Summer Session Course Descriptions

Please note:

  • All courses are virtual.
  • Course descriptions for the Lamplighter Literary Arts Summer Writing Institute can be found here.

College Prep (for students entering grades 10-12)

ENGLISH

ACADEMIC WRITING
Gain the scholarly skills that will be crucial throughout your high school and college careers: developing and writing research papers, persuasive essays, and literary analysis. You’ll concentrate on creating strong thesis statements, building focused paragraphs, and looking deeply at individual texts. You’ll engage in extensive free writing, peer editing, and note taking; these tools and techniques will help you build a strong foundation. Weekly reviews of grammar and punctuation rules are an important component of the class, as are exercises designed to hone each student’s individual writing voice. 

COLLEGE WRITING
This advanced writing course will focus on AP English content and will prepare you for the language and composition class that may be in your future as a high school junior or senior. You’ll learn the fundamentals of rhetoric and dive into college-level texts. You’ll study argumentative and analytical prose techniques while furthering your literary synthesis skills. Covering a full academic year’s content, it’s rigorous work — good preparation for college.

CREATIVE WRITING
What do YOU want to say? In this course, you’ll explore and experiment with the writing of fiction, personal essays, and poetry, developing your own ideas as you produce a portfolio of work. You’ll work in groups and one-on-one with the instructor, and you’ll engage in workshop-style feedback sessions as well as peer editing. Assignments often are tailored for individual students in response to needs and interests. You’ll read a variety of works to facilitate both discussion of what constitutes good writing and experimentation in your own work. 

WRITING REVOLUTION: CHRONICLING AND CATALYZING SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
You’ll flex your writing muscles and build an activist mindset as you chart the braided histories of major social upheavals and the journalists, novelists, filmmakers, and musicians who both chronicled and catalyzed change as it emerged. We will discuss and analyze texts to understand how written works helped realize major social and political changes in the last 100 years. We’ll sample Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Gene Roberts and Hank Libanoff’s The Race Beat, Adrienne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy, Octavia Butler’s Parables, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, various works by Eileen Myles, and more.

MATH

These courses are designed to cover a full year of curriculum in six weeks. Students should expect a fast-paced, intensive course, and must demonstrate a pattern of high achievement with a recommendation from their current math teacher. While some of these courses are “for credit,” NMH cannot guarantee credit or acceleration at another school. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain approval from their school prior to commencing the course.

ALGEBRA I 
This class covers a full academic year of content and includes the following topics: properties of mathematical systems; solution of equations and inequalities; solution of equations that involve square root and absolute value; graphs of linear equations and systems, slope, and intercepts; graphs of inequalities; operations on polynomials and on rational and irrational expressions; and solution of quadratic equations by factoring and by the quadratic formula. The solution of word problems is an integral part of the course. 
(6 weeks, for credit)

GEOMETRY
This class covers a full academic year of content with the objective of developing geometric ideas logically, using deductive and inductive reasoning and direct and indirect proof. Topics include the properties of triangles and other polygons, parallel and perpendicular lines, congruence and similarity, circles, and the properties of solids. Prerequisite: Algebra I. 
(6 weeks, for credit)

ALGEBRA II
This class covers a full academic year of content (excluding trigonometry) and includes review of Algebra I, functions and relations, linear functions, systems of linear equations and inequalities, quadratic functions and complex numbers, exponential and logarithmic functions, rational algebraic functions, irrational algebraic functions, and quadratic systems. There is an emphasis on solving word problems using mathematical models in real-world applications. A Texas Instruments graphing calculator (TI-Nspire CAS) is required. Prerequisite: Algebra I. 
(6 weeks, for credit)

PRECALCULUS
This class covers a full academic year of content and is designed to prepare you for Advanced Placement AB or BC calculus. It includes detailed study of polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions. Special emphasis is placed on graphs of these functions to gain insight into their behavior. A Texas Instruments graphing calculator (TI-Nspire CAS) is required. Prerequisite: Algebra II. 
(6 weeks, for credit)

