ISA Courses

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2014-2015 Electives Courses available at ISA

Science and Math Electives

Neurobiology (1.0 credit, 3854Z) -- is a fun elective that looks at many aspects of the brain.  We will look at different types of memory and how they work, and are affected by stress, sleep, the senses, disorders of the nervous system, brain development and even drugs and addiction.  We will use you as a test subject to find out more information about your brain and nervous system. The class is meant to be fun and hopefully eye opening with applications students can use in school and at home.  [Available to 11 and 12]

AP Environmental Systems (1.0 credit, 3743Z) -- This science class interweaves and reinforces concepts learned in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There is a basic science concept review, i.e. atoms, molecules and biology basics, energy flow within a system. In addition we look at endangered species, viral and bacterial infections, human population control and analyze our usage of water, energy and other resources. The goal is to better understand how the world works together, in unison, and how to correct human impact on the earth.  [Available to 11 and 12]

AP Biology (1.0 credit, 3243Z) -- We will cover molecular processes, i.e. cellular organelles, replication, transcription, photosynthesis and cellular respiration. There is also a large portion of time spent looking at the bodies of plants and animals and how the work.  So be prepared to go through all the body systems! There is a large amount of material to cover, but we make it fun as possible. We will transform bacteria to glow green, dissect fetal pigs and dogfish sharks. We conduct genetic experiments with plants and perhaps flies. Be prepared to work!  [Available to 11 and 12]

AP Chemistry (1.0 credit, 3343, offered at Lee) -- is a second year course in chemistry for students who have completed Pre-AP Chemistry. This course includes a strong emphasis on lab investigations and prepares student to take the advanced placement exam in the spring. There is greater depth of study in this second year course and it is recommended that students have completed Algebra 2 before taking this course.  [Available to 11 and 12]

AP Physics B (1.0 credit, 3442L, offered at STEM) -- is a second course in physics for students who have completed Pre-AP Physics. This is a comprehensive course that covers mechanics, waves, light and optics, electronics and magnetism, and thermodynamics. This course is based on Algebra II and trigonometry and is perfect for the student who is enrolled in pre-calculus during their senior year and interested in continuing an investigation of physics. [Available to 12 only]

AP Physics C (1.0 credit, 3443L, offered at STEM) -- is a second course in physics for students who have completed Pre-AP Physics. The course emphasizes problem-solving methods for real-world and sometimes ill-defined problems, introduces students to new topics in mechanics, and incorporates Calculus-based methods for solving physical problems.  [Available to 12 only]

Astronomy (1.0 credit, 3650Z) -- is a course that will delve into knowns and unknowns of space ranging from our solar system to the distant reaches of the universe. Topics will include cosmology, structure and lifetime of the universe, star formation and lifetimes, the history and formation of our own solar system, observational astronomy, astronomical instruments, the historical aspect of astronomy, and many other fascinating topics. There will be an observing requirement of a couple of nights every nine weeks. It is also recommended that the student is at least in Algebra II as there will be a heavy math component to the course. [Available to 11 and 12]

AP Probability and Statistics (1.0 credit, 2947Z) -- is a non-calculus based course that introduces the student to the management, interpretation, and analysis of data within today's society.  Topics include exploratory data analysis; observing patterns and departures from patterns; planning a study and deciding what data to measure and how to measure it; producing models using probability and simulation; and applying techniques for statistical inference and confirming models. This concept-based course emphasizes reasoning and creating written arguments that are supported by data analysis.  Projects and collaborative work are a key part of instruction.  Application fields include psychology, engineering, sociology, business, medicine, economics, and more. Students must have completed Algebra II.  [Available to 11 and 12]

Fine Arts Electives

ART 1: Global Art I (1.0 credit, 5511Z) -- an Art I studio class, through projects, lecture, discussion, and research, examines the cultural and historical aspects of art. Students will study the elements of art and the principles of design; experience and develop basic skills with a variety of media including electronic; and explore personal expression and creativity.  Both a studio workspace and a digital portfolio will be created and maintained throughout the year.  [Available to 9, 10, 11, and 12]

Art 2: Global Art 2 (1.0 credit, 5525Z) -- an Art II studio class, through projects, lecture, discussion, and research, examines the cultural and historical aspects of art. Students will extend and practice basic skills acquired in Global Art I (or another Art I course) with a variety of media including electronic; and explore personal expression and creativity. While the course will be listed as a Painting II course it will have students experience projects like sumi e, Japanese brush painting, calligraphy, decoration on ceramics, shibori (Japanese tie dye) and other cultural traditions around the world. Both a studio workspace and a digital portfolio will be created and maintained throughout the year.  [Available to 10, 11, and 12]


English Language Arts and Social Studies Electives

Creative Writing (0.5 credit, 1634Z) -- Focuses on personal expression through writing. Students investigate the poem and the short story, using these genres as vehicles for articulating their thoughts and opinions. [Available to 9, 10, 11, and 12]

Philosophical Literature/Humanities (0.5 credit, 1633Z) -- Explores some of the major questions of philosophical thought including identity (“Who am I?”), aesthetics (“What is beauty?”), epistemology (“How do I come to know things?”), metaphysics (“What is the general truth of human existence?”), logic (“How valid is an argument?”), morality (“What is right and good?”), religion (“How do people conceptualize their spiritual beliefs?”), and politics (“How should I relate to society?”). The course will utilize primary texts (the actual writings of philosophers) representing major developments in philosophical history, from the ancient Greek philosophers to contemporary thinkers. [Available to 9, 10, 11, and 12]

