2015-2016 Elective Offerings

Elective Course Descriptions:

Advanced Band: Already play a band instrument? The Puma Pride Advanced Band is for you! Concerts, performances and music that will rock your world. Pre-requisite: A minimum of one year of playing a band instrument in elementary or middle school.

Art: Students of all abilities will learn and apply the elements and principles of design by using a variety of media.

ASB: Do you have great ideas for activities and events? Enjoy planning and putting on fun activities at lunchtime? Join ASB and you can do all of that and more! Pre-requisite: ASB candidates must qualify for the class. Grade point average, attendance and discipline history are all considered during the application process.

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID): AVID is an academic elective class that is comprised of academic instruction, tutorial support and motivational activities. AVID students learn with college tutors, develop success strategies and visit college campuses. AVID students are required to apply and interview in order to be considered for the class.

Beginning Band: Tired of pretending to play an instrument on your Xbox or Wii? Learn to play a real instrument! School instruments are available for use free of charge! Be a part of the Puma Pride Band Machine!

Introduction to Drama: This class is a mix of creative expression and interpersonal communication skills designed to help students learn the basics of improvisation and acting in addition to being introduced to theatre history, script analysis, and the director’s role in a production.

Journalism: Journalism will introduce you to the world of mass media (print, television, internet) and how the world of media is changing. We will cover an overview of media, the first amendment and how it protects journalists, photojournalism, news writing and gathering, feature, sports, and opinion writing.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) - Automation & Robotics: Students will be able to trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths and robotic arms.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) - Medical Detectives: Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene”. They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) - Design & Modeling: Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They work in teams to design a playground and furniture, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks. Using Autodesk design software, students create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their innovative solutions.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) - Science of Technology: Science impacts the technology of yesterday, today, and the future. Students apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to STEM activities and projects, including making ice cream, cleaning up an oil spill, and discovering the properties of nano-materials.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) - Introduction to Computer Science: Designed to be the first computer science course for students who have never programmed before, ICS is an optional starting point for the PLTW Computer Science program. Students work in teams to create simple apps for mobile devices using MIT App Inventor®. Students explore the impact of computing in society and the application of computing across career paths and build skills and awareness in digital citizenship and cybersecurity. Students model, simulate, and analyze data about themselves and their interests. They also transfer the understanding of programming gained in App Inventor to learn introductory elements of text-based programming in Python® to create strategy games.

Spanish: This course introduces the basic skills and vocabulary to converse in the Spanish language and gives students an understanding of Hispanic culture.

Technology: Technology is a course that guide students through exploration of many facets of the world of technology, including: Coding, app design, website construction, animation, video production, still image editing (photography), productivity software (Google apps), reflection on the history of technology (and its future), and keyboarding. Students who complete a course in Technology at Pinacate Middle School will be prepared to continue advanced exploration of their technology skills, possibly leading to a career in the fascinating digital world.

Yearbook: In this course, students will gain skills in one or more of the following areas: page design, publishing techniques, copy writing, editing and photography while producing a creative, innovative yearbook which records school memories and events. There is an emphasis on journalism skills in this class! Participants gain useful, real world skills in time management, marketing, teamwork, and design principles.


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