Morristown-Beard Upper School Curriculum

Course Search 2019-2020

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Upper School Design Arts and Sciences Curriculum

Upper School Design Arts and Sciences is a multi-disciplinary program integrated with the Center for Innovation and Design. The field and study of Design Science comprises the core of the program, and the pedagogical focus stresses personal creativity, collaboration, team building, problem solving, storytelling and media authorship. Using computers as fundamental tools, moving from “abstract” through “artifact,” students are encouraged to adopt a “design” mentality and see hands-on project work as a unified, connected activity held together by an implicit or explicit "narrative" or story-theme structure. Students are encouraged to develop and discover new skills, take pride in their creations and acquire a respect and appreciation for the work of their peers and other designers and artists.


Full Year Courses

Art 1

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 14

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Full Year Course

Art 1 is open to all students who are taking art in high school for the first time. Students should have a strong interest in art and a desire to progress in the art course sequence. A willingness to work on developing technical skills is key. The focus of the class is the elements of art, with an emphasis on basic drawing skills, perspective, composition, and color theory in a variety of media.

Art 2

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 14

Prerequisites: Art 1

Open to students in the following grades: 10, 11, 12

Full Year Course

Art 2 is for students who have successfully completed Art 1 and have a strong interest in progressing further with their art. Each student is expected to complete projects in various media including pen and ink, watercolor, scratchboard and acrylic among other mediums and materials. Emphasis is on the principles of design, illustration, pattern, creating abstraction from realism, perspective, composition and creative thinking. Good craftsmanship is stressed in all assignments and projects.

Art 3

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 14

Prerequisites: Art 2

Open to students in the following grades: 11, 12

Full Year Course

This course begins the formal process of portfolio development by introducing oils, pastels, ad mixed media, while also continuing work in all media previously studied. Life drawing, painting techniques, and selected student projects are covered with no "copy" work. There is an emphasis on realizing and enhancing students' individual style and craftsmanship, and creative thinking and original work are rigorously stressed.

Art 4

Instructor: Department Staff

Prerequisites: Art 3 plus teacher recommendation

Open to students in the following grades: 12

Full Year Course

Art 4 is for focused and serious students of the of the visual arts, who can work independently and who may be looking at an art-related major in college. At the beginning of the year, a contract is made between teacher and student regarding the course of study for the year and can include projects in a wide variety of media, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, illustration, fabrics, ceramics, printmaking, etc.. Portfolio development continues with an emphasis on creating high-quality, original work and meeting deadlines. At year's end, each student's full portfolio of work is displayed at the Upper School Art Show.

Advanced Placement Studio Art

Instructor: Department Staff

Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation

Open to students in the following grades: 12

Full Year Course

This course is intended for highly motivated students committed to the serious study of art. The end result is a three-part portfolio of 25-30 pieces submitted to Educational Testing Service for an AP grade. There are three choices for portfolio development (Drawing Portfolio, Two- Dimensional Design Portfolio or Three-Dimensional Portfolio) and each of these is divided into three equally weighed sections: Selected Works (Quality), Sustained Investigation (Concentration) and Range of Approaches (Breadth). A written statement is also required for the final portfolio. It is strongly recommended that students applying for this course consider attending a summer visual arts program before entering their Senior year.

Video Broadcast Journalism

Instructor: Department Staff

Prerequisites:

Open to students in the following grades: 10, 11, 12

Full Year Course

Video Broadcast Journalism is designed to offer an introduction to video production skills and techniques, as well as to provide a framework for developing critical content viewing skills. Through a variety of activities and experiences, students gain competencies in storyboarding, camera operation, video recording, graphic design, audio, and editing. The proficiencies gained through this course provide students with insight into career opportunities in video and television production and will provide a foundation for entrance into production courses in a post-high school setting.

