Science department emphasizes new methods

Nathan Huang

The science department is focusing on methods of learning that have emerged in the early 21st century, such as 3-Dimensional Learning and phenomenon based learning. Both these approaches focus less on having students memorize material, but instead to explore themselves why things happen.

Science department Chair Jennifer Drudge says that phenomenon based learning provides real-life scenarios and story-lines for students.

“In the past, we would introduce something to students, and then we would tell them the answers. So the idea of a story-line is: Introduce a phenomenon to students, and then provide activities and labs to allow students to explore the answers to those, and then come back to it at the end of the unit and say ‘Look, now you can answer why this specific thing happens.’”

Drudge also stated some of the classes that have built phenomenon based learning into their curriculum, such as Biomedical Science.

“…Yeah, I think that one of PLTW’s really strong suits is that every one of their units has relevance to the students.”

Maya Sesha, Freshman and student in third year Biomedical Science (PLTW), feels like her experience in the class, which is a mainly 3-Dimensional/story based class has been very interesting.

“…Um, the units are cool because they could be applied to like real-life events sometimes. The story-line is overall really fun.“