POLAHS was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Foundation in support of POLAHS’ expanded Physics program! In fall 2017, POLAHS hired a second Physics instructor in order to offer Physics and Honors Physics courses to approximately 250 students per year. The decision aligns POLAHS with the latest Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California, which require all high school students to successfully complete Physics prior to graduation.
The State also implemented new requirements for Physics content and instruction. Through hands-on discovery labs, students with varied learning styles will develop a deeper understanding of science, and experience similar scientific and engineering practices as those used by professionals in the field. With funding from The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, POLAHS will purchase demonstration equipment, lab materials, and classroom supplies to cover Physics topics such as forces and motion; electricity and magnetism; energy; and waves and electro-magnetic radiation. This year, students will build a catapult; a small energy vehicle; an electrically wired model house with circuits; and a maglev vehicle with a track!
POLAHS Physics classes will continue field trips like Knott's Berry Farm “Physics Fun Day,” and visits to SpaceX, where students learn about the process of building and launching rockets. In POLAHS’ Electric Go-Kart Club, students perform Physics and Engineering functions to build “green technology” electric go-karts with their instructors. The group recently competed against clubs from surrounding high schools, earning the fastest race speeds for their innovative implementation of Physics principles.
POLAHS is incredibly grateful for the continued support of The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation. The Foundation is improving the quality of life for our students, and families throughout the entire community. At this time of THANKSGIVING, our thoughts turn to ALL of our families, friends, and supporters with GRATITUDE.
MEET THE INSTRUCTORS
Mr. Dukes has taught at POLAHS for five years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and is credentialed to teach Math, Physics, and Chemistry. He is the moderator for POLAHS’ Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Team, and the Electric Go-Kart Club. Mr. Dukes holds a seat on the Board for the Southern California American Association of Physics Teachers. Last year, he was recognized by the United States House of Representatives, the California State Assembly, and the Los Angeles Board of Education for excellence in teaching.
Mr. McKenzie is a new teacher at POLAHS. He holds teaching credentials for general Science, Biology, and Physics, earned his Master's in Education, and a Bachelor's in Microbiology from UC Irvine. Mr. McKenzie is also the club adviser for Youth Environmental Justice (YEJ), which serves the South Bay to protect residents from pollution and other factors that affect overall health and well-being. Mr. McKenzie is a member of the nominations committee for the National Science Teachers Association.