Computer Arts and Sciences 1: Introduction to Design and Problem Solving

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 12

Prerequisites:

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Full Year Course

Computer Arts and Sciences (CASci) 1 is an appropriate course for students interested in improving their problem solving skills. This course is intended not only for students contemplating a career in computer science but also for those with general curiosity. No previous programming or extensive computer experience is needed. CS1 uses the Scheme programming language during the Fall Semester, to develop a solid foundation in problem solving skills by using a functional programming approach. Students switch to Processing, based on Java, for the Spring Semester. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on 2D and 3D graphics and media programming.

Computer Arts and Sciences 2: Object Oriented Design

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 12

Prerequisites: Computer Science 1 or permission of the instructor

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Full Year Course

This course continues the problem solving focus of CASci 1 and utilizes the Java language to introduce the student to object oriented analysis and design. Students will be exposed to the design of modern graphical user interfaces and graphics in all of the problem assignments. This course is essentially equivalent to a one semester CS1 course at the college level.

Computer Arts and Sciences 3: Data Structures and Algorithm Design

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 12

Prerequisites: CS1 & 2 or permission of instructor

Open to students in the following grades: 10, 11, 12

Full Year Course

This course, taught using the C language, dives deeply into the foundations of computer science. Presented with a greater level of mathematical formalism, this course is essentially equivalent to a one semester CS2 courses at the college level. Students will develop mastery of the fundamental data structures and computational algorithms of computer science, and will investigate advanced topics such as encryption, data compression and machine learning techniques as the interests of the students dictate.

Computer Arts and Sciences 4: Special Topics

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 6

Prerequisites: Computer Arts and Sciences 3 or permission of instructor

Open to students in the following grades: 11, 12

Full Year Course

CASci 4 is an opportunity for the student who has completed the CASci 1 through 3 sequence to take a deep dive into a topic of special interest to them. Within the CASci 4 structure, students work for a year as individuals or in pairs on a topic of significant scope and depth. Virtually any computer language is allowed and the topic can be anything from an exploration of the mathematics of programming to advanced 3D graphics, computer music, machine learning, computer vision, etc. The first two weeks of the course are spent defining and refining the proposed research topic with the instructor. Students are expected to have a high level of academic maturity and independence.
While completion of CASci 3 is a prerequisite, Seniors may petition to take CASci 4 concurrently with CASci 3 at the approval of the instructor.

Advanced iOS Programming

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 12

Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Full Year Course

Students will create several teacher-assigned applications as well as independent, original applications. Emphasis will be placed on gaining independence through reliance on Apple-supplied documentation as well as troubleshooting techniques. Topics will include animation, drawing, audio, video and the basics of game programming. There is a hardware requirement for this course: all students will need to bring a laptop installed with the latest versions of Mac OS and Xcode to class each day.

Space Flight Engineering and Design (H)

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: Completion of Freshman Physics and Integrated Math 2 or permission of instructor

Open to students in the following grades: 11, 12

Full Year Course

This rigorous honors elective is a multi-disciplinary course for motivated students that combines planetary science research, physics, astrodynamics, aerodynamics and systems engineering in a collaborative design environment utilizing cutting edge software (IDL/ENVI, R), the Environmental Systems Lab, the Science on a Sphere and data from current and past NASA missions. Students will be actively involved in the planning and completion of original science research utilizing high resolution and multispectral data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey spacecraft and the Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity rovers and other planetary missions (Magellan, Galileo, Cassini).

Based on their research experience, students will then design an original mission concept for an interplanetary mission to a solar system object. Each year will be a new and unique mission. Students will learn NASA and industry standard design and systems engineering methods and tools including software modeling and prototype construction using MATLab, LabVIEWS, Mathematica and other design tools.

Semester Courses—Digital and Studio

Advanced Graphic Design

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation or completion of Digital Graphic Design or their equivalents

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Spring Semester

Advanced Graphic Design builds upon the skills and concepts introduced and experienced in Digital Graphic Design. With an emphasis on product/idea identity branding and conceptual-visual design that targets web and print media, Advanced Graphic Design explores the relationship between text, graphic and photography as essential communicative components/tools of the Graphic Arts/Media community. A culminating portfolio and an oral defense will conclude the course’s activities and requirements. Enrollment in the course is dependent on either teacher recommendation or completion of Digital Graphic Design or their equivalents.

