The New AP Additions

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The New AP Additions

Graphic by Dante DiMauro

Graphic by Dante DiMauro

Graphic by Dante DiMauro

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AP Chemistry

The school year has officially begun and there are new options available for current and future students. This year, new classes are being provided to students, one of them being AP Chemistry, the perfect AP class for students who were not interested in taking either AP Biology or AP Physics. This course is a perfect segue, especially for students who took chemistry last year, allowing students to delve deeper into the world of chemistry. The year for AP Chemistry has begun with an overview of the chemistry basics learned last year, and several labs. With labs at least twice a week, students will be able to have a hands on experience with the materials they are learning and prepare for their AP Exam in May.

AP Chemistry was a highly asked-for class and there were many students that aspired to take it, one of these students being senior Tyler Wenzel. Wenzel said, “It’s pretty good! We’re reviewing stuff from Chemistry right now, but Ms. Downer is really nice and the class is fun.”

Downer, who also teaches Honors Chemistry, has lots of experience teaching chemistry and her students are already learning a lot.

Another senior Madelyn Vianney said, “I really like the class so far and it’s definitely a challenge, but I think that it’s great that we’re getting more options for AP classes. Also if you plan on going into the science field, it’ll definitely help prepare you for college.”

With the mixture of seniors and juniors who had taken chemistry the year prior and did well, AP Chemistry would be a great fit for current students and students in the future as well.

 

AP Computer Science Principles

AP Computer Science is meant for everyone! AP Computer Science Principles is one of the newest additions to the school’s offered classes. The class introduces students to learn the basics of computer science and explore how computing and technology can impact the world.

Upon contact from the AP College Board, this class was brought to life with major contributions from now AP Computer Science teacher Steve Lecky, Grade 6-12 Math Curriculum Supervisor Patrick Hubeny, Administration, and the Board of Education.

Lecky, also an AP Calculus teacher, was sought out to teach the course since both calculus and computer science require similar logic.

With the school’s AP Equal Opportunity Schools Initiative in motion — a way to integrate more diversity into AP classes — the math department wanted to do something more to support the initiative.

The two AP math classes previously available were AP Calculus and AP Statistics.

Lecky said, “Statistics requires Algebra II as a prerequisite. AP Calculus requires pre-calculus as a prerequisite. …The only prerequisite for computer science is for one to have strong algebra skills and an interest in learning about computers.”

The math department was able to increase their number of younger students to participate in AP math classes through adding AP Computer Science.

Nicole Forno, a sophomore and AP Computer Science Student, said, “I took this class because it sounded like an interesting subject, and my dad is into this stuff so he encouraged it.” It is her first time taking an AP class and she is excited for the year. She said, “So far it’s an interesting subject and Mr. Lecky is doing a pretty good job at teaching it.”

Lecky took the AP Computer Science Principles course for teachers from January to April of last year so he could get certified to teach the course and learn what he would be teaching. He said, “I can’t tell you how excited I am about this course… I enjoyed it so much so I know the students will enjoy it so much as well.”

This class has attracted students both with no experience in Computer Science and those who would like to pursue a similar subject in college.

Dominic Parciasepe, a senior and AP Computer Science Student, said, “I want to go into Computer Engineering, and the class would be the right step for me to achieve that. What I am looking forward to with this class is definitely the skill; learning code would be useful for the future.”

Lecky said, “In all honesty, we were hoping to get 15 to 20 students to sign up so we can run the course and… we got 60 to sign up so we’re obviously filling a need that was here.”

So what will be next for AP Computer Science? Lecky said, “It would be great if we could offer Computer Science A…students could go from Computer Science Principles…right into Computer Science A.”

The future for Computer Science within the school may grow as time goes on. Lecky said, “Ms. Buchanan and I are are going to try to put together a day called An Hour of Code for the school, that’s one of our mini visions to draw more excitement towards computer science.”

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