•  2019 - 2020 Science Course Offerings

      
    Physical Science:

    This course is designed as a survey course of chemistry and physics. This curriculum includes the more abstract concepts such as the conceptualization of the structure of atoms, motion and forces, and the conservation of energy and matter, the action/reaction principle, and wave behavior. Students investigate physical science concepts through experience in laboratories and field work using the processes of inquiry.  A state mandated End of Course Test is required and counts 20% of the student's overall course grade.  

       Advantages:
    • Meets physical science/physics graduation requirement
    • Prepares students for future chemistry and physics courses
    • Relates mathematics to real world scenarios
        Disadvantages:
    • Students typically have credit for this course from 8th grade 
    • Does not meet HOPE rigor requirement
    • Students must be comfortable using basic algebraic computations

     

    Biology:

    The Biology curriculum is designed to continue student investigations of the life sciences that began in grades K-8 and provide students the necessary skills to be proficient in biology. This curriculum includes more abstract concepts such as the interdependence of organisms, the relationship of matter, energy, and organization in living systems, the behavior of organisms, and biological evolution. Students investigate biological concepts through experience in laboratories and field work using the processes of inquiry.  A state mandated End of Course Test is required and counts 20% of the student's overall course grade. 

       Advantages:
    • Meets biology graduation requirement
        Disadvantages:
    • Does not fully prepare students for AP/IB level life science courses

     

    Honors Biology:

    The Biology curriculum is designed to continue student investigations of the life sciences that began in grades K-8 and provide students the necessary skills to be proficient in biology. This curriculum includes more abstract concepts such as the interdependence of organisms, the relationship of matter, energy, and organization in living systems, the behavior of organisms, and biological evolution. Students investigate biological concepts through experience in laboratories and field work using the processes of inquiry. Other topics and instructional methods specific to preparing students for the rigors of future honors science courses, Advanced Placement, and IB science courses are also included.  A state mandated End of Course Test is required and counts 20% of the student's overall course grade.

       Advantages:
    • Meets graduation requirement
    • In addition to preparing students for the EOCT, honors students are better prepared for the rigors of an AP/IB level life science course.
    • Students will receive more in-depth instruction.
        Disadvantages:
    • Students who are not recommended for honors traditionally do not perform as well as those who were recommended.
    • Strong physical science skills are expected.
    • Assessments are more challenging than those in on-level biology.
    • Students are expected to exhibit high levels of maturity and time management skills.

     

    Chemistry:

    The Chemistry curriculum is designed to continue student investigations of the physical sciences that began in grades K-8 and provide students the necessary skills to be proficient in chemistry. This curriculum includes more abstract concepts such as the structure of atoms, structure and properties of matter, and the conservation and interaction of energy and matter. Students investigate chemistry concepts through experience in laboratories and field work using the processes of inquiry. Pre-requisites:  Algebra 1 and Biology/Honors Biology*

     Advantages:
    • Prepares students for advanced science courses
    • Provides hands-on learning opportunities in a laboratory setting
        Disadvantages:
    • Success greatly depends on student’s math skills
    • Does not fully prepare students for AP/IB chemistry courses
    • Does not meet the physics/physical science graduation requirement
    • Students are expected to be self-motivated, dedicated learners

     

    Honors Chemistry:

    The Chemistry curriculum is designed to continue student investigations of the physical sciences that began in grades K-8 and provide students the necessary skills to be proficient in chemistry. This curriculum includes more abstract concepts such as the structure of atoms, structure and properties of matter, and the conservation and interaction of energy and matter. Students investigate chemistry concepts through experience in laboratories and field work using the processes of inquiry. Other topics specific to preparing students for the rigors of an Advanced Placement course will be integrated throughout the course. The rigor and instructional techniques will model the Advanced Placement course requirements as much as possible.  Pre-requisites: Algebra 1 and Biology/Honors Biology*

     Advantages:
    • Students will receive more in-depth instruction
    • Honors students are better prepared for the rigors of an AP/IB level science course
    • Through completion of formal lab reports, students are better prepared for higher level science courses
        Disadvantages:
    • Students who are not recommended for honors traditionally do not perform as well as those who were recommended.
    • Strong physical science and algebra skills are expected.
    • Assessments are more challenging than those in on-level chemistry.
    • Students are expected to demonstrate high levels of maturity and time management skills.
    • Does not meet the physical science/physics graduation requirement 

     

    The Physics curriculum is designed to continue student investigations of the physical sciences that began in grades K-8 and provide students the necessary skills to be proficient in physics. This curriculum includes more abstract concepts such as interactions of matter and energy, velocity, acceleration, force, energy, momentum, and charge. Students investigate physics concepts through experience in laboratories and field work using the processes of inquiry. Pre-requisites:  Honors Chem/Chemistry, Geometry

