While academic excellence is best achieved through a balanced exposure to the arts, humanities, science, and physical wellness, we know that the most rapid changes taking place in the world around us are in the areas of science, technology and engineering, which is why we also offer a robust selection of science courses that are both challenging and varied.
- Advanced Biology (AP Biology)
- Advanced Chemistry (AP Chemistry)
- Anatomy and Physiology (2016-2017)
- Environmental Science (2017-2018)
- Conceptual Physics
- Chemistry Honors
This is a first-year high school biology course based upon a constructivist model of instruction. Students proceed through a study of biology organized around unifying themes such as evolution, homeostasis, energy, matter, organization, continuity, development, and ecology. Students are involved in constructing their understanding of biological concepts through active investigation of questions and hypotheses related to each theme. The course utilizes a variety of assessments, cooperative learning opportunities, laboratory equipment and techniques, and student-centered learning strategies. Students participate in one lab session per week.
This course is an introduction to physics through conceptual development, problem solving, and critical thinking. Students engage in learning about matter and energy, and the world around them through hands-on, inquiry-based labs as well as differentiated instructions. Their math skills are reinforced and enhanced. Students are challenged to use more complex thinking skills while exploring mechanics, states of matter, waves and light, and electricity and magnetism. Through project-based learning, students get an opportunity to extend and apply their mathematics and mechanical skills.
Students learn the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to critically approach the rapidly growing and changing field of biology. AP biology is designed to facilitate a students’ transition from secondary school to university. This course is structured around the enduring understandings within the four big ideas: evolution, cellular processes–energy and communication, genetics and information transfer, and interaction. AP Biology focuses more on conceptual understandings and less on factual recall. Students spend more time on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts and developing the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices used throughout this course. In order to help the students become scientifically literate citizens, this course provides them an opportunity outside of laboratory investigations to connect their biological and scientific knowledge to major social issues (e.g., bioethical concerns, technological advances, innovations). This foundation will also 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. They have ample time to develop and record their communication skills through laboratory reports, summaries of literature, and oral, written, and graphic presentations.
AP chemistry is an advanced course for upperclassman and meets the objectives of a general chemistry course taught at the college level. Understanding of fundamentals and competence in dealing with chemical problems are stressed. Three lab periods are scheduled each week. Topics covered include: atomic theory and structure, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, states of matter, types of reactors, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics and thermodynamics.
Anatomy and physiology is designed as an interactive journey through the human body, which beings with learning medical terminology and anatomical language. Through rat dissection, students explore the external map of the human body in relation to the internal body plan, body planes, positions, cavities, and regions. Students learn about the raw materials and the building blocks of the body as well as the structure and function of the macromolecules of life (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acid). They explore how these macromolecules come together to make cell organelles, which in turn compose the basic unit of structure and function of life: the cell. Our journey continues from cells to tissues to organs to systems. During the fall term, students learn and explore the integumentary and skeletal systems in greater depth. In the winter term, we will continue this journey by exploring the muscular system, central nervous system, senses, and endocrine system. During the spring term, students delve into transport, absorption, and excretion as well as the human life cycle. Throughout the entire year, they will explore these concepts via cat dissection.
Interrelationships are at the heart of Environmental Science. Living organisms must interact with their environments to stay alive, and this course will explore the interactions between humans and the natural environment, in particular. These interactions generate a variety of problems, which can be global as well as local. The solutions need both scientific and social consideration. While this class emphasizes scientific analysis, is also explores the influence of culture, ethics, political systems and economics on issues such as energy; populations; biodiversity; land and soil use; water and waste management; and air quality. Environmental Science uses inquiry and project-based learning to explore environmental issues from a scientific perspective. Outdoor lab/field work is an important component of the course.
Conceptual physics course is designed to introduce the concepts of physics and how they apply to everyday life. The goal of this course is to have a solid foundation of scientific methods and scientific attitude as well as factual knowledge to comprehend the rules of nature. This course will cover mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, light, atomic and nuclear physics as well as relativity. The emphasis of this course is comprehension of concepts rather than computation. Students will see the mathematical structure of physics in equations which will be used as guides to reasoning and critical thinking. This course will enhance deeper understanding of physics as students gain the necessary qualitative knowledge and the necessary training in scientific thinking. If the computation follows comprehension, it will be with solid understanding.
This course is an introductory first year chemistry course designed to prepare students to move on to Advanced Placement Chemistry. The topics addressed in this course are similar to the topics in general chemistry, the difference is the depth and the pace. Students will be expected to think critically and synthesize information to solve problems both in the lab in the classroom. A minimum of Algebra II is required for this course.