These courses broaden and deepen our curriculum as they build on our students’ engagement with several disciplines. Many of them take place in our i.d.Lab — where teachers and students collaborate to catalyze discovery through project-based learning and practical applications.

Katharine H. Jewett, PhD, Director of Curricular Initiatives

Sample Courses

Reverse Engineering: How Things Work

Students learn to take apart various mechanical and electrical devices and examine how component parts work together. Engineering skills such as sketching, 3D modeling, prototyping, testing, and clear communication are emphasized. An introduction to microcontrollers and programing is included and students build several devices of their own design. Hands-on experimentation is emphasized and students learn to use some 3D modeling software (Google SketchUp), 3D printers, and Arduino microcontrollers.

Introduction to Design: How to Make Almost Anything

This course is a hands-on introduction to being a 21st century maker-scholar-inventor that meets students where they are. It is a makers’ workshop, a design lab, and a creative-programming studio, intended to provide a supporting framework for students’ research and development as they build innovative projects of their own design. This class focuses on storytelling and narrating what we do, documenting projects and generating a shared dialogue of what is observed and learned along the way.

Cognitive Neuroscience

One of the fastest growing research areas in science is neuroscience. Cognitive and behavioral studies have attracted considerable popular and scientific attention in recent years and new techniques have opened up novel avenues for exploration. This course provides an introduction to the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal function, and examines how cognitive processes can be explained by the structure and function of the brain.

Visual Mathematics

Mathematical concepts are embedded in many art forms— whether they were intended by the artist or as a result of what was aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This course offers students the opportunity to explore these connections from a mathematical perspective. Topics from geometry, such as constructions, proofs, the Golden Ratio, similarity, and polygons are explored. From analytic geometry and algebra, students work with transformations, compositions, vectors, matrices, fractals, and the Fibonacci sequence. Three dimensional constructs, including polyhedra, Platonic and Archimedean solids are included. Throughout the term students complete art projects in relation to each topic.

Seminar in Art History

This seminar considers the architecture of Choate Rosemary Hall and its historical antecedents from Italy, England, and America. Considerable study is devoted to Ralph Adams Cram’s Seymour St. John Chapel and Archbold Hall, I.M. Pei’s Paul Mellon Arts Center and Icahn Center for Science, and Pelli Clarke Pelli’s Lanphier Center. Students acquire an understanding of the principles of these buildings, their place in the history of architecture, and their impact on teaching and learning at our school.