Breadcrumb

Science

Yearlong Courses

Biology I

The Biology I course is a lecture-based class designed to give the student an introduction to the major concepts of Biology. The material is categorized into larger units to emphasize the connections between topics. First semester material focuses on the major principles of life and is divided into the units of; the Nature of Science, Ecology, Cell Structure, Cellular Metabolism, and Cellular Replication. Second semester builds off the first semester and introduces the students to Genetics, Heredity, Evolution, the History of Life, Classification, and the Human Body. Labs, hands-on activities, and projects will also be performed throughout the course to enhance the lessons, and give the students the opportunity to apply the material. The student can expect a fair amount of reading with consistent reinforcement in class. Upon successful completion of the course, the student will have a better appreciation of the natural world around them and be prepared for any intro level biology course in college. [Prerequisites: Physics I. One credit.]

Advanced Biology

Advanced Biology is designed for the more aggressive student willing to go above and beyond the general understanding of the major topics of Biology. In Advanced Biology the students will be introduced to the same topics of Biology 1: scientific method of thinking and exploring the natural world, the compounds and traits of living organisms, the cell structures and cycles, cell metabolism, DNA structure and replication, protein synthesis, inheritance, life development, evolution, ethics, organ systems, characteristics of populations and ecology. Laboratory experiments and activities will be performed to enhance the lessons and challenge the students’ understanding of the material. The students can expect a large amount of reading, which will be built upon in lectures. Upon completion of the course, the student will have a firm understanding of the concepts and know the material that will be covered in any intro level biology courses in college. This course is recommended for students who have earned a B or higher in their Chemistry class. [Prerequisites: previous or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry and departmental approval. One credit.]

AP Biology

AP Biology gives students an advanced conceptual framework for modern biology and introduces science as a process rather than the accumulation of facts. Student-moderated discussion, group and individual activity and extensive laboratory work integrate several major themes, including evolution, energy transfer, cell biology, biochemistry, and the relationship of structure to function. This course emphasizes the application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to understanding and developing ideas relating to societal issues and environmental issues dealing with biology. Students who commit to this course will be expected to have basic knowledge of cells and cell structures, macromolecules and chemical bonds, principle of inheritance, and energy transfer. Students will have guided reading to ensure they have this base knowledge in place before the first day of class. This course is recommended for students who have demonstrated superior diligence and analytical skills in prior science courses. [Prerequisites: Chemistry and Biology or departmental approval. One credit.]

Chemistry I

Chemistry I is an introductory course that studies the principles that determine the behavior of matter. It provides a lifelong awareness of both the potential and limitations of science and technology. Topics covered will be molecular bonding and structure, the mole, stoichiometry, solids, liquids and gases, the periodic chart, acids, and bases. Students engage in numerous laboratory investigations, problem-solving exercises, and group activities. [Prerequisite: Physics I. One credit.]

Advanced Chemistry

Advanced Chemistry is an introductory course that examines the same topics as in Chemistry I, but with more rigor and greater depth. Topics covered will be molecular bonding and structure, the mol, stoichiometry, solids, liquids and gases, the periodic chart, acids, bases, organic chemistry and nuclear chemistry. Each student will develop independent thinking skills by applying the concepts learned in class to a variety of rigorous chemistry problems, both qualitative and quantitative. Numerous laboratory activities will build upon the ideas discussed in class. This course is recommended for students who have demonstrated strong mathematical and analytical skills in prior courses and who have earned a B+ or higher in Physics. Students who have already taken Chemistry I should not enroll. [Prerequisite: Physics I. One credit.]

AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry offers a theoretical understanding of chemical reactions through an examination of molecular structure and rearrangement. Through numerous laboratory investigations, students gain a theoretical understanding of chemical reactions by studying calculations with chemical formulas, aqueous reactions, atomic structure, periodic properties of elements, chemical bonding, phases of matter, kinetics, equilibria, acid-base reactions, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry. This course is recommended for students who have demonstrated excellent analytical and mathematical skills and who earned a B+ or higher in Advanced Chemistry or an A- or higher in Chemistry I. [Prerequisite: Chemistry or Advanced Chemistry or departmental approval. One credit.]

AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science is a college-level course that integrates extensive lab work, field work, and projects as part of the many units of study. The goal of AP Environmental Science is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Topics include earth systems and resources, ecology, population, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. This course has a Curricular Travel component during one week of Spring Break. Additionally there is a summer reading requirement for this course. This course will prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Exam. [Prerequisites: Chemistry, Biology, and Algebra II. Concurrent enrollment in Biology or Algebra II is possible with departmental approval. One credit.]

Physics I

This course is an introductory course for freshmen only that emphasizes a conceptual understanding of the fundamental principles that govern the universe. The students will explore motion, forces, energy, gravity, waves, optics, circuits, magnetism, and modern physics. The application of various skills and techniques learned in Algebra I and Geometry will be reinforced. Frequent laboratory activities and investigations will allow the students to comprehend abstract concepts better and to improve their analytical skills. This course is for 9th grade students. [One credit.]

Advanced Physics

Advanced Physics is an introductory course that investigates the fundamental principles of our universe with an emphasis on a conceptual understanding as well as a quantitative one. Students will be working regularly in the lab and will be expected to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to real-world situations. The topics covered will be linear motion, forces, energy, momentum, rotational motion and mechanics, pressure, waves, sound, optics, and electricity. This course is recommended for students who have earned a B- or higher in their previous math class. Students who have taken Physics I should not enroll. [Prerequisite: Algebra II. One credit.]

AP Physics C

This course delves deeply into the kinematics and dynamics of translational, rotational, and simple harmonic motion. This class is equivalent to a semester-long, college-level introductory physics course for scientists and engineers. The concepts of force, mass, acceleration, energy, and momentum will be thoroughly investigated. Other topics will include electric and magnetic fields, circuits, and optics. This course is recommended for students who have earned an A- or higher in their previous math class. [Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB or BC (including concurrent enrollment). One credit.]

Principles of Engineering

This year-long curriculum focuses on the relevant application of science, math, engineering and technology (STEM) concepts to electrical, mechanical, environmental and biomedical engineering. Students will discover how modern engineers design and build new technologies using math and science, together with their ingenuity. Students will learn and apply the engineering design process during hands-on activities and projects. In addition, they will utilize critical thinking skills to design solutions to real-world problems. Techniques involving brainstorming, reverse engineering, and research will also be applied during this process. This class is open to seniors who meet the requirements and juniors with departmental approval. [Prerequisites: B+ or higher in: Regular Precalculus , Chemistry, and Physics. One credit.]

Biochemistry Research I

Students engage in original research on a variety of topics to learn problem solving skills, critical thinking and analysis. Some projects involve growing plants and screening them for the presence of certain antioxidants, which have potential to be used as a natural colorant in food products and have been shown to have health benefits. In addition, students may use discarded objects or material to create a product of higher quality (upcycling), such as for the synthesis of biopolymers, in particular bioplastics, or to extract fuel from the potentially discarded objects. The students will learn how to use a variety of different instruments and laboratory techniques, such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), lyophilization and gas chromatography (GC). This class is open to committed and motivated seniors and juniors with approval. Qualified students should have earned a B or higher in their Chemistry class. [Prerequisite: Chemistry. One credit.]

Biochemistry Research II

This class is a continuation of Biochemistry Research I. The student who has taken year one will continue their research using chromatographic or other methods, depending on the research project that they are performing. Students will prepare the samples themselves and collect and analyze the data using instruments and other mathematical techniques. This class is open to committed and motivated seniors who have taken Biochemistry Research I. [Prerequisite: Biochemistry Research I. One credit.]

AP Psychology

Advanced Placement Psychology is a full year college level course. It is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals as defined by the College Board and the American Psychological Association. AP Psychology deepens the exploration into the human psyche and human behavior through the exploration of the history and varied approaches within psychology, brain function, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, human development and learning acquisition, motivation and emotion, cognition, testing and individual differences, personality theory, abnormal behavior and treatment, and social psychology. The course will include a variety of assessments including student-led discussions, traditional tests, projects, papers, and presentations. The overall content covered in this course fulfills the College Board’s requirements for AP Psychology, and students are expected to take the Advanced Placement exam for this course. [Prerequisite: none. One credit.]

*Note: Only open to seniors.

Fall Semester Courses

Adolescent Psychology

Many physical and psychological changes occur during the transitional stage of adolescence. In this semester long course, students will examine the biological, physiological, cognitive, moral, emotional, and social aspect to adolescent growth and development. Relevant theories and topics will be covered through the exploration of current research in the field. Students will be expected to read from a variety of sources each night in order to best prepare for assessments, as well as participate in class discussions, activities, and projects. NOTE: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors. Juniors are still able to take AP Psychology after this course. Seniors may not take this course if they are enrolled in AP Psychology. [Half credit.]

