By Joseph Lee

Staff Writer

Pictured above: Combined Music Tech and Musical Theatre GT students hard at work

A student’s school schedule is an important part of their high school experience. This is how most student days are spent during the school year, to learn and to interact with others. There are various classes Hammond offers that aim to reach the wide array of interests the student body has.

With most schedules consisting of seven classes, however, more than half of that is usually taken up by the required courses needed to graduate. This allows for a lesser chance to fit in all the electives a student might be interested in. 

The wide range of electives offered can be great in the fact that there are more available classes for students’ different interest, but it also ends up filtering more popular electives at the forefront. A lot of students don’t know about the different classes offered at Hammond like our Speech, Music Tech, and Women’s Studies classes. 

Senior Kate Rossmark takes Environmental Science AP which is being run for the first time in person this year. She said, “I really enjoyed environmental science because it goes more in-depth on a topic I already learned about before… The labs we’ve done so far have been really fun.”

There is a mix of outdoor labs, like making chalk diagrams of biogeochemical cycles, and an emphasis on group work. This class teaches the various processes and parts of ecology as well as its impact on the earth.

Ms. French, the teacher for environmental science AP commented, ¨[The class] is a combination of workshop and conventional styles. I really like students to take the lead in their learning.”

Even though this is only the second time this course is being run at Hammond, she is able to connect with other teachers in the county and through social media to get more resources for how she might run her lessons. 

Senior Thomas Williams is another student who took a lesser known elective, speech.

Speech is “…a small class which makes it better to get to know everyone inside, and it’s just an interesting class overall to help you for your future… [right now we are] learning how to cut down different speeches to narrow them down into what you could say in 3-4 minutes.”

He found that there are benefits to these electives having smaller class sizes. Having a smaller class can allow students to get more attention and focus compared to bigger classes. 

Mrs. Tobiason, who is the theatre and music tech teacher at Hammond, commented, “If a student wants to explore [an interest], it’d be a shame to not let the student even try it.”