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Some students feel pressure to take physics

Some students may or may not feel the pressure to take physics. At Staples High School, there are six different physics classes students can take. According to School Counselor Victoria Capozzi, physics is generally a junior or senior year course.

You stare at your physics homework, trying to figure out how you would draw your force diagram. You wonder why you decided to take the class, realizing that you decided to take it because your parents told you it would look good for colleges.  Although physics is not a required course, many students take it.

At Staples High School, there are six physics classes students can choose from: Engineering and Applied Physics (semester long), Physics Honors (full year), Physics A (full year), Physics B (full year), A.P. Physics 1 (full year) and A.P. Physics C Mechanics & E & M (full year).

“I’m not really a science person so I didn’t feel like taking any of the AP sciences,” Jenna Patterson ’16, who is currently taking physics, said in a Facebook message. “I felt like physics was a challenging course that is also important to know about.”

Angelique Greenburg ’15, who took physics as a junior, agreed with Patterson.

“Well, originally I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to take it or not but my dad told me I might as well because, like, it looked good [for] colleges and it was an actual, serious science course,” Greenburg said.

Although physics is not a requirement to graduate, many students see the value that physics plays in the college application process, and for some programs, physics is required.

For example, to be admitted to the University of Connecticut (UCONN) School of Nursing Bachelor of Science program, an applicant must have taken “a [physics] course either in high school or college,” among other things. Furthermore, for admission to the UCONN engineering program, it is recommended that you have taken one year of physics and chemistry.

“College admissions, no doubt, has become more and more competitive in the United States,” School Counselor Victoria Capozzi said. “If a student has an appropriate level math course that correlates with physics, my school of thought, is [that] a student should take [physics] or at least try it.”

Capozzi added that, from what she believes, the pressure to take physics comes from college admissions, parents, and students themselves.

However, some students didn’t feel pressured to take physics.

“Nobody ever personally pressured me into taking physics, it just seemed to be an interesting option,” Jordan Bloom ’16, who is taking physics this year, said through a Facebook message.

Science Department Chair for Grades 6-12 A.J. Scheetz thinks that physics is an important science to take.

“I think physics is a fundamental discipline,” Scheetz said. Scheetz also mentioned that, for the class of 2020, they will be required to take three years of science instead of just two. He also said that they are figuring out what the next possible course or courses students should take after chemistry, such as physics.

Capozzi has some advice for students wondering whether they should take physics.

“Students really need to look closely at themselves and not [at] what everyone else is doing,” she said.


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Nicole DeBlasi, Web Managing Editor

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