History Teacher Matt Turnbull and Science Teacher Melissa Courtemanche will collaborate next year to teach Environmental Studies, an interdisciplinary course that aims to highlight the relationship between the world and humans’ environmental impact on it.
“It’s easy to think of nature as something detached from people, but we are really part of that ecosystem, too,” Mr. Turnbull said. “By mixing science and history together, we can get a more comprehensive look at how humans’ use of natural resources affects our lives and the environment that we live in today.”
Ms. Courtemanche and Mr. Turnbull both said they are excited not only for the opportunity to delve into a topic they both care about but also to learn more about students’ views on the environment. The course will cover topics such as pollution, food production, energy use, and climate change with bits of history intertwined. Class activities will focus on discussion, field and lab experiments, and projects, Ms. Courtemanche said.
Rising juniors can now enroll in African-American Studies, which encompasses two classes: English Teacher Alda Farlow’s African-American Literature and History Teacher Kyle Boyd’s U.S. History. Students opting to take this course earn automatic entry into each. Occasionally, Ms. Farlow and Mr. Boyd will teach together.
The program will begin with slavery in Colonial America and will pass through topics like the Civil Rights Movement and the Obama administration. Students will also examine leaders within the African-American community, such as Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass.
“Although the course will cover similar material to U.S. History and AP English 11 classes, we are just going to look at units through the lens of the African-American experience and connect those historical experiences to African-American Literature,” Mr. Boyd said.
Chemistry Teacher Stephanie Guilmet will teach Chemical Biology next year, which will allow students to explore advanced topics specific to chemistry and discover how they relate to and affect living organisms. For instance, the class will study advanced nutrition, metabolism, disease outbreaks, pharmaceutical drug design, and modern equipment used in chemical laboratories. Ms. Guilmet said she hopes students will learn to understand these complex concepts more fully and take a step back to examine them through a global lens.
“Both the legality and ethics of these topics will be greatly emphasized, allowing the students to delve into the intersection between science and policy,” Ms. Guilmet said.
Students will read medical case studies, evaluate current chemical and biological news topics, and analyze scientific journals.
Honors Seminar in Photography
Graduates of Advanced Photography now have the option to deepen their skill set through the Honors Photography Seminar in photography, a new course for seniors. Taught by Photography Teacher Parrish Dobson, the course will build on the material covered in Advanced Photography and delve more deeply into understanding exposure, fine printing, toning, and different film and paper developers. Students should be prepared to express their passions and interests through multiple photographic projects, the course description states. Ms. Dobson also intends to teach students about the history of photographers with trips to local museums.
“I’ve loved this year’s class,” Ben Morris ’18 said of Advanced Photography. “So I’m excited for its continuation next year—and for the freedom to do more projects.”
Visual Design Communication and Social Media
Seniors can take Visual Design Communication and Social Media next year, beginning in the second trimester. Technology Integration Mentor Assistant Krina Patel will lead the three-part course. The first part focuses on understanding 2-D and 3-D design basics through experimentation with traditional media-drawing, printmaking and modeling; the second part introduces a range of visual design software such as the Adobe Creative Suite; and the third part is dedicated to creating a social media communication campaign on an issue that is relevant to the school community. For example, a student team may choose to work on creating a social media campaign for Dunks and Diabetes. “I am offering this course to teach an essential 21st century skill – visual literacy. And who does not like to see stunning images online? This course helps you create beautiful images to share,” Ms. Patel said.