The science program provides necessary background and skills from which students can become scientifically literate in order to make responsible decisions. The classes actively involve students in problem solving, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and verbal and written communications. But it is also important that students develop an appreciation of science as a process to investigate and discover natural relationships in the created world. This includes a concern for the environment and appreciation for the physical and biological world.Besides offering typical courses in biology, chemistry and physics, the department offers electives designed to satisfy the varied interests of the students. Teachers encourage debate of moral and ethical questions while at the same time prepare qualified students for science study in college.
- Biology (College Prep, Honors, and AP)
- Chemistry (College Prep, Honors, and AP)
- AP Environmental Science
- Anatomy and Physiology (College Prep and Honors)
- Marine Biology (College Prep and Honors)
- Sports Medicine
- Biotechnology and Molecular Biology
- AP Physics I and II
This course is a challenging study of the biological sciences. Major emphasis is placed on chemistry, cell structure and function, ecology, exploring the vast range of living organisms, human systems, genetics, evolution, biotechnology, and the human genome. This is a full-year course at the freshman or sophomore level. No prerequisites are required. This is a lab-intensive course, which includes the use of the computer and/or scientific calculator as a research tool. Students should leave this course equipped to evaluate new discoveries, ideas, and opinions in a manner that allows them to correctly judge truth from fiction, and to form their own reasoned position on these issues.
Honors Prerequisite: Completion of the previous science course with a year-long grade of 90% or better, qualifying score on placement test, and teacher recommendation.
Guides for Biology and Biology Honors show that they differ mostly in depth of topics covered and in the inclusion of certain topics. Typically, the student enters Honors Biology with advanced mathematics standing and a high interest in science.
Honors Prerequisite: Completion of Biology and Chemistry with a year-long grade of 90% or better and teacher recommendation.
A laboratory-based, college-level biology class. This rigorous, fast paced course is designed to provide students with conceptual and factual scientific knowledge, as well as help develop the analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Classes will consist mostly of lecture and discussion, except for the 12 required labs. In May, students will take the AP Biology exam, which will consist of a multiple choice and essay component. If students pass the exam with a score of 3, 4 or 5, then they may be eligible for receiving college credit for biology.
The AP Biology course will use Campbell’s Biology (fifth edition) textbook, and will cover all the major topics of biology, including the chemistry of life, the cell, genetics, mechanisms of evolution, the evolutionary history of biological diversity, plant form and function, animal form and function, and ecology.
It offers students a thorough grounding in the basic principles of inorganic chemistry. The emphasis for the class is on the “how and the why” of things, not merely the who, what, when and where of the subject matter. This will involve learning problem-solving strategies and critical thinking skills. A working knowledge of algebra is a definite prerequisite. Lab activities are carefully chosen to allow the students to see textbook concepts in action, and to develop analytical skills and laboratory techniques. The planned scope and sequence for the units covered in the class is as follows: [Quarter 1] - Basic concepts of matter and energy; models of the atom; quantum theory; [Quarter 2] - The structure and use of the periodic table; the nature of chemical bonding; molecular shapes; chemical formulas and equations; [Quarter 3] - Unit conversions; the mole concept; simple stoichiometry; physical phases of matter; the gas laws; [Quarter 4] - Solutions; equilibrium; acids and bases. These units are contained in the first sixteen chapters of the textbook.
Honors Prerequisite: Completion of Biology CP with a year-long grade of 90% or better and teacher recommendation, OR completion of Biology H with a year-long grade of 83% or better and teacher recommendation.
Guides for Chemistry and Chemistry Honors show that they differ mostly in depth of topics covered and in the inclusion of certain topics. Typically, the student enters Chemistry Honors with advanced mathematics standing in advanced algebra and a high interest in science. Certain lab experiments reflect the depth of topics covered.
AP Prerequisite: Completion of Chemistry or Chemistry Honors with a year-long grade of 90% or better and teacher recommendation, completion of Geometry Honors with 83% or better, and concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or higher.
A two-semester intensive laboratory-based college-level course designed for the motivated junior and senior-level student. This course is the equivalent to the first year of college-level chemistry. All topics from chemistry are reviewed and extended. Additional topics include molecular orbital theory, thermodynamics, kinetics and reaction mechanisms, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry. This course will strongly emphasize the theory behind the results. Students will be expected to explain their observations in light of topics covered in class. Upon completion of this course, students will be expected to take the AP Exam in chemistry with the possibility of earning college credit.
AP Prerequisite: Completion Biology and Chemistry with a year-long grade of 83% or better and teacher recommendation.
AP Environmental Science is designed to be the equivalent of a ONE-SEMESTER, introductory college-level course (though we utilize two high school semesters to teach the class). Unlike many other AP courses, Environmental Science is unique in its interdisciplinary nature which includes geology, biology, ecology, chemistry, physics, economics, philosophy, and politics. All students taking AP Environmental Science must have successfully completed two years of high school laboratory science (one life science and one physical science) and at least one year of algebra. AP Environmental Science is an option recommended for students who are not necessarily planning on a science major in college. It is a laboratory science involving quantitative and qualitative analyses of air, water, soil, biodiversity, population, energy, toxicity, and many other related investigations. Assessments and assignments will include debates, reading, notes, lab reports, worksheets, essays, creative presentations, quizzes, projects, and tests.
