Social Studies

Social Studies Mission Statement:

The purpose of social studies at Fast Forward is to prepare our students to become informed and engaged citizens of a culturally diverse and globally interdependent world. Our focus as social studies educators is to ensure that social studies is meaningful, real, and authentic for all students. We are challenged to increase our students’ knowledge about the people of the world as they strive to find resolutions to both local and global problems. 

Philip Nelson
Jason Olsen

Required Social Studies Courses


Geography is described as the study of the “why of the where.” Geography for Life will explore how to use geography as a tool to better understand the world in which we live. Students will learn to evaluate and question the why and where of spatial perceptions that are read, seen, and heard.

United States History A

In this section of U.S. history, we will talk about the lifestyles of early Americans, European contact that led to conquest and colonization; the causes to declare independence, and the beginning of the U.S. as a new nation by creating the Constitution. We will also address the issues and conflicts the new nation faced moving into the 19th century leading up to the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.

United States History B

This course is the continuing story of U.S.  from where the section A class ended. We discuss the transformation of the U.S. into world industrial and military power; the effects of immigration; life in the 20’s leading up to the Great Depression; the causes and effects of WWII and post-WWII life in America and worldwide during the Cold War.

United States Government

In this course, students will learn the history behind, and development of our modern democracy. We will explore each major branch of government as outlined in the Constitution and some of the main powers and responsibilities of each branch. We will discuss the amendments and their importance in today’s view of individual rights. We will also make connections to how our government interacts with other countries and the role citizens have within their state and community.

Ancient World Civilizations

In this course, we will study the emergence of the major civilizations of the ancient world, beginning with the Paleolithic Era (about 2.5 million years ago) and finishing with the end of the Middle Ages in fifteenth century A.D. We will pay special attention to how societies evolved across this expanse of time—from fragmented and primitive agricultural communities to more advanced and consolidated civilizations.

Modern World Civilizations

This course is designed to provide a foundation for understanding the development of the modern world in both Western and non-Western societies. Emphasis will be placed on the rapid changes which swept the globe in the form of social movements and political revolutions; for example the impact of industrialization and urban growth, the rise of European nationalism and imperialism and their effects on non-Western societies will be major topics addressed. We will end the course talking about the factors that led to the outbreak of WWI.

Financial Literacy

The General Financial Literacy Core is designed for junior and senior students and represents those standards of learning that are essential to the development of basic financial literacy. Students will be enabled to implement those basic decision-making skills to become more aware as consumers, savers, investors, borrowers, money managers, citizens, and members of a global workforce.

Elective Social Studies Courses

Contemporary World History


Sociology is a scientific study of individual human behaviors and interactions with one another. We talk about perspective theories, social classes and stratification, along with the elements of socialization and identity.


Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of the mental functions and behaviors.

Summer Outdoor Program

This elective takes place after the regular school year and is a four week course where students can earn an elective credit for English, P.E., and Social Studies. We explore historic landmarks, trails, and sites around Cache Valley and nearby locations. Students get to experience the outdoors with traveling to the sites, hiking, and canoeing.

Washington D.C. Trip 2021

Philip is already recruiting for a trip to Washington D.C. in the Summer of 2021! This week long experience will give students a chance to explore our nation’s capitol while engaging in discussions of how they can actively participate in their government system and become life-long learners of democracy.

National Archives building
U.S. Capitol building
Iwo Jima Memorial