X
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
Academics
Upper School
Curriculum

Select A Department

STEM X

THE PHILOSOPHY

Our STEM X department offers courses with a strong project-based component that help students grow their capacity to be confident and creative problem solvers in a fast-paced world where the rapid evolution of technology presents an astounding range of challenges and opportunities. STEM X draws inspiration from problem solving methods at innovative organizations around the world, ranging from Google X to MIT. The courses are interdisciplinary in their application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (“STEM”) and STEM X students learn how to tackle the unknown variable in a situation, or “X,” by discovering interesting problems, experimenting with novel creative solutions, documenting their work and sharing their findings.

Participants in the program immerse themselves in projects that range broadly from developing and prototyping products using physical and digital technologies to coding in a world marked by the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence. Students work both individually and as part of teams to develop the research skills, analytical rigor, creative thinking and entrepreneurial attitudes needed to investigate and tackle real world problems in original ways.
 
 
  • STEM: Research, Entrepreneurship and Design for X

    (F, W, S) (Grades 9-12)
    Research, Entrepreneurship and Design for X, or RED X, offers the opportunity for strong, highly motivated students to design and undertake their own interdisciplinary projects as part of an independent study under the guidance of Mr. Pankratz. Selected students will work independently on their projects and regularly exchange ideas, resources and updates. In order to be considered for this course, the projects must: (1) have a central STEM research, entrepreneurship and/or design component; (2) be aimed at solving for the unknown, or X, through innovation; and (3) generate a public product that engages people outside the classroom as participants and/or audience. Mentors who have expertise in relevant areas may also be assigned to students to support particularly complex projects. If a student is accepted to the course, RED X can count as a sixth class and may be taken for one or more terms (starting in Fall, Winter or Spring), depending on the project. Due to space limitations, sign-up for RED X does not guarantee enrollment. Interested students should see Mr. Pankratz for more information. Please note that certain projects may lend themselves to a team based approach, in which case students who are interested in collaborating as part of a team should also schedule a meeting with Mr. Pankratz.
  • Advanced Topics in STEM: Research, Entrepreneurship and Design for X - Competition Track

    (year long) (Grades 10-12)
    Research, Entrepreneurship and Design for X - Competition Track, or RED X - Compete, offers the opportunity for strong, highly motivated students to compete in an academic competition such as the New Hampshire Science and Engineering Expo under the guidance of Dr. Masoni. Selected students will work independently on their competition projects and meet regularly in class to exchange ideas, resources and updates. In order to be considered for this course, the projects must: (1) have a central STEM research, entrepreneurship and/or design component; (2) be aimed at solving for the unknown, or X, through innovation; (3) generate a public product that engages people outside the classroom as participants and/or audience; and (4) match the submission requirements of the New Hampshire Science and Engineering Expo. Mentors who have expertise in relevant areas may also be assigned to students to support particularly complex projects. Due to space limitations, sign-up for RED X - Compete does not guarantee enrollment. Interested students should see Dr. Masoni for more information. Please note that many projects may lend themselves to a team based approach, in which case students who are interested in collaborating as part of a team should also schedule a meeting with Dr. Masoni.
  • STEM: Design Thinking

    (F)
    This upper school interdisciplinary STEM X course immerses students in project based learning experiences that allow them to explore their interests as they relate to the various strands of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The course introduces students to design thinking, an iterative problem solving approach that has been researched and disseminated by the Institute of Design at Stanford University, also known as the d.School. Students use design thinking and technology, such as 3d printers, Arduino and laser cutters, to create prototypes of products that solve specific problems. Principally a workshop experience taking place in the Science and Innovation Center, this class provides students with the guidance, space and resources to design and realize “X projects” that they are interested in and that meaningfully connect with their lives and their communities. These X projects will be published on the DIY website, Instructables.com.
  • STEM: Innovation

    (W)
    This STEM X course in X Studio introduces students to systems thinking and phenomenon based analysis as problem solving tools that can be used to creatively tackle local and global challenges. These innovation “X challenges” are aligned with the grand challenges that MIT chooses every year through its Solve program and they include and extend beyond the traditional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines. The course blends case studies with projects that are primarily student interest driven, focused on problems that are discovered, investigated and solved by students. Students will also be able to participate in both individual and group competitions, such as the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Derryfield students were winners and finalists in 2017 and 2018!) and the AT&T Inventor's Challenge (won by Derryfield students in 2016 and 2017!). Students learn to approach projects with an innovator’s mindset, which includes collaboration, grit, empathy, experimentation, investigation, reflection, creative problem solving, and storytelling.
  • STEM: Entrepreneurship

