Inside the classrooms of WAHS
By CAITLIN MOORE
and LACEY WALKER
As the days get longer and summer approaches, students sometimes find it difficult to focus in the last few weeks of school.
But with Keystone tests and finals just around the corner, the teachers insist there is still lots of work to be done.
Whether it is the final project, a change of pace and scenery or collaborative grouping, these students are embracing the last few weeks of school.
Mr. Yevics’ Algebra II students were found in the hallway conducting an experiment where they measured the length of their legs from their hips to the bottom of their foot, then timed themselves walking a pre-determined distance.
“The project is based on a square root formula that athletic trainers use to estimate maximum walking speed,” Mr. Yevics said. “We wanted to see how accurately our data matched the formula, so we created a scatter plot and performed a regression.”
Students in precalculus were beginning a unit on amplitude. As an introductory lesson to the unit, students used spaghetti to measure sine values at different angles on the unit circle.
“By measuring the angles, we learned how to create a graph of y=sine x,” sophomore Maddy Mahonski said. “Learning the practical application [of the concept] before studying it in class really helped.”
“After the project, it became really clear how amplitude is used in architecture and engineering for things like building bridges,” sophomore Duta Hariandy said.
All 11th grade American literature students are completing a book study unit where they choose a book to read with a group of students and then meet periodically to discuss the book with their peers.
“Literature circles give the students a lot of choice,” Mrs. Reeders said. “I like the days that we read for twenty minutes then talk for 10 minutes,”
“Mrs. McCloskey and Mrs. Schefsky have us go through this cycle three times on the days we meet for two periods; it makes the class go really fast,” Taylor Tharp said.
Students in Mr. Paulhamus’s dual enrollment plastics class are working on their final project for the course.
“They have to design a plastic mold for a car engine and then race their cars,” Mr. Paulhamus said.
Students have the option of using wood or styrofoam to design their cars. In addition to the car project, students are also preparing for a written final exam.
Upon passing the course, students will earn both a high school science credit and Penn College credits.
Ninth grade students in Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Pulizzi’s classes and students in Mrs. Keeler and Mrs. Santiago’s English classes recently finished a major argumentative writing assignment.
“We were given several different topics to choose from such as ‘Should college athletes be paid to play sports?’ ” said Jasmine Martin. “We were assigned articles to read about our topics and then we had to develop our own argument using sources such as the articles. For example, one of the articles we read was about a woman who was fired from her job for posting negative comments about her boss on Facebook. The question for that article was, ‘Should people have free speech outside of the workplace?’ “
Seniors in Mr. Pish’s class are completing their “Dream Home” project. “It’s just like buying a house,” said Darva Moore. “We have to find our house and then figure out how much our mortgage and other monthly bills would be.”
Students search real estate websites to find a house that meets their criteria and then figure out what the monthly mortgage payment would be for the home.