As a two-mod course taught for back-to-back blocks, Chemistry is designed to be an immersion course. The ten week class allows for students to experience demos, discussion, group work, and more. The class becomes a community, where students feel comfortable asking questions, pushing themselves as learners, and learning how to be scientists. Chemistry is taught as a college preparatory chemistry course, with the intention that students will leave having mastered the fundamental concepts of chemical change, lab skills, and critical thinking.
Karen Bruker enjoys teaching Chemistry because no two classes are ever the same. She lets her students drive the class, and she feels well-equipped to let their collective curiosity take the wheel. She loves how "they digest the material and come up with connections on their own, connecting what they learn to the world, and many times, leading us into other labs and demos that come from their own curiosity."
In her classes, Karen wants students to leave the class with the confidence to tackle any scientific material they may encounter, either in high school or later in college. It is a course rich with academic rigor, and Karen specifically uses an A.P. chemistry book to facilitate exploration of challenging material. It is a high caliber book with strong connections to practical real life application, and a rich online component.
"We’re all on our own journey of learning," Karen reflects, "and I design this course so that students will appreciate science and be pushed." Chemistry is just one of many upper level courses students can take to fulfill credit, including Marine Biology, Ethics of Science, and Animal Behavior.