Global Online Academy

Rising 9th – 12th Graders
June 15 – July 31
$750 for St. Christopher’s students
$1,000 for non-St. Christopher’s students

Global Online Academy courses encourage students to pursue their passions and connect with classmates and a teacher from many different schools, all while not being tied to a single location. Designed to cover the same material and be as rigorous as our semester and year long courses, GOA summer courses are teacher-paced, mostly asynchronous online courses that focus on students applying course concepts to relevant, real world issues. Students should anticipate a significant amount of active learning: conducting interviews, engaging their location and community, doing research, and collaborating on projects. While these courses are online, students do not spend all of their work time looking at a computer.
 

Courses Offered

List of 13 items.

  • Abnormal Psychology

    This course focuses on psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and depression. As students examine these and other disorders they learn about their symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments. Students also deepen their understanding of the social stigmas associated with mental illnesses. This course may be taken as a continuation of Introduction to Psychology, although doing so is not required.
     
  • Business Problem Solving

    How could climate change disrupt your production and supply chains or impact your consumer markets? Will tariffs help or hurt your business? How embedded is social media in your marketing plan? Is your company vulnerable to cybercrime? What 21st century skills are you cultivating in your leadership team? Students in this course will tackle real-world problems facing businesses large and small in today’s fast changing global marketplace where radical reinvention is on the minds of many business leaders. Students will work collaboratively and independently on case studies, exploring business issues through varied lenses including operations, marketing, human capital, finance and risk management as well as sustainability. As they are introduced to the concepts and practices of business, students will identify, analyze and propose solutions to business problems, engaging in research of traditional and emerging industries, from established multinationals to startups.
  • Computer Science I: Computational Thinking

    Computational thinking centers on solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior. It has applications not only in computer science, but also myriad other fields of study. This introductory level course focuses on thinking like a computer scientist, especially understanding how computer scientists define and solve problems. Students begin the course by developing an understanding of what computer science is, how it can be used by people who are not programmers, and why it’s a useful skill for all people to cultivate. Within this context, students are exposed to the power and limits of computational thinking. Students are introduced to entry level programming constructs that will help them apply their knowledge of computational thinking in practical ways. They will learn how to read code and pseudocode as well as begin to develop strategies for debugging programs. By developing computational thinking and programming skills, students will have the core knowledge to define and solve problems in future computer science courses. While this course would be beneficial for any student without formal training as a programmer or computer scientist, it is intended for those with no programming experience.
  • Computer Science II: Java

    This course teaches students how to write programs in the Java programming language. Java is the backbone of many web applications, especially eCommerce and government sites. It is also the foundational code of the Android operating system and many tools of the financial sector. Students learn the major syntactical elements of the Java language through objected oriented design. The emphasis in the course will be on creating intelligent systems through the fundamentals of Computer Science. Students will write working programs through short lab assignments and more extended projects that incorporate graphics and animation. Prerequisite: Computer Science I: Computational Thinking or its equivalent.
  • Creative Nonfiction Writing

    Tell your own stories and the stories of the world around you! This course centers on the art of shaping real experiences into powerful narratives while growing foundational writing skills. Participants will read, examine, and write diverse works of creative nonfiction including personal narratives, podcasts, opinion editorials, profile pieces, and more. Emphasizing process over product, this writing workshop provides opportunities to create in new ways. Students will practice essential craft elements (e.g., voice, style, structure) while reflecting on stories from their own lives, communities, and interests. They will also build a personalized library of inspiring mentor texts, consider opportunities for publication, and develop sustainable writing habits. Both in real-time video chats and online discussion spaces, students will support one another intentionally; feedback is an essential component of this course, and students will gain experience in the workshop model, actively participating in a thriving, global writing community. Creative nonfiction has never been as popular as it is today; participants will experience its relevance in their own lives as they collaboratively explore this dynamic genre.
  • Fiction Writing

    This course connects students interested in creative writing (primarily short fiction) and provides a space for supportive and constructive feedback. Students gain experience in the workshop model, learning how to effectively critique and discuss one another's writing in an online environment. In addition to developing skills as a reader within a workshop setting, students strive to develop their own writing identities through a variety of exercises. The course capitalizes on the geographic diversity of the students by eliciting stories that shed light on both the commonalities and differences of life experiences in different locations. Additionally, we read and discuss the work of authors from around the globe. Students’ essential responsibilities are twofold: to engage in the class as readers and writers and to focus on their development as readers and writers. Both require participation in discussions of various formats within our online community, as well as dedicated time outside of class reading and providing feedback on one another’s work and writing original pieces for the workshop.
  • Genocide & Human Rights

    Students in this course study several of the major genocides of the 20th century (Armenian, the Holocaust, Cambodian, and Rwandan), analyze the role of the international community in responding to and preventing further genocides (with particular attention to the Nuremberg tribunals), and examine current human rights crises around the world. Students read primary and secondary sources, participate in both synchronous and asynchronous discussions with classmates, write brief papers, read short novels, watch documentaries, and develop a human rights report card website about a nation in the world of their choice.
     
