Department of Education

Essential Questions Courses and College Preparation

Courses focus on big questions that encourage students to create new knowledge, practice relevant skills, and take action.


What is justice and who decides?

BSHS English will learn about different types of justice as we read the novel Pet by Akwaeke Emeze that follows a young girl, Jam, and a magical creature called Pet as they search for a monster in the fictional utopia of Lucille.  How do we distinguish between good and evil when we are in a utopian society that believes it has no evil?  We will compare and contrast different types of justice in the novel and in contemporary society. Students will engage in argument writing and journalistic/research writing as they complete projects about utopia and restorative justice. 


What is math and how is math like art?

Geometry, proportion, and symmetry often arise in art and many artists explicitly incorporate math ideas into their work. This year, BSHS will explore the relationship between math and art. We will solve math problems, discuss how these concepts have been used as tools by artists throughout time, and create our own math art.


How can growing plants in my neighborhood contribute to a more sustainable world?

Plants play a fundamental role in our environment as sources of food, energy, and healthy air.  They make many contributions to the overall health of communities that we take for granted such as providing green space and absorbing environmental pollutants.  This year, BSHS students will work actively with seeds and plants to learn essential aspects of gardening and landscaping that contribute to the health of communities and a sustainable world.  By integrating scientific concepts, indigenous knowledge, and community resources, students will design a plan incorporating what they have learned about plants in order to enhance a section of their local community.

Social Studies: 

How do music, art, and creative expression influence modern social movements?

The social studies course at BSHS this year is entitled “Sights and Sounds of a Movement.” Students will first investigate how music, art, and multiple forms of creative expression have played important roles in social movements throughout the history of the United States. Students will then create a playlist that both represents and inspires a local, national, or transnational social movement of their choice. This playlist will include art, music, photography, poetry, and multiple forms of expression that represent their chosen movement. Students can use media that exists, their original work, or a combination of formats. Those interested in history, music, visual arts, performing arts, or any type of activism should take this course.


College Readiness

The Future is Now

While at Brown Summer High School, students will have the opportunity to hear from BSHS alumni about their experiences in the program and how it prepared them for life after high school. Students will hear from a diverse panel of college students about their pathways to and through college. Additionally, students and families are invited to hear college admissions professionals speak about the application process, how to choose a college or university that is right for them, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while in college. These experiences are in addition to the resources and mentorship that BSHS teachers can provide throughout the summer and beyond.