     Advantages:
    • Fulfills the physical science/physics graduation requirement
    • Makes students more attractive to university recruiters and future employers
    • Allows students to apply math learned in previous courses
        Disadvantages:
    • Requires strong math skills
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students

     

    Human Anatomy/Physiology:

    The human anatomy and physiology curriculum is designed to continue student investigations that began in grades K-8 and high school biology. Areas of study include organization of the body; protection, support and movement; providing internal coordination and regulation; processing and transporting; and reproduction, growth and development. The course integrates careers related to medicine, research, health-care and modern medical technology and utilizes case studies concerning diseases, disorders and ailments. Pre-requisites:  Biology/Honors Biology and Chemistry/Honors Chemistry*

    Advantages:
    • Course includes unique lab experiences, including large amounts of microscope work and dissection
    • Course content is applicable and useable even if a student is not interested in medical careers
    Disadvantages:
    • Requires students to memorize large amounts of material and to have a strong work ethic
    • Students who are uncomfortable with handling preserved tissues may not want to take the course
    • Students without a strong background in biology may struggle 
     
     
    Epidemiology:

     

    The epidemiology curriculum is designed to extend student investigations that begin in Biology. This curriculum is performance-based. It integrates scientific investigations using real world situations to find patterns and determine causation of pathological conditions. Instruction should focus on the design, implementation, and evaluation of studies to increase students’ media literacy and their understanding of public health. This course should expand their understanding of the scientific methods and develop critical thinking skills. Pre-requisites:  Biology/Honors Biology, Chemistry, and Human Anatomy and Physiology OR AP Bio. 

     
     
     
    Environmental Science:

    The Environmental Science curriculum is designed to extend student investigations that began in grades K-8. It integrates the study of many components of our environment, including the human impact on our planet. The concepts integrated into this course include: flow of energy & cycling of matter, interconnection of all life, stability and change in an ecosystem, conservation and resource allocation, and evaluation of human activity and technology. 

     Advantages:
    • Provides opportunities for discovery and growth through project-based learning
    • Wide variety of assessments that address the needs of many different levels of learner
    • Promotes real world application as students gain a better understanding of events relevant to daily life
    Disadvantages:
    • Does not meet HOPE rigor requirements

     

    Earth Systems:

    Earth Systems Science is designed to continue student investigations that began in
    K-8 Earth Science and Life Science curricula and investigate the connections among Earth’s systems through Earth history.  These systems – the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere – interact through time to produce the Earth’s landscapes, ecology, and resources. This course develops the explanations of phenomena fundamental to the sciences of geology and physical geography, including the early history of the Earth, plate tectonics, landform evolution, the Earth’s geologic record, weather and climate, and the history of life on Earth.  

     Advantages:
    • Provides opportunities for discovery and growth through project-based learning
    • Wide variety of assessments that address the needs of many different levels of learner
    • Promotes real world application as students gain a better understanding of events relevant to daily life
    Disadvantages:
    • Does not meet HOPE rigor requirements
     
     
    The Forensic Science curriculum is designed to build upon science concepts and to apply science 
    to the investigation of crime scenes.  Students will learn the scientific protocols for 
    analyzing a crime scene, how to use chemical and physical separation methods to isolate and 
    identify materials, how to analyze biological evidence and the criminal use of tools, including 
    impressions from firearms, tool marks, arson, and explosive evidence.  Pre-requisites:  Biology/Honors Biology, Physical Science or Physics and Chemistry/Honors Chemistry*
     
    Advantages:
    • The course serves as a culmination of prior science courses (biology, chemistry, and physics) and applies these disciplines to solving crimes
    Disadvantages:
    • Though high interest, forensics is a challenging science course
    • Students without a strong background in previous science courses, especially chemistry, may struggle
     
    Advanced Placement Biology:

    This course conforms to the College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Biology Examination. The major themes of the course as indicated by the AP Biology course guide include molecules and cells, heredity and evolution, and organisms and populations. Students are expected to take the AP Biology exam in May. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.  Pre-requisites:  Honors Biology and Chemistry/Honors Chemistry, Algebra 1 

    Advantages:
    •   High scores on the AP exam can result in college credit
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not taken honors level biology and chemistry courses may lack necessary background information.
    • Students are expected to juggle multiple assignments at one time.  Time management is essential for the successful completion of this fast-paced course.
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students

     

    Advanced Placement Chemistry:

    This course conforms to the College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Chemistry Examination.  The major themes for this course as indicated by the AP Chemistry course guide include the structure of matter, the states of matter, reactions, descriptive chemistry, and college level chemistry laboratories.  Students are expected to take the AP Chemistry exam in May. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.  Pre-requisites: Honors Chemistry and Geometry 

