Coastal Marine Ecosystems introduces principles of chemical and physical marine science, marine biology, estuarine ecology, and marine resource issues. As the students explore these concepts, they gain an understanding of the vital role of ecology in all aspects of marine science. The relevance of estuaries and marine resource issues to coastal marine ecosystems underscores how humans fit into the ecological web, bringing to students the concepts of personal and community responsibility. Humans live on the boundary between land and sea, and the students learn how challenging it is to maintain ecosystem health in the face of pollution, global change and over-fishing.
The course begins by discussing how science works – how we as students of science use scientific reasoning and systematic methods to ask questions, formulate and test hypotheses, collect data, and report our findings to our peers. The focus is on how to apply this basic understanding to the particular areas of study/research in a marine coastal ecosystem. An ongoing topic of exploration is the chemical composition of the marine environment and how tightly it is interconnected with biological, climatic and human influences. The class then jumps in to learning the species that comprise the local coastal and estuarine biological communities, asking questions at the level of the organism, the community, the ecosystem and the global biosphere.
A central component of the class is the research project. Students work in teams to conduct an original research project on questions that they develop in consultation with the teacher and with their peers. Students will gain in-depth experience with various field and laboratory research methods, marine sampling,statistical analysis and presentation of results. At the end of the semester, students will present their research findings in an Exhibition of Learning—a symposium held for an audience of peers, faculty, parents and community members.
The leadership program at Coastal Studies for Girls provides young women with the opportunity to cultivate a deeper connection to themselves, others, and the natural world in order to explore their role in leading change to create a more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable future. In this experiential education class, we engage in activities that encourage us to deepen our self-understanding, hone communication skills, improve critical thinking, practice decision-making and develop competency in outdoor living and travel to establish habits of confidence, integrity, lifelong curiosity and commitment to change. Our leadership adventure roots us deeply in place as we hike, snowshoe, backpack, canoe, kayak, camp and reflect in the rich and vibrant Maine landscape.
* this course is the equivalent of a half-credit in Physical Education.
Spring Term--History of the Modern World
This course considers major themes in world history from a global perspective. Societal Organization and Human Settlement, the Dawn of Agriculture, Exploration, Technology, Revolution, Identity and Ideology are considered as they relate to the history of our world from pre-history to the Renaissance (Fall Term) and from the Renaissance to the Present (spring Term). In particular we approach these major themes from a maritime perspective, using our proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, local waterways, and historical resources as a foundation for launching exploration and inquiry into global topics. Interdisciplinary and experiential media are tools to explore history in creative ways.
In addition to the major themes listed above, essential questions of the course consider why and how we study history, and how that record of the past is or is not relevant to our present and future. Additionally, by exploring one's own lens and bias each student considers the way in which they view the world. Collectively, we explore the concept of worldview from an individual and global perspective.
The course uses multiple sources; primary and secondary readings, essays, art, and historical documents to approach history. Students are asked to problem solve, make decisions, and consider solutions to complex global issues that affect our world today. Regular class discussions based on nightly reading and supplemental media emphasize relevance of current events as they relate to local, national, and world history as well as the students' own lives.
The Literature of Place is designed to explore our connections as humans to the world around us, and to consider how, through reading literature and doing writing exercises, we are able to share and discover a sense of place. This course seeks to provide students with an understanding of some of the ways in which literature has been a tool for understanding landscapes. We consider works by contemporary writers as well as selected classics in which the theme of sense of place is central to the meaning of the work. By considering different writers' relationships with their environment and how they convey that relationship, we explore our own sense of place. Through readings and their own writing process, students learn to identify their personal relationship to the world around them and how writing is used as a tool to develop and convey a sense of place.
The subject of place is approached through a variety of forms including descriptive, analytical, and creative writing This topic will be approached in a variety of literary forms including poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. We study grammatical constructions and how to integrate them effectively into the writing process. The development, expansion, and use of vocabulary is incorporated into reading and writing assignments to expand both critical and creative thinking skills.
By developing a sophisticated set of skills to observe and reflect upon sense of place as it relates to literature, students are better prepared to identify and understand, both literature and the natural world.
In school, work and life students will meet new challenges and will need to utilize and implement creative, flexible and adaptable mathematical skills. The objective of the math courses is to continue to develop upon the math skills of each student in order to create a problem-solving disposition that includes confidence, willingness and the ability to engage in the communication process. Scientists use mathematics as a language to communicate how different systems work. Students have opportunities in the Coastal Marine Ecosystems course to demonstrate understanding of and apply mathematics concepts through data collection, manipulation and analysis.
Students may select Algebra II, Geometry or Pre-Calculus, depending on their individual needs and the requirements of their sending school.
In our emerging global society the importance of learning a world language is increasingly evident. It is the goal of the World Language curriculum to prepare students to live in this diverse society, armed with the asset of appreciating diverse cultures and conversing in a second language.
This intermediate course is designed to meet the needs of individual students while adhering to the guidelines of both the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Maine State Learning Results. Students engage in a variety of activities designed to develop and maintain proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, listening and cultural appreciation. Examination of cultural practices, involvement in multicultural communities, making connections to other disciplines and comparisons to native language, all serve as tools for enhancing proficiency. Students share in daily group discussions, prepare brief weekly presentations on cultural topics, and create video projects of Public Service Announcements and Movie Trailers in the world language.