The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

Woodbridge High Introduces Four New Classes in 2023

For the 2023-24 school year, Woodbridge High charters new courses giving students greater access to more challenging academics and career-focused experiences

Woodbridge High offers an assortment of courses every year to students to introduce them to a diversity of topics. The knowledge they learn in these classes is intended to help prepare them for careers in the real world. Woodbridge High is very lucky to have the support of staff to create courses that interest them. This year, 2023, Woodbridge High welcomes four new classes!


Design Model Making and Rapid Prototyping (DMP)

Calling all future engineers! Design Model Making and Rapid Prototyping (DMP) is a new introductory-level college class at Woodbridge High. The class focuses on learning the basic tools and methods for engineering-based careers. 

“We’re building our portfolio which all gears towards [becoming] an engineer [and becoming] a designer,” science teacher Daniel Pilchman said.

This class focuses on model making, also called prototyping or design verification. This is where engineers create a rapid version of their design to see if their design will work.

“What employers in the engineering field are looking for is engineers who understand what happens with their designs after they leave the computer,” Pilchman said.

That means knowing how machines work, what materials to use and how engineering technicians are creating these designs. Pilchman works directly with engineers, including some of the vice presidents at Edwards Lifesciences which is a large biomedical company with headquarters in Irvine. DMP was created due to their collaboration.

There are no prerequisites for seniors at Woodbridge High, however, juniors who wish to take this course must have already taken Makerspace 1 and Makerspace 2.

When asked how to be successful in this course, Pilchman emphasized patience and collaboration. Meaning, don’t speed through projects and be willing to listen to the advice of others.

“As an engineer, there’s no limitations on what you can imagine,” Pilchman said.


Advanced Placement (AP) Pre-calculus

AP Pre-calculus is not only a new course at Woodbridge High but also across the country. College Board has created a new class with an AP exam to help students be better prepared for the transition to AP Calculus. This class is very similar to Enhanced Math Three, a course that has been a part of Woodbridge High for some time now. However, there are a few more topics covered and students will be using a graphing calculator.

As with any AP course, this class will be challenging. The course takes students from Enhanced Math Two and Math Three, so there are students from different paced classes all coming into one class.

“I think that [it’s] a bit of an adjustment for someone who hasn’t had homework [and] that wasn’t expected to do their homework,” math teacher David Gesk said.

However,  Gesk believes that students will be able to learn how to cope with the challenges. AP Pre-calculus teaches a range of math topics in preparation for the AP exam in May as well as the math needed to know before AP calculus. But it also teaches students to ask questions, whether that be to their peers or their teacher.

“Finding your voice sometimes comes from the struggles and not everyone has found their voice, but sometimes when you have a struggle, you realize I have to find my voice and I have to let my voice be heard,” Gesk said.

According to the College Board, the course will teach students about polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric and polar functions. Additionally, functions with parameters, vectors and matrices will be included as well.

“Being challenged can be a good thing,” Gesk said.


Marine Science

Marine Science is a new elective here at Woodbridge High. It covers everything about the ocean, ranging from currents and tides to plate tectonics and marine evolution. Jackie Walker, the marine science teacher at Woodbridge High is more than prepared to teach students everything she knows about the ocean.

Walker had experience with marine biology prior to becoming a teacher at Woodbridge High. She studied marine science as her major at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and taught at an aquarium. She even worked with animals!

“The ocean is my biggest passion,” Walker said. “And so I’ve been really excited to start it up again…and share my experiences, show people and students that scientists aren’t just doing chemistry in a lab with a lab coat…but there are scientists who are scuba diving, there are scientists who are taking satellite data from space to help the ocean and help our understanding of the world.”

The course requires students to have taken three years of science, so it is mainly made up of juniors and seniors. Students in this class will learn about a variety of topics within physical oceanography and marine biology by performing lab experiments, discussing, completing projects and researching.

“Being an ocean literate person is not only having the knowledge but being able to apply that knowledge and making responsible decisions that would protect the ocean,” Walker said.

Walker hopes that students after taking this course are empowered to protect the ocean, especially since Irvine is only a few minutes away from the beach.

“My hope is to take away from this class, not just a grade, but just kind of this sense of importance surrounding the ocean itself,” Walker said.


AP Physics C

AP Physics is also a new class on campus. AP Physics C is a calculus-based physics class whereas AP Physics One and AP Physics Two were more about the conceptual understanding of physics. 

Students learn various topics in this class including calculations of power, work, energy, kinematics, laws of motion, momentum, rotations, oscillations and gravitation. As a result of so much rigorous content over the span of one school year, this class is often regarded as one of the more challenging AP classes.

“The biggest thing is to make sure that you develop a strong quantitative and qualitative understanding of physics, so being able to talk about it in simple words,” physics teacher Andrew Gibas said. 

Many students have wanted this class to be available at Woodbridge High for a long time. According to Gibas, the course was added to Woodbridge High’s science list after a large push from both parents and students.

“Eventually the principal [did] calculations and found that there was such a large group of students that were interested in [AP Physics C] that we could finally have the class,” Gibas said. “And it was actually bigger than we thought it would be.”

Take advantage of the opportunities Woodbridge High offers for you to learn and grow. Maybe you’ll find something that appeals to you and provides you with an idea for a future career! If you are interested in trying out these new courses, talk to your counselors for more guidance on adding them to your schedule.

Story continues below advertisement
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Rebecca Sanchez
Rebecca Sanchez, Copy Editor
Hi! My name is Rebecca Sanchez and I will be the copy editor as well as a general writer for my first year in Golden Arrow. I am also a soccer player and track runner for Woodbridge High and in my free time, I love watching movies with my family and playing with my two dogs. I am so appreciative of the opportunity to inform my peers of new interesting topics in both webstories and on paper and to edit the Golden Arrow right before it goes to print! I look forward to a great year!
Camille Roussel
Camille Roussel, Visual Director
Hello! My name is Camille Roussel and this is my second year in journalism. I am so excited to be Visual Director this year. I hope to improve my photography and InDesign skills, and showcase a variety of different groups on campus!