    Advantages:
    •   High scores on the AP exam can result in college credit
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not taken honors level chemistry courses may lack necessary background information.
    • Students are expected to juggle multiple assignments at one time.  Time management is essential for the successful completion of this fast-paced course.
    • Students who have not taken higher level math courses may lack necessary background information.
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students

     

    Advanced Placement Physics I:

     

    This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Physics 1 Examination.  AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based is the equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.  Pre-requisites: Honors Chemistry/Physics and Algebra II 

    Advantages:
    • High scores on the AP exam can result in college credit
    • Fulfills the physical science/physics graduation requirement
    • Makes students more attractive to university recruiters and future employers
    • Allows students to apply math learned in previous courses
    Disadvantages:
    • Requires strong math skills
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students

     

    Advanced Placement Physics C:

    This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advance Placement Physics C Examination. AP Physics C – Mechanics is a calculus based course that includes the following six content areas: kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy, and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation. Laboratory experiences should be included as part of the instruction. Students taking this course should be able t design experiments; observe and measure real phenomena; organize, display and critically analyze data; analyze sources of error and determine uncertainties in measurement; draw inferences from observations and data; and communicate results, including suggested ways to improve experiments and proposed questions for further study.  Pre-requisites:  Biology, Chemistry, Physics/AP Physics I and Calculus*

    Advantages:
    • High scores on the AP exam can result in college credit
    • Fulfills the physical science/physics graduation requirement
    • Makes students more attractive to university recruiters and future employers
    • Allows students to apply math learned in previous courses
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not taken physics/AP physics 1 or calculus will not be successful.
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students

     

    Advanced Placement Environmental Science:

    This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Examination. The major themes for this course as indicated by the AP Environmental Science course guide include Earth systems and resources, the living world, populations, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.  Pre-requisites: Biology/Honors Biology and Chemistry/Honors Chemistry and Alegebra 1

    Advantages:
    • High scores on the AP exam can result in college credit
    • Applies math skills and scientific concepts to real world problems
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not taken honors level biology and chemistry courses may lack necessary background information.
    • Students are expected to juggle multiple assignments at one time.  Time management is essential for the successful completion of this fast-paced course.
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students 
     
     
    IB Biology HL - Year One:

     

    Major topics for the first year of this course include statistical analysis, cells, the chemistry of life, nucleic acids and proteins, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, genetics and biotechnology.  Students will construct, analyze, and evaluate hypotheses (including research questions and predictions), scientific methods (including techniques and procedures), and scientific explanations of the biological world. Pre-requisites:  Honors Biology and Chemistry/Honors Chemistry and Geometry or higher level math (Juniors only)*

    Advantages:
    • High scores on the IB exam can result in college credit
    • Internal assessments give students integral practice with designing and implementing their own experiments
    • Group 4 project allows students to work collaboratively in order to see the interdependence of all of the core sciences
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not taken honors level biology and chemistry courses may lack necessary background information
    • Students are expected to juggle multiple assignments at one time.  Time management is essential for the successful completion of this fast-paced course.
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students

     

    IB Biology HL - Year Two:

    Major topics for year two include plantscience, ecology (including options and accompanying objectives) evolution(including options and accompanying objectives), and human health andphysiology.  Students will continue to construct, analyze, and evaluatehypotheses (including research questions and predictions), scientific methods(including techniques and procedures), and scientific explanations of thebiological world.  Students are expected to take the IB Biology High Level examination in May.  Pre-requisites:  Honors Biology, Chemistry/Honors Chemistry, IB Biology HL - Year One, and Algebra 2 or higher level math (Seniors only)*

    Advantages:
    • High scores on the IB exam can result in college credit
    • Internal assessments give students integral practice with designing and implementing their own experiments
    • Group 4 project allows students to work collaboratively in order to see the interdependence of all of the core sciences
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not completed IB Biology HL Year One will not be successful.
    • Students who have not taken honors level biology and chemistry courses may lack necessary background information
    • Students are expected to juggle multiple assignments at one time.  Time management is essential for the successful completion of this fast-paced course.
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students
     
    IB Chemistry SL:
    Major topics for this course include:  atomic structure, periodicity, bonding, energetics, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation and reduction, organic chemistry, measurement techniques, and data processing.  Optional topics include modern analytical chemistry, human biochemistry, chemistry in industry and technology, medicines and drugs, environmental chemistry, and food chemistry.  Students will construct, analyze, and evaluate hypotheses (including research questions and predictions), scientific methods (including techniques and procedures), and scientific explanations of the physical world.  Students are expected to take the IB Chemistry Standard Level or High Level examination in May.  Pre-requisites: Honors Chemistry and Geometry or higher level math*
     
