Multiplying AP Math

By Julia Si

It is an exciting year for the math department at New Hyde Park Memorial High School as they add two new AP courses to their repertoire: AP Statistics and AP Calculus BC. The addition of these math courses allows students to explore different realms of math that they have possibly never been exposed to.

AP Statistics, taught by Mr. Brusca, is an introductory college level statistics course that introduces the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. The class is very conversational; students can come up with different ways to approach an answer.

“I decided to take AP Statistics because I find it very interesting. Although it is an AP course, it isn’t that difficult to understand. I would definitely recommend this class for anyone who is interested in statistics and real world math problems," said senior Darla Petricca.

The class is definitely not as clear-cut as other math courses as there is a lot of room for interpretation, but it replaces the traditional classroom setting with a contrasting open discussion that allows students to explore the material in a new way.

Source by Julia Si

Mr. Brusca assists sophomore Tina Torre in an AP Statistics class.

At its core, AP Calculus BC teaches about derivatives and integrals (antiderivatives). According to Mr. Marsh, the idea of derivatives and integrals is just as necessary as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to understand and solve larger problems. However, Calculus BC adds another aspect of sequences and series that use these ideas to solve higher-level applied problems. AP Calculus BC may be difficult, but it is extremely rewarding to those who take it. It is made for students who want to be challenged and discover college-level mathematics in their high school career.

"I really like how challenging the class is. Senior year is sometimes seen as a year to take off, but AP Calculus BC is helping me stay focused and motivated,” said senior Joe Leonard.

Uniquely, Mr. Brusca and Mr. Marsh use the “flip classroom” instruction to teach their respective courses. This model is exactly how it sounds: students watch videos and take notes on the lesson as their homework assignments, and in class, they do practice problems to apply what they learned at home. It allows students to have the opportunity to be exposed to more practice problems than the traditional classroom setting in order to gain a better understanding of the material.

Source by Julia Si

Mr. Marsh teaches his AP Calculus BC students through a Google Meet.

Teachers' Table Talk

Q: “Have you ever taught AP Statistics before?”

Mr. Robert Brusca: “No, this is my first time teaching the course.”

Q: “Why did you choose to teach AP Statistics this year?”

RB: “I’ve always wanted to teach an AP class, but at the time I was hired, there were no AP math courses being offered in the district. When the opportunity arose, I took it since I’ve always wanted the challenge of teaching an AP class.”

Q: “Describe AP Calculus BC in three words.”

Mr. Aaron Marsh: “Challenging, applicable, mind-blowing.”

Q: “Explain the course briefly.”

AM: “Essentially, Calculus BC is like a rollercoaster ride in which you are calculating how you are dipping and going up.”