Two-Day Electives (Semester-long)
We have a diverse offering of electives for our students to pursue all their different passions, ranging from debate to programming and politics. These courses meet twice per week for a semester:
Advanced Mechanics: It's Time to Build
A STEM elective for anyone interested in the framework for designing and building with any materials of their choice (e.g. cardboard, wire, pulleys, LEGOs, VEX Robotics). If you ever wanted to be experimental with mechanical engineering, this is the class for you. All you need is your curiosity and a mind for problem-solving. You will receive basic industrial and mechanical engineer practices for making your deliverable move. Use of computer programming, 3D modeling, soldering, and manual tools are optional to the course.
Journalism in the Digital Age
In our age of nonstop information, social media, and YouTube, it’s important not only to be able to analyze and choose our news wisely, but to be able to convey new ideas and share media responsibly. As young journalists, you’ll learn how to create and share several forms of journalism, including print, digital, photojournalism, social media, and broadcast news. Experience what it’s like to be part of a real newspaper staff and cover the latest news at Mirman and beyond.
The competitive debate class is open to all students, including those without previous speech and debate experience. The focus will be on policy debate, which is a two-member team event, although students choosing to do LD (one-person debate) or Public Forum (two-person) are also encouraged to enroll. This year's policy topic is immigration. Students will learn basic round mechanics (putting together speech documents, time management, strategic positioning of arguments, cross-examination methods) and argumentation fundamentals. Students taking this class are expected to attend the two league tournaments per semester and strongly encouraged to attend at least two additional invitational tournaments.
Electronic Music Production
Delve into music making! In the first semester students will learn about the components of music and what goes into making a song. They will use professional level recording tools and programs to produce original electronic music. Note: In the Spring semester elective, students will be introduced to live performance.
Experiencing French Culture Through Cartoons and Animated Movies
Class is conducted in English and movies are projected in French with English sub-titles. There is no need to speak French. The main objective is to discover different aesthetics, different approaches to moral or social values. Students debate, compare, draw connections and solicit knowledge they already have in different areas (history, politics, art, literature) in order to foster critical thinking, open mindedness, comprehension of other cultures, multiculturalism, etc.
Feminist Theory, Literature, and Applications
This course introduces students to feminist theory and engages students in the process of looking at social issues through the lens of contemporary (young adult-friendly) literature and other media. Topics include: what is feminism; intersectionality; recognizing social-economic, racial, and gender privileges; and everyday experiences with gender bias as told by women and girls. Students enrolling in this course should expect to complete regular reading assignments outside of class in preparation for class discussions.
Introduction to French
This class will cover basic communication with learned phrases, simple questions and answers, simple descriptions of people and things, and simple narration in the present. Four components will be covered: listening, writing, speaking, and culture.
Introduction to Python
Learn the basics of programing with the Python language. All skill levels are welcome!
The primary focus of this course is to prepare students for the MATHCOUNTS and AMC competitions as well as other math competitions. Along with frequent preparation, we will explore topics that foster our natural curiosity in mathematics and science. Students interested in mathematics are strongly encouraged.
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Music Performance and Songwriting
In this course, students will learn basic skills around general music theory, write original songs and play them as a group. There will be opportunities for students to write original music individually and compose a few songs as a collaborative group. Students will study song structure, musical elements and analyze lyrics throughout the semester. Students need to have prior knowledge and experience on at least one instrument (including voice).
Advanced Political Theory
Advanced Political Theory is an in-depth course based upon the politics and governments of both Europe and the United States. Students will delve deep into the function of the US and European political systems with special attention paid to the workings of a divided American government and constitutional law. To take this class, students must be either enrolled in US History (US3) or Global Studies (US4).