Home / Academics / Upper School (9-12) / Active Learning

Active Learning

The Upper School curriculum asks students to apply what they learn by participating in a variety of creative projects. This is just a sampling of what you might see in any given year:

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, juniors 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.

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 use their hands in conjunction with their minds to create their own projects out of wood, cloth, plastic, or whatever their imagination and technical dexterity allow.