AP Classes Take on Projects After Testing


The week of May 13th marks big in a high schooler’s world. It’s the frenetic week before junior prom, the long-awaited final week of a senior’s high school career, and the stressful second week of Advanced Placement testing.

While the excitement of prom and a senior’s final week apply only to their respective grades, the stress of AP testing affects teachers and students across the school, marking a change in the function, dynamic, and structure of many classes.

However, when this week ends and the excitement dies down, AP classes experience a shift—the set curriculum for AP classes dies down, yet an entire month of school remains.

 Sara Pinchback, who teaches AP Economics, notes that all teachers want their students to succeed, so calendars are planned based on being prepared for the national exam. However,  when the exam is over, teachers have the leisure of creating their own mini-curriculum.

Some students think that this remaining month is a time for AP students to slack off, watch movies, and make paper airplanes. This is not reality. Yes, the pace of the class may diminish slightly, but almost all AP teachers look forward to this month during which they can embark upon a project in which students can apply the information that they have learned over the year.

So while it could be considered a bit “relaxing,” teachers, and students, get an opportunity to apply their newfound skills to the real world.

Suzanne Kammerman teaches AP U.S. Government and Politics, and hopes to link up with some of the AP Economics and AP U.S. History classes.

“The goal is that the students can bring together everything they’ve learned in the year and use that knowledge in a specific area, spending time on an issue of their own choice,” Kammerman said. “They can use their knowledge in a way that has real world implications.”

Sam Adelmann ’14 said that AP classes can be rigorous and exhausting at times, so it is nice to be able to slow down a little and enjoy a project that might be a little more fun. “I know that I personally look forward to the opportunity to do some fun labs now that the AP Chemistry test is over,” he said.

Others agree. “We are attempting to emulate this intense college experience where we spend lots of time cramming and racing through material. Letting us have a month of relaxation shouldn’t be too much to ask,” Melissa Beretta ’14 said.