Course Descriptions

Listed below are courses that may be offered at Nenana City School. Course offerings fluctuate based on personnel and master schedules from year to year. Please inquire with the main office about specific offerings of interest.


Human Body Systems
Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.

Principles of Biomedical Science
Students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.

In general, Psychology is the study of the human mind and behavior. Students will gain an understanding of who they are and the psychological thinking and reasoning behind why people may think and act the way they do. Course topics include History and Research in Psychology, Brain Biology and Brain Development as it relates to Psychology, and other Psychological Units of study such as Life Span Development, Personality, Motivation, Learning, Memory, Emotions, Sensation and Perception, Stress and Health, Social Psychology, and Psychological Disorders and their Treatments.

Physical Science
Why does a magnet attract and repel? What is matter? Can I build a rocket? These are just a few of the many questions that will be addressed in physical science. Our class also covers many other science topics; from a look at bacteria to a glimpse of our universe. This is Nenana’s introductory class to high school science. The first three-quarters are involved in the many facets of physical science ranging from simple chemistry and physics to electricity. The final quarter is focused on introducing students to the other sciences offered at Nenana City School. Short units on, earth science, biology, anatomy and wildlife are presented.

What does chemistry have to do with you? Everything! You are composed of chemicals. The food you eat, the home you live in, the vehicles you ride in – these are all made of chemicals. Chemistry is the study of the relationship between the structure and properties of matter (matter = everything). Chemistry also investigates energy changes that accompany changes in matter. The class is an Inorganic chemistry, where students will cover such topic as: the Periodic table, acids and bases, chemical formulas and equations, atomic models and the history of chemistry.

Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT)
The systems and function of the human body will be the focus, however diseases and treatment will also be included. A guest ETT trainer will be involved with the class and students will be working toward an ETT certificate in emergency health care. Human Anatomy is suggested for students in grades 10 -12 that may be interested in the health care profession. This class will cover the major body systems and structures (anatomy) and their basic functions (physiology). The classes will be a training classes in preparation for the ETT State Exam. Students who do not pass the ETT Exam will have a second opportunity to do so. The ETT test counts as your semester final grade. Qualifying students will receive three college credits for the course from UAF.

Wildlife Biology
The goal of this class is to offer a specific course of biological study that focuses on primarily Alaskan fish and wildlife, their life cycles and environmental needs. Hands on activities will be stressed and field trips will be frequent. We are working together with Alaska Fish and Game Education Directors Eric Anderson (fish) and Mike Taris (game). Successful students will receive a certification as a fishery technician and possibly a bio tech I.

Drone Part 107
The Drone Part 107 class has two components. The first part is an online test prep course for students looking to pass the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test for a Remote Pilot Certificate, Part 107. The second part is where students will practice hands on safety, maintenance, and piloting skills using school UAV’s.


Alaska History
Welcome to Alaska History! This course focuses on all things Alaska and views recent world history through the lens of the Last Frontier. This course is designed to help students learn research, public speaking, technical writing, and geography skills. In this course students will have a few hands-on learning opportunities, project-based learning opportunities, and guest speakers.

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Introduction to Alaska

  • Alaska Geography and Regions

  • Alaska Native Cultures before Europeans

  • Russian Alaska

  • Alaska as a Territory

  • Alaska as a State

  • Alaskan Government

Some highlights include:

  • Writing about your Alaskan experiences

  • Creating a giant map of Alaska

  • Learning about a whole region of Alaska

  • Learning traditional stories and aspects of Alaska Native cultures

  • Creating an Alaska Native artifact

  • Making a movie about the Alaskan Gold Rush

  • Reading actual letters from Russians in Alaska

  • Learning about World War II in Alaska

  • Learning about ANCSA, ANILCA, and your rights as an Alaskan!

German Language and European Culture
Willkommen in der Deutschekurs! Students in this course will learn the German language and about German culture. Students should be prepared for an hour a day of learning only through German! In this course students will be immersed in the German language every day, learn public speaking skills, writing skills, grammar and structure, and other German cultural mainstays such as talking about the weather and playing soccer!

In this course, you will learn:

  • How to hold basic conversations in German

  • How to travel in Germany and what you’ll need to communicate

  • Basic German grammar and sentence structure

  • Some German cultural traditions and holidays

World History
Welcome to World History! This course explores cultures from all over the world, from ancient history to modern times. In this course you will gain a global perspective of the human experience. This course is designed to help students with basic research and writing skills, public speaking and presentation skills, and basic academic writing skills. It will also provide hands-on opportunities to “experience” aspects of world history through simulations and project-based learning.