Ceramics

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 12

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

This course explores both hand building techniques (pinch, coil and slab) and the potter's wheel. Students will learn about glazes and different methods of application and will have the opportunity to use various types of high-fire clay. They will be responsible for the loading and unloading of the kiln and will gain an understanding of how to do a firing. Scheduled time on the potter's wheel is built into the course for each student. This course is open to all Upper School students with creativity and imagination and who do not mind getting a little "messy"!

The Design of Everyday Things

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites:

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

How are the objects we encounter in everyday life, some of which have existed for centuries, put together? What can we learn when we take them apart, reconstruct them along different principles, or ask them to serve different ends? In this course, students will reverse engineer, redesign, brainstorm, prototype, and encounter constraints as they come to understand why principles and possibilities of design.

Designing the Future

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites:

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

In this makerspace-based course, students will anticipate the challenges of the future. Working collaboratively and imaginatively, students will observe, research, and brainstorm to understand what the future of the planet might hold, and then design, prototype, and model to meet its needs. Work might occur on the small or large scale. Students will gain experience in the design process, in makerspace technology, and, above all else, in solving unforeseen problems with creative solutions.

Digital Arts

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites:

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Fall Semester

In this introductory course, students will learn a variety of digital art-making processes including photography, graphics design programs (e.g. iPhoto, Adobe Photoshop) and digital video and editing software. Students will be able to use digital SLR still-cameras, DV video cameras and iPads while engaging in both individual and group projects. The course will also examine historical and contemporary practices involving art and technology, and students will create their own digital portfolios with works in these forms.

Digital Graphic Design

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

Using Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Flash, Photoshop, Final Cut Motion and Live Type, as well as a variety of third party graphical editing software packages and plug-ins, this course introduces students to digital imaging, media creation and animation. The student will be encouraged to explore and experiment with a number of computer graphic modes, utilizing a variety of input peripherals like drawing tablets, scanners, digital cameras, etc. With an eye on Advertising and Marketing, design projects will be assigned where individuals and sometimes teams must brainstorm, plan, organize and create a product to be distributed in several media formats (e.g. web, print and presentation). Assessment will consist of project evaluation, group critiques and presentation.

Digital Video Storytelling

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

Web Site

This course will introduce students to digital video production and editing with a strong emphasis on organizational and communication skills. Students will learn basic video production techniques as a means of communicating a specific message to a specific audience. They will be encouraged to seek creative ways technology can help to accomplish this task, using it as a flexible tool, not an end in itself.

Glass Design

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites:

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

An introductory course in which students learn how to design and fabricate two dimensional pieces using the medium of glass. Techniques covered are drawing for stained glass, cutting glass, grinding, foiling, and soldering. The focus of the course will be on the design process, as students consider the aesthetic, functional, and economic dimensions of both the piece and the design process itself. Students will be expected to present their design idea before fabrication begins and upon the completion of a piece.

Jewelry Design

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites:

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Spring Semester

In this introductory course, students learn to design and fabricate jewelry using base metals and sterling silver. Techniques covered include various cold connections, sawing, drilling, forging, and rudimentary torch work. The focus of the course will be on the design process, as students consider the aesthetic, functional, and economic aspects of both the jewelry piece and the design process itself. Students will be expected to present their design idea before fabrication begins and upon completion of the project.

Metal Design

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Fall Semester

An introductory course in which students learn to design and fabricate various ornamental and functional objects using base metals and sterling silver. Techniques covered include various cold connections, sawing, drilling, forging and some rudimentary torch work. The focus of the course will be on the design process, as students consider the aesthetic, functional, and economic dimensions of both the object and the design process itself. Students will be expected to present their design idea before fabrication begins and upon the completion of the project.

