NextTerm 2023 Courses
MISSION AND COURSE REGISTRATION
For three weeks each May, Hun Upper School students in grades 9 to 11 participate in a ground-breaking immersion learning experience designed to offer deep exploration of real-world topics. NextTerm mini-mester courses are required, for-credit, project-based, courses that fall outside the constraints of traditional disciplines. They are team-taught, informed by a variety of environments and real-world practitioners, and utilize resources both on and off campus. Student teams then produce a culminating project that is shared with professional advisors, parents, and faculty during NeXpo, the NextTerm project
NextTerm 9 2023 will center on the culture, resources, and thriving industries -- financial services, transportation, and life sciences -- of the Garden State. In this course, students will discover what makes New Jersey unique and what events have helped shape the Jersey consciousness, economy, and spirit of innovation. Students will choose from a variety of interdisciplinary options focused on specific themes, participate in both overnight and day trips, visit areas around the state, and explore the history, science, politics, and art of our diverse and inspiring home. Course options for 9th grade will be made available soon; class assignments will be announced after Thanksgiving Break.
NextTerm for Grades 10 and 11 offers a menu of twenty distinctive courses from which to choose. These courses are all interdisciplinary in nature, team-taught, and include travel options from local to international. Courses that involve travel, while subsidized by tuition, carry and additional fee. Financial aid is available for families who qualify. All NextTerm courses are graded, for-credit classes that will appear on student transcripts.
Students must indicate multiple course choices including local options. We will make every effort to accommodate student preferences as we try to build varied class rosters to enhance the student experience. The 9th grade experience and all local courses are offered to students at no charge. Courses that involve travel, while subsidized by tuition, carry and additional fee. Financial aid is available for families who qualify. All NextTerm courses are graded, for-credit classes that will appear on student transcripts.
“Innovative learning practices that smear the boundary between “school” and “world” are increasingly a hallmark of deeper learning in the 21st century. They create scaffolds around which students learn critical content within the context of personal relevance and interest that generate intrinsic motivation, deeper understanding, and longer retention.”
— PAM GROSSMAN, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania
Day trips only; No additional cost to families
The Magic and Technology of Broadway
Essential Question: How does technology play a role in design for the stage in today’s theater? How does technology add to (or detract from) a Broadway show?
Description: How does Peter Pan fly? How does the stage in Hamilton turn during some scenes? What makes it possible for Mrs. Doubtfire to change in 18 seconds? In this course, students will pull back the curtain on Broadway to examine technology’s role in theater productions. While the on stage action gets most of the attention, it’s time for the lights, sound, design, effects, and construction of both sets and costumes, to step into the spotlight. Trips to NYC, both on and off-Broadway, as well as local theater expeditions, are part of the experience. In addition, students will speak with members of a production team to discover the magic of theater.
Curricular Focus: Engineering • Technology • Theater
Fear Factor: Understanding the Science Behind the Fear
Essential Question: How do humans experience fear? What is the difference between the thrill of fear and debilitating fear? How is the human experience of fear used to design and engineer instruments of fear such as thrill rides, horror films, and haunted houses?
Description: Do you like horror movies, the fast drop in a coaster ride, and creepy haunted house adventures? How do the brain and the body work together to create the rush one feels in those situations? This course will explore these subjects through the lens of modern masterpieces of horror cinema, the design and execution of thrill rides, the conception and production of “haunted house” experiences, and several other fear-evoking experiences. We will work with a leading scholar on fear, who has examined the sociology, anthropology, neurobiology and psychology of fear around the world. We will also analyze and discuss the work behind the scenes - how are thrill rides engineered? How are horror movies crafted to evoke shock and fear? How are haunted houses designed and staged to bring visitors through numerous stages of fear? At the end of the course, students will learn how to create an ethical, safe, and thrilling fearful experience for a broad audience that showcases what they have learned. Ultimately, we will learn how fear acts within ourselves and how to confront our relationships with fear.
Curricular Focus: Psychology • Engineering/Design • Sociology • Theater
Superheroes: An Immigrant Story
Essential Question: In what ways is the New York City immigrant's story tied to superhero comics?
