NextTerm 2022 Courses


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 the NextTerm project exhibition event.


The Grade 9 experience is comprised of seven discipline-specific sections that explore a common theme in varied ways. The 2022 NextTerm theme is NextSurvival. Freshmen are assigned to class sections with common, inter-disciplinary experiences and therefore do not need to register.


NextTerm for Grades 10 and 11 offers a menu of eighteen distinctive courses from which to choose. These courses are all interdisciplinary in nature, team-taught, and include travel options from local to international. In keeping with the mission of our NextTerm program to be available to all students, the 9th grade experience and all the local courses are offered to students at no charge while the distance travel courses require a travel fee that is subsidized by the School with additional financial aid available for those students 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.”


Course registration for Sophomores and Juniors

Students in Grades 10 and 11 may register their selections after reading the course descriptions below. Students are asked to select up to seven course preferences with no more than three involving international or domestic travel. Students should discuss their course choices with their advisor and parents before registering their selections. Selections are due November 16th and course assignments will be announced in December.

NextTerm International

Biodiversity, Conservation & Society in BERMUDA

Essential Question: How have the inhabitants of Bermuda, with an richly diverse tropical marine ecosystem, learned to respect and interact with nature? How can we play an active role in securing the health of our ecosystem and protecting wildlife for the future?

Description: Students will have the opportunity to answer these and several other questions by adopting a multidisciplinary approach, part scientific and part humanistic. As we work at a field station on the the island, we will study goniolithic algae, reef fish and other marine creatures, while also exploring the many biomes Bermuda has to offer. Furthermore, we will study conservation policies, laws and relevant literature to understand the purpose and content of regulations aimed at protecting the environment of Bermuda, and to celebrate the dazzling beauty of the world we live in. Lastly, student will learn about the traditions in Bermuda and participate in local, cultural activities.

Participants must have strong swimming skills, moderate fitness level, the ability to physically tolerate long boating trips, withstand high heat and insects, and be willing to reside in rustic accommodations with no air conditioning. 

Curricular Focus: Marine biology • Ecology • Anthropology

Location: Bermuda; supplemental travel cost

Canada: Multifaceted, Multicultural, and Multilingual

Essential Question: How do members of Canada’s First Nations and descendants of French settlers resist centuries of pressure to assimilate into Anglo society? How do these and other social groups with ethnic and other cultural differences coexist?

Description: Quebec province in Canada is where worlds collide -- British, French, and First Nation. How do each hold on to their own identities while melding with the others? Students will examine how language, politics, medicine, and law all follow unique paths, and explore how each of these distinct areas compares to their development in the United States.

Curricular Focus: History • French language • Sociology-anthropology

Location: Quebec and Montreal; supplemental travel cost

“La Convivencia”: Modern Spain, And The Legacy Of Jews And Muslims

Essential Question: How have different cultures coexisted throughout history? How can we build cross-cultural understanding today?

Description: Examining the concept of multiculturalism, students will explore questions like: What are the different components of culture, and how do cultures come into conflict with one another? Can different cultures live together, or is antagonism between distinct groups inevitable? Do elements of different cultures get adopted into one another over time? We will investigate a particularly striking historical example of the clash of civilizations- the Christians, Jews, and Moors- and the afterlife of the “extinguished'' cultural traditions following that clash. What legacy did Jews and Muslims leave after being expelled from Spain 500 years ago?

Curricular Focus: History • Religion • Arts and Culture

Location: Spain; supplemental travel cost

The Model UK: Green By Design

Essential Question: What can we learn from one of the top cities in the world about how to build more sustainable communities? How can we systematically design a greener planet?

Description: The United Kingdom has established the 10 point Green Industrial Plan to assist in turning the tide toward a greener planet in both their country and the world at large, by 2050. Now ranking in the top five Greenest Countries, students will examine past, present, and future initiatives that have helped the United Kingdom get this recognition. Visits to The Eden Project, The London Array Wind Farm, Morden Hall Park, the Museum of Science in London, as well as Green Design firms and experts in the field, will help participants to understand steps, both big and small, that can be taken to ensure a Green Planet. 

Curricular Focus: Global sustainability • Public policy • Art

Location: London; supplemental travel cost


NextTerm Domestic

After the Storm: The Changing Landscape of Puerto Rico

Essential Question: How does a community recover and rebuild after a natural disaster and political unrest?

Description: This course will address climate change from a social and scientific vantage point. Environmental sustainability is one of the greatest challenges facing the country today. From rising sea levels, to sinking wetlands and bayous to natural disasters, our future is dependent upon responding to and adapting to climate change. This course will give students insight to the science of climate change. Students will have the opportunity to dissect the El Yunque Rainforest, one of Puerto Rico's most beloved natural gems.  With addressing matters of social climate and bringing the exploration full circle students will also review the sociopolitical complexities of disaster recovery on a tropical island. Through social engagement with local politicians and residents of San Juan students will examine Puerto Rico's rich history, the legacy of colonialism and its lasting effects on the social climate of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  

Curricular Focus: Climate change • Sociology and politics • the Legacy of colonialism

Location: Puerto Rico; supplemental travel cost

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: STEM • Arts and storytelling • Imagineering design

Location: Orlando; supplemental travel cost

The Crescent City: Climate Change and Its Impact on One Community

Essential Question: To what extent does New Orleans embody an American ideal through the melding of cultures and how can citizens take action to mitigate the vanishing coastline of Louisiana due to climate change?

