Every Northwood student can take at least two electives per year, and while everyone is familiar with electives from our World Languages department and our extensive Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) department, there are a few unsung heroes of the elective world.
Language, Culture and Identity (LCI):
Taught by Spanish teacher Luc Landeis, LCI is a semester elective centered around educating students about different heritages and customs around the world.
“If you look at any class, there’s always gonna be such a wide variety of people and what we have to learn from each other is the most valuable thing we can get from a class like that,” Landeis said.
Offered in the spring, LCI teaches students to celebrate Northwood’s diverse campus and to be more understanding of other perspectives.
Jewelry and Metal Arts:
Held in the art room, Jewelry and Metal Arts is a class focused on metal making. This semester course helps students learn the craft by allowing them to handle the traditional tools and chemicals used by jewelers. Students can collaborate with their peers and manipulate metal to form beautiful new pieces of jewelry.
“I think the class is so much fun because it’s not necessarily something you can do on your own,” teacher Kimberly Rohrs said.
A great way to learn a new craft, it can also save students some money by teaching them the value of different pieces of jewelry.
Split up into three courses, Northwood offers a wide range of food-based classes.
“There’s Foods which is a one semester class, and then Intro to Culinary Arts, which is a full year, and then Advanced Culinary Arts, which you have to do well in Intro to get into,” head chef and teacher Kristen Motooka said.
Within the classes, students also get an in-depth look at the food industry itself and how to succeed in it.
“The classes learn things like professionalism, time management, collaboration, communication and just that on-your-feet problem solving, which is really good,” Motooka said.
Also taught by Rohrs, Product Design focuses on art in forgotten places and reminds students that their talents can be found everywhere in life.
“It’s my take on the Intro to Art class that I already teach but doing it all on alternate material: we’re painting on scarves and skateboards,” Rohrs said.
By painting on unique materials, students not only explore the importance of unique artists, but are also shown various tangible career paths.
“They have careers that relate to Product Design, and there’s a lot of openings for product designers, but they’re just not careers that people think about often.” Rohrs said.
Some other courses off the beaten path include: Screen Printing, a class focused around learning to print logos on a variety of products, and Horticulture, which teaches students the art of garden cultivation and management.