Introduction to C++
Credit: .50 (Math or Science credit)
C++ is a computer programming language used by Google and NASA. Programming involves solving logic problems in an abbreviated language that gets translated into machine language. It requires extreme attention to detail, precise syntax, and the ability to anticipate errors by the user. Focus will be on console applications in which student will code programs that interact with a console user by retrieving input, processing input, and formatting output. Students will apply logic, flow-charting, and specialized algorithms to write, test, and debug source code. Pre-requisites: Math placement should be Algebra II or higher, minimum grade of B-.
Required of sophomores, open to all
Chemistry 2 is the continuation of the first semester of the yearlong chemistry class. We pick up where the first semester ended and work on specific types of reactions and expand our knowledge of topics such as stoichiometry, electrochemistry, redox reactions and pH. From there we look at specific branches of chemistry, including organic, inorganic, analytical, nuclear, and biochemistry. Each branch utilizes the previous foundation of chemistry fundamentals to discover how this knowledge can be used to develop novel new polymers, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and energy molecules. An emphasis will be placed on how knowledge of chemistry can be applied to a career and to the decisions we must make as a society. Tomorrow’s world will require new forms of energy and new approaches to health. This course will continue building those basic tools for understanding and participating in the discussions and decisions that need to be made. Lab work is designed to promote open inquiry of unknown factors in order to arrive at a reasoned conclusion. The prerequisite is Chemistry 1.
Forensics is the science of seeking and providing physical evidence to the judicial system for proving guilt or innocence in a crime. Forensics data is a relatively new field – it complements the historical eyewitness accounts and interviews that were the primary source of evidence. The application of science to criminal investigations raises a number of questions that were eventually answered by the Supreme Court. We will learn the legal underpinnings of forensic evidence and how it impacts the collection and presentation of data in a trial. Forensics takes advantage of all the sciences and thus requires a broad familiarity with the underpinnings of chemistry, physics and biology. This class will develop some of that basic understanding and use it to practice techniques such as fingerprinting, drug analysis and DNA evidence. There are no prerequisites to this class, but students are expected to have a reasonable foundation in the scientific method and basic lab techniques. We will explore career opportunities within this field and discover some interesting labs that focus on product liability and insurance fraud issues.
Earth Science 2
Earth Science 2 is the continuation of the yearlong class started in the Fall semester. We continue our exploration of Earth and its resources and focus more closely on earthquakes, volcanoes and the critical impact of water on our planet. We will explore the increasingly critical areas of global climate change, dwindling resources and alternative energy. We will also examine shorelines and deserts and analyze their unique environments. The materials humans use to construct their environments and power their industries all come from the Earth (and sun), but the impact of an expanding and increasingly consuming population is placing some new challenges of the Earth scientist to address the many demands and consequences. Science is a key ally in this endeavor and the students will learn more of the techniques that can be used to both answer these questions and to provide solutions. The prerequisite is the first semester of this class Earth science is key to understanding how we can preserve scarce resources and protect the delicate balance of natural processes that make Earth so convivial for humans. For centuries, man has wanted better tools to predict weather, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and Red Sox championships. We’ll explore the techniques scientists have developed or are developing to answer these questions (with the exception of sports predictions).
Required of freshmen, open to all
This course finishes the first semester study of intensive microscopic study of single cells, and a layer in complexity at the tissue, organ, and system level. By the time we reach the level of whole organisms, we will be looking for overall ecological systems, and introduce large-scale cycles that mirror the physiology of individual cells. Throughout the semester, students will explore the physiological and behavioral evolution of hominids through an exploration of important studies and current theory. This course is fundamental to our entire thematic catalog: the literal experience of what it is to become human.
African American Literature
Our Declaration of Independence states, “all men are created equal” and granted rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet it is evident that these words did not apply to all members of our nation at the time it was signed, and continue to shape discussion in the present day. Through literary analysis, this course will explore the African American experience of the twentieth century, including facets of the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights Movement. We will discuss how the use of literature, poetry, and song gave African Americans a medium to voice concerns over racial inequality and injustices while at the same time enriching our American cultural identity with superb works of art.
