Learning Outside of The Box

Zoology is a class offered at Cedar Shoals High School as a higher-level science course, generally taken by 11th and 12th graders but the course is technically open to every grade level.

Zoology, or the branch of biology that studies animals, was first studied among the Ancient Greeks. Zoology reflected their ideals of order and idealized rigidity of and within nature.

Students enrolled in a Zoology course learn about different species of animals as well as an animal’s specific classifications within that species in the animal kingdom.

But what makes the class fun is really “the enthusiasm of the students and the extra mile they go to learn a new skill,” Jackie Elder, the Zoology teacher at CSHS said. “When I’m planning for my zoology class, it’s really very boring but the students that come in make the class interesting,”

Elder has been teaching sciences for ten years and has experience teaching Zoology, Oceanography, Earth Sciences, and Physics courses. Elder described the difficulty of Zoology as “not very difficult,  but students do need to apply themselves during the work session.”

“I like animals and zoology studies animals so let’s study animals,” John Pokoski, a senior enrolled in Zoology said. “I think I’ve learned a fair amount about animals and the class is just really enjoyable and it’s not that hard either.”

“I was looking for a science class to take and zoology had a lot to do with animals and I really like animals so I figured that I might try it and I’m really liking it so far,’’ said Tyler Miller, a senior also enrolled in seventh-period zoology. “We do a lot of work where we can just do our own thing but we still have a lot of activities that are pretty hands on.”

Although some students describe the class as “easy” there are some students who don’t share this opinion.

“I took this class because I like animals and dissecting stuff but I didn’t know it was going to be this hard,” said Xavier Jackson. “There’s a lot of writing and reading involved.”

“If you take this class you have to like doing all that,” said Jackson. “But I mean, it’s still interesting.”

Signing up for this course is relatively simple according to Joshua Sampson, an English teacher, and schedule at CSHS.

“It’s really just talking to your junior physics teacher, making sure that they know that that’s the class that you want for the next year and you sign up for it through the regular course request process that we have here in February and March.” said Sampson.

At CSHS, students are required to take Biology, a lab science such as Chemistry or Earth Science, and Physics during their ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade years. Zoology qualifies as an advanced content course and can impact your GPA like any other academic course you take.

“I don’t believe that it’s a particularly difficult class but I don’t think it’s easy and it’s definitely not an AP class. It’s just a good, solid senior level class,” said Sampson.

“I think this class is definitely overlooked,” said Elder. “But the one thing I would say to students looking to take this course, you should take it if you love science and animals and you should come prepared to be challenged.”