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Upper School Academic Departments

Technology Education

The goal of our Technology Education program is to prepare students to use technology tools confidently, capably, and ethically as future leaders and members of the global community. The curriculum encourages students to be 21st century critical thinkers as well as responsible digital citizens. The courses offered emphasize a problem-solving mindset. Students learn how to use new technologies to approach open-ended problems, prototype their designs, analyze feedback, and redesign and retest their ideas. With an emphasis on project-based learning, students apply their knowledge, develop collaborative skills, and demonstrate creative solutions to problems. In an effort to reflect the quick pace of change in the technology world, a variety of courses are offered each year. Course offerings may vary depending on enrollment.
  • Photojournalism - Yearbook

    Grades 10-12
    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Departmental approval
    Students oversee the production of the yearbook from inception to distribution, mastering page design, layout, and photographic composition while writing and editing for an archival publication. Additionally, students will learn the basics of digital photography with SLR cameras. Evaluation is based on students’ mastery of these skills as well as their ability to work as a team in a deadline-driven environment. The class has a limited enrollment, and students must apply for acceptance into the class. Applications are available through the Scheduling Office. Students who meet the class qualifications require the approval of the yearbook adviser.
  • Digital Media Literacy

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Students will develop their knowledge of new media and the tools used to produce it while designing and producing their own video, photography, magazine cover, social media graphics and other digital projects. Throughout the course, participants will explore the issues that are driving change in the digital world, and what it means to be a good digital citizen. Students will use the Adobe Suite of products including Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Rush, and Lightroom. The course promotes digital-media literacy, emphasizing 21st century digital citizenship.
  • Programming II

    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Intro to Programming 
    This course introduces students to the fundamental topics of computer science such as problem solving, design strategies, data structures, algorithms, and logic as well as the ethical and social implications of technology tools and their uses. Class participants will expand their knowledge and use of JAVA programming tools to solve complex problems through hands-on experiences and examples. Students are expected to have an understanding of basic coding structures upon entering the course. Therefore, previous programming experience (such as the Introduction to Programming course) is highly recommended before enrolling in this course. Programming II is a prerequisite for the AP Computer Science Course, and covers the introductory content of the College Board AP Comp Sci A curriculum.
  • Robotics I

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: None
    In this entry-level robotics course, students are introduced to the basic elements of robotic engineering. Students learn the fundamentals of movement and control as they work with robotics kits to build, wire, and program robots to complete various challenges. Following patterns and templates, students will construct robots from scratch, incorporating electronic components such as motors, servos, and control hubs, and finally use block programming to code and control their robot. Students will work in teams as they are tasked with designing creative solutions to common challenges. Previous challenges have included drag races, tug-of-war, and catapults. Participation in this course prepares students for Robotics II.
  • Robotics III

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Robotics II
    This advanced robotics course focuses on the engineering and design process as students complete a larger and more robust robotics project over the course of the semester. Students will plan, prototype, and develop more complex and dynamic robots through an iterative process of trial and redesign. As a part of this course, students are introduced to advanced fabrication tools and techniques including mills, lathes, and 3D printers. Students will guide their own progress, identifying their own challenges and goals for the term. This class may be repeated as students design new challenges for themselves.
  • Robotics IV

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Robotics III
    This advanced robotics course focuses on the engineering and design process as students complete a larger and more robust robotics project over the course of the semester. Students will plan, prototype, and develop more complex and dynamic robots through an iterative process of trial and redesign. As a part of this course, students are introduced to advanced fabrication tools and techniques including mills, lathes, and 3D printers. Students will guide their own progress, identifying their own challenges and goals for the term. This class may be repeated as students design new challenges for themselves.
     
  • Robotics II

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Robotics I is highly advised
    Robotics II builds on the foundation of skills built in Robotics I, as students are introduced to more advanced components and mechanisms. Students will learn to automate their robot through the use of sensors and subroutines, and deal with more difficult environmental challenges. This course will introduce more complex mechanisms, which allow for improved manipulation and mobility for the robots. As a final project for the course, students will use their skills to create a robot for competition in a robot battle royale. Participation in this course prepares students for Robotics III, IV, and V.
  • AP Computer Science

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Programming II
    The AP Computer Science course introduces students to the fundamental topics of computer science such as problem solving, design strategies, data structures, algorithms, and logic as well as the ethical and social implications of technology tools and their uses. Class participants will expand their knowledge and use of JAVA programming tools to solve complex problems through hands-on experiences and examples. The work is rigorous. Students should be prepared to spend time working independently outside of class to complete the material needed to be successful on the AP exam. Students entering the course are expected to have an in-depth understanding of basic coding elements. A full course description is available from the College Board.
  • Emerging Technologies

