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Digital Media Arts Course Descriptions

2-D AnimationTop of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class

Prerequisite:  Art 1                                                                                                          

This course provides students with a basic understanding of the principles of animation and how they can be applied to hand-drawn and computer-generated work.  Students will work individually as well as in production crews through the Pre, Pro and Post Production Processes to complete polished animated shorts. Students will learn to create fully-realized animated content with ToonBoom Studio software, by writing scripts, designing storyboards, drawing animations and recording and syncing soundtracks. Topics and techniques explored may include: stop-motion, narrative structure, propaganda and advertising, and animation for education.

Art 1-PTop of Page

College prep, grades 9-12, year-long class  

Whether drawing comes naturally to you or you struggle to draw a recognizable stick man, if you have a desire to learn how to draw and create visual art, this class is for you! In this course you will learn the basics of creating and speaking the language of Art. We will explore Art through cultures and history to better our artistic appreciation. In this class, we will focus on learning many drawing mediums and styles. Students will also learn artistic composition and design.

Art 2-PTop of Page

College prep, grades 10-12, year-long class 
Prerequisite: Art 1
If you have passed Art 1 and you are excited to learn more, then Art 2 is the class for you! In this course you will be able to develop and improve your use of familiar art techniques and will also be given the opportunity to learn new color based art mediums and methods. This class will strongly stress client art and design, composition and color theory. Art projects in the course will be more advanced and structured in design. Mural and large scale painting will be a major emphasis in this class. 

Art 3Top of Page

Grades 11-12, year-long class 

Prerequisite: Art 1 and 2

This course is designed for serious Art students who are looking for the opportunity to have more time to learn and grow on a deeper level. In this class students will do advanced projects and be allowed to work with the teacher, one-on-one, to develop their own style. Students will learn Art and design concepts and techniques while having the freedom to choose their creations’ concepts and mediums. Students will have more impact on the direction of their learning. Some of the focuses in this class will include character design, mixed media and visual story telling. Art 3 will be offered every other year, in rotation with Art 4.

Art PortfolioTop of Page

Grades 11-12, year-long class

Prerequisite: Students must be enrolled as an Art major and be meeting all of the Art Major requirements.

This class will give Art majors the time to independently create a digital portfolio. Students will learn how to photograph and edit their work to create a personal website that they will be able to use to get jobs, into Art colleges and network with other artists. Students will work independently with a very specific task list with hard due dates. Students will learn to write a biography and artist statement, design and create business cards and bio cards as well as using free time to create masterpieces for their portfolio. It is recommended that Art majors take this class their junior year so that they will be ready to apply for Art colleges their first semester their senior year. A maximum of 2 Art Portfolio students will be allowed per period. 

Ceramics 1-PTop of Page

College prep, grades 9-12, year-long class  

This course is intended for those studying ceramics for the first time and also returning clay artists! It is a comprehensive introduction to the art of pottery and clay work with equal emphasis given to the skills of designing and constructing. In this class we will explore hand-building as well as an introduction to the potter's wheel. You will learn to plan, draw, sculpt, and glaze your pottery using a variety of decorative techniques. The primary emphasis is on studio work leading to a diverse portfolio of finished pieces by the end of the semester.

Ceramics 2Top of Page

Grades 10-12, year-long class 

Prerequisite: Ceramics 1

This course is designed for the experienced sculptor and clay artist. In this class, students will develop and improve their clay skills while simultaneously developing their personal style. Students will also dive into wheel throwing, learning new techniques such as centering, pulling, and trimming. Students will have some opportunity to independently create artworks that are a reflection of the techniques taught in class and their own artistic voice. Students will design and create both functional and concept driven artwork. Advanced glazing methods will also be learned.

ChoreographyTop of Page

Grades 10-12, year-long class

Prerequisites: Student must have previous dance experience; preferably at least two or more years of technical dance training in any genre. Dance 1A & 1B or equivalent is required.  Freshmen must seek instructor permission. Choreography students must be concurrently enrolled in one of the following dance technique classes: Dance 2, Dance 3, Dance 4, Dance Teaching Practicum (Dance TA for any other dance class), or Dance Styles.

