Course Catalog

The following courses represent the majority of the courses available at Tech Valley High School, though the total course roster is subject to change based changing state requirements on student interest. In addition to the in-house college offerings listed in the College Ready page and below, our flexibility and lose proximity to both SUNY Polytechnic Institute and the University of Albany may make it convenient to attend classes or participate in academic research at college while at TVHS. In addition, TVHS students often take advantage of online courses through several providers including local colleges,  AccelerateU, and edX for high school and/or college credit or professional certifications.

Course of Study (* denotes course with college credit bearing option)

9th Grade:

  • Freshman Seminar (1 credit)
  • Global Humanities
    • English 9 (1 credit)
    • Global 9 (1 credit)
  • Bioengineering
    • Living Environment (1 credit)
    • Bioengineering (1 credit)
  • Chinese 1 (1 credit)
  • Physical Education (.5 credit)
  • Algebra (1 credit) OR
  • Geometry/DDP*
    • Geometry (1 credit)
    • Drawing and Design for Production (1 credit)

10th Grade:

  • Global Humanities
    • English 10 (1 credit)
    • Global 10 (1 credit)
  • Environmental Science* (1 credit)
  • Chinese 2 (1 credit)
  • Physical Education (.5 credit)
  • Health (.5 credit)
  • Algebra 2* (1 credit) OR
  • Geometry/DDP*
    • Geometry (1 credit)
    • Drawing and Design for Production (1 credit)

11th Grade:

  • 2 Electives
  • Inventing America
    • English 11 (1 credit)
    • US History* (1 credit)
  • Physics* (1 credit)
  • Physical Education (.5 credit)
  • Algebra 2* (1 credit) OR
  • Pre-calculus* (1 credit) OR
  • Intermediate Algebra (1 credit)

12th Grade:

  • 3 Electives
  • English 12* (1 credit)
  • Chemistry* (1 credit)
  • Participation in Government and Economics (1 credit)
  • Physical Education (.5 credit)
  • Algebra 2 CC* (1 credit) OR
  • Pre-calculus* (1 credit) OR
  • Statistics* (1 credit) OR
  • Calculus* (1 credit)

Electives include:

Anthropology*, Business Ethics*, Computer Science*, Creative Writing, Piano, Intro to Drawing*, Art Portfolio, 2D/3D Art , 2D/3D Art II, Robotics and Electronics*, Chinese 3*, Chinese 4*, Survey in Nanotechnology*, Forensics*, and online courses in many other subjects.

ACE

Instructor
Danielle Hemmid
dhemmid@techvalleyhigh.org
Jessica Obercon
jobercon@techvalleyhigh.org
Jean Kerr
jkerr@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Resource Room service for special education students.

Freshman Seminar

Instructor
Michelle Sweeny
msweeny@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course will help students learn about positive growth mindsets and the school-wide learning outcomes that make up the key learning at TVHS. In addition, students will receive instruction regarding technology, design principles, and protocols that are essential for success at Tech Valley High School.

English Language Arts

Creative Writing

Instructor
Sean O’brien
sobrien@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
Whether you love to write or just want to improve your writing skills, come learn the craft and technique of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. We’ll explore the traditional (think haiku and short stories) and the non-traditional (think spoken word and flash fiction). We’ll invite poets and authors to visit, write and publish our own poems and stories, and become better writers and thinkers in the process.

English Language Arts

English 9

Instructor
Sean O’Brien
sobrien@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
This class is integrated with Global Studies 9 and is called “Global Humanities 9”. A description of this class may be found under that class.

English 10

Instructor
Sean O’Brien
sobrien@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
This class is integrated with Global Studies 10 and is called “Global Humanities 10”. A description of this class may be found under that class.

English 11

Instructor
Lana Hower
lhower@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
This class is integrated with American History  and is called “Inventing America”. A description may be found under that class.

Creative Writing & Art

Instructor
Sean O’Brien
sobrien@techvalleyhigh.org

Jennifer Muirhead
jmuirhead@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
An exploration of both the written and visual expression and forms of art that involve the intersection of the two. Students will learn to become more expressive writers, artists, and thinkers in this creative arts class.

