The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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New Classes at LHS

Sophomores+Jack+Bloom%2C+Spencer+Wells%2C+Connor+Clausen+and+Junior+Tommy+Watson+work+on+various+projects+in+PTLW
Connor Polk
Sophomores Jack Bloom, Spencer Wells, Connor Clausen and Junior Tommy Watson work on various projects in PTLW

LHS is constantly looking for new ways to please and challenge its thousands of students and often is most successful in doing this by adding to the curriculum; this development happens continuously year to year and has most recently been changed with the addition of Media Literacy and Project Lead The Way.

Media Literacy, a new elective branching off of Cat-TV, is a class based off of one being able to learn how to read media.  After two years of conceptualization, Media Literacy now has 14 students in its first year at LHS.  While that may seem small, the planned development and hands-on training leads one to expect major growth within the next few years.

The teacher, Ms. Iwona Awlasewicz, the Cat-TV sponsor, has been a professional visual producer for 15 years, and is constantly applying her background in screenwriting and filmmaking to further the education and understanding of her students.  Her ability to express the breakdown of media, the subtle manipulation of audience, and her love for the creative process makes this class not only incredibly appealing to those who want to see further than what they’re supposed to see in media, but for people who want an introduction to filmmaking as well.

Unsurprisingly, production and objective-based learning is a huge a part of the class, especially with the motivation of an Emmy nominated visual producer.  Students are given the task of understanding and breaking down why any sort of media is so appealing.

“I really enjoy the class…its as good as it can get,” said junior Zaryaab Khan, “So far we’ve covered different stereotypes in media, like in reality tv, music videos, etc., where I showed off how stereotypes are presented in comic books and comic book movies.”

They analyze anything from recent video games to Hollywood blockbusters and are constantly able to put their learned skills to use when they have a project.

“It’s a different language, so you really need to learn the language and be comfortable with the language to be able to create videos,” said Ms. Awlasewicz.

She is illustrating how one must be able to read and comprehend the concept of visual text before their ideas and abilities are put to use.  Despite this, it is still an introductory class, and despite their close correlation to Cat-TV, no production of theirs is used by the school and only four students are involved in both programs.

The next program, Project Lead The Way, is a nationwide organization pioneering the way for young engineers. It consists of four classes that have slowly been making their way into LHS over the past few years. Intro to Engineering, Principles of Engineering, and Digital Engineering are all the classes of PLTW that have been offered at LHS prior to this year.  Most recently, Engineering Design and Development has been added as the most advanced of the four.

These yearlong courses are intended to develop an engineer for their transition from high school and beyond and is even an opportunity for college credit.  Although they have only been present at LHS within the last five years, over 80 students now take part and the program has no intention of halting that growth.  PLTW seems to be one of LHS’s most successful experiments into the broadening of their curriculum and it has been a learning effort for everyone involved since it has been a possibility.

“It is an extremely unique class and it is something that is preparing me for my life beyond high school,” said Kelly Waldvogel, a sophomore member of Intro to Engineering and Design.

Mr. Andrew Thomson, the teacher of all four classes, personally takes a multi-week course each summer in order to further his ability to teach aspiring engineers.  His determination and aspirations for the course are what really made it happen.

According to Mr. Ole Stevens, director of student services, the LHS curriculum is ever expansive.  Although change doesn’t always come in as blunt a form as a whole new class, it is still always present.  Whether it be in a simple name change, class growth, or advancements in athletic classes, new ways are always being found to improve the school.

Junior member of Media Literacy Jonathan Lester works on a video project
Junior member of Media Literacy Jonathan Lester works on a video project

 

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
New Classes at LHS