It doesn’t get better than Wasatch Academy when it comes to a balanced, well-rounded quality education. We approach education with the goal of making students independent, confident learners and self-starters in any environment. Beyond academic credits, we put a strong emphasis on learning critical skills for being successful in college, the future workforce, and students’ personal lives beyond the classroom.

A TECHNOLOGY-ADVANCED CAMPUS

Our campus is a technology-advanced campus that allows teachers to incorporate the use of laptops and tablets into their lessons, thus leveraging online innovations for each student’s benefit.

 

THE MERITS OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING

Each one of our students participate in project-based learning whilst being provided with ample opportunities to be in charge of their education. We put students in the driver’s seat — and see great success as a result. Project-based learning teaches students how to engage in the extended process of posing questions, applying known information and make informed decisions about the project.

 

WEEKLY SERVICE PROJECTS IN THE COMMUNITY

In addition to academic success, students become important and productive members of their community through various required service projects. On a weekly basis, students participate in service projects such as cleaning up public spaces, working with youth as mentors and assisting with social service programs for the needy.

Curriculum

There are certain overarching educational goals for students that we integrate into every classroom at Wasatch. How to learn, communicate, collaborate, be a critical thinker, be a problem solver, and stretch themselves in creativity and innovation: These are the objectives of a Wasatch Academy education along with learning our core curriculum of math, science, social studies, English, and more. We believe that strong literacy is important, just as much as effectiveness in navigating technology or experiencing confidence in creativity through the arts. Although our educational objectives go beyond test scores, we also highly prioritize making sure that students are prepared for college entrance exams according to their personal long-term goals.

Academic Requirements

As with any accredited institution, we have specific academic requirements for graduation. Beyond these, we allow students leeway to take extra courses in areas that appeal to their interests and stretch their skills. Each credit equates to a single course taken for an entire year, and a half credit is given for a semester long class.  Wasatch Academy requires 24 academic credits for graduation, including the following specific credits:

  • 4 credits in English (3 credits for international students)
  • 4 credits in math (including Algebra I & II and Geometry)
  • 3 credits in the sciences (including Biology)
  • 3 credits in history/social science (including U.S. History)
  • 2 credits in a single foreign language (3 for honors) (native English speakers only)
  • 2 credits in fine arts
  • 2 credits in technology

Wasatch offers a wealth of opportunity to grow academically and personally, and we provide the necessary tools to help individual students succeed. If you have questions about our curriculum or want to inquire about specific courses related to your child’s interests, feel free to contact our Admissions Department to learn more.

Course Descriptions

English

English I

Beginning English students are introduced to literary and non-literary genres of reading, expressive, persuasive, and informational writing, and develop 21st century learning skills through the analysis and production of traditional and non-print text. The course culminates with a Presentation of Learning for a panel of peers and instructors.

English II

This course emphasizes the close reading of global literature and non-fiction texts. Students further develop 21stcentury learning skills with particular attention to expressive and receptive communication. Students learn to carefully select research sources and choose appropriate media for the communication of original texts.

English III

Students in English III focus on the critical reading of fiction and non-fiction texts by American authors to develop critical-analysis skills. Students further develop 21st century learning skills with particular attention to accessing and analyzing information. Students learn to synthesize information from a variety of sources into cohesive, original texts.

English IV

Advanced English students focus on developing composition and reading skills in preparation for success with university-level courses. Each course is centered around a high-interest topic, such as, but not limited to, creative writing, technical writing, heroes in literature, and the environment.

AP English Language and Composition

This course emphasizes close-reading skills for non-literary texts and primary documents. Advanced students come to understand and employ traditional rhetorical strategies and post-colonial, gender, and post-modern critical analysis.*

*Students in this course take the corresponding Advanced Placement Exam.

AP English Literature and Composition

Students in this course focus in on close-reading skills for literary texts, with emphasis on poetry, short stories, and novels. Although many readings emanate from the traditional literary canon, careful attention is placed on the inclusion of sub-altern voices.*

*Students in this course take the corresponding Advanced Placement Exam.

Mathematics and Engineering

About

While each unique math course at Wasatch Academy has its own set of standards and learning outcomes, the following anchors guide the curriculum we have developed.

