Philosophy: Scientific literacy is vital for all students to become informed citizens in order to make responsible and ethical decisions about both personal and global issues. The science content area provides many laboratory-based opportunities to achieve scientific literacy through a diverse offering of core and elective courses.

So what courses should students take? Three credits of science are required for graduation at Essex High School. College bound students should take a minimum of four years of science.

Some course titles include level designations related to the rigor of the course:
• 300 level (also referred to as AP, Honors, or Advanced) courses are for students who have demonstrated exceptional ability in and a love for the subject matter.
• 200 level courses are for students who have demonstrated a high performance record in the subject matter and who will benefit from courses that have a rigorous curriculum and challenging pace.
• 100 level courses are for students who may choose not to continue the study of the subject matter after having met their graduation requirements.
• Courses with no level assigned are open to students who have taken any indicated prerequisites.

Grades 9 & 10
Core course placement in Science in 9th and 10th grade is based on student readiness and interests, but does not limit student access to courses in grades 11 and 12. All courses are designed to generate strong science literacy for all students.

Students interested in multiple AP science courses as 11th and 12th graders may want to take two science core courses in either Grade 9 or 10. This is known as “doubling” and is available with a science teacher recommendation. Students will also want to consider how their math courses align with their choices for science when deciding whether to double.

Grades 11 & 12
Course placement in 11th and 12th grade should be based on a student’s career interest and the competitive nature of their college choices. Doubling in 11th and 12th grade is quite common because of the wide variety of science electives.

Choosing the right Science course is very important.   Follow this link to see a flowchart that shows possible pathways to access Science course throughout your 4-year career. science11

Essex High School Science Flowchart 07-08

Solar News

Last year EHS applied for a grant for the Solar in Schools program initiated by Sen. Bernie Sanders.   Ten schools in Vermont were awarded $50,000 to install solar panels on their schools.   The Center for Technology – Essex was one of the 10 schools.   With the state solar incentives, we now have $76,000 dollars worth of solar panels installed and working on the roof of the Library.   It has taken longer than expected, but 55 solar panels have been installed that are capable of generating 12.7 kW of electrical power.   This is in addition to the 6 panels with 1 kW capability that the senior class two years ago had installed on the roof of C-wing.   My thanks to Bruce for staying on top of the contractor to finish the job and to Rob and Kathy for their support of the grant.

There is a monitor in the Main Office that faces out towards the Main Lobby with a wattometer prominently featured that shows how much electrical power is currently being generated, what we have generated over the course of the day and what has been generated over the lifetime of the panels.   The dollar amount of electrical generation is also shown.   The photovoltaic panels have been up and running for about a week and a half now.

The panels can be seen from the 2nd floor window on the east end of C-wing looking out onto the Library roof.   This adds up to a greener school, less fossil fuel and nuclear power usage and a smaller carbon footprint in addition to helping the school budget a small amount.   Thought you might be interested. – Mr. Pennington