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Pre-history humanity and the development of agriculture

  • China and East Asia

  • India and South Asia

  • Ancient Greece and Rome

  • Medieval Europe and the Crusades

  • The Muslim Empire

  • The Renaissance and European Exploration

Some highlights include:

  • Learning about Ancient Chinese philosophies

  • Finding out what the Indian Caste System is all about

  • Learning about Hinduism and Buddhism

  • Learning the difference between Democracy, Oligarchy, and Tyranny

  • Building your own hoplite shield!

  • Investigating the murder of Julius Caesar

  • Experiencing life and death in Medieval Europe

  • Building medieval siege weapons!

  • Researching the Golden Age of Islam

  • Joining a Renaissance Faire as a famous person

Welcome to Government class! In this course you will learn all about government. You will learn about different types of government and economies, how the US government was formed, and go into depth in each of the three branches of government. You will learn all about the Legislative branch, or that branch that makes laws, the Executive branch, or the Presidency, and the Judicial branch, or the court system. This course is designed to help students prepare of life beyond high school, including career and college. Students will develop technical writing skills, learn about government programs, and public speaking and presentation skills. It will provide opportunities for hands-on simulations such as running for President, creating a Congressional board game, and prosecuting or defending classmates in a mock trial!

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Different types of government and economies

  • Founding documents and how American government got started

  • Overview of US Government

  • The Legislative Branch

  • The Executive Branch

  • The Judicial Branch

Some highlights include:

  • Creating a skit about a form of government

  • Developing and playing your own board game

  • Running for or helping get your classmate elected as President of the United States!

  • Learning how to win a court case as a lawyer or witness!

Student Council
Welcome to Student Council! In this course you will not only learn about government, you will be participating in it! This course will push you. You will be expected to participate in extracurricular activities, including fundraising, throughout the entire year. It will also be your responsibility for putting on all sorts of events, from pep rallies to prom! Students will develop public speaking skills, technical writing and report skills, and leadership skills.

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Robert’s Rules of Order

  • Technical report writing

  • Leadership and teamwork skills

  • Activities and events organization

Some highlights include:

  • Planning pep rallies

  • Planning dances like Homecoming, NIT, and Prom

  • Fundraisers such as concessions, cake walks, BINGO nights, and so on

  • Lock-ins, field trips, and other exciting events!

  • Being a voice for you and your peers – whatever you’d like to do!


Algebra 1
Algebra 1 is designed to give students a foundation for all future mathematics courses. The fundamentals of algebraic problem-solving are explained. Students will explore: foundations of Algebra, solving equations, solving inequalities, an introduction to functions, linear functions, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and exponential functions, polynomials and factoring, quadratic functions and equations, radical expressions and equations, and data analysis and probability. Throughout the course, Alaska standards are taught and reinforced as the student learns how to apply the concepts in real-life situations.

Within this course, students will have the opportunity to make conjectures about geometric situations and prove in a variety of ways, both formal and informal, that their conclusion follows logically from their hypothesis. This course is meant to employ an integrated approach to the study of geometric relationships. Integrating synthetic, transformational, and coordinate approaches to geometry, students will justify geometric relationships and properties of geometric figures. Congruence and similarity of triangles will be established using appropriate theorems. Transformations including rotations, reflections, translations, and glide reflections and coordinate geometry will be used to establish and verify geometric relationships. A major emphasis of this course is to allow students to investigate geometric situations. Properties of triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles should receive particular attention. It is intended that students will use the traditional tools of compass and straightedge as well as dynamic geometry software that models these tools more efficiently and accurately, to assist in these investigations. Geometry is meant to lead students to an understanding that reasoning and proof are fundamental aspects of mathematics and something that sets it apart from the other sciences.

Algebra 2
Algebra 2 will begin with an inspection of linear models and systems of linear equations and their graphical representations. With this foundation, we will organize data with transition diagrams and matrices, construct systems of inequalities and constraints to solve real-world situations, and we will learn to utilize linear programming. Next we will take an expanded look at functions and relations. Quadratic and other polynomial functions will be analyzed in depth, as well, and identified in explorations of falling objects and projectile motion. We will also explore exponential, power, and logarithmic functions and their relation to models of growth and decay. Our studies will then lead into rational functions and conic sections, and how these interesting topics are connected to business, science, art, and other applications in the real world. Algebra is your key to whatever field you will enter. Math is relevant and fun, and it will enhance your critical thinking abilities!