We believe strongly in cultivating problem-solving skills, especially through hands-on practice. It is important that students can apply the many techniques that they acquire to a variety of different scenarios and contexts.

Students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of mathematics through meaningful project-based learning. Students integrate and internalize their knowledge by applying the skills they have developed in novel and authentic ways.

We recognize and celebrate the different skill levels of our students and provide many opportunities for differentiated and self-paced learning. We emphasize collaboration, creativity, and grit.

Algebra I

This course is designed to provide students with a foundational knowledge of linear and quadratic functions and graphing on the xy-coordinate system. Student solve and graph equations and inequalities. Students also learn to apply this knowledge to other areas of math, such as word problems, ratios, and proportions. The course starts off with a review of basic algebraic concepts, such as variables, order of operations, exponents, and problem-solving skills. It then moves on to a thorough introduction to functions and quadratic equations. Students learn how to solve linear equations, including multi-step equations, equations with multiple variables, and equations involving decimals, as well as writing a linear equation based on the graph of a line.

Algebra II

This course is a survey of more advanced algebraic topics. Topics covered in this course include, but are not limited to, linear equations, inequalities, absolute values, polynomials, factoring, quadratics, solving quadratic equations and functions, function notation, and algebraic manipulation of functions. The class makes extended use of technology in the form of graphing calculators and computer-based resources.

The prerequisite is Algebra I, but Geometry is recommended.

Geometry

This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of geometry concepts that they can use in the study of other branches of mathematics in high school and college, in their career choices, or in everyday life. The study of geometry strengthens a student’s ability to analyze and sharpens their problem-solving skills. The course starts off with an introduction to reasoning and proofs. These principles are then applied throughout the course as the students learn about parallel and perpendicular lines, congruence, similarity, right triangles, trigonometry, expressing geometric properties with expressions, geometric measurement and dimensions, and circles.

The prerequisite is Algebra I.

College Algebra

This course is a functional approach to algebra that incorporates the use of appropriate technology and project-based learning to simulate real life situations involving the need for algebra to understand and resolve a situation. Emphasis is placed on the study of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, graphs of equations, linear and quadratic models, polynomials, exponents, logarithms, and trigonometric identities.

This course is restricted to seniors. The prerequisite is Algebra II.

Pre-Calculus

The main objective of Pre-Calculus is to prepare students for the rigors of calculus. Students develop a solid understanding of functions (domain and range, graphical interpretations, manipulation of functions), build a library of special types of functions and their characteristics (polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric), gain a deep understanding of trigonometry, and learn to form connections between trigonometric equations, identities, and their geometrical interpretations. Additional topics include calculus concepts such as limits, continuity, sequences and series, maxima, minima, and others. A secondary objective of the course is to help students become fluent in using calculators for arithmetic, graphing functions, finding maxima, minima and intersection points, evaluating trigonometric functions, and more. This course is taught in the Math Lab setting, in which students are guided through the course material and learning resources at their own pace.

The prerequisites are Algebra II and Geometry.

Calculus

This course is an introduction to calculus geared toward those students who want to take calculus but do not want to endure the fast-paced nature and rigors of AP Calculus-AB. This course follows the same curriculum as AP Calculus-AB, but certain topics are excluded from study. The focus is on limits, the derivative, the integral, and the application of and interaction between these three broad concepts. More specifically, topics include a review of functions, continuity, differentiability, extrema, Riemann sums, the fundamental theorem of calculus, and areas between curves. Use of a graphing calculator is an important component of this course. This course is taught in the Math Lab setting, in which students are guided through the course material and learning resources at their own pace.

The prerequisite is Pre-Calculus.

AP Calculus-AB

This is a preparation course for the AP Calculus-AB exam as established by the College Board. The focus is on limits, the derivative, the integral, and the application of and interaction between these three broad concepts. More specifically, topics include a review of functions, continuity, differentiability, extrema, concavity, related rates, optimization, Riemann sums, the fundamental theorem of calculus, areas between curves, volumes of solids, and separable differential equations. Use of a graphing calculator is an essential component of this course. This course is taught in the Math Lab setting, in which students are guided through the course material and learning resources at their own pace.

The prerequisite is Pre-Calculus.

