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What are our 12th grade scholars working on?

December 2, 2019

As you may or may not know, the senior scholars of Del Lago don’t have an IDT project to complete. So, what are they working on then? Well with classes like AP Calculus AB and BC, AP Statistics, AP Spanish, AP English and Government, Physics, and Medical Interventions, they’re working on a whole bunch of things! 


Let’s start with AP Calculus. Scholars taking Calculus AB, the equivalent of one semester of a college-level calculus course, are hard at work learning how to find minimum and maximum values. For example, finding when a company’s profit will reach its maximum amount. This may sound familiar, but instead of using a calculator to find these answers, they are actually learning how to DO the programming behind the calculator.


In Calculus BC, which is equivalent to two semesters of a college calculus course, scholars have undertaken the task of using multiple variables to calculate a rate of change. Mr. Sellstrom’s example was that when an airplane is approaching land, they can use this kind of calculus to determine the distance from land given the plane’s speed, as well as wind speed and direction of flight. Simply put, calculus is the mathematics of motion.


In AP Statistics, scholars are studying probability and expected value. Probability is the likelihood that something will happen, a number assigned to the possibility of something occurring. Like if there is a 90% chance of rain, it is probably going to rain. In Ms. Farell’s class, scholars are currently taking a look at how this is used in game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Deal or No Deal. 


Expected value is like a long-running average. Like Ms. Farrell said, “your average score from a video game you’ve played many times can be used to predict what your future score is going to be, because you have played that game and gotten a score so many other times.” In her class, scholars are looking at how casinos use this to ensure that on average, the casino is the one making the money, and that the consumer is the one losing money. 


Moving along to Physics, scholars are just finishing up their unit on kinematics, the study of motion. They have been applying their knowledge of kinematics to various athletic activities, including soccer, volleyball, and basketball. For one of their labs, they videoed people walking on the field, and then calculated the velocity and acceleration of the walking. Additionally, scholars determined the change in height in regards to time of tossing a basketball, throwing a volleyball, and kicking a soccer ball. They also studied collisions, by testing two cars running into each other, with different trials using variables like magnets and weights, and calculated the velocity and kinetic energy.


In Medical Interventions, scholars are studying the overall topic of the phenomena of antibiotic resistance, which is actually a big current issue in the medical field. Scientists are trying to figure out how to counter this resistance to antibiotics. Similarly, scholars are studying an outbreak of bacterial meningitis. They have created a bacteria resistant to several antibiotics in order to further study the process in efforts to try and figure out how they can stop this resistance from happening. Bacteria have genes for antibiotic resistance, which they can share with other bacteria, so scholars have forced bacteria to share their genes so that scholars can further study this phenomena.


In AP Spanish, students will be learning about various themes throughout the year. They have already covered science and technology, and family/community. Currently, scholars are learning about beauty, including how to describe something as beautiful or not beautiful. They have also been debating about the standards of beauty, as in what makes something beautiful. Buenas suerte, eruditos!


Last, but most certainly not least, there’s AP English and Government. Scholars recently finished taking an on-demand essay as practice for the AP exam in May. For the on-demand essay, scholars had 60 minutes to practice their rhetorical strategies by writing a full-blown essay on a prompt that they had never seen before. Their current focus is government, and they’re learning all about the Supreme Court. Scholars will have the opportunity to research a case from the Supreme Court, and make a video explaining the importance of their case.


It’s also that time of year again where seniors are getting ready to apply to college! Over the course of the next few weeks, twelfth grade scholars will be focused on filling out their college applications. 


Well there you have it, the inside scoop on what the seniors are up too. Let’s wish our class of 2020 good luck with their classes!


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