Academics

Pathways Program

The Berwick Academy Pathways program empowers students to dive deeper into curricular & extracurricular related pursuits. Currently Pathways are available in Arts and STEAM, and additional Pathways are being developed as we continue to move toward Curriculum 2020. In order to earn a Pathways designation on a diploma from Berwick Academy, students must complete all Upper School departmental distribution requirements, meet the criteria specified within a specific Pathways framework and maintain high standards of investment in all Pathways related coursework and extracurricular activities. Pathways are open to interested students beginning with the Class of 2020 and students must commit to a Pathway by the end of their 10th grade year. 

Arts PATHWAY 
The Arts Pathway framework offers students an opportunity to explore more deeply in one of three tracks: visual art, music or dance. Students earning an Arts Pathway designation will engage in real world experiences and impact the broader community in a variety of ways, including but not limited to Innovation Pursuits and participation in off-campus performances and exhibitions. Each student will design an arts-rich experience which will broaden the exposure in their area of passion. Arts Pathway students will build a resume containing a physical and digital portfolio and integrate their works into a variety of exhibitions and performances which will reflect the depth and breadth of their experience in the arts at Berwick Academy.

STEAM PATHWAY
The STEAM Pathway program at Berwick Academy is intended to empower and provide a framework for students who are interested in exploring various avenues of inquiry to channel a passion in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. In order to earn a STEAM Pathway designation on a Berwick diploma, students must go above and beyond the standard departmental distribution requirements for graduation. In addition to carrying out an Innovation Pursuit and authentically impacting the broader community, STEAM Pathway students complete courses from a diverse menu of Computer Science, STEAM and Pinnacle electives including Java Graphics, Arduino Applications, Pinball Wizard, Humanitarian Design and Scientific Calculus.

Beyond Berwick

The following is a list of colleges and universities where our graduates have gone on to study STEAM or Arts related fields. 

Arts
Berklee College of Music
New York University (Tisch School of the Arts) 
Rhode Island School of Design
Pratt Institute
New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts
Maryland Institute College for Art
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Maine College of Art
 
STEAM
Johns Hopkins University
Cornell University
Tufts University
Harvard University
Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Stevens Institute of Technology 
Virginia Tech
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT)

Arts Pathway

STEAM Pathway

Pathways Elective Courses

List of 10 items.

  • CHEMISTRY OF METALS

    This trimester-long course investigates fundamental chemistry concepts through frequent experimentation. The purpose is to help prepare students for actual work in the arts/manufacturing industry and as practical chemists. Art topics covered include: patinas (natural and chemically made), etching, and heat (acetylene, soldering, annealing, reticulation, granulation). Chemistry topics covered include: physical properties/structure of metal, alloys, reactivity, displacement, occurrence, and extraction. Through a combination of lecture and studio time, this course will take place both in the chemistry lab and metals studio. 
  • DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCTION

    In this 2-trimester course students will examine the components of successful digital video production while working to develop their own styles and techniques as they create projects of various lengths and formats. Focus will be centered on pre-production essentials, gaining familiarity with tools and techniques, understanding and following copyright law, media integrity, screenwriting, and post-production. Tasks may include: project research, storyboarding, shooting original footage, lighting design, effectively selecting shot composition, capturing quality production audio, directing talent, integrating effective music and sound/visual effects, and above all, successfully working with other professionals in a creative environment.
  • ELECTRONIC MUSIC I, II, III, IV

    This is a hands-on course, designed for beginning to advanced musicians interested in learning how to create, record and make music using a computer. Students will use LogicProX, a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software, and iMacs. Each subsequent level of this course builds on the skills of the previous level. Sample projects include creating ringtones, short video soundtracks, and original music. Levels II, III, and IV will delve deeper into the understanding of audio/sound design and engineering, electronic composition, and multi-media production as related to music. Students do not need to understand how to read music notation or play an instrument to be successful in this class. 
  • EXPLORATION IN NEW MEDIA

    This trimester elective is a course designed to teach some of the digital fundamentals of new media (Photoshop/Blender/Other) and engage students to apply these tools and techniques in innovative and self- directed projects. The course will focus on concepts and best practices to efficiently produce art work in new media and students will explore digital imaging, rendering and sculpting through a series of assignments. This course is recommended for highly motivated students curious to explore new media and interested in learning more about digital art and its applications.
  • FABRICATION DESIGN I, II AND III

    Fabrication Design is a studio art course which promotes student-driven exploration and creative problem solving by using the technologies available in the fabrication studio and the digital media lab. In this class, students will investigate the intersection of emerging and traditional art-making strategies. While the instructor will provide elemental project prompts, the assignments will be interpreted personally depending on individual student interests. Sample prompts might include “how can you design a three dimensional object that is lit from within?” or to design a net-zero art object. Students in this class will learn the material and tool skills needed in the fabrication studio (laser cutter, CNC router, and 3D printer) and learn how to utilize these skills as designers of both digital and hand- made art objects and forms.