AP Calculus-BC

This is a preparation course for the AP Calculus-BC exam as established by the College Board. The focus is on interplay between the derivative and the integral and applying these concepts to solve higher level problems. Specifically, topics include a review of the AB curriculum, techniques of integration, parametric and polar equations, power series, and approximating functions with polynomials. Use of a graphing calculator is an essential component of this course.

The prerequisite is AP Calculus-AB.

AP Statistics

This is a preparation course for the AP Statistics exam. This course gives students the skills that are used in a number of different academic areas and opens their eyes to information that is presented to them everyday. Students explore how to interpret this wealth of information appropriately. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, data collection and experimental design, displaying data, linear regression, normal distributions, and inference methods. This class makes extensive use of graphing calculators.

The prerequisite is Algebra II, but Pre-Calculus is recommended.

Discrete Mathematics

This is an advanced and abstract math course geared toward students who have already mastered the calculus sequence. The focus is abstract thinking and mathematical proofs. The course topics include set theory, combinatorics, graph theory, group theory, and number theory. This course will function as an independent study where students meet with the instructor once per week. Enrollment is by instructor permission only.

Robotics

The robotics course is intended for students with a strong interest in robotics and, in particular, in competing at the level of the First Tech Challenge or other robotics events. Students focus on the mechanics involved in motion, steering, elevating, tossing, and more. They learn how to safely wire the robots with batteries, motors, and sensors. Students also become expert programmers using platforms such as RobotC, Labview, or Arduino to control their robots. This is a very hands-on course and requires a competitive edge.

Rocketry

Rocketry is a course designed for students with an interest in aerospace engineering or related fields. Course will focus on rockets and rocket engines developed from scratch, multi-stage rockets, high-power rocketry, and detailed flight analysis by onboard computers. Students will learn how to safely design and construct rockets and rocket engines as well as analyze potential hazards in strength and durability. Accomplished students will move on to explorations in supersonic flight, high altitude flight, or other areas of the student’s interest.

Engineering

This course serves as an introduction to many different facets of engineering. Students first learn about what it is that engineers actually do and the engineering design process. They complete design projects in which they are asked to reflect upon how they used the engineering process. Then students get a taste of industrial engineering and factory management. They begin the practice of keeping an engineering notebook. Students continue to apply the engineering design process and organizational skills they have been honing as they begin to understand the functioning of simple machines and mechanical engineering through hands-on experimentation and building. Students then begin to learn about how to best use technology by working with software engineering and robotics, and completing various electrical engineering projects using microcontrollers such as Arduino.

Math Team

This is a quarter-length elective course whose focus is to prepare for local and national math contests. The focus is on building problem-solving skills and fostering collaboration. The mathematical topics include combinatorics, probability, elementary number theory, recursively defined functions, and geometry. A special emphasis is placed on logic and proof writing. The math team competes in the annual Harvard-MIT math tournament in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Stanford Math Tournament in Palo Alto, California. Additional expenses for traveling to these contests are not included in tuition. Local contests include the Snow College Math Contest, the AMC 10/12, and the Utah State Math Competition.

The prerequisite is Algebra II, though Pre-Calculus is highly recommended.

Social Studies

8th Grade Social Studies

The focus of 8th grade Social Studies will be on the 5 themes of geography, with the first semester focusing on the West and second semester on the East. Students will learn about major distinctions in the regions such as environment, religion, ancient civilizations, and moving towards the goal of understanding how cultures have spread around the world. Students will become familiar with both primary and secondary sources, designing their own projects to drive learning, and improve on skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Global Studies I

Global Studies I is an exploration of the world’s regions, cultures, geography, history, and current issues. Students will develop reading, writing, discussion, analytical, and critical thinking skills. This class will help students understand and appreciate major themes of human development throughout history and understand and critique divisions and conflicts that challenge progress and peaceful coexistence.  Students will use a variety of print and non-print sources to analyze global issues past and present and create solutions to real-world problems today.

Global Studies II

In this course students learn about issues that affect the world over from a modern and historical perspective. Empathy for others, social justice, and the need for people to work together is the common theme throughout the units. This class particularly focuses on regions in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe (some variation year to year) with issues on human rights, genocide, population demographics, etc. Several memoirs are used to learn about different experiences and events in the past such as A Long Way Gone and Persepolis. Projects are designed to improve students’ ability with writing, speaking, and reading.

