Science

This course focuses on the structure and function of the human body, examining specifics of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Students will focus on anatomical terminology, basic biochemistry, cells and tissues, body organization, homeostasis, and common human disease processes. In addition, students will examine the structure and function of body systems through practical examination and dissection.

What traits make humans unique as an animal species? What traits make us nothing more than a hairless version of a great ape? What is the biological and prehistoric basis for human behaviors such as: making tools, walking upright, eating meat, speaking language, separating gender roles, living in tribes and empires, identifying different races, waging war, believing in god, and destroying our own environment? Students in Anthropology will approach these questions from the vantage point of scholarly disciplines as diverse as evolutionary biology, ecology, forensics, linguistics, ethnology, archaeology, political science, economics, and sociology. The class is taught through lectures, discussions of readings, lab exercises, videos, and a major research paper.

Biology is the study of living things and the processes that define them. This class immerses the students in laboratory investigations that explore cell structure and function, heredity and genetics, classification and evolution, organisms, animal structure and plant systems. The class addresses questions like “What are some of the cycles, structures and processes that interact in our natural world, and how do these change and diversify?” and “What is evolution and how has it created biological diversification?” Students will marvel at the biological would and its impact on their daily life.

Required course

In Chemistry, students conduct field and laboratory investigations, use scientific methods during investigations, and make informed decisions using critical thinking and scientific problem solving. Students study a variety of topics that include: characteristics of matter; energy transformations during physical and chemical changes; atomic structure; periodic table of elements; behavior of gases; bonding; nuclear fusion and nuclear fission; oxidation-reduction reactions; chemical equations; solutes; properties of solutions; acids and bases; and chemical reactions. Students will investigate how chemistry is an integral part of our daily lives.

Required course

The Darrow campus and its surroundings serve as classroom and laboratory for students in Environmental Science. We will take to the fields and forests to develop our powers of observation, study local conservation efforts to understand land management and investigate the functions of our own artificial wetland, the Living Machine. Students will be challenged to consider how their daily choices impact the sustainability of the Darrow community and to engage their peers in discussion. Throughout the year, we will build skills of scientific inquiry, preparing for continued success in the sciences at Darrow and encouraging lifelong curiosity.

Required course

Experimental Photography will introduce students to alternative methods and techniques to express themselves via photographic media. The course will focus on learning the science behind image formation and capture on light sensitive materials and will use these principles to create artwork via traditional and non-traditional photographic processes. Students will use the photographic techniques discussed to reinforce their study of the elements and principles of art and design. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to: Pinhole cameras, their design, construction, and use as a lensless camera medium; the anthotype process where plant pigments are used as light sensitive materials; investigation of photogram techniques to introduce modern photographic paper; contact printing from digitally or traditionally produced internegative and interpositive images for the use in alternative printing processes; the use of traditional camera systems to capture non-traditional light sources (lasers, light painting, stroboscopic photography). This course is open to juniors and seniors with prior art experience. No camera is required for this course.

This course is cross-listed with Visual Arts. Students must choose which department they will receive credit in.

The objective of Field Ecology is to equip students with the tools to read, understand and investigate the landscape they live in through the lense of an ecologist. We will cover the key concepts in population distribution and community composition and confront the work of pioneering ecologists. We will aim to do this through field observation and development of research sites around Darrow’s campus. Applying ecological methods in the field, we will become familiar with the organisms who share our Mountainside and begin to grasp how and why they live here. Students will be assessed on their dedication to the process of fieldwork, their level of preparation for class discussions, and their work during the process of producing a report on their methods and findings.

Our health course is organized around the question "How can we make healthy lifestyle decisions consistent with our values and goals". Students will investigate a number of topics related to physical and mental health to become not only better informed but better able to assess the ever changing flood of information and misinformation related to health. The goal is to prepare students to take responsibility for their own health, as educated consumers of health services, and even more importantly, as the architects of their own personal wellness. Among the issues to be explored are the following: human body systems, nutrition, exercise, sleep hygiene, mental health/managing emotions, communication/relationships, stress and relaxation, addictions (both substance and non substance) and sexual health.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to play a sport on the moon? Or have you wanted to design a roller coaster ride? Physics allows you to understand how matter and energy interact so that you can meaningfully engage in exploring these questions and more. This class will be organized around a series of design challenges that will be based upon your growing knowledge of mechanics, acoustics, optics, heat, electricity, magnetism and other aspects of this science called physics. We will investigate these concepts of physics together and apply engineering practices to meet the goals of each challenge.

See History Department offerings for course description.

This course is cross-listed. Students must choose which department to receive credit in.

Robotics is a hands-on introduction to the concepts and applications of robots. A robot is an embedded configuration of software and hardware designed to interact with its surroundings autonomously and or via human input. Students work in team to build a variety of fixed and mobile devices. Programming onboard microprocessors teaches students coding using C programming language. Cad applications are incorporated for mechanical design and the mechanics of gearing, torque, speed and power. Sensors will be used for interaction and input from the surrounding environment. This class is open to all levels of experience.