The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Zoology among new courses to be offered next academic year

On+the+third+floor+of+the+North+Wing%2C+a+multi-purpose+life+science+room+hosts+ETHS+tortoises.
Ethan Ravi
On the third floor of the North Wing, a multi-purpose life science room hosts ETHS’ tortoises.

The start of the new year always marks the beginning of the course request progress for ETHS students. After consulting with parents and school counselors, students put in their ideal class choices for the next year. And, like every year, there have been multiple changes to the course offerings.

One of the new classes is Zoology: Animals and Society, an elective class that is offered at the honors level and can be taken as a dual credit with the nearby Oakton College. Reserved for juniors and seniors, the curriculum focuses on all things animals, including careers that involve working closely with them. There are two ETHS courses, Biology and Chemistry, that students must take before requesting Zoology.

“It’s about fostering a curiosity, appreciating the world around us, recognizing our impact and what we can do about it,” said Greg Ruber-Strohm, a Biology teacher who will be teaching next year’s Zoology class. “Plus, animals are just so incredibly fascinating.”

For students who enjoy working with living creatures, but not necessarily the microscopic ones, Zoology provides them with an academic outlet.

“Zoology is a subdiscipline of biology,” said Ruber-Strohm. “Instead of focusing on all living things, zoologists focus on studying animals. There are tons of branches within the field of zoology, but we plan to focus broadly on evolutionary biology, taxonomy, diversity, anatomy, behavior and ecology.”

As part of the class, students are expected to participate in dissections, and complete a level of coursework that is consistent with a college-level class.

An advertisement for the new Zoology: Animals and Society class in the North Wing. (Ethan Ravi)

“Zoology is a college level course, so students should expect there to be higher level readings, note taking, research projects and the like,” said Ruber-Strohm.

Broadly, he hopes to attract more non-traditional science students, and expose them to a discipline that holds many opportunities.

“A number of students at ETHS don’t see themselves as scientists,” said Ruber-Strohm. “The Zoology class offers a unique opportunity for them to explore and understand scientific thinking in a way that’s relatable and accessible.”

In addition to the Zoology class, three more classes were added to the course request guide: Digital Illustration, Sports Officiating Certification and Introduction to Life Sciences.

Digital Illustration, as the name suggests, focuses on digitally formatted arts, and is an earned honors course. Prerequisites are either Cartooning or Introduction to Drawing and Painting.

Sports Officiating Certification, a new course in the Physical Education Department, offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn an IHSA provisional certification, allowing them to officiate youth and high school sports.

Introduction to Life Sciences, another dual-credit course with Oakton College, focuses on introducing students to college-level biology content. It is only available to students that have completed the ETHS science graduation requirements, Biology and Chemistry.

For additional information regarding the all course offerings, refer to the ETHS Course Request Guide.

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About the Contributor
Ethan Ravi, News Editor
Hi! My name is Ethan Ravi (he/him). I’m a junior, and this year I’m the News Editor, as well as the Resident Food Critic. This is my third year on staff, previously I was the Assistant News Editor (sophomore year), and a staff writer (freshman year). I love writing for the Evanstonian because I get to work with our wonderful staff to tell important Evanston stories. Outside of the paper, I play tennis for the ETHS team, work at a local tennis shop, compete on the Math Team and participate in peer tutoring. In my free time, I enjoy reading, seeing friends and family, playing the piano and drinking coffee.
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