Early American History

This course focuses on the evolution of political institutions, social and cultural developments, diplomacy and economic trends in American history until 1865. Topics include European Colonialism, the Revolutionary War, the early Republic, the Age of Jackson, along with sectional division and the Civil War. Student projects focus on Native American History and the Civil War.

United States History

The course has students investigate the content of U.S. history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes at various time periods. Students develop critical thinking, reading, listening, writing, and communication skills. The end goal of the course is to understand pivotal moments in American history in its temporal context but also as it helps to frame the narrative of current events.

AP United States History

Advanced Placement United States history is a yearlong college level course that explores the evolution of political institutions, social and cultural developments, diplomacy, and economic trends in American history. Students analyze and interpret a variety of historical resources and develop the ability to use documentary materials, maps, pictures, and graphic evidence of historical events. This course will operate at an accelerated rate, beyond that of a regular high school class. This includes a college level pace and college level grading.

AP European History

This course focuses on the major social, political, religious, and economic themes from the late Middle Ages to the present day.*

*A national exam in May determines a candidate’s eligibility to receive college-level credit.

AP World History

The AP World History course focuses on developing students’ understanding of world history from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. The course has students investigate the content of world history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods, and develop and use the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past. The course also provides five themes (interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and development and transformation of social structures) that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places encompassing the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.

AP US Government and Politics

Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics is a year long college level course that explores the formal and informal structure of American Government and the politics that drive it. This includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret American government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It will cover the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute American government and politics. The course provides students with practice in analyzing and interpreting data and other information relevant to United States Government and Politics. This course will operate at an accelerated rate, beyond that of a regular high school class. This includes a college level pace and college level grading.

International Relations / MUN

Students will learn about the historical function of the United Nations as well as its role in the world today.  Students will learn about current issues facing our global community and study them from the perspective of different countries.  They will learn how to successfully write position papers/policy statements, draft resolutions, create and deliver impromptu speeches, as well as manage the flow of debate using parliamentary procedures (Harvard/THIMUN styles). Students will be encouraged to attend Model United Nations conferences.

Economics

This is a basic introduction to Economics. Taking a cue from the authors of Freakanomics and Naked Economics, this class does not deal with complicated graphs and math. We focus on learning the basics, that economics is about people and choices, and this class relies on collaborative learning and projects. Students will participate in The Stock Market Game, an online simulation of the NASDAQ and NYSE, they will be presented with several real-life scenarios and have to work together to find a solution, and they will design their own projects and lines of inquiry.

Psychology

Psychology students explore the mental processes and behaviors of humans and animals in this course. Students also design projects and review psychological studies using the scientific approach and statistical analysis.

AP Psychology

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

Modern American History

This course emphasizes the economic and social developments, political conflicts, and cultural responses of Americans to the enormous changes after the Civil War. Topics begin with Reconstruction and continue through today, including topics on terrorism and President Obama. Major authors include John Kasson, Upton Sinclair, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and J.D. Salinger.

Science

About

Students need a minimum of three (3) Science credits to graduate from Wasatch Academy. One of the three science credits MUST be Biology (usually taken in the Sophomore year, but could be fulfilled by transfer credit). Thus, a typical student might take (in order) “Physical Science (PS)” and  “College Preparatory Biology,” and then any one of the following Science Elective courses in “Physics,” “Chemistry,” “Geology,” “Ecology,” “Western Water, Landscapes and Sustainability,” and “Human Anatomy & Physiology” or any of our 3 Advanced Placement (AP) science classes (Biology, Physics and Chemistry) to complete the graduation requirements. Be sure to check with your college counselor before enrolling in any elective classes.

Please note that 3 science classes is the minimum requirement for graduation, but it is highly recommended by college admissions departments, and by our WA college counselors that students should take four (4) or more science classes before graduation, with at least one Science class per year, especially if a student is planning on entering a science related field in college and graduate/professional school.

