Science connects ideas from core courses

Science classes at ETHS are all-encompassing, involving ideas from math, reading, writing, and even computer science.

“Our next move is collaboration with the other departments,” says Terri Sowa-Imbo, Science Dpt. Chair. “We want to be able to show students how the content overlaps.”

Today there are over 170 sections of science offered at Evanston. There are seven AP courses and opportunities for independent studies in science. There are general special education science class as well as integrated biology classes for freshmen and sophomores. Students with accommodations can be found at all levels of science, from support to advanced placement.

“It’s important that all students have access to our science facilities,” says Sowa-Imbo. “We dont want to put science in the closet for any student.”

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) forces teachers and school administrators to review courses and recognize they want students to become good thinkers, not just good multiple choice test takers.

“The courses at ETHS are becoming more skills-based using college practices,” says Sowa-Imbo. “We are looking to see if students can present and display knowledge versus memorize facts out of a textbook.”

Science at ETHS is steering away from the traditional method of a teacher lecturing at the front of the classroom. Class materials are becoming more mobile and class work is based more on small group assignments and discussions.

“Science is a community collaboration and process,” says Sowa-Imbo. “Scientists don’t just sit and around and observe– they work together to solve problems.”

“In our AP Environmental Science class we only have 14 students,” says Sophie Anolick, senior. “This is really a great class because we get to have great small group discussions and most of our class work is group work.”

The new standards from the NGSS and the College Board have caused restructuring to many science programs.

While some programs like Chem/Phys have been around for 50 years, others such as AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 are brand new this year.

“We are constantly updating our programs and adjusting the curriculum, especially the AP courses to meet college standards,” says Sowa-Imbo.

“In the sixteen years I’ve been here I’ve seen the program grow at all levels– the school requirement is only two years but students now take three, four, even five years,” explains Sowa-Imbo.

The science facilities are also being renovated to equip students for modern science. Four new STEM rooms were created this past year, and this coming summer the school is updating the planetarium to be accessible to more than just astronomy classes.

Science at ETHS has a lot to look forward to in the upcoming yearsfilename-1-4