English 12/English Workshop 12

Instructor
Lana Hower
lhower@techvalleyhigh.org

This class has a dual purpose. The first purpose is to support and guide seniors through their senior year project. The support will come in the form of determining an action plan, developing a research plan, research methods, the writing and editing of an extensive research paper and refining the presentation of the senior project as a whole. The second purpose is to explore, discuss, analyze and write about provocative texts in order to prepare seniors for college level reading, writing, analysis and discussions. We will focus on text that are of interest to the students along with helping them to explore the world around them through reading and discussions.

Fine Arts

Art and Design I

Instructor
Jennifer Muirhead
jmuirhead@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This introductory course provides an investigative and exploratory approach to art making. Students will create a portfolio of work that expresses their personal style and voice through a variety of projects that includes a taste of graphic design, mixed media, painting, sculpture, and drawing. Students will learn how to apply the elements of art and principles of design in thoughtful and meaningful ways to successfully communicate ideas and personal messages in 2D form.

Art and Design II

Instructor
Jennifer Muirhead
jmuirhead@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course builds upon the knowledge learned in art & design I and provides an investigative and exploratory approach to art making. Students will create a portfolio of work that expresses their personal style and voice through a variety of projects. Students will learn how to apply the elements of art and principles of design in thoughtful and meaningful ways to successfully communicate ideas and personal messages in 3D form.  This course will promote critical thinking as well as a basic experience in the expression of personal ideas in form. Use of mediums/technology may include but not be limited to: paper, clay, plaster, wood, CNC machine, chip board, cardboard, recyclable materials and fabric.

Intro To Drawing

Instructor
Jennifer Muirhead
jmuirhead@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This 3-credit course is offered through SCCC’s College in the High School program.  It includes lessons on the history of drawing and its relationship to the history of art. It facilitates student development of basic drawing techniques through the exploration of fundamentals such as observation, composition, color theory, perspective, as well as working from still life, landscape, the figure, and music. (SCCC ART128/3.0 cr.)

Portfolio

Instructor
Jennifer Muirhead
jmuirhead@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This art course offers students the ability to develop a cohesive art portfolio based upon a creative and systematic investigation of formal and conceptual issues in art. Students will create a quality and polished body of work that includes at least 5 major pieces and illustrates a sustained investigation of a specific visual concept/idea.  This specific visual concept/idea is student choice. Possible mediums for student choice may include but are not limited to: photography (need own camera), drawing, mixed media, painting, or sculpture. Students must have successfully completed Art & Design class in order to take this course.

Language

Chinese I

Instructor
Sophia Tien-Hui Hsia
shsia@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course is designed for individuals who have little or no background of the Chinese language. In this course, you will be introduced to the pinyin and character system, which in turns help you to speak/listen, read and write basic Chinese. In addition, we will learn interesting things about China (and other Chinese-speaking countries from time-to-time); its history, geography, arts/music, culture, folklore/idiom stories, myths, and more. You will enjoy the different language and cultural activities conducted in class along with high-interest projects.

Chinese II

Instructor
Sophia Tien-Hui Hsia
shsia@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

By now, you would have already acquired a basic command of the Chinese language and culture. In this follow-up course, we will build from the foundation we started last year, and you will learn more complex grammar and sentence structure along with thematic conversational Chinese. We will introduce more language and cultural activities along with interesting projects which will help you to gain a better understanding of Chinese. Focus will be placed on tone marks to help you pronounce more accurately. We will learn to write more characters as well and continue the journey to mastery level. As you expand your oral vocabulary and increase your memory load for characters, you will be able to listen, speak, read and write more confidently.

Chinese III

Instructor
Sophia Tien-Hui Hsia
shsia@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Students will focus on conversational Chinese, mastery of characters, and practical phrases used to communicate in authentic Chinese culture. Students will have the opportunity to take this course for college credits through HVCC and will prepare for the Chinese Regents exam in June. Successful completion of three years of a foreign language is required for an Advanced NYS Regents Diploma. (HVCC CHNS 100/3.0 cr.)

Chinese IV

Instructor
Sophia Tien-Hui Hsia
shsia@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This 3-credit course is offered through the University at Albany’s College in the High School program, pending final approval. This is a continuation of Chinese instruction that aims to further develop the students’ overall linguistic command of modern Chinese through the training of the four communicative skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In addition, we will focus more on conversational Chinese and characters mastery. We will emphasize on accurate tones to help us pronounce the words. Throughout the school year, students will participate in special/engaging projects created to support the learning of the different topical units. This course will be taught by a visiting scholar from the Confucius Institute. (SUNY AEAC201/3.0 cr.)

