Cherry Hill East introduces new science electives for the 2022-2023 school year


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Cherry Hill East is adding four new science electives for the 2022-2023 school year.

Cherry Hill High Schools are offering four new science electives for the 2022-2023 school year — Neuroscience and Society, Science of Cooking, Toxicology, and Animal Behavior.

These electives will be semester-length courses (2.5 credits) available for all grades to take.

According to a statement on the Cherry Hill Public School’s website, the district added these courses because they were the most heavily requested in a survey given in the Fall of 2021.

The decision to add more science electives for the 2022-2023 school year is part of the district’s recent initiative to encourage more students to explore science beyond the required courses — Biology, Physics, and Chemistry.

The addition of these courses mirrors a similar action by the district last year, where Cherry Hill Public Schools added Climate Science to Action, Infectious Disease, Introduction to Engineering, and Marine Biology to the courses available to high school students.

The district has not yet announced who will teach these four courses, and they have not outlined a set curriculum. However, the administration is confident these electives will allow their students to explore their scientific interests.

“Implementing new semester science electives will help provide students with more opportunities to engage in science instruction,” the district wrote in a statement on their website.

Neuroscience and Society

Neuroscience and Society is a half-year science elective discussing how neuroscience principles apply to human behavior.

According to the district, the course will cover anatomy and physiology of the brain, drugs and addiction, learning and development, mental illness, law and criminology, and wellbeing.

Unlike the psychology courses already offered at Cherry Hill high schools — which only dedicate part of the curriculum to exploring the biological perspective — this course spends more time covering how neuroscience can explain behavior and changes in societal attitudes.

Because it is a growing field, this course will also explore how the study of neuroscience will change as societal behavior rapidly changes.

The Science of Cooking

The Science of Cooking, the second science elective added for the 2022-2023 school year, explores the scientific aspects of food preparation.

“Students will learn to think like both a cook and a scientist,” the district wrote.

According to the district, this course will incorporate physics, engineering, and chemistry into cooking.

Although Cherry Hill High Schools already offers a cooking course, it focuses more on the principles and techniques of making food. The new elective, however, highlights the science that makes cooking possible.

David Chang, an experienced chef based and founder of the Momofuku Culinary Lab, has repeatedly advocated for the importance of science in the culinary arts.

“The more we understand about the science of food, I realized, the better we would be able to cook,” Chang said.

In the Science of Cooking, students get the opportunity to bring the laboratory into the kitchen.


The third course, Toxicology, combines various disciplines to dive into the world of toxic agents.

Like Neuroscience and Society, Toxicology expands on concepts mentioned in another class already offered at Cherry Hill High Schools — Forensics. Similarly, the environmental science courses at CHPS dedicate only one unit to toxicology. While toxicology is only discussed briefly in Forensics and Environmental Science, the new elective will explore the topic in more depth.

“Students will discuss distribution, cellular penetration, metabolic conversion, and the elimination of toxic agents, as well as the fundamental laws governing the interaction of foreign chemicals with biological systems,” the district wrote.

Like the other new subjects, Toxicology introduces students to a growing field. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for forensics professions is increasing at a rate much faster than average.

The Toxicology elective — like the other courses added — also discusses the real-world application of the subject.

Animal Behavior

Animal Behavior, the final new elective, covers the psychology of almost any non-human organism.

The new elective will highlight the biological and evolutionary reasoning for why animals do what they do.

Other courses at East do briefly cover behavioral biology, but Animal Behavior gives students a more nuanced and thorough look at the topic.

“The course will examine animal behavior, genetics, physiology of animal behavior, ecology of animal behavior, and the evolution of animal behavior,” the district wrote.

Unlike a typical psychology course, this course allows students to interpret behavior through an ecological lens — analyzing the actions of vastly diverse organisms.