Women’s Literature: What Would Jane Do?
This class embodies the ideals of the female authors that will be its focus. Students may be called upon to do any number of activities that are present in the novels that they read. This class will include several projects, papers, creative writing opportunities and discussions as we look at the world of romance, deception and manipulation that was the 18th and 19th centuries. Come and join in the fun as Mr. Darcy whirls us around the dance floor or Jane Eyre fights the spirits that hold her back, for as Jane Austen puts it “My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.”
English Literature: Philosophy of Fear 2
Pre-requisite: “Fear” 1 or permission of teacher and administration
Students will delve ever deeper into the ideas of fear and fright in this class. Taking specific works of literature we will discuss aspects of fight or flight response and the deeper and darker elements of the human psyche. Discussions of romanticism, enlightenment and ideas of contrasting philosophies will be common. There are several hands on activities that will test the perceptions of what scares us most and why they are included in tales that intrigue us. Students will attempt to get into the mindset of resurrection men, wolves, and a personification of death. We will be reading selections from authors such as Agatha Christie and Robert Louis Stevenson, creating several projects and writing both formally and creatively. Come and gain an appreciation for the macabre, and watch out for black cauldrons and mousetraps.
American Literature: Rights and Wrongs
The formation of labor unions in the U.S. resulted in organizers being hailed as guardians of workers’ rights and reviled as un-American troublemakers. When industrialism arrived in America, waves of men, women, and children left the farm to find work in factories, mines, and railroads. Conflicts, sometimes violent, arose between labor and management over wages and working conditions.
Authors Wallace Stegner (“Joe Hill: a Biographical Novel”), John Steinbeck (“In Dubious Battle”), and Upton Sinclair (“The Jungle”) portray the struggles of a century ago that reverberate to the present.
Geography: Focus on the Americas and the Civil War Era
In this class we will study the geography of Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America and South America. We’ll make a variety of maps and exercise our memorization skills with capitals and countries. We will also examine the territorial evolution of the USA from the time of the original 13 colonies up to the election of 1860, when our country was torn asunder following the election of Abraham Lincoln. We will discover the huge impact of geography on the creation of two very different cultures, each with their own vision of what the USA should be. We’ll trace the causes of the Civil War back to the founding fathers’ avoidance of the slavery issue when writing the Constitution. We will discover how reason failed, tempers flared, and violence prevailed. We’ll study the war itself by creating and analyzing maps of battlefields and discover how geographical features often made the difference between winning and losing. We’ll complete our study by reading Bruce Catton’s classic book and viewing several videos in the highly acclaimed series by Ken Burns.
World History: Enlightenment to Imperialism
This course will study the political, economic, social, and cultural development of World Civilizations from the 17th Century to 1914. It will study the reasons behind the trend toward European domination of the rest of the world; first in commerce, then in economy, politics, and culture. The course will investigate of such movements in European history as the Scientific Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution, which affected the rest of the world. It will also attempt to assess the impact of Europe and the West upon various regions and zones of civilization in the world.
American History: The Rise of Modernity
This course is about our age, the Modern Age. More precisely, it is about Modernity or the spirit of our time. It explores how did the modern world come to its present condition, what are its defining characteristics, its outcomes, its aspirations, questions and problems. It deals primarily with the presuppositions and consequences of the two "cumulative and mutually reinforcing processes": (1) Rationalization (development of market economy coupled with the rise of state bureaucracy and political participation), and (2) Secularization (disintegration of religious world-view and creation of autonomous spheres of science, morality and art). There will be particular focus on the American Industrial Revolution.
American History: Growing Up “Grimm”
If you enjoy hands on activities and bringing the hardships of teenage history to life, this is the class for you. Some of the subjects of study will include the influences of the heroes and heroines of the Grimm fairytales, Dickensian stories, immigration to the states, child labor laws and the ideas of education. During discussion in class there will be a series of tasks to complete such as: weaving, spinning (watch out for the spindle), Natural dyeing and interning with teachers, just to name a few. The class will strive to come to an understanding of the way life used to be for teens and children during the enlightenment to industry time-period. We will bring to life all of the challenges, responsibilities, literature and events that changed a group of people with little hope into a group where choice is paramount.
