Science Department

Interdisciplinary Lab Science

Grade level:  8 or 9
Length:          Year
Credit:           1.00

Requirements: Required course for all 8th and 9th grade students not enrolled in Biology.

A laboratory science which focuses on the fundamentals of energy, matter, life and material cycles, and a micro to macro scale perspective of science. The students will use the scientific method to drive inquiry and develop evidence parallel to the history of the discoveries investigated in a laboratory setting. Math is introduced as the language of science and reinforces concepts learned in coinciding math courses.  The course material includes the basics of atomic structure, chemical bonding, properties of matter, ecological systems, energy of life systems, the distinction between energy and matter, electrical circuits and sources of electrical energy. The methods of teaching will be geared to produce scientifically thinking students who are prepared for future science courses and to establish critical thinking skills.

Biology

Length:              Year
Credit:                1.00

Prerequisites:              None

This course will explore basic biochemistry and the fundamentals of the scientific method, chemistry of life, cell structure, metabolism, genetics, the central dogma of life, and human physiology. Labs and activities will complement class lectures.

Grades will be based on notebook checks, quizzes, and labs or independent research projects available to those who demonstrate a high level of proficiency.

Chemistry

Length:              Year
Credit:                1.00

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of 70% in 9th grade science course and Algebra I; Instructor recommendation and/or department approval

Co-requisites: Algebra II or higher math

Chemistry is a laboratory science course designed as an introductory discussion of chemistry, the study of matter and materials.  This course presents the fundamental concepts on which chemistry is currently understood.  Over the course of study, students should become familiar with such topics as matter, energy, atoms, elements, molecules, compounds, solutions, chemical composition, chemical reactions, the periodic table, and chemical bonding.  Additionally, skills essential to scientific study will be identified, utilized, and amplified during the activities of this course.  Examples of such skills include communication, organization, data acquisition, quantitative analysis, inquisitive speculation, and conceptual reasoning.  Students will be encouraged to investigate and relate learned material to everyday materials and phenomena.

Skill development and subject understanding will be progressed by various supplemental activities, assignments, and assessments. Students will be required to complete homework assignments, quizzes, exams, projects, presentations, and lab activities and reports.  These are intended to promote active learning of the subject within the classroom, as well as the active curiosity of chemistry topics beyond the classroom.

Chemistry Honors

Length:          Year
Credit:            1.00

Prerequisites:  Minimum grade of 85% in 9th grade science course and Algebra I; Instructor recommendation and/or department approval

Co-requisites: Algebra II or higher math

Chemistry Honors is a laboratory science course designed as an extensive introductory discussion of chemistry, similar to a first semester collegiate chemistry course.  This course presents the fundamental concepts on which chemistry, the study of matter, is currently understood.  Over the course of study, students should become familiar with such topics as matter, energy, atoms, elements, molecules, compounds, solutions, chemical composition, chemical reactions, the periodic table, chemical bonding, acids, bases, chemical equilibrium, oxidation, and reduction.  Additionally, skills essential to scientific study will be identified, utilized, and amplified during the activities of this course.  Examples of such skills include communication, organization, data acquisition, quantitative analysis, inquisitive speculation, and conceptual reasoning.  Students will be encouraged to investigate and relate learned material to everyday materials and phenomena.

Skill development and subject understanding will be progressed by various supplemental activities, assignments, and assessments. Students will be required to complete homework assignments, quizzes, exams, projects, presentations, and lab activities and reports.  These are intended to promote active learning of the subject within the classroom, as well as the active curiosity of chemistry topics beyond the classroom.

Physics

Length:          Year
Credit:            1.00

Prerequisites:        Biology, Chemistry and Algebra 2.  Minimum grade average of 70 in Chemistry and Algebra 2.

A lab-based class designed for the students who have a curiosity about the physical world. Emphasis is placed on understanding the concepts of energy, energy transfer, conservation laws, developing laboratory skills and sharpening critical thinking problem solving skills. Math is used liberally in this course and it aligned with the Precalculus curriculum to strengthen student’s abilities in mathematics and science The goal is to understand the raw concepts and apply them to technology and society.

