General Studies

Semester Courses

Big Data and Analytics

First semester

Have you ever wondered how websites like Netflix and Amazon know which products to suggest to you next? Or how the NBA uses past performance to inform recommendations for athletes? Or how facial recognition software works? This course will explore questions such as these by using programming and statistics to understand big data and to automate analysis of large sets of data. Topics may include dataset acquisition and analysis, data mining, data visualization, descriptive and predictive modeling, machine learning, and neural networks. This course will use Python as a programming language, in order to access the extensive graphing and statistical tools of the Python libraries. Though prior coding experience is recommended, it is not required. In addition to analysis and coding projects, students will also complete short reading and writing assignments relating to data science concepts, recent research, and current topics in the news. Students may take this as either a Mathematics or a General Studies course. Prerequisite: Introduction to Statistics, concurrent enrollment, or permission of instructor. Suggested course: Computer Science 1: Python, or the equivalent.

Computer Science I: Python

Second semester

Students explore fundamentals of computer science, including computational thinking, programming, and data structures, and then apply them in practice. Topics may include variables, functions, loops, conditionals, arrays, algorithm design, and the software development process. Students learn Python, a common language for scientists and web developers alike. Students will create various projects incorporating the fundamental constructs they have learned. At the end of this course, students will be prepared for Big Data and Analytics as well as Computer Science II. No prior coding experience necessary.

Computer Science II: Java

First semester
10th - 12th grades

Students develop a solid understanding of the fundamentals of computer science, including computational thinking, the software development process, programming, and simple data structures, and apply them in practice using Java as the development language. Programming topics may include variables and data types, methods, loops, conditionals, arrays, classes, and objects, and simple inheritance. Software development topics may include simple requirements analysis, algorithm design, prototyping, debugging, and iterative development. Students will create various projects incorporating the fundamental constructs they have learned. At the end of this course, students will be prepared for Computer Science III. Prerequisite: Computer Science I, a summer or online programming course, or permission of the instructor.

Computer Science III: Java

Second semester
10th - 12th grades

Students pursue advanced study in computer science and apply knowledge gained in earlier courses to solve more complex problems, using Java as a development language. Topics may include advanced object-oriented design concepts such as inheritance, polymorphism, abstract classes, interfaces, and generics; advanced data structures such as multi-dimensional arrays, arrayLists, linked lists, stacks, and queues; and searching, sorting, and recursive algorithms. Students may work both individually and in teams to gain experience with different stages of the development process, including requirements analysis, algorithm design, prototyping, debugging, and iterative development. Students will create various projects incorporating the topics they have learned. Prerequisite: Computer Science II or equivalent prior experience with instructor permission.

Feminism

Student-directed course
First semester

This course provides an opportunity for students interested in the issues of sexism and feminism to become involved in discussions and advocacy on this topic on a regular basis. In this course, students volunteer for groups working on women’s issues and learn about organizations in the field of sexism and feminism. Students also learn how to contact government officials through calling and letter-writing campaigns to express their views on these subjects. Learned skills include facilitating discussions, corresponding with organizations, and advocating for the issues that students are passionate about. As a student-led course, the day-to-day focus of the class is determined by the students.

Students wishing to enroll in this course should speak with Mr. Kassissieh in advance about the leadership requirements of a student-directed course.

Global Link Botswana: Marimba

10th - 12th grades
Second semester
This course earns Fine Arts credit.

Students learn to build and play the marimba then travel to Botswana to learn from a master teacher and participate in the Global Link experience. Through this process, students explore how music functions in society as a means of communication, connection and celebration, and use that basis to reflect on their own lives and cultures. Students also participate in the Global Link curriculum during the semester, which builds students’ capacities to respectfully immerse themselves in an unfamiliar culture and to actively engage their host community in a self-driven process of intellectual exploration.