Description: In this course, students will study the connection between the history of people in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and superhero comics. The story of comics, from early heroes such as Captain America and Superman, is tied directly to an immigrant story, as most of the early creators were children of immigrants. We will study the history of immigration to New York and the culture of immigrant communities; Analyze emblematic works of literature and film, including graphic novels and comics, that are inspired by this cultural background; and Learn how to create our own contemporary versions of such graphic novels/comics. This course will be of special interest to students interested in graphic novels and comics, and their connection to American history; the ways popular genres reflect serious cultural and historical experiences; and the craft of creating comics.
Curricular Focus: English • History • Art
Essential Question: What is the relationship between the aesthetics, ethics and technology of fashion?
Description: Fashion has been an integral means of self-expression for centuries. From clothing to body posture, fashion contributes to the way in which humans present themselves, appear to others and interact with each other. In this course we will examine how fashion contributes to shaping the aesthetics of society by promoting specific trends (think of Gucci’s recent “love parade” on Hollywood Blvd, which heavily emphasized the juxtaposition of bright colors to represent inclusive love). We will also reflect on the future of fashion: how will continued efforts to make the fashion industry more sustainable and eco-friendly affect future decisions concerning the design, style, fabrics, and materials used in the production of apparel?
Curricular Focus: Design • History • Business • Sustainability
Arts & Soul: Cultivating a Powerful Self through Intentional Practices
Essential Question: How can intentional practices help alleviate stress and tension?
Description: Wellness is foundational to healthy relationships with ourselves and others, and it is achieved through intentional practices such as mindfulness, yoga, and the arts. Such practices will also be viewed through a cultural lens, exploring how different cultures use meditation, nature, and the arts to achieve peace and healing. Students will explore the benefits of slowing down, breathing deeply, discovering options that could lead to healing and inner calm in a world of high expectations.
Curricular Focus: Arts • Psychology • English • History
Youth in Action: How NonProfit Organizations Change the World
Essential Question: How do nonprofits benefit society, what’s the balance between profit and ethics and the greater good?
Description: You (and everyone you know) benefit from nonprofit organizations, whether we realize it or not. Students will take the role of company leaders balancing the important choices that impact the greater good, while also thinking about innovation-led growth and the long-term success of their organization. Nonprofit organizations seek to find solutions to everyday problems and can include churches, public charities, political organizations, hospitals, governmental agencies, museums etc. How would you lead these companies to success? Through partnership with local non-profit organizations and speaking to company leaders, students will learn the business of nonprofits, and how they can change their world.
Curricular Focus: Sociology • Economics • History • Social Justice
The 3 B’s: The Biology, Business, and the Beauty of BEES
Essential Question: How is the honey bee unique, how has it connected with human culture, and how can we help preserve its existence?
Description: Buzz buzz! As apiarists (honey bee experts), students will focus on the biology, business, and beauty of honey bees and research the overall need and tools to help conserve them globally and locally in Princeton. Bee numbers are decreasing yearly, and there is a strong need for humans to join the revolution of saving pollinators. Through this course, students will be equipped to spread the word about the role of this unique insect which helps locally grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers exist. Students will also visit bee farms, speak with beekeepers, and have an opportunity to work directly with bees.
Curricular Focus: Science • Business • Conservation
Conscious Cuisine: Body, Brains, and Balance
Essential Question: How does food impact our physical and mental health? What factors should I consider when I choose what to cook and eat?
Description: Pickle juice, chocolate milk, vegan, keto, local, organic, Gatorade, oh my! The list of buzzwords surrounding food, brands, and food practices goes on and on. In Conscious Cuisine we will investigate messages that influence our understanding of the impact food has on our community, and how our choices impact our body, athletic performance and recovery, creativity, academics, physical and mental health, and overall well being. We will pair research surrounding the physiology of nutritional needs with the exploration of personal choices that are derived from our own cultural and religious practices, moral standing, food policies and sourcing, convenience, availability and access, taste and cravings, social media, and societal influence. Can there possibly be a one size fits all model regarding maximized nutrition acquisition through food consumption?
Curricular Focus: Science • Health/Wellness • Business and Consumerism
Super Math Bros.: The Movement, Science, and History of Hand-to-Hand Combat
Essential Question: What fundamental principles do video game developers use to create live action games?
Description: Exploring both historical and virtual battlefields, students will study principles, physics, and strategies of combat. Students will explore the movement and science behind arcade action video games. From impossible flips and kicks to throwing fireballs and conducting lightning- using the science and math students will find and/or solve the equations and theories behind the games actions. In addition, they will explore how motion capture has upped “game” in contemporary video gaming.
