Course additions expand Staples’ curriculum

Claudia Chen, Paper Managing Editor

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On Nov. 23, the Board of Education unanimously approved nine new courses at Staples High School for the 2016-17 school year. The courses are AP Music Theory, Mandarin Chinese 5, AP Chinese Language and Culture, Gothic and Horror Literature, Sports Literature and Research, Earth Science, Creative Technological Solutions to Real-World Problems, 3-D Design and Engineering and Materials and Design Science.

The science department has the most additions, with four new classes. One of these courses is Creative Technological Solutions, where students will create solutions to problems such as building LEGO robots and putting together something to support a certain amount of weight during an earthquake.

“Long-term projects might include building a balloon to reach the edge of space,” science teacher Humphrey Wong said. “Each class [would] build on the work of preceding classes until the balloon is finally launched.”

The English department added two new courses which will allow students to explore English in more unique areas of interest.

English teacher Brendan Giolitto said that one of these courses, Sports Literature and Research, will bring the passion for athletics that is present throughout Staples into the classroom. The class will look at discrimination in sports, how sports unify or divide populations and sports in global culture.

This in-depth discussion of sports is exactly what some students are looking for.

“I recall having some very interesting conversations about sports on a deeper level, past just entertainment value,” Matt Johnson ’16 said. “Sports bring people together. I think [Sports Literature and Research] will be an amazing class that will capture the attention of a lot of Staples students.”

In addition to high-flying balloons and sports-talk in the classroom, the new courses will also bring a higher level of Chinese classes to Staples. Chinese teacher Chris Fray explained that without the addition of Chinese 5 and AP Chinese, current juniors who took Chinese in middle school would have no further Chinese courses to take.

“With 50 students prepared to enroll in Chinese 5/AP Chinese next year, it’s our duty to provide these students with the next course in the sequence,” Fray said.

One of these juniors, Jane Handa ’17 agreed that these courses will benefit her as she hopes to become fluent eventually.

With a wide a range of additions to many departments, the Staples community is excited to see what the new courses will bring to the school.

“I think that broadening the courses at Staples, instead of just having the simple math, science, social studies, and core english classes, will give students an incredible opportunity to find what they are most drawn to,” Nikki Lynch ’16 said. “It might even help them to figure out what they want to do in the future.”

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