Science department transitions CPC class from ninth to eighth grade

Avi Sholkoff

Staff Writer

For the 2011-2012 school year, Ms. Nancy Sackett, science department chair, and the rest of the department made a decision to eliminate the previously mandatory Concepts of Chemistry and Physics (CPC) course at the high school level. The decision was the right one, according to Sackett.

“By taking chemistry in their freshman year, this allows [the students] to complete chemistry, biology and physics in three years, leaving their senior year open for science electives. Milken middle school students still take CPC, just in eighth grade. The concepts taught are mostly the same,” Sackett said.

Sackett went on to explain that the main reason for the change was because the science department felt although CPC is a valuable course, it can be successfully taught in eighth grade.

By transitioning CPC to eighth grade, the department wanted to challenge the students to learn at a higher level. These skills will help the ninth graders as they go on to more advanced courses.

However, some Milken freshmen feel that taking chemistry in ninth grade is difficult.

“It was very hard in the beginning of the year. It was a new subject, and it was really fast,” Adi Hadad ’15 said. Hadad went on to explain that she had to go lishma countless times and says that a tutor is beneficial.

Honors chemistry student Roy Ziv ’15 likes chemistry but still finds it difficult.

“It is sometimes challenging, and the concepts are hard to grasp,” Ziv said. “CPC was a little bit of everything, it included just the basics of chemistry, and this year, we are going over all the details of [the subject].”

Elon Zlotnik, ’12 believes that CPC was helpful. He says that the class integrates both physics and chemistry well and that it is a good foundation for both of those classes. This year, Zlotnik is currently taking physics.

“[CPC] helped me a lot. I still remember things from [the class]. It taught me things that I wouldn’t have had access to,” he said.

Featured image by Ms. Morlok.