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Step Aside Study Hall

Step Aside Study Hall

New Classes Coming Soon

Class: Principles of Biomedical Science

Teacher: Ms. Venesky

What is the topic of the new class you are teaching and are there any prerequisites?

“In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person.  While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life.  The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.”

What was the reason for bringing this class to Knoch?

“Provide another academic option for students to take for science.  This is the 1st class in a 4 year biomedical program- hopefully we will be able to introduce more of the courses in the future.”

What career field would this class help?

“Any type of medical career or someone who is interested in science-based problem solving career.”

Why should students take this class?

“The class incorporates a variety of resources and skills- computer-based, lab activities, problem solving, biological modeling.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“I am very excited that the class is offered at Knoch!”

 

Class: Mythology

Teacher Mrs. Lentz

What is the topic of the new class you are teaching and are there any prerequisites?

“We will be studying Greek and Roman mythology and if time allows, we will look into some other cultures.  There are no prerequisites other than being at least a sophomore.”

What was the reason for bringing this class to Knoch?

“This was a class we offered for many years that we had to give up because of Keystone remediation.  It was always a popular class that students enjoyed.  Since we have the ability to reintroduce some electives, this was a good choice due to its past popularity.”

What career field would this class help?

“I think it would help in any field.  We are trying to educate entire humans, not just robots to perform a task.  We live in a world filled with much beauty and richness, filled with art and literature that we can’t even come close to understanding if we don’t understand the allusions to prior things.  Mythology is so often referenced in our culture, and understanding those myths provides the key to understanding ourselves.”

 

Class: Sports literature and Writing

Teacher: Mr. Miller

What is the topic of the new class you are teaching and are there any prerequisites?

“The course will cover a range of sports and sports writing. We will discuss and debate current issues; research how sports interacts with and informs our understanding of our culture; write essays, arguments, hot takes, and stories about professional, amateur, and local sports; and read classic examples of sports writing.

Students who sign up for the course need to have a deep love of sports, and be willing to immerse themselves in a variety of sports cultures. The class is reading and writing focused, meaning, we will read and write a lot!”

What was the reason for bringing this class to Knoch?

“There are a couple of reasons. First, sports is a popular topic and important to our culture, so we need to think about why that is and what that says about our culture. Second, it has high levels of interest among the students, and is a good way to get some reluctant readers and writers engaged with English.”

What career field would this class help?

“Writing, both creative writing and journalism. We will construct and dissect arguments, basic skills necessary for many white collar jobs.”

Why should students take this class?

“If you like to discuss sports, this class is for you. If you like to argue and debate, this class is for you. If you like to read, but not necessarily novels or short stories you get in a traditional English class, this class is most definitely for you.”

 

Class: Writing for Journalism and Social Media & Introduction to Media Photography and Design

Teacher: Ms. Thompson

What is the topic of the new class you are teaching and are there any pre-requisites?

“Neither class has a pre-requisites and both are semester courses. It’s be great if students would take them back to back but it’s not required.

Writing for Journalism and Social Media covers the difference between traditional writing and the journalistic lead quote transition writing style. Students learn about reporting and interviewing. We will look at the functionality of different social media and the impact of the media as a whole on society. We will blog and write news, feature, sports and editorials about Knoch, the people here, and things that students care about.

Introduction to Media Photography and Design is exactly what it sounds like. Students will learn about photojournalism, photo editing and caption writing.  We also discuss both print and web graphic design. Students will be able to utilize and learn Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and WordPress.

Both courses touch on media law and ethics.”

What was the reason for bringing this class to Knoch?

“It’s really tough for students to take yearlong electives, so I split Print and Digital Media one into two semester course.”

What career field would this class help?

“Specifically, these classes will obviously help with any careers in the media or in marketing/ public relations.  However, students learn many skills required for all careers. Examples include talking to people, using technology and working as a team.  Many of my former students are able to jump right into professional or college media opportunities right out of high school. I have at least half a dozen former students who are getting paid to blog and one graduate was the first freshman editor of the newspaper at Duquesne.”

Why should students take this class?

“Well, a big reason students take these classes is because they serve as pre-requisites for the newspaper and the yearbook. However, the classes are laid back, fun and they focus on many things in which students are interested. You get a grade for blogging about the Penguins or taking pictures of your friends.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“Take these classes! There’s something for everyone. I think the students in my media classes feel a strong sense of community and really enjoy the room 516 experience. Plus, we like to eat.”

 

Class: Film studies

Teacher: Miss. Bronder

What is the topic of the new class you are teaching and are there any prerequisites?

“The focus of the class will be the history of film, including the formation of the Hollywood studio system and the changing trends in movies with each decade; an examination of the culturally and historically-important films from each era; an understanding of the important filmmakers both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera; and film criticism.”

What is the reason for bringing this class to Knoch?

“Pittsburgh has grown in popularity as a filming location, and as a result, it’s becoming a more appealing option for a young adult who wants to be a part of the business but may not yet be ready to move to New York or Los Angeles.  Furthermore, film is a part of our culture and history, and I think it will be fascinating to look at the content and context of film in an academic setting.”

What career field would this class help?

“This course would be a good introductory class for anyone interested in Entertainment Journalism, American History, Literature, and Visual Arts.  It won’t be about the filmmaking process, but this class may lead a student to learn more about the filmmaking business and choose to take either the Video Production classes or Screenwriting to further develop their skills.  We’ve had a couple of Knoch students go to Point Park University for Film Studies, and I’m sure this class would have benefitted them in their college courses.”

Why should students take this class?

“I think students should take this class so that they learn more about how to discuss and analyze films, and to understand the artistic process behind filmmaking, including how many working parts come together to create a good film.”

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