Advanced Topic (AT) courses replaced an AP curriculum with top-level, custom-designed courses that integrate rich content with innovative problem solving, student research, and real-world application. Our college counseling office and independent research confirms that AT courses effectively distinguish Derryfield students from other college applicants, due to the unique stories that DS students have to tell about their project-based learning.
For example, the AT chemistry course serves as a capstone for the chemistry curriculum at Derryfield. In this course, students explore selected chemistry topics, including reaction kinetics, acid base chemistry, and electrochemistry at a level comparable to a first-year course at the college level. Laboratory work is a significant component of the course, and students learn advanced techniques of titration and spectroscopy. Additionally, students create and record a podcast that aims to educate their audience on an aspect of nuclear chemistry. Past projects included the pros and cons of nuclear fission as an energy source, a discussion of the use of radiation in medical imaging, and the future of nuclear fusion as a sustainable energy source.
In AT American Public History, as students develop conclusions about complex and often contentious issues in the American past, they will consider how the public remembers these issues and how they should be remembered in modes varying from museum exhibit designs to public speeches.
Some recent Advanced Topic courses include:
Advanced Topics Computer Science: Software Design with Java (year)
Advanced Topics English (Grade 11): Exploring Effective Civil Discourse in American Literature and Culture
Advanced Topics English (Grade 12): The Literature and History of Consumer Culture
Advanced Topics History (Grade 11): American Public History
Advanced Topics History (Grade 12): US Since 1960
Advanced Topics Latin: Survey of Roman Prose Authors
Advanced Topics Latin: Poetry in the Golden Age of Rome
Advanced Topics Mathematics: Calculus
Advanced Topics Mathematics: Investment Math
Advanced Topics Science: Biology (Grades 11−12)
Advanced Topics Science: Chemistry (Grades 11–12)
Advanced Topics Science: Physics (Grade 12)
Advanced Topics STEM: Research, Entrepreneurship and Design for X - Competition Track (F, W) (Grades 10-12)
Advanced Topics Language: Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture
Please see the Derryfield Upper School Curriculum Guide for more information about the courses.