Interdisciplinary Program

2024-2025

What Sustains Us?
A New Interdisciplinary Program for Grades 9 and 10

Cary Academy is excited to introduce a new interdisciplinary program for 9th and 10th graders focused on the theme of sustainability.

  • What sustains human beings physically, intellectually, and emotionally? 
  • How do we meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same?

Participating students will examine these essential questions in a variety of contexts, using the tools and methods of English, Social Science, Ecosystem Biology, and Data Science to derive meaningful insights.

Interdisciplinary Program for 9th and 10th graders

wdt_ID wdt_created_by wdt_created_at wdt_last_edited_by wdt_last_edited_at Dept. Course Number Title Course Description Blocks per week Credits Term Grade level(s)
1 emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM English ENG105-SY Eng 9: What Sustains Us? In this English course designed for 9th and 10th graders, we will embark on a literary journey to explore the theme of "What Sustains Us." Using Glasser's five basic needs - Survival, Love/Belonging/Connection, Power/Significance/Competence, Freedom/Autonomy, and Fun/Learning - as our guiding framework, we will delve into a wide range of literary works to examine how these fundamental needs shape human experiences and relationships. Throughout the course, students will engage in critical analysis and discussion of literary texts that highlight the complexities of human needs and the ways in which they sustain us in various contexts. Through a variety of contemporary works, students will explore characters' quests for survival, the pursuit of love and belonging, the dynamics of power and competence, the yearning for freedom and autonomy, and the joy of learning and fun. The course will not only focus on the thematic exploration of human needs but also on developing students' analytical and interpretive skills. Through close reading, writing assignments, and class discussions, students will sharpen their ability to extract meaning from literary texts and articulate their insights effectively. Possible texts include: Andy Weir's The Martian, Michelle Zauner's Crying in H Mart, Emily St. Mandel's Station Eleven, and Matt Haig's Midnight Library, as well as various short stories, essays, and poems. All 1 Year 9
2 emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM English ENG205-SY Eng 10: What Sustains Us? In this English course designed for 9th and 10th graders, we will embark on a literary journey to explore the theme of "What Sustains Us." Using Glasser's five basic needs - Survival, Love/Belonging/Connection, Power/Significance/Competence, Freedom/Autonomy, and Fun/Learning - as our guiding framework, we will delve into a wide range of literary works to examine how these fundamental needs shape human experiences and relationships. Throughout the course, students will engage in critical analysis and discussion of literary texts that highlight the complexities of human needs and the ways in which they sustain us in various contexts. Through a variety of contemporary works, students will explore characters' quests for survival, the pursuit of love and belonging, the dynamics of power and competence, the yearning for freedom and autonomy, and the joy of learning and fun. The course will not only focus on the thematic exploration of human needs but also on developing students' analytical and interpretive skills. Through close reading, writing assignments, and class discussions, students will sharpen their ability to extract meaning from literary texts and articulate their insights effectively. Possible texts include: Andy Weir's The Martian, Michelle Zauner's Crying in H Mart, Emily St. Mandel's Station Eleven, and Matt Haig's Midnight Library, as well as various short stories, essays, and poems. All 1 Year 10
3 emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM History SOC105-SY WH: Cultural Geography - What Sustains Us? As humans many things sustain us physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually – from the cellular to metaphysical levels. In social science, those are expressed through cultural traditions and patterns of living including religion, food, art, family, among others. Geographic location and our place in the world can play a role as well – what does “home” mean? Big ideas like justice, diversity, freedom, community, and security are rooted in sustaining us and the meaning can change over time and space as we change locations, circumstances, or interact with others. For example, security could be food security or physical security. It could be national security or school security or job security. It could be the need to feel safe in our circumstances and location or for who we are as a human. We will explore case studies examining the relationship between the patterns of living we call culture and the location of the peoples who practice those cultural norms and mores. The students will also be introduced to the historical thinking skills, if in ninth grade, and will be given the opportunity to practice and polish those skills, regardless of grade level. All 1 Year 9,10
4 emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM emi_charboneau 13/03/2024 03:00 PM Science SCI105-SY Ecosystem Biology: What Sustains Us? We live on earth and through the contributions of millions of organisms covering every continent we are able to sustain our lives. We shall delve into the interactions of those organisms that call, as we do, North Carolina home. The eastern deciduous forest will be our mainstay as we investigate this biome from the ground up looking at the ecosystems within it getting ever more specific until we reach the smallest of ecosystems, the cell. How has this varied biome provided shelter, water and clean air for us and all that dwell within it for thousands of years? How have we impacted both positively and negatively this community that we share? What sustains us must be understood and cared for, what do we need to know to understand the natural world? We benefit from resources that come from forests, agricultural lands and waterways. How can we make certain these resources will be there to sustain not just us but all members of our ecosystem communities? We will venture into studies of these areas through field and lab work. We will seek out data sets that build upon our work to provide greater detail of how sustaining us is or is not sustaining the nature around us. All 1 Year 9,10
Dept. Course Number Title Course Description Blocks per week Credits Term Grade level(s)