South Orangetown Central School District

TZHS Elective Fair

Tappan Zee High School students (and a few teachers) spent lunch periods last Thursday promoting elective courses to get students thinking about registration options for next year. “We are proud of the course offerings available at TZ! There is something for everyone. Our staff does a wonderful job creating these unique experiences and we encourage our students to explore new opportunities available to them,” said Principal Melissa Luciano.

Strategically positioned just outside of zMart, the student-managed store, Vincent and Charlie pitched passersby on Business courses. “I’m in the third year of a four-year pathway. It’s the most relevant major in that it teaches important skills for life in general, like budgeting, as well as for a career,” said Vincent.

Sports and Entertainment Marketing was a favorite course for Charlie, a huge sports fan. “Learning about everything behind the scenes that has to come together to create success was really interesting.”

Down the hall, Ria, Ava and Valencia were drawing crowds considering a math elective. “AP Statistics is a great class to take to understand the world better and to be more in the know about the information you consume,” explained Ria. “The teacher is very engaging and there are a lot of hands-on activities. It’s more conceptual–not as much about formulas as it is about logic and problem-solving.”

At the Project Lead the Way table, Michael and Colin offered advice for those considering the Engineering pathway. “I started with Design & Drawing for Production in middle school. The courses are nice because you can earn college credits and Principles (of Engineering) is a great way to get started learning physics,” Michael advised.

For newbies, Colin suggested Introduction to Engineering Design. “It’s a good place to get started and get the feel of engineering courses. You use Autodesk Inventor (CAD) software to create 3D models. From there, you can move on to classes like Principles, which has more math.”

Surrounded by a collection of colorful student projects, Anabel encouraged peers to make space in their schedule for art. “Creativity is so important. Taking an art class gives you a break from math, science and English and it can be a lot of fun,” she said. “Graphic Art and Media is a good entry point because you use Photoshop. If you enjoy it, it can inspire you to further expand your artistic skills.”

Over at the Computer Science station, Remy and Shayan talked tech. “These courses teach you relevant skills for a digital world–and there are so many career options in this field!” exclaimed Remy. “There’s a new FIRST Robotics class which is super interesting because you can learn about robotics even if you’re not able to be on our robotics team, which can be a big time commitment and difficult for kids who play sports.”

“There is a lot of creativity and problem solving,” Shayan added. “You choose your own projects, build your own ideas–your learning is really driven by what you want to do.”

World Language teachers Kristy Walsh and Jacqueline Ritz introduced two new electives on offer from their department: Sociolinguistics and The Legacy of Ancient Rome and the Latin Language.“Sociolinguistics will investigate how the dialects we speak impact our identity. We’ll focus specifically on the differing linguistic profiles of people living in the U.S.,” noted Ritz. “The class will be taught in English, so it could be a great option for a student who is interested in language but may struggle with learning a world language. It also may appeal to World Language students who want to expand their learning.”

“We’re always trying to teach language through the lens of culture. These new electives enable teachers to more specifically focus on what we may highlight, but not have time to really dive into, in our language and culture courses,” Walsh explained.

AP Psychology was a stand-out favorite for Asia and Sara, who staffed the social studies area and cited engaging instruction and comfortable pacing as key selling points. Sara shared, “It’s a college level class, but it doesn’t feel like one. And it’s so interesting that you always want to pay attention. Our teacher uses scenarios to help us understand what we’re learning so that we can apply it.”

Representing the English Department were Clare, Isa and Katie, whose personal experiences spanned the gamut of offerings, from Journalism to Creative Writing to Law and Literature. “I took Journalism in ninth grade and wrote four articles for our school newspaper. The class really helped me learn to write in a completely different style than I was used to,” reflected Clare. “I took Creative Writing last year and loved it so much that my plan is to study it in college.”