New Classes for the 2017/2018 School Year

As the 2016-2017 school year winds to an end, students have already made their course selection for next year. Though this year’s round of counseling meetings has come and gone, a variety of new classes has been added to the program of studies, leaving students with even more options to chose from in the coming years.

Robotics: In this course, students will use their knack for engineering to learn the fundamentals of 3D design (CAD), electronics, programming, and machines. Student will also model and build robots to solve certain problems in the quickest amount of time possible, using VEX robotic materials. Creativity, initiative, and perseverance are just some of the essential skills that will be developed through the robotic building process, with an added emphasis on trial and error. Students will be challenged to test their skills by entering their robots into the annual VEX competition at the end of the class!

Global Diplomacy and the United Nations: The purpose of this course is to increase a student’s general knowledge about international issues, policy making, and the activities of the United Nations. Valuable skills in public speaking, research and writing, negotiation and powers of persuasion, leadership, organization, and interpersonal communication will be gained. Students will accumulate these skills through various course assignments and papers, as well as mock  United Nations simulations. Henry Bulkley, a junior and a member of the Model UN club is looking forward to taking this class next year. “I hope to learn more about the United Nations as a whole rather than the specific topics that we focus on in Model UN conferences,” said Bulkley.

Mandarin Chinese: Mandarin is a group of connected Chinese dialects, spoken across northern and southwestern China, and is an interesting alternative to the traditional French and Spanish courses currently offered. In this class, students will learn the basics of Chinese scripture writing, as well as about the present day and historic cultural practices of the country. The language’s vocabulary and grammar rules will be covered and elaborated on as students move through the course’s various levels of study. Though not currently taught in the middle school, this class is open to students of all grade levels and fulfills a credit of world language.

Principles of Leadership: This course focuses on the development and strengthening of skills such as: goal setting, motivation, team building, time management, resolving conflicts, communication, ethics, and more. Competency based assessments will be used to test students on their application of these skills, with the common purpose of individual leadership building. This class is tailored to students who want additional leadership experience, and is an excellent course to take in preparation for application in the real world.

Advanced IT: This course allows students to investigate technology integration and troubleshooting, all while using a hands-on approach. In this class, students will be required to work independently in Oyster River’s Hack Shack, in order to gain valuable knowledge about the maker movement within a business and educational context. The access to several modern technology tools will be available throughout this class, and their use will be encouraged. Students will become competent in how to use the 3D printer, silhouette paper cutter, green screen, and more, to complete a variety of on-going projects throughout the semester. Because of this classes’ advanced status, it is only open to grades 11 and 12, however no prerequisites are required.

AP Micro/Macro EconomicsWith the addition of more specialized classes, Oyster River has recognized the needs and desires of its students, making high school a more personalized and guided experience. Whether you chose anything from Mandarin Chinese to Principles of Leadership, there’s sure to be a class fit for you within the revised program of studies. Junior, Maxwell Schuler has taken just about every business class the school has to offer and is eager to begin the new class. “I hope to learn significantly more about macroeconomics vs micro as macro is definitely more important to me, and is a much more complex topic. I hope that we learn more specific examples in the lessons so we have experience with real-world application rather than just pure theory. Overall, I hope to do well in the class, and continue to learn more about economics in general,” said Schuler.

Written by Owen Kurtiak