New science courses offer Salem students exciting choices

SALEM – Wannabe crime scene investigators, exercise gurus and widget designers who attend Salem High School have a few new science courses to pique their interests next school year.

Forensic science, exercise physiology and intro to engineering have been added to the school’s science curriculum as alternatives for those students who might want to stray from the traditional sciences, such as chemistry, physics or biology.

“We wanted to give students more electives,” Superintendent Dr. Joseph Shivers said.

Each course is a semester long and he said there was room in the schedule to make the offerings, giving students more choices to meet their science requirement for graduation. Students must complete three years of science to get their diploma.

“I’m excited about all three courses,” Shivers said.

With television shows like C.S.I., Bones, NCIS and other crime dramas so popular, the science behind criminal investigations has become sexier. Jake Zatchok will serve as the forensic science instructor, utilizing texts and a lot of lab analysis. With 51 students already signed up, Shivers said they may have to divide them between two semesters.

Dan Kibler will teach intro to engineering, instructing students on how to design a product, analyze it for weaknesses and build it using a 3-D modeling system on the computer known as Creo and a CNC machine. For that course, they’ll have to have had algebra II or currently be taking algebra II or possibly physics.

Shivers said students will come out of the engineering course with enough skills to possibly get a job using the Creo program, giving them an advantage in the job market. At least 13 students have signed up.

Zatchok also will teach exercise physiology, with assistance from Associate Principal Hank Brock due to his knowledge of exercise and weight training. Shivers said his vision for the course includes focusing a few weeks each on cardio exercise, water

aerobics, interval training and weight training to give students an idea of the benefits of the different forms of exercise. They’ll use themselves to test the theories.

Other science courses the school offers include general physical science, general life science, chemistry, AP chemistry, physics, AP physics and biology.

“Now there’s another way to go,” Shivers said.

They’re already thinking about expanding the engineering course to a one-year session, but said they’ll see how it goes first.

The courses can be used by students to explore possible careers that may employ what they’ll be learning about, such as law enforcement, physical therapy or engineering of all sorts.