Merrill Middle School

Enrichment Courses

Merrill Middle School strongly believes in giving students opportunities to explore passions and extend their thinking.  Below is a list of the enrichment courses we will offer for the 17-18 school year. Unless otherwise stated, enrichments are quarter long classes (9 weeks).


Graphic Design

Have you ever wanted to learn how to create on the computer? This class will teach you to use tools from Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs to make amazing artworks and designs. You will learn to make logos, digital paintings, edit photos and more. Learn the basic tools to make your ideas come to life! As a culminating project, you will have the challenge to re-design parts of the Merrill Website so it is more engaging and student friendly.



Do you feel totally clueless when it comes to Greek Mythology? Do you often say to yourself: “It’s all Greek to me”?  Well this class can help! Greek Mythology will give you an overview of the huge collection of stories explaining the creation of the world and the lives of the gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines. The scope of the Greek myths is astounding.  Starting with the birth of the world, through bloody wars like Troy and Thebes, heroic acts of Hercules and childish pranks by Hermes, and the touching stories of mother love in Demeter and Persephone. Greek myths have passionate love stories, adventure stories, superhuman tales, fairy tales, magical stories, tales of gods and monsters and beasts and stories of witchcraft and sorcery.  We’ve inherited these myths in the form of art and literature. It’s really entertaining to discover them.


Publication: Yearbook & Newspaper

In this course you will put your best writing, organization, and visual strengths to use as you help build our school’s 17-18 Yearbook and also contribute to a quarterly all-school Newsletter.

Prerequisite: writing skills assessment and teacher references


Cooking “Light”

Feast your eyes on this new course offering. As a team, you will research different recipes for events and then concoct them by practicing important culinary techniques. Chop and zest your way to fun in this hands-on experience. And yes, you will get to consume your products J but will also have the chance to host “snack/dinner parties” for special guests. Note: we will not often have access to a full kitchen so we will focus on dishes that can be prepared without an oven.



This year-long course will start out exploring the performance of different types of poetry–from spoken word, to Shakespearean sonnets, to freestyle rap! We will then read and act out scenes from a Shakespeare play as a class. Starting in January, will break into groups to prepare for the DPS Shakespeare Festival in the spring.


Advanced Art

Get ready to question and create in Advanced Art, a course that will explore the full scope of art development. Student artists will learn why and how certain forms and movements develop. Furthermore they will have the opportunity to grasp the techniques and practices necessary for tactile hands-on art and also consider the value of artistic expression in the ever-changing world. Products created in Advanced Art will be displayed in and around the Merrill School community, and student artists will have their work on display during our fall and spring festivals.


Intro to Woodcarving & Origami

This will be a 100% hands-on class where students will learn how to use woodcarving tools and then design and carry out various woodcarving projects. About halfway through the course, we will switch gears and get into the ancient art form of origami.


Things That Make You Go MMM: YOGA

This will be the ultimate Zen experience where you will learn and practice yoga moves. Just imagine how great you’ll feel at 3:00 when you have participated in this awesome mind/body challenge.



Sure it’s pretty cool to be able to chop a wooden slab into two pieces, but TaeKwondo is so much more than just fist-pounding glee. Indeed, students will hone the skills of Focus and Discipline, which will benefit them in all academic and life pursuits. Along the way of earning the much-revered and greatly feared Black Belt, students will learn some Korean— can you say Kŏk-tchŏng ma-se-yo!–and also receive encouragement in writing essays and participating in community service projects.


Tutoring/Homework Help

This is an opportunity to get strategic support with one or more of your core classes and gives you a quiet, supportive environment to complete your homework.


Lego Robotics

“Everything is AWESOME” is the theme song of Lego Robotics. This course will engage students in the introductory methods of robotics and programming while practicing collaboration through interactive, inquiry-based exploration. Students will build and program robots from the Lego Mindstorms NXT platform to complete various tasks and missions, and compete in various competitions.


Broadway, Jr.

Ready to sing, act and dance on stage in a musical? Interested in learning about set design, costumes, props and make-up? This is your time to take the stage in a Merrill Broadway, Jr. production! Open to all students at Merrill. Prerequisite: Singing assessment with instructor.


One Act Play Production

This is a new Semester I offering by our new drama teacher that will engage you in a comedic play. Yes, we need folks who are comfortable performing on the stage but also people who are interested in lights/sound effects, stagecraft, costumes and make-up.

