Section I Electives: 7th/8th Grade (Students Select One Elective From Section I)
DIG IN: A GARDEN CLASS
Students will get their hands dirty learning about what it takes for the Ruffin Organic Garden to thrive in the desert. We will plant, prune, weed, water, respond to pests, compost, and harvest plants. Highlights include teaching Lower School students about gardening techniques and planning and hosting a garden market for the community. All proceeds will be donated to an organization dedicated to food insecurity. This is a semester-long course.
THEATER TECH and Production (This is TECH THEATER and MUSIC TECH combined) There will be 35 students
This course teaches the basic design and creation skills needed for behind-the-scenes aspects of theatrical production. Students learn and apply the basics of technical theater, including the creative elements of set design and construction, lighting design, prop design, costume design, and makeup design. This is a semester-long course.
Students learn to effectively tell a story by combining photography, videos, and music. They engage in photojournalism by documenting student life and events around campus, organizing and selecting images, and creating videos. Students work toward building slideshows for the eighth-grade graduation dinner and the end-of-year, all-school slideshow that best tells the story of student life on campus. This is a semester-long course.
Singing, dancing, and acting all at the same time! This performance-based elective gives every student the chance to become a triple threat on stage. The show will culminate in student-selected performances for our community at the end of the semester. This is a semester-long course.
TECH FOR GOOD
This STEM-based elective allows students to join a global community of digital humanitarians attempting to change the world. Students use the Dawson Design Process to find and solve authentic problems within our community. The main learning outcomes include understanding the principles of human-centered design, engineering, and other STEM concepts. This class can be taken multiple times. Students taking it for the first time use 3D printing and vinyl cutting to solve problems, and repeating students deepen their understanding of CAD design and broaden their technology skills by also using our laser cutter, our CNC mill, and our professional printer cutter.. This is a semester-long course.
Calling all trendsetters: Dive into the world of swag-making in the Middle School Design Lab. Learn the basics of graphic design to make custom, personalized keepsakes using high-quality resin, leather, wood, acrylic, and metal. Students will craft items using techniques like 3D printing, laser cutting, and metal casting. This class is designed for anyone interested in designing for wearing and transporting. This is a semester-long course.
Section II Electives: 7th/8th Grade (Students Select One Elective From Section II)
Students advance their skills on their respective orchestral string instruments, study music at their appropriate skill level, and perform for an audience throughout the year. This requires knowledge of rhythm and melody, as well as interpretive and technical skills. Students concurrently develop listening skills and learn about music history and theory in relation to their playing style and execution of their musical pieces. Students continue to learn increasingly complex pieces from the selected repertoire, showcasing their music comprehension. An audition is required. This is a year-long course.
ADVANCED VOCAL ENSEMBLE
This class has a very different vibe compared to the fifth and sixth-grade choir classes! Students will dive even deeper into challenging and exciting songs to develop truly strong harmonies. They will explore four-part music, music for changed voices, and lots of acapella songs. Think Glee meets Pitch Perfect. Auditions are required, as the matching of pitch is essential for this deep dive work. This is a year-long course.
C.A.F.E. (Culinary Arts and Food Exploration)
Students investigate the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics involved in food selection. They learn food handling, preparation, and presentation through practical and theoretical constructs. Milestone topics include knife skills, safety and sanitation, nutrition, menu planning, measurement and conversion, budgeting, and (of course) various forms of cooking, baking, and air frying. Competencies of collaboration, professionalism, and self-sustainability will be stressed throughout the course. This is a semester-long course.
CREATING WITH CODE: APPS, ART, ROBOTS, AND GAMES
This class is open to any 7th and 8th-grade student, regardless of skill level or experience, who is creative, collaborative, curious, and wants to be ready for the future. This class is perfect for students interested in using block coding to build video games, create unique designs, program mini robots, build apps, and run Micro:bits. This is a semester-long course.
DAWSON YEARBOOK PRODUCTION
Students become a team of intrepid reporters with experience in journalistic writing, photojournalism, thematic page design, and graphic design software. It is the ultimate Project-Based Learning course because student staffers control all aspects of this community publication. This course sometimes requires students to meet outside of designated class time due to publishing deadlines. This is a year-long course.
DAWSON DE$IGN COMPANY
Do you know what it takes to run a business that creates and sells original designs? Would you like to help Dawson raise funds for worthwhile causes? Digital fabrication tools such as laser cutters, vinyl printer/cutters, 3D printers, and CNC routers allow Dawson students to design and create professional-looking objects to be sold for profit. Learn the principles of design, understand what it takes to become an entrepreneur, and make a difference while having fun. This is a semester-long course.
FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY 7/8
Students create dynamic imagery through digital photography and Adobe Photoshop. They communicate as visual artists, develop a personal style, reflect upon their work, and discover their voice through photography. Each student creates a portfolio of traditional and manipulated art with an emphasis on visual impact and creative style. Students further refine their technical skills involving camera operation and learn an efficient workflow within Adobe Photoshop that includes individualized advanced instruction. This is a semester-long course.
Students explore different mediums, grow their artistic skill set, and navigate creative ideas. Prompts are given in accordance with the “Teaching for Artistic Behavior” educational approach to investigate artists and artistic movements and learn about the seven elements of art. In-class discussions allow students to express the message behind their works of art. Self-reflection and developmental growth will be some of the key components of this class, right alongside fun. This is a semester-long course.