Zoom in on Electives


Photo courtesy of Ava Chaloshteri

Bon appetit! Senior Ava Chaloshteri watches Connie Pokress make pasta for the class on zoom. “I always enjoy her tutorials because it helps me learn new techniques when I cook at home,” Chaloshteri said.

The entertainment students used to have in school with child development, food trends and physical education hasn’t been the same since MCPS made the switch to virtual school. Each elective has been trying to come up with different activities to keep students engaged and to make the most of this year.

Walter Johnson has various different electives that students can take. Some of them are graduation requirements such as art, technology, health and physical education. The rest are for students to take based on their hobbies and interests. These include child development, food trends, social studies electives and many more.

Although students are bummed about not being in person for these classes, several students have managed to love their electives virtually as well. Adapting to change can be hard, but in child development students make the most of online class by watching videos about classic childhood songs, doing Zoom polls about how everyone’s day is going and participating in discussions through MyMCPS Classroom.

Senior Hannah Sarnowski is taking the class for the second year in a row.

“Although I’d rather be in person, I am making the adjustment and I’ve been enjoying the class,” Sarnowski said.

In food trends, another popular elective, Connie Pokress sets up her camera facing the stove and cooks delicious meals every day for her students to learn. She makes meals such as pancakes, chicken, eggs, potatoes and popcorn. She also engages students by teaching nutritional facts about the foods she makes.

The Physical Education Department has students motivated to get out of their beds by turning their cameras on and participating in specific sport drills or yoga exercises. The students also watch short video clips about the rules of soccer, basketball and weight training. In the health department, students from all different grades watch educational videos and work with Nearpod slideshows.

Junior Julia Garms is taking Health Education this year.

“I say it’s a little difficult to concentrate and I feel like you aren’t getting the full experience because we are missing out on a lot of what would be in person demonstrations,” Garms said.

Students are required to take one year of any art class before graduation. Many students fulfill this requirement by taking ceramics and sculpture. Students in this class make different animals and textures during their Zoom classes to earn grades.

Through the technology department, one of the options is to take computer science. Students participate in this class by creating apps and learning more about technology.

Sophomore Thomas Poliseno is taking the class this year for the first time to prepare for his future.

“I like it because it is teaching us how to make apps right now, it’s pretty cool,” Poliseno said.

Although several students wish we were back in school and taking these electives in person, students have been saying that teachers are making the most of it by finding different interactive lessons online. Students are still finding enjoyment in all the activities even though it’s not the same as in person.