A.P. sciences double their lab time
Ms. Emily Norton, a science teacher at WHS, has repeatedly asked the administration to create a double lab, and this year her requests have been heard. The Advanced Placement (AP) sciences — Chemistry, Biology and Physics — now have double block labs twice a rotation instead of just once.
“The amount and depth of the material to be covered [in AP sciences], which is determined by the College Board, is too great to be able to cover well in a regular lab,” Ms. Norton said.
She added, “It will benefit the kids and reinforce the material.” The decision was made not only to help prepare students for the A.P. tests, but also to “increase the quality of learning.”
Many students and teachers have felt that AP classes have previously felt rushed. Ms. Norton said, “In prior years I feel like I’ve been shoving it down their [the students'] throats, which hasn’t been pleasant for them or for me.
Students have mixed opinions. Biology student Victoria Gore said, “I think it’s a little unfair because we (the AP students) are the only ones who have this, not all sciences. But I guess in the end it will be more useful.”
Fellow biology student Julia Moser-Hardy said, “I think it makes sense. I have a neutral opinion. It hasn’t felt excessive, but it hasn’t been long enough in the year to see.”
Teachers believe that a plus to having two double labs instead of one is that they can have longer quizzes. Also, if an AP class has a lesson during one of the blocks, they can still have the second block to perform a lab.
Moser-Hardy estimated that she spends about 6 or 7 hours in class a week and about 30 minutes a day on homework, not including studying for tests, which may become more frequent.
Chemistry student Brianna Ramsey said, “I think in the long run it will help us, but now it is a little annoying because I have less time to get work done.”
“I think it is great because it is preparing us for the AP exam,” concluded biology student Ronen Zeidel.