Math

Algebra 2 Common Core (College Algebra and Trigonometry)

Instructor
Varada Vaughan
vvaughan@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Building on their work with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions, students extend their repertoire of functions to include polynomial, rational, and radical functions.  Students work closely with the expressions that define the functions, and continue to expand and hone their abilities to model situations and to solve equations, including solving quadratic equations over the set of complex numbers and solving exponential equations using the properties of logarithms. (HVCC MATH150/4.0 cr.)

CC Algebra

Instructor
Michelle Sweeny
msweeny@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course will deepen and extend understanding of linear and exponential relationships by contrasting them with each other and by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend, and students engage in methods for analyzing, solving, and using quadratic functions.

Engineering

Instructor
Diana Weldon
dweldon@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This is an introduction to engineering integration that can be paired with Algebra as or Bioengineering.

Geometry/DDP

Instructor
Jason Irwin
jirwin@techvalleyhigh.org

John Hartnett
jhartnett@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Look around, geometry is everywhere! From architecture to astronomy, from carpentry to civil engineering–geometry was even used to create the table you are sitting at! Geometry is one of the oldest sciences and most widely used branches of mathematics across all professions. Geometry is a branch of mathematics that deals with the measurement, properties, and relationships among points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids.  Furthermore, these geometric elements are the building blocks of engineering design.
Through projects in this course, you will learn the fundamentals of geometry and apply what you learned to solve real-world problems through the design and production process. Although there are many types of geometry, this course is devoted primarily to plane Euclidean geometry, studied both synthetically (without coordinates) and analytically (with coordinates).
Design and Drawing for Production, or DDP, focuses on how ideas are transformed into finished products. Technical drawing, by hand and computer, is an essential part of this process.  In this course, students will learn the design process and how to express ideas through the graphical language of technology. (St. Rose MAT145/3.0 cr.)

Intermediate Algebra

Instructor
Varada Pandya-Vaughan
vvaughan@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Intermediate Algebra is designed to broaden and expand the concepts of Algebra l. This course covers all the essential topics needed to be successful in Algebra ll. Topics include: right triangle trigonometry; linear, quadratic and exponential functions; transformations; polynomials.

Pre-Calculus

Instructor
Jason Irwin
jirwin@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course is designed to prepare students for Calculus 1 and other math courses at the college level. This course will focus on the following main areas:
Review the fundamental concepts of algebra
Further explore exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions and construct functions from verbal descriptions and formulas;
Conic section applications and analytical Geometry;
Polynomial and Rational Functions applications;
Review trigonometry from the perspective of the unit circle;
Explore additional topics in trigonometry such as: Polar Coordinates, Vectors, The Dot Product;
Further explore Complex Numbers;
Matrices and determinants;
and at the end of the 2nd semester we will introduce calculus topics such as limits, continuity and derivatives.

Statistics

Instructor
Varada Pandya-Vaughan
vvaughan@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course serves as an introduction to the concepts of data analysis and statistics. Applications will come from a variety of areas.  Topics include, but are not limited to, data analysis and summary for both one and two variables, sampling techniques and design of experiments, basic probability concepts, discrete and continuous probability distributions, the central limit theorem, sampling distributions, confidence intervals and hypothesis tests. This course is project driven and will include significant use of technology for computations and analysis.  Students will be eligible to receive HVCC credit for this course. (SCCC MAT147/3.0 cr.)

AP Calculus

Instructor
Varada Pandya-Vaughan
vvaughan@techvalleyhigh.org

Calculus is used in Physics and Economics, Statistics and Psychology, Finance and Urban Planning, … its uses are endless. This course is the first step; you will explore the concepts of limits, differentials and integrals, and their applications in science and industry. You will develop an understanding of the theory and the ability to use these ideas in applications. Throughout the course, you will develop new mathematical knowledge by examining concepts and solving problems presented using various representations – analytical, numerical, graphical and verbal. This course is an AP course and culminates in the AP exam for Calculus AB.

