New PHS courses
By Marissa Amstutz
New courses are being added for the 2016-17 school year. The new classes are in the foreign language, business, engineering, and physics departments.
The foreign language courses being added are Chinese II and American Sign Language II. They are both offered to grades 10, 11, and 12. These courses are just a first-level class, so adding these courses will be given to students to increase their knowledge. It will expand their vocabulary and increasing the complexity of their sentences. The primary focus will be refining the use of basic sentence types.
The new business course being offered is Business Foundations, and is strictly a one-semester sophomore class, taught by Becky Byrd. She currently teaches DECA, a program that prepares students for a career in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.
There will be a new course called “College Physics,” which will replace AP Physics 1. The biggest change to this class is that it will offer a BGSU credit upon successful completion instead of taking the AP test, which is a one-time test.
“The content is fairly similar to AP Physics 1”, said Nate Ash, PHS science teacher. “A few new topics like fluids and thermodynamics have taken the place of electricity and waves. The class will continue to focus on a conceptual understanding of forces, motion, and energy.”
The course will also include plenty of laboratory experiments.
“I’m pretty jealous that the students will have the opportunity to earn a college credit,” senior Emma Barned said. “I’m not even taking the AP test because of how hard it is.”
The Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Engineering Curriculum is offering two foundation courses: Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) and Principles of Engineering (POE). PLTW is a nonprofit organization, and the most widely known provider of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs for grades K-12. This program is designed to expand student knowledge through project-based, hands-on approaches to solve problems in a real-world context. IED is a one year class offered to all high school grades. Students must complete Algebra 1 to take this course.
Through this course, students are able to be involved with the engineering design process by using math, science, and engineering standards on hands-on activities. POE is the other engineering course, being offered to students in grades 10-12. It is also a one year-long course, and entering students must be in Honors Algebra 2 or higher math.
This course challenges students to explore multiple engineering topics, such as mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. It allows students to practice skills such as problem solving, research, and design. Students will use these skills while learning more about the design process, documentation, collaboration, and presentation.
“As a school district, we are implementing STEM into the schools. By adding these courses, we are starting to open up the engineering pathway for students,” STEM teacher Thom Ziems said. He will teach both new engineering courses.
Sophomore Brad Dunphy will be taking the IED course next school year.
“I’m excited to take the class because I really love building things and would like to be an engineer,” he said. Math has always been his favorite subject and will be a helpful skill for this class. “Ziems is also really awesome, so why would I not take the class?”
These classes will help students expand their knowledge on topics already being taught in the building. There will not be any classes dropped from the course catalog for the upcoming school year.