Science

The Science program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary for understanding the world around us through the lens of proven scientific theory and applied technology. For students to be successful in the twenty first century, they need a firm foundation in the sciences with the ability to problem solve, communicate, and collaborate effectively. The curriculum as a whole addresses how we have come to know what we know about the world around us, and how that knowledge can be applied to improve that world. Graduation requirements call for a student to earn a minimum of three credits in science. It is recommended that students planning to attend a postsecondary school take 4 credits of science. Students are encouraged to take additional courses that meet their needs and interests.

Physical Science Foundations I & II, 1 Credit, Grade 9

Essential Question:

How can physical laws be used to describe, explain, and explore the world around us?

How do scientists and engineers answer questions and solve problems?

Prerequisite: Recommendation based on middle school math and science achievement. This freshman course is a study of basic concepts within the physical sciences and provides students with the science and engineering skills necessary for further study in life science, chemistry, physics and earth science. Emphasis is on learning about natural phenomena regarding matter and energy through observation and experimentation. In addition, students will have opportunity to design solutions to problems through the engineering design cycle.

This course is designed for the student who needs reinforcement of basic concepts in a highly structured format. Emphasis is on individual learning needs and application of physical science to daily life.

Course Competencies:

  1. Scientific Literacy - Students will demonstrate an ability to read, comprehend, and write about scientific material.

  2. Scientific Application - Students will demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively investigate, solve, analyze, and evaluate scientific problems through the scientific process and engineering design cycle.


Physical Science I & II NCAA, 1 Credit, Grade 9

Essential Question:

How can physical laws be used to describe, explain, and explore the world around us?

How do scientists and engineers answer questions and solve problems?

Prerequisite: Recommendation based on middle school math and science achievement. This freshman course is a study of basic concepts within the physical sciences and provides students with the science and engineering skills necessary for further study in life science, chemistry, physics and earth science. Emphasis is on learning about natural phenomena regarding matter and energy through observation and experimentation. In addition, students will have opportunity to design solutions to problems through the engineering design cycle. This is a college preparatory course in which students are expected to apply mathematics towards solving problems in science.

Course Competencies:

  1. Scientific Literacy - Students will demonstrate an ability to read, comprehend, and write about scientific material.

  2. Scientific Application - Students will demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively investigate, solve, analyze, and evaluate scientific problems through the scientific process and engineering design cycle.


Physical Science Honors I & II NCAA 1 Credit, Grade 9

Essential Question:

How can physical laws be used to describe, explain, and explore the world around us?

How do scientists and engineers answer questions and solve problems?

Prerequisite: Grade of B or better in 8th grade science and concurrent enrollment in Algebra I Honors or Geometry Honors. This freshman course is a study of basic concepts within the physical sciences and provides students with the science and engineering skills necessary for further study in life science, chemistry, physics and earth science. Emphasis is on learning about natural phenomena regarding matter and energy through observation and experimentation. In addition, students will have opportunity to design solutions to problems through the engineering design cycle.

Physical Science Honors is a more rigorous study of physical science concepts. Students electing to take this course must be able to demonstrate high level critical thinking and possess strong mathematical skills. Coursework will be challenging, fast paced and will require a high level of student responsibility. It is strongly recommended that students be enrolled in Algebra I Honors or be in a Geometry course.

Course Competencies:

  1. Scientific Literacy - Students will demonstrate an ability to read, comprehend, and write about scientific material.

  2. Scientific Application - Students will demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively investigate, solve, analyze, and evaluate scientific problems through the scientific process and engineering design cycle.


General Biology I & II, 1 Credit, Grade 10

Essential Question:

Biology I: " What does it mean to alive?" "How do we design controlled life science experiments?" "How do organisms interact with their environment and what are the effects of these interactions?" "What processes have led to the distribution and diversity of life on Earth?" "What evidence shows that different species are related ?"

Biology II: "How do organisms live and grow?" "How are characteristics of one generation passed to the next?" "How can individuals of the same species and same siblings have different characteristics? "

Prerequisite: Passing grade in all freshman science courses. Biology I and Biology II are taken by most tenth graders and are college preparatory lab sciences. Biology I focuses on the characteristics of life, how scientists study biology, ecological relationships, evolution, and biological classification. Biology II takes a closer look at cellular structures and functions, the genetic code, and heredity.

General Biology courses are designed for the student who needs reinforcement of basic concepts in a highly structured format. Emphasis is on individual learning needs, and the applications of biology to daily life.

Course Competencies:

  1. Concepts in Biology - Students will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of life science. Topic of study include: Science Methodology, Ecological Relationships. Evolution, Cellular Function, The Genetic Code, and Heredity.

  2. Application of Concepts - Students will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge and comprehension of life science through lab investigations and group projects.


Biology I & II NCAA1 Credit, Grade 10

Essential Question:

Biology I: What processes have led to the distribution and diversity of life on Earth?

Biology II: How do cells give organisms their traits?

