Hopewell Valley Central High School is adding four new courses that will be available in the 2017-2018 school year. They are Zoology, Statistical Reasoning in Sports and Media, Game Theory and Mathematical Recreation, and Financial Algebra.
Below gives an overview of each as described by the district:
The purpose of this course is to offer students an opportunity to learn about and understand the living organisms they will encounter in the world around them, and the anatomy and physiology that adapts these organisms to their particular environment. Studying zoology will also allow students to gain a greater understanding of conservation biology and marine sciences. Studying biology from a molecular approach has resulted in the elimination of systems biology and the study of invertebrates and vertebrates from our current biology curriculum. Students continue to be interested in learning about these organisms but have no formal class opportunity to do so. Also, as students take the SAT Subject tests, they find themselves at a disadvantage in these areas and the development of this course will help fill that gap.
Statistical Reasoning in Sports and Media
Although not yet a state requirement, many colleges now expect high school students to have taken four years of math. Also, not only do colleges expect students to have four (or more) years of high school math, many majors require students to take a course in statistical reasoning. This 21st century skill is a reflection of the increasingly data driven world that we live in. The purpose of this course, Statistical Reasoning in Sports and Media, is to provide students with a class that introduces them to statistical reasoning in a context that is rich with examples likely to spark their interest. And, although the course uses sports and current events as a context, it isn’t primarily about sports. It’s focus is teaching students about statistics. Note: This course replaces Introduction to Statistics.
Game Theory and Mathematical Recreation
Game Theory is an abstraction of games. The level of abstraction makes it applicable to a wide variety of situations that may not at first appear to be a game. Students will have the opportunity to analyze choices, make strategic moves, and interact with multiple players per game. Some of the more well-known topics in recreational mathematics are magic squares, fractals, logic puzzles and mathematical chess problems. Mathematical games are multiplayer games whose rules, strategies, and outcomes can be studied and explained using mathematics. The players of the game may not need to use explicit mathematics in order to play mathematical games. For example, Mancala is a mathematical game because mathematicians can study it using combinatorial game theory, but no mathematics is necessary in order to play it.
Financial Algebra will replace a current half year elective math course called “Introduction to Discrete Mathematics (IDM)”. We feel that the IDM course is outdated in teaching real-life applications of math. Financial Algebra will teach students more practical day-to-day applications of mathematics which are important for independent living as a young adult. The topics in Financial Algebra will serve students of all levels. Students will learn how to take care of their finances and will go more in-depth than the Personal Finance/Economics graduation requirement. Financial Algebra will also cover additional topics not in the Personal Finance/Economics curriculum such as, banking, budgeting, taxes, investing, and income.
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