Our curriculum not only provides our students with a broad foundation in the sciences and the humanities but also teaches them how to move across the disciplines and understand their dynamic connections. In our three signature programs — Meals, Reels, and Wheels — our students combine multiple fields of study and engage with our community in ways that build self-confidence and a strong sense of civic engagement and social responsibility.
The long history of food production in Arkansas provides fertile ground for our Meals Program. Using our greenhouse, gardens, and teaching kitchen as educational platforms, we introduce students to the science, economics, sustainability, and culture of the plate. Family-style meals in the Great Hall foster a culture in which students slow down and eat with their hearts and minds as a school community. After all, one of the most enjoyable and nourishing courses at Thaden is lunch itself.
Equipped with a campus sound stage as well as indoor and outdoor screening spaces, our Reels Program provides a platform for the creation and study of film, photography, podcasts, and other forms of media. As students study the technological, commercial, and cultural forces that set pictures and stories into motion, they hone their narrative and editorial skills and learn to bring critical distance and social responsibility to the production and consumption of the media that saturates our world.
Leveraging the region’s extensive network of bike paths and trails as well as our campus pump track and skills course, the Wheels Program provides students with hands-on opportunities to explore the design and mechanics of the bicycle and their connections to math, physics, history, urban planning, and other fields. In our campus bike shop, students integrate the motions of their hands and their minds as they develop their problem-solving skills and cultivate an ethos of repair and self-reliance.