I submitted a proposal in the Spring of 2016 to create a new hybrid STEM Robotics and IT Computer Programming pathway. This entire pathway starts with the STEM course, Principles of Technology.
This course is a very hands-on Physics class with a major CTE flair. The majority of the class, at least 60% must be taught in a hands-on lab setting.
Unknown to me, our Physics teacher has been having problems with enrollment in his classes. Namely, he does not have sufficient enrollment to offer the AP Physics class.
He is concerned that more students will leave Physics for the Principles of Technology Course since it’s more “fun”.
The Bigger Problem
To me, this highlights a bigger problem. According to the Physics teacher, his hands are tied because he has a standardized TRS (formerly CScope) test he has to utilize. However, our superintendent has said that these are now only diagnostic and don’t have to be taken for a grade.
He honestly has the freedom to make the Physics (non-AP) into anything he would like to. I think there is unspoken concern in transitioning from a class that is majority lecture/minority lab to the opposite.
In my original proposal, students were to only be signed up for the Principles of Technology course of they were entering the Robotics / Computer Programming pathway. Otherwise, they should plan on take Physics.
In the future, I will know to discuss ventures that intrude into the core with the core teachers it may impact while drafting any proposal.
I will also be interested to see just how much of an impact this will have on the enrollment of our Physics classes and home many of my Principles of Technology students go on to Computer Programming and the rest of the pathway.