Sophomore Carleigh Burks sat hunched at her laptop, staring at it with a perplexed expression. "I'm trying to find out what the elemental composition of a lipid is," she told her biolit teacher, Rhiannon McKee.
McKee directed Burk to a memorization aid - a puzzle of sorts - that students had worked on earlier in the week. "What elements does it say?" McKee asked. A paper scrap indicated lipids are composed of carbons, hydrogen and oxygen.
"Do you get that?" McKee queried gently.
"Yeah, I'm good," said Burks.
Burks is one of 39 students enrolled in "Biolit" at Jefferson City High School. The class is an integration of two core subjects - Biology I and English II - melded into one year-long course worth two credits to students. The class is co-taught by McKee, a biology teacher, and Abigail Nahlik, an English teacher and the school's speech and debate coach.