Course Description

Advanced Program for High School Students- Art + Science: Local Environments

Artwork by Helen Zhao

Addressing climate change is often posed as happening through macro-scale technological or material innovation. Instead, students in this course consider that change begins with a focus on our own relationship to the environment around us. Students explore not only the science of their local neighborhoods, but also the healthy relationships found in natural systems. Life science and art inquiry processes are bridged to build skills and techniques that showcase our capacity as researchers, observers and creators. Exploration of artists who collaborate with nature, both conceptually and physically, gives consideration to questions that artists grapple with as they imagine possible futures. Assignments will focus on observational skills at the micro and macro scale along with formal elements of artmaking. Students are challenged to experiment with materials through drawing, painting and 3D form. Sketchbook exercises are used to practice techniques and build up research questions, which then become the material for the final project. Time spent outside student workspace is critical to engaging in the course, whether you live near a forest canopy, suburban neighborhood or the shade of a highrise. 


In this intensive course and Visual + Critical Language, students should expect to spend a combined minimum of 20 hours per week engaging in coursework across both courses. Students should plan their schedule accordingly to keep up with class.

In conjunction with your Featured Topics course(s), you are also required to enroll in Visual + Critical Language. When you register for this Featured Topics course, you will also be charged for the tuition of Visual + Critical Language. You will see this enrollment reflected in your Student Portal before the start date of the course. Visual + Critical Language will meet live two times: during the first and final live sessions of your Featured Topics course.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Online, Asynchronous
Jul 20, 2021 to Aug 15, 2021
Online, Live Sessions
T, Th
1:00PM to 4:00PM
Jul 20, 2021 to Aug 12, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $2,600.00 Click here to get more information
Drop Request Deadline
Aug 10, 2021
Transfer Request Deadline
Jul 13, 2021
Withdrawal Request Deadline
Jul 20, 2021 to Aug 15, 2021
Necessary Supplies/Text(s)
  • Graphite pencils 1 each of the following: 5B, 2B, H.
  • Micron Pens (or equivalent permanent ink pen): 1 of each of the following sizes .01, .03, .05
  • Watercolor or acrylic synthetic round paint brushes: 1 each of the following sizes: #4, #10, #12
  • Watercolor or acrylic synthetic brushes 1 each of of the following #4 flat shader, ¼” angle 
  • 1 large kneaded eraser
  • 1  eraser, white vinyl (Staedtler Mars, Alvin or similar)
  • Pencil sharpener – such as grip trio pencil sharpener or anything that you are sure fits all your pencils 
  • 1 Holbein Acrylic Gouache Colors School Set of 12  (12 ml tubes)  (approximately $32US)
  • 1 Holbein Acryla Gouache Mixing set of 5 colors (20 ml tubes)   (primary mixing set approx $35US)
  • 1 set of colored pencils (minimum of 24 colors) 
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 bone folder
  • 1 ruler, metal, cork-back 18”
  • 1 Exacto (or similar brand) knife #1 with cap and extra #11 blades
  • 1 glue, Sobo 2oz
  • 1 roll of tape, blue painters, 1”
  • 1 roll of tape, white artists, 1”
  • 1 kevlar glove (choose your size) only one is needed
  • 1 glue stick (medium) 
  • 1 glue , rubber cement 4oz’
  • 1 cutting mat 18” x 24 (green or black - not clear)
  • Wet/dry media Sketchbook – 9”x 12” > such as Bifang Mixed  Media Pad 9” x 12” or Canson XL Series 98# mixed media paper weight #90 or higher -Should be able to lay flat when open. 
  • Bristol board paper, smooth (pad of 20 sheets) 11” x 14” 
  • 100x (minimum) zoom lens for your phone camera similar to this model.
Required fields are indicated by .