A New Year, Many New Courses


Johan Wichterle

Zoe Chen ’19, Cassie Tian ’19, and Lauren Handler ’19 work together on an assignment during a Post-AP Evolution Lab, one of the new courses on offer this year.

This year, Bronx Science’s famously enormous course guide further multiplied in size with the addition of seven new classes in almost every academic discipline.

Although the name ‘Bronx Science’ indicates correctly that the school has a strong STEM focus, we also celebrate the diversity of all of our students’ interests, whether that is through creative writing or environmental sustainability. From classes like Green Design and Clean Technology in the Physical Sciences department, to Post-AP Advanced Evolution in the Biology department, Bronx Science welcomed an assortment of exciting new courses for the 2018-2019 school year.

To start off, the Mathematics Department introduced three new electives this year: Introduction to C++ Programming with Applications to Finance, Mathematical Applications in Engineering, and Algorithms. Despite the fact that the classes are housed in the same department, they each cover their own unique topic.

“I did not expect the degree to which students would be free to choose what they researched in the class, but this has ultimately made it all the more enjoyable,” said John Feighery ’19.

C++ is a rather advanced course, requiring students to have extensive prior knowledge in programming, due to its demanding curriculum in data extraction and file processing. Similarly, students considering taking Mathematical Applications in Engineering should have advanced math skills in calculus, since they will learn how to apply concepts such as vectors and matrices to structural engineering throughout the course. The new algorithms class, however, is more theoretical and requires more rhetorical thinking.

“I chose algorithms because I wanted a new challenging course,” said Sam King Wu ’19, “Having Mr. Weng as a teacher helped me understand not only the concepts of computer science, but also the real life applications it can have. Learning new concepts everyday proves to be work, but it’s quite satisfactory to be able to understand and finish the assignments.”

As in mathematics, the Bronx Science Science Departments are famously known for providing high achieving students the opportunity to take even more specialized, challenging classes after completion of an Advanced Placement course. This year, the Biology Department introduced another “Post-AP” class: Post-AP Evolution. This new class now serves as another option to the Post-AP Genetics class that aspiring biologists can take if they are more interested in the history of evolutionary theory, or population genetics.

“Dr. Wagner makes this class interesting by using case studies and fun assignments. I find that I am always interested in what we are learning, because it feels like we are really conducting the observational studies,” said Cassie Tian ’19.

A more lifestyle-based class that was added this year to the Physical Science section of the course catalog was Green Design and Clean Technology. This class is project heavy and attracts the interest of those who want to take a hands-on approach when tackling environmental issues.

“I did not expect the degree to which students would be free to choose what they researched in the class, but this has ultimately made it all the more enjoyable,” said John Feighery ’19.

In addition to creating brand new courses, Bronx Science has also merged together older ones to create classes with more specialized focuses. One of these classes is Advanced Placement Literature with Creative Writing, which fuses together Advanced Placement Literature with Bronx Science’s former Honors Creative Writing.

While retaining aspects of the traditional Advanced Placement curriculum, this new senior exclusive course also places an emphasis on creative writing. “We hope it appeals to those who want to do A.P. level work and also try something new in their last year. Because the new course builds on the solid foundation of A.P. Lit, it will be a challenging course load,” said Mr. McConnell, English teacher, who pushed for the creation of the class, and who is now teaching it.

Just in its first year, this new English course has drawn the interest of many students, with the total enrollment for A.P. Literature Creative Writing outnumbering that of the A.P. Literature Traditions, which follows the traditional College Board syllabus of looking closely at social and historical themes of texts.

“Creative writing has always been a hobby of mine, so when I saw there was a class that had to do with it, I was really excited and curious about how something like creative writing, which is so subjective, would play into a class format,” said Angie Yang ’19.

This school year has brought with it new classes, all with new lessons, projects, and experiences, and many teachers and students are eager to be the first to work on them.