Experimenting in AP Chemistry
Evan Ja and Ryan Sayle discussing their work in AP Chemistry.
Studying for hours and hours as well as staying up late studying is no one’s definition of fun. However 23 students are ready for the challenge by taking a new class offered here. AP Chemistry is a recent addition to the science department. Last year, the class was offered at Rocklin High School and students had to spend time switching schools just to get to class. But this year Ms. Kaitlin Lapachet in E14 is ready to prepare students for one of the most difficult AP tests offered.
Last year was Ms. Lapachet’s first year teaching here, teaching biology and chemistry. This year she teaches AP Chemistry and chemistry, as well as biology.
“I enjoy teaching AP Chemistry because I enjoy watching the students challenge themselves, enjoy chemistry and play with the subject,” Lapachet said.
But AP Chemistry is not all fun and games. AP Chemistry takes chemistry to a whole other level, covering a whole year of science at a college level for high school students.
“AP Chemistry is difficult because it is hard to visualize and it moves fast while covering a difficult subject and test,” Lapachet said.
“I’m worried we’ll go too fast and not know everything because the class is going really fast,” Aliyah Utush, a junior taking AP Chemistry, said.
AP Chemistry has the lowest AP passing rate out of all AP classes available. According to CollegeBoard, the AP and SAT test makers, the average score for the AP Chemistry test was 0.15 points lower with a 6.5% lower pass rate than AP Physics B in 2011.
“(In order to pass) STUDY! STUDY! STUDY! Come in for help and have a study group. Like AP Biology it covers a full year of college chemistry, taking a hard subject and moving fast while covering a difficult test. The class is very difficult, but it is very rewarding. Very select few survive and it’s an honor to be part of the elite group that survived,” Lapachet said.
Although AP Chemistry is a difficult class it also brings many benefits. Senior Roxana Pashminenh Azar is looking forward to gaining experience and getting a head start for college.
“I am looking forward to gaining experience that I can draw upon while I take chemistry. It’s also a good foundation for someone who is interested in the medical field,” Azar said.
Junior Nora Rabah is also looking forward to going into more depth on the subject.
“I enjoy chemistry and the topic interests me. I think AP Chemistry will help me be on top of things, learning more about thermochemistry a topic that we only briefly touched in regular chemistry,” Rabah said.
This year students will be given obstacles and challenges to prove they are meant to be the survivors.
“(The students are) learning how to study, how to work with groups, and how to think through word problems ,” Lapachet said.
BY: ARIELLA APPLEBY AND THERESA KIM