Expanding Education through New Classes
Various new classes being offered allow people to have more opportunities to explore their interests and alternative ways of learning. These new classes include AP Capstone, taught by Susan Plonski, and Environmental Sustainability, taught by Nick Plaisted. AP Capstone is a two-year English class that follows a participant-led approach to education. In Environmental Sustainability, participants discuss and find solutions for possible real-world environmental challenges. Environmental Sustainability is a Project Lead the Way course, meaning the classroom environment is engaging and hands-on.
Environmental Sustainability is an addition to the Project Lead the Way classes already offered. During the course, participants research and design solutions to environmental issues using APB (activity, project, problem based) learning and teaching. Through both individual and team activities and problem solving, participants practice common design and scientific protocols such as project management, lab techniques and peer review.
Plaisted teaches Marine Biology and Marine Science, as well as Environmental Sustainability.
“I will be teaching Environmental Sustainability for the first time, and I am very much looking forward to exploring different topics with my students,” Plaisted said.
AP Capstone is an advanced placement English class that is a new addition to schedules this year. The class lasts over a two-year period, where AP Seminar will be taken first followed by AP Research. It will be an interdisciplinary course, meaning participants will control the topics they choose to study. The class is unique because it is participant driven and an AP diploma is awarded to graduates of the course.
AP Capstone is taught by Honors English and AP Language teacher, Susan Plonski.
“I am excited about learning new things and especially content that is determined by the students. I want to know which issues are important to a younger generation and help those students connect their ideas and voices with the larger community and world,” Plonski said.
Both new classes offer an alternative, more hands-on and personal approach to learning. Through student led research in AP Capstone, participants will be able to choose what they want to study based on their interests, making the material more personal. This approach may provide participants with more interest in learning since they choose what topic to study. In Environmental Sustainability, participants discuss and evaluate problems as a team, creating a new educational environment that promotes cooperation skills.
Jessie Arrington (11) is currently taking AP Seminar, the first class taken in the two–year AP Capstone course. Arrington is looking forward to what she will learn in AP Seminar.
“I am really excited for the AP Capstone opportunity because I think it will prepare me with necessary skills I will need for college,” Arrington said.