Freshman Electives

2019-2020

Year-Long Courses

1410 Journalism
Prerequisites: Freshmen must score at the 80th percentile in at least two of the three subsets of the HSPT: verbal, reading, and language.
Length of Course: One year
Credit: One in Fine/Communication Arts

This course introduces students to the skills and knowledge necessary to work as a high school journalist. In addition to studying the history of American journalism, students learn the basic principles of news writing, feature writing, photography and design. With hands-on, practical activities and projects, this course provides necessary knowledge for joining the school’s newspaper or yearbook.

7001 Drawing I
Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One year
Credit: One in Fine/Communication Arts

The goal of this course is to develop the student's power of observation. The course includes the basics of contour line drawing, linear perspective, composition, color theory, and the principles, techniques, and methods of shading with lead and charcoal pencil, ink, conte, and pastels. Students should have some ability to draw what is seen. This course is a prerequisite for Advanced Drawing and Painting classes.

7141 Concert Choir
Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One year
Credit: One in Fine/Communication Arts

Concert Choir is a non-auditioned choir for freshmen. There is no experience required. Students will explore a wide variety of genres, languages and musical styles increasing in difficulty throughout the year. Instruction will focus on essential skills including vocal tone, range, historical context, musical literacy, and expressive skills. Concert Choir will perform in all concerts at STA and in State MSHSAA festivals.

8501 Introduction to Band

Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One year
Credit: One credit

This course provides an opportunity for students with minimal or no prior experience to play in a school concert band program. This course will focus on how to play brass or woodwind instruments. Students will learn to read music and develop foundational instrumental techniques that can be applied to areas such as musical performance, composition, and improvisation. In addition, students will receive guidance in techniques for producing proper tone, pitch, rhythm, posture, and dynamics. Through in-class instruction, individual practice, and playing assignments, the student will advance in their understanding of performance and music pedagogy. There is a 10.00 fee for music method book and an instrumental rental fee may apply.

8511 Introduction to Orchestra 

Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One year
Credit: One credit

This course provides an opportunity for students with minimal or no prior experience to play in a string orchestra program. This course focuses on learning how to play the violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass. Students will learn to read music and develop foundational instrumental techniques that can be applied to areas such as musical performance, composition, and improvisation. In addition, students will receive guidance in techniques for producing proper tone, pitch, rhythm, posture, and dynamics. Through in-class instruction, individual practice, and playing assignments, students will advance in their understanding of music performance and music pedagogy.  There is a 10.00 fee for music method book and an instrumental rental fee may apply.

8560 Introduction to Acoustic Guitar 

Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One year
Credit: One credit

This course provides an opportunity for students with minimal or no prior experience to play in an acoustic guitar ensemble. Students will learn to read music and develop foundational instrumental techniques that can be applied to areas such as musical performance, composition, and improvisation. Through in-class instruction, individual practice, and playing assignments, the student will advance in their understanding of music performance and music pedagogy. An instrumental rental fee may apply.


Semester Courses

7500 Acting I
Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One semester, available first semester
Credit: One-half in Fine/Communication Arts

Have you ever wanted to try acting but were too scared to give it a shot? Then this is the class for you! Learn acting in a non-threatening atmosphere. The focus of this course will be acting technique but students will also read, analyze, and evaluate several plays from different eras of theatre history. Students will perform scenes and monologues from both theatre and film mediums and will learn the importance of body and breath control. Students will be expected to attend one theatrical production during the course of the semester.

9825 Jazz and Musical Theater Dance
Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One semester
Credit: One-half in Fine/Communication Arts

This course features dances from the 1920’s to the present: the Charleston to Hip-Hop. Choreography from West Side Story, All That Jazz, A Chorus Line, Hamilton, and La La Land will be practiced and studied. Students will sharpen their coordination, rhythm and dance technique.

7680 Theatrical Design
Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One semester
Credit: One-half in Fine/Communication Arts

This course will focus on the non-performance aspects of theatre. Students will learn the basics of design by creating their own set, costume and makeup designs. Students will be expected to attend one theatrical production during the course of the semester.

7310 Ceramics I
Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One semester
Credit: One-half in Fine/Communication Arts

This course is an introduction to ceramics that develops an understanding of form, function, craftsmanship, and the creative thought process. The class will explore hand building and wheel throwing techniques, with an emphasis on both sculptural and functional three-dimensional form. Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas and concepts. An idea involves not only the physical but also personal interactions with that idea.

7830  3D Design & Sculpture 

Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One semester; available both semesters
Credit: One half in Fine/Communication Arts

This class is an entry level class which involves working on  3 dimensional design with a variety of materials including clay, plaster, plastics and wood. Both additive and reductive sculptural techniques will be used. Students learn the elements of 3 dimensional objects: creating or possessing the dimensions of depth as well as height and width including form, volume, mass and positive and negative space. Manipulation will involve sculptural techniques of shaping pliable materials by hand or utilizing tools. Discussions of the art historical importance of sculptural form both contemporary and historically are discussed throughout the class. The class will include presentations and field trips to local museums and galleries. There is no previous experience required.

8370 Computer Programming I 

Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One semester
Credit: One half credit

Students will learn to write, develop, and process programs using the Python programming language. The course is designed to provide a hands-on, problem-solving experience for students. Topics for the course include basic programming skills, decisions, and loops.

8420 App/Game Development 

Prerequisites: None
Length of Course: One semester
Credit: One half credit

This course will first teach students the fundamentals of app design and development using the App Lab software, which is an online tool that allows for both drag-and-drop and text-based programming. Students will also learn about prototyping, wireframing tools, UX / UI design, and business models for different apps. Students will then be introduced to the GameMaker software, which has been used to create popular games such as Undertale and Spelunky. Topics include game development concepts such as graphics, animation, events, and object interactions, as well as the history of game development and principles of good game design.