High School Science
It has been a successful year for the General Biology students. A lot of online learning has been taking place and all the students are ready to complete their works. Students have been attending zoom meetings for their lectures. They have completed three units: cellular respiration and fermentation, cell growth, division, and reproduction, and introduction to genetics. The learning has involved several activities where students applied mathematical probability to predict the genotype and phenotype combinations of the first and second filial generations in genetic crosses.
Students in Chemistry 10 have been working hard in online learning. They have completed two units: Equilibrium/reaction rates and Thermochemistry. To learn these difficult subjects students have had to attend Zoom meetings or watch recorded Zoom meetings for lectures. It is especially difficult for students who have returned textbooks already, since using a PDF version of the textbook is a bit harder to navigate. For the last few weeks of online learning, Chemistry students will complete a project in which they research a specific type of poison to find out the relationship between dosage and toxicity of poisons, to understand how organisms (including humans) respond to the presence of various types of poisons, and to present their information so that decisions about chemicals can be made on facts rather than misinformation or exaggeration.
General Physics 11/12
The class was well on its way to completing all the units. However, due to the pandemic, the momentum of the class slowed down due to the inability of the class to perform inquiry-based activities since the classes are now online. The unit on Vibrations and Waves was successfully completed with the inquiry-based activity done via computer simulations. The students worked well during the online learning period to complete the remaining units: Electric Force and Fields and Circuits and Circuit Elements. There is no doubt that Physics can be more fun during face-to-face classes. However, due to the advancement of technology and computer software, it was still possible to learn Physics without the benefit of hands-on inquiry-based activities.
The Environmental Science class has spent online learning on a variety of topics. Environmental science is a very broad subject, so students are able to learn about a variety of concepts and their context around the world. There were presentations on forests of the world, public lands, and other projects. Students had to research an environmental organization and create a brochure based on that group. Environmental groups they researched included Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, WWF, Environmental Defense Fund, and more. Then students looked to their future: they researched a career in environmental science, wrote an interview script, and created a video wherein they interviewed one another pretending (over Zoom) to be someone with the career. This week students are finishing up a project wherein they research one local environmental concern or problem in Indonesia or their countries of residence.
Over the last several weeks students have been spending long hours studying for their AP Chemistry test. This involved completing countless Free Response Questions, watching lectures provided by the College Board, reviewing notes and concepts, and asking clarifying questions. For most students, studying depended on independent motivation and dedication. Finally, on 15 May at 1:00 AM, students took their AP Chemistry test. The feedback received has not been overwhelmingly positive: several students had technical difficulties (for which they will be able to make up the test at a later date), and with the time limit of 45 minutes divided between two long-form questions, students were unable to check over their work after finishing. However, most students are relieved to have the test completed.
AP Biology students have been studying several hours for their exam. This has involved watching lectures provided by the College Board, reviewing their notes, and solving Free Response Questions in units 1 – 6. The students took their AP exam on May 18 at 1:00 AM. They are excited because the sample questions in AP Biology review videos uploaded by the College Board on You Tube were similar to the actual exam. They hope to get an excellent grade despite the fact that the exam time was very short.
Middle School Music
We have entered our final term of the academic year in Middle School Music. Schooling is very different these days. Before Spring Break, the school was running as usual; with teachers and students interacting face-to-face. However, after Spring Break, we have had to carry out online learning with students, using Google Classroom, Zoom and other online tools that can be used to teach students from afar.
Middle school music class usually has a strong emphasis on practical activities. Students would normally collaborate by playing musical instruments and singing together in class to build harmony. As a culminated project we would usually hold a Music Concert at the end of the semester.
Despite the current situation, students have still been working on their music talents and have been showcasing this by consistently sending videos to demonstrate their progress, reading and answering some music passages and training via Google Classroom. In this time, teacher and students are still able to interact actively and that has enabled strong and worthwhile learning to take place in Middle School Band. We hope Covid-19 will end soon and the school can continue as before.