    (S)
    Through this STEM X course, students will learn how to use an entrepreneurial mindset to answer critical business questions and confidently pitch their ideas about how to solve a problem (“X”) to different audiences through authentic role play. Students will become proficient in using the Google Ventures design sprint process to design, prototype, and test solutions for problems that face a STEM startup. This course will challenge students to work both individually and as part of teams to develop the research skills, analytical rigor, creative thinking and entrepreneurial attitudes needed to investigate and tackle real world problems. Students will learn business concepts ranging from minimum viable business product to total addressable market, which are critical to successfully executing business projects. Ultimately, students will create a business plan for a startup and may pitch their “X startup” in a business competition.
  • Computer Science Lab I

    (F, W, S)
    The Introduction to Computer Science course is intended for any student, regardless of prior experience. This course aims to introduce students to a wide range of topics relating to computer science by providing a workshop environment where students complete interest driven projects. Students are guided through two different technology strands with real world connections. The first strand consists of an online coding platform called freeCodeCamp that is used by programmers to earn computer programming certificates as a qualification for software engineering jobs. Students work with the building blocks of the internet, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The second strand centers on Arduino microcontrollers used by industrial engineers and designers as a tool to prototype new products. As the year progresses, experienced students have the opportunity to mentor new students entering at the first level. Opportunities will also be presented for students to engage in hack-a-thons, field trips, and other outreach events.
  • Computer Science Lab II

    (F, W, S)
    The Introduction to Computer Science course is intended for any student, regardless of prior experience. This course aims to introduce students to a wide range of topics relating to computer science by providing a workshop environment where students complete interest driven projects. Students are guided through two different technology strands with real world connections. The first strand consists of an online coding platform called freeCodeCamp that is used by programmers to earn computer programming certificates as a qualification for software engineering jobs. Students work with the building blocks of the internet, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The second strand centers on Arduino microcontrollers used by industrial engineers and designers as a tool to prototype new products. As the year progresses, experienced students have the opportunity to mentor new students entering at the first level. Opportunities will also be presented for students to engage in hack-a-thons, field trips, and other outreach events.
  • Computer Science Lab III

    (F, W, S)
    The Introduction to Computer Science course is intended for any student, regardless of prior experience. This course aims to introduce students to a wide range of topics relating to computer science by providing a workshop environment where students complete interest driven projects. Students are guided through two different technology strands with real world connections. The first strand consists of an online coding platform called freeCodeCamp that is used by programmers to earn computer programming certificates as a qualification for software engineering jobs. Students work with the building blocks of the internet, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The second strand centers on Arduino microcontrollers used by industrial engineers and designers as a tool to prototype new products. As the year progresses, experienced students have the opportunity to mentor new students entering at the first level. Opportunities will also be presented for students to engage in hack-a-thons, field trips, and other outreach events.
  • AT Mathematics: Investment Math

    This seminar style course will begin with an exploration of the broader capital markets and an examination of the fundamental principles of investing (time value of money, efficient market hypothesis, risk vs. return, supply/demand dynamics, market cycles, etc.). The focus will then shift to the technical analysis of single security price data as an ideal application of precalculus and other mathematics. Students will be responsible for analyzing a specific stock over the course of the term using the tools developed in the class. Throughout the course, there will be an emphasis on relating current events to the financial markets. The class will explore the power of TradeStation’s software (see hardware requirements below). We will learn about some of the many different functionalities that TradeStation offers, and we will apply these functionalities to different price series. We will begin to develop our first strategy by optimizing parameters of basic analysis techniques learned in the fall. We will apply an advanced statistical Walk Forward Analysis to review our results. Then we will learn how to code using EasyLanguage. We will then develop hypotheses about what drives the markets and use our ability to code to write an algorithmic trading programs that try to capture gains from these observations. We will backtest our programs and evaluate their performance. We will then learn about how to manage a portfolio through the application of many different non-correlated algorithms.
    *Prerequisite: Precalculus
    This course is cross-listed with the Math and STEM X Departments
    Required: Windows Based computer or Apple computer with Bootcamp and Windows installed. Chromebook or Tablet/iPad are not acceptable.
  • Computer Science Practice and Principles

