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PWHS Human Geography course changes how students view the world

PWHS Human Geography course changes how students view the world

To get an idea of the “big picture” they’re going to be exploring in class, students taking Human Geography at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School worked together to build a large world map.

“I love geography, and I love puzzles, so it was two of my favorite things combined,” said PWHS sophomore, Max Erdakos-Roizman. “I thought it was a really good team-building activity. Not only did it familiarize us with the globe, but it familiarized us with each other.” 

Two students piecing together Russia from sheets of paper with map copied on them

PWHS sophomores Max Erdakos-Roizman and Rosie Ounsworth piece together Russia on the world map.

The map was printed onto more than 130 sheets of paper, and the students naturally split into small teams, with some trying to find edge pieces while others were putting together Africa or South America.

“We mapped out all of the countries of the world through our summer work,” said PWHS sophomore Rosie Ounsworth. “This was not only a fun memory game, it also was a good ice breaker.” 

Three girls working on large map puzzle

PWHS sophomores Kennedy Dingle, Lajvar Haroon, and Samara Chew work on a corner of the world map.

In Human Geography, PWHS 10th graders will learn about how people affect the planet through population, culture, economics, and politics. The course asks three questions: Where?, Why there?, and Why care?

“My favorite thing about the course is just the idea that students will never look at the world in the same way. I can’t tell you how many kids I had last year who came back to me and said, ‘I went here, I saw this, and all I could think about was this class,’” said PWHS social studies teacher Jill Ajemian. “It’s just one of those courses that changes the world view a little bit, and that’s really rewarding.” 

While this is the first year that Human Geography replaced Global Studies as the social studies course for all sophomores, PWHS has offered the class through Advanced Placement, or AP, for several years. AP courses provide more challenging lessons and potential college credit. 

“I feel like AP just gives you more worldly knowledge before you are by yourself in college,” said PWHS sophomore Eliyah Eisenman, who’s taking Human Geography through AP. “It’s good to start learning more advanced subjects early.” 

The Human Geography course is also available at the Academic and Honors levels.

AP Human Geography class standing behind finished map

An PWHS AP Human Geography class with the finished world map.