Pre-Calculus combines the trigonometric, geometric, and algebraic techniques needed to prepare students for the study of calculus, and strengthens students’ conceptual understanding of problems and mathematical reasoning in solving problems. Facility with these topics is especially important for students intending to study calculus, physics, and other sciences, and/or engineering in college. For this Precalculus course, instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) extend work with complex numbers; (2) expand understanding of logarithms and exponential functions; (3) use characteristics of polynomial and rational functions to sketch graphs of those functions; and (4) perform operations with vectors.

This course is designed to develop the topics of differential and integral calculus. Emphasis is placed on limits, continuity, derivatives and integrals of algebraic and transcendental functions of one variable. Upon completion, students should be able to select and use appropriate models and techniques for finding solutions to derivative-related problems with and without technology.

Intro to Engineering Design
In this course students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work.

This course in geometry covers the required concepts of Euclidean geometry including definitions, postulates, and theorems. Areas of study include angles, parallel lines, congruent and similar triangles, rectilinear figures, polygons, circles and arc, and the Pythagorean Theorem. Special topics covered include coordinate and spatial geometry, introductory trigonometry, and constructions and loci. In addition to including problems which serve to review algebra, the process of “proving” theorems is introduced.

Personal Finance (Semester Course)

Work Place Math (Semester Course)

Voc. Ed. Math Prep (Semester Course)


Grade 9:
Strap on your sword, and get ready for an adventure! We’ll be learning the hidden secrets to planning the perfect quest, the top techniques to kill a Cyclops, and all the best tricks to avert disastrous romances. This class is an introduction to the journey of our lives, and discovering how to find your way to excitement and success. We will explore myths, epics, and a classic or two; with a dash of Disney and a sprinkle of Shakespeare (because this an English class, after all!).

Possible Readings:

  • The Odyssey

  • The Dark is Rising

  • Around the World in 80 Days

  • Romeo and Juliet

  • Two Old Women

  • Greek Mythology

  • …and more!

Grade 10:
Arr, matey! Do you have a sense of danger, and curiosity for the supernatural? English 10 will require you take to the seven seas, and put on your best pirate accent! Ghosts, witches, and magic will challenge us along the way, but like Captain Jack, we’ll find our inner compass, learn how to express our true selves, and safely find our way through peril and shipwreck. We will master the ability to think on our feet. Experience with large animals is a plus. No eye-patches or life jackets required!

Possible Readings:

  • Life of Pi

  • Shadows on the Koyukuk

  • Macbeth

  • Enter Three Witches

  • Moby Dick

  • Old Man and the Sea

  • …and more!

Grade 11/12:
Put on your monocle, grab your top hat, and choose your stinkiest, aged cheese, because this class will focus on the high art of self awareness. We rarely take the time to contemplate the real nature of our existence; to ask the question, “Who am I?” This is your chance to follow your inner moonlight; and let out as much of the crazy as you’d like! We’ll perfect our abilities to win arguments and defeat villains of all shapes and sizes.

Possible Readings:

  • The Iliad

  • Things Fall Apart

  • Kitchen

  • A Raisin in the Sun

  • All Quiet on the Western Front

  • Beowulf

  • King Lear

  • The Good Earth

  • Heart of Darkness

  • Wuthering Heights

  • …and more!

Like a great journey, literature can show you things you have never seen before and will never forget. We will be tourists traveling the world of books, film, poetry, drama, and more; making stops wherever we see fit. We will rely on each other to choose the route we follow on our map for adventure. Do you have an expertise? A favorite genre? A secret talent? This is your chance to explore and play!

Possible Readings:

  • TBD

Introduction to Engineering:
When you determine what you want, you have made the most important decision of your life. You have to know what you want in order to attain it. We are going to be creating a culture through engineering, 3D printing, and project-based exploration in which effective communication can flourish. Communication is bidirectional, requiring both a transmitter and a receiver, and both need to effectively engineered!

English Comp: Cutting Edge:
We will learn about what defines great literature and a few of its greatest writers. Like a great journey, literature can show you things you have never seen before and will never forget. We will be tourists traveling the world of books, film, poetry, drama, and more; making stops wherever we see fit. We will rely on each other to choose the route we follow on our map for adventure. Do you have an expertise? A favorite genre? A secret talent? This is your chance to explore and play!

Possible Readings:

  • The Fifth Child;

  • Brave New World;

  • Manga Selections;

  • Uncanny X-Men Volume #3;

  • The Lottery;

  • Blindness

  • …and more!

