Science Path II improves opportunities for students

December 11, 2012

By Rachel Shaw

Hall Monitor
Rachel Shaw
Liberty High School

The Issaquah School District excels in providing opportunities for students who want to challenge themselves academically.

Elementary school students can become involved in programs such as SAGE, MERLIN or Science-Tech; high school students have a variety of Honors and Advanced Placement classes to choose from; and middle schoolers can opt to take Humanities Plus or Math Path II.

However, there is one piece missing in this web of academic opportunities: a chance for students to challenge themselves while taking middle school science.

Science is the favorite subject of many young students — it inspires curiosity and wonder, and is often viewed as more interesting than math, history or language arts. Since many students would willingly take an advanced science class if they had the opportunity, it is unfair to deny students a chance to learn more in-depth about a subject that they are already enthusiastic about.

Science Path II, the brainchild of the district science department, was created to fix that problem. Science Path II finally fills the middle school science gap, creating an option for students who are interested and excel in science to study the subject more in depth and at a faster pace.

Starting next year, sixth-graders who choose to take Science Path II will take seventh-grade earth and space science their sixth-grade year, take eighth-grade physical science as seventh-graders and tackle high school biology in their eighth-grade year.

Science Path II will not only create more options for middle school students interested in science, but it will also solve many other problems in our school district. Students who usually struggle in middle school science will be able to get more help in understanding the material, as teachers will no longer have to deal with finding a balance between moving at a slower pace for struggling students and moving at a faster pace so more advanced students don’t get bored.

Furthermore, students who travel through Science Path II at Maywood and enter the ranks of Liberty High School will continue to challenge themselves in science by signing up for classes such as AP chemistry and AP physics — classes that Liberty currently doesn’t have because of the small student population. Ultimately, this would solve Liberty’s problem of having a lack of science opportunities as well.

Science Path II is a crucial, well thought-out addition to the middle school science curriculum. Students of all ages, in schools across the Issaquah School District, will greatly benefit from this opportunity.

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