By Miriam Gabay ’15 and Angelika Kowalska ’15
WISE is a program offered to seniors that focuses on self expression.
“It’s a good program for the college level experience and you get an opportunity to be independent and responsible,” said Ashell Tisin ’15.
In this class students select a topic they want to learn more about and spend the year researching their topics. With the help of their mentors, the students use their new knowledge to create a 40 minute presentation that they have to share with the class starting in April of their second semester.
In order to give the students time to collect their information, the seniors are given a different schedule to fulfill their required government and economic credits. The first semester, WISE members take a mixed government and economics class along with an English class. Second semester, their English class is dropped and students meet once a week until presentations begin. The remaining four days allow students to meet with their mentors and work on their projects. Their English grade for the second semester is based on daily journals the students use to reflect their feelings and write down the information they find on their project.
Students are allowed to pick almost any topic from shoes, to animals to even food. Monica Riskevich ’15, a student in WISE, has decided to do her project on the difference between over the counter drugs and natural remedies.
“It has been hard trying to find information without simply going to the library,” she said. “I can’t perform experiments at home or in school because of the lack of resources and knowledge in that field. I have to find alternate methods to gather my information.”
Other students like Ashell Tisin ’15 are using this opportunity to talk about important topics that pertain to them specifically. Ashell is doing her project on the evolution of women equality in sports with a focus on track and field.
“ My track coach, Coach Mucurio, serves as a great mentor,” Tisin said. “ He helps me a lot with the research and everything he cant tell me, I find on the internet.”
Students who may not be sure if they want to join WISE need to understand the type of person they are.
“I enjoy research classes and class presentations that allow me to share my knowledge with my peers,” said Shady Azad ’15.
Despite positive feedback, WISE may not be for everyone.
“If you’re not somebody who likes to speak in front of a large group of people, its not for you,” said Jacalyn Swintelsky ’15.
However, students are always welcome to break out of their shell.
“Join wise. Just do it,” said Riskevich ’15. “I enjoy myself sitting in this class more than I would in a government class where I would be told what to read and what to do.”
Interested students are welcome to sit in on presentations periods 4 and 5 in room 245 and can pick up their applications in room 247.