Physics Honors

Length:          Year
Credit:            1.00

Prerequisites:        Biology, Chemistry, 85% or higher corequisite: Precalculus; Departmental recommendation

An in-depth course designed to challenge science students to think critically about the physical world. Using mathematics as a tool to describe motion, energy, momentum and dynamic systems, the class participates in inquiry based activities to strengthen their understanding of the scientific method. The course delves deeper than the core physics course and is geared towards science students who are comfortable with mathematics and independent learning.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY

GRADE LEVEL:      11 OR 12
LENGTH:              YEAR
CREDIT:              1.00

Exam Requirement:  The AP Biology exam is required in addition to the course semester and final examinations.

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry.  Minimum grade average of 85 in both or by Departmental Approval.

Course Fees: Prepayment of the College Board’s AP exam fee.  

This course will follow the college board’s framework to discuss the four big ideas:  the process of evolution drives the unity and diversity of life; biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to

maintain dynamic homeostasis; living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes; and, biological systems interact and these systems, and their interactions possess complex properties. Grades will be based on quizzes, labs and activities.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY

GRADE LEVEL: 11 OR 12
LENGTH: YEAR
CREDIT: 1.00

Exam Requirement:  The AP Chemistry exam is required in addition to the course semester and final examinations.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of 85% in Chemistry Honors or 90% in Chemistry;   Minimum grade of

85% in Algebra II Honors or 90% in Algebra II; Instructor recommendation and/or department approval

Co-requisites:  Precalculus or higher math; Physics is highly recommended

Course Fees: Prepayment of the College Board’s AP exam fee.  

This AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of a collegiate first year chemistry course.  This course presents fundamental concepts on which chemistry is currently understood and is structured around the six big ideas described in the AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework provided by the College Board.  These topics are the structure of matter, properties of matter (characteristics, states, and forces of attraction), chemical reactions, rates of chemical reactions, thermodynamics, and equilibrium.

Students will enhance their scientific study skills during this course.  Examples of such skills include communication, organization, data acquisition, quantitative analysis, inquisitive speculation, and conceptual reasoning.  Students will be encouraged to investigate and relate learned material to everyday materials and phenomena.  A minimum of 25% of class time will be allotted to laboratory activities, allowing students to investigate and gain a better understanding of the realistic application of the course concepts.

Skill development and subject understanding will be progressed by various supplemental activities, assignments, and assessments. Students will be required to complete homework assignments, quizzes, exams, projects, presentations, and lab activities and reports.  These are intended to promote active learning of the subject within the classroom, as well as the active curiosity of chemistry topics beyond the classroom.  This course is ideal for students anticipating a future in the sciences or who are profoundly curious about the physical world. 

 

 

Astronomy

Grade Level:  11 or 12
Length:          Semester (Spring)
Credit:            .5

Looking out at the universe from our homes has given us an understanding of the vastness of our universe. In this class we will learn about the dynamics of our solar system, why the celestial bodies move the way they do, what stars are made of, and if there is a black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Brain, Behavior, and Sensory Perception

Grade Level:  11 or 12
Length:          Semester (Fall)
Credit:            .5
Prerequisite: Biology

This course will explore the neuroscience and physiology of human behavior, stress and sensory perception using food as the underlying framework. The course will draw mostly from primary research literature and may include guest lectures.

Grading will be based on class participation, quizzes, and projects.

Ecology

Grade Level: 11 or 12
Length:          Semester (Fall)
Credit:           .5

In this course we will explore relationships between organisms and their environment. The curriculum will focus on critical thinking skills and making connections between scientific ideas. Our areas of study will be communities, populations, energy webs, and plant and animal evolution. The goal is to get students to think like scientists and to understand how ecosystems change and develop.

 

Forensic Science

Grade Level:          11 or 12

Length:          Semester (Fall)

Credit:            .5

Prerequisites:    Chemistry; Instructor recommendation and/or department approval

This Forensic Science course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental principles and techniques of applying scientific knowledge to legal investigations.  Forensic science involves systematic qualitative and quantitative analysis of physical materials in order to provide evidence for lawful decision-making.  Forensic science technicians have a moral obligation to society and the justice system to use their scientific knowledge to uncover the undeniable physical evidence in legal cases.

