The Science program offers students the opportunity to explore the natural world and discover the principles that govern natural processes, both living and nonliving. The focus of the curriculum is critical thinking and problem solving skills that are developed through laboratory and other investigative activities. In addition, students will also demonstrate mastery of appropriate scientific literacy, mathematical modeling, and develop skills in cooperation and communication in the practice of scientific inquiry. It is recommended that students take four years of Science as many colleges will require three to four years of laboratory-based Science courses for admission. Completion of Chemistry and upper-level Physics are strongly recommended if students plan to pursue a college program in the physical sciences, life sciences, computer science, mathematics, engineering, psychology, or physical education.
This 9th grade science class introduces physics topics (force, motion, electricity, magnetism, waves, nuclear physics) and chemistry topics (atomic models, the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical reactions) with an algebra basis. Throughout the course, students practice precise laboratory measurements and techniques.
This course is required of all 9th grade students.
The biology class explores the origins and history of life, the structures of living things (biochemistry), how living things function (cellular processes), and how living things interact with one another (ecological relationships). Throughout the course, students will develop laboratory skills with focus on observation, modeling and field studies.
This course is required of all 10th grade students.
Chemistry is a laboratory-based science course. Students develop their critical thinking and qualitative problem-solving skills in a collaborative environment including modeling, graphing, and experimental investigations. Topics include atomic structure, physical states of matter, the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical equations, properties of gases, reactions, solutions, acids and bases, and other appropriate topics.
This course is required of all 11th grade students.
Honors Chemistry will stress topics related to matter and energy, scientific measurement, atomic structure, chemical names and formulas, problem solving, stoichiometry, states of matter, electron configurations, chemical periodicity, and other appropriate topics. The student will be made aware of how chemical processes and principles are related to everyday experiences. Students will be encouraged to assume more responsibility for their own learning by making experimentation and problem solving skills an integral part of the topics covered. Honors Chemistry or Chemistry fulfill the requirement for graduation.
Prerequisites: Completion of — or concurrent enrollment in — Algebra II and department approval.
This course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. Students will attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course will contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic. Topics of study will include structure of matter, states of matter, reactions, descriptive chemistry, kinetics, equilibrium, thermochemistry, electrochemistry, organic chemistry, and chemical calculations. In this rigorous course, independent work is required and a significant amount of out-of-class reading and study time is expected. Students enrolled in AP Chemistry will prepare for the AP exam in May.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of both Honors Chemistry and Algebra II and/or department approval.
This course is recommended for 12th graders planning on majoring in a STEM discipline. Physics is a heavily math-dependent subject that studies the world around us. Students will study topics including motion in one and two dimensions, force, friction and Newton’s laws, work and energy, momentum and collisions, vibrations and waves, sound, light, and reflection. Throughout the course, students will develop measuring and analytical modeling skills. *Physics may be required by some colleges for admission.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of both Chemistry and Algebra II and department approval.
This course is equivalent to the general physics course usually taken during the first year of college. Students will attain a depth of understanding fundamentals of physics and competence in dealing with physical science problems. The course will contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas orally and in writing, with clarity and logic. Topics of study will include Newtonian mechanics (motion in one and two dimensions, force, rotational motion, and angular momentum), work, energy, power, and simple harmonic motion. In this heavily math-dependent, rigorous course, independent work is required and a significant amount of out-of-class reading and study time is expected. Students will prepare for the AP Physics Exam in May.
Open to 11th and 12th grade students.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Honors Chemistry, enrollment in Precalculus or Calculus, and/or department approval.
AP Biology is a rigorous course designed for the college bound student who is considering a major in science or medicine and who has a profound interest in the Biological Sciences. The course will help students develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses and to prepare students to take the AP Biology exam in May.
Open to 11th and 12th grade students.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Biology, an average of a B or better in Chemistry (Honors Chemistry preferred), and/or departmental approval.
This is a one semester course that introduces students to theoretical and observational astronomy. Students will learn about the history of astronomy, telescopes (optical and radio), planetary motion, moon phases, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe as a whole. Students will be required to attend at least one night observation session from a variety of options. Students will also make solar observations during class time.
Environmental Science will examine questions relating to use of land, water, air, and energy. This course will include field studies, economic theory, and ethical thinking. Students will participate in simulations, analyze data from charts, graphs, and satellite images, and use online resources for discussion and debate.
A lab based practical course designed for students interested in a career in the medical fields such as nursing, physical therapy, veterinary science, or medical doctor. Students will be able to identify different tissue types, locations in the body and their physiological function. Students will be able to locate and identify organs and structures of the major body systems and how they function normally and under stressors such as disease. Students will be able to analyze the overarching theme of structure and function in real life scenarios using the scientific method to design, implement and infer from student hypotheses. Students will also explore medical technology such as pacemakers and medical imaging and how different physiological conditions make use of this technology.
Principles of Engineering discovers the different types of engineering fields and helps students develop skills they might use in a post-secondary engineering course of study. The semester is divided into two modules, each approximately 8 weeks long. Students choose a topic they want to do for a module. Each topic has 3 levels of difficulty, so students can do that topic for a total of 3 modules. The topics include:
Structural Engineering – Understand the fundamental forces of structures, such as buildings and bridges. Use your knowledge to build structures.
Computer Aided Design (CAD) – Design mechanical parts and create them on a 3D printer.
Coding – Learn how to code in Java using an Arduino Uno.
Robotics – Program robots, automated devices, and Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) cells.
Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students.
Students may take the course up to 3 times (6 modules).
Prerequisites: Successful completion of, or current enrollment in Geometry