STATISTICS
This introductory course covers numerical and graphical analysis of quantitative and categorical variables, applications of the normal distribution, and linear regression, as well as probability, experimental design and sampling methods, and continuous and discrete random variables. You will be exposed to sampling distributions and Statistical Inference, including the main types of both confidence intervals and hypothesis tests.  This course is modelled after a traditional non-AP high school course. 
(6 weeks, for credit)

TOPICS IN ALGEBRA AND PRECALCULUS
This three-week intensive course is designed for students who have already taken Algebra II or Precalculus/Trigonometry and experienced difficulty with some topics OR students who will soon take those courses and want an advanced preview of the key concepts and topics. This is not a for-credit course. Lessons will be individually tailored to specific areas in order to build a more solid foundation for future math work. 

TOPICS IN CALCULUS
This three-week intensive course is designed for students who have already taken Calculus and experienced difficulty with some topics OR students who will soon take Calculus (either at the AP or standard level) and want an advance preview of key concepts and topics. This is not a full-credit course. Lessons will be individually tailored to specific areas to build a more solid understanding of calculus.

SPORTS ANALYTICS  
This course will develop the skills needed to work in our data-centric society. Dive into key analytical techniques and models used to evaluate individual player performance, prioritize statistical relevance of specific metrics, predict future outcomes, and optimize team performance. The course will focus on basketball and baseball but will encourage application of learned concepts across the sports spectrum through individual and group assignments.


SCIENCE

BIOETHICS
Would you choose to determine how tall your child would be before they were conceived? Would you ensure your child would be disease-free — by manipulating their genome? Bioethics is an interdisciplinary class that studies biology and ethics as they relate to advances in reproductive technology, medicine, and research. In this accelerated course, we will examine historical and current issues around bioethics and pose the question: Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?
(Session 2 only)

BIOLOGY 
This course builds understanding of the molecules and substances important to cell structure and function, then expands to genetics and organismal biology, and wraps up with evolution and ecology. Explore key principles and concepts with emphasis on how cells work and ultimately how the whole organism depends on those cellular processes. Participate in class discussions and small-group projects and presentations, and observe laboratory investigations. For some units of study, you will choose a specific topic to research or design a lab procedure to explore your own question. 
(6 weeks, for credit) 

PHYSICS
This course is designed for 9th graders who have already completed Algebra I and sophomores who have already taken biology. Explore the basic principles of motion and the forces that govern the universe through topics in mechanics, heat, and electricity and magnetism. You’ll develop skills in problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and data analysis, and build experience in collecting and analyzing data from laboratory investigations, simulations, and other projects. 
(6 weeks, for credit) 

CHEMISTRY 
This course delves into the study of matter and how it changes by examining topics such as atomic structure, periodicity, and bonding; names, formulas, and reactions of chemical substances; the mole concept and stoichiometry; thermo-chemistry; gas behavior; kinetic theory; and equilibrium. We will emphasize independent preparation, student-driven exploration, discussion-based projects and assessments, and virtual labs and activities. 
(6 weeks, for credit) 

ANATOMY THROUGH YOGA
This course will explore human anatomy and physiology through movement. We will take on three main topics: the skeletal system, the muscular system, and the connection between mindfulness and the brain. Learn the main bones in the human skeleton and how they grow, how connective tissue and muscles articulate bones and joints, how muscles fire and grow, and how exercise activates and benefits the brain. We will follow class discussions with yoga sessions so students can learn while their physical systems are in use.   

UNDERSTANDING YOUR MIND: NEUROSCIENCE AND COGNITION 
This course will delve into basic brain and neural anatomy with a special focus on the intersection of the brain and the mind. Drawing from current theories and various sources, we will investigate the relationships between cognitive processes such as perception, learning, memory, decision-making, problem-solving, and neural functioning. We will also explore tools and techniques for cognitive enhancement — how to get smarter!


HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCE

EXPLORING DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE*
This course is designed to improve intergroup relations by breaking down barriers as well as developing an appreciation of diverse social identities. We will work on increasing personal awareness of our own identities, expanding knowledge of other identities and social and historical issues surrounding diversity, and encouraging action so you can see yourself as an agent of change in creating a more just and equitable world. 
*Open to all grades for enrichment. This course satisfies the DSJ course requirement for NMH students who are rising 10th graders.

GLOBAL ETHICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
This course will explore global ethical issues such as the implications of eating meat, updating our tech tools every year, or paying taxes. We’ll aim to gain more awareness of how our actions as consumers and citizens play into global systems that privilege some people and oppress others. We will analyze ideas and questions through various ethical perspectives — both philosophical and religious.
 
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
This course will strengthen design-thinking skills through challenges to solve large- and small-scale environmental problems. We will focus on climate change and food systems, building out prototypes and working together to challenge assumptions and strengthen creative approaches to problem-solving. 

PSYCHOLOGY
How does the mind work? How do our thoughts and emotions shape our actions in the world? Are there differences in the way people learn? This course covers a full academic year of content and uses literature, library research, experiments, and group projects to dive into the study of human behavior. You’ll explore traditional topics such as learning, memory, development, personality, the biological basis of behavior, and psychotherapy. You’ll also delve into newer sub-fields of study such as forensic (criminal) psychology, health psychology, the psychology of terrorism, and gender psychology. The practical application of psychology to everyday life is a major focus of the course. 
(6 weeks, for credit)

U.S. HISTORY
Looking back helps us think about the future. This intensive course covers a full academic year of content and moves chronologically through the American past, looking at the United States as it developed from an agrarian society to an urban-industrial global power. You’ll read the work of eminent historians, engage in seminar discussions, do independent research, and write your own work, all with the goal of including a variety of perspectives. The course includes a research paper and multiple essays focused on critically assessing issues in U.S. history.
(6 weeks, for credit)

ECONOMICS 
You make economic decisions every day. Do you buy what you want or what you need? Why should anyone care if the stock market drops 500 points or if the price of oil doubles? Economics is the study of how people use their limited resources. Covering a full academic year of content, this course investigates the microeconomic perspective — individual behavior and business decisions — as well as the macroeconomic perspective — growth, inflation, trade, and employment. The work will benefit both students going forward in math and other studies that require analytical thinking and students leaning toward political science and history.
(6 weeks, for credit)


OPTIONAL ADD-ON COURSES

NAVIGATING THE COLLEGE ADMISSION PROCESS
Tap into more than 25 years of expertise with two of NMH’s college counselors. This intensive three-week course, offered in both Session 1 and Session 2, is geared towards rising juniors and seniors who are not current NMH students. We’ll help you start your college search, develop an initial college list, and learn how to make the most of campus tours and visits. Other topics include building an activity list and resume, developing special interests and talents, and navigating the competitive athletic-recruiting process. We’ll help you get started on your common application, including the essay. This course would be taken in addition to your main course(s).
(Note: This course does not include continued counseling services after the summer term concludes.)

ACT AND SAT TEST PREPARATION
This course is taught by the Summit Educational Group. Colleges in the U.S. accept both the SAT and ACT and do not have a preference for one test over the other. This class will help you reach your full testing potential. 
The three major components of the class are: 

  1. Strategy: a game plan for every section and question 
  2. Content: understand the math, grammar rules, and how to approach the reading and science sections 
  3. Practice: build confidence to move efficiently through the test

There are several options for afternoon, evening, or weekend classes:

  • SAT or ACT, 6-week session, Math and English
  • SAT or ACT, 3-week session, Math or English
  • SAT, 6-week session, Math and English, weekend option

PUBLIC SPEAKING
Get rid of stage fright and prepare for all those presentations facing you in high school and college. Learn the principles of effective public speaking — and practice, practice, practice! You’ll try various forms of public address, from brief improvisational talks to formal speeches. (This is a three-week afternoon class 4 -5 pm ET.)

