Doubts Arise Surrounding Chemistry Curriculum

by Alex Nnabue ‘18

Many science teachers have expressed concerns that the new Chemistry curriculum may no longer prepare its students for AP Chemistry because the two courses are no longer in sync. “A lot of things that are helpful for the AP Chemistry exam are not here anymore,” explained Honors Chemistry teacher Mary Baker. “So in terms of material covered, it prepares students less. In terms of more critical thinking and discourse, it prepares them more.”

The revamped chemistry curriculum was created to prepare students for the new state testing requirement Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA), which will be taken at the end of junior year, starting in 2018, to replace the former high school Biology HSA requirement.

The MISA focuses on real-world phenomena and topics such as biology, chemistry, physics, and earth based science. Since Sherwood does not require students to enroll in earth-based science, many of its material has been integrated into chemistry. This new approach has led to a more general chemistry course that touches on more broad areas such as geoscience, astronomy, and atmospheric science, which deemphasizes the previously technical and skill-specific chemistry curriculum.