New Albany High School students should expect two new courses to consider in the 2009-10 school year.

New Albany High School students should expect two new courses to consider in the 2009-10 school year.

The school board last week approved the addition of a robotics class and actors-studio course, which would serve as a third-level drama course.

Neither course requires new hires within the district.

The robotics course is a pilot course this year that is funded by the Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools.

"Robotics comes from a pilot course we're doing this year, not for credit," Madeline Partlow, district director of teaching and learning, told the board last week.

According to the course description passed by the board, students mix math and science when building robots and create programs "that enable robots to react to their environment. (Students) build teamwork and problem-solving skills as they deepen their learning in the areas of project planning and organization, research, iterative development, wireless communication and programming logic." At the end of the course, students create a robot that solves a real-world problem.

Although the current robotics course is only a pilot class, Partlow said, student enthusiasm is high.

"Students love this course," she said. "They asked for permission to take this to a full-level course."

Partlow said students would have to apply for robotics because it takes advanced math and science skills.

The actors-studio course, also added to the class list for the 2009-10 school year, would be the third class created by Elliot Lemberg since he came to the high school.

Lemberg is the drama teacher and created another drama course last year, Partlow said.

"He is developing the whole program," she said.

According to the course description, students get a full view of theater by acting, designing costumes, props and sets, directing, managing, publicizing, producing and writing.

The class also includes five projects: "a children's theater production, a night of improvisation, a talent show, a one-act play and a class-composed one-act play," the course description states.

Thus far, theater courses include introduction to drama and the acting method. The new course would give students an opportunity to continue learning.

"This is the third level to further develop the theater program," Partlow said. "This higher level would be for serious acting students."

Prerequisites for the class include the acting method or permission from Lemberg to be in the class.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com