Active Learning

The Upper School curriculum asks students to apply what they learn by participating in a variety of creative projects:

10th Grade Intersections Night

Over the course of sophomore year, students delve into a subject of personal interest and conduct thorough research in their World History II and English 10 courses. As the year progresses, students expand their research into associated fields, such as art, science, or math as relevant to their topics. The culmination of their yearlong investigations is the 10th Grade Intersections Night. Students are grouped by topics and present to the Prep community their research papers, literary studies, and associated products (songs, installations, dance). The evening is an incredible display of critical inquiry, collaboration, and artistic interpretation.

Lannan Foundation

Every year the humanities departments are fortunate to collaborate with the Lannan Foundation and expose Prep students to major academics, activists and writers whose work focuses on the pressing social issues of our day.  Juniors and Seniors regularly attend Lannan lectures and occasionally work with these scholars on campus.  Prep students understand that learning does not stop at the classroom door and are encouraged to ponder complex contemporary issues. Our very special collaboration with the Lannan foundation has been a highlight for many of our students most engaged with writing.

Research Methods in Biology

In this upper level science elective, junior and seniors with an interest in the biological world have an opportunity to dig deep. Emphasizing “doing science,”  students identify a topic, design an individual research project, conduct library and field research, collect and analyze data, and produce a scientific, peer-reviewed paper. The course is hands-on, inquiry-based, and iterative. Student projects vary from year to year. Some may examine the effects of caffeine on human performance or the effect of climate change on our New Mexico high desert environment.

Honors Seminars

Prep’s Honors English and Honors History Seminars are semester-long elective courses offered each year that allow students to delve deeply into a specific subject matter with a high level of academic rigor. Recent courses have included “The World Between Wars,” “The Modernists: Woolf, Eliot, and Joyce,” “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic,” and “Shadow and Act: Literary and Cultural Explorations of Invisible Man.” Students in the Honors English Seminar, “The Lost Generation: Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald,” broached a contemporary form of literary analysis in their final project by creating podcasts in which they discussed specific elements of the course and the texts they had studied. Click on the following links to hear two sets of students converse: Podcast 1  Podcast 2

Maker Space

In this production oriented course, students learn the basics of electronics, programming, 3D printing, and laser cutting. From the first day of class to the last, students are using their hands in conjunction with their minds to create their very own projects out of wood, cloth, plastic, or whatever their imagination and technical dexterity allows.