The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

New STEM math class set to start next year

AMPED class aims to fill the gap between classrooms and the real world
Fin Tholen

Next year, a new STEM math class called AMPED will be implemented into the Lawrence High curriculum. Open to incoming freshmen, this Algebra 1 and Geometry class will apply their math skills to hands-on projects that include screen printing and constructing skateboards. 

The math and CTE departments will be teaming up to teach the class, filling two class periods of students’ schedules. CTE teacher Mike Evans has volunteered to take on the course as an instructor and the math teacher remains undetermined. Counselor Jennifer Hare explained the structure of the course. 

“There might be one day where you’re really focusing on the hands-on and the next day where it is the math,” Hare said.

AMPED will also be introduced to schools on a national level, with the goal of making math more practical for students. For many students, math is a dreaded and confusing subject. This course aims to alleviate the frustration many feel when working out math problems with little to no visualization. 

“[It’s] for students that want to see that practical side of things,”  Evans said. “But you’re still going to be responsible for all the same knowledge.” 

The Algebra aspect of the class will focus on business oriented skills, while the Geometry portion will be applied to physical projects made in class. Seeing how math is used in the real world will display how math worksheets can transform into projects that spark interest from students. 

“Most kids at some point have said, ‘when am I ever gonna use this?’” Evans said. “Well, we’re going to teach you why you need to know it.” 

Many schools, including Lawrence High, hope to shift all algebra and geometry classes to AMPED over the coming years. Overall, Evans hopes that this class will show students that they can be creative in a stereotypically non-creative class.

“I am not a traditional teacher,” Evans said. “I didn’t graduate from high school, go to college, get a degree in teaching, and start teaching. I struggled through getting through high school because it just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t get it.”

Hare also pointed out how having a class with both algebra and geometry will be helpful in retaining information. Typically freshmen take an Algebra class, then continue their math journey with Geometry their sophomore year. Developing those skills at the same time will likely improve state testing scores, as both concepts are tested on. 

“It’s like algebra and then, flip the switch, geometry,” Hare said. “You forget a lot during that year that you have geometry. So we have two really new math programs.” 

Evans believes that his involvement in this new program will allow him to help a lot of students. 

“Giving somebody the ability to learn it and not have to struggle later,” Evans said. “That’s why I got into it.”

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About the Contributors
Ava Lee, Reporter
I'm a second-year reporter on the journalism staff. When I'm not working on a story, I'm playing tennis or practicing guitar. I enjoy watching High Fidelity with Zoe Kravitz and mastering my cold brew recipe.
Fin Tholen, Photographer
I'm a second-year photographer on the journalism staff. When I'm not taking photos, I study German and do martial arts. Last year, I won an award for my photography. If you're looking for me, you'll probably find me in room 306.

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