New Geology Course to be Offered at FHC

February 25, 2016

There was a shift in the mood once the topic of geology had arisen.  His eyes began to widen, his posture straightened, and his tone changed.  It was rather easy to see his passion for earth science.  

The second year Biology and first year AP Environmental Science teacher Joseph Spadafore is quite excited for the new geology department he has introduced to FHC. The new class will be offered in the 2016-2017 school year.

“My hope for the geology course is to expand the opportunities for science that we currently offer here at FHC,” Spadafore said.

As of now, none of the Forest Hills high schools offer a natural earth science course.  Spadafore is very excited to start the first one.  He is very qualified to be teaching this new class and his passion for geology is unparalleled.  While attending GVSU, Spadafore majored in Earth Science.

“This wasn’t the degree I had in mind going into college, but after my first field experience I was hooked and immediately changed majors,” Spadafore said.

His passion for natural science has stemmed from years of simply enjoying the outdoors.  It has also paralleled his love of photography and taking pictures of natural landscape.  

“Combining my love for the outdoors and travel, geology offered an explanation of the world to go along with my wanderlust,” Spadafore remarked.  “Advanced geology will link outdoor experiences like the ones I found so valuable with hands-on activities for a non-traditional classroom experience.”

According to Spadafore, geology is quite arguably the most applicable and relevant science class to take because it affects us on a “day-to-day basis.” The study of geology is unique in that it incorporates many different facets of science; biology, physics, chemistry, oceanography, ecology, and space science.  

It’s not an official AP class under the College Board; however, it behaves similarly to one.  A student will go through the class with the intention of taking a final assessment at the end of the year, very similar to the AP exam.  If a good score is achieved, most colleges within Michigan, and several others, will accept it as a geology credit.  Currently, the College Board doesn’t offer any earth science course that can be taken as an AP class.

Science teacher Kristy Butler is rather excited for the new course as well.

“I hope a lot of kids show some interest in the new course.  Having a new advanced geology course is a pretty exciting thing for us here at FHC,” said Butler.  “It gives students a great opportunity to get outside and experience geology and the earth sciences first hand.”

Spadafore’s ambitions for the new class are that people will better understand the world in which we live in and have a greater appreciation for it.  

“It is my hope that students will leave the class with not only a greater understanding of the Earth and its history, but carry with them that same sense of awe that I initially felt after my first geology course.”

1 Comment

One Response to “New Geology Course to be Offered at FHC”

  1. Leslie Montgomery on February 26th, 2016 10:19 am

    I would love to take this course! Having a greater depth of understanding can add to the appreciation of the amazing land features we see on Earth!

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