Newton South HS is set to launch next fall its Da Vinci Program, an interdisciplinary, project-based, collaborative STEAM (STEM + Arts) learning environment. The sophomore level of the program will start with about 46 students in the class of 2018, and for each of the next two years another sophomore cohort will be added as students move up in the program. This year, NSHS teachers in Math, Biology, Chemistry, and Art have been planning together and visiting relevant programs in other schools. Themes of the Da Vinci program will include: What is life? What is change? How do we manage it? What is the role of the individual? Students in all curriculum levels will work together in these sophomore courses:
Da Vinci Biochemistry 1: Students will explore the molecular and cellular basis of life, the structure and function of organisms, and how energy is harnessed and conserved. Term projects will integrate principles of biochemistry, technology, art, and mathematics and explore products and systems may be designed to address problems in the areas of clean water and energy.
Da Vinci Math 2: Building on Geometry and Algebra 2, students will explore exponential, quadratic, and trigonometric functions, inequalities, surface area, volume, data analysis, complex numbers, and geometric proofs in a project-based learning environment exploring real-world applications in STEM and art.
Theory of Creativity: Students will explore different ways of creating, starting with a concept, planning, producing, and revising. Through extended practical artistic expression based on themes of the Da Vinci program, students will explore how we judge a work of art, how we present information effectively, how we create to inspire, and why we are inspired.
Parents of current freshmen will learn more at Freshman Parents Night (February 25), and current freshmen will also be briefed prior to Registration Day on March 11.
The Newton South PTSO’s Success@South program has raised $17,000 toward its $20,000 goal to fund the school’s new STEAM Learning Lab, which will be used by students in and outside the Da Vinci program. Donations to close the gap are welcome!