Metal Design 2

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: Metal Design 1 or permission of instructor

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Spring Semester

In this second course in the sequence, students will continue to expand technical and creative design skills acquired in Metal Design I. They will learn how to use the torch to solder pieces together and will be encouraged to incorporate non-metal elements into their work. As in Metal Design I, the focus of the course will be on the design process, as students consider the aesthetic, functional, and economic dimensions of both the object and the design process itself. Students will be expected to present their design idea before fabrication begins and upon the completion of the object.

Music Production

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

Music Production will explore the art of songwriting, composition and arrangement along with the technology of studio recording and sound shaping techniques. Computer music, midi, the science of acoustics and film scoring techniques will be studied along the way. Recording will be done in the Wilkie Hall Media Studio using a variety of music software and equipment.

Sculpture: The 3D Experience

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 12

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Offered in the Fall and in the Spring

The focus of this course is the creation of 3-dimensional art using, but not limited to, clay, plaster, wire and everyday or found objects. Assignments will vary greatly and may include kinetic sculpture, positive and negative spatial representations and self-portraits. Both functional and conceptual projects will be undertaken and craftsmanship and creativity is stressed.

Word and Image

Instructor: English and D & S Staff

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 11, 12

Fall Semester

In this team taught course (cross listed with English), students will engage with two core questions. How important is the medium to the idea a creator attempts to communicate? Why do creators choose graphic narrative (a blend of words and pictures) as their medium? Students will study traditional art and short stories to review foundational concepts like composition, tone, genre, abstraction, and characterization. They will also study how these concepts integrate in mixed-media graphic narratives by contemporary artists. The course will allow students to outline graphic narratives, design character ensembles, submit their concepts to peer review, and finally use a variety of media, both traditional and digital, to illustrate their work. (Note: this course carries one semester of credit toward the English requirement.)

Semester Courses—Photography

Photography 1

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 9

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Fall Semester

All aspects of black and white film photography will be explored and students will be taught proper use and care of the 35mm film camera, safe use of the darkroom, rolling, developing and printing film, chemical mixing and usage and proper use and care of the enlargers and darkroom accessories. Three to four theme-based projects will be required as well as either a written final exam or practicum. While cameras are sometimes available to borrow on a very limited basis from the school, students are encouraged to use their own 35mm cameras for the course. All other materials will be supplied.

Photography 2

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 9

Prerequisites: Photography 1

Open to students in the following grades: 10, 11, 12

Fall Semester

Students will continue to explore black and white film photography while learning new processes such as burning, dodging and the use of contrast filters. Alternative Photography methods such as Solarization, toning, hand tinting and Pinhole photography will be taught within theme-based projects. While cameras are sometimes available to borrow on a limited basis from the school, students are encouraged to use their own 35mm cameras for the course. All other materials will be supplied. Visiting artists and/or field trips may be included. Student work will be exhibited at the conclusion of the course.

Advanced Photography

Instructor: Department Staff

Prerequisites: Photography 2 or Teacher Recommendation

Open to students in the following grades: 10, 11, 12

Spring Semester

This final course in the film photography sequence continues to introduce students to some new methods of Alternative Process photography which may include enlarged negatives, Platinum printing, Cyanotype, Film Transfer and Lifts, Photo-silkscreen and mixed media while exploring more deeply some of the techniques introduced earlier in the sequence. A final portfolio and exhibit are required at the end of the course.

Digital Photography

Instructor: Department Staff

Enrollment limited to: 10

Prerequisites: None

Open to students in the following grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Spring Semester

This Introductory Digital Photography course is for any student with a strong interest in photography. The course will go beyond fundamental point-and-shoot techniques to provide a deeper understanding and open the realm of possibilities available in the digital medium. Topics and projects covered may include equipment use, aperture, shutter speed, composition, focal points, contrast and lighting as well as themes such as portraiture, nature and motion among others. A basic knowledge of digital cameras is helpful, but not necessary. In order to enroll in the course, students must provide their own digital cameras.