Should MHS Have Abolished Its First Year Physics Program?

by Madhumita Kannan ’22

Source: SVA Architects

Published Feb. 17th, 2021

This year MHS decided to get rid of the physics program for freshmen. As a current junior who took physics honors my freshman year, abolishing the first-year physics program was not a good decision. 

The transition from middle school to high school is not an easy one because students are put into a completely new environment that is much more challenging and demanding than middle school. Physics gave freshmen a real taste of what high school classes are really like, instead of sugarcoating it as middle school classes did.

Additionally, physics was the first high school science class that all students took, and from my experience, it was the perfect introductory class to the challenges of high school. 

It was the first science class that had a focused topic, as opposed to previous years where science classes were a mix of many concepts and ideas. Physics planted Montgomery students into an environment and taught them how collaboration in high school works. Specifically, physics honors was considered the first “hard” class of high school among many freshmen, and influenced students to have a better work ethic, ultimately preparing them for harder classes, such as AP classes, in the remainder of their high school careers. 

Mr. Buszka, my physics honors teacher in freshman year, used an unconventional, new way of teaching that forced us to think differently and outside of the box. We often worked backward to figure out the main concept, instead of directly being given the information and working from there. This method of teaching and learning proved to be very useful to me, as the future science courses I’ve taken operate in similar ways. 

Mr. Buszka’s passion for teaching and willingness to guide students also made the class much more engaging and I noticed other students along with me, excited to attend class because there was usually something interesting planned, whether it was deriving a new formula, or experimenting with fun objects and concepts. 

The physics program has not only significantly shaped my high school experience, but also that of other students, and I feel that it is crucial to setting up a successful high school career for students at Montgomery.

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