K-POP DANCE 
This pop and hip-hop dance class focuses on the style of K-pop performances and music videos. All levels of dance experience welcome! 
(This is a three-week evening class 6-7 pm ET.)
 

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Rising Scholars (for students entering grades 7-9)

MATH

PRE-ALGEBRA
Gain a strong foundation in the most important concepts of algebra. You’ll study variables and properties, solve equations and inequalities, learn about functions and graphing, work with triangles and lay a foundation for geometry, and build the skills you need for success in future mathematics courses.  

ADVANCED MATH OPTIONS
The following math courses are designed to cover a full year of curriculum in six weeks. Students should expect a fast-paced, intensive course, and must demonstrate a pattern of high achievement with a recommendation from their current math teacher. While some of these courses are “for credit,” NMH cannot guarantee credit or acceleration at another school. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain approval from their school prior to commencing the course.

ALGEBRA I (see College Prep section)
ALGEBRA II (see College Prep section)
GEOMETRY (see College Prep section)


ENGLISH

SKILLS IN LITERATURE
The goal of this course is to encourage you to enjoy reading. Develop skills in understanding and analyzing fiction, drama, and poetry through daily reading and writing assignments. We’ll read and discuss fiction of different styles; study fundamental elements such as plot, setting, and theme; and relate the literature to your own experiences. Vocabulary is studied daily to enhance comprehension.

THE WORLD OF THE SHORT STORY 
In this course, you’ll write your own short story. Learn the pieces that make up a short story and how setting, characters, and plot fit together. We’ll read and discuss short stories that are realistic as well as those that stray from the real world, and tackle writing assignments to help you ultimately create your own work.
(Session 1 only)

THE ART OF WRITING 
Are you a poet in the making? Do you have a story to tell? In this course, you’ll try your hand at different types of writing such as essays, drama, fiction, and poetry. You’ll also read short stories, essays, and poems; practice free-writing; and develop and revise your own work with feedback from the teacher and classmates.
 


SCIENCE

FORENSIC SCIENCE
This course is an introduction to the principles and practices of forensic science, which starts with crime scene investigation. You’ll learn about collecting and processing evidence, and scientific tools and techniques for analyzing certain types of evidence. Pattern recognition — including fingerprint analysis, document analysis, and ballistics analysis — may be emphasized. Case studies of actual crime scenes will be presented and discussed. A background in biology or chemistry is not required, but we’ll cover basic forensic biology and chemistry topics such as DNA analysis, hair analysis, toxicology, and materials analysis. 

MARINE BIOLOGY
The ocean is like a layer cake that covers two-thirds of our plant. Discover the creatures that live in it, how they interact with each other, and how they adapt to the various marine environments within the ocean. Examine the effects that pollution and human activities, such as fishing, have on our oceans and discover how you can make a difference.


HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCE

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
How do people think about themselves and others? What motivates their behavior? Using literature, experiments, and group projects, we’ll learn how humans interact, communicate, and connect with others. We’ll examine positive and negative influences such as decision making, group behavior, attraction, aggression, and factors that promote health and well-being. We’ll make observations, conduct experiments, and report findings as we seek to understand the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals.

HEROES AND VILLAINS  
In this course, we’ll dive into the epic struggle between good and evil. Embark upon a hero’s journey through literature, film, legend, and history. Are villains just heroes of their own stories? How can YOU be a hero in your own life? Through discussion and consideration of heroes and villains ranging from Achilles and Agamemnon to Iron Man and Thanos, we’ll look at morality in a whole new light and deepen our perceptions of heroism and villainy. 