    (Grade 10)
    This exposure course is designed to give all sophomores an introduction to the principles of computer programming and the impact that computational technologies have on modern society. We will work in the Python programming language and learn basic control structures, object manipulation, and get introduced to data structures. We will also consider other topics such as cryptography and security, big data, digital humanism, virtual/alternate reality and artificial intelligence. Students will be able to transfer and apply the knowledge from this course to make better informed decisions about how to leverage technology using interdisciplinary approaches. Computer Science Practice and Principles also serves as a gateway to future coding and STEM courses.
    This course will be taken as an Explorations class and is graded Pass/Fail.

  • Software Design with Java

    (year) (Grades 9-12)
    This course is an extensive and detailed introduction to computer programming and software design using the Java programming language. We assume some understanding of basic programming structures, including variables and assignments, program flow and decision statements, and iterative looping structures. These topics will be reviewed in detail for Java, before proceeding to deeper topics including arrays and array lists, interfaces and polymorphism, inheritance hierarchies, recursion, sorting, and searching. We maintain a focus on the larger aspects of computer language design, so that our understanding will translate to other programming languages. We will also explore the impact of computers and software in our daily lives, look at some of the theoretical underpinnings of computer science and artificial intelligence, and discuss cybersecurity and privacy.
    *Prerequisites: Introduction to Computer Science or teacher approval and a laptop running Windows, Linux, or MacOS is required.
     
  • AT Computer Science: Software Design with Java

    (year)
    This course allows students with a stronger background in programming to learn Java and additionally manage our Derryfield hackathon, DS Hacks. This is an annual programming event for local high school students. Given a theme or problem to solve, groups of coders work intensively to produce a working software product over the course of several hours. The programs are judged and prizes are awarded to participants. Students in the AT version of this course will plan, organize, market, run, and judge the event, applying the lessons of the course to the experience, ensuring its success. Students are expected to be motivated, willing to learn some additional coding skills over the course of the year, and put in many extra hours of work on the hackathon outside the classroom.
    *Prerequisites: Teacher approval is required for the AT version of this course.
  • STEM: Renewable Design

    These upper school interdisciplinary courses immerse students in design thinking and project based learning experiences that allow them to explore their interests as they relate to the various strands of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Each trimester course will give students ample opportunities to learn through doing – foam and fiberglass airfoil design (Fall), investigating and building components of a working steam engine (Winter), and how to construct with green consideration in mind (Spring). Individual projects will include building models, disassembling and reconstructing professional-grade exemplars, and matching each exploration to appropriate testing apparatuses. Group projects will allow students to specialize in an area of study that they wish to develop, allowing more complex designs to be executed.
  • STEM: Steam Technology

    These upper school interdisciplinary courses immerse students in design thinking and project based learning experiences that allow them to explore their interests as they relate to the various strands of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Each trimester course will give students ample opportunities to learn through doing – foam and fiberglass airfoil design (Fall), investigating and building components of a working steam engine (Winter), and how to construct with green consideration in mind (Spring). Individual projects will include building models, disassembling and reconstructing professional-grade exemplars, and matching each exploration to appropriate testing apparatuses. Group projects will allow students to specialize in an area of study that they wish to develop, allowing more complex designs to be executed.
  • STEM: Wind and Energy

    These upper school interdisciplinary courses immerse students in design thinking and project based learning experiences that allow them to explore their interests as they relate to the various strands of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Each trimester course will give students ample opportunities to learn through doing – foam and fiberglass airfoil design (Fall), investigating and building components of a working steam engine (Winter), and how to construct with green consideration in mind (Spring). Individual projects will include building models, disassembling and reconstructing professional-grade exemplars, and matching each exploration to appropriate testing apparatuses. Group projects will allow students to specialize in an area of study that they wish to develop, allowing more complex designs to be executed.

Faculty

  • Steven Pankratz
  • Photo of Mia Ek
    Mia Ek
    Technology Integrationist
  • Photo of Peter Talpey
    Peter Talpey
    Math Faculty Member
    Bio
  • Photo of Steve Young
    Steve Young
    Bio

The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715