Curricular Focus: Math • Technology • History • Science
SimCity: Urban Design and Model Cities
Essential Question: When planning cities for the future, how do we preserve culture, identity, and heritage while innovating for an ever-changing social, environmental, and technological world?
Description: Using neighboring cities like Trenton, Philadelphia, and New York as models, we will study how these urban areas were formed and how they continue to evolve, or devolve, in the face of climate change, increased populations, changing communities, and more. While studying and consulting designers, scholars, and experts in their fields, students will investigate the planning, organization, and implementation of things we often take as given, such as roads, sewers, parks, waterfronts, housing complexes, and even parking. Students will hone their skills through design, debate, and demonstration around our central themes of innovation, preservation, development, and sustainability.
Curricular Focus: STEAM • Art • Architecture
One to two nights of travel; Minimal cost to families
Space Race: To Infinity and Beyond!
Essential Question: What are the past, present, and future driving forces behind the Space Race?
Description: In this course, students will consider the history of human exploration, the potential benefits of current exploration, the scientific and engineering challenges of space travel, the biological challenges of life in space (and potentially on Mars), the line between science and science fiction, and the relationship between international politics and business in the new space race.
Curricular Focus: History (Past) • Business (Present) • STEM (Future)
Locations: The Hun School, Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Gone Fishin’: Thriving in NJ Inlets, Lakes, and Coastal Waters
Essential Question: How do we investigate and protect some of New Jersey’s most valuable resources?
Description: In this course students will learn about New Jersey wetland ecosystems and the wildlife that thrive amongst them. Students will work to understand what can be done to conserve these precious environments and resources as well as what is putting them at risk. Students will also learn the skill, immersive connection to the land, and self-fulfillment that comes with fishing. We will understand the role of organisms in the ecosystem from a holistic and biological point of view; Investigate New Jersey fisheries from a business perspective (historical ideas and threats to the future of the industry); Experience the thrill of the catch and release: emotional, physical and psychological commitment to the process.
Curricular Focus: Ecology • Business • Health
Locations: The Hun School, Cape May, Shark River, and Musconetcong River
Lifestyles of the Old, Rich, and Famous: The Opulence and Architecture of The Gilded Age
Essential Question: How did the lavish lifestyles and architecture of the Gilded Age reflect the values, culture, and society of the early 20th Century?
Description: Exploring the Gilded Age in the US, students will focus on the way of life and architecture of the tycoons and Robber Barrons who shaped our nation and built modern castles. We will look into our nation's politics and societal changes that paved the way for corruption and opulence. By exploring the Gilded Age architecture of New Jersey, New York, and New England, students will have an opportunity to see these lasting structures and study their fashionable architecture and lifestyles to understand the era that formed this important chapter in United States history.
Curricular Focus: Engineering • History • Art
Locations: The Hun School and Newport, Rhode Island
Five to six nights of travel; Additional cost to families
Into the Open Spaces: America’s National Park Experience
Essential Question: How and why are National Parks essential to the American experience and what role do we play in their stewardship and legacy?
Description: Using America’s National Parks as our classroom, students in this NextTerm course will come to understand how history, literature, conservation biology and ecology, climate science and geology, economics, and Native American culture come together as an essential part of the human experience to inspire and sustain us. Because, as naturalist John Muir once observed, “...when one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world...”, we will immerse ourselves in the outdoor education experience, serve the parks in a meaningful way, and develop a better appreciation for the legacy and our future stewardship of these national treasures. In partnership with the National Park Service, this class will visit Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, Mesa Verde, and Canyonlands National Parks helping inspire a sense of responsibility for our collective ownership of these protected lands.
Participants must have an overall moderate fitness level, willingness to reside in rustic accommodations and communal living spaces with no air conditioning, and an interest in and ability to participate in long hikes.
Curricular Focus: History • Outdoor Education • Conservation Biology and Ecology
Locations: The Hun School and two National Parks
The Crescent City: The Resiliency of New Orleans
Essential Question: To what extent does NOLA embody a culture of resilience, diversity, and celebration? How can citizens keep this unique city from disappearing due to the effects of climate change?
Description: New Orleans is a city unlike any other, a melting pot that blends aspects of French, African, Caribbean, American, and Spanish cultures. In this course, students will trace the cultures that make up NOLA, focusing specifically on its origins, music, and cuisine. Students will then look at the impact climate change has had on the people, the geography, and the economics of New Orleans. This course will explore how French, Spanish, Caribbean, African and American cultures blend together to create a combination of Creole and Cajun cultures; Major impacts of climate change with a focus on extreme heat and rising sea levels; City infrastructure and economic issues that have arisen due to climate change; Historical food; Jazz and Bounce music; Religion and Voodoo.
