• Science Course Descriptions

     
    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.
    The state mandated Georgia Milestones End of Course Assessment is required and counts 20% of the student’s overall course grade.


    Biology (Honors)

    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. The state mandated Georgia Milestones End of Course Assessment is required and counts 20% of the student’s overall course grade.


    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. The state mandated Georgia Milestones End of Course Assessment is required and counts 20% of the student’s overall course grade.


    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.


    Chemistry (Honors)

    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.


    Physics

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    Oceanography

    The Oceanography curriculum is designed to emphasize the interconnectedness of multiple science disciplines and the power to stimulate learning and comprehension across broad scales. Thus, students must have a basis in the major disciplines of physics, chemistry, geology, and biology, from which this cross-disciplinary thinking can be nurtured. Students will recognize that the ocean is a dynamic system reflecting interactions among organisms, ecosystems, chemical cycles, and physical and geological processes, on land, in air, and in the oceans. Students will investigate oceanography concepts through experience in laboratories and fieldwork using the processes of inquiry.


    AP Biology

    AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes—energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. Students are expected to take the AP Biology exam in May. This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Biology Examination.This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text. The prerequisites for this course as indicated by the College Board are successful completion of Biology and Chemistry.


    AP 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 conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Examination. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text. The prerequisites for this course as indicated by the College Board are successful completion of 2 science lab courses, specifically Biology and Chemistry.


    AP Chemistry

    AP Chemistry is an introductory college-level chemistry course. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based lab investigations as they explore the four Big Ideas: scale, proportion, and quantity; structure and properties of substances; transformations; and energy. Students are expected to take the AP Chemistry exam in May. This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Chemistry Examination.This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text. The prerequisite for this course as indicated by the College Board is successful completion of Chemistry.


    AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based

    AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study, in-class activity, and hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory work as they explore concepts like systems, fields, force interactions, change, conservation, and waves. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Physics 1 Examination.This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.


    AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based

    AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study, in-class activity, and hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory work as they explore concepts like systems, fields, force interactions, change, conservation, waves, and probability. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Physics 2 Examination. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.


    AP Physics C – Electricty and Magnetism

    AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in one of the physical sciences or engineering. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study and activities as well as hands-on laboratory work as they explore concepts like change, force interactions, fields, and conservation. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Physics C: E & M Examination. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.


    AP Physics C -Mechanics: Calculus-Based

    AP Physics C: Mechanics is a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in one of the physical sciences or engineering. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study and activities as well as hands-on laboratory work as they explore concepts like change, force interactions, fields, and conservation. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. This course conforms to College Board topics for the Advanced Placement Physics C Examination. This course requires a rigorous college level lab component and utilizes a college text.


    Ecology

    In this course students will learn the study of the distribution and abundance of life and interactions between and among organisms and their environment, including the impact of human activities on the natural world. It draws on elements from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and the social sciences. This curriculum is lab and field based. Whenever possible careers related to ecology and relevant case studies should be emphasized.


    Forensic Science

    In this course 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.  Students investigate Forensic Science concepts through experience in laboratories and field work using the processes of inquiry.


    Science Research I

    Students will develop projects that are mostly suggested or required by their teacher.  It is expected that this students will received strong support from their teacher and their research projects could be completed on a time frame of weeks.  Presentation of the projects developed at this level will happen mostly in a classroom setting or school site science fair.


    Science Research II

    Students will develop projects based on their interests.  These projects may be related to topics that they are covering in any of their science courses or could expand on those ideas.  It is expected that the students will received some support from their teachers but they will be working mostly independently.  Projects at this level could be completed on a time frame of weeks to months.  Presentations of the projects developed at this level will take place at regional or state science fair competitions for example.


    Science Research III

    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 someone outside the school setting as they work towards the solution of their problem.  This type of projects may take the whole length of the course to be completed.  Students’ completing these projects is expected to present their solutions to the appropriate interests groups (i.e. a particular company, an interest group, etc.) or on settings like the Best Robotics competitions, Siemens, the High School Engineering Competition, etc.


    Science 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 is expected to present their solutions to the appropriate interests groups (i.e. a particular company, an interest group, etc.) or on settings like the Best Robotics competitions, Siemens, the High School Engineering Competition, etc.


    Astronomy

    This course will provide the student with an introduction to the concepts of modern astronomy, the origin and history of the Universe, and the formation of the Earth and the solar system. Students will compare the Earth's properties with those of the other planets and explore how the heavens have influenced human thought and action. The course gives a description of astronomical phenomena using the laws of physics. The course treats many standard topics including planets, stars, the Milky Way and other galaxies, black holes to more esoteric questions concerning the origin of the universe and its evolution and fate. Although largely descriptive, the course will occasionally require the use of sophomore-high level mathematics. Laboratory exercises include experiments in light properties, measurement of radiation from celestial sources, and observations at local observatories and/or planetariums.