Electives (7th and 8th Grade)

Movie Magic
Learn the basics of script writing and the key steps to making a movie. Discover and use interactive tools that make video creation and editing a powerful experience. Travel back in time to learn the history of the movie industry and some of the best movie producers of all time such as: Steven Spielberg, John Lucas, John Singleton, Spike Lee, Lee Dickson, Alfred Hitchcock and Penny Marshall. A final project will include creating your own movie.

Game Creation
Do you have a great idea for an online game? Software, online tools and coding skills are used to create games and simulations. Begin with creating computer animations in which you create stories and watch them come to life. Students then plan, design, create, script or code depending on the project. A deeper look at design and coding puts students on a path to building great games and websites.

Do You Want to Be a Millionaire? The Economics of Innovation
What do you need to become the next Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Sean Combs or Mark Zuckerberg? This course investigates what happens before you find success. Learn about the world's wealthiest businesspeople before they discovered success. Shop for a home, shop for a car and apply it to your personal budget, then create your own small business and present it to the Shark Tank. An understanding of personal success through digital activities, videos and group projects will be explored.

Broadcast Studio
Are you interested in a career in radio, film or television? Students who take this course will learn to navigate Buzz Aldrin's new STEM Broadcast Studio. Students will learn about the functions of broadcast media along with an overview of equipment and skills required for studio production. This course provides a hands-on approach to broadcasting and allows students to explore the studio aspects of writing, editing, performance, design and production.

PLTW
Automation and Robotics I - Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and computer control systems. Students use a robust robotics plate) design, build and program a solution to solve an existing problem. Students are required to build various mechanisms. The program, ROBO Pro, will be used to automate the mechanisms.

Forensics
Forensics is a laboratory-based elective. This course explores different aspects of forensic science including, crime scene basics, DNA and heredity and their uses in identification, tissue structure, skeletal identification, fingerprints, impression evidence, chromatography, hairs and fibers, and blood basics. It also explores uses of technology in the field of forensics. Science activities utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the investigation and experimentation strand of the Content Standards along with some used by professional forensic investigator.

Concert Band
Students learn how to read music, play a band instrument, care for their instrument, and rehearse in a group. Additionally, students study the elements of music through varied exercises, exploring musical composition, writing, arranging, and performing. Experienced students are mixed with beginners resulting in collaborative learning. This is a performance-based course and students will perform in the winter and spring concerts.

Chorus
Chorus is a well-rounded musical experience where students learn about vocal technique, stage presence, music history, terminology, music notation, and careers in music. Students perform in two major concerts each year, several assemblies, and a national music festival in the spring. One of the major goals of chorus is to encourage each student to explore and nurture their strengths and talents. Technology activities include recording original songs on the computer, learning musical skills with computer-based programs and creating musical slide shows. Our goal is to see that chorus members experience the joy of singing and become musically and culturally literate as well. This is a performance-based course and students will perform in the winter and spring concerts.

Dance
Students experience the joy of movement through different dance forms such as African, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and modern. They explore the history of dance and learn choreography. They also have the opportunity to explore many kinds of dance expressions through field trips to dance performances, concerts, and musicals, and performing themselves. This is a performance-based course and students will perform in the winter and spring concerts.

Digital Photography
Digital art and photography surround us. Taking photographs is as easy as pulling out your cell phone or digital camera. In this class students use computers, digital cameras, and many computer programs to create digital art on the computer, as well as learn how to look at the world through a different perspective with the digital camera. Students have the opportunity to take photographs inside and outside. Students learn skills and tools that graphic designers use in the professional field through fun and exciting projects.

Studio Art
Through a variety of media, the principles and elements of design are presented. Projects include drawing, painting, printmaking, weaving, and sculpture. All students are given the opportunity to be creative and express themselves visually. Art critique aesthetics, and art appreciation are also a vital component included to insure a well-rounded arts education.

Mural Painting: Here, there and everywhere
In this painting class, students will create murals to beautify Buzz Aldrin School. Students will learn about the elements and principles of art to create large paintings to be hung throughout the building. Learning about color relationships, mixing paint and studying the artwork of well-known artists will provide the skills to create outstanding works of art. Collaboration is important as students will work in small groups to brainstorm concept, design and paint their Buzz Aldrin masterpieces for everyone to view.

Architecture: Design it! Build it!
Students use their creativity and design flair to create a structure with a program of real life criteria. They learn about elements of architectural design by looking at the works of architects. Students incorporate elements of green design and building materials into their plans. During this course of study, students learn to create floor plans, elevations and study models. The course will culminate in an exhibit in which students present their work.

Set Design
This is a collaborative project-based STEM elective in which students participate in the design and building of the set of the Buzz Aldrin's Spring Musical. This is an unparalleled authentic learning experience. It is performance assessment at its best.

Beginning French
This course is designed for the beginning student of French. The development of listening and speaking skills is emphasized. Practice is provided for correct pronunciation and use of basic language patterns essential for this level. Reading and writing of material mastered orally is begun. Cultural concepts are developed in relation to France, Canada, and French speaking Africa as well as to French influence on life in the United States.

Beginning Spanish
This course is designed for the beginning student of Spanish. The development of listening and speaking skills is emphasized. Practice is provided for correct pronunciation and use of basic language patterns essential for this level. Reading and writing of material mastered orally is begun. Cultural concepts are developed in relation to Spain and Latin America as well as to Spanish influence on life in the United States.

Study Skills
This elective will help enhance study skills as you navigate through your classes. The curriculum in this course will include building time-management and organizational skills. Strategies for reading, writing and math will be facilitated through various activities and projects based upon the student's grade level curriculum.

Math Detectives
This course is for students who have an absolute love of math! It will focus on mathematical problem solving, logic based thinking, and critical thinking skills. Students will be provided with a wide array of challenging situations that can be solved using various methods. You will play mathematical games as well as participate in math contests and competitions. This course will provide opportunities for mathematical enrichment, discovery, creativity, and collaboration! If you have a passion for mathematics and love a challenge, this course is for you!

Inside Buzz Aldrin
This course is designed to teach students about written journalism and to apply those skills to writing about life at Buzz Aldrin! The class will focus on elements of both narrative and non-fiction writing with final products published online.

Music from Caveman to Rock!
From drumming to playing the Blues, this course is designed to introduce you to the world of music composition and performance. There will be lessons on what makes music tick, lessons on history from Bach to Rap, and opportunities to perform your own compositions on percussion, guitar and keyboard.

Open Mic Poetry and Contemporary Lyrics
This course is designed to provide students with a unique opportunity to explore poetic forms and the ways in which contemporary songs are also poetic in nature. Students will be encouraged to write their own poems and songs! There will be an option to perform their work.

Game Design with Robots and other devices
Students will be challenged to design gaming activities with robots and other devices. They will explore the various applications of these devices to curriculum, creating activities that will encourage learning in others.

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