Science

  • SCIENCE PROGRAM SEQUENCE

     
    Lab Biology and two more years of lab science (Chemistry, Environmental Science, or Physics) are required for
    graduation (15 credits). 
     
    Acceleration in science is available by taking two non-elective science courses in the same school year.
     
    Questions regarding prerequisites and/or sequence acceleration should be directed to the department supervisor. 
     
    5 Credits, Grade 9
    In Lab Biology, students will construct claims, collect evidence, and provide explanations of the biological phenomena. Through scientific inquiry, students will deepen their understanding of biology. Students will approach inquiry and experimentation as problem solvers with the ability to design experiments, collect and analyze data, and formulate conclusions based on evidence. They will have the opportunity to analyze and model life processes in order to justify possible solutions to problems. Students will interpret the structure and function of cells to discover the importance of maintaining balance within living systems. Students will also explore the importance of heredity and evolution for the continuation of species and discover the causes and impact of variation within species. Students will investigate how life on Earth equates to all organisms interacting with one another and the environment.
    5 Credits, Grade 10 
    Prerequisite: Biology 
    Lab Chemistry encompasses the quantitative and qualitative study of matter and its changes. The course provides the skills, concepts, and knowledge necessary to answer extended thinking questions. Multiple strategies, technologies, and resources are utilized to transmit and transform information. Various methods are utilized to assess student knowledge and understanding of the material. Students will develop critical thinking skills through a combination of authentic laboratory experiences, problem-solving, data collection, and strategic thinking. Students will learn how to utilize technology to analyze and present data. All learning styles are addressed through instructional methods and assessments that incorporate scientific reading, writing, and computation.
     
    LAB PHYSICS 
    5 Credits, Grades 11-12 
    Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry
    Lab Physics explores our place within the universe as it tells the story of the physical laws the universe obeys. Students begin by understanding the physical laws of our universe to explain natural phenomena and interactions with our environment. Laws are introduced using observation, experimentation, and student-driven inquiry. These laws are then applied to the bigger picture including our home (Earth), our star (the Sun), and the universe as a whole. Students will investigate the Big Bang, the formation of stars, and orbits of the planets, and focus on the Earth, its atmosphere, its surface, and inner workings. The story comes full circle with investigations into the effects of society on Earth’s systems and our understanding of the universe.
     
    LAB ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
    5 Credits, Grades 11 - 12
    Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry 

    In Laboratory Environmental Science students will actively participate to develop and use models exploring questions about dynamic Earth, its systems, biodiversity, and natural resources. They will evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain why the surface of the earth looks the way it does. Students will analyze geoscience data and construct models to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems. Students will understand that certain interactions affect simultaneous coevolution of Earth’s systems and life on Earth. Cause and effect relationships between populations and environmental stability will be explored. Students will evaluate claims regarding loss of biodiversity and its effect on Earth’s ecosystems. By examining the availability of natural resources and occurrences of natural hazards, students will design, evaluate, and refine solutions to reduce the human impacts on Earth systems.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY
    5 Credits, Grades 10 - 12
    Prerequisite: Lab Biology. May be taken concurrently with Lab Chemistry

    The AP Biology curriculum emphasizes critical and independent thinking in order to facilitate a “big picture” understanding of the structure and function of living organisms. The rigor of the course is equivalent to an entry-level college course, and students are expected to rise to the challenge of the College Board AP Biology exam. Students are expected to apply the content and make connections between the four “big ideas:” 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life; 2: Biological systems utilize energy and molecular building blocks to grow, reproduce, and maintain homeostasis; 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes; 4: Biological systems interact, and these interactions possess complex properties.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY
    5 Credits, Grades 11 - 12
    Prerequisite: Lab Chemistry. May be taken concurrently with Lab Physics or AP Physics

    Advanced Placement Chemistry provides students with a college-level foundation in which they will deepen their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. Advanced Placement Chemistry provides extensive hands-on laboratory experience during which students must draw upon their reading, writing, and mathematical expertise to explore complex chemical concepts.
     
    5 Credits, Grades 11 - 12
    Prerequisites: Algebra 1 and Geometry
    Corequisite: Algebra 2
    AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS 2
    5 Credits, Grades 11-12
    Prerequisites: AP Physics 1 and Algebra 2
    Corequisite: Precalculus, Honors Precalculus, or Calculus

    AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
    5 Credits, Grades 11-12
    Prerequisites: Lab Biology and Lab Chemistry 

    AP Environmental Science is an introductory college-level environmental science course. Students will engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. In this course students are required 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 or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.

    LAB FORENSIC SCIENCE
    2.5 Credits, Grades 11 - 12
    Prerequisites: Lab Biology and Lab Chemistry

    This half-year laboratory course for juniors and seniors provides an introduction to the field of forensic science. The course of study includes the applications of forensic science concepts (which involves biology, chemistry, and physics) to analyze and investigate evidence that may be discovered in a criminal investigation. Classroom activities include laboratory investigations and activities, research projects, famous case studies, lab practicums, career exploration, and the infusion of technology throughout the scope of the course.

    LAB MARINE SCIENCE
    2.5 Credits, Grades 11 - 12
    Prerequisites: Lab Biology and Lab Chemistry
    Marine Science is a half-year elective course designed for students with an interest in the many aspects of the marine environment, and in developing the ability to identify the problems and possible solutions of our ocean habitat. Students will explore the composition of the ocean, marine organisms - their habitats, tides, waves, and coasts, and how humans are impacting oceans on a global scale. Classroom activities include laboratory investigations and activities, research projects, problem solving, data collection, and strategic thinking to increase student awareness of the importance of the marine community in our ever-changing world.
     
    LAB ZOOLOGY
    2.5 Credits, Grades 11 - 12
    Prerequisites: Lab Biology and Lab Chemistry 

    Lab Zoology is a half-year science course designed for students interested in exploring the diversity of organisms in the animal kingdom. The course emphasizes the comparative anatomy and physiology of various invertebrates and vertebrates, and students learn through a combination of classroom activities, including dissection, hands-on experiments, projects and the integration of technology.