MEDIEVAL HISTORY 
Sharpen your sword, don your armor, and saddle up your warhorse! Learn about knighthood, chivalry, and the art of battle. Explore castles, investigate the inner workings of the church, and step into the shoes of an average peasant. Discover why legendary heroes — both real and mythical — such as Joan of Arc, King Arthur of Camelot, and Marco Polo continue to influence our stories and culture today. A world of honor, duty, and adventure awaits! 

 
OPTIONAL ADD-ON COURSES

SSAT PREPARATION
This course, taught by Summit Educational Group instructors, focuses on the academic skills and test-taking techniques you’ll need to succeed on the SSAT exam. There are several options for afternoon, evening, or weekend classes. This course would be taken in addition to your main course(s).
The three major components are: 

  1. Strategy: a game plan for every section and question 
  2. Content: understand the math, grammar rules, and how to approach the reading and science sections 
  3. Practice: build confidence to move efficiently through the test

PUBLIC SPEAKING
Get rid of stage fright and prepare for all those presentations facing you in high school and college. Learn the principles of effective public speaking — and practice, practice, practice! You’ll try various forms of public address, from brief improvisational talks to formal speeches. (This is a three-week afternoon class 4 -5 pm ET.)

K-POP DANCE 
This pop and hip-hop dance class focuses on the style of K-pop performances and music videos. All levels of dance experience welcome!
(This is a three-week evening class, 6 -7 pm ET.)
 

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English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
(for students entering grades 7-12)

MAIN COURSE

This program is for international students who want to improve their English language skills in order to enroll into an American high school or university. There are classes for all levels, from beginners to advanced speakers, and students will be placed in the appropriate level through an English-language placement test. Our experienced ESOL teachers and small classes provide a supportive environment and individual attention, and the curriculum contains an array of opportunities for growth: reading novels, writing essays, giving oral presentations, researching American culture, and interacting with students from all over the world. The program consists of 15 hours of instruction per week and is offered in the evening 7—10 pm ET.

OPTIONAL ADD-ON COURSES

SSAT, SAT, ACT PREPARATION
These courses, taught by Summit Educational Group instructors, focus on the academic skills and test-taking techniques you’ll need to succeed on the ACT, SAT, or SSAT exam. The SSAT is typically required for admission to private high schools like NMH. Colleges in the U.S. accept both the SAT and ACT and do not have a preference for one test over the other. These classes can help you reach your full testing potential, and would be taken in addition to your main course(s).
The three major components of the test-prep course are: 

  1. Strategy: a game plan for every section and question 
  2. Content: understand the math, grammar rules, and how to approach the reading and science sections 
  3. Practice: build confidence to move efficiently through the test

There are several options for afternoon, evening, or weekend classes:

  • SAT or ACT, 6-week session, Math and English
  • SAT or ACT, 3-week session, Math or English
  • SAT, 6-week session, Math and English, weekend option

NAVIGATING THE COLLEGE ADMISSION PROCESS
Tap into more than 25 years of expertise with two of NMH’s college counselors. This intensive three-week course, offered in both Session 1 and Session 2, is geared towards rising juniors and seniors who are not current NMH students. We’ll help you start your college search, develop an initial college list, and learn how to make the most of campus tours and visits. Other topics include building an activity list and resume, developing special interests and talents, and navigating the competitive athletic-recruiting process. We’ll help you get started on your common application, including the essay. This course would be taken in addition to your main course(s).
(Note: This course does not include continued counseling services after the summer term concludes.)

PUBLIC SPEAKING
Get rid of stage fright and prepare yourself for all those presentations facing you in high school and college. Learn the principles of effective public speaking and practice, practice, practice! You’ll try various forms of public address, from brief improvisational talks to formal speeches. (This is a three-week afternoon class 4 -5 pm ET.)

K-POP DANCE 
This pop and hip-hop dance class focuses on the style of K-pop performances and music videos. All levels of dance experience welcome! 
(This is a three-week evening class 6 - 7 pm ET.)
 


 

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