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Course Descriptions

AP® Biology

Course Description: The AP Biology course is designed to offer students a solid foundation in introductory college-level biology and help them to build a conceptual framework for understanding modern biology.  The course is structured around four big ideas, enduring understandings, and science practices.

Big idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
Big idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
Big idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.
Big idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties

Students will conduct a minimum of eight inquiry-based investigations (two per big idea throughout the course).

Additional labs will be conducted to deepen students’ conceptual understanding and to reinforce the application of science practices within a hands-on, discovery-based environment.

AP® Microeconomics

Course Description: Microeconomics is the study of the economic decision-making of individuals and firms. This course serves as both an introduction to the fundamental understandings of economic decision-making, but also as a means to prepare for the Advanced Placement Microeconomics exam that will be administered in May 2018. This course is divided into four units: Basic Economic Concepts; Product Markets; Factor Markets; and Market Failure and the Role of Government. We will also examine global supply chaining in the last unit, exploring the impact of globalization and free trade on the economic behavior of firms and individuals.
A major component of this class will be modeling economic decision-making by way of a small business simulation. For this, students will develop a business plan to design, launch, and manage a start-up business modeled on an existing local business. Students will need to research their businesses and adapt their strategy using real-time economic data and react to scenarios developed to have them illustrate core microeconomic concepts.  At every turn, students will have to show mastery of the fundamental concepts of microeconomics as well as adapt their business plans to new conditions.

Fabricating the Future Robotically: FIRST Inspired

Course Description: This robotics course serves an introduction to the engineering process, an invitation to tinker and learn in a creative manner, and an introduction to the FIRST program. Students will be challenged to create a robot in a specific competition format based on the criteria set forth by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).  Students will form teams and work through the engineering, design, and marketing aspects of creating a robot as well as programming and operating the vehicle to perform a series of tasks in a game format. Students will practice FIRST’s motto of gracious professionalism: a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.


Course Description: This geometry course is the study of visual pattern. It integrates algebra and geometry with formal proof in regards to triangle congruency, properties of special quadrilaterals, as well as parallel and perpendicular lines. Students use both inductive and deductive reasoning to study circle and arc properties, similarity, area, surface area, volume, and basic right triangle trigonometry. Euler construction techniques are also covered. Assessments will include frequent quizzes, weekly tests, and a final exam.

Innovation & Design

Course Description: This course will introduce students to the design-thinking process, allowing them to develop their creativity and mastery of maker tools. In the first part of the course, students will work in teams to understand a real-world problem and formulate solutions.  In the next part of the course, students will identify a problem they are passionate about exploring, examine it through multiple lenses, and craft a solution with their own hands. Most importantly, students will evaluate and test their solutions to understand the value of the process of ideation and of prototyping. This course will give students a strong orientation in how to use essential maker tools, such as a 3-D printer, to expand the possibilities of their final projects.

Introduction to Theatre

Course Description: This hands-on course will explore what it takes to produce a play. Students will study many facets of theatre: acting, design, script and character analysis, theatre history, and the basics of stagecraft. The class will focus, in part, on the essentials of the actor’s craft. Students will develop their vocal and physical techniques and engage in exercises that develop their imagination and characterization skills. They will apply this groundwork to short scenes, monologues, and other performances.  Students also will have the opportunity to investigate various aspects of technical theatre, from makeup to scenic painting to lighting. On a daily basis students will be encouraged to develop their minds, bodies and voices; build up their courage to take risks; collaborate as members of an ensemble; empathize with other individuals by creating characters; use theatre vocabulary; and appreciate the performance of their work and the work of others.

Painting I

Course Description: The course explores the paint media utilizing drawing skills and the elements and principles of art. Students are slowly guided through the process necessary to create a successful painting. They learn about color mixing, color theory, creating volume and texture, and how to compose a piece. They will learn to create original paintings based on composition and a balance between technique and personal expression. Students work with acrylic, oil paint, and a variety of surface materials to create the assignments. Students are expected to keep an ongoing sketchbook/journal throughout the course.

Public Speaking

Course Description: Students will gain experience in public speaking through the preparation and presentation of many different kinds of speeches, including impromptu speeches, presentation speeches with slideshows, and persuasive speeches. Vocal delivery, organization, and eye contact are among the skills that will improve as students become more experienced speakers. Class discussion will include not only aspects of public speaking, but also other issues in oral communication, such as non-verbal communication and listening. The goal of this class is to help students feel more self-confident when speaking in front of classes and assemblies.
Prekindergarten (age 3) - Grade 12 • Independent • Coeducational
© 2018 University School of Milwaukee
2100 West Fairy Chasm Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53217 • 414-352-6000