Class schedule alternatives for upperclassman

Jeremy Stroming, Opinion Editor

As students register for classes this time of year, I wish more would consider more unorthodox options than the usual route. Especially during senior year, students are given a wider variety of options than in the past. The eight period block schedule at Liberty affords students more time and flexibility in their schedules than they would find at any other school. It’s important we take advantage of this. Sure you can fill up the empty periods with waivers or easy electives, but when I was going through that process, I wanted more options, and I was able to find one: an independent research project. I truly hope that in the future, more teacher advisers will make this option available, and more students will be interested in participating.

Rather than filling a boring, midday period by dozing by myself in the Career Center, I’m studying cosmic rays and learning about the process of real scientific research (hint, it involves a lot of trial and error). For me, an advanced concept in astrophysics was interesting, and the necessary equipment infrastructure was already in place, but this does not have to be the case. I know two other classmates investigating the logistics of a “green wall” of plants that would reduce the energy costs for any building. I hope in the future, Liberty students can conduct research in any topic they wanted, whether it was science, history, poetry, or art., it doesn’t matter what subject it is as long as a student and a teacher adviser are both interested in a topic beyond the classroom.

Student research in high school has many benefits. Perhaps most obvious, students earn credit without even earning a letter grade. It also teaches independence, planning, problem solving, and focus: all indispensable skills in college. Colleges in turn will be impressed with the initiative and uniqueness of these students. It can also be fun. If you’re learning about what you want, it should be interesting!

I’ve had a great experience with independent student research at Liberty, and I encourage more students to pursue this option for themselves.