Humanities Program Needs Equal Opportunities

By Za-Asiah James ’19

The Humanities Institute, one of the enrollment programs at Midwood, is starting to feel like the second cousin to the Medical Science Institution (MedSci).

Recently the Humanities Institute lost one of the most vital programs offered to humanities students, Latin. This program focused on studying humanities and sciences through the study of Latin, while also supplying students with the knowledge needed for careers and degrees in all fields of study in a global economy. Although the program was lost due to students lack of interest in the topic, it now puts humanities students at a disadvantage because we have one less course completely unique to us.

The requirements to get accepted into the Humanities Institute and MedSci Institute are the same. Potential candidates have to have a 90 and above average in their 8th grade English, mathematics, social studies, and science classes. While also having scored a 3 or 4 on both the Math and English standardized tests. So why might we feel “lesser” when it comes to our peers in the MedSci Institute? Let’s see.

When looking at Midwoods information pamphlet for new students and their parents, the Medical Science Institute is described as a “challenging sequence of courses focusing on science and mathematics” while the Humanities Institute just “concentrates on English, social studies, and languages.”

Both programs start sophomore year, where students are asked to choose different tracks that they will take for the rest of the year. MedSci offers Science Research, Pre-Engineering and Modern Science.

The Science Research track focuses on “the excitement of science research” where students take electives in Research Methods and Research Projects. Students in this track will be eligible to volunteer in top N.Y.C research laboratories with the completion of an original research project. Later, students can enter their project in science competitions like the Intel Science Talent Search or the Siemens Westinghouse Science Competition.

The Pre-Engineering program offers electives in Robotics and Advanced Robotics, where students are taught to build and program robots to complete various tasks. Students are also given the opportunity to take the advanced course, Mechatronics, and become a member of Midwoods Robotics Team.

Modern Science introduces students to the current scientific topics and medical practices. Students will take courses in Medical Issues and/or psychobiology. The Medical

Issues course investigates the morality of certain medical practices and the impact of current medical policies on the medical field. Students in psychobiology examine the anatomy and physiology of the brain and mind.

On the other hand, the Humanities Institute now offers four different courses since Latin is no longer an option, which are AP Capstone Seminar, Music, CTE Law and CTE Media Arts.

AP Capstone is a college level research course for students who have displayed academic excellence at Midwood, although it is open to all students who are interested. Students are also able to take the AP Capstone: Research course senior year and earn the AP Capstone Diploma.

The Music program is offered to students with previous experience in instruments or vocal music, so they can strengthen their instrumental or vocal skills and participate in performances at Midwood.

The CTE (Career and Technical Education) Law track is designed for students interested in careers and degrees in the legal field. Students are offered courses in law and criminal law.

The CTE Media Arts program is designed for students interested in careers in media arts. Students are offered the electives film production, graphic arts and media production.

Although the Humanities Institute has more track selections than the MedSci Institute they just don’t scream excitement or sound challenging. MedSci students have more in-school and out-of-school activities, like being a part of the Midwoods Robotics Team or participating in research projects.

“The MedSci program is more efficient and challenging because we are offered more classes and more opportunities,” said Medical Science student, Adeyosola Ayandeji ’19.

Yes, we are grateful for the opportunities given to us in humanities, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. The only challenging course we have is AP Capstone due to the removal of Latin, but it’s only given to the sophomores.

To liven up our program, the CTE Law track should have some law opportunities, like internships and road trips instilled inside their track or the CTE Media and Music Programs should have a more intuitive program where they are able to display their talent outside school while being backed by Midwood.

Our program is seriously struggling! The possibility of Latin coming back is just not enough to bridge the gap between the MedSci and Humanities students. We should feel equal to our peers and like we are offered equally challenging opportunities to grow as students.

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