The Top 10 Electives You Didn’t Know About


Your guidance counselor can also be a helpful resource in finding the best elective for you and your interests.

Alycia Felli, Features Editor

As course selections come around, the Program of Studies’ readership increases by a tenfold. To save you some time scrolling through the vortex that is the guidebook of FHS classes, the Seniors here at Pantherbook curated the top 10 electives offered here to ease the stress of course selection.

  1. American Society Through Film
    In this semester long open honors course, students in grades 10-12 examine cinema as a medium of understanding American history and culture. Multiple independent films as well as documentaries are watched and analyzed throughout the duration of the semester.
    Kat Fortey, who is currently in the class, says “It’s really fun so far because not only do we watch movies, but we also have to do some behind the scenes work, too. Like right now, we’re working on creating our own movie script, which is harder than it sounds.”
  2. Green Engineering
    This open honors semester-length course provides a background on the application of engineering in environmental science for students in grades 10-12. The ultimate goal of projects and labs is to create energy efficient solutions.
    Ciara Chaves, current Green Engineering student, believes “the teacher is really good and it’s a very laid back class. Projects are a lot of fun, and involve a lot of natural materials gathered outside.”
  3. Street Law
    This semester long open honors course introduces students in grades 10-12 to the basics of American law, ranging from the criminal to consumer sectors. Modern conflicts with the law are at the forefront of discussions throughout the class.
    Brad Jarosz took the course last semester and says “It was awesome. It was interesting and engaging. We did something new every day, and it helped me really know that criminal justice is a field I want to go into.”
  4. Portfolio
    This full year honors elective is offered to Juniors and Seniors who want to take their artistic efforts to another level, continue art education after graduation, or plan on taking AP Studio Art. Many assignments are long term and focus on the elements of art and the principles of design to produce quality artwork. One drawing class as well as an additional art course are required to enroll in this elective.
    Riley Halliday, who took Portfolio her Junior year, advises that “It’s a bit intense, but it prepares you very well if you plan on going to art school or if you plan on enrolling in AP Studio Art. You can really see yourself develop throughout the course, and the atmosphere is very accepting to different ideas.”
  5. Painting and Printmaking
    Offered at both CP and honors level for the duration of one semester, students will explore art through mediums of painting and printmaking. Completion of Intro to Art is required to take this class.
    Grace Griffin, who took Paint and Print as a Sophomore, recalls that “It’s a good intro level art class and you make a lot of interesting projects that you wouldn’t otherwise make in an intro class. Some of my favorites include linocut printing, roller pressing, and experimenting with different types of paints.
  6. Multimedia Journalism
    Formerly known as Digital Journalism, this is an intro level open honors journalism course offered to all students for the duration of one semester. The class focuses on modern journalism, and focuses heavily on the use of digital media. Work is published here on Pantherbook upon completion.
    Max Rosen, former digital journalism student, comments that “It was definitely a fun class. We did different projects for Pantherbook…some article writing, and also a multimedia unit. The multimedia unit was all about making news stories into videos, some of which aired on the morning news. It definitely is a good class for anyone interested in a career in journalism, as it teaches AP (Associated Press) style writing, how proper news articles are written, and how to interview people for a news story.”
  7. Sociology
    This open honors course on human interactions is a semester long, and offered for students in grades 10-12. Sociology offers the unique opportunity for students to find out more about themselves while exploring the topics of gender, race, and family in a group setting.
    Shelbi Steinbacher, who took Sociology as a Sophomore, thinks that “sociology was a very interesting class because you got to learn about why people are the way they are.”
  8. Creative Writing
    As a semester long CP english course, this class introduces students in grades 10-12 to the world of creative writing through both writing, peer editing, and literary analysis. At the end of the course, a final portfolio of one’s work is created.
    Emmett Goebel, a former Creative Writing student puts in his two cents: “I loved it. I liked being pushed to write something every week, and then presenting that to a group of people who wanted to make it better. That was really invaluable”
  9. Guitar or Piano Class
    Offered to all students, these open honors semester courses focus on the basics of musical notation and either piano or guitar. In Piano, students work on individual keyboards with headphones and perform inside of class in ensembles or solos. In guitar, acoustic guitars are provided by the school, or students can opt to bring their own instrument.
    Paul Wang weighs in: “It [piano] was fun. You can learn pieces you really like, you know the classics.”
  10. Yoga and Fitness (I and II)
    Offered at the CP level for all students, students will learn the basics of yoga and personal fitness. Students explore the history of yoga along with its different practices. In Yoga II, students focus on flows and expand their Yoga I practice. In addition, this counts for junior and senior gym hours.
    Kathryn Fay, who is a veteran Yogi having taken both Yoga I and II, feels that “the classes [were] helpful in order to de-stress. My favorite aspect of the class was definitely meditation, and the teacher did a good job incorporating new poses.”

Although the 2017-2018 Program of Studies is not out yet, click here to view that of 2016-2017.