Prospect students will have the opportunity to take Physical Science, a new science elective, beginning next school year. Those in the class will be able to perform lab-based experiments and learn about science’s connection to the real world. (Photo courtesy of @phspagephysics on Instagram)
Prospect students will have the opportunity to take Physical Science, a new science elective, beginning next school year. Those in the class will be able to perform lab-based experiments and learn about science’s connection to the real world. (Photo courtesy of @phspagephysics on Instagram)

Re-introduced course looks to inspire students’ love for science

November 10, 2022

Starting next school year, Prospect will be re-introducing a science elective titled “Physical Science”. On Oct. 28, Associate Principal for Instruction Joyce Kim sent out an email via PHS Main offering details about the course. 

Physical Science will be offered to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. According to the email, sophomores can take the class following biology or as juniors following chemistry. The elective is geared towards students who do not plan on taking an AP science class or taking the path towards a STEM-related career path.

Current physics teacher Michelle Tantillo (who as of right now will be the main instructor for the class) believes that this course is a great alternative for students, especially since the “typical” science classes are deemed as rigorous by many who are enrolled in them.

“There’s for sure a demand for the class. I think partly because we have found that there’s just a lot of kids that struggle when they get to chemistry [and physics],” Tantillo said. “… Just because they are hard classes doesn’t mean that it’s not accessible but if it’s not your passion it makes it that much harder.”

In the class, students will learn about topics covered in chemistry and physics classes, but also some not covered in those full-year courses. Students will work through labs, gain skills to understand scientific literacy and explore the connection between science and everyday life.

“Everyone can enjoy science no matter your major or future career path.””

— Michelle Tantillo

As Physical Science can help fulfill the science graduation requirement, Tantillo thinks that it can serve as a way for students not going into STEM to love science and not be weighed down by it, while also freeing up their schedule to take other electives. For example, Tantillo imagines that this class would have been helpful for her twin sister when she was in high school, as she is now in the costume design industry.

“I teach physics and I have a twin sister, she went into costume design so for her, this was a long time ago, but this would have been an awesome path for her,” Tantillo said. “Not that she couldn’t do the science classes [available] but that would have allowed more time … to allow her to take everything she would have wanted.”

Those who are interested in being enrolled can contact Tantillo with any questions, as well as discuss whether or not this class would be a good fit for them. Additionally, science teachers are recommending their current biology and chemistry students for Physical Science through the course recommendation process currently taking place at Prospect. 

In all, Tantillo is most excited about being able to help students discover their love of science, or possibly pave the way for those looking to re-discover their love for the subject.

“I am excited to get people who maybe are not originally passionate about science or that’s not their first love, excited and having fun with physics or chemistry or whatever that may look like in terms of science,” Tantillo said. “… Hopefully we can find some love for science because I think everyone can enjoy science no matter your major or future career path.”

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    Rodney SkrzynskiNov 10, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    Things sure change. Back in the stone age when I attended Prospect, Physical Science was a required class. The syllabus taught was “terminal” for students not planning to take chemistry or physics and “non terminal” for the rest. As a fan of science I’m glad to see it’s return.

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