school of environmental studies

Intensive Themes

Intensive Theme classes offer students an opportunity to try something new or dive deeper into a subject or topic. These courses often allow students an opportunity to explore the areas of study in a variety of settings with field trips both on and off school grounds. Some courses are co-taught with Minnesota Zoo staff members and many incorporate outside experts to add real world expertise.

Intensive Theme courses are offered as a short elective near the end of each trimester and run 7 school days. These courses provide one elective credit that can be applied toward graduation. Please see the counselor for a list of Intensive Theme classes that count as a gym credit. Note that some courses require a lab/supplies fee which must be paid prior to the first day of class.

Animal Behavior

This Intensive Theme course is designed for students who have a great interest in the learning more about animals in a zoo setting, or who wish to pursue a career in fields related to the study of Animal Behavior. It is offered during the Trimester 1 Intensive Theme, in November.

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Animal Care

This course investigates the relationships between humans and animals. Topics covered include care of pets, our relationships with wild animals in zoos and in the wild, ethical issues involving animals. Students visit with animal care professions, including vets and trainers.

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Field Ornithology

Field Ornithology is a spring class that focuses on the resident and migrant birds found in the area. Students spend a majority of the day exploring local natural habitats in order to identify common birds.

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Human Medicine

We will learn about the history of human medicine, review the musculo-skeletal and cardiac system and related diseases. Through hands on experiences we will learn about assessment techniques and practice assessment skills. We will introduce students to many health care related careers through guest speakers, field trips to hospitals and a medical conference.

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Lifetime Fitness

Lifetime Fitness is a class that allows the student to earn a Phy Ed credit at SES. Students spend half of the day at the local Lifetime Fitness facility working out, and the other half of the day at SES working on a health related curriculum. Students are required to read and take notes on materials that address some of the physical, nutritional, mental, emotional and social aspects of health.

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Marine Biology

This intensive theme course is co-taught by SES and Minnesota Zoo staff. Students will spend part of their day at SES learning about a variety of topics associated with the marine environment. The other part will be spent observing the various organisms discussed n class at Discovery Bay and the Coral Reef exhibits at the Minnesota Zoo. When possible various zoo staff will talk with students about their jobs and organisms they care for as well.

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Model United Nations

An in-depth analysis of the workings of the United Nations. Students prepare and participate in Model UN Conferences. It also includes an overview of current international issues. The course assists qualifying students in preparing for their role in representing SES Foundation at the UN.

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SCUBA Certification

A seven-day course where students will complete the classroom course work and confined water dive portions of the PADI certification program. They will then travel to a local lake in mid-June to complete their four open water check out dives to finalize their certification.

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Social Action

In the spaces of time between volunteer experiences, students participate in Learning Circles to study and discuss problems and solutions in our society. Students also participate in a spect-actor theatre activity to brainstorm solutions to problems that we face.

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Typography and Graphic Design

This class is about communication but not in the writing of the sentences but rather how the information looks on the page. Font choice, text arrangement, inclusion of graphics, color and more communicate a lot in the presentation and this is graphic design. We use computer programs to design and quickly adjust those designs as we experiment with learn about graphic design. We look at the history of graphic design and where it may lead to.

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Winter Rec II

Winter Rec II is a course in downhill skiing and/or snowboarding fundamentals using area ski hills. The schedule will include instruction and practice. This is a great class for beginners as well as experienced skiers/boarders. Students will be required to complete daily readings, activities, and reflections.

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Winter Recreation

This class is packed with indoor and outdoor exercise activities. Students research and make a presentation about a winter activity on the last day.

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