Science Department Removes Physics First

Twenty freshmen of the class of 2018 piloted the new science sequence arrangement, enrolling in biology as opposed to Physics First.

In 2008, the science department announced that all freshmen students should begin their high school careers taking Physics First to provide a solid introduction to basic physics.

Recently, however, the school staff expressed the idea that freshmen should enroll in biology as opposed to Physics First, essentially because Physics First isn’t considered a lab science by most top tier colleges.

High School Principal Patricia Puglisi reviewed the Course of Studies for students alongside several staff and faculty members prior to the 2014 school year.

“After surveying a variety of colleges, we found that most of the top tier schools require students to take three years of a lab science. Allowing our students to take biology freshman year provides most opportunity and greater offerings to students involved in science,” Puglisi said.

As eighth-grade students enter high school, they will be given the option of enrolling in biology or Foundations of Science and Engineering, a new class that was introduced in 2013.

Biology teacher Erica Everett expressed her opinion upon removing Physics First from the science department program.

“The advantage is that students would be able to gather their three lab sciences earlier on in their career, and they would have greater access to science electives,” she said.

Taking biology freshmen year would enable students to take the electives MERHS offers, which include anatomy, anthropology, robotics, ASR etc.

“This change isn’t tremendously dramatic. The Physics First program had its time at the high school. Kids are coming in more prepared from the middle school, and we need to keep up with their needs,” Puglisi said.

Freshman Chanel Bullock, one of the 20 students currently enrolled in biology, expressed her thoughts on taking the class a year in advance.

“I’m glad that I took the class earlier because I can fit more science classes into my schedule. When I grow up, I want to play a role in the medical field, so taking more science classes would be best for me,” Bullock said.