Once a student has completed the stated prerequisites, there are 3 outstanding Advanced Placement (AP) courses to enhance and progress students’ understanding and applications in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

All AP courses are year-long elective classes that follow the curriculum provided by The College Board (http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/home) for the equivalent of a year of introductory college content. Please adhere to all prerequisites and proficiencies advised for entry and success in these classes that are designed for students to “pass the AP exam” in early May each year. Students are encouraged to take the exams and score highly to increase their chances of admission to more selective colleges, even if they don’t plan to use AP credits for placing out of college freshmen classes, or as credits toward college graduation.

Below are the Science Department course options for 2017-2018; please check with Mr. Bedford (bill.bedford@wasatchacademy.org) or Dr. Roth (david.roth@wasatchacademy.org) if you have any questions at all.  All classes are year-long (two semesters) unless otherwise noted.

Physical Science (PS)

This is a lower-level mandatory class for 8th and 9th grade students, and incoming students without similar class content to prepare them for Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Classical and project-based learning (PBL) approaches are combined with lab and class activities, field trips, and internet-based active participation in physical science projects and experimentation. Skills are taught alongside content, and the relationship between the sciences and mathematics are emphasized. This course is taught by Mrs. Sandra Friedman, MS.

College Preparatory Biology

This is a mandatory course aimed at Sophomores and other students who have completed PS or equivalent (see above), and is a requirement for graduation by all students. The class begins with a survey of the diversity of life in 3 domains, emphasizing the 9 phyla of the animal kingdom. We then focus on the integrated topics of Evolution, Genetics, and Molecular and Cell Biology, and explore major themes of biological diversity as an experimental science, using interactive laboratories, field trips, and a variety of computer and web-based activities and resources to supplement the hands-on curriculum.  Five sections of this year long class are taught by Dr. David Roth and Mr. Ryan Anderson.

Physics

This introductory physics class requires a solid foundation in algebra and a basic familiarity with the scientific method, the metric system, and trigonometry. The course is a survey of basic physics beginning with the study of mechanics and covers motion, projectiles, forces, momentum, energy, and conservation principles. We then cover simple harmonic motion and physical waves before transitioning to sound and light, and then explore relativity and quantum mechanics. This year long elective course is taught by Mr. Travis Magaluk.

Chemistry

This year long Chemistry class with labs concentrates on the changes of matter through knowledge of the structure and composition of the elements. The process of learning chemistry demonstrates how matter interacts with itself to form new materials, but also builds logical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, and independent thinking skills. The course improves quantitative and analytical skills using both hands-on laboratory activities and projects with cooperative learning and problem solving components. Career opportunities advanced through this class include medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, industrial and medicinal chemistry, chemical engineering, research and drug design, materials science, and developing new technologies for 21st century industry and health science applications. This elective class is taught by Dr. Peter Cossid.

Geology

Have you ever been on an outdoor trip at Wasatch Academy and wondered what are the beautiful rocks around you, and how did they get there? Why do Hoodoos exist? How did Delicate Arch form? Are all these rocks and landforms still changing over time? How many of the National Parks and Monuments have you visited in Utah and the Southwest? This new 2-semester GEOLOGY class will address these questions, and many others about the formation and evolution of the Earth. This course is designed to help students interpret and understand the physical world around us. We will investigate and study the interactions between the Earth’s four spheres including the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere to explain Earth’s formation, natural processes, history, landscapes, and changes over time. The first semester uses local geology to lay a foundation for further exploration of National and State Parks and Monuments around Utah with focus on the uniqueness of the different parks, as well as how they are tied together. Topics to be addressed include (but are not limited to) mapping Earth’s surface, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, geologic time, and landforms. Students will participate in laboratory exercises, field trips, small group activities, class discussions, and many research projects throughout the year. This full year class is taught by Mrs. Sandra Friedman, MS.

Ecology

Have you ever been outside in nature and observed birds and fish, or flowers and trees, and seen the way living things interact with their environment? And have you ever noticed that everything in our world is interconnected and wondered Where do I fit into all this?  How do I impact my environment?  This new course will focus on the scientific principles that are involved with the various systems that interact in both natural and man-made environments. Ecology is the study of the interactions of living organisms and their environment. This course will begin by providing a background in the fundamental principles of ecological science, including concepts of natural selection, population and community ecology, biodiversity, and sustainability. By studying ecosystems both in the classroom and outside in natural settings, students will begin to understand how the natural world works, and to comprehend how scientific methods are used to develop ecological knowledge of our planet. Once a solid foundation is established the course will then delve into the topics of today’s major ecological challenges our planet is facing, and explore the research being done to address these concerns.  Throughout this course students will examine ecology through different scopes and perspectives, from small and individual organisms, to the entire biosphere of earth and its systems and how they interact to create this amazing and life sustaining place we call home.  Come join on this journey that will help to make you a more knowledgeable and prepared citizen of planet Earth. This full year class is taught by Mr. Ryan Anderson.

