Physics Is First for These Freshmen
Byline: Vincent Pierri email@example.com
Traditionally, high schools teach biology first, then chemistry, and finally physics. But Community High School District 117 has flipped the sequence by implementing the "Physics First" curriculum at both Antioch and Lakes Community high schools. And now, at the halfway point of the first year, teachers say they are excited about the program.
"This is a mindset change," said Lakes Principal Jim McKay. "It is a fundamentally different way of teaching science. It lays a better foundation for the study of chemistry and biology than the traditional model."
The idea was sparked when McKay was heading up the science department at Antioch High School a number of years ago. McKay was troubled by the number of students turning their backs on science courses in their junior and senior years. After completing the required biology and chemistry courses, many were reluctant to move on to physics. He had heard success stories about schools who chose to reverse the sequence, and worked to implement the program in the district. There was a five-year pilot plan before it was launched this year.
Proponents of the switch say starting with a very hands-on science like physics makes more sense. …