STEM meetings switch to lunch mod


Hayes Stancliff

STEM Coordinator Michael Monaghan addresses his class while senior Sahil Menon eats his lunch. This year, STEM meetings were moved to lunch rather than being held during students’ off mods.

Beginning this year, STEM students no longer lose an off mod by taking STEM class, but instead attend the class during a lunch mod once per eight day cycle. As a result of this switch, the meeting’s time has been reduced by 25 minutes.

According to STEM Coordinator Michael Monaghan, this change occurred due to scheduling issues. “There was not room in the schedule for me or for [the students]. Last year, I had 12 or 14 STEM sections on top of the other classes I teach,” Monaghan said.

This year, Monaghan has two STEM classes a day, one during freshman/sophomore lunch, and the other during junior/senior lunch.

According to Monaghan, only having 30 minutes to meet has already proven to be a problem. “We can do hardly anything. We have students going to get lunch. 30 [minutes] instead of 50 makes any kind of building or modeling out of the question,” he said.

Senior Jacob Haney affirms that 30 minutes is not enough time. “The meetings aren’t productive at all. There’s a lack of time and focus,” Haney said.

Junior Meredith Brosh agrees with both Haney and Monaghan, wishing that last year’s arrangement continued into this year. “I prefer it during a normal mod [rather than lunch] even though it takes up one of my off mods. During lunch, we only eat, and it’s hard to focus,” Brosh said.

With the time allotted, instead of building models and doing experiments, Monaghan introduces a topic at the start of the cycle and holds discussions about it for each section. So far, topics have included 3D photos and virtual reality.

“The topics like [Virtual Reality] are cool, but I wish we had more time to do experiments. Having more time would allow us to go more in-depth to cool topics and experience what we talk about,” Haney said.

Despite the shorter meeting time this year, Monaghan is excited for next school year, as STEM meetings will become more prominent in a student’s schedule. STEM meetings will become an official class and will meet six out of eight days in the cycle.

The new classes will be 55 minutes long like a regular class, but will take the place of a student’s elective. “Next year should be better, and we will be able to get more done,” Monaghan said.

Despite Monaghan’s optimism about next year, some current STEM students dislike the idea of STEM taking up an elective. Both Brosh and Haney agree that the STEM meetings should return to a similar arrangement.

Brosh thinks next year’s new meeting possibility will be putting students at a disadvantage. “Having STEM six out of eight days is unnecessary. It takes out other classes and could be taking another AP math or science. Instead, you’re being forced to take an elective,” Brosh said.

Lauren Becker is a Media Chief and News Editor for The Patriot and