Prerequisite: C or better in all freshman science courses. Biology I and Biology II are taken by most tenth graders and are college preparatory lab sciences. Biology I focuses on the characteristics of life, how scientists study biology, ecological relationships, evolution, and biological classification. Biology II takes a closer look at cellular structures and functions, the genetic code, and heredity.

Course Competencies:

  1. Concepts in Biology - Students will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of life science.

  1. Application of Concepts - Students will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge and comprehension of life science.


Biology I & II HNCAA, 1 Credit, Grade 10

Essential Question:

Biology I: What processes have led to the distribution and diversity of life on Earth?

Biology II: How do cells give organisms their traits?

Prerequisite: B or better in all freshman honors science courses. Biology I and Biology II are taken by most tenth graders and are college preparatory lab sciences. Biology I focuses on the characteristics of life, how scientists study biology, ecological relationships, evolution, and biological classification. Biology II takes a closer look at cellular structures and functions, the genetic code, and heredity.

Biology Honors students are expected to handle material in greater depth, and take more responsibility for their own learning. They should have well-developed reading skills, writing skills, and critical thinking ability.

Course Competencies:

  1. Concepts in Biology - Students will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of life science.

Application of Concepts - Students will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge and comprehension of life science.


Intro to Chemistry I & II, 1 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

How does the way in which matter is arranged at a particle level affect what we experience everyday?

How do changes in matter make our lives better?

Prerequisite: Passing grades in all freshman science. This course is designed to help juniors and seniors fulfill the chemistry credit requirement for graduation, but is not considered a college preparatory course. The curriculum for Intro to Chemistry I addresses the structure and properties of matter and how they are connected to one another. Topics covered include atomic structure, atomic theory, the periodic table and its properties, compound structure and properties, states, classification, and properties of matter The curriculum for Intro to Chemistry II examines the various ways matter can undergo change and how that change can be analyzed. Topics include measurement, chemical reactions, phase changes, and other physical changes. This course does not involve difficult mathematics and where possible, group or class projects will be used to reinforce concepts.

Course Competencies:

Intro to Chemistry I

  1. Structure: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structure of matter including atoms. Students will describe how matter is classified based on chemical bonds and will explain atomic structure using concepts of mass, charge, and electron location.

  2. Properties: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the atomic structure gives rise to the properties of elements and consequently their position on the periodic table. Students will determine these properties through the scientific method.

Intro to Chemistry II

  1. Change: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the various ways in which matter can undergo change, either physically or chemically.

  2. Application: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the various ways used to describe a change in matter.


Chemistry I & IINCAA1 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

Chemistry I: How does the way in which matter is arranged at a particle level affect what we experience everyday?

Chemistry II: How do changes in matter make our lives better?

Recommended: Completion of Algebra I and Physical Science. This course covers all of the major principles and theories usually covered in a rigorous first year chemistry course. Topics covered in Chemistry I include classification of matter, atomic theory, and periodic relationships. Topics covered in Chemistry II include nomenclature, stoichiometry, chemical bonding, and reactions. Laboratory work and mathematical problem solving comprise an integral part of this program. Safe laboratory practices and attitudes are essential. A calculator with scientific notation and logarithmic functions is required. Chemistry is taken by most juniors and is a college preparatory lab science.

Course Competencies:

Chemistry I

  1. Structure: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structure of matter including atoms. Students will describe how matter is classified based on chemical bonds and will explain atomic structure using concepts of mass, charge, and electron location.

  2. Properties: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the atomic structure gives rise to the properties of elements and consequently their position on the periodic table. Students will determine these properties through the scientific method.

Chemistry II

  1. Concepts: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of various chemical concepts and theories such as kinetic theory, molecular structure, chemical reactions, and nomenclature.

  2. Application: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mole concept and its use in stoichiometric calculations. Students will solve problems involving percent composition, empirical formulas, mass-mass problems, percent yield, and energy.


Chemistry I & II HNCAA1 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

Chemistry I: How does the way in which matter is arranged at a particle level affect what we experience everyday?

Chemistry II: How do changes in matter make our lives better?

Prerequisite: B or better in both Honors Biology and Geometry. This honors course covers all of the major principles and theories usually covered in a rigorous first year chemistry course. Topics covered in Chemistry Honors I include classification of matter, atomic theory, and periodic relationships. Topics covered in Chemistry Honors II include nomenclature, stoichiometry, chemical bonding, and reactions. Laboratory work and mathematical problem solving comprise an integral part of this course.

Chemistry Honors students are expected to handle material in greater depth, and take more responsibility for their own learning. They should have well-developed reading skills, writing skills, math skills and critical thinking ability. A calculator with scientific notation and logarithmic functions is recommended.

Course Competencies:

Chemistry H I

  1. Structure: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structure of matter including atoms. Students will describe how matter is classified based on chemical bonds and will explain atomic structure using concepts of mass, charge, and electron location.

  2. Properties: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the atomic structure gives rise to the properties of elements and consequently their position on the periodic table. Students will determine these properties through the scientific method.

