ISMH: Northwood’s latest integrated interdisciplinary course

The IUSD board of education voted on implementing a new curriculum this past Friday, which will be put into effect in 2021. Integrated Science Math Humanities (ISMH) will be a mandatory course for next year’s freshmen and sophomores, integrating all aspects of all previous science, math and humanities classes.

In response to the overwhelming student demand for more integrated courses, IUSD staff held a meeting over the summer looking for new ways to integrate various classes. After over 40 seconds of drawn-out deliberation, the council overwhelmingly voted in favor of the creation of ISMH. The one nay vote came from the single Northwood student representative present, who has requested to remain anonymous.

ISMH will provide students the opportunity to collaboratively engineer sustainable solutions, cross-cutting concepts through research of a historical phenomenon, investigation of the science behind it and the application of mathematical knowledge to solve the burning questions of today. This one-class-fits all will mimic students’ future professional roles as interdisciplinary clinicians, requiring them to describe their findings in specific literary styles. Before they know it, students will be able to calculate the slope of George Washington’s nose and write a report on how air transported through his nostrils expanded his brain and made him a notable historical figure in iambic pentameter.

“ISMH?” sophomore Helena Zhou said. “What’s that? I Shake My Head?” Another major change in the curriculum is the project format. Bid farewell to your beloved anchors, capstones, soapstones and stonestones—ISMH will now host the Keystone. By the end of the year, students will be expected to submit a 60 page manifesto detailing a new form of government that incorporates the core values of integration, the land-speed velocity of tardigrades and aspects of their personal identity written in the style of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.

“At least now I can go home before 10 on even days because other than this, I’m only taking AP Music Theory,” freshman Ryan Tram said.

To ease the transition between current humanities and integrated math and science programs to a full integration of all core classes, next year’s class will be taught by the same teacher for each class. After unquestioned success of integrated courses so far at Northwood, the administration has no doubt that this new course will be a groundbreaking success.

“With ISMH’s combination of the four core curriculums, students now have the option of taking seven electives!” Integration Coordinator Shakem Yhead said.

In the future, Northwood hopes to establish ISMH 2, 3 and 4 and possibly even begin to integrate the available language courses of Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese, sign language and braille. Physical education programs as are being considered for integration as well.