  • PHOTOGRAPHY I, II

    In this introductory course, students will explore the art of photography through digital practices, film mechanics, and alternate processes. Emphasis in the first half of the trimester will be placed on light, metering, and camera mechanics. The second half of the class will focus on editing photographs digitally, composition, aesthetics, and imagery. Students will have access to both 35 mm SLR and DSLR cameras as well as adobe software and a wide format printer.

  • PICTURE AND WORD

    What magic happens when you blend pictures and words on a page? How are images capable of not only interpreting words but potentially adding context or even changing meaning for the audience? This creative writing and fine arts-focused course will explore the interaction between illustration and creative writing. Co-taught by faculty from the visual arts and English department, students will strive to develop an individual, authentic, creative voice by exploring both written and visual languages in various forms. We will develop our narrative and illustrative skills, honing essential elements such as characterization, setting, composition and form, color, and meaning. Students will investigate the work of author/ illustrators like Art Spiegelman, Brian Selznick, Ezra Jack Keats, Rien Poortvliet, Maurice Sendak, Edward Gorey, William Morris, TS Eliot, Margaret Wise Brown, David Wiesner, Christopher Myers, George Bulter, JRR Tolkien, and others. Each project will require both writing and illustration, with the opportunity to develop some work multiple times over the length of the course. All work created in this class will be critiqued and developed by peers and the instructors with the goal of a final project to be archived for the school. 
  • PUBLIC ART

    This class is meant to help students understand how artists can create art to communicate with their community about issues in which they are personally invested. Students will look at the work of current artists for inspiration and context. This is fundamentally a project-based studio class, with both independent and collaborative work. The art that students produce will be site specific and meant to interact with an audience outside the classroom.

  • STEAM: PINBALL WIZARD

    This trimester elective explores the history, physics, geometry, art, electronics, and engineering of pinball machines. Since the 1930s, technological advances and social change have shaped the evolution of pinball. Appreciating this history will provide students with useful perspective and inspiration as they engage in the process of making their own tabletop pinball machine. Through this process, students will express their creativity, apply their knowledge of geometry and physics, develop confidence in their ability to design and fabricate, and be asked to regularly reflect on their successes and learn from their failures. This course will conclude with a community pinball festival where students will share their process and show off their creations.

  • THEATER TECH

    This hands-on course offers students the opportunity to engage in the behind the scenes workings of a theatrical venue. Designers today work with highly technical equipment in order to recognize an artistic vision. This course explores the creative process behind technical design, offering a unique opportunity for integration of arts and sciences. In class, we cover staging, lighting and sound equipment, the fundamentals of technical design, and the implementation of design in a theatrical production.


Pathways Requirements

List of 2 items.

  • Arts Pathway

    VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS PATHWAY FRAMEWORK

    The Arts Pathway framework offers students an opportunity to expand their horizons in art, music and/or dance. Arts Pathways students will build a physical and digital portfolio and resume which reflects depth and breadth of experience in the arts through designing their Upper School experience around the following criteria:

    VISUAL ART
    ● Earn a minimum of 21 credits including
         ○ 17 credits from courses that meet departmental distribution requirements
         ○ at least 3 additional credits (one of which through completion of a Pinnacle course) in full year studio art courses or scaffolded trimesters (i.e. Drawing/ Design/Painting or Clay Sculpture/Ceramics I/ Ceramics II or other approved groupings)
         ○ at least 1 credit of electives with either an Arts designation (i.e. Fabrication Design, Picture and Word , Public Art, Chemistry of Metals, Da Vinci, Art History, New Media, Digital Video Production, Photography, Theatre Tech) or a Performance Art/Music designation

    ● Exhibit an Innovation Pursuit sustained over a minimum of 3 trimesters and with an Arts connection.
    ● Complete one season each year as a member of the cast or crew of a mainstage production
    ● Impact the broader community authentically i.e. be an active member/leader of art clubs, NAHS, or outreach (collaborating on-site with an organization engaged in arts related work); exhibit at BA, 9 off campus (Scholastics, YAM, community arts) and at the Senior Artist Exhibition; and serving as a student leader in the arts for BA or off-campus events. Community impacts will be student directed and approved by the Arts Pathways Coordinator. This work may or may not be tied to an Innovation Pursuit.
    ● The Arts Pathway culminates in a digital portfolio and exhibition of art for the community.