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Emerging Technologies is a project-based course designed to provide students with the technical skills they will need for high school, college, and beyond. The course will introduce students to a variety of technical fields such as 3D modeling and 3D printing, programming, robotics, and other emerging technologies. Students will learn to build their own websites, 3D print their own designs, share their programming projects with peers, and try out new technologies such as 3D spatial sensors and virtual reality gear. Students will also work on leadership and team building skills in their group projects.
  • Introduction to Programming

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    This course is a gentle introduction to the fundamentals of computer programming, which is the foundation of Computer Science. Students will design, write, and debug computer programs. No knowledge of programming is assumed. Through a project-oriented approach, students will use a java-based programming language to create interactive applications and systems. Students will learn problem-solving, software design, and debugging strategies in a collaborative, hands-on environment.
  • 3D Modeling, 3D Printing, and Rapid Prototyping

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    In this course, students will become proficient with 3D modeling software, learn about prototyping, and explore the design process. The class will be project-based, and students will fabricate their designs using rapid prototyping equipment such as a 3D Printer, laser cutter, or CNC router. Projects will focus on problem solving. Students will be challenged with problems that will require them to think and approach tasks with a critical and open mind set, and to come up with creative solutions. Students will also learn how to measure with precision, hypothesize and ideate concepts for builds, make prototypes, and finally, test out their designs in real world situations. Aspects of entrepreneurship and what it means to be an innovator will be covered by reviewing case studies and articles covering modern technology companies.
  • Introduction to Engineering

    Grades 10-12
    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisite: Physics
    This introductory course is geared for students who are interested in the engineering field as well as the design field. The major focus of this course is to expose students to the design process, research and analysis, communication skills, engineering standards, and technical documentation. This course will help students to develop skills and understandings of course content through a hands-on approach with activities and projects. Students will employ engineering and scientific concepts to approach problems and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to these problems. Students in the course will learn to program, to build circuits, and to 3D model within a CAD environment.  
  • Mobile App Development

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Intro to Programming
    Modern software applications are becoming increasingly targeted towards mobile users and platforms. In this course, students will experience the process of designing, developing, testing, and deploying mobile applications of their own. Students will utilize iPads and Apple’s SWIFT programming language, as they build several different apps over the course of the semester. The class will spend time testing, providing feedback, and refining their apps as they investigate different tools and techniques used in mobile development.
  • Energy and the Environment

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Physics and Chemistry
    Energy is ever-present in our lives. Most of us use it constantly with little awareness of its sources and environmental impacts. We wake up, take a hot shower, drive to school, and spend the day in heated or air-conditioned rooms. In this course, students will develop a broader understanding of the role that energy plays in their lives. They will learn about conventional and renewable energy sources, and they will investigate the impacts of energy usage. They will also learn about the science behind climate change and explore projected long-term consequences of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
  • Technical Computing and Data Analysis

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    Prerequisites: Physics and Algebra II
    Computer programming is an essential tool for scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. This course teaches introductory MATLAB, a technical computing package that is used extensively in university-level STEM courses, as well as in industry. Students will learn programming, data analysis, and data presentation. This class is intended for students considering STEM coursework in college. No programming experience is required. It will also be of interest to students who enjoy programming and wish to learn an additional language. This is a college-level class at a high-school-level pace.
     
  • Technical Theater 1

    One Semester
    ½ credit 
    This course will teach the different elements of technical theater including lighting design, sound design, and projection design. We will start with the basics of theater design and the elements that go into it. This course builds upon the maker-space approach to innovative learning. Students actively collaborate in a creative lab as a production team. Each student member will learn the process of design for theater and bring those ideas to life.
    This course will offer students the opportunity to further investigate the technical production process from the designer’s viewpoint. Design for theater offers many unique opportunities and challenges. This course will illuminate this process in the areas of set, light, and sound design. Theatrical design is a collaborative process, and students will be exposed to the methods employed in this process.

Department Faculty

  • Photo of Thomas Johnson

    Thomas Johnson

    Upper School Technology Education Instructor
    703-212-2701
    University of Alaska Fairbanks - B.S. Mechanical Engineering
  • Photo of David Nadelhoffer

    David Nadelhoffer

    Associate Director of Information Technology
    703-212-2826
    University of Georgia, Athens, GA - B.S. Education
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Bus Driver
    703-212-2810
  • Photo of Philip Tang

    Philip Tang

    Technical Support Specialist
    703-212-2296
Age 3-Grade 12 coed Episcopal day school in Alexandria, Virginia

Campuses

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Age 3-Grade 5
    400 Fontaine Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22302
  • Middle School

    Grades: 6-8
    4401 West Braddock Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304
  • Upper School

    Grades: 9-12
    1000 St. Stephen's Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304