Imagine, create, and share your vision of dance with the world. A theoretic and applied study of the basic elements of choreography will be introduced and explored through the creation of original works. Choreography will be approached through the exploration of resources including improvisation, use of ideas, knowledge of forms, and development of the craft. Students will be exposed to various choreographic processes, terminology, and potential performance venues. Students will receive weekly assignments directed toward specific problems and dance elements; then begin to develop works with an emphasis on the relationship between manipulation of musical phrases and choreography. Students will learn to move from phrase development to the completion of a dance. They will learn to critique dances through the workshop process by observing, reflecting, discussing, evaluating, and making recommendations for revision. The culminating class project will be to collectively produce a dance production and incorporate such elements as costumes, lighting, original music, props, sets, and professional staging. Students will also learn to imaginatively use technology to support their dances and personal choreographic process. Students can expect to create three to four dances over the year with at least one being staged for audience.

Creative WritingTop of Page

Grades 9-12, semester-long class

Prerequisite: none

This course is for those students who enjoy writing and taking risks with their imaginations. We will read creative works by classic and cutting-edge writers and focus on what makes vivid, effective and engaging writing across the genres. We will particularly but not exclusively emphasize fiction and poetry. (Class may be repeated.)

Digital Photography 1 -PTop of Page

College prep, grades 9-12, year-long

Come explore the world of digital photography! This course provides an introduction to the fascinating technology that is catapulting the photographic world. We'll discuss the basics of digital photography equipment and use industry standard digital editing software (Adobe PhotoShop CS6), camera equipment and studio lighting. Students also have introductory instruction in the history of photography, design, rules of composition, and career options in photography, along with commercial and personal applications. Some projects include Landscape, Outdoor Portrait, Studio Portrait and Product Photography. Whether you're new to photography or a long-time photographer, this class will provide opportunities to hone your digital photography skills.

Digital Photography 2 Top of Page

Grades 10-12, year-long class

Prerequisite: Digital Photography or equivalent

If Digital Photography inspired you, this course will take you deeper into the world of photography, the study of aesthetic and technical theories while at the same time letting you develop a personal photographic vision and style. Students will explore advanced digital camera and image editing software techniques in Adobe PhotoShop CS6, Adobe Bridge and Illustrator. Students will use their own creative expression to implement personal projects that result in a portfolio of quality images. Some course projects include creating photographs for a defined purpose using approved composition and layout techniques, graphic design projects, fashion photography, advertising photography and fine art photography. If you are interested in digital imaging and design this course is for you!

Electronic Music CompositionTop of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class

Electronic Music Composition is designed to give students the necessary tools and techniques to create contemporary electronic music in a variety of styles. Students will learn the history of electronic music with listening examples that highlight the important people, technology, and techniques associated with electronic music styles. The lessons will include videos describing musical, DAW (Digital Audio Workstations), and synthesis techniques. There will also be a research and analysis component in which students learn to listen critically and adapt to changes in technology and public musical taste. Pro Tools is the primary DAW used in the course and some online programs will be introduced.  Students will be allowed to bring a personal laptop and use their own software to complete certain projects. The course teaches musical topics like melody, rhythm and harmony within the framework of a DAW, starting with an introduction to common scales and rhythms and the developing more complex musical elements throughout the course.

Electronics / RoboticsTop of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class

E/R Introduces the basic skills needed for many careers in electronics and related fields and prepares a technical foundation for intermediate and advanced engineering courses. The course covers the operations and applications of basic DC and AC circuits consisting of resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers and diodes. Students learn to use common test instruments including volt/ohm meters, oscilloscopes and signal generators for circuit analysis and troubleshooting.  Students construct a radio-controlled car as they learn circuit board construction techniques, trouble shooting skills, basic circuit analysis and radio wave propagation theory.  Robotics uses a hands-on approach to introduce the basic concepts in robotics, students will work in teams to build and test increasingly more complex LEGO-based mobile robots, culminating in an end-of-term team robot contest. Teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving are emphasized.

