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Elective Courses

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ENGINEERING DESIGN 5 per cycle – 5 credits

4641, 4642 Senior Year 

Prerequisite: C+ or better in Algebra II and Physics or taking Physics concurrently, or department recommendation, successful prior completion of Introduction to Computer Science (4741/4742) recommended


This course introduces students to the process of engineering design and problem solving. It is based around a series of design and development projects undertaken by small teams of students. Typical projects include model bridges and similar structures, mechanical devices, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and programmable robots with touch, light, and infrared sensors. Readings from professional and popular literature provide a base for students to examine team dynamics, engineering ethics, human factors, and the social and political consequences of technological changes.


COMPUTER SCIENCE PRINCIPLES 5 per cycle – 5 credits

4741, 4742 Junior or Senior Year

Prerequisite: C+ in Algebra II or department head recommendation


This course is a hands-on introduction to how computer hardware and software actually works "under the hood": data representation (text, images, audio, video), digital logic, computer architecture, algorithms, operating systems and networks. Students will learn how to create computer programs for a variety of different purposes including data processing, simulation and modeling, games, and web and smartphone apps. At the Honors level, this course provides a solid foundation for further study in AP Computer Science or equivalent courses in college; for others, it provides the basic tools and knowledge to be a much more effective user of computer technology.


PROGRAMMING AND CODING 5 per cycle - 5 credits

4052, 4053 Junior or Senior Year

Prerequisite: C- in Algebra I and Geometry or department head recommendation


This course is intended for students with an interest in computer science specific to programming and coding. It is a hands-on introduction to the skills and concepts required to write computer code. Students will be exposed to drag-and- drop software development, data and information, smartphone app development, and writing and analyzing simple programs in Python. This course provides foundational skills in coding, and could be followed by a broader computer science course in college.


AP COMPUTER SCIENCE A 5 per cycle - 5 credits

2841 Senior Year

Prerequisite: A or A- in Honors Introduction to Computer Science


This course is a challenging, college-level introductory course in Computer Science, based on the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computer Society (IEEE-CS) curricula, and meeting the learning goals of the College Board’s AP Computer Science A course. It includes reading, modifying, designing and implementing computer programs in the Java language, studying commonly used algorithms and data structures, and examination of the social and ethical implications of computer usage.

It is expected that students enrolled in this course will take the AP exam.


ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY                                            5 per cycle - 5 credits

4541, 4542, 4543 Junior or Senior Year

4541 Prerequisites: B+ or better in Biology 4021, and successful completion of a year of chemistry

4542 Prerequisites: One year of Biology and Chemistry, each with a minimum grade of C-.


Students will explore the structure and function of major human body systems with some discussion of development and evolution. Explorations will range from homeostasis of the entire human body down to the molecular level.  Students will consider many of the body systems, including the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. The course includes several dissections such as a sheep brain, a pig heart, cat, and others.  


ASTRONOMY   5 per cycle - 5 credits

4841, 4842, 4843 Junior or Senior Year

Prerequisite: Algebra II – may be taken concurrently.


This broad introduction to astronomy explores the motion of the Earth, Moon, and Sun, the methods and tools astronomers use to study stars, the geology of planets and moons in the solar system,  the formation and composition of the solar system, the classification, formation, and life cycle of stars, galaxies, and large scale cosmology. The majority of the class is descriptive in nature and focuses on conceptual understanding, though some basic mathematics will be utilized. Students taking the course for level 1 credit will be required to study supplemental topics independently and complete additional projects within and outside of class.


ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & ECOLOGY   5 per cycle – 5 credits

4942, 4943 Junior or Senior Year

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology, may be taking Chemistry concurrently.


With a focus on ecology and the environment, students will learn the basic principles of scientific research. They will explore methods of field data collection with the goal of contributing to a larger ongoing study.  Issues of global concern, such as water resource management and population estimation and control, will be explored.  Long-term projects are the main source of grades for this course.

Although classroom instruction will be a major component of this course, students will be required to work outside of the classroom collecting field data on a regular basis.


MARINE BIOLOGY 5 per cycle - 5 credit

4321, 4322, 4323 Junior or Senior Year

4321 Prerequisite: B or better in Biology 4021 and Chemistry 4031, or taking 4031 concurrently.

4322/4323 Prerequisite: C- or better in Biology and Chemistry, or taking Chemistry concurrently.


Students in this course will learn about evolution through the perspective of marine organisms from the simplest sponges through sharks and marine mammals. The course will heavily utilize dissections and model organisms to investigate evolutionary adaptations. The course will connect evolutionary biology to chemistry, physics, climate sciences, and conservation. Topics will include investigation into adaptations in sharks that allow them to move between fresh and saltwater, how body shape impacts the speed of swimming, the natural selection of coral species that can survive ocean acidification and warming, and how marine refugees impact the evolution of organisms.


FOOD SCIENCE 5 per cycle - 5 credit

4441, 4442, 4443 Sophomore - Senior Year

4441 Prerequisite: B or better in Biology 4021 and Chemistry 4031, or taking 4031 concurrently.

4442/4443 Prerequisite: C in Biology


Food science is a year-long course that explores the science behind attaining perfect flavors and textures in your favorite foods. Students will learn why certain recipes and techniques work while increasing their understanding of both macroscopic and microscopic chemical transformations of food. In addition, students will apply their previous knowledge of biology and chemistry, as well as the scientific method, to perform food-based experiments to hone their skills as both a scientist and a chef. Inspired by influential “science-minded” chefs such as J. Kenji Lopez-Alt and Alton Brown, this course is appropriate for food-enthusiasts of all levels who want a better understanding of food preparation in order to achieve the best tasting food possible. 


The course is available for L1, L2, and L3 credit and will be comprised of heterogeneous groups of sophomores, juniors, and seniors. L1 students will be expected to explain chemical transformations of food at the molecular level and the energy changes that accompany them.

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