Science

Chairperson:  Ms. Kammas Murphy

Biology

Biology is offered to all freshmen.  The course helps students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and allows them to gain an appreciation of science as a process.  Primary emphasis includes cellular biochemistry, the structure and function of organisms, photosynthesis, respiration, mitosis, genetics, and evolution.  This course involves laboratory exercises that are performed in order to reinforce and supplement concepts taught in class.

Honors Biology

Honors Biology is a course designed for students capable of entering a scientific field.  Topics covered include molecular biochemistry, cell membranes, protein synthesis, photosynthesis, respiration, cell replication, genetics, evolution, and a survey of the five kingdoms.  Laboratory exercises are designed to give the student an opportunity to perform experiments involving the concepts taught in class.

AP Biology

The AP Biology course is designed to be taken by students who have successfully completed a first course in high school biology as well as one in chemistry.  This course differs from the usual first course in biology with respect to the kind of textbook used, the range and depth of topics covered, the kind of laboratory work done by the students, and the time and effort required of students.  AP Biology is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course, and, therefore, includes those topics regularly covered in such a course, including molecular biology, subcellular organization, heredity, molecular genetics, evolution, and the structure and function of organisms and populations.  Prerequisites: Students should have at least a 93 in Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry and at least a 95 in College Preparatory Biology and College Preparatory Chemistry with teacher approval.  Highly qualified sophomores may elect this course concurrently with chemistry with teacher approval.

HONORS CHEMISTRY

Honors Chemistry is open to qualified honors students in grade 10. This course is designed to familiarize students with the introductory concepts of chemistry and will prepare them to take Advanced Placement Chemistry in their junior or senior year if they so choose.  Students will participate in science and engineering practices while becoming familiar with topics including matter, atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical reactions, and stoichiometry. Students will focus on the theoretical and experimental aspects of chemistry through flipped lectures, laboratory experiments, and group activities. This course is open to students who have successfully completed Honors Biology or students who have excelled in Biology and have the approval of the Academic Dean.

Chemistry

All students are required to take chemistry in grade 10. This course is designed to familiarize students with the introductory concepts involved in the study of Chemistry. Students will participate in science and engineering practices while becoming familiar with topics including matter, atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical reactions, and stoichiometry. Students will focus on demonstrating understanding by participating in flipped lectures, laboratory experiments, and group activities. This course is open to students who have successfully completed Biology.

AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry is an elective course designed for students who wish to further their Chemistry knowledge. Students in this class will work through a rigorous curriculum set by the College Board to prepare them to take the required AP test in May. This course will build upon the topics covered in Honors Chemistry and will include other topics such as electrochemistry, acids and bases, thermodynamics, and nuclear chemistry.  This course is open to students who have excelled in Honors Chemistry and have the approval of the Academic Dean.

Honors Physics

Honors Physics is a junior/senior elective for those students interested in science or engineering as a career.  This course is designed to survey the fundamental concepts and elementary principles of physics through lecture and laboratory work.  Algebraic equations, graphical and vector analysis, and statistics are emphasized as the tools used by the physicist to explain natural phenomena; therefore the course is mathematically rigorous.  Topics covered include motion in one and two dimensions, force, momentum, work and energy, power and simple machines, matter-energy relationships, heat, fluid dynamics, and wave phenomena.

Physics

Physics is a junior/senior elective.  The emphasis in this course is on the practical aspects of physics and how they apply to the current technological society.  Physics covers the same topics as Honors Physics, but with greater emphasis on the descriptive nature of physics and less emphasis on the mathematical language of physics.  

Anatomy And physiology

Anatomy and Physiology is an elective course open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  The course studies the structures, functions and processes of the human body with emphasis on the following systems: skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, digestive, and reproductive.  The different types of cells, tissues, and membranes in each of these systems are also studied, as well as the general concepts of homeostasis, differentiations, development, and patterns of inheritance. 

Astronomy and Engineering

This course is a senior elective. The astronomy component of the course examines several major areas of study in astrophysics including our solar system (sun, planets, moons), stars, galaxies,optics, significant contributors to the field, and the identification of major constellations. The laboratory-based assignments include the research and hands-on use of astronomical tools,mathematical modeling, and outdoor observations with telescopes/binoculars. Upon completionof the course, students will be familiar with key topics that lead to further study of astrophysics in college.

The engineering component is a high level study of the major fields of engineering including mechanical, chemical, civil, biomedical and others. It will focus on vital elements needed for a successful career in this field including science, math, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. The course covers topics on history, theory, scale up, failure analysis, and teamwork in the design and execution of engineering projects. Laboratory-based projects will be assigned throughout the course, with emphasis on problem solving. Upon completion, students will understand the fundamentals needed to enter the further study of engineering and the challenges they will face if they choose to enter this demanding and rewarding field. This course requires students to be proficient in mathematics and science. Prerequisites: Physics and Algebra II.

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is a one credit elective course that studies the interactions between humans and natural systems.  Students will study topics such as ecosystems, natural resources, energy sources, human populations, and the causes and prevention of pollution.  The course unifies these topics by considering them as part of the themes of sustainability and stewardship of the environment.  Activities and lab exercises are an integral part of the course and will serve to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts taught in class.

AP Environmental Science

This course is an elective course that will cover a wide range of topics from the following areas of study: earth systems and resources, the living world, population, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global changes. Students will take the AP exam at the end of the course. Department approval is required to elect AP Environmental Science.

AP Computer Science Principles

The course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts. AP Computer Science Principles will give students the opportunity to use technology to address real-world problems and build relevant solutions. Together, these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum that aims to broaden participation in computer science. Open to grade 10, 11, and 12 students.

Pre-req: Students must have an A or B in Algebra I or higher level math classes.

Engineering Principles

This course will introduce students to the field of engineering/engineering technology. By exploring various systems and processes students will learn how engineers and technicians use math, science and technology in the engineering problem solving process to benefit people.The course applies and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. Open to students in grade 11 or 12.

Pre-req: A or B in Physics course or may take concurrently with Honors Physics in junior or senior year.