Humanities CafeTop of Page

Grades 9-12, semester-long class
Prerequisite:  B average in English or teacher approval
This elective course will study the human condition as it is creatively expressed in literature as well as visual art, music and foreign film.  Students will explore themes of identity, social roles, survival, human connection, the struggle for personal fulfillment, and the power and vision of the imagination.

Intro to Engineering Design - P (IED)Top of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class

Prerequisite: Completion of Math C or equivalent

The first course in the Engineering sequence, IED is designed for 9th or 10th grade students. The major focus of the IED course is to expose students to the design process, research and analysis, teamwork, communication methods, global and human impacts, engineering standards and technical documentation. Students use 3D solid modeling design software to help them design solutions to solve proposed problems and learn how to document their work and communicate solutions to peers and members of the professional community. Strong spatial visualization and basic geometry skills will be beneficial.

Principles of Engineering - P (POE)Top of Page

Grades 10-12, year-long class

Prerequisite: Completion of Math 1 or equivalent

The second course in the Engineering sequence, POE is designed for 10th or 11th grade students. This survey course exposes students to major concepts they’ll encounter in a post-secondary engineering course of study. Topics include mechanisms, energy, statics, materials, and kinematics. Students develop problem-solving skills, and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various challenges, document their work and communicate solutions. Students will work extensively with VEX Robotics kits and learn to program with RobotC. Strong math skills will be beneficial.

Recording ArtsTop of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class

Recording Arts introduces basic audio for use in live performance and recording settings. Topics include basic sound characteristics, microphone use, recording technique, and live sound reinforcement. Pro Tools, Garage Band and Logic X and several online programs are introduced with an emphasis put on using Pro Tools to record, mix and master recordings.  This course also details the functions of, and relationships between, the mixing console and the Pro Tools digital audio workstation. Students learn how different microphones, signal processors, and other technologies are employed in a variety of applications for the audio industry: music recording, live mixing, and other applications. Student from within the class rehearse and perform during class giving students authentic opportunities to operate live sound and record. Through this course students are provided with an opportunity to work on a project from start to finish utilizing all the technologies and procedures they have learned. This will include recording live music groups, choral and band ensembles, and possibly recording off site.

StagecraftTop of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class (offered alternating years with Theatre Design)

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Performing Arts Foundation class and Program Director permission for freshmen; Performing Arts Foundation, Theatre 1, or equivalent

Stagecraft is a class created to develop and build specific skills within the technical theatre crafts. Students will learn hands on how to do the craft and artistry involved in creating live theatre. Students will learn all the basics and tricks of the trade in makeup, costuming, lighting, crewing, special effects, set construction, scenic artistry, and property creation. Various professionals and guest teachers will be utilized to enrich the course work and material covers. Crewing productions at least once each semester will be a requirement of this class.

Theatre DesignTop of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class (offered alternating years with Stagecraft)
Prerequisite: Performing Arts Foundations or equivalent (Theatre 1, Musical Theatre 1, or Stagecraft). Freshmen must be concurrently enrolled in Performing Arts Foundations.
Theatre Design is a class created to develop and build specific artistic skills within the technical theatre crafts. Students will learn hands on how to do design for live theatre. Students will be exposed to the basics of all areas and then be allowed to specialize in a focus area of their choosing: makeup/hair design, costume design, lighting design, stage management, dramaturgy, sound/special effects design, scenic design/artistry, property design, poster and advertising design. Various professionals and guest teachers will be utilized to enrich the course work and material covers. Designing or crewing for productions at least once each semester will be a requirement of this class. Students will also learn basic computer assisted design programs used in the industry.

Theatre ProductionTop of Page

Grades 10-12, year-long class
Prerequisite: Previous enrollment in Performing Art Foundation, Stagecraft, Theatre 1, or equivalent. Students are encouraged to choose a design or technical emphasis and will work one on one with an instructor on productions. Task and titles will be assigned based on experience and the interview application process.
The Inspire Production Team (Theatre Production) will be a service oriented team created to liaison with Visual & Performing Arts Department clubs to accurately produce and document major public events. In addition, its members will have the opportunity to design (being giving priority on positions) and manage theatrical events throughout the year for Inspire. Students will also gain valuable computer and design skills working in programs such as Word, Excel, Illustrator and the Internet. The Inspire Production Team will work specifically to help achieve the department’s mission: Inspire School of Arts & Science’s Visual and Performing Arts Program provides a creative, challenging, and nurturing environment that offers passionate and focused students professional preparation for higher education and life-long learning in the arts.