This course will require students to utilize observation and investigation skills within the context of forensic analysis.  Students will be introduced to specialized analytical skills pertaining to biological and chemical identification of materials, such as soil examination, hair and fiber analysis, fingerprinting, DNA profiling, blood analysis, toxicology, forensic anthropology, forgery and counterfeiting.  Students will utilize skills in communication, organization, data acquisition, inquisitive speculation, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and conceptual reasoning.

Skill development and subject understanding will be progressed by various supplemental activities, assignments, and assessments. Students may be required to complete homework assignments, quizzes, exams, projects, presentations, and lab activities and reports.  These are intended for active learning of the subject within the classroom, as well as promote an active curiosity about the subject beyond the classroom.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Grade Level: 11 or 12
Length:          Semester (Fall)
Credit:          .5


Prerequisites:    Biology and Chemistry.  

Human Anatomy & Physiology is a first-semester study of the human body as an organism. The systems of the body are approached from the perspective of homeostasis. Anatomy is the study of the parts of a system, and involves learning and memorizing names of anatomical parts. Physiology is the study of "how" the parts of a system work together towards a goal. Some background in chemistry is helpful in understanding the physiology. The systems covered include the integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, cardiovascular system, urinary system, endocrine system, and digestive system. There is a laboratory component to the course that involves some dissections.

Humanities and Gastronomy

Grade Level:  11 or 12
Length:          Semester (Spring)
Credit:            .5

This course will explore the questions: How does food shape civilizations and cultures? How does food influences an individual and society? Students will draw from history, psychology, sociology, and literature, including topics such as the influence of gastronomy on international diplomacy and conflict resolution. Grading will be based on class participation, quizzes, and projects.

Instrumental Chemical Analysis

Grade Level: 11 or 12
Length:       Semester (Spring)
Credit:        .5

Pre-requisites:  Minimum grade of 80% in Chemistry; Minimum grade of 80% in Algebra II; Instructor recommendation and/or department approval

Co-requisites: Precalculus or higher math; Physics is highly recommended

Instrumental Analysis is a major component of current chemical analysis methods and techniques.  Classic chemical analysis methods are more hands-on, individual interpretation of results.  Current instrumental techniques revolve around electronic capabilities of analyzing chemicals.  These current methods of analysis are often much more reliable, conservative, and cost-efficient.  However, a trained eye is required to decipher the electronic data output and translate it into terms of useful chemical conclusions.  This course will allow students to begin an exploration of some of the instruments most often used in various industries and careers.

This course will aim to look at chromatography, mass spectrometry, and spectroscopy instrumentation.  Students will be introduced to basic instrument mechanics and instrumental measurement concepts, as well as data output analysis.  This course will challenge students’ communication, organization, data analysis, and conceptual reasoning.  Skill development and subject understanding will be progressed by various supplemental activities, assignments, and assessments. Students may be required to complete homework assignments, quizzes, exams, projects, presentations, and lab activities and reports.

Advanced Placement Psychology

Grade Level:   11 or 12
Length:            Year
Credit:             1.00

Exam Requirement:    The AP Psychology exam is required in addition to the course semester and final examinations.

Course Fees:    For AP:  Prepayment of the College Board’s AP exam fee.  

AP Psychology is a full year course designed to introduce students to the scientific study of the basic principles that make up human thought and behavior.  It is also designed to investigate the mental processes involved in human interaction with the

external world.  The course follows the guidelines of the College Board by examining fourteen different areas within the discipline of Psychology, such as theoretical approaches to psychology, research methods, biological bases of behavior, social psychology, sensation and perception, learning and memory, developmental psychology, and abnormal psychology.  Common themes within the field of psychology will be explored within the context those major topics.  Students are required to take the AP Psychology examination in May.

 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS C: MECHANICS

GRADE LEVEL:    11 OR 12
LENGTH:           YEAR
CREDIT:            1.00

Exam Requirement:  The AP Physics C exam is required in addition to the course semester and final examinations.

Prerequisites:  Minimum grade averages of 85 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics; AP Calculus AB or higher co-requisite; or by Departmental Approval.

Course Fees: For AP:  Prepayment of the College Board’s AP exam fee.  

AP Physics C: Mechanics is equivalent to a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. The course explores topics such as kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.