Academics

A Culture of Curiosity

True intellectual growth requires going beyond a command of facts or figures. It requires reflecting and questioning. Synthesizing concepts. Developing independent thought and intellectual courage. At the Northwest School, students are challenged with an exciting college-preparatory academic experience rooted in vigorous study and exploration.

With a liberal arts curriculum founded in integrated Humanities, students graduate with a historical, scientific, artistic and global perspective—prepared for a fulfilling life, both in college and beyond.

Winterfest is an annual celebration of science and math at The Northwest School.

Self-agency is a big focus here: asking questions, taking control of your education, questioning the teacher and the procedure. We want the learner who digs in and asks why is that true? Why am I learning that?

Kathryn Wallace '95

Upper School Biology teacher

Making Connections

Academics connections

Sixth graders add a new experience to their reading.

In addition to discussing the story, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, by William Kamkwamba, as well as studying the history and geography of the Republic of Malawi in Africa (where the story is set), students helped prepare and serve “a Taste of Malawi” to the Northwest School community.

One of the big events students read about in this book is famine, and how much the author loves and misses eating Nsima, a staple food in Africa,” explains Humanities teacher Mackenzie Dickinson. “The students wanted to know what Nsima tasted like and to share their learning experience with other students and faculty.”

Academics computer

Science students use data from the 401 E Pike building to learn about energy consumption.

Seniors in In Cecilia Tung’s physics class logged into their laptops and pulled up the screen of 401’s Energy Dashboard. They were able to see how many kilowatt-hours and BTUs the building’s electrical and natural gas systems consumed in the month of January.

“When students see and work with data right from their own facility, energy consumption becomes that much more real,” says Cecilia. Students used the data in various forms to compare energy use in the building’s different rooms, and to compare the building’s monthly kilowatt-hour use to that of a typical U.S. home.

Academics speaking

Spanish V students advance their language and translation skills.

After watching a replay of poet Richard Blanco reading "One Today" at President Obama’s second inauguration on CNN Español, students focused on how the poem was translated during the inauguration and how it differs from the poems' translations in Blanco’s book, For All of Us, One Today.

Afterwards, students recited portions of Blanco's poems in Spanish and explained why the poem was important. Junior Avital B., chose to recite "What We Know of Country." "I thought it was the poem with the most substance," says Avital. "It took a more nuanced look at America..." Blanco's book was also read by The Northwest School faculty book club. Says librarian Nancy Highiet, “I love knowing that teachers are talking and connecting with students about the books we read in our faculty book club."

Preparing for the Future

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