We’re comfortably squeezing in an abundance of learning between this week — which heralds the beginning of the second half of the fall trimester — and Dec. 9, which is the last day of classes before Winter Break.
From robotics to woodwork, from astronomy to sex-ed, this 70th trimester in the history of Eagle Rock School includes classes that are both challenging and potentially life changing to participating students.
Late last month we listed the first batch of new classes (see Eagle Rock 70 Classes Underway — And Here’s What’s Being Offered). Below is a list of other classroom offerings for the trimester, along with a description of each class:
In the past decade, we have seen the rise of smartphones and drones, along with the first computer to beat a world-ranked Go player. With this growing sector around computer technology come job opportunities galore, not to mention the enjoyment of toying with robots, solving tricky problems, software coding and the intricacies of electronic circuitry. In this class, students demonstrate what they’ve learned in teams, each designing, creating, testing and redesigning a robot to meet specific challenges.
In this class students are exploring sex and sexual health from a number of perspectives. However, this isn’t your father’s sex-ed class. Instead, participants are looking at sexuality through different newspapers, magazines, websites, documentaries, films, fiction and non-fiction. The focus is on stories and experiences from around the world that can be used to better understand sexuality and healthy relationships. Digital recording and podcasts are also being used to share stories and information.
Theatre Tech is designed to provide Eagle Rock School students with a basic understanding and practice of various jobs in theatre production and how to use a script to make intentional, artistic choices. This class is an introduction to the methods of set design and construction, properties design and construction, lighting and sound, costumes, publicity, and directing. Students are paired with a professional mentor to learn the skills required to create a show and implement those skills toward the next Eagle Rock School musical — Songs for a New World, a contemporary song cycle by Jason Robert Brown (performance dates: April 6-8, 2017 at the Walter G. Reusch Auditorium at the YMCA of the Rockies).
The novel To Kill a Mockingbird colorfully relates a tale of justice, judgment and morality, as well as family, gender and race. This class challenges our students to analyze the moral growth of the novel’s main characters, and then reflect on the moral growth that has occurred in their own lives. Students reflect on what experiences help them how to judge right from wrong? The answers can be found in an examination of documentation and media sources from the era of this bestseller — the Depression-era South. Students are creating their own moral and ethical code, which they can use during their graduation trimester presentation.
In this class, Eagle Rock School students are exploring the features and origins of some of the most amazing occupants of the universe — galaxies, stars, moons, planets, black holes, comets and asteroids. They are learning about the theory of gravity and how it affects objects in space. And they’re taking night “skywalks” to identify prominent constellations using the naked eye. All of this leads up to an independent research project that enables students to dig deeper into a specific space phenomenon.
The Eagle Rock School Internship Program exposes our students to career fields that are of interest to them, offering them the chance to develop skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the workplace. This career-focused internship experience is unpaid on-the-job experience that is highly touted as one of the best ways to learn the ropes in a workplace setting. In addition to “testing the waters” in a particular career pursuit, this experience teaches students about the nuances of responsibility, dependability and successfully working for someone else.
Connections in Wood
This class is a “two-fer,” in that students learn the art and craft of woodworking while completing a service-learning project that greatly benefits Eagle Rock School. Young woodworkers learn to develop a sense of design, proportion, line and detail. They discover how to apply skills in problem solving, layout, measurement, care and use of tools, cooperation and time management, all the while becoming familiar with wood, its charms and challenges. And they are developing an appreciation for other materials, tools and styles of creativity. The class culminates with the presentation of an art history project.
Lifeguarding is a popular part-time job for high school students, and a well-paying job that is transferable wherever our students may end up living post-Eagle Rock. In this class, students are learning the components of pool safety, risk management and rescue skills. Many students will complete this class with First Aid & CPR certification in hand, and potentially, lifeguard certification.
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About The Author: Dan Condon is an education activist who currently serves as associate director of professional development at the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center. Dan’s writing has been featured online in The Huffington Post and in print in the 2014 National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) Yearbook that’s titled Engaging Youth in Schools: Empirically-Based Models to Guide Future Innovations.