Below are the comprehensive classes offered at Putnam Science Academy. Should you have any questions, please email our Guidance Department at



The Mathematics Department provides a program of courses to fulfill the needs of students with varied interests and abilities. The choice of courses allows the student to be challenged and
successful, and to approach mathematics with confidence. While we want students to feel challenged, we do not want students to be enrolled in a course that is inappropriate. In order to
determine the best course, students should consult with their present mathematics teacher, their guidance counselor, and their parents. All of our courses include investigation so that the use of either a calculator or computer technology is an integral component.

Currently the full semester courses offered include:

Prerequisite: Algebra I
Description: Geometry courses, emphasizing an abstract, formal approach to the study of geometry, typically include topics such as properties of plane and solid figures; deductive methods of reasoning and use of logic; geometry as an axiomatic system including the study of postulates, theorems, and formal proofs; concepts of congruence, similarity, parallelism, perpendicularity, and proportion; and rules of angle measurement in triangles.

Prerequisite: Geometry and Algebra 2 with a grade of B or above


Description: This course is an intermediate course in mathematics for the student who has completed Algebra 2 and Geometry and wishes to strengthen their mathematical background.

The course offers a review of algebraic and geometric concepts, a preview of precalculus topics, and an
introduction to discrete mathematics. In addition, special attention will be given to the study of the basic elementary functions: trigonometry, exponential and logarithms. The TI-Nspire graphing calculator (or equivalent) will be used in this course. Prerequisites: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and approval by the Mathematics Department.

Prerequisite: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Precalculus and/or administrative/teacher approval

Description:  This course is a higher-level course in mathematics for those students who have completed Precalculus.  This course offers enhanced material to
promote deeper understanding of mathematical concepts including limits, differentiation, integration and logarithmic, exponential and other transcendental functions.  The students are required to use a graphing calculator that is equivalent or better than a TI-Nspire. 
This course will better prepare students for high-level mathematics courses upon entering college or AP Calculus AB/BC.  Prerequisites: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and approval by the Mathematics Department.


The Science Department course offerings are designed to ensure the learning of science for all 9-12 students by providing equitable access to exemplary teachers, inquiry-centered curriculum and instruction, standards-based assessments, and a wealth of resources and community support.

The program objectives emphasize the development of concepts and skills students need to demonstrate a reasonable command of a science knowledge base and to interpret the world around them using a scientific approach. The science program fosters the development of a personal interest in and an understanding of the impact of science on society as a whole. The normal sequences of courses are as shown below.

Currently the full semester courses offered include:

Prerequisite: Completion of 8th grade science

Description: Integrated Science is a semester long course in which a number of general science topics are discussed and explored in order to help to prepare our younger students for the more advanced science courses which they will have in the future at Putnam Science Academy.
Topics include the elements and chemical reactions, properties of light and the process of photosynthesis, the concept of genetically modified organisms, cell structure and function,
electricity and electrical circuit concepts, magnetism, as well as the weather and environmental science concepts. Students are also introduced to the scientific research paper and lab report,
learning about their structure, bibliographic references and footnoting and the actual process of writing a lab report or research paper. The course is hands on and exposes students to lab equipment which they may not have ever used before.

Prerequisite: Administrative/teacher approval

Description: Chemistry course involves studying the composition, properties, and reactions of substances. These courses typically explore such concepts as the behaviors of solids, liquids, and

gases; acid/base and oxidation/reduction reactions; and atomic structure. Chemical formulas and equations and nuclear reactions are also studied.

Prerequisite: Algebra 1 with a grade of B or above and administrative/teacher approval

Description: Physics is a laboratory science course that examines the relationship between matter and energy and how they interact. This course will have a strong emphasis in the
mathematics of physics. Students explore physics concepts through an inquiry approach.
Embedded standards for Inquiry, Technology & Engineering, and Mathematics are taught in the context of the content standards for Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Waves and Sound, Light and
Optics, Electricity and Magnetism and Atomic & Nuclear Science. Students will be ready for AP Physics based on their passing grade.

Prerequisite: Integrated Science
Description: Environmental Science course examine the mutual relationships between organisms and their environment. In studying the interrelationships among plants, animals, and
humans, these courses usually cover the following subjects: photosynthesis, recycling and regeneration, ecosystems, population and growth studies, pollution, and conservation of natural resources.


The English Program has a strong focus on composition and literature while instilling intelligent habits of speaking and listening. Our first concern in composition is to assist students in writing honestly and developing styles with authentic voice. Emphasis is placed on personal, technical, and analytical forms of writing as well as those skills necessary to enhance our scientific curricula.

Literary analysis is a major concentration with special attention to meaningful, personal involvement with the literature. Our curriculum is designed to acquaint each student with some of the major cultural and aesthetic movements of American Literature and British Literature, giving attention to the voices of women, minorities, and non-western writers. See the following chart for the typical sequence of courses.

