About the Exploratory Block

Expanded Exploratory Opportunities

At Aurora Hills Middle School we believe that all staff are exposing, inspiring, and preparing students for future academic and career success through a variety of exploratory options that include state recognized Career and Technical Education courses. These courses align with our area designation of entrepreneurship and invention. Students will follow this exploratory model throughout their tenure attending Aurora Hills Middle School. Students participate in five to seven different exploratory classes throughout the year. These classes include:

  • Performing Arts: Band/Orchestra
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Visual Arts
  • Digital Media
  • Design and Modeling
  • App Creators
  • Entrepreneurship Basics
  • World Language
  • AVID

Exploratory Classes/ Exploratory Plus Classes

App Creators (CTE/PLTW)

App Creators introduces students to the field of computer science and the concepts of computational thinking, through the creation of mobile apps. Students are challenged to be creative and innovative, as they collaboratively design and develop mobile solutions to engaging, authentic problems. Students experience the positive impact of the application of computer science to society as well as other disciplines, particularly biomedical science. The unit provides students opportunities for self-expression. Teams identify a personal or community problem of interest to them that can be solved with a mobile app solution. The problem can address issues such as health and wellness, the environment, school culture, emergency preparedness, education, community service-the options are endless!

Design and Modeling (CTE/PLTW)

Design and Modeling (DM) provides students opportunities to apply the design process to creatively solve problems. Students are introduced to the unit problem in the first activity and are asked to make connections to the problem throughout the lessons in the unit. Students learn and utilize methods for communicating design ideas through sketches, solid models, and mathematical models. Students will understand how models can be simulated to represent an authentic situation and generate data for further analysis and observations. Students work in teams to identify design requirements, research the topic, and engage stakeholders. Teams design a toy or game for a child with cerebral palsy, fabricate and test it, and make necessary modifications to optimize the design solution.

Entrepreneurship Basics (CTE/PLTW)

This course introduces students to a wide array of entrepreneurial concepts and skills, including the role of entrepreneurship in our economy, entrepreneurial discovery processes, ideation, and preliminary start-up venture planning. Students also develop an appreciation for marketing's pivotal role in the development and success of a new business. Students will demonstrate a willingness to try new things and demonstrate flexibility, imagination and inventiveness in taking on tasks and activities. Students will find information through the use of technologies and communicate information through the use of technologies. Students work on developing entrepreneurial skills including public speaking, idea generation, pitching, and marketing.

Digital Media(CTE)

Students will explore video production: camera operation, audio control, basic directing, lighting and editing. Students will learn skills and terminology required to produce media artwork such as short films, animations, stop motion and other projects that convey purpose, meaning and artistic quality. Students will learn filming and editing techniques using video editing software.


Art provides exciting, hands-on studio experiences. Students will explore a variety of art media which may include digital art, ink, pastels, acrylic paint, watercolors, charcoal, pencil, ceramics, and a variety of other mediums. Students will also research famous artists, and analyze how artwork can create expression on the world we live in. The goal of this class is to give students a greater understanding and appreciation of art for a lifetime of enjoyment. Students are considered an artist and the art a holistic experience for your children to use in any career path they choose.

Band and Orchestra

The Aurora Hills Middle School Band offers a unique experience where students gain musical skills and a lifelong appreciation of music in addition to discipline, self-confidence, responsibility and a sense of accomplishment by working with others toward a common goal. We will endeavor to make beautiful music using proper instrument techniques, an understanding of various styles, an awareness of music history and theory, and an eagerness to work together in a way that is cooperative and supportive. Our band & orchestra program has a tradition of excellence and we will continue to work towards maintaining and improving that distinction. Aurora Hills owns instruments and are available to the students to use for the entire year. There is a minimal fee to use the instruments.

AVID-Advancement Via Individual Determination

AVID is a class for students who show academic potential with the desire and determination to challenge themselves to reach their full potential. It teaches students the necessary strategies to be successful in both middle school and high school, with the ultimate focus of students being college-ready. The course helps students develop tools to engage in cooperative learning, goal setting, higher level questioning and study skills, writing, note taking, time management as well as character development.

The course teaches students test taking strategies, how to manage stress and how to work toward their goals. AVID students are required to maintain their binders, keep track of assignments in a student planner, participate in student-led tutorials and monitor their academic progress throughout the year

Physical Education

Learn about the essential components of health-related and skill-related fitness. Students will receive instruction on the rules, skills, and strategies necessary for successful participation in a wide variety of sports and fitness activities in order to develop the confidence for a lifetime of physical activity. The PE program promotes the spirit of inclusion, cooperation, leadership, fair play, safe and friendly competition. Our Physical Education program prides itself in not only getting kids physically active and fit, but equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and maintain a health-enhancing lifestyle and making informed decisions about fitness and other aspects of personal wellness.

Health Education

Our health education courses are carefully designed to gradually increase each student’s health literacy to compliment the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Come and explore with us the science behind nutrition, sleep, mental, social and emotional health practices that impact overall wellness. Explore the physical, social, and economic impact of use and dependency of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and practice refusal strategies. Learn the skills necessary to promote and maintain healthy relationships, resolve conflicts, and advocate for personal, school, and community wellness. Now more than ever, the health industry and our community need people like you: multilingual, multicultural, multi-talented, and committed to improving health and quality of life for everyone.

World Language

Students begin learning the fundamentals of world languages. Students will be able to develop basic conversations, describe people and activities, and learn elements of culture. Taking World Language opens doors for students to be able to explore new languages and many new cultures that will broaden their horizons and their understanding of what languages are. Students will learn basic sentences and structures that will help them communicate, and they will learn about cultures from across the globe to see how both different and similar we all are.

Exploratory Teachers

Jessica Moser

Reading Intervention: [email protected]

Stephen Aldrich

Stephen Aldrich

Technology/AppCreator: [email protected]

Andrew Phelps


[email protected]