Welcome to the exciting world of being a Journalist! Journalism can count as an English credit or a Vocational Credit. It is a Jr/Sr level course. Juniors must also take their regular English course, but Seniors can use the class as their 4th English credit. In this course we learn about the career of Journalism and the many areas a person can work as a Journalist, writing for TV, Newspapers, Magazines, Online Websites, and special publications. We learn about all the different focuses of journalistic writing such as local, national, and world news, sports, food, culture, travel, entertainment, outdoors, lifestyle, historical events, and editorials. We read newspaper or online news stories and magazine stories each week and then students write their own story based on the subject of the article. Students also research topics on the Internet and write articles from their research. We also learn about the job of a Copy Editor, and we practice by editing written materials, checking for grammar, punctuation, and content mistakes. If you like reading and writing a wide variety of topics, you will enjoy this course!


Aviation Science
We have the privilege of field testing the AOPA Courses for ninth grade, 2017-2018 school year, which will be available for general use in the 2018-2019 school year, with additional courses following in each of the succeeding three years.

Each course within the curriculum is designed to feed into at least one of three pathways—pilot, aerospace engineering, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS including Drones). Each pathway will help students build career-ready skills while they learn more about opportunities in aviation and aerospace.

The ninth grade course will provide the foundation for advanced exploration in the areas of flying, aerospace engineering, and unmanned aircraft systems. Students will learn about the engineering process, problem solving, and the innovations and technological developments that have made today’s aviation and aerospace industries possible. Students will also learn about the wide variety of exciting and rewarding careers available to them. The ninth grade course will inspire students to consider aviation and aerospace careers while laying the foundation for continued study in grades 10 through 12 and beyond.

Student Success
This is not a free period. The purpose of your time here is to work on assignments, concepts and classes that you are having difficulty with. Students are required to come prepared with the materials that you need to work on. That is, unless you have a pressing assignment in another course, you will work on assigned materials or supplemental materials for the classes that you are struggling in. The instructor is responsible for keeping students on task, coordinating with teachers and monitoring student performance.

Small Engine Repair
This course enables students to gain comprehensive knowledge of various energy forms and of the methods of harnessing this energy into usable power. Special emphasis is placed on the development of habits concerning safety, good working relationships, and economical use of time and materials. Students work on small internal combustion engines. They dis-assemble, explore the functions of the major parts, reassemble, and run a variety of small one-cylinder engines (chain saws and lawn mowers).

Automotive I
This course introduces students to the various systems that work together in an automobile and to the mathematical and scientific principles, as well as the tools and equipment, that are involved in diagnosing, repairing and maintaining them.

Metal Shop I
This course covers the operation of shop equipment such as drill press, grinders, power equipment, and basic welding equipment and the safety practices used with each machine. The course covers the basic applied techniques of oxyacetylene and stick electrode welding. Class activities and lectures include safety procedures, basic skills, and knowledge of hand tools and identification of structure materials.

Woods I
This basic introductory course in woodworking emphasizes correct and safe use of hand tools and materials, with power equipment usage as appropriate. Students are required to pass a safety test. Student interest in woodworking is developed through construction of practical projects. Emphasis is also placed on cooperative working relationships in the operation and management of the shop.

Library Aide: OJT
The student will become familiar with and assist in the daily operations of the school library including processing new materials, proper shelving of materials, light cleaning, and the care of A/V equipment. There will be exposure to and exploration of the different literary genres and variety of resources found in the school library and through our local public library. Additionally, the student will become a more effective evaluator and user of web resources including but not limited to those shared on the library’s homepage. A culminating experience could include a field trip to the Noel Wien Public Library and the UAF Library.

Information covered in the class includes:

  • Function and basic vocabulary of selected body systems.

  • Complete vocabulary plus social and emotional aspects pertaining to sex and reproduction.

  • Specific effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs on the body.

  • Knowledge and basic vocabulary relating to wellness and nutrition.

  • Diseases of the body; infectious and non-infectious

  • First aid/CPR

  • Human growth and development

  • Mental health/stress

  • Substance abuse

  • Topics of death and dying

The emphasis of this course is to help students accept responsibility for their own health and that of those around them.

Physical Education 
Students will be given the opportunity to:

  • Understand how to develop a strong, healthy body

  • Develop good health habits

  • Develop athletic and fitness skills for use now and in adult life

  • Understand the social values inherent in competitive activities

  • Identify the need to maintain an active life-style and develop a wholesome attitude towards their physical selves

  • Participate in leisure time activities that will allow them to benefit from the social growth these activities provide

  • Understand fitness assessments and how to develop an individual fitness plan for maintenance or improvement of personal fitness.

Cultural Vocational Arts 
Students will focus on creative, educational and vocational development by actively participating in traditional Native Alaskan activities. This class will offer students the opportunity to learn cultural awareness, participate in visual arts, become engaged by academic information and develop marketable skills that are transferable to the real world. Students will create products that will be usable, or possibly marketable.