Imagine going on class trips to places such as Airbus Helicopters, Science Centre Singapore and Earth Observatory of Singapore, to learn amazing things. Imagine attending talks by well-known professionals conducting research on various fields of science. Imagine having to take part in science competitions instead of your regular school coursework. Sounds cool huh?
Being a part of the Accelerated Class of Science has been an extremely enriching and fulfilling experience for me. It has allowed me to work harder than I ever thought I could and has given me unforgettable memories to treasure for the rest of my life. In this essay, I will attempt to enlighten you on what the ACS Class is actually about, so that you know what to expect, should you decide to join us.
In the ACS Class, the science curriculum we learn contains a large amount of additional content. Much of this content has been watered down from the IBDP syllabus. This means that we learn more advanced topics than other IP classes. For example, in our Year 3 Physics, we were taught topics such as Simple harmonic motion and Gravitation, and we learnt to calculate the Escape Speed required for a rocket to escape from Earth. These topics are extremely interesting, but are challenging to master. However, our highly dedicated and extremely motivated teachers are very well equipped to teach even the most difficult concepts in a fun and engaging manner.
Our Term 3 Coursework, for the sciences were also different from the regular IP coursework. For Year Three Physics, we were tasked to create a Rube Goldberg Machine, to unscrew the lid of a Jar, with the most creative team being sent to the Singapore Amazing Machine Competition. For our Biology coursework that year, we had to make our own potometer, and use it to carry out experiments. In Year 4, we took Part in the Chemistry Communication Challenge 2015 for our Chemistry coursework, and for our Biology coursework, we made our own bio-plastic and conducted experiments on it. Our courseworks for the sciences are always the highlight of the year, due to the fact that they are extremely enjoyable to work on. Another difference in the curriculum is that we are required to sit for an additional set of papers during our examinations. Here, students will be given three 25-mark papers at once, which test us on the additional content that we have learnt.
Yes, the ACS Class is demanding and requires a lot of hard work, but it is also genuinely fun to be in. Not only do you get to visit fascinating places for school trips, and do interesting projects and research, but you also gain a deeper understanding of the world around you. The extra content that you learn allows you to truly appreciate the sciences, and you come to understand why many things you see around you are what they are. Furthermore, you will also be interacting with a class full of like-minded individuals, who share a burning desire to learn more about the sciences and how things work. This truly makes your learning experience very fulfilling.
So, is the ACS class a match for you?
It depends. The ACS Class isn’t for everyone. The regular Year 3 and 4 IP syllabus is already challenging, and the ACS Class brings it to a whole new level. However, if you have a strong passion for the sciences, and really want to know more about how things work, and if you do not mind the extra hours of hard work that you need to invest, then I suggest you give it a shot, and challenge yourself. It will be an unforgettable experience.
Tejas is from the graduating batch of 2017.