Human Anatomy & Physiology

This upper-level elective course requires Biology and either Physics or Chemistry as prerequisites. The course focuses on structure and function in the human body, using organ systems to integrate concepts of anatomical location, growth and development, movement and metabolism, injuries and disease, with applications medical fields such as nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, optometry, sports and emergency medicine, and athletic training. The class is taught with a hands-on approach using animal dissection and human physiology labs, films, activities, field trips, individual and small group research projects, discussions, and individual and small group presentations. This class is taught by Dr. David Roth.

Western Water, Landscapes, and Sustainability

This new year-long course will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to landscape ecology and the role of water therein. We will develop techniques for exploring, interpreting, and studying both wild and cultured landscapes, beginning with an introduction to landscape ecology with a primary focus on exploring the interconnected landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. The geo-physical, biological, socio-cultural, aesthetic, and politico-economic landscapes will be examined as distinct entities and as an interconnected mosaic of landscape layers. Topics covered include the ecology and natural history of water, biogeography of flora and fauna, landscape evolution, weather and climate change, artistic and literary interpretations of landscapes, past and present roles of humans on landscapes (and rivers in particular), and the role of public lands in landscape preservation, conservation, and restoration. With landscape ecology as a foundation, we will spend much of the second semester studying the regional landscapes in the context of sustainability, the Anthropocene Epoch, and the pervasive influence of humans on the land. While each of these topics will be explored in the context of the Colorado Plateau, we will also compare the arid West with other regions across the globe. Students will engage in project-based learning, research, and presentations related to sustainability in the context of water, food, energy, and transportation systems. Field trips to riverside locales, research stations, museums, and state and federal water projects will round out the curriculum for this course. This class is taught by Dr. Joel Barnes.

AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry follows the curriculum provided by the College Board for the equivalent of a year of introductory college chemistry. The prerequisite is a year of high school chemistry and proficiency with math; pre-calculus or above is preferred. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May at the end of the school year. This year long course is taught by Mr. Bill Bedford, MS.

AP Biology

This class is equivalent to a first-year college survey course usually taken by Biology majors, with emphasis on passing the AP Biology test in early May. Prerequisites are a year of high school biology and either completion of or concurrent enrollment in chemistry. The course extends and expands the “regular” Biology course with respect to the range and depth of topics covered, the kind of laboratory work performed by individuals and small groups of students, and the time and effort required by the students in preparation for the May exam. Topics covered include the biochemistry of life, cells and cell energetics, heredity, molecular genetics, evolution, diversity of organisms, structure and function of both plants and animals, and ecology. The course is broken down into three areas of study: 25% molecules and cells, 25% genetics and evolution, and 50% organisms and populations. In addition, students will conduct 12 of the hands-on College Board AP Biology laboratories and activities. The primary emphasis of the course is on developing an understanding of biological concepts and applications; a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and the application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns worldwide. Students are expected to take the AP exam in early May. This class is taught by Dr. David Roth.

AP Physics (C-1, "Mechanics")

AP Physics (C-1, “Mechanics”) is an elective class that follows the curriculum provided by the College Board for the equivalent of a year of introductory college Physics. The prerequisite is a year of high school physics and demonstrated proficiency with pre-calculus or higher mathematics/statistics classes. Basic calculus is used throughout the course, but is taught alongside the Physics content. Major topics include kinematics, dynamics, energy, momentum, rotational dynamics, and simple harmonic motion. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May at the end of the school year. This year long course is taught by Mr. Travis Magaluk.

World Languages

Mandarin I, II, AP

Mandarin students focus on conversation, basic vocabulary, grammar, listening and piyin skills. Readings include texts and supplemental cultural resources. Students write Chinese characters and develop basic calligraphy skills while developing an appreciation of Chinese culture and history. Collaborative projects include cooking, singing, dialogs, research and interactive project-based learning presentations.

