Courses

MSON courses take students beyond what they might normally encounter in high school, igniting their passions for fields such as advanced mathematics, creative non-fiction, philosophy, psychology, economics, computer science, or language study Arabic or Ancient Greek.

You managed to forge a sense of real connection with students despite the “virtual” environment.

- MSON Student

Featured Courses

ADVANCED MACROECONOMICS

Course Video

Instructor: Julien Meyer, Severn School, Severna Park, MD

Course Description:

Advanced Macroeconomics is a semester course that covers the study of an economic system as a whole. Topics include economic performance measures, price-level determination (inflation and deflation), the financial sector, monetary and fiscal policies, economic growth, productivity, unemployment, and international trade and the balance of payments. Students will manipulate economic models and “think like an economist.” While the course does not follow the AP curriculum, students will be positioned, with extra work on their own, to take the AP exam if they wish.

CHINESE SEMINAR

Course Video

Instructors: Lan Lin, Hopkins School, New Haven, CT

Course Description:

This intermediate level course, conducted entirely in Chinese, involves the reading of authentic texts of modern Chinese society and culture. Students explore current cultural topics through stories, dialogues, and documentaries using multimedia materials ranging from Internet, television, and films to traditional textbooks. Throughout the year, students write papers, critique films, and participate in oral discussion and debates.

DIVERSITY IN A GLOBAL COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

Course Video

Instructor: John Aden, Canterbury School, Ft. Wayne, IN

Course Description:

This course examines the ways our Human Family has sought to create, marshal, contest, and maintain identities through Culture and relations of power. These identities can be appreciated through “lenses of analysis.” The course critically engages the traditional “Big Three” lenses of analysis: Race, Class, and Gender, understanding that Culture serves as an important backdrop against which these identities emerge. Once students appreciate the important ways the Social Sciences have engaged with, written about, and debated these three core modes of analysis, the course expands to incorporate other, equally rich, lenses: age, ableism, intellectual diversity, geographic diversity, cognitive and neurological diversity, and the business case for Diversity, as well as how to study synergistically intertwined phenomena. Film and Critical Film Studies, as well as the role Colonialism has played in the major conflicts of the last 500 years, each serve to enrich student understandings of Diversity.

MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS

Instructors: Josh Link, Maret School, Washington, DC
Erika Amaya, Chadwick, School, Palos Verdes, CA

Course Description:

The mathematics of three dimensions is the emphasis of this college-level course. Multivariable Calculus will explore the geometry of three-dimensional space, including vector arithmetic. It will also explore threedimensional surfaces, using the tools of derivatives and integrals expanded into multiple dimensions. A robust unit on differential equations will allow students to review the topics of single-variable calculus. The emphasis throughout the course will be on problem-solving and on real-world applications of the tools students learn in fields such as economics, astronomy, physics, engineering, and medicine

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

Course Video

Instructor: Blake Keogh, Waynflete School, Portland, ME

Course Description:

This course begins by providing a historical context of positive psychology within broader psychological research and helps explain why the field is of particular importance to those in a high school or college setting. Students will be introduced to the primary components and related functions of the brain in order to understand the biological foundation of our emotional experiences. Current research will be used to develop a broader sense of what positive psychology is and is not, and how it can be applied in students’ own lives. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of basic research methods and their application to the science of psychology. This course will require substantial reading (sometimes on par with 100 level college courses) and writing. Students will be asked to reflect regularly on their individual experiences in order to integrate course material into their daily lives. One of the key learning outcomes is to have each participant identify his or her own strengths while simultaneously recognizing and respecting the attributes others bring to the course.

BOB DYLAN'S AMERICA

Course Video

Instructor: Dean Masullo, University School of Nashville, Nashville, TN

Course Description:

Arguably the most influential, important, and closely scrutinized American artist of the past six decades, Bob Dylan is as difficult to define as the nation that produced him. Connecting his work to contemporary theories of cultural memory, this course looks at the ways in which Dylan, both in his music and his cultivation of various public personae, maps the contours of the national imagination and explores the prevailing attitudes of class, race, gender, and place in American culture. Proceeding chronologically and using Dylan’s masterworks and subsequent official “bootleg” recordings as touchstones, students will consider a variety of texts, including poetry, fiction, and cultural history; biography and autobiography; and popular and documentary film, including Greil Marcus’ The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (2001), Murray Lerner’s Festival (1967), D. A. Pennebaker’s Dont Look Back (1967), and Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home (2005) and Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story (2015). Access to a music streaming service such as Spotify or Apple Music is required; access to video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime is strongly recommended.

DATA STRUCTURES AND DESIGN PATTERNS

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Instructor: J.D. DeVaughn-Brown, Chadwick School, Palos Verdes, CA

Course Description:

This course is a yearlong course that will give advanced students the strong foundation needed to build complex applications using object-oriented principles and the skills needed to gain a top-level internship at a tech firm. This course covers the design and implementation of data structures including arrays, stacks, queues, linked lists, binary trees, heaps, balanced trees (e.g. AVL-trees) and graphs. The course will also serve as an introduction to software design patterns. Each pattern represents a best practice solution to a software problem in a specific context. The course covers the rationale and benefits of object-oriented software design patterns. Numerous problems will be studied to investigate the implementation of good design patterns. Students will receive assistance in crafting an effective resume and go through sample interview questions.

INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Course Video

Instructor: Jocelyn Rodgers, Maret School, Washington, DC

Course Description:

This semester course will provide useful background information in organic chemistry by covering topics not typically found in high school chemistry courses. The course will give insight into the importance of the chemistry of carbon compounds to our daily lives. Topics covered will include organic nomenclature, structural formulas, stereochemistry, bonding, reaction mechanisms, and chemical transformations of functional groups. Completion of the course should make students more confident in their chemical background when entering college biology or chemistry courses.

A NATION DIVIDED: THE LITERATURE OF CIVIL RIGHTS IN THE MODERN US

Course Video

Instructor: Linda Rodriguez, St. Andrews Episcopal School, Ridgeland, MS

Course Description:

The story of equality in America is a tale of achingly slow but steady progress. From the Civil War to the present day, the path toward equal rights has never been direct or secure. This semester course is designed as an interdisciplinary exploration of the quest for civil rights throughout the 19th and 20th centuries as it relates to African Americans, women, Native Americans, Asian Americans, migrant workers and the LGBTQ community. Special focus will be given to the indelible role that the deep South played in the struggle. Students will work with various texts including Supreme Court Cases, memoire, essays, poetry, short fiction, and primary source documents. Additionally, students will design and implement their own oral history projects as a culmination to the class.

In Their Words

Our teachers describe their courses.

Carrie Lopez

CSI: MSON

Jason Zencka

Watching the Watchmen

Benson Hawk

Sugar, Tobacco, Iron and Silicon

Dan Jacobs

Think Global, Debate Local

Matt Twomey Smith

Dynamics of Political Leadership

Julien Meyer

Advanced Math through Finance

Jocelyn Rodgers

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

Kaveh Niazi

Arabic 1

Jocelyn Rodgers

Advanced Topics in Chemistry

Joseph Addison

Native American Literature

A fantastic class that made me think about myself in relation to the world around me. Life changing.
- MSON Student