Currently the full semester courses offered include:

Prerequisite: Completion of eighth grade English and reading at, or above grade level.


Description: This course builds upon students’ prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and the mechanics of writing and usually include the four aspects of language use:
reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This course introduces and defines various genres of literature, with writing exercises often linked to reading selections. Emphasis is placed on
strengthening needed vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills. The completion of frequent writing assignments is an expectation. Literature is an important component; therefore, students should expect a substantial amount of reading. They will be exposed to the genres of mythology, classical literature, and contemporary fiction. Romeo and Juliet, Maus I and II, Lord of the Flies, The Odyssey, and Of Mice and Men may be among the titles chosen. In addition to these
readings, an anthology will be utilized. A formal research paper shall be assigned. Before entering this course, parents and students should carefully consider the recommendation of the
teacher and the department head.

Prerequisite: B- or higher in a prior English Literature course and teacher/admin approval

Description: Creative Writing course offers students the opportunity to develop and improve their technique and individual style in poetry, short story, drama, essays, and other forms of prose. The emphasis of the courses is on writing; however, students may study exemplary representations and authors to obtain a fuller appreciation of the form and craft. Although this course mostly covers several expressive forms, classes will sometimes concentrate on particular
form such as poetry or playwriting.


The Social Studies Department aims to prepare students for their future roles as voting citizens of a democratic world power. It is our hope that our students will have a positive influence in world affairs over the decades ahead. Students will be introduced to the historical and cultural influences, which have shaped the present day world, in both the United States and elsewhere. They will be assisted in developing and applying the intellectual and analytical tools of the social sciences to deepen and broaden their understanding of past trends, current events, and potential  future developments.

The program objectives emphasize the development of concepts and skills students need to demonstrate a reasonable command of a science knowledge base and to interpret the world around them using a scientific approach. The science program fosters the development of a personal interest in and an understanding of the impact of science on society as a whole. The normal sequences of courses are as shown below.

Prerequisite: Teacher/Administrative Approval

Description: This course is a study of the origins, development, structure, and functions of national governments. Topics include foundations of government, political behaviors, the branches of the government, comparative political and economic systems, and participation in state and local government. The relationship between local, state, and federal governments are also discussed. Upon completion, students should have an understanding of the basic concepts and principles of government.

Prerequisite: Teacher/ Administrative approval

Description: Contemporary Issues course studies the political, economic, and social issues facing the United States, with or without an emphasis on state and local issues. This course may
focus on current issues or may examine selected issues that span throughout the 20th century to the present. Local and national newspapers and journals will be studied in the class and discussions will be based on reading and writing assignments from those sources.

Prerequisite: Teacher/Administrative approval
Description: Psychology course introduces students to the study of individual human behavior. Course content includes (but is not limited to) an overview of the field of psychology, topics in
human growth and development, personality and behavior, and abnormal psychology. Questions to be answered will be “Where do thoughts and memories come from? What are emotions? And why do we behave the way we do?” Students will begin to understand the human mind by exploring the research and theories of some of the most brilliant psychologists throughout
history. In addition, students will learn psychological tips that they can use every day, like how to cope and reduce stress.

World Languages

As there has been a great emphasis on issues pertaining to international relations and diplomacy, the study of foreign languages has become very important. Effectiveness of improved communication among peoples of the world depends on the ability to understand each other’s language and culture. The study of languages, cultures and literature gives us a better understanding of our modern, complex and multicultural world, therefore, those who have studied a world language will most probably be better prepared to help institute peaceful international relationships of the future. Three to four years of the same language is highly recommended by the most selective colleges.

Currently the full semester courses offered include: 

Prerequisite: Teacher/Administrative Approval

Description: This introductory course is designed for students who has no prior knowledge of and/or who have had less than a full school year of previous formal exposure to Spanish
language. Instructional emphasis is placed on developing proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and culture – while learning fundamental grammar and useful idiomatic expressions through use of the language in practical situations. Students write short paragraphs and engage in conversation on a regular basis. An appreciation of native cultures including the cities, people, holidays, and customs is incorporated into the class.

Prerequisite: Spanish 1

Description: In this course, students add to their foundation in practical communicative skills, using the target language to gain information, to discuss topics of interest, and to describe events
of the present, past, and future. Pronunciation, vocabulary, idiom and grammar are expanded to support oral and written communication and reading comprehension. Students read for
information and for pleasure, compose short compositions, and engage in conversation. Students continue learning about the culture of the country of the target language.