Students in AP course develop fluent conversation skills in Chinese through vocabulary, advanced grammar and translation and listening skills. They read and write Chinese characters and develop calligraphy skills. The course emphasizes critical thinking skills with regard to current political, economic and cultural events.*

*A national exam in May determines a candidate’s eligibility to receive college-level credit.

Spanish I, II, III, IV, AP

All classes work to build AP language skills of listening, writing, speaking, and reading. Spanish I is Beginning Spanish/Spanish Fundamentals. Spanish II is intermediate and focuses on verb usage, speaking, and stronger emphasis on reading and writing. Spanish III is advanced and develops the use of advanced grammar structures in speaking, reading, and writing. The AP course uses all of the skills taught in Spanish I-III (speaking, listening, writing, reading). We work hard to practice these skills to prepare for the AP test. All of the classes undertake various projects.

French I, II, III

Beginning French students discover and learn the language and culture of the Francophone world, which encompasses countries around the globe, through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Readings include authentic excerpts from writers of the French-speaking world.

Students in French II course focus on an intensive extension of the preliminary elements learned in French I. Readings consist of authentic materials intended for native speakers. The French III course focuses on maximizing the potential of the students to navigate successfully through the French language and culture. All four areas of language learning — reading, writing, listening, and speaking — are brought to bear. Readings include Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Fine and Performing Arts

Introduction to Music

Beginning students in this course focus on the ideas and concepts to develop musicianship and musical interests. Major topics include sound, scales, keys signatures, rhythm, time signatures, chords, and dictations. No previous musical experience is required for this class.

Composition Class

The emphasis of this course is on the creative, academic, and performance aspects of various types of musical composition. Students work to create everything from instrumental music to rap. Young musicians develop skills with electronic and acoustic compositional tools.

Music History

Students in this course gain a musical perspective on Western history from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age. The class shows the links between historical events and musical events throughout the time period. Previous music experience is not required in this academic music class.

Guitar

This course emphasizes instruction, study, and practice in various styles of guitar performance. The course content varies to adapt to the individual expertise and musical interests of students. Previous guitar experience is not required for this course.

Jazz Combo

Students in this course focus on learning and performing jazz music in small groups while surveying jazz styles. The musician’s ability to demonstrate competency on his instrument helps facilitate group participation.

Fusion Ensemble

This course offers students another chance for artistic teamwork in a musical setting. Musicians focus on modifying genre and instrumentation of a musical piece in a collaborative setting.

Classical Ensamble

Students in this course focus on musical collaboration. Specifically designed for ensembles consisting of acoustic stringed and orchestral instruments and voice, this course emphasizes artistic teamwork.

Piano Fundamentals

Beginning piano students focus on piano basics, such as sight reading, theory, ear training, memorization, technique, and performance. Through projects students explore ethnic heritage, composers, music history, and other subjects of personal interest. Students complete piano levels one and two, working individually and in ensembles.

Intermediate Piano

Students in this course work on piano levels three through six. Intermediate piano players continue focusing on technique, composer style, sight reading, theory, ear training, memorization, and performance. Projects include topics based on ethnic heritage, composers, music history, and personal interest. Students gain proficiency individually and in ensembles.

Advanced Piano

This course emphasizes piano techniques and performance. Students are assigned specific pieces of music that challenge their musical abilities and expand the breadth of their musical knowledge. Advanced piano players learn to present themselves for at least two performances per semester.

Yoga / Pilates

Students in this class focus on gaining physical strength and flexibility while connecting the mind to the body. Yoga styles include power, flow, Baptiste, restorative, and gentle Hatha. Students practice yogathree days a week and perform Pilates, core strengthening exercises, one day a week.

Dance Technique I, II, III, IV

These courses emphasize ballet, jazz, and modern dance. Students spend one day a week working on each dance style, finding connections and differences in how they use their bodies between the three styles. Student and teacher choreographic collaborations, culminating in a variety of dances, are prepared for scheduled performances throughout the school year.

Hip Hop Dance

Hip hop dance students focus on gaining strength, flexibility, and movement awareness in this course. Student and instructor collaboration leads to newfound confidence in dancers. Dances to hip hop music are prepared for scheduled performances throughout the school year.

