• Survivor Science Syllabus


    Instructor:  Mr. Donoughe

    Contact info:  Room B303 

                Email: jed12


    Overview of Course

    We will learn skills and content essential to survival scenarios.  We will learn the scientific concepts involved in human survival.  Along the way we will build self-confidence, self-reliance, leadership, teamwork and a sense of accomplishment along the way. 


    Main Topics 

    Types of Survival Situations

    Psychology of Survival

    Risks and Hazards of the Outdoor Experience

    Essential Gear


    Telling Time

    Water Purification

    Shelter and Knots

    Knife use and safety


    Fire and Cooking


    Prep for TBF

    Trial by Fire



    Grades will be assigned based upon performance in classwork, homework, quizzes and tests.  Field experiences will also be graded. 



    In addition to typical school assignments, homework will sometimes involve bringing materials into class.  This could be materials that you’ll need to gather from local woods (tinder, lichen, etc), or items that will come from the home (matches, containers, etc.).  Most would consider these assignments to be “easy”, but they are essential and must be completed for credit.



    This class, like most of life (getting accepted for colleges, jobs, etc), will involve competition with peers.  Privileged positions on the Dropping and TBF will be awarded to students who perform best on tests, quizzes, homework, classwork, who have demonstrated interest, enthusiasm, leadership, and integrity.


    Honor Code

    Due to the nature of the course, the instructor must have a high degree of trust in the students.  Like a science lab involving bunsen burners or chemicals, there are inherent risks involved with handling knives and fire, and there will be plenty of opportunities to cheat on the Dropping and the TBF.  Students will be expected to demonstrate integrity throughout the course.   The biggest and clearest test of student integrity will be compliance with the cell phone policy.


    Cell Phone Policy

    Cell phone use and “open carry” ends at the classroom door.  It may sound harsh, but keep in mind that in many schools students do not have access to phones during class or even for the entire day.  

    Why so strict?  Many reasons, but I’ll list two.  (We can have a more complete discussion in class)  One is boundary creep.  Having students place phones in a shoe bag on the side of the room has not worked for me in the past.  That boundary quickly breaks down.  Another reason is the need to daily emphasize that cellphones eliminate the possibility of of self-reliance, solitude, total focus on our environment, the situation that we find ourselves in, and the people that we’re with.  Demonstration of willingness to part with the cellphone in class will instill confidence that phones can be abandoned during the Dropping and the TBF.  



    Leadership will be discussed at some length during the course.  The most prestigious assignments on the TBF will be those of Solo Survivor and Team Leader.  Successfully filling the Team Leader role means that (at least for the duration of the course) you’ve shown the leadership qualities that are valued in organizations, clubs, and work environments everywhere.  Leadership can be demonstrated in the classroom by example and by helping peers develop skills that you’ve already mastered. 



    There are more constituents than congressmen/women, more soldiers than officers, more players than coaches.  Yet without the constituents, soldiers, or players nothing gets accomplished.  Everyone is a part of the team.  Know your part and perform it well.  Jump in to get things done.  Be the team member that would be sorely missed.  


    Spare Clothing

    Students are assigned school lockers.  It is your responsibility to keep a spare set of clothing in your locker at all times.  This should include shoes and socks.  A worn-out pair of sneakers will suffice. We may be outside in all kinds of weather.  If the weather cooperates we may have a fire-building challenge in rain or snow.  You may return to class wet on any given day.  Have that spare set of duds. 


    This course will involve outdoor work.  Please let me know If:

    -You have a medical condition that makes brisk hiking difficult.

    -You have allergies to bee stings.

    -There is anything else for which I should be aware. 

Last Modified on August 28, 2020