Anatomy and Physiology:
This course is an advanced biology course, designed for the student interested in the structure and function of the human body, and for students who are interested in biological or medical careers. Structure will be addressed in the anatomy portion of the class and function in the physiology portion; both subjects will be presented concurrently. In this course, we will investigate how the concepts are applied to sports, trained vs. untrained individuals, and during exercise. Students who are seeking to pursue a career in sports or fitness will find this course challenging and rewarding. The classroom component will consist of lectures, videos, and typical classroom activity. The laboratory component of this course will occur both in the lab and outdoors, with students participating as experimental subjects. Students will perform experiments using our athletic facilities as well as computer-aided assessment.
Honors Prerequisite: Completion of Biology and Chemistry with a year-long grade of 90% or better OR Biology Honors and Chemistry Honors with a year-long grade of 83% or better and teacher recommendation.
Anatomy and Physiology Honors:
Students in the honors course complete the more advanced labs (e.g. dissections); much of the more complex systems and information are covered in this honors course as opposed to the regular course. In general, the class differs mostly in depth of topics covered and in the inclusion of certain topics. Typically, the student enters Anatomy and Physiology Honors with advanced mathematics and a high interest in science. Certain lab experiments reflect the depth of topics covered.
The study of aquatic biomes including the ocean, estuaries, lakes, and rivers. The flora and fauna will be studied with detailed study of characteristic species, including mammals, osteichthyes, chondrycthyes, gastropods, cephalopods, cnidarians, ctenophores, crustaceans, and sponges. The class will involve class lecture, discussions, laboratories, field trips, a weekend excursion to the Pacific Ocean, and trips to oceanographic institutes. The assessment portion of the class will involve written lab reports, research papers, section exams, and participation in all aspects of the class. The class will afford the opportunity for students to snorkel and explore the environment firsthand. After completing the class, students will be able to identify the makeup of the ocean, the factors that influence the oceans’ salinity, oceans’ temperature, oceanic organisms, and characteristic vertebrates and invertebrates in the different parts of the ocean, and they will also understand the effect man has on the ocean and his responsibility to protect it.
Honors Prerequisite: Completion of Biology and/or Chemistry with a year-long grade of 83% or better and teacher recommendation.
Marine Biology Honors:
Students in the honors course complete the more advanced labs (e.g. dissections); much of the more complex systems and information are covered in this honors course as opposed to the regular course. In general, the class differs mostly in depth of topics covered and in the inclusion of certain topics. Typically, the student enters Marine Biology Honors with advanced mathematics and a high interest in science. Certain lab experiments reflect the depth of topics covered.
This course is an introduction for students to the anatomy and physiology of the human body and how it relates to athletes and sports medicine. The course covers introductory topics regarding specific systems of human anatomy and progresses to correlation of treatment from general first aid to advanced treatment protocols for common athletic injuries. The hands- on laboratory work spans from dissection to physiology-based labs to medical evaluation and treatment protocols. At the end of the course, students should have a basic knowledge of the human body and treatments particular to athletes’ sport injuries.
Prerequisite: Completion of Biology and Chemistry and teacher recommendation.
Biotechnology and Molecular Biology is a comprehensive laboratory-based course that prepares students for a variety of post-secondary options including four-year biotechnology degree programs, community college biotechnology certificate programs, and industry workplaces. The course examines the role of molecular biology in the manufacturing of commercial pharmaceutical and agricultural products. Students are introduced to biotechnology laboratory skills, including documentation, safety, and solution preparation and develop proficiency in standard laboratory operating procedure (SOP), aseptic techniques, DNA amplification using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), recombinant DNA techniques, protein purification, spectrophotometry, and electrophoresis techniques.
Physics is the study of relationships between motion and energy. The course is a full-year laboratory-based college- preparatory course covering three general units: kinematics, energy, and waves. A number of laboratory sessions will be completed, some of which will use calculator and computer-based instrumentation for the gathering and organizing of data.
AP Prerequisite: Completion of Geometry Honors with 83% or better, concurrent enrollment in Algebra II (Algebra 2H if grade 9), and current science teacher recommendation.
AP Physics I:
This is a weighted honors course that speaks to the content of the AP Physics I exam but moves at a pace and in a direction that the teacher determines is best for the students rather than the College Board. While students are encouraged to take the AP Physics I exam at the end of the year, they will not be required to do so. Furthermore, students should be aware that they are signing up for an inquiry-based, project/lab-heavy course that pushes them to develop their observation, data collection and analysis, and laboratory skills while also teaching them how to use machinery tools and conduct real world problem solving.
AP Prerequisite: Completion of AP Physics I, concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or higher, and teacher recommendation.
AP Physics II:
An algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: fluids; thermodynamics; electrical force, field, and potential; electric circuits; magnetism and electromagnetic induction; geometric and physical optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.