NHS Science Department Supports Strong Science Background, Alumni Grateful


Madelynn Orosz

Students in AP Chemistry work to mix a variety of solutions to watch how the chemicals react to each other. This course is one of the most rigorous at Nonnewaug and help prepare students for their futures in science.

Madelynn Orosz, Ag/FFA Editor

WOODBURY — Some love it, others loath it. Science. The foundation for everything we need like technology, medicine, food, and more. Fortunately, Nonnewaug High School provides a top-tier science curriculum to prepare students for their future. 

From environmental science to forensics and more, students can embrace their respective passions.

Nonnewaug offers eight different agriscience areas covering all aspects of the industry, including new and emerging areas like aquaculture and essential career introduction for classes like veterinary science.  

In addition, open to all students are 16 science courses ranging in levels of college prep, honors, and Advanced Placement. These courses cover basics from chemistry, biology, physics, environmental sciences, and others including forensics, biotechnology, and more. 

Zosia Olejniczak, a junior in college prep chemistry, works on a titration lab. Olejniczak uses her science skills interchangeably between the vet science lab and chemistry lab during her school days at Nonnewaug. (Madelynn Orosz)

We provide rigorous AP courses in many of the sciences,” said William Pease, an NHS science teacher. “For those wanting to defer the challenge of AP courses, we also have honors- and academic-level courses that provide a solid foundation in the most common college science courses like physics, chemistry, and biology.”

These classes allow students to absorb as much science as possible to take them to the next level.

“Having a strong background is very important preparation to be successful in taking college courses in the sciences where they move quickly and expect you to pick up on what they are asking of you very quickly,” said Pease. 

The science department strives to prepare students for college and teachers have heard back promising results. 

“It is very inspiring to have students come back and tell us how much they benefited from their science experience [at Nonnewaug],” said Chris York, NHS science department chairperson. “So many former students tell us that they are well prepared for what college throws at them.”

Sindy Gorka, a 2020 Nonnewaug graduate, is majoring in molecular and cell biology at the University of Connecticut. She reflected positively on her time of science at Nonnewaug.

“I was definitely prepared [for college],” Gorka said. “A specific class was AP Biology with Mrs. [Nadine] Pratt because she taught everything and more. I could’ve skipped over the intro to bio at UConn because of her.”

With three of Nonnewaug’s own science teachers being UConn Early College Experience professors, the benefits to students are evident. York mentioned how monthly, the science teachers of Nonnewaug meet to align what they are teaching, attend workshops on their respective sciences, and review the curriculum to adapt to the changing science of the world. 

“Deep diving into the sciences [at Nonnewaug] is why I have such a strong background and the science classes [at UConn] aren’t too hard,” said Gorka.