Prerequisite: try-outs with instructor



The popular course is back!! Students who qualify for the course will be those who have shown supreme responsibility in the past and deserve another opportunity to have fun on the boards.


Advanced Biology

Did you ever wonder how DNA can control traits if it is inside the nucleus? That is the type of question students will grapple with in Advanced Biology. This course will take your science knowledge to the next level and ultimately give you that extra edge for high school biology.  You will learn the structure and function of biological molecules in a variety of ways. You will view provocative video clips, engage in model building and experiments, and investigate life under the microscope.



Let us put the rumors to rest: Mathletics is not about leaping over hurdles while reciting all prime numbers backwards. Er not usually. Instead it is an opportunity to engage students in problem–solving, which extends and builds upon their present knowledge of mathematics.  Many of the problems can be solved by the creative application of traditional school mathematics topics.   There has been a strong correlation among students who participate in the program and their success on college entrance exams.


Human Anatomy and Physiology

This class offers students an opportunity to learn about the structure and function of the human body. During this class, students will study 7 different body systems (Circulatory, Nervous, Skeletal, Muscular, Respiratory, Digestive, Excretory) and learn the structure and function of each system and each organ in the system.  Students will also dissect a fetal pig and use their observations to complete their understanding of each body system.



Merrill has a fully equipped broadcast studio.

This course will engage students in a wide variety of film making techniques, along with being a part of our school News Team. Students are given a choice with their film projects, but are expected to integrate storyboarding, film editing, and camera techniques into each project. Students will have the opportunity to create Public Service Announcements, movie trailers, short videos, music videos, commercials, etc., to improve their knowledge of film production and to create a wide range of experiences.  Students use professional editing equipment and HD cameras to produce their work.  The News Team will rotate throughout the course, and each group will have an opportunity to write scripts, operate the equipment, and be the on-camera talent.  The videos created during the class will then be integrated into each broadcast for the entire school to enjoy.


Advanced Criminal Justice & Debate

This enrichment class will review the foundational knowledge you learned in Intro to Criminal Justice but will devote much more time to the criminal mock trial that will put the class’s knowledge, passion, and dramatic flair on the line so justice may be served.  Debate skills will also be put to use in this class. Guest speakers/professionals who have REAL experience in the courtroom will also be a part of this advanced experience.


Spanish Heritage

Los idiomas que hablamos son una parte clave de nuestra identidad. En este curso concentramos en nuestra identidad como hispanohablantes.  Regístrate para este curso si te gustaría aprender más del español y desarrollar sus habilidades lingüísticas en las áreas de lectura y escritura además de expandir tu vocabulario.  Las personas bilingües quienes pueden hablar, escribir y leer en más que un idioma tienen acceso a más trabajos y ganan más dinero que las personas quienes solo hablan un idioma.  Este curso mejorará tus oportunidades e interacciones ahora y en el futuro. 



This class offers students an opportunity to learn about our world full of animals. During this class students learn the 13 different groups animals belong to.  They will study each group and learn the structure of the animals in the group, the similarities between the animals in that group, the types of animals we find in that group, and the places in the world animals in that group live.  Students will also perform dissections on several animals (including a clam, a crayfish, and a starfish) and use that information to complete their understanding of the various groups of animals.


Space Science

Have you ever wondered how we landed on the moon?  What about what an astronaut eats for lunch?  Join Space Science and learn this and much more!  We learn the mechanics of rockets and design and build our own spacecraft.  Students will have a chance to try some real-life astronaut training techniques and learn about the science experiments being conducted right now on the International Space Station. Finally, we will talk about how we will eventually travel to Mars and explore beyond our Solar System!


Fantasy Sports

This will be a class that will allow you to brainstorm innovative sports, try them out, and then modify them for optimal fun and competition. You will need to be considered a top PE student in order to qualify for this experience.


Poetry Slam

Come discover your voice through poetry.  We will be viewing, reading, writing, and speaking in various modes of poetry from classic poems, to beat poems, to visual poems, to slam poems.  This is an excellent chance to explore and express your thoughts, opinions, and emotions in a creative way.


Fun Fitness

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to learn fitness concepts and conditioning techniques used for obtaining optimal physical fitness. Students will be empowered to make wise choices, meet challenges, and develop positive behaviors in fitness, wellness, and movement activity for a lifetime.