    Advantages:
    • High scores on the IB exam can result in college credit
    • Internal assessments give students integral practice with designing and implementing their own experiments
    • Group 4 project allows students to work collaboratively in order to see the interdependence of all of the core sciences
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not taken honors level chemistry may lack necessary background information
    • Students are expected to juggle multiple assignments at one time.  Time management is essential for the successful completion of this fast-paced course.
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students
     
     
     
    IB Physics HL - Year One:

     

    The International Baccalaureate Higher Level Physics course is a two-year, algebra-based introductory physics course culminating with the externally moderated IB Physics exams. The two year course includes a required 60 hours of laboratory work. The curriculum during first year of the course includes, mostly, topics in classical mechanics. There is also a strong emphasis on the development of laboratory skills. There is a high likelihood that this first-year course will be taught concurrently with the AP Physics 1 course.  Pre-requisites: Biology, Physical Science/Chemistry, and Geometry or higher level math (Juniors only)*

    Advantages:
    • High scores on the IB exam can result in college credit
    • Group 4 project allows students to work collaboratively in order to see the interdependence of all of the core sciences
    • Fulfills the physical science/physics graduation requirement
    • Makes students more attractive to university recruiters and future employers
    • Allows students to apply math learned in previous courses
    Disadvantages:
    • Requires strong math skills
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students
     
    IB Physics HL - Year Two:

     

     

    The International Baccalaureate Higher Level Physics course is a two-year, algebra-based introductory physics course culminating with the externally moderated IB Physics exams. The two year course includes a required 60 hours of laboratory work. The curriculum during the second year of the course includes topics in electricity and magnetism, waves, optics, thermodynamics, and nuclear physics. The laboratory skills mastered during the first year of the course are used to complete the Internal Assessment IB requirements (documented laboratory experiments).  Students are expected to take the IB Physics High Level examination in May.  Pre-requisites: Biology, Physical Science/Chemistry, IB Physics HL - Year One, and Algebra 2 or higher level math (Seniors only)*

     

    Advantages:
    • High scores on the IB exam can result in college credit
    • Group 4 project allows students to work collaboratively in order to see the interdependence of all of the core sciences
    • Fulfills the physical science/physics graduation requirement
    • Makes students more attractive to university recruiters and future employers
    • Allows students to apply math learned in previous courses
    Disadvantages:
    • Students who have not completed IB Physics HL Year One will not be successful.
    • Requires strong math skills
    • Requires high levels of critical thinking and problem solving skills that can be challenging for even the brightest students
     
     

    Scientific Research III:

    Scientific Research III focuses on individual students designing and implementing original research. Each student would require a certain expertise when using necessary lab equipment, performing techniques and knowing the safety issues associated with their individual project. The technical writing of a formal research paper, the maintaining of a scientific logbook and the creating of a backboard suitable for science fair competitions are also required of all students at this level. The use of technology to write, depict results graphically, statistically assess data, and creatively present research in several delivery mediums are required components as well.  Students would become more proficient at conducting scientific research utilizing online journals, databases and other sources for current and future projects. Students are required to critique each other’s work, take part in a symposium to defend their research and participate in science fair competitions. Students must submit an application to be considered for this course.  Applications are due by Friday, February 21, 2020.

     
    Advantages:
    • Students develop valuable lab skills while working with a teacher mentor
    • Students are allowed to pursue their own scientific topics of interest during dedicated class time
    • Independent scientific research is highly valued by colleges and employers
    Disadvantages:
    • Independent research requires high levels of maturity and time management 
     
     
    Scientific Research IV:

    Students will develop projects based on their interests.  Projects at this level would be original in nature and will investigate students’ ideas to solve a particular problem.  It is expected that the students will work with a university professor or in an industrial setting to find the answer to their research question.  This type of projects may take the whole length of the course to be completed.  Students completing these projects are expected to present their solutions to the appropriate interests groups (i.e. a particular company, an interest group, etc.) or in settings like the Best Robotics competitions, Siemens, the High School Engineering Competition, etc.  Students are required to critique each other’s work, take part in a symposium to defend their research and participate in science fair competitions. Students must submit an application to be considered for this course.  Applications are due by Friday, February 21, 2020.  Pre-requisites: Scientific Research III  (Seniors only)* 

    Advantages:
    • Students develop valuable lab skills while working with a teacher mentor
    • Students are allowed to pursue their own scientific topics of interest during dedicated class time
    • Independent scientific research is highly valued by colleges and employers
    Disadvantages:
    • Independent research requires high levels of maturity and time management

     

     *Please see additional requirements on the Course Requirements document

Last Modified on July 28, 2020