Written by Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Island Trees students are fortunate to receive science instruction from a number of outstanding teachers, as well as take part in many top notch classes. Recently, I was able to spend time with two of our science teachers – Dr. Andrew Sass and Mr. Joseph Manna. Dr. Sass is MIT educated with a PhD from Purdue University. For two decades, Dr. Sass has cultivated the Island Trees Physics program, including developing our AP Physics C class.
Dr. Sass year in and year out skillfully guides his students through the most intensive course at Island Trees High School. In fact, AP Physics C may be the most difficult AP curriculum developed by the College Board. This college level course was developed for student’s interested in majoring in science or engineering. Unlike other AP courses, the course needs to be taken in conjunction with AP Calculus – this is an incredible course load for students.
In truth, the students taking this sequence are among the best of the best and from my observations of their physics lesson one could only describe both Dr. Sass and these students using superlatives.
Over the past three years, almost 92 percent of his students have passed the AP exam with a three (3+) or better. In fact, for the past two years 100 percent of his students have earned a three (3+) or better on the Physics C exam – a true testament to Dr. Sass’ work with our kids.
In addition, this year we have added a new course at Island Trees High School. AP Chemistry. This course was added for our students interested in pursuing science in their post-secondary studies.
Mr. Manna, our 6’ 5” bear of a chemistry teacher is actually a Princeton tiger at heart. He has spearheaded the development of the new AP Chemistry class at Island Trees. This college level class will expose our students to challenging chemistry principles with a strong emphasis on problem solving.
Mr. Manna has already organized approximately 100 Chemistry labs and demonstrations for this yearlong class. We hope these students will be able to attain the same success under the tutelage of Mr. Manna as we have experienced in our AP Physic program.
Again, our students are blessed to have such high-level science programs in our high school. If you have any questions about our science offerings, please contact our department chairperson Laura Rigo or Mr. Grande at Island Trees High School.