Theatre 1 and Theatre 2 (Acting)Top of Page

Grades 10-12, year-long class

(course names are being reassigned)  
Prerequisites: Performing Arts Foundations and teacher approval

Theatre 1 & 2 will introduce students to the concepts and principals associated with a career in theatre performing arts. Students will 1) develop their craft through exercises (including, but not limited to: Stanislavski, Linklater, Meisner, Hagen, Adler, Suzuki), 2) explore a variety of actor college and career pathways, 3) perfect audition technique and materials, 4) perform classical and contemporary monologues and scenes, and 5) observe, analyze, and deconstruct performances of peers and professionals by attending and reviewing productions. Students will perform their best work at the Spring Theatre Showcase.

Video 1Top of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class

Have you ever dreamed of making your own movies? In Video 1 that’s exactly what we do. We use the latest and greatest film making software (Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 & After Effects) along with digital camcorders to make our own scripted Dramatic Narratives, Movie Trailers, PSA’s, Music Videos and Promotional Videos. Students study video technologies, basic equipment operation, video composition, basic lighting, audio production and visual storytelling. Students will explore various film genres and video types (mystery/suspense, action/drama, persuasive advertising and music videos). After acquiring the critical vocabulary and technical skills appropriate to the art form students work in groups to produce video projects incorporating those elements and utilizing pre-production, production, and post-production techniques that will allow them to export their films in a variety of formats for DVD and Web.

Video 2Top of Page

Grades 10-12, year-long class

Prerequisite: Video 1 or equivalent

Did you enjoy Video 1 last year? This advanced course provides academic and job-specific instruction for careers in the film and television industries by focusing on advanced techniques of non-linear editing and filmmaking skills including the blending of visual effects and animation into video projects. Students will continue to study all aspects of digital video from pre-production, production and post-production and explore deeper into the responsibilities of crew positions such as camera operator, lighting technician, audio technician and technical director. Advanced video equipment will be explored and used like DSLR’s, Go-Pro’s, jibs, sliders, dollies, green screens and digital editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro/After Effects/Audition. Students will continue to analyze film and video genre’s relevant to their video projects some of which include Dramatic Narratives, Promotional & Commercial Format Videos, Documentaries, Music Videos and Montage. Students’ skills and creative approaches will be put to the test to create high quality videos for competitions, community.

Video 3Top of Page

Grades 11-12, year-long

Prerequisite: Video 1 & 2

In this class, students work together to produce a weekly ten-minute news show that is viewed by the entire school. Students rotate through different jobs, such as: producer, director, tech-director, audio engineer, camera operator, teleprompter and on-screen talent, to learn all aspects of television production.  In addition, they will learn to edit news stories and opening sequences on non-linear computer systems. Although practical skills are taught and assessed, this class also emphasizes leadership, teamwork, planning and public speaking, which are all very marketable in today's economy.  While some students go on to film school and various journalism and communications programs, others find work upon graduation in the growing fields of television and video production.

YearbookTop of Page

Grades 9-12, year-long class

Prerequisite: teacher permission required, Digital Photography encouraged.

Yearbook is a one-year elective that produces the school yearbook, which will include the traditional printed book as well as multimedia. Members of the staff are expected to have a high level of maturity and the ability to work independently. This is a wonderful opportunity for members of the team to exercise their creativity, while developing new skills in computer design, photography, marketing, budget management, copy writing, and project management. Creating the yearbook is a fun process and the end result of all the effort is a product the students can be proud of long into the future.  Students will be expected to develop skills necessary to effectively produce the yearbook. A strong commitment to meeting deadlines is required, including any necessary weekend or after-school work. The yearbook is a team effort, and good people skills are required. Grading will be based on a rubric that will measure students’ performance in areas including (but not limited to): planning, organization/time management, effort, level of engagement, creativity, skills and attitude. Students will also have the opportunity to design posters, tickets, flyers, and programs for Inspire events.