At the heart of our curriculum are Learning Expeditions, which are long-term, in-depth investigations of rich topics or themes that engage students through fieldwork, service, and a real-world context for their learning.
Farm to Table
This Learning Expedition will explore the fabric of the global food system, and its environmental, biological, economic, and social aspects. Students will partner with six local farms and will make connections between the economic, social, and environmental value of these farms and their relationships to the people and history of Boulder County. The products of meaning for this course will be a GIS (Geographic Information Study) of four farms/ranches mapping the topography and vegetation of each property with detailed information on existing and potential crops, costs, profits and other economic aspects of each property. These will also include a scale model of each property and a proposal for possible strategies for each farm.
In this Learning Expedition students will explore how the natural world, necessity and values shape the development of built environments. With cities as the organizing principle, the class will delve into the evolution of transportation, geographic organization and social/political culture. Highlights of the experience will include a current land use inventory in conjunction with the City of Boulder Office of Planning and Development Services and a 5-day immersion experience in New York City. Students will have opportunities to learn and demonstrate their knowledge through hands-on projects, real-world application/communication, and an eclectic variety of print and digital media.
Water and the West
This Learning Expedition is an investigation of our human relationship with a scarce natural resource. This expedition will weave together elements of Field Biology, Physics, Economics, Mathematics, Literature of the West, Nature Writing, and Stewardship of Boulder Creek. Students will explore the waterways of the area on foot and by kayak, and will work with Geographic Information Systems technology to gain a better understanding of the Boulder Creek Watershed.
This Learning Expedition will investigate architecture by having the students design, draft, and model plans for a new school on the current Watershed site. The expedition will focus on the relationship between the natural environment around the school and the construction, as well as practical use, of the school. Students will also study the history of architecture and examine the relationship between culture and design.
Students will investigate the engineering and science used in architecture (with heavy emphasis on environmentally sustainable architecture); explore the history, art, and literature from different time periods in order to understand the evolution of architecture; and interview experts in the field and collect data in order to familiarize themselves with the practical use of space in a school.
Democrats in a Republic and Republicans in a Democracy
This Learning Expedition is a hands-on look at government and citizenship. This expedition will seek out vital connections among studies in Comparative Government, Political Philosophy, History of our state and country, Economics, and Multicultural Literature. In exploring our responsibilities as citizens, Watershed students will be challenged to promote greater understanding of the political process among teenagers, and will work with artistic expression as a means to communicate one’s beliefs.
Skill-Builder Workshops supplement Learning Expeditions by giving students a double dose of critical skills.
Explore classes offer students a chance to pursue their interests and discover new passions.
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