With AP exams done, here’s what students are up to


Saniya Mishra

The AP Chemistry class is currently learning organic chemistry now that the AP exam is done.

With the seniors gone, freshman Frey Wu is missing a key part of his usual AP Physics C: Mechanics class: his friend senior Sammy Yin, who is his pillow.

“I very much miss the seniors,” Frey said. “[Without them, I feel] lonely, and I don’t have a warm lap to put my head in anymore.”

Like Frey, many students already miss their senior classmates and are still adjusting to the emptier halls and classrooms.

While many are sad to say good-bye to the graduating class, there is still a lot to look forward to, especially in AP classes. Around the same time that the seniors finished their high school days, AP testing ended too. 

With these exams out of the way, students are relieved to not only have a break from the stressful season of studying but also a relaxing way to finish off the year. One such student is junior Ashley Schenck who took AP Statistics, AP Chemistry, AP Language and Composition, AP Spanish Language, and AP Computer Science A.

“I’m really glad [AP exams] are over,” Ashley said. “It was very stressful during AP exams, and now that they’re over, it’s kind of like a breath of fresh air, and it’s just nice to have a break.”

Now, the focus is primarily on end-of-the-year projects as the main curriculum teaching is complete. This provides students with a chance to explore further into the subjects of their classes in a stress-free environment.

The AP Physics C: Mechanics class is now working on building a wave pendulum. It is a model with swinging balls that appear to cycle through a wave formation, disorganized movements, and swaying back and forth in a uniform line. This seemingly magical contraption functions based on the principles of simple harmonic motion.

Frey is particularly excited about the problem-solving aspect of this project.

“I am most looking forward to building it,” Frey said, “and working through the issues that we have when the calculations don’t line up with the actual results. We’re probably going to ‘tweaky tweaky.’”

It was very stressful during AP exams, and now that they’re over, it’s kind of like a breath of fresh air.

— Ashley Schenck

Just as the AP Physics class is diving deeper into physics, the AP Government and Politics classes are doing the same with their own content in a way that gives the students even more flexibility with what to cover.

The AP Government classes are working on video projects for the rest of the year. The focus is on a political subject of choice that interests each group of two or three. 

AP Government teacher Jeff Manders is looking forward to the opportunity this offers his students.

“[The video project] allows them to be creative and explore something that they’re interested in,” Manders said, “but at the same time, it’s not too stressful because the exam is over. That’s what’s most important.”

On the other hand, rather than working on a project, the AP Statistics class is now reading The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which delves into the statistical significance of the “outliers” or extraordinary people of society. 

Similarly, the AP Language and Composition and AP Seminar students are both partaking in book clubs for the remainder of the year. In AP Environmental Science, students are working on video projects and constructing “green cities.”

With all of these plans, much is in store for AP students, especially those in classes that were taken mostly by seniors.

Because seniors have graduated, class sizes are much smaller. This adds to the relaxed atmosphere of AP classes as teachers can focus on teaching each individual student rather than the class as a whole. 

“I like [the smaller class sizes],” Ashley said, “because there’s more individualized attention, meaning the teachers can teach more to your needs and what you need to do.”

Due to the reduced number of students and the end of AP exams, opportunities for exciting projects and book clubs have arisen, allowing students to make the best of their last few weeks of the school year. 

Still, the end is a ways away, and Manders encourages students to keep working hard until then. 

“It’s that time of the year: you can kind of see the finish line,” Manders said. “You just have to stay positive and stay focused, and then, we’ll get there before we know it.”