Fish Fun: HGAP students compete to name class pet


Aashi Oswal

In an attempt to make HGAP assessments more comprehensive, teachers have put a new grading system in place. It is supposed to both challenge the students on the knowledge checks as well as ease stress over grades with waterfalling.

Trying a new approach to learning, the four-week Fantasy World League on physical geography project came to an end in Scott Li’s AP Human Geography classes with two winning groups getting to name the fish of their choice as the ultimate prize. 

“The project was based on something called the fantasy football league and I’m not much of a football fan myself,” Li said. “But Mr. Johannes, he was the one who came up with the project and all the Human Geography and HGAP teachers thought it turned out a lot better than we had thought.” 

Over the four weeks, students got a different assignment that they had to complete and present in front of the class, and they got scored on artistry, knowledge, and according to Li, how many puns they had. 

The project pushed uncomfortable but necessary presentation skills that helped students learn and grow according to AP Human Geography teacher Tim Johannes.

But the kids really embraced the challenges and enjoyed doing them on some level,”

— AP human geography teacher Tim Johannes

“Anytime you ask a kid to do something they’re not comfortable with there is a little bit of anxiety that goes with it,” Johannes said. “But the kids really embraced the challenges and enjoyed doing them on some level.” 

Composed of four presentations, from soap operas to comic strips, each group embraced the projects differently, allowing lots of room for creativity. 

One of two winning groups for Li’s classroom, Uganda Knuckles (freshmen Evan Bullit, Jahnavi Talla, Delilah Bond, and Sathvik Yechuri ) enjoyed acting out the soap opera presentation the most. 

“Our soap opera was basically like earth and the sun flirting with each other,and then the sun found out that earth had a child and a wife and a whole separate life without him,” freshman Delila Bond said. 

On the other hand, the second winning group, Italian Idiotas (freshmen Tanisha Jhaveri , Meghan DeShetler, Amogh Thantry, Branden Bahk), excelled on the comic strip. 

But whatever presentation was their favorite, these two groups were in it for the endgame prize, which was naming a fish of their own from Li’s aquarium. 

“For me, I don’t know where I got the idea, it just came off the top of my head,” Li said, “ I just thought the students would have a lot of fun naming a fish and having a frame of their fish and their group’s name.”

“We picked the small one with the orange tail and named him Evan Knuckles,” freshman Evan Bullit said.

Naming guppies in the tank of social studies teacher Scott Li was the prize for AP Human Geography students. The four-week Fantasy World League project allowed students several different ways to approach the assignment.

With both groups finalizing the names for their fishes, Li says it’s important to remember to have a good balance between assessments and projects. 

“The thing is if you’re only doing projects it only assesses one type of knowledge and one area of creativity or understanding,” he said. “So at the same time if you only do tests only do quizzes or assessments like that it demonstrates understanding but it can also get really bland and boring. And it’s only one type of assessment. So having both and combining them together is probably the most effective and the most important.”