Virtual NCSSM classes offer new opportunities


Sophia Farrow , staff writer

The North Carolina School of Science and Math offers many rigorous classes in science, technology, engineering and math, and students here have the chance to apply and attend the NCSSM without leaving Dare County.

“In 2008 the NCSSM started offering classes online. Two students are taking classes with the NCSSM this year, it is very hard to get into. Several sophomores have already applied for next year,” guidance counselor Pam Yelle said.

Students apply to the NCSSM as sophomores and take the courses their junior year. Before applying, students must take the SAT. In addition to the SAT, students must complete an application and get a student evaluation from a science, math or English teacher from their freshman or sophomore year.

Taking the classes through NCSSM while a student at MHS is a dual enrollment program. This means that the classes students take with the NCSSM count towards their GPA. Students do not have to dual enroll and can instead take classes without them counting toward their GPA. If students do not dual enroll then they are not allowed to take the classes during the school day and instead they have to take them outside of school on their own time. Also, if students do not dual enroll then it does not count for anything except an NCSSM transcript.

Juniors Josh Pack and Daniel Mitchum are currently taking classes with the NCSSM. Pack and Mitchum learned about this opportunity during their sophomore year when a representative from the NCSSM came to speak to Manteo students.

“I wanted to take classes through NCSSM because they branched out from what Manteo had to offer and would give me great opportunities to discover something I enjoyed doing,” said Mitchum.

Classes for the NCSSM are taken during fifth period at school, unless it is an extra class.

“I really enjoy taking the challenging classes at the NCSSM, and I love being apart of the NCSSM community,” Pack said.

Being a part of the NCSSM community means that students participate in NCSSM activities such as online classes, online weekends, summer programs and an optional prom. Online weekends are weekends where students taking online classes with the NCSSM go to the campus to do labs and activities.

“Online weekends are a fun time to collaborate with really smart students and instructors,” said Pack.

While the NCSSM offers many classes in the fields of math and science it also offers some classes in the field of humanities. Pack is taking forensic sciences, genetics and biotechnology. Pack says that taking classes with the NCSSM does not add to his schedule any more than a normal classes would.

“Classes are challenging and exciting, and all the instructors are very knowledgeable and excited about their subject area,” Pack said.

Pack suggests that students take classes with NCSSM, but only if they are highly motivated.

“NCSSM courses are advanced and rigorous, and only students who are highly motivated can succeed in that type of learning environment,” Pack said.

Taking classes with the NCSSM provides new opportunities to students. These classes challenge students in areas of interest and provide them with a unique learning opportunity.

“NCSSM offers online classes to students who are passionate about math and science,” Yelle said. “The rigorous classes are different than what we offer here at MHS, and they are a great opportunity to enrich your high school curriculum and your experience.”