Curricular Focus: Social Science • Environmental Science • History • Music
Locations: The Hun School and New Orleans, Louisiana
Transcend and transform: a way of life
Essential Question: What does it mean to be awake to the present moment? How does our relationship with nature impact our daily lives? How did Henry David Thoreau (philosopher, scholar, and scientist) and the transcendental movement transform America, our understanding of the natural world, and our place in it?
Description: “Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The actual world! The common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? Where are we?” – Henry David Thoreau, Maine Woods
In 1845, Henry David Thoreau built a cabin in the woods by Walden Pond and lived there for two years, immersing himself in nature and solitude. In this course, students will follow Mr. Thoreau up to the Maine woods, where he discovered the depths of untouched wilderness. We will canoe rivers, walk forest paths, hike mountains, search for moose, and attempt to recreate the experiences that inspired Mr. Thoreau to write some of the most transformative and important literature of the 19th century. We will also spend time reading his works, journaling, listening to the sounds of nature, and attuning ourselves to rhythms of nature.
Curricular Focus: History • Literature • Outdoor Education
Locations: The Hun School and Maine
Built with STEAM: The Happiest Place on Earth
Essential Question: How do Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, and Math work together to create attractions that entertain millions of visitors of all ages each year?
Description: Beyond the rides, the STEAM fields come together in Walt Disney World to create experiences that some call “Disney Magic.” Students will participate in accredited courses taught by Disney specialists to explore concepts like imagineering, communication, sound, lighting, storytelling, engineering, and the artistic design process in order to identify each STEAM subject’s role in creating one-of-a-kind attractions and memories.
Curricular Focus: STEAM
Locations: The Hun School and Orlando, Florida
Five to seven nights of international travel; Additional cost to families
UK: Green By Design
Essential Question: How has the United Kingdom, one of the top ecology forward countries, created more sustainable communities? What can we learn from the United Kingdom that can be applied to make the United States a greener place?
Description: The United Kingdom has established the ten point Green Industries Plan to assist in turning the tide toward a greener planet in both their country and the world at large, by 2050. The United Kingdom now ranks in the top five of the greenest countries world-wide; this course will examine past, present, and future initiatives that have helped the United Kingdom earn this recognition. Visits to the Eden Project, green design firms, and working with experts in the field will help participants to understand steps, both big and small, that can help create a greener planet. This course will appeal to students interested in global sustainability, environmental policy, and renewable energy.
Curricular Focus: STEAM • Environment • Conservation
Locations: The Hun School and the United Kingdom
Cowabunga! Studying Sea Turtles and the Rainforest in Costa Rica
Essential Question: How can we play an active role in securing the health of our ecosystem and protecting our wildlife? What aspects of Costa Rica’s conservation programs can be applied or adapted here in New Jersey?
Description: Climate change continues to be one of the most pressing issues of our time; and questions of conservation, ecology, and biodiversity demand our full attention. Many of these themes are in focus in the rainforests and on the island beaches of Costa Rica. While we study and observe conservation efforts to protect the leatherback sea turtle and rainforest ecology, we will also examine how our day-to-day lives in New Jersey can help create a more sustainable climate. Overall, Costa Rica and its ecosystems grant us the opportunity to discover how climate change and conservation collide with problems of politics, poverty, and power.
Curricular Focus: Marine Science and Ecology • Socioeconomics • Conservation and Climate Stewardship
Locations: The Hun School and Costa Rica; Spanish language proficiency is not a requirement of this course.
The Nordic Approach to Living Well: The Pursuit of Gender Equity
Essential Question: How does the pursuit of gender equality produce outcomes that shape the quality of life in Scandinavia and beyond?
Description: Northern European countries have often been labeled as some of the “happiest countries in the world”. Scandinavia ranks particularly high as a region that promotes and supports the welfare of women. In this course, we will explore, examine, and study the role gender plays in producing outcomes and policies that shape the quality of life in Scandinavia. Students will compare our findings to the United States and other parts of the world.
Curricular Focus: Gender Studies • Social Justice • Humanities
Locations: The Hun School, Denmark, and Sweden