Introducing the Expanded Art & Innovation Department

Fusing Imagination and Innovation: Pioneering a New Era in Arts and Technical Education

In a continuing effort to innovate and enrich the educational experience at Brophy, the Fine Arts and Technology-Business Departments will merge into the “Art and Innovation Department.” This combines the creativity of fine arts with the practical application of what can be defined as career and technical education courses and provides yet another avenue to fostering holistic education.

The Arizona State Board of Education requires one credit of “Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education.” According to the Arizona Department of Education, “Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students with the academic and technical skills, and with the knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners.” This shift far exceeds the state’s minimum requirements, maintaining the value of arts education and also allowing students to receive more appropriate credit for courses that have significant educational value. This creates a department that not only adheres to the Jesuit tradition of comprehensive education and means of universal communication, but also prepares students for the evolving demands of the modern world. 

Throughout this expanded academic department and course offerings, students will follow an intentional design process and learn to creatively solve problems in order to produce something out of imagination and ideas.

Art & Innovation Requirements

Three Graduation Credits: Combines the current 2.5 Fine Arts and .5 Introduction to Innovative Technologies credits. 

  • Students must take at least 1.5 credits of visual and/or musical and performing arts courses, such as Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, and advanced and AP level courses, or vocal and music arts courses. This far exceeds the state’s minimum requirement of 1 “Fine Arts or CTE.”
  • Students must take at least .5 credits of introductory level Innovation courses, such as Introduction to Robotics, Design and Technology Foundations, Coding, Digital Media Production, Graphic Design, 3D Industrial Arts, AI Frontiers and advanced levels. This includes a required course during students’ freshman year.
  • These adjustments will allow for an expanded curriculum in the Innovation Commons and related areas. Introductory level classes will be open to all grade levels and courses such as Robotics, Coding and Digital Media Production will have advanced or AP levels. Electives such as Journalism, Consumer and Business Finance, and Industry and Entrepreneurialism will also now count for Art & Innovation credit.

Photos courtesy of Brophy photography students

Art & Innovation Curriculum

List of 4 items.

  • Introductory Innovation Courses

    Introductory level Innovation courses — all one semester and open to all grades:

    Introduction to Robotics
    This introductory course to robotics is designed to provide any student with a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of robotics. Working in small, collaborative groups, students will have the opportunity to develop and apply their computer-aided design (CAD) and programming skills in a hands-on, practical setting. The primary focus of the course will be on the creation of mobile semi-autonomous robots. Students will gain a basic understanding of the functions and operations of these robots, and will be guided through the process of developing mechanisms to achieve specific goals. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to experiment, innovate, and problem-solve, fostering not only their technical skills but also their creativity and critical thinking abilities. This course is ideal for students interested in robotics, engineering, or computer science, and will provide a solid foundation for further study in these fields.

    Design and Technology Foundations  
    This immersive course offers hands-on introductory experiences in computer-aided design (CAD), coding, circuitry and digital fabrication. Focused on problem-solving and creativity, this course integrates these disciplines through intentional design and project-based learning, enabling students to develop and prototype innovative solutions to real-world challenges. Students will embark on a journey through the essentials of CAD, learning to transform ideas into precise digital models. They will also dive into the fundamentals of coding, gaining skills to bring interactivity and intelligence to their designs. They will explore electronic circuits with hands-on experiences, an essential skill in the age of smart technology. Students will build their products utilizing digital fabrication tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers. It's an ideal journey for those interested in the intersecting worlds of design, technology, and digital innovation.

    Computer Coding
    Computer Coding is open to all students with an interest in learning how to program, regardless of skill level or experience. Students will take advantage of a variety of digital resources and coding languages to work on various projects appropriate to their abilities and interests and learn to creatively solve problems. Grades will be based on the satisfactory completion of those projects. Interested students should have the ability to self-motivate, work in small groups and feel comfortable learning from both synchronous and asynchronous resources and their peers. Students will make practical use of the knowledge and skills they develop as a means to create digital solutions and demonstrate proficiency. 

    3D Industrial Arts
    3D Industrial Arts engages students with the hands-on study of craft in the Sculpture Studio and Innovation Commons. This course examines the process by which traditional craftsmanship is transferred to the digital world. Students will have the opportunity to choose from a number of projects ranging from axes to speaker cabinets to 3D steel sculptures to gain a deeper understanding of how technology can be used to give shape to the world around them. While technology is integrated throughout the course, the end goal is to encourage students to be innovative and recognize their innate creative ability. Growing this awareness allows students to grow and cultivate deeper empathy and appreciation for themselves and the world around them.

