The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

Should Science Classes Be Required? (FACEOFF)

November 30, 2018

YES: (J.H)

Standard high school science classes provide basic knowledge to all future leaders of America. They can educate students on current worldwide issues such as climate change and sexually-transmitted diseases, while simultaneously teaching them about their own bodies and health. These classes are crucial to becoming a well-rounded and educated individual.

In the state of Florida, the current 24-credit standard high school diploma science graduation requirements include passing the Biology 1 EOC, earning one credit in chemistry or physics, and earning one credit in a course equal to the rigor of chemistry or physics. While this may seem like a nuisance to some students, it should be required because it can be beneficial later in life.

For those high school students who wish to venture into a professional field involving science, having a strong foundation of scientific knowledge  provides assistance in difficult college classes. The concepts taught in Biology 1 such as the scientific method, basic cell structure, DNA/RNA and evolution are constantly referred to in the courses that follow. Whether it be a pediatrician or corporate lab researcher, any science-based profession requires complete understanding of concepts taught early on in high school science classrooms.

Science establishes a foundation, and taking away the requirement of learning basic scientific facts can put a high school student at a disadvantage for the rest of their life. For example, Biology 1 covers anatomy and the different systems in the human body, such as the immune system and reproductive system. Not having a basic understanding of how illnesses  transfer or how one becomes pregnant can cause great harm to one’s health and well being. Chemistry covers the periodic table, atoms and acids, which can be helpful to know when dealing with harmful substances.

For high school students who do not plan on attending college, these high school science courses offer basic information that they can use for the rest of their lives, and can save them some trouble later on.

 

NO: (J.M)

The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Lithium is the third element on the periodic table. Gamma rays have a higher frequency than radio waves. Sure, these facts are intriguing, but students rarely use them out of school. Science is a fascinating topic for some students, but many students will not use it once they begin to enter their careers after school.

In Miami Dade County, students take four subjects throughout their time in school as a requirement: language arts, math, social studies and science. High schoolers must take physical science, biology and chemistry before they graduate. However, some questions have been raised as to if science should really be one of these core subjects. Each of these core classes can be used in our daily life after school, except for science.

While it may not be everyone’s favorite subject, students have to use math on a daily basis when they get older. From tipping properly to making sure you did your taxes correctly, adults use math on a daily basis.

Another key skill as an adult is writing, which serves as an integral part of language arts. No matter what career you enter, there is typically a degree of writing involved somewhere, especially when it is time to apply for a college or a job.

Social studies helps us truly understand our duty as citizens of our country and learn about our past. While politics does not intrigue some people, understanding how our government functions is very important.

Science can be useful for some people. If you are looking to pursue a career as a doctor, astronaut or a field similar to that, then science serves as a very important class. However, a lot of students do not plan on entering those fields, and a good portion will look for jobs which do not use any scientific knowledge.

Science should not be eliminated from schools entirely, but it should not be a required class either. The best use for a science class would be as an elective, similar to digital media classes or early childhood education. That way,  students who truly care about these classes and want to enter a similar career can pursue their interests, while the students who do not can look into classes that match their passions better.

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