Music Appreciation: Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner: A Detailed Listening
The Enlightenment was not only a time of great philosophical contemplation in literature but also in the performing arts. One or two great composers define each historical era; only the Enlightenment sees the development of three of the top five composers whose works are still played often by major symphonies and are most studied by scholars. In this course students will do a detailed listening and study of all nine Beethoven symphonies, all four Brahms symphonies and selected symphonies by Bruckner. Students will learn what constitutes a detailed listening and will hear some of these works performed live by local symphony orchestras.
Music Writing: Taking it from the Ear to the Page
One of the great developments of the Enlightenment age was the study of music in a more scientifically oriented way. With this branch of study came a way of thinking and writing about music in a more ordered, less subjective way that has allowed music to proliferate as both an art and a subject for hundreds of years. In this course students will learn how to transfer what they hear in a piece of music to a well written, concise and vigorously written paper. Students will leave this course with a firm grasp of how to write a paper in the arts and express one’s musical opinion on paper in a scholarly, ordered way.
Music: Introduction to Functional Tonality and Ear Training
The Enlightenment brought with it new ways of looking at old systems, such as functional tonality, the language with which composers had been writing music for many years. In this course students will learn the basics of how to read music in two clefs, write and identify intervals and chords as well as write four-part harmony. Prior experience in music is not necessary for this course.
Instrumental Instruction: Brass, Woodwinds and Bell Kit
In this course students will be choosing a woodwind, brass or pitched percussion instrument to learn how to play in a group setting. Prior experience with music reading or instrumental instruction is not necessary for this course.
Music History: Modern Wind Ensemble
With the onset of thinking about the elements of an orchestra in a different light, many composers began exploring the ways in which wind, brass and percussion instruments could be used together in an ensemble we know today as the wind ensemble. In this course students will trace the development of the modern wind ensemble from its roots in the military bands of early America to the present.
In this class students will learn the techniques of hand building with an opportunity to work on the wheel. Students will apply their newfound knowledge to the design and execution of unique their own pieces. The goal will be to produce unique new pieces by merging their personal styles with Industrial production.
Advanced Ceramics: Mud to Music
Students will learn how a raw material such as clay can be transformed into functioning musical instrument. Students will study and employ different ceramic building techniques such as hand building and throwing on the wheel. They will research and understand the workings of whistles, drums, didgeridoos, and other instruments in order to craft working versions of them in clay. Prerequisite: One or more ceramics classes
3D: Project Hallway
Working from the concept of Project Runway, students will engage in different projects designing, sewing, and creating items inspired by fashion. Students will create clothing, shoes, accessories, and more, using a variety of materials. We will be working with paper, recycled items, mixed media, as well as fabric. Examples of work, studio visits and/or art exhibition visits are required.
Painting: Muraling the Revolution
During this period, politics, economics, and ideas about social order, man’s relationship with the earth, and how people relate to one another changed at a pace never seen before in human history. Artists such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueros chronicled these profound changes in huge murals, transforming walls of buildings from mere architectural supports into history books and philosophical statements. In this class, students will become familiar with the works of several different muralists and their techniques. They will design and execute their own murals, starting with small sketches and scaling them up to mural proportions.
First Year Seminar
REQUIRED OF FRESHMEN
First-year students will learn the basics of writing research papers, note taking, time management, and how to be a Sparhawk student. There will be ample amounts of time for work on large projects or papers. This is a required course of all freshmen.
REQUIRED OF SOPHOMORES
Second-year students will learn how to read media, both televised and written. The New York Times, Boston Globe, and television news will be our guides, as well as the writings of American philosopher, Neil Postman. Students will follow current events and be responsible for participating in debates and Model U.N.
REQUIRED OF JUNIORS
In this course, juniors will take their college applications from initial search to finalized and mailed. Using our ConnectEdu software, students will, with guidance, move from high school junior to college applicant. Please note that this is a two-semester course, which students complete in the Fall of their senior year.
REQUIRED OF SENIORS
In this course, seniors will prepare their portfolio for graduation by exhibition.