by ARIEL HARSINAY
The first two weeks of May are rough for any student in AP classes. Students work hard all year preparing for tests but can seek salvation in the endless array of movies and “study hall” classes that follow after these tests. For the most part, if your AP class doesn’t have a Regents exam, you’re completely finished with the curriculum.
However, this year, Oceanside is changing that. The AP Experience is offered to any AP classes without a Regents exam at the end of the year. If a teacher chooses to participate, you no longer have to go to the class after the AP exam. This is an exciting proposition for many students and teachers. The AP experience gives us a chance to spend our time on an independent project. With a rigorous course load, students often do not have time to pursue many of their own interests and extra curricular activities. Now you have the chance to do that one thing that you’ve always said you’d love to do or learn, if you only had the time. The AP experience is pretty much open to any independent project ideas. Projects range from learning new languages to volunteering for organizations to getting internships. Students participating get to choose their teacher mentors. Students will have weekly meetings with their mentors in order to record their progress and make sure that the projects are progressing smoothly. Two hours per week are required per project for each AP class participating in the experience.
“The AP experience is going to give me a look into my potential future,” says Sam Girshick, a junior who is planning on volunteering at Mercy Hospital for her AP experience. Sam hopes to potentially pursue a career in medicine. The AP experience is giving many students the opportunity to explore activities that may even help them figure out what they want to major in in college or even have a career in. Some projects are even applicable now, such as junior Sam Cohen’s project. Sam is going to be learning Python, a programming language, which she will be able to use this summer for her college research internship.
Many teachers are choosing not to participate in the program, even if their classes do not have Regents exams, for a variety of reasons. Some teachers want to see how the experience works out this year in other classes before choosing to pursue it themselves next year. Other teachers have final projects for the year or hope to teach relevant material that was not part of the AP curriculum.
For my AP project, I am going to use my one or two periods per day (when I would have had AP Chemistry) to go to the art room and paint. Since art did not fit into my schedule this year, the AP experience is giving me the opportunity to pursue something I enjoy. Like many other students and teachers, I’m excited to see how the experience works out.