Global Link Samoa: Global Leadership

10th - 12th grades
Second semester

The principal objectives of the course are to build students’ capacities to respectfully immerse themselves in an unfamiliar culture and to actively engage their host community in a self-driven process of intellectual exploration. Using contemporary and historical examples from the communities they visit on Global Link, students enhance their abilities to live in a new culture, to act as ambassadors and global leaders, and to bring artifacts and stories of their experiences back to the school. Students meet two times per week (semester) or full-time (intensive) and receive credit for out-of-class work, including actual cultural immersion. Prerequisite: successful application to the Global Link program

Journalism I, II, III, IV

Full year

Students learn journalistic writing, photography, digital newspaper production skills, and advertising sales. They write news stories, editorials, feature stories, and headlines. They learn about photojournalism using a digital camera and about newspaper layout using desktop publishing software. With these skills, they produce the school newspaper. As students advance each year, they develop more journalism and leadership skills and fill more responsible positions on the newspaper staff. Lead photographers or graphic designers may receive fine arts credit for this course with instructor approval.

SchoolHacks

Grades 9-12
First and second semesters

Where did my teacher put that assignment on Schoology? How can I get in the habit of using my planner? Why do I keep forgetting to turn in my assignments?

Work together with other students to learn how to make student life easier for you. Investigate ways to improve organization and break large projects into manageable action steps, and learn how to ask for what you need and keep track of all the pieces of your life that will help you thrive. Receive direct coaching on particular study skills related to classwork, including note taking, reading comprehension strategies and test preparation. As you learn helpful strategies, share them out with the broader community over Twitter, Instagram, and at assemblies. A maximum of 10 students ensures individualized access to teacher support.

Intensive Courses

Entrepreneurship

First intensive

This project-based learning course focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, and societal needs. Students learn how to take an idea and transform it into a business or a social venture. The course is highly interdisciplinary, integrating concepts and skill development in a range of areas including business, finance/accounting, law, engineering and design, intellectual property, marketing, government regulation, and sociology. The course taps into the tremendous resources found in the local community, both for subject matter expertise (guest lectures) and for real-world, on-site visits to witness entrepreneurship in action within one of the country’s most vibrant startup ecosystems. As a final project, students develop a business plan and investor pitch deck that is ready to present to investors for potential seed stage or angel investment. The class develops the business plan collaboratively and gives a presentation to actual angel investors and/or social venture capitalists in the Seattle community at the conclusion of the class.

Computer Science I: JavaScript and Mobile Apps

First intensive

This course explores the broader social impact of computing, while students learn fundamental programming and design concepts in computer science. Students spend their mornings learning basic programming concepts while creating individual projects of their choosing. In the afternoons, students work in small teams to learn how to identify a specific need of a user group other than themselves, and develop a mobile app to solve or lessen the problem. They use the engineering design process to empathize with user needs, develop a paper design for an app, then produce a working prototype in code. Students test solutions with real users to get feedback and drive further cycles of design revision, development, and testing. The course concludes with presentations reflecting their process, their challenges, and future directions. In this introductory computer science course, students will create authentic projects and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. No prior coding experience necessary.

Global Link American South

Eighth and ninth grades
First intensive

Global Link American South is a domestic travel-exchange program to Atlanta for eighth and ninth graders. This course is a comparative look at social justice movements in the Pacific Northwest and the American South, covering topics of historical and contemporary social justice issues including the Civil Rights movement in both regions, youth-led grassroots organizations, and environmental justice. Building on our long-standing emphasis on cultural immersion and cultural competency, this program also incorporates many features of existing Global Link programs including pre-departure training, home stays, and Bring It Back activities.

Students enrolled in Global Link first intensive cannot play in the UPrep Upper School basketball program.

Global Link Nepal: Engineering

First intensive
10th - 12th grades

Students practice ways of thinking and problem-solving that make engineering unique in STEM. Students work collaboratively to identify and creatively solve real-world problems in a broad range of engineering fields. Through UPrep’s partnership with engineering, entrepreneurship and innovation centers in Nepal, students travel to multiple locations in Nepal to learn from and work with local engineers on in-progress field work. As students practice how an engineer thinks and works, they gain a better appreciation for how the world around them has taken its current form, and how engineering can address problems that affect real people. This class is designed for students with a broad range of prior experience and math skill. We especially invite students from backgrounds that are not traditionally well-represented among engineers to explore this course.

Students enrolled in Global Link first intensive cannot play in the UPrep basketball program.

Global Link Colombia: Culture and Identity

First intensive
10th - 12th grades

Students deepen their understanding of Colombian culture through Global Link’s experiential education model. Would you like to learn about the famous carnaval in Barranquilla and why it is so important to Colombia’s history and contemporary identity? How about living with a host family and exploring the roles that food, music, dance, religion and art play in modern Colombian life? Come to the vibrant and historic city of Barranquilla and deepen your understanding of Colombian culture through field trips and workshops with artists, professionals, and students at our partner school, Colegio San José. Students take lessons in basic Spanish, cook Colombian cuisine, visit museums and other historical landmarks, and learn traditional dances. Upon return students share their learning through a dance performance and presentation of projects in the Intensives Showcase.