Science

Bio-Engineering  

Instructor
Ashley Phillips
aphillips@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Great advances have been made in the field of biology in recent decades that will continue to have a major impact on our lives. From advanced in nanomedicine to green technology, Tech Valley Region is at the forefront of these developments. To participate in these advances, Tech Valley High school students enroll in Bioengineering, a 2.0 credit course, with one credit earned in Living Environment and the second in Engineering. The course is focused on “science in service” and engages students in solving real world problems that impact our community. (AP Biology/credit by exam)

Computer Science

Instructor
Jason Irwin
jirwin@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course is a broad introduction to a variety of fundamental topics in computer science through contemporary themes such as multimedia and media computing. Students will consider problems in the application area that can be solved with software. Using the theme of the course, students will be introduced to important areas of computer science including abstraction, computer organization, representation of information and the development and evaluation of algorithmic solutions. Python is the programming language introduced and used in this course. Python is often used in Web and media programming. The web search engine Google is mostly programmed in Python and the media company Industrial Light & Magic uses Python. The version of Python used in this course is Jython. Jython is Python implemented in Java. Jython will let us program multimedia that will work across multiple computer platforms. This course will also be using the Finch, a robot manufactured under license from Carnegie Mellon University and designed for computer science education. The Finch robot will allow students to write richly interactive programs and see the result of their programs hands on and connect to the field of robotics. (St. Rose CSC111/3.0 cr.)

Environmental Science

Instructor
Ashley Phillips
aphillips@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

A course which studies the scientific basis for environmental issues that impact upon society. This course includes an introduction to earth systems and resources, population, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. The emphasis will be on analyzing environmental problems (natural and anthropogenic), evaluating their risks, and examining possible solutions. (AP Environmental Science/credit by exam)

Physics

Instructor
Michelle Sweeny
msweeny@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This is an introductory Physics course. The course includes an algebra based introduction to mechanics, dynamics, electricity and magnetism, waves and modern physics. The mathematical emphasis is on modeling physical systems using formulas, graphs and scaled diagrams. (AP Physics/credit by exam)

Robotics & Electronics

Instructor
John Hartnett
jhartnett@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Students will use electronics to solve a variety of technical problems. Topics will include an introduction to electricity and electronics, robotics, and programming. The emphasis will be on building solutions based on theoretical understanding. (St. Rose CSC112/3.0 cr.)

Chemistry

Instructor
Diana Weldon
dweldon@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
This class focuses on the theory and problem solving in chemical reactions, atomic structures and periodic trends, chemical bonding, states of matter, gases, and energy. The first semester is integrated with English and will focus on communication as well as chemistry content. (UExcel/credit by exam)

Survey in Nanotechnology

Instructor
Diana Weldon
dweldon@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
Introduction to the definitions, principles and applications of nanotechnology. Discussion of emergent nanoscale properties, atomic and molecular self-assembly and concepts of bottom-up and top-down processing and fabrication. Introduction to selected nanoscale systems, including quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, and graphene.  (SUNY Poly N ENG 101/3.0 cr.)

Forensic Science Investigation

Instructor
Diana Weldon
dweldon@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview
An introduction to forensic science and the various methodologies and applications used in today’s multi-discipline crime laboratories. Topics will include a brief history of forensic science, introduction to crime laboratory disciplines and quality assurance, crime scene processing, analysis of physical evidence by the crime lab [firearms and tool marks, chemistry (toxicology, controlled substances), trace evidence, biology, patterned evidence, questioned documents, etc.] and presentation of test results in legal procedures. (SUNY ABIO 175/3.0 cr.)

Health & Wellness

Health

Instructor
Andrew Betor
abetor@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

In this .5 credit course, students are meeting National and State Health Education standards through practicing seven personal and social skills while learning specific research-based functional knowledge from nine essential content areas. Students complete multiple projects in areas related to Mental Health, Physical Activity and Nutrition, Drugs and other health areas.

Physical Education

Instructor
Andrew Betor
abetor@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Physical Education is a yearly .5 credit course and is based upon the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are the foundation for engaging in physical activity. Students will participate in a variety of Units and Projects with the goal of empowering all students to sustain regular, lifelong physical activity as a foundation for a healthy, productive and fulfilling life.

Independent Physical Education

Instructor
Andrew Betor
abetor@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Independent PE is a hybrid .5 credit course offered to seniors who need extra space in their schedule. This course takes regular Physical Education to an independent level, where students are provided a FitBit and require to create and track goals over the course of the year. Students are also required to seek out opportunities for physical activity outside of their regular school schedule.

