New opportunities include three magnet electives and single period Chemistry and Biology classes
Starting in the 2011-2012 school year, Blair will offer organic chemistry, entomology and logic as elective courses for junior and seniors. Along with the additional electives, upperclassmen will have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) Biology and Chemistry as single-period classes.
Currently, AP Biology and Chemistry classes are only offered as double-period classes, which means that students taking the courses have the class everyday for 90 minutes.
According to AP Biology teacher Charlie Demma, the single-period classes will give Blazers the opportunity to challenge themselves with more difficult material. "Too many AP-caliber students are taking honors classes and expressing how easy they are,” Demma said. "They just can't fit double-period classes in their schedules.”
Although the class will take up less space in Blazers' schedules, the accelerated material taught in the courses will force students to spend more time reviewing material at home. "Some topics won't be covered in class, but students will have to read about them in their books on their own,” Demma said.
The new electives were also created to allow students more course opportunities, according to science teacher Megan Dieckman. "The Magnet electives were created to give Magnet students more variety for elective selection,” she said. Organic chemistry, entomology and logic will be taught as science electives. Each class will be a one-semester-long Magnet course open to all upperclassmen.
According to Dieckman, who will be teaching the organic chemistry classes next year, the new elective classes will cover concepts in a new way. "Not only will the material covered in class be new to students, but the way the material is approached will be new as well,” she said.
New elective classes and descriptions
Blazers will delve into the world of insects to gain understanding and appreciation for ancient animals and insects. Blazers will also discover how important insects are to our ecosystems and their impact, both beneficial and harmful, on humans.
Blazers will explore reactions and apply this knowledge to synthesize theoretical compounds. Blazers will learn organic chemistry from a mechanistic approach – meaning they are going to understand why reactions occur instead of doing routine memorization.
Blazers will analyze a variety of logical systems and examine their meta-logical properties. Blazers will explore the relationship between mathematicians and logic as well as examine the advantages of formalizations and the limitations of what can be formalized.
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