    PERFORMING ARTS:

    DANCE
    ● Earn a minimum of 21 credits including:
         ○ 17 credits from courses that meet departmental distribution requirements ■ NOTE: A student must earn 1 ⅓ credits through completion of Anatomy & Physiology and Nutrition while satisfying the 17 credits mentioned above
         ○ At least 1 credit in Performing Arts studio electives (Theatre Tech, World Music, Contemporary Dance, etc.)
         ○ At least 1 credit in Visual Art ○ At least 1 credit in Performance Art / Music (Chorus, Band, Strings)

    ● Exhibit an Innovation Pursuit sustained over a minimum of 3 trimesters and with an Arts connection.
    ● Complete one season each year as a member of the cast or crew of a mainstage production
    ● Perform at BA and also off campus (Dancers Making a Difference, Fall Into Dance, Arts Rochester, BA spring performance), be an active member/leader of dance company, NHSDA and outreach (collaborating on-site with an organization engaged in performing arts related work)
    ● The Performing Arts Pathway culminates in a capstone exhibition for the community.

    PERFORMING ARTS:

    MUSIC (BAND, ORCHESTRA, CHORUS)
    ● Earn a minimum of 21 credits including...
         ○ 17 credits from courses that meet departmental distribution requirements
         ○ Enrollment in Band, Strings or Chorus each year. Enrollment will be in the same performing group for all three years.
         ○ At least 1 credit in music electives
         ○ Enrollment in lessons for credit each year which includes juried exhibition

    ● Exhibit an Innovation Pursuit sustained over a minimum of 3 trimesters and with an Arts connection.
    ● Complete three seasons as a member of the cast or crew of a mainstage production
    ● Perform at BA (annual recital participation) and off campus when possible; be an active member/leader of a performing group; induction into Tri-M Music Honor Society; and participate in outreach opportunities.
    ● The Performing Arts Pathway culminates in a capstone exhibition for the community

    APPLICATION PROCESS
    ARTS: To apply, students will submit an application which includes a portfolio of current work. They will also be interviewed and may be asked to audition when appropriate.


  • STEAM Pathway

    The STEAM Pathways framework offers students an opportunity to expand their horizons in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics through designing their Upper School experience around the following criteria:

    ● Earn a minimum of 21 credits including:
         ○ 17 credits from courses that meet departmental distribution requirements,
         ○ at least 2 additional credits in either science, math, or art (visual or performing)
              ■ NOTE: a student must earn at least one credit through completion of a Pinnacle course, while satisfying the 19 credits mentioned above
         ○ at least 1 credit of electives with a STEAM designation: Fabrication Design, Pinball Wizard, Strandbeests, Da Vinci, New Media, e-Music II-IV, Digital Video Production, Photography
         ○ at least ⅔ credit of Coding and Computer Science electives: Introductory Programming Concepts, JAVA Graphics, Pinnacle CS
         ○ at least ⅓ credit in either Humanitarian Design or Global Problem Solving
              ■ NOTE: Coding and Computer Science credits beyond the required ⅔ credit may serve to count towards the additional two credits in either Math or Science.

    ● Exhibit an Innovation Pursuit sustained over a minimum of 3 trimesters and with a STEAM connection.
    ● Impact the broader community authentically (i.e. collaborating on-site with an organization engaged in STEAM related work, attending a STEAM related exhibition/conference, mentoring in the Inspiration Commons, participating actively in Femmes for STEM, and/or serving as a student leader in the Innovator Development summer camp). Community impacts will be student directed and approved by the STEAM Pathways Coordinator. This work may or may not be tied to an Innovation Pursuit.

    APPLICATION PROCESS:

    STEAM: To apply, students will submit an application which includes a written proposal articulating their interests and goals as well as signatures from at least two faculty members who support their proposal.

    A Pathways team will review the candidates and their application packets and determine appropriateness for the program.

Pathways Coordinators

List of 4 members.

  • Seth Hurd 

    Dir. of Visual & Performing Arts, Director of Data Management, Arts Pathways Coordinator (Music)
    207-384-2164 Ext 2210
  • Sasha Malone 

    Director of Dance, Arts Pathways Coordinator (Dance), Theater Technology Faculty
    207-384-2164 x2804
  • Raegan Russell 

    Visual Art Department Chair, US Art, Arts Pathways Coordinator (Visual), Set Design
    207-384-2164 Ext 2402
  • Marc Small 

    Science Dept Chair, STEAM Pathways Coordinator, 7th Grade Science/Math
    207-384-2164 Ext 2611

Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy is Maine's oldest, independent Pre-K through Post Graduate private school. Our community is dynamic, offering challenging academics, competitive athletics, and creative arts programs. Members of the community operate within a context of caring and respect as we pursue our quest for "useful knowledge" as "one school with three divisions." Students and faculty are encouraged to expand their horizons by balancing academics with athletic, dramatic, and musical options.