    Architectural Drawing
    This class introduces students to the world of architectural design, focusing on the principles of drafting and Computer-Aided Design (CAD). Students will embark on a journey through the basics of architectural drawing, exploring the fundamental concepts of space, structure, and aesthetics. They will learn to visualize and create architectural designs, starting from simple sketches and advancing to detailed plans and 3D models using CAD software, laser cutters and 3D Printers. The curriculum encourages students to not only develop technical skills but also to understand the social, cultural, and environmental impacts of architectural design. Students will engage in projects that reflect our school's values, such as sustainability and social justice, integrating their designs with real-world contexts.

    Digital Media Production (replaces Digital Photo and Video Production)
    An engaging and contemporary course designed to delve into the vibrant realms of digital photography and video, teaching students the art of visual composition and the impactful role of digital images in society. Covering essential skills like camera techniques, lighting, editing and publishing, this course encourages students to create and critique digital content, fostering an understanding of its impact on culture and communication. Students will also analyze the role of digital media in various contexts, from social media to advertising. This course blends practical skill-building and problem-solving with creative, artistic expression, preparing students to effectively create compelling content and communicate in a visually-driven world. 

    Graphic Design
    This course will cover the fundamentals of graphic design, including the history of design, artistic composition, the principles of design, semiotics, design process, professional applications, printing, and digital editing and layout using Adobe Creative Cloud. Primarily this course is an exploration of student creativity and the development of an understanding of design concepts; technical skills will be addressed thoroughly but will rely largely on independent research and experimentation. Students will develop an electronic and printed portfolio of designed materials such as logos, posters, collages, photo manipulations, flags and advertisements.

    AI Frontiers: Applications & Innovation
    This forward-thinking class is uniquely designed to blend hands-on experience with AI technologies and thought-provoking discussions, exploring the intersection of technology, art, ethics, and future possibilities. Engage in practical projects using a variety of AI tools, investigate the rapidly evolving AI technology industry, participate in debates on AI’s uses and ethical impacts, and connect with technology experts. This course invites students to explore cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence, discover best practices and applications, delve into AI’s societal implications, and not just envision but help shape its role in shaping our tomorrow. 
  • Advanced Innovation Courses

    New advanced-level Innovation courses

    AP Computer Science Principles
    An introductory college-level, full-year computing course that introduces students to the breadth of the field of computer science. Students learn to design and evaluate solutions and apply computer science to solve problems through the development of algorithms and programs. They incorporate abstraction into programs and use data to discover new knowledge. Students also explain how computing innovations and computing systems — including the internet — work, explore their potential impacts, and contribute to a computing culture that is collaborative and ethical. More information is available here.

    Prerequisite: Open to 10-12th grade students with at least a 3.0 GPA.

    Advanced Robotics
    Building upon the foundations established in our Introduction to Robotics course, this advanced class is tailored for students who aspire to deepen their expertise in the intricate world of robotics. This course delves into the complex aspects of designing, programming and operating autonomous robotic systems. Collaborative projects form the core of the course, where students will work in teams to conceptualize, design and build advanced robotic systems capable of performing complex tasks and responding to environmental variables. These projects will challenge students to apply advanced algorithms for decision-making, problem-solving and adaptability in dynamic environments.

    Prerequisite: Member of Broncobots Robotics Team or instructor approval 

    Advanced Concepts in Design & Technology  
    Applying knowledge gained in previous courses, students will explore enhanced concepts in CAD, coding, circuitry and fabrication. The course refines problem-solving and creativity skills through intentional design and project-based learning, enabling students to develop and prototype innovative solutions to real-world challenges. Students will have the opportunity to independently design and develop products, creating more complicated and intricate designs while also learning about other fabrication methods. This course is ideal for those interested in the intersecting worlds of design, technology and digital innovation, providing a platform for students to push the boundaries of their creativity and problem-solving abilities. 

    Prerequisite: Completion of Design and Technology Foundations, Introduction to Robotics or instructor approval 

    Other advanced-level Innovation courses

    Advanced 3D Industrial Arts
    Advanced Journalism
    Advanced Yearbook
    Consumer and Business Finance
    Industry and Entrepreneurialism
  • Visual Arts Courses

    Advanced Drawing
    Advanced Ceramics
    Mixed Media
    Advanced Mixed Media
    Advanced Photography
    Digital Storytelling
    AP Studio Art Design
    AP Studio Art Drawing
  • Musical and Performing Arts Courses

    Freshman Choir
    Concert Choir
    Honor Chorale
    Salsa Dancing
    Band Foundations
    Honors Chamber Winds
    Honors Jazz Band
    Musicians Exchange