The Writings of James Joyce (0.5 credit, 1525ZL) -- One of the most challenging and intricate novels ever written and number one on the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels of the Twentieth Century, James Joyce’s Ulysses explores an eighteen-hour period in the lives of three people through the lenses of history, religion, literature and mythology. The course begins with readings from Joyce’s short story collection Dubliners and his second book, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man as preparation for Ulysses, the reading and study of which will occupy the rest of the semester. Students should be self-motivated, college-level readers with a tolerance for ambiguous, allusive and multi-layered texts. Regular participation in discussions and an essay are required. [11 and 12 only]

Literary Genres: Shakespeare (0.5 credit, 1602Z) -- offers an opportunity to explore some of the most famous, influential and popular literature of all time. Through the study of William Shakespeare’s plays and poems, students will build close reading and reading comprehension skills, expand vocabulary, and increase familiarity with literary techniques and devices such as theme, symbolism and allusion. Although this is not an official AP course, the texts and skills utilized will supplement students’ preparation for the SAT and the AP English Language and Literature exams. [9, 10, 11, 12]

Minority Literature (0.5 credit, 1606Z) -- is a course designed to give “voice” to minority writers from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. These writers include, but aren’t limited to, African-American, Women, Latino, and Native American authors. Students will read a variety of genres as they examine the historical and cultural significance of these writers.  The course is will reinforce the English Language Arts concepts and skills.  [Available to 9, 10, 11, and 12]

Practical Writing  (0.5 credit, 1635Z) -- is designed to help students develop as writers while writing for purposes and audiences that matter to them in the real world. The course follows a writing workshop format with mini-lessons, writing time, and opportunities to share and receive feedback. Students can choose to work on any kind of writing, but the emphasis will be on college application essays. This class will emphasize growing as a writer, not just improving a single piece of writing. [Available to 12, fall semester only]

Research Writing (0.5 credit, 1636Z) -- offers students an opportunity to improve their preparation for the demands of writing in college. Students will participate in the entire writing process, from selecting a topic, to conducting research, to composing and revising a substantial paper. [12, spring semester only]

21st Century Global Leadership (0.5 credit, 4849Z) -- What does it mean to be a global leader in the 21st century and what does that have to do with me? We will explore this question personally and collectively as we participate in a Flat ClassroomTM Project. This project gives you the opportunity to put your global leadership skills into practice as you collaborate with students from around the world to research, compose a wiki page, and create a multimedia video project about technology’s role in globalization. This course is a measure for Distinguished Achievement Plan [Available to 11 and 12]

AP Psychology (0.5 credit, 4829Z) -- Explore the far reaches of the human mind and potentially earn college credit. We will examine the history of psychology and the psychologists who created the field, we'll study the structure of the brain and the way it relates to human functioning, we'll learn about research methods and statistics, and we'll explore psychopathology. If you've ever wondered what psychological disorder is associated with phantom smells of citrus, if you've ever wondered why Henry James made literature sound like psychology and Willie James made psychology sound like literature, or if you've ever wondered what really is going on inside your little brother's mind, AP Psych is the place to find out.  [Available to 10, 11, and 12]

AP European History (1.0 credit, 4221, offered at Lee) -- This is a first year college level course in European History.  It is designed to help students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials of European History.  Students will learn to assess historical materials – their reliability and the importance – and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.  Students are encouraged to take the AP Examination in European History given in May of each year.  [Available to 10, 11 and 12]

Sociology (0.5 credit, 4831Z) -- This course includes the nature of sociology, culture, socialization, groups and institutions, communications, and cultural development and change.  Students will have an opportunity to explore the major tools of the science of Sociology, such as analyzing types of groups and interaction among groups, understanding the impact of media on groups, and analyzing the impact of science and technology upon people and cultures.  [Available to 10, 11, and 12]

AP Human Geography (0.5 credit, 4123Z) -- This class is designed to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface.  Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences.  They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.  [Available to 10, 11 and 12]

Discovering Asia (0.5 credit, 4854ZA) --  This class will be an in-depth study of Asia including culture, religion, and politics of the continent. The course will be divided into units on the different regions within the continent and will include looking at the growth and boom of Asian culture and language worldwide. The course will also include opportunities to collaborate on curricular projects with our sister schools in Takayama, Japan and Jiamusi, China. [Available to 10, 11, and 12]

Discovering the Arab World (0.5 credit, 4854ZW) -- This class will be an in-depth study of Northern Africa and Southwestern Asia including culture, religion, and politic. The course will be divided into units on the different geo-political regions and will include looking at evolution of culture and language and worldwide implications. The course will also include opportunities to collaborate on curricular projects with students attending schools in these regions. [Available to 10, 11, and 12]

World Religions (0.5 credit, 1351Z) -- Why does evil exist?  What makes something sacred?  Why are we here?  How should one attempt to live a moral life? Explore the kaleidoscope of  major world religions that attempt to answer these questions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Baha’i, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Sikhism, and Taoism. The course will examine the cultural roots, major leaders, and the sacred texts of each faith. A focus will be placed on how these religions are practiced in modern times and how they affect global political and social issues today. The course will also include opportunities to collaborate on projects with students attending sister schools throughout the world. [Available to 10, 11, and 12]