By Zachary ChanMin
WISE is a program that sets our school apart from many others. It is available exclusively to seniors and satisfies both English and history requirements needed to graduate high school.
WISE is an acronym for Wise Individualized Student Experience. This program provides students an opportunity to explore their interests by allowing them to choose their own topic of research.
The class meets only once a week. The students are split up into committees, each being responsible for a separate task throughout the span of the year. For example, one group is responsible for advertising the WISE program to juniors within the school and another is responsible for creating a documentary recording the events of the class throughout the year.
The entire class is centered around a final presentation which spans the length of an entire period. In the beginning of the year, students choose any topic that interests them. They then research this topic throughout the year with the assistance of a mentor with whom they meet once a week. This mentor is a teacher of the student’s choice and helps them complete their research.
Ilana Bronfman ’16 said, “Presenting a full period length project to my class helped me overcome a longtime fear of public speaking, and will hopefully help me succeed at my future endeavors in both my educational and social paths.”
Ilana Bronfman’s final presentation investigates the patients and surgeons involved in botched surgeries. Her project spans 40 minutes and includes 30 minutes of verbal presentation and 10 minutes of videos elaborating on the topic.
Raoul Malhotra ’16 is doing his final presentation on the hazards of smoking cigarettes and second hand smoking. His project showed the dangers of smoking to the individual smoking as well as to those surrounding them, including pets. He provided many surprising statistics and showed a deep understanding of his topic.
He stated, “Final presentations allow us to demonstrate everything that we have learned and accumulated on the chosen topic. As we present our finding our classmates and teachers, we are not only learning something new about the topic but they are learning something new about our personality and ourselves as people.”