  • Introduction to Investments

    In this course, students simulate the work of investors by working with the tools, theories, and decision-making practices that define smart investment. We explore concepts in finance and apply them to investment decisions in three primary contexts: portfolio management, venture capital, and social investing. After an introduction to theories about valuation and risk management, students simulate scenarios in which they must make decisions to grow an investment portfolio. They manage investments in stocks, bonds, and options to learn a range of strategies for increasing the value of their portfolios. In the second unit, they take the perspective of venture capital investors, analyzing startup companies and predicting their value before they become public. In the third unit, students examine case studies of investment funds that apply the tools of finance to power social change. Throughout the course, students learn from experts who have experience in identifying value and managing risk in global markets. They develop their own ideas about methods for taking calculated financial risks and leave this course not just with a simulated portfolio of investments, but the skills necessary to manage portfolios in the future.
  • Introduction to Psychology

    What does it mean to think like a psychologist? In Introduction to Psychology, students explore three central psychological perspectives – the behavioral, the cognitive, and the sociocultural – in order to develop a multi-faceted understanding of what thinking like a psychologist encompasses. The additional question of “How do psychologists put what they know into practice?” informs study of the research methods in psychology, the ethics surrounding them, and the application of those methods to practice. During the first five units of the course, students gather essential information that they apply during a group project on the unique characteristics of adolescent psychology. Students similarly envision a case study on depression, which enables application of understandings from the first five units. The course concludes with a unit on positive psychology, which features current positive psychology research on living mentally healthy lives. Throughout the course, students collaborate on a variety of activities and assessments, which often enable learning about each other’s unique perspectives while building their research and critical thinking skills in service of understanding the complex field of psychology.
  • Medical Problem Solving I

    In this course students collaboratively solve medical mystery cases, similar to the approach used in many medical schools. Students enhance their critical thinking skills as they examine data, draw conclusions, diagnose, and treat patients. Students use problem-solving techniques in order to understand and appreciate relevant medical/biological facts as they confront the principles and practices of medicine. Students explore anatomy and physiology pertaining to medical scenarios and gain an understanding of the disease process, demographics of disease, and pharmacology. Additional learning experiences include studying current issues in health and medicine, building a community-service action plan, interviewing a patient, and creating a new mystery case.
  • Microeconomics

    In this course, students learn about how consumers and producers interact to form a market and then how and why the government may intervene in that market. Students deepen their understanding of basic microeconomic theory through class discussion and debate, problem solving, and written reflection. Students visit a local production site and write a report using the market principals they have learned. Economic ways of thinking about the world will help them better understand their roles as consumers and workers, and someday, as voters and producers.
  • Number Theory

    Once thought of as the purest but least applicable part of mathematics, number theory is now by far the most commonly applied: every one of the millions of secure internet transmissions occurring each second is encrypted using ideas from number theory. This course covers the fundamentals of this classical, elegant, yet supremely relevant subject. It provides a foundation for further study of number theory, but even more, it develops the skills of mathematical reasoning and proof in a concrete and intuitive way, good preparation for any future course in upper-level college mathematics or theoretical computer science. We progressively develop the tools needed to understand the RSA algorithm, the most common encryption scheme used worldwide. Along the way we invent some encryption schemes of our own and discover how to play games using number theory. We also get a taste of the history of the subject, which involves the most famous mathematicians from antiquity to the present day, and we see parts of the story of Fermat’s Last Theorem, a 350-year-old statement that was fully proven only twenty years ago. While most calculations will be simple enough to do by hand, we will sometimes use the computer to see how the fundamental ideas can be applied to the huge numbers needed for modern applications. Prerequisite: A strong background in precalculus and above, as well as a desire to do rigorous mathematics and proofs.
  • Race and Society

    What is race? Is it something we’re born with? Is it an idea that society imposes on us? An identity we perform? A privilege we benefit from? Does our own culture’s conception of race mirror those found in other parts of the world? These are just a few of the questions that students in this course will explore together as they approach the concept of race as a social construct that shapes and is shaped by societies and cultures in very real ways. Throughout the course students will learn about the changing relationship between race and society across time and across cultures. Engaging with readings, films, and speakers from a variety of academic fields (history, sociology, anthropology, literature) students will explore, research, reflect on and discuss the complex set of relationships governing race and society.
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