Prerequisite: Teacher/Administrative Approval

Description: This course serves as a history course covering the Moorish occupation of Al-Andalus, to the Golden Age of Spain in the 16th century, and finally the wave of Independence movements throughout the Territories once occupied by the Spanish Crown. Discussing the Spanish Empire’s rise and Fall in the western world, Student’s will be able to understand why Spanish culture is so influential and Important in modern day North and South America. Additionally, cultures and foods throughout modern Latin America and Spain will be supplemented according to the section of history being discussed.

Prerequisite: Teacher/Administrative Approval

Description: This introductory course is designed for students who has no prior knowledge of and/or have had less than a full school year of previous formal exposure to Mandarin. The focus of this course is to develop students’ language proficiency in listening, speaking, and reading, while the Hanyu Pinyin (Chinese pronunciation system) will be taught. Students will be able to read short paragraph with Pinyin and engage in simple conversations. The traditional and significant Chinese culture will be introduced, such as holidays, food, and activities.


 The goal of the Visual & Performing Arts Department is to explore a variety of media, ideas and techniques through the production of artwork and the discussion of art history. Students will develop an appreciation for the arts and an understanding of the ways art communicates ideas.

Currently the full semester courses offered include:

Prerequisite: None
Description: This introductory course gives students the foundation to prepare them for further high school art experiences. This course introduces students to the materials, techniques, concepts, and processes essential to understanding other art electives such as drawing, painting, the elements and principles of design, color theory, the critical process, and keeping a sketchbook.

Prerequisite: None

Description: This course provides the foundation of painting, its application and materials. It focuses on the color theory and the processes of wet-into-wet, dry-brush paint and application.
This course will expose students to the basics of painting including materials, techniques, craft and mediums. The subject matter will include still life, landscape, media experimentation, and
exploration of individual creative expression.

Prerequisite: None

Description: This course is designed to guide students to produce stimulating and rewarding painting projects while also allowing students to develop their own knowledge, skills, understanding, and confidence in expressing their unique ideas and feelings through painting.


Description: Creative Art—Comprehensive course provides students with the knowledge and opportunity to explore an art form and to create individual works of art. It also provides a discussion and exploration of career opportunities in the art world. Initially, it covers the language, materials, and processes of a particular art form and the design elements and principles supporting a work of art. As students advance and become more adept, the instruction regarding the creative process becomes more refined, and students are encouraged to develop their own artistic styles. Although Creative Art course focuses on creation, it also include the study of major artists, art movements, and styles. This course also surveys a wide range of crafts, or they may focus on only one type of craft; possibilities include calligraphy, quilting, silk-screening, cake-decorating, tole-painting, mask making, knitting, crocheting, paper-making, and so on.

Computer Science & Technology

Personal access to computing power is increasing. Access to information and to channels of communication are important aspects of life in our society. The power of computers as a medium for providing and communicating information has made the ability to use information technology a vitally important skill.

Our school offers students computer skills, graphics editing, web design, database programming and visual programming courses according to their grades. Each end of the year, our students take a final integrated project about what they learn during the year. Our programs are designed for students to develop their design, analyze and programming capabilities.

Currently the full semester courses offered include:

Description: Computer programming is an introductory course to the C++ programming league. With programmers having one of the highest in-demand job opportunities in the world, learning a programming language opens up a vast array of opportunities in the computer science field. In this course, we will use Visual Studio to compile various actions that we produce using C++. Being an object oriented programming language, C++ is a visual learning experience where you will see the end result of your script in real time. 

Description: Computer applications is an introductory course to computer sciences. In this course, we discuss topics such a computer software, hardware, malware, web development, and so much more. Students will learn important computer skills in this course that are required for many careers in today’s technological age. As an introductory course, Computer Applications serves as a glimpse into many of the other computer science classes offered at Putnam Science Academy. 

Description: In this course, students will learn the skills to produce motion graphics used commonly in day films and video games. We will focus on both 2D and 3D animation, dissection and analyzing various real-life actions and how to translate those digitally through the use of key frames on various subjects. This course dives into advanced topics of computer graphics, using professional software such as Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop. 

Description: In this course, students will learn various elements of how video games are created and the productivity side of what makes a “good game.” We will explore aspects of these criteria such as genres, mechanics, dynamics, and visuals of games, to develop a clear understanding of the processes of game design. Students will learn the early fundamentals of the production of video games by producing design documents that will guide them in producing prototype games in the game engine, Unity3D.

Description: In this course, students will learn the skills and tools needed to create 3-dimensional models to be used in media. Students will use software such as Autodesk Maya to develop a portfolio of 3-D assets that will demonstrate the various tools and techniques used by professionals that create stunning visuals for video games, movies, and other forms of media. 

Description: In this course, students will learn a variety of skills regarding digital graphics. Students will begin by learning image manipulation, graphic design, and digital art techniques in Adobe Photoshop. We will focus primarily on realism and lighting aspects of digital art, before proceeding into visual effects and rendering. The second half of the course will consist of learning about video editing, as well as post-processing in programs such as Adobe Premier.