Students enrolled in Global Link first intensive cannot play in the UPrep basketball program.

Global Link India: Storytelling

Elective, 11th and 12th grades
First intensive
This course earns English elective credit.

Every civilization has a story. India’s rich traditions of epic stories like Ramayana and Mahābhārata stand the test of time, and highlight values of a people long ago while underscoring current ways of living. This course will focus on stories of creation, life, love, war, and change, while also exploring how the story for modern-day Indians has evolved. We’ll blend cultural immersion with the study of storytelling techniques in order to help understand the rich, multi-layered history of narratives within the Indian subcontinent, while also searching for inspiration to tell our own stories (both fiction and non). Using inspiration from our experiences in Hyderabad, we’ll write our own stories to join in the literary voices carrying forward traditions while reinventing them for future generations. Come join our journey around the world and into the past in order to better understand our present and future.

This course includes Global Link program features such as pre-departure activities, in-country safety procedures and policies, homestays (if possible), transference activities, and student evaluations.

Students enrolled in Global Link first intensive cannot play in the UPrep basketball program.

Global Link New Orleans: Jazz

First intensive
Open to students enrolled in Jazz 2 or by instructor permission.
This course earns Fine Arts credit.

Jazz music was born and cultivated on the streets of New Orleans. Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong and their contemporaries are considered the creators of the music we now call jazz, which, at its foundation, is a truly African-American creation. By melding the instruments and harmonies of Europe with the rhythms and storytelling nature of African music, these amazing artists gave birth to what many consider the only true American art form.

Students study the origins of the music prior to departure, which brings to life the people, topics and ideas studied once in New Orleans. At the same time, students ask the same questions about Seattle and the jazz scene here to compare and contrast. Seattle jazz artists who were displaced by Katrina meet with the class to share their experiences and how it may have impacted their music.

Students enrolled in Global Link first intensive cannot play in the UPrep basketball program.

Global Link Taiwan: Photography

First intensive, 10th - 12th grades
This course earns Fine Arts credit.

Travel Taiwan and document the journey through Photography! Through the lens of East Asian culture and language and the study of technical and aesthetic Photography skills, students develop an understanding of the ways photography can become a tool for communication of culture, ideas, and shared experience. Students also practice and strengthen Mandarin-language skills during the travel experience. Traveling to and throughout Taiwan, students partner with schools, universities, and museums, immersing themselves in the culture, and practicing their Mandarin skills. Through their immersion in Taiwanese culture, they learn to connect with the local community, document the trip, and understand how portraits, imagery, and photography contrast and mirror the evolution of the field of Photography in the US.

Prerequisite: Chinese 4

Students enrolled in Global Link first intensive cannot play in the UPrep basketball program.

Outdoor Leadership

Second intensive

This course is a three-week, outdoor education experience focused on student leadership, teamwork, and stewardship based partly in Seattle and partly in the greater North Cascades. The course emphasizes self-awareness, judgment, and decision making, as well as multidisciplinary skills such as wilderness first aid and risk management. The course provides myriad opportunities for students to embrace and refine their leadership skills, and increase their self-confidence, technical abilities, intuition, compassion, and common sense. Ultimately, Outdoor Leadership is grounded in experiential education, including many hands-on, real-world scenarios that develop problem solving, critical thinking, risk mitigation, and cooperative skills.

Social Justice Seminar

11th - 12th grades
Second intensive
Launchpad eligible

What does it mean to be a champion of social justice? What does it mean to view the world through a social justice lens? What does it mean to be intellectually courageous, and how do we engage our thinking in a diverse way? What does this mean specifically for our community of Seattle, WA? This course is an embodied exploration of the large concepts of structural and institutional racism and what it means to live those topics. We will explore the history of Seattle—from colonization of Native land, to redlining and gentrification, neoliberalism, and to how we can continue to support and lift up marginalized groups in Seattle. This course will look to the knowledge of local community organizers, scholars, and activists in exploring how large theoretical concepts play out in community.