear and what you like to hear, and once again how different cultures perceive pitch differently. Then you’ll focus on how to record and edit songs in the external investigation, eventually combining various elements into your own piece for the action project.

Unit I. Behind

Why are Scale, Proportion, and Modeling essential for the creation of a theatrical production?

The purpose of Unit 1, BEHIND Stage, is to explore the measurements, proportions, and models which serve as the foundation for every piece, part, and person in the production.

Unit sub-questions:

  • I: How is space optimized to create a theatrical experience from the moment you arrive?
  • E: What would Goodman do (WWGD?)?
  • A: What are the limitations and opportunities of your theater space?

Unit I. In/Out

Where do we fit in?

In this unit, you will investigate what/who is included and excluded from a population. In the Internal Investigation, you will study both Mathematical and Scientific systems of classification, learning what criteria are used to tell two beings apart and conversely, how to group them. Then, in the External Investigation, you will observe organisms both from the inside and the outside, through dissections and a visit to a local zoo, and you will create your own classification system. Lastly, in the Action Project, you will design an art piece to display the entire taxonomy of an organism.

Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

  • What benefits come from a universal language for classification?
  • How do we see classification in nature?
  • How can you speak the language of scientists who classify?
Scoring with the Major Leagues: An integrated, project-based high school class

Scoring with the Major Leagues

The purpose of Scoring With the Major Leagues is to discover the heart & soul of a game, to identify the teamwork and rivalries that drive the pursuit of greatness, and the rare & blessed process of becoming a dynasty. Scoring with the Major Leagues uses popular games such as basketball, baseball, football and soccer to investigate and evaluate cultural origins & shifts, individual & collective performance, subjective and objective value, and competitive strategy.

Systems & Models: An integrated, project-based high school class

Systems & Models

To what extent are you unique as an individual, and how do you function within the larger framework of an organization such as your school, place of worship, or job? In Systems and Models, you will explore breakthroughs in psychology; you will use the scientific method to design and carry out your own experiment; and ideally, you will conclude the course knowing how to be of greater value to yourself and others.

Entrepreneurship: An integrated, project-based high school class

Social Entrepreneurship

Prerequisite understanding of economics and systems thinking serves as the foundation to envision and plan a business venture which you may passionately and realistically pursue. Fueling your inspiration are weekly workshops with successful entrepreneurs. The course guides you through core concepts of entrepreneurship, and then demands that you write and pitch your own business plan.

Economics: An integrated, project-based high school class

Econ: Risking Value

We live in a world of limited resources, but our wants and needs are unlimited. Amid scarcity, choices are made. In this course, you will explore the value of a college education and plan your financial future using principles of economics and personal finance, statistics, and probability. You will read case studies and visit financial institutions to learn how economists apply models to solve real-world problems from the financial crisis to poverty reduction.

Light and Sound: An integrated, project-based high school class

Light, Sound, & Time

How do you sense the world? In Light, Sound, & Time, you will dive deep into your surroundings and how you perceive the world. You will focus on how humans experience light, sound and time. Then, you consider the bigger picture: how do these concepts function regardless of human interaction? You will build a camera, musical instrument, and time-telling device, and explain their functionality through the languages of math and science.

Design & Engineering: An integrated, project-based high school class

Design and Engineering

Solving everyday problems in innovative ways is a fundamental part of life—but what makes good design, and what are the required steps before building can even begin? Design and Engineering is a STEAM course that focuses on building things well; i.e. structurally sound, efficient, user-friendly and sustainable. You will study designs from history that changed our perception so much that our experience of the world shifted infinitely. You will see where things came from and project where they are going. You will learn to harness empathy to do things better, and not settle for what’s already been done.

Urban Planning: An integrated, project-based high school class

Urban Planning

How do you design a shared space to minimize the use of resources and maximize the quality of life? In Urban Planning, you will explore 3 systems that intertwine to create the ecosystem of a city: load, power and flow. These topics will allow you to investigate any city’s major structures; how the city is powered; and how its systems work together to create – or prevent – flow.

Disease: An integrated, project-based high school class

Disease

How have diseases changed your view of life and death? In this course, you will explore diseases of the body, mind and society. Through the study of anatomy, neuroscience and epidemiology, you will learn how our bodies react to trauma and outside influence. Among several math concepts, you will explore a critically important number, R-naught, and how it can be used to predict epidemics. Disease is an intensely reflective, personal, and foundational course for professions in the healing arts.

Population: An integrated, project-based high school class

Population

What underlies the diversity of life, where our ancestors come from and how we became the human beings we are now? How can we quantify and measure change? With the tools of logic, statistics, and exponential growth, you will study diverse populations and represent them as a unit. Throughout this course, you will discover how people connect with local and global populations; explore how and why populations have changed throughout history; and forecast what this means for our future.

Cure: An integrated, project-based high school class

Cure

How do you heal? In the Cure course, you will study revolutions in the history of Western medicine through three units of study: emergency, treatment, and prevention. While each unit focuses on an advancement in Western medicine, the External Investigations provide opportunities to explore case studies of people who have been cured through a variety of methods, including practices such as acupuncture and yoga. As a parallel to bringing a body into balance, you will work to bring linear and quadratic equations into balance, as well as applying your knowledge of functions to nutrition and health.

Food: An integrated, project-based high school class

Food

In the Food course, you will be guided through three different parts of the food cycle as access points to different sciences: Ecology, Chemistry and Genetics. Through hands-on experiences in planning a garden, cooking a meal, and engaging in the debate on Genetically-Modified Organisms, you will explore the current joys and challenges of feeding our world. You will also use Mathematics to determine growth plans, crop yield, and our ability to feed our rapidly growing population.

Fuel: An integrated, project-based high school class

Fuel

How does energy fuel society? To pursue this question, you will use Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics to learn how our society uses fuel, and to predict the future of energy. Looking at both renewable and nonrenewable resources, you will learn about the pros and cons of societies based on different energy sources, and explore possibilities for alternatives.

Water, A Project-based High School Course

Water

Are you thirsty? Are you clean? Have you nourished your plants today? In this course, you will explore the resource that’s essential for all life: water. In this course, you will interact with numbers in a new way with the introduction of logarithms, applications of scientific notation, and exploration of measuring systems used throughout the world. The course relies on research, gathered from sources and created by you, in order to better understand how water usage and access compares around the world and you will learn how this resource is at the same time abundant and scarce.