English Department Chair and Writing Center Director
History Department Chair and School Historian
As the world changes, so do we. This fall, we’re unveiling new programs, day-long workshops, and semester courses for WNA students to enroll and revel in. These ‘Next Generation’ courses in cybersecurity, social media, engineering, and creative writing continue WNA’s position as a pioneer of high school education in today’s everchanging world.
Over the past two decades, technology has unleashed an unprecedented amount of societal change on humanity. With all of the tremendous life-altering impacts that this technology has had, it brings with it an untold amount of harm, risk, and destruction.
This unchecked period of innovation has made all of us the subjects of the largest social experiment ever. We are at the beginning of understanding the impacts of these experiments and will need to turn to policy, technology, and innovation to keep us safe as we move into this new era.
These changes most impact our youngest and emerging generations, and they will be tasked with building a better world that is more connected than we can even imagine today. Each member of these generations must be introduced to how this technology impacts them.
This fall, WNA Alumni Josh Feinblum will be hosting a master class that meets students at the intersection of technology and humanity. Using real-world stories, science, and hands-on-keyboard, they will learn how technology is changing us. Students will leave with a first-hand understanding of how easy it is for people with ill-intent to cause harm and learn how the biggest technology companies in the world are trying to address these impossibly complicated challenges.
Did you ever dream about being a filmmaker? Making documentaries? Awesome action videos? WNA now offers this six-week workshop where students will be able to develop their filmmaking and production skills. Students will explore the importance of setting, lighting, dialogue, narrative structure, score, etc. to develop their own style and pacing within their films. Workshop participants will also learn to provide constructive peer feedback as well as synthesize critiques to improve their work. Students will explore cinematic techniques in conjunction with their analysis of masterpieces in cinematography. Each week students will create a very short film that will focus on one or more aspects of filmmaking. Students who successfully complete the workshop will end with a polished 4.5-minute film to add to their portfolio and membership in the Film Creator’s Network at West Nottingham Academy. At the end of the school year, these students may choose to enter their short films at the WNA Film Festival. This workshop will be led by Karen Adams, French Teacher, formerly a producer for BCAT in New York City, and a past participant in Film Race NYC.
Engineering Essentials introduces students to engineering concepts that are applicable across multiple disciplines and empowering them to build technical skills through the use of a variety of tools, such as geographic information systems (GIS) and computer modeling software. Students learn and apply the engineering design process to develop mechanical, electronic, process, and logistical solutions to relevant problems across a variety of sectors, including health care, public service, and product development and manufacturing.
Students advance from completing structured activities to solving open-ended problems providing them opportunities to develop planning and technical documentation skills, critical and creative thinking skills, collaboration, communication, and ethical reasoning. The last is particularly important as the course encourages students to consider the impacts of engineering decisions.
Led by Mrs. Kara Pleasants, we are excited to unveil our new creative writing course to students this fall.
What makes a story worth reading? And what kind of story do you want to tell? In this course, students explore and analyze various forms of literary works to inspire their imaginations. Students compose original work in a variety of genres (formal/informal, polished/unpolished, and fiction/non-fiction). They develop creative and literary skills by going through a creative process, which includes brainstorming, writing multiple drafts, workshopping, and editing and revising final projects. They read and discuss a variety of mentor texts (traditional and non-traditional) to explore the basic techniques of literary expression, including narrative strategies, genres, and style. Students are also introduced to the Writer’s Workshop process to build the necessary skills to both engage in the literary world, reflect on one’s own work and set goals for improvement, and provide supportive and useful criticism for peers’ work. Students will go through the full writing process with multiple assignments per quarter in a variety of genres (poetry, narrative, multimedia, drama), as well as create a portfolio of selections of their best work as the final exam (must include a variety of genres and a reflection component). Ultimately, the course introduces students to the world of creative writing by developing more self-aware, craft-conscious, dedicated, and imaginative writers of the future.
Taught by Mr. Rusty Eder, The United States Constitution is an elective course designed to guide interested students through the origins and modern application of the U.S. Constitution. This is a seminar-style course in the collegiate model relying on reading, writing, and most importantly, classroom discussion to achieve its goals. The course will dive into the theoretical background of the document and its evolution since its birth. Students will be challenged to evaluate primary documents spanning centuries of political thought and to draw conclusions and make critical decisions based on those documents.
Every day, in every activity, from the classroom to the playing fields, art studios, and club gatherings, students are exposed to a diverse community of learners from all walks of life.