Chemistry H II

  1. Concepts: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of various chemical concepts and theories such as kinetic theory, molecular structure, chemical reactions, and nomenclature.

  2. Application: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mole concept and its use in stoichiometric calculations. Students will solve problems involving percent composition, empirical formulas, mass-mass problems, percent yield, and energy.


Anatomy & Physiology H NCAA1/2 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

How do the form and function of humans allow us to maintain homeostasis?

Prerequisite: C or better in Biology I and II Honors or B or better in Biology I and II and C or better in Chemistry. This one-trimester lab science course is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in the life sciences at a postsecondary institution. It involves an intensive study of the levels of organization of the human body and of the structures and functions of selected body systems. Topics of study include homeostatic control mechanisms, disease states, and adaptive physiological responses to stress, exercise, and nutrient intake. Emphasis is placed on application of knowledge to demonstrate understanding.

Course Competencies:

  1. Anatomy - Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the structures of the human body

  2. Physiology - Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the functions of the human body


Biotechnology Applications, 1/2 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

How can DNA and biotechnology be used to answer scientific questions?

Prerequisite: C or better in Biology I and II (or Biology I and II Honors) and C or better in Chemistry. This one-trimester lab science course will offer an in-depth exploration of the structure and function of DNA and how biotechnology can be used to answer scientific questions. Students will participate in Barcoding Life's Matrix, a program that involves students in performing DNA barcoding (while learning about the science behind the techniques) to contribute to a database of DNA barcodes used by scientists worldwide. Students will be exposed to techniques that are frequently used in life science career fields from biology to medicine to environmental studies.

Course Competencies:

  1. Molecular Biology Concepts- Students will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of molecular biology

  2. Applications of Concepts- Students will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge and comprehension of molecular biology.


Physics I & II NCAA, 1 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

How can physical laws be used to describe, explain, and explore the world around us?

Recommended: Completion of Algebra II and concurrently taking Trigonometry. Physics I and II provide for a continuation of the study of the relationship between matter and energy that was studied in physical science and chemistry, and cover the major principles and concepts found in a first year physics course. These courses are designed for the college preparatory student who wishes to attend a four year college or university, but is not planning on a career in science or engineering. Students should possess effective critical thinking skills, a strong work ethic, good mathematical reasoning abilities, and proficient reading and writing skills. Topics covered in Physics I include measurement, speed, velocity, acceleration, gravitation, vectors, and force. Topics covered in Physics II include work, power, momentum, energy, sound, and light.

Course Competencies:

  1. Science Literacy - Students will demonstrate an ability to read, comprehend, and write about scientific material. Students will also apply the skills of the scientific method in their writing (investigate, analyze, solve, conclude, and evaluate).

  2. Application - Students will demonstrate an ability to apply through calculations physics theories, laws, and equations to scenarios real or imagined.


Physics I & II HNCAA1 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

How can physical laws be used to describe, explain, and explore the world around us?

Recommended: Completion of Pre-Calculus or Trigonometry. Physics Honors I and II are designed for the college preparatory student who wishes to pursue a career in science or engineering. In Physics Honors the principles of physics will be covered in greater depth with more mathematical application than the general level of physics course. Students electing to take Physics Honors should be able to demonstrate a high level of critical thinking, possess a strong work ethic, have strong mathematical reasoning abilities, and should take a greater responsibility for their own learning. They should also have well-developed reading and writing skills. Demonstrations, discussions, activities, laboratory work, and projects comprise an integral part of each course. Topics covered in Honors Physics I include measurement, speed, velocity, acceleration, gravitation, vectors, force, work, and power. Topics covered in Honors Physics II include momentum, energy, sound, light, and electricity.

Course Competencies:

  1. Science Literacy - Students will demonstrate an ability to read, comprehend, and write about scientific material. Students will also apply the skills of the scientific method in their writing (investigate, analyze, solve, conclude, and evaluate).

  2. Application - Students will demonstrate an ability to apply through calculations physics theories, laws, and equations to scenarios real or imagined.


Environmental Science NCAA, 1/2 Credit, Grades 11-12

Essential Question:

In what ways does the human race impact the environment?

Prerequisite: Freshman Science and Biology. This one trimester science course is designed as a project based and academic based program for students interested in ecology and the environment. Throughout the course, students will make observations about the environment around them, assess the human implications for environmental problems, learn how they can directly affect the environment (positively and negatively), and how they can have effects on future generations. Students will occasionally be performing their own research and presenting it to the class. This course seeks to provide students with many different techniques for learning.

Course Competencies:

  1. Concepts: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific concepts that support exploration into the various ways in which humans impact the environment.

  2. Impact: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the various ways human activity has impacted the environment.


AP Biology I, II & III Running StartNCAA1.5 Credit, Grades 11-12

Running Start Course

Essential Question:

AP Biology I: How do the interactions of components of biological systems lead to complex properties?

AP Biology II: How have micro- and macroevolutionary processes led to the diversity of life on Earth?

AP Biology III: How do the form and function of plants and animals allow them to maintain homeostasis?

Prerequisite: B or better in