I teach at Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School in New Haven, CT. It was originally started as a cooperative school between Hamden and New Haven Public School. Today the school currently accepts 65% New Haven residents, and 35% suburban residents from 30 outlying suburban districts. All students have to enter in the magnet lottery and are chosen by random, but preference is given to incoming students with siblings currently enrolled in the school. There are about 700 students in the student body, demographically in 2013-2014, 50% African American, 25% Hispanic, 22% Caucasian, 3% Asian, 67% female, 33% male, 2% limited English proficiency, 58% eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
The students choose an art to focus their studies on for 90 minutes a day for four years: theater, dance, music (choir, band, or orchestra), visual art and creative writing. There are opportunities to try out art outside your major in elective classes and in the extensive after school program. The students also are required to take the standard compliment of core academic classes: English, mathematics, history, science, and foreign language, as well as a technology and a physical education class. The school offers a handful of electives, and pushes students to achieve highly, and to take AP classes during their junior and senior year, with a major goal of graduating all students, and all students getting into and going to college.
This unit is designed for juniors enrolled in regular level chemistry class, likely diverse in background, skill, and social-emotional skill, and maturity. Students below grade level in both reading and math skills will still get a lot out of this unit, and in many ways it is designed to reach them, as they are often disengaged from many chemistry topics. This unit expects the students to be able to do basic math functions, and be able to read material at about a 7
grade reading level, but can be modified for students of different ability.