Beginning Acting and Comedy

Physical activity, team building, and performance through comedy improvisation and theatre games are emphasized in this course. Students gain confidence in comedic timing and stage presence. Performances are scheduled throughout the school year.

Acting

Acting students focus on voice, diction, oral interpretation, and creating characters through scene work from various playwrights. Scenes are prepared for school productions and The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s High School Competition and the Utah State High School Association Drama Competition.

Design for Theatre

This course emphasizes all the elements of theatrical design. Students incorporate sound, stage lighting, costuming, make-up, set and prop design into stage productions — both theoretical or for an actual school production.

Script into Performance

Students in this course develop stories for various media, including radio, animation, video, or live performance. Venues include coffee house performances using student actors, presentations at chapel or other school events, student-made audio recordings, video, and animation. Students can perform but are not required to.

Intro 2D

Students in this course explore the process of visual creativity by focusing on foundational 2D art techniques and the Elements and Principles of Design as they relate to drawing, painting, and design.

Advanced 2D

This course emphasizes drawing and painting skills in various media. Students develop their artist styles and voice. Master artworks from all cultures and throughout history are referenced, and students critique peer produced artworks.

Advanced Art Portfolio

Emerging artists focus on creating a variety of artworks as part of individual art portfolios for Advanced Placement Studio Art and/or for college applications in this class. Students participate in at least one group project. Art shows on the road and visits to artists’ studios serve to both instruct and inspire.

Intro Ceramics

Beginning ceramic students focus on the elements and techniques used in working with clay to make both functional and decorative pieces. Students develop skills in hand-building and wheel-thrown pottery. Techniques learned include coils, slab, pinch, and wheel construction.

Advanced Ceramics

Students build on their developing skills learned in Intro Ceramics. An emphasis is placed on aesthetic design and form, as students further improve individuality and personal expression in their work. Students have the opportunity to work on both hand-building and wheel-thrown construction.

Printmaking

The course explores how to pull multiple original print impressions using a variety of print techniques such as: relief, monotype, and intaglio. Students learn how to make handmade paper using recycled materials and actively use the elements and principles of design to create dynamic prints on paper.

Photography

Students explore all aspects of the photo making process, including: the basic functions of a camera, darkroom techniques, digital photography, basic photoshop, and alternative processes in photography. An emphasis is placed on composition and design, while utilizing the Elements and Principles of Design.

Technology

Intro to Programming

This course introduces students to the concepts, principles, and skills of computer programming. Programming environments include Scratch, Alice, and Java scripting, where students create and troubleshoot programs. Collaborative projects with the English and Spanish departments also allow students to produce simple games.

AP Computer Science

This course focuses on the basic principles and concepts of object-oriented programming using JAVA. Students learn about classes, interfaces, operators, program control, arrays, testing, debugging, inheritance, polymorphism, and event-handling. They also develop techniques for simplifying the programming process and improving code quality in this activity-based learning classroom.

Intro to Robotics

This course introduces students to the basic concepts and principles of robotics. Students use mobile Lego robots as tools and create, troubleshoot, and program progressively more complex robots.

Robotics

Students take a hands-on approach to the advanced concepts and principles of robotics in this course. Using mobile Tetrix robots as tools, students create, troubleshoot, and program progressively more complex robots.

Animation

Animation students acquire the modeling skills and knowledge necessary to create characters and landscapes for animation in Maya software. Concepts covered include polygonal modeling, lighting, rigging, rendering, and animation.

Video Game Design

Students in this course are introduced to the theory and concepts of computer graphics built for a real-time video game engine.  Concept idea to complete playable game level using self-created 3d assets in a running game engine is the goal.  Collaboration with programming students to design, build, and implement a game concept to working game level in real-time over the course of 2 semesters.

Digital Art Studio with Adobe Suite

Students in this course are introduced to the technical skills and aesthetic understanding of digital art. Using the Adobe CS5 suite toolset, students learn techniques to create projects that match their individual interests.

Digital Audio

This course focuses on the computer technology and technical skills related to music creation and production. Using the software tools of Pure Data, Garage Band, Logic Express, and Logic Studio, students learn techniques to create projects that meet their individual needs.

English Language Learning