ACES Program Expands Opportunities in Science

Abby Singley

In an attempt to incorporate a broader range of academic opportunities at WJ, the administration recently approved the addition of a rigorous science program. The Advanced Curriculum for Excellence in Science (ACES) will now be included as an option for students entering high school.

Similar to the APEX program, ACES will be a program that allows students to take a variety of advanced-level science courses for college credit.

“The ACES program is designed so that students at WJ can have the opportunity to pursue rigorous science classes and graduate high school being prepared for college,” said science teacher and advisor to the program Khanh Chau.

Students need to complete at least four science credits, three of which must be AP-level classes, in order to be members of the ACES Scholar program. Students are also required to either participate in any recognized science competition or partake in one of the following science educational opportunities: a science internship, a science class offered through the University of Maryland Young Scholars Program or in Science Olympiads.

The purpose of the program is to ensure that students have a firm foundation in the sciences before heading off to pursue intensive science research or other science-oriented possibilities at college.

“ACES is meant to have students take as many AP courses here at WJ to establish that foundation for them,” said Chau.

According to Chau, the catalyst for deciding to create a rigorous science curriculum at WJ was the demand from students for more science opportunities.

“Students told us the APEX program was history-oriented and there was nothing to reward them for how hard they worked in the science programs,” said Chau.

By providing students with a strong foundation in the sciences in high school, ACES allows students to transition much more readily into science research at college.

“I felt really grateful that WJ is encouraging the growth of science and math in school,” said sophomore Tingrui Zhao.