Social Studies

Inventing America

Instructor
Thomas Morrill
tmorrill@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course begins with the colonial and constitutional foundations of the United States and explores the government structure and functions written in the Constitution. The development of the nation and the political, social, and economic factors that led to the challenges our nation faced in the Civil War are addressed. Industrialization, urbanization, and the accompanying problems are examined, along with America’s emergence as a world power, the two world wars of the 20th century, and the Cold War. Students explore the expansion of the federal government, the threat of terrorism, and the place of the United States in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. (HVCC HIST 110&111/3.0 cr.)

Cultural Anthropology

Instructor
Jennifer Ezzo
jezzo@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This one-year, 3-credit course is offered through the University at Albany’s College in the High School program. The course introduces students to the field of cultural anthropology and how anthropologists go about their work in the writing of ethnographies. Anthropology seeks to understand all cultures around the world and throughout time on their own terms and according to their own standards and beliefs. This course will explore key theoretical, topical, and ethical issues of interest to cultural anthropologists. We will examine diverse ways in which people around the globe have constructed cultural identities (such as gender, ethnicity, nationality, race, and class) and we will consider the impact of increasing globalization on such processes. (SUNY ANT 108/3.0 cr.)

Business Ethics

Instructor
Thomas Morrill
tmorrill@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Students enrolled in this course who pass a uExcel exam will earn 3-credits from the College of St. Rose.  The content of the course addresses business concepts, principles, and knowledge related to business ethics. Students will learn to analyze and solve ethical problems and investigate the relationship between business, government, and society. (St. Rose PHI 205/3.0 cr.)

Community Service

Instructor

Advisors

Course Overview

Students must complete 100 community service hours at a rate of approximately 25 per year. At least 10 service hours must be completed each year.  Completion of community service hours is a requirement for completion of the TVHS program.

Global Humanities 9

Instructor
Jennifer Ezzo
jezzo@techvalleyhigh.org

Sean O’Brien
sobrien@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Global Humanities is an integration of social studies and English language arts in which you will closely examine issues that currently affect the lives of individuals and communities around the world. As readers, writers, historians and literary scholars, we will explore many varied social, political and economic points of view, and probe the myriad texts that tell the stories of humankind, from ancient times to the present. The ninth grade curriculum will cover global history from ancient times to the mid-18th century.

Global Humanities 10

Instructor
Jennifer Ezzo
jezzo@techvalleyhigh.org

Sean O’Brien
sobrien@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

Global Humanities is an integration of social studies and English language arts in which you will closely examine issues that currently affect the lives of individuals and communities around the world. As readers, writers, historians and literary scholars, we will explore many varied social, political and economic points of view, and probe the myriad texts that tell the stories of humankind, from ancient times to the present. The tenth grade curriculum will cover global history from the mid-18th to the 21st century.

I-Term 9

Instructor

Advisors

Course Overview

Students must interview a professional, attend two trips to work sites, attend 2 exposium sessions, attend 2 paideia sessions, complete a poster on the topic provided to them, and present their poster in a fair atmosphere. Participation in I-Term is a requirement for completion of the TVHS program.

I-Term 10

Instructor

Advisors

Course Overview

Students must interview a professional, attend two trips to work sites, attend 2 exposium sessions, attend 2 paideia sessions, complete a poster on the topic provided to them, and present their poster in a fair atmosphere. Participation in I-Term is a requirement for completion of the TVHS program.

I-Term 11

Instructor

Advisors

Course Overview

Students must complete a 1 week internship (20 hrs) , attend 2 exposium sessions, attend 2 paideia sessions, complete and present a TED Talk. Participation in I-Term is a requirement for completion of the TVHS program.

I-Term 12

Instructor

Advisors

Course Overview

Students must complete a 2 week internship (40 hrs) and present a senior project. A passing senior project is a requirement for completion of the TVHS program.

PIG and Economics

Instructor

Thomas Morrill
tmorrill@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course integrates the principles of modern economics with participation in government. Students will explore the challenges facing the global economy and various policy-making opportunities available to government to address these challenges. This course aims to provide students with opportunities to become engaged in the political process by acquiring the knowledge and practicing the skills necessary for active citizenship. Participation in government and in our communities is fundamental to the success of American democracy.

Technology

Principles of Design

Instructor

Jennifer Muirhead
jmuirhead@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This course will focus on the elements or art and, specifically, how they can be used with maximum impact for presentations and projects.

Principles of Tech

Instructor
Diane Weldon
dweldon@techvalleyhigh.org

Course Overview

This is a tech literacy course that will focus on the many tools that students use at TVHS.