Description: Students will develop an understanding of the history of New Orleans, by studying the movement of cultures into the city, focusing on people, food, and music. We will hear from local experts, watch documentaries and read excerpts about New Orleans history. Of particular interest will be the Cajun and Creole cultures of New Orleans and the South. How has flooding, the vanishing coastline, and other impacts of global warming impacted the residents of New Orleans (particularly those of low-lying areas)? While in New Orleans, students will participate in a variety of community service activities in the communities most affected by climate change and will hear from local residents about their experiences.

Curricular Focus: Humanities • Social science • Environmental anthropology

Location: New Orleans; supplemental travel cost

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 Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, 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: Outdoor education • History • Conservation biology and ecology

Location: Utah, Wyoming, Montana; supplemental travel cost

Transcend AND Transform: a Way of Life

Essential Question: How did Henry David Thoreau 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. This year, we will follow in his footsteps. Join us on a trip to historical Concord, Massachusetts, where we will explore Walden Pond, visit the original site of his cabin, and tour homes from the mid-19th century. From there, we will follow 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 Thoreau to write some of the most transformative and important literature of the 19th century. We will also spend time reading Thoreau’s works, journaling, listening to the sounds of nature, and attuning ourselves to the rhythms of the natural world. 

Curricular Focus: Natural history • Literature • Outdoor education

Location: Massachusetts and Maine; supplemental travel cost

NextTerm Local

Beyond the Fields: Examining the Future of Sports

Essential Question: How can you impact the sport you love without stepping foot on the playing surface?

Description:  Sports are a big part of American culture. Many young men and women dream of becoming a professional athlete. However, it takes more to make this economic engine run than the personnel on the field.  In the course, students will explore the myriad of occupations that bring professional sports to the field -- from medicine to marketing to management and more -- to better understand the “team” behind the team. Students will talk to experts in the field and discuss ways technology has impacted the sports world.

Curricular Focus: Business • Sports • Technology

Creative Resistance: Using Art to Change the World

Essential Question: How does artmaking contribute to the awareness of and understanding of one's life and the lives of others in our communities? How does the act of crafting inspire change in the world?

Description: This class offers the opportunity to explore the concept of “craftivism,” the use of handicrafts in service of social activism such as the AIDS quilt project and political stencil fashion, from an historical and sociological perspective. Additionally, students will examine how crafting has become a source of livelihood, especially for women, to create small businesses and help communities grow. Students will also explore fundraising and other ways to use their works to contribute to a specific cause to help and inspire others.

Curricular Focus: Art • Social justice • Entrepreneurship


Essential Question: How does war influence leadership, art, and literature and in what ways does science define battle?

Description: Students in this history, science, and art class will use the local battlefields of the American Revolution and the Civil War to better understand both how battles occurred (leadership, strategies, and the physics of war) as well as the impact these events had on art and literature.

Curricular Focus: History • Leadership • Art and literature

Fear Factor: Understanding the Science Behind Fear

Essential Question: How are principles of science (i.e. physics, psychology, and mathematics) used in the design and engineering of instruments of fear such as thrill rides and horror films? 

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? Students in this course will explore these subjects through the lens of modern masterpieces of horror cinema, the design and execution of thrill rides, and the conception and production of “haunted house” experiences. We will read excerpts from prominent figures from the field of psychology and interview the designers of thrill rides to learn the science behind the scream. 

Curricular Focus: Psychology • Physics • Film

ICONIC FOODS that build the northeast

Essential Question:  What is the impact of the foods that shape the Northeast and how can we explore their stories?

Description: “One bite, everybody knows the rules.” Whether you are interested in David Portnoy’s famous pizza reviews that have shaped the modern pizza industry in the tri-state area or the historical impact other foods such as bagels, cheesesteaks, Hershey’s chocolate, soft pretzels, crab cakes, and disco fries, have had on our region, this course is for you! Our purpose in this interdisciplinary course is to investigate the impact of foods (and food chains) that are iconic to the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Students will dive into the cultural, economic, political, and ecological effect of food in our area while learning first-hand about its history and production. Students will also explore the diverse communities who reside in the region, and examine how people and food production drive local economies, but also raise questions of sustainability.

Curricular Focus: History/culture • Sustainability • Supply chain (business)


Essential Question: How does one navigate the challenges of leadership and motivate others to take action?

Description: Some leaders are born, some are developed. Which one are you? From discovering your leadership style, to learning about characteristics of a good leader, students in this course will have the opportunity to use and enhance leadership skills, and speak with global and local leaders in business, government, athletics, and other fields. We’ll study admired leaders, take what they do best, and apply it to the issues students might face as a leaders. Discover your leadership skills through community service, adventure course challenges, and trips to two metropolitan hubs - New York and Philadelphia. 

Curricular Focus: Psychology • Business • History


Essential Question: How do modern social justice movements of today parallel the Civil Rights Movement of the past?

Description: The Civil Rights Movement is usually thought of as solely occuring in the Deep South; however, areas such as Philadelphia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. were instrumental in this fight for social justice.  Walking in the footsteps of abolitionists and activists, students will confront modern social injustices through the lens of the Civil Rights Movement.  

Curricular Focus: Social justice • Activism • Identity


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 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: Theatre • Engineering • Technology


Essential Question: Why is it essential to learn how women have wielded political power in the past in order to understand how they might shape politics in the future?

Description: After an initial review of the history of women in American politics, students in this class will examine some of the methods and organizations men and women use to promote female civic participation.  We will explore women’s lives from the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 and the Ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 to today’s women holding a third of the seats on the Supreme Court and other major political offices in 2021. Students will examine the impact of historical and contemporary American women, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Harriet Tubman to Cardi B and Kamala Harris, the force of influence through media, and influential women around the world.

Curricular Focus: Political science • Gender studies • Media studies