Diving into the most difficult year for all the programs.

February 20, 2019

Since the moment students go into high school, they are warned about how hard junior year will be for them. High school, in general, is challenging and can be stressful for many people because having to balance school work with all the other factors in a student’s life is a very tough process. Junior year is when many students get a part-time job and have more rigorous classes in all the programs. Suncoast is very well-known for being academically killer, and because of this, many students in other high schools refer to Suncoast as the “brainiac” school.

The IB program, with the addition of the foreign language classes their students must take, is a well known program for being really challenging. IB is the only program that requires students to take four years of language, which troubles many. The IB program also has an Extended Essay, in which students must choose a topic that interests them, research it and write a 4,000 word essay. Students start working on their EE’s at the start of their junior year and turn it in at the beginning of their senior year. Overall, IB is a very challenging program.

IB junior, Joseph Huber also feels that his junior year has been difficult because of the Extended Essay. When he meets up with his teachers to discuss his EE, “there’s so much to talk about, and on top of that, when you decide on a topic you have to make sure it’s a good one… [it] has to have your interest because then it’ll be easier to write about… there’s just so many factors to consider.”

MSE students start their freshman year including Precalculus and AP Physics I. The intensity of the classes only increases junior year. In addition Calculus II/III, is also the first dual enrollment class that they take. Just like the IB program, MSE students have to do a science fair project which requires a lot of work and time. The project allows MSE students to expand their knowledge on science and engineering concepts they learned throughout their time at Suncoast. Their projects allowed students to participate in the county-wide science fair and then if they were chosen, students would advance to states and finally nationals. The MSE program’s junior year tests everything students have learned throughout their previous years.

Katherine Schrank, now an MSE senior, said that her junior year was by far the most difficult out of all the ones she has had. Schrank said that this was because,“You have AP Physics C, then you have your first dual enrollment math, AP Calc ll/lll, which is supposedly the hardest math at Suncoast. [The most arduous part of junior year] was just homework…you also have to do your science fair project which takes more planning.”

Junior year for CS students consists of adapting to the change in classes. Nicholas Thies, also a CS junior, feels that it is his hardest year yet. “[the most challenging part about junior year is] balancing life. I have a job, a sport, school, and a girlfriend. It’s hard”. Thies feels that his most demanding class is Calculus and he also has difficulty with his IB Computer Studies class because of their project.

In addition to the change in classes and balancing their life out, CS students are also given a yearly project. The project is started at the beginning of junior year and is due towards the end of March of that same school year. In the project, students are given a client and they will have to create a code for a program that benefits them. This project requires a lot of time and planning as well as being a lot of work for the students.

Another program that Suncoast has, IIT, is just as challening as the other programs. There are three branches to IIT, drafting and photography as well as Game and Sim. During their senior year, these branches have projects for which their junior year prepares them. In photography, the students must make a portfolio as their project. In Game and Sim, students switch from learning Flash to C# in their sophomore year which is a big change for them. They also have to create a video game using many 3-D models and coding principles. Drafting is an architecture program that is just like the others and has a senior project that incorporates all the ideas that students have learned in their previous years.

Tyler Stubbs is now a senior in the IIT program. Stubbs has taken band all four years of high school and while he really likes it, “band is really time consuming so … you can get really tired.” While Stubbs does not think his IIT junior year was extremely difficult, he did find that his english classes were harder than he expected.
Overall, each program teaches students valuable lessons that they can use in college and life in general.

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