Description: In this course, students will begin by learning the history of film production, and acquaint themselves with the terminology used in a professional setting. We will then dive into developing aspects of films such as film editing, film effects, audio capturing/editing, and much more. Students will be using professional software such as Adobe Premiere and After Effects to produce high quality projects. By the end of this course, students will have the skills and knowledge to produce a short film within the class. 

Personalized Learning Opportunities

The following courses are designed to inspire students to begin thinking about life after they complete their high school program. Through these classes, students will learn the importance of standardized tests, how to prepare for them, and what strategies to employ on test day. Students will also learn to communicate more effectively and recognize their areas of strength and areas that they can improve.

Currently the full semester courses offered include:

Prerequisite: None
Description: This introductory course emphasizes basic management principles as they relate to the sports-related enterprises. Students will be able to analyze sports events and statistics, along with the ability to understand how to carefully manage their time as a student and as an athlete. This course will provide the importance of organizing their time and athletic abilities to maximize their potential on and off the court/field. In addition, sports management will illustrate how the sports world is connected to the working world and every day activities.
Prerequisite: None

Description: The SAT Prep course is designed to help students learn strategies for improving their SAT scores. The course concentrates on SAT reading, vocabulary, and writing skills along
with math practice. The course includes practice in taking the SAT test, as well as strategies for the question types such as sentence completion, vocabulary, critical reading, writing, finding
errors, and revision. The course is tailored to the new SAT through the use of Khan Academy online, classroom lessons, and official College Board SAT practice tests.

Prerequisite: Biology recommended and/or administrative/teacher approval

 Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the nervous system. It is a branch of biology that combines physiology, anatomy, developmental biology, and psychology to understand the fundamental properties of the brain, neurons and neural circuits. Students will explore the inner workings of the brain; anatomy, development, working memory, hearing, language, decision making, and stress. We will also study the diseases that affect the brain and read about current research topics throughout the course.

Prerequisite: B- or higher in a prior English Literature course
Description: Public Speaking course enables students, through practice, to develop communication skills that can be used in a variety of speaking situations (such as small and large

group discussions, delivery of lectures or speeches in front of audiences, and so on). Course topics may include (but are not limited to) research and organization, writing for verbal delivery,
stylistic choices, visual and presentation skills, analysis and critique, and development of self-confidence. Students will also listen to speeches and experiment with different styles,
rhythms, and formats. Oral presentations and written work are required on a weekly basis.
Students will learn and gain skills to speak confidently and convincingly in a public.

Prerequisite: None


Description: This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of the basic principles of nutrition and some of the issues and controversies surrounding this body of knowledge. It will identify the essential nutrients and their functions, as well as describe nutritional behaviors that
promote optimal nutrition and disease prevention throughout the life cycle. Energy balance, nutrition for fitness, and food safety will all be included. At the end of the course, students will
assess and evaluate their own diet analysis based on a 5-day food recall and then develop a plan for improvement.

Prerequisite: None

 Science of Fitness is an introductory course designed to help each student to improve muscular strength, gain knowledge and understanding of weight training theory and
practice, and develop a personalized weight training program

Prerequisite: None

Description: This course focuses on gaining current knowledge about selected health topics that impact the individual and the community. This course will touch on a variety of topics including: Drugs: drug information, drug use/abuse, impacts of drugs, addiction, social factors, societal issues relating to drug use Mental Health: self-esteem, understanding emotions, anger
management, stress management, depression, suicide and grief and loss. • Consumerism: Nutrition concepts, in-depth analysis of consumer products and origins, health risks associated
with consumerism and environmental hazards, and a focus on skills to empower students to make thoughtful behavioral choices for personal and occupational health. By the conclusion of the course, students will have the opportunity to demonstrate the following skills: goal setting, coping with stress, communicating, and decision-making. Disease prevention, media awareness, and accessing community resources will be integrated throughout the course.

Prerequisite: None


Description: Postgraduate Seminar will focus on post-secondary education and students will
explore, plan and prepare for life during and after college. A main goal of this course will be to
prepare students for upcoming SAT and ACT exams. Students in this course will explore careers,
research colleges, write resumes and application essays, submit college applications and
financial aid forms, and apply for additional scholarships. The students will strengthen and
develop skills needed for post secondary plans including activities in team building, handling
stress, building communication skills, and learning about personal finance.

ESL - English as a Second Language

 PSA focuses on developing communicative dexterity in the English language to students whose first language is something other than English. The ESL Department is structured to focus on strengthening and refining skill levels in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

Testing is done to adhere to the appropriate level placement of each student. The ESL student body will also take part in understanding the American daily life, culture and influences of government and entertainment to help support their cultural competence. Our goal is to make sure that every student is prepared for entering an American college or university.