Anatomy and Physiology: Foundations

This course is designed for the student who has already completed any level of biology and is interested in advancing their understanding of the human body. The course material will cover the structure, organization, and functions of the human body systems. Anatomy and Physiology begins by reemphasizing the structure of the cell and basic metabolic reactions of the cell. Once the basics are covered, the course will progress to studying the following systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, and nervous. Anatomy and Physiology is a lecture and discussion-based course accompanied by laboratory activities and dissections. [Prerequisite: Biology. Half credit.]

Forensic Science: Ancient Cases with an Anthropology Focus

In this course, students will study and apply forensic science techniques to historical cases. Forensic science is predominately a lab class with an emphasis on solving problems using the skills learned in this class. During this semester long class, students will explore techniques used by forensic anthropologists to investigate evidence from ancient burials and crime scenes. The topics covered in this class will include: types of evidence (soil, bone, physical trauma, pollen and spores, blood, crime and accident reconstruction with a focus. on burial scenes, and computer modeling of facial reconstruction using skulls. Students will investigate ancient cases involving pharaohs, kings, the first gun shot in the Americas, presidents, czars, and stone-age cases. Grades will be based on presentations, lab reports, and quizzes. [Half credit.]

Introduction to Astronomy

The purpose of this course is to present a broad view of the field of Astronomy. Course topics will be organized with an “Earth-Out” approach and include foundations of astronomy, historical perspective, origin of the Solar System, properties of planets, near earth objects, life cycle and types of stars, galaxies, and the search for extraterrestrial life. There will be weekly hands-on labs, as well as sky- viewing opportunities throughout the semester. What’s going on in the sky tonight? Join the class and find out. [Prerequisite: Two years of lab science. Half credit]

Spring Semester Courses

Adolescent Psychology

Many physical and psychological changes occur during the transitional stage of adolescence. In this semester long course, students will examine the biological, physiological, cognitive, moral, emotional, and social aspect to adolescent growth and development. Relevant theories and topics will be covered through the exploration of current research in the field. Students will be expected to read from a variety of sources each night in order to best prepare for assessments, as well as participate in class discussions, activities, and projects. NOTE: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors. Juniors are still able to take AP Psychology after this course. Seniors may not take this course if they are enrolled in AP Psychology. [Half credit.]

Anatomy and Physiology: Advanced Systems

This course introduces the student to the intricate design and functions of the more complex systems of the human body. These systems include the endocrine, cardiovascular, immune, digestive, respiratory, urinary, and reproductive. The course will also cover supporting topics such as special senses and nutrition. Similar to the first semester Anatomy and Physiology course, the material will be presented by way of lectures, class discussions, lab activities, and dissections. [Prerequisite: Biology. Half credit.]

Forensic Science: Modern Cases

In this course, students will learn how to observe and analyze the world around them and apply this science to legal matters. This is predominately a lab class with an emphasis on problem solving. Students will explore techniques used by forensics teams and crime labs to investigate evidence from crime scenes. The topics covered in this class will include: evidence study (hair, fiber, blood, bone, glass, soil, etc.), observation of the crime scene and data collection, presentation of evidence in a court setting, and methods of analysis using knowledge from various scientific fields, such as chemistry, anthropology, and pathology. The grade from this class will be based mostly on lab reports and presentations about evidence and techniques used to analyze evidence. This course is recommended for students who have taken Biology and Chemistry. [Half credit.]

Introduction to Natural Disasters

The purpose of this course is to provide an interdisciplinary overview of Earth’s surface processes that directly impact humanity. This course will integrate principles in geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. We will explore the characteristics, causes, global distribution, estimated frequencies, and effects of the following natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding, landslides, sinkholes, thunderstorms and tornadoes, coastal hazards, climate change, wildfires, and extraterrestrial impacts. We will also look at approaches to mitigate the effects on humans and how humans are exacerbating the frequency and effects of some of these natural disasters. By the end of the course, students will have an overview of Earth’s natural hazards and how they impact societies and economies in a globalized world. [Prerequisite: Two years of lab science. Half credit]