Did you know that a plethora of new electives have been added to the New Providence High School course options? From STEM-related subjects to writing classes, NPHS has added new classes in order to give students more opportunities when selecting their schedules. These new classes include Forensics, Research, Electrical Circuits, Dynamics of Healthcare in Society, Oceanography, and Investigative Journalism. Other courses that don’t occur until the 2nd semester are Medical Terminology, Marine Biology, and Neuroscience of Animal Behavior.
Mr. Keaney was in charge of adding the STEM courses. He wanted the addition of these courses “to provide more choices for students, more opportunities for students to delve deeper into their interests, and provide some control over the learning path that they take through high school.”
One new course, Forensics, focuses on the analysis of crime scenes and applying biology, chemistry, and anatomy to solving crimes. A senior, Michelle Schmitz, taking the course currently says that, “it was not what I expected.” She says that she would like for it to have more application to actual crime scenes.
The Research course involves learning how to conduct research and how to read/analyze research papers effectively. Once that stage of the course is completed, the students are able to conduct their own research with a partner for the first semester, and individually for the second semester.
Mr. Pizzo, who used to be a researcher and attended college for Biology and Neuroscience, says that he feels that it effectively prepares students for college: “Even if you decide not to do research in college, the format mimics the work you did in college.”
Schmitz enjoys the class because “it’s cool to do your own research.”
Alec Fox, another senior in the class, says, however, that he’d rather get straight to the actual research rather than having to do all the analysis that comes first, like learning “how to properly cite sources” and do “annotated bibliographies.”
A senior who is currently taking Dynamics of Healthcare in Society, Megan Mohan, likes her new class.
To her, “the information is interesting” and the class provides her with “a basic understanding of healthcare” that she would not have learned anywhere else. Additionally, students who take this course are able to earn college credit before attending college if they pass a test at the end of the course. When paired with Medical Terminology, students who pass can collect up to six credits. This course is particularly helpful for those who are planning on going into college for something in the medical field, as it sets a strong foundation for more learning in that subject.
Matt Fusillo, a senior, favors the new Oceanography class. In this class, students are able to learn about a new subject area or even take a course that is more closely related to their desired college major.
Fusillo describes Oceanography, taught by Ms. Fintz, as a class in which the information is “exciting to learn about” and the assignments are “engaging.”
Overall, there seems to be a positive review of the new electives at NPHS. Although there are some critiques, the classes seem to be going smoothly, and it seems as though they would find continued success should they be kept in the future.