Bridges Academy Middle School Course Descriptions
The science curriculum emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to assist students in recognizing the commonality between physical and life sciences. We utilize a strength-based focus to enhance student's individualized talents, conduct labs, and build meaningful projects which allow students to see the inter-connectedness of the world around them. Our science program stresses that the successful student will value depth and complexity over speed and coverage and develop their ability to become capable of researching and presenting as a scientific scholar in the discipline of his/ her choice and find ways to use his/her unique talents to demonstrate their understanding of the science curriculum.
Makerspace Science: The Science of Learning through Creating
Have you ever wondered what was inside of phones or computers or machines in general? Do you enjoy using your hands and imagination to construct and/or draw things? Do you like to be given a challenge and then have to problem solve to find the answer to that challenge? Can you work independently with occasional assistance? If you said yes to all of these questions, then this class is for you. Makerspace Science is learning through doing. This course focuses on a student’s curiosity to drive his/her learning. In this class, you will learn to use some basic tools in order to construct projects. You will learn about simple machines and how they can be put together to make very complex machines. You will learn about the science of physics and how to apply it to construct objects that work.
Bio-mimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
Life has evolved over 3.85 billions of years, perfecting itself and adapting to the environment. Nature’s designs are functional, sustainable, and beautiful. Bio-mimicry is an exploration of the science of life and how humans can learn from nature to better live in harmony with it. In this class, students will observe, study, and copy life’s shapes, forms, processes, and structures to create their own innovative projects and work to solve monthly challenges. The course will look at how nature’s design can be used in science, architecture, fashion, and medicine. We will investigate the life principles of bio-mimicry, how to use nature to adapt better to our environment, how to use our resources more efficiently, and how to evolve to survive through copying nature’s brilliant designs in new an imaginative ways.
If you love learning about biology, this class is for you. You will have the opportunity to explore the bizarre and the beautiful, the weird and the wild, and “mimic” them through creative activities. These activities will help you understand what is needed in order for humans to live in harmony in the complex, interrelated, and interdependent system we call life.
This class introduces students to a variety of art media and techniques, from basic drawing, painting and three-dimensional art projects, to other media such as printmaking, photography, and digital art.
Each unit corresponds with the Middle School Humanities curriculum, allowing students to delve deeply into artistic practices that are connected to the historical and cultural fabric of the United States. Students will have the opportunity to learn, discuss and create artistic representations relevant to art history, social values, materials cultures and political dogmas.
The mathematics curriculum is organized around major focal points of algebraic reasoning and problem solving, focusing on the “big ideas” in each content area. Students gain facility with evaluating expressions, solving multi-step equations, and using linear functions, exponents and radicals, polynomials and factoring. Students apply these complex procedural approaches and problem solving to project based learning while building critical thinking skills and analyzing real-world applications across disciplines. Math projects include developing instructional videos, teaching student-created lessons, creating Pi Day projects, and participating in a yearlong data inquiry project including data generation and analysis.
Offering different types of applications for each type of learner, we work to provide both the challenge and support necessary for each student to expand their mathematical understanding and gain mathematical fluency.
The Bridges Middle School Physical Education classes teach students the benefits of physical activity and promote skill development, improved self-confidence and self-esteem, self-discipline, stress reduction, improved judgment, teamwork, and strong peer relationships. Students will also learn the importance and benefits of stretching, exercising, balance, agility, improved hand-eye coordination, and practicing proper sportsmanship.
Graphics and Animation
This elective course will cover using software such as Photoshop and Flash for creative expression and graphic manipulation. Students will learn how to use “filters” and tools in Photoshop to improve and manipulate the look of photos. Students will also use Photoshop to create their own art pieces like drawings and rotoscoped images. Students will also learn how to create frame-by-frame animation and “tweens” with Flash.
America Through the Arts
America has a story to tell. From the early Native American inhabitants through the American Civil War, we will be exploring that story through the arts. What does Native American beadwork and mythology tell us about their culture? What does the painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware tell us about the spirit of the American Revolution? What insight into the life of a slave do we receive from the music they sang? Through a revealing investigation of literature, visual arts, music, and beyond, we will trace the story of America's early history and strive to understand it.
The American Experience
The story of America is a tapestry of ideas and points of view. Our exploration of early American history from the Native Americans through the Civil War will trace the major themes of our country and see how those themes play out in today's world. We will look at the American Character and what that meant with the landing of the Mayflower to what is being presented by the politicians of today. A nation of immigrants, we will explore the evolving idea of immigration through our history. Acknowledging points of view that are rarely given their due justice, we will also spend time learning about the American experience through the perspectives of both African Americans and Women. As we explore these themes, we will endeavor to answer the question, "what makes us American?" What has that meant through our history? What does that mean to us now?
What is the historical and social context for the key issues of
today? How are arguments structured to be powerful and persuasive? This course will explore the burning topics of the day through engaging debates. In addition, we will delve into the history and culture of the American experience. Debating Topics will include several of a political nature in this presidential year as well as subjects such as Great American Women who should be on our money and Censorship in Huck Finn.
Real To Reel
How can movies help us understand history? How and why do some movies change the real story? In this course, we will watch and study several important historical movies and compare them to the actual events. In addition, we will delve into the history and culture of the American experience. Some of the movies we will watch and research include Spartacus, 1776, and Roots.
This year is promising to be more exciting, rewarding, and enriching than we have experienced thus far through the implementation of a series of acting lessons and performance activities during the fall semester which will shape the subsequent season's productions. The lessons in the fall will strengthen and refine individual performance and storytelling skills while the spring will ask the students to collaborate in the pursuit of creating an original one-act play production. Ultimately every student will share their creations during two performance opportunities.
Understanding and expressing emotion is at the heart of social understanding. Students enrolled in this course will develop/enrich the ability to explore the links between
human experience and the translation to lyric and music. The human voice is not just the basis of communication, in its expression of emotion and intention it can be used to express everything from character to cultural history.
In this performance-based course, students will learn to understand the basics of the voice and communication and will be introduced in a wide-array of music from different cultures
and performance styles.
Students will work both as a group and individually to explore everything from casual conversation vs. public speaking, poetry, dialect and dialogue, patter-songs ( such as Gilbert and Sullivan), pop, and hip-hop. There will be two show-case performances in a school-year.
Talent based courses are offered through our enrichment cluster program. These semester classes meet twice per week and are created through faculty and student collaboration. Students are given the opportunity to apply acquired communication and creative skills in an environment where they contribute to the curriculum and manage the pace of the course. The following courses are offered for this academic year:
Artists in Nature
A History of Film Comedy
Anime du Japanese
Omlette du Fromage
School of Rock!
Academic Support and Advisory
Students are given the time and place to practice and apply socio-emotional and academic skills through Academic Support and Advisory (ASA). During this time, students have an opportunity to check in with his/her advisor regarding any activities outside of school, projects being completed in school and outlining his/her academic path.