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Our Discovery Program is designed for our seventh and eighth-grade students who wish to pursue their passions. The courses in the Discovery program contain a rigorous collection of content designed to allow highly motivated learners to select a path to either discover STEM or discover Humanities further. Throughout the first semester, students will take a deep dive into each course along their chosen path. During the second semester, students will engage in a culminating project of their own design focused on an interest discovered during their coursework. These projects, completed in partnership with community members and Discovery teachers, will give students real-world practice in research, written, and spoken expression all while learning more about topics that inspire them. Students will be expected to present in a Spring Consortium toward the end of the school year. This is a year-long program and aligned with the Upper School  Concentrations track to give students a preview of opportunities to come.

The Path to Discover STEM

The course will cover principles of Computer Science including skills to prepare for what will be expected at the next level such as file management, office proficiency, e-mail, and Internet safety, plus, the concepts of Computer Science and Coding through both unplugged and online activities. Development of critical/creative thinking skills and troubleshooting will also be heavily reinforced. Students will be given the opportunity to look for ways in which learners can explore science, engineering, art, and technology by designing and building projects, solving problems, and creating personally meaningful solutions to their own goals.

This is an exciting class that allows students to explore a science or engineering topic of their choice. Students will design and complete their investigation under the direct supervision of a teacher. The class will cover the basics of research design, the scientific method, and scientific inquiry.

The Environmental Design course will provide students with the skills to understand, analyze, and solve problems with a view toward community planning, physical development, and the design of sustainable environments. Students will learn to confront and celebrate nature as they engage in annotating and analyzing to become critical thinkers. 

This course is designed to teach fundamental, universal programming concepts, such as problem-solving, variables, and conditional loops. Students will learn through immersive challenges that will extend their ability to problem solve as they develop a deeper understanding of coding.  Students will develop skills in order to code an independent project of their own design.  No prior programming experience is required for this course.

The Path to Discover Humanities

COTA challenges students to examine their community and its needs, then address those needs through arts initiatives. Students will learn how art promotes communication between cultures, preserves history, changes people’s opinions, and how it preserves the feelings of a culture. Students will collaborate to understand how art impacts communities. 

This course focuses on learning the elements of journalism, public speaking, and interpersonal communication. Students who are interested in developing a podcast or YouTube channel can explore researching, writing, editing, and recording their own informative content. Every student will be responsible for working with a team to brainstorm ideas for stories, research, conduct interviews, write copy, and edit copy. 

This writing enrichment course is designed to provide students with additional instruction and writing experience. Each student is encouraged to try new techniques and experiment with developing a personal voice in writing as they learn to think and read like writers and, in so doing, are exposed to writing as a culture. The course intends to spark students’ creative passions.

Students will research and analyze the various perspectives in theatre arts. Basic understanding of stagecraft, acting practices, rehearsal techniques and character development are also covered. Students develop a mastery of theatre critique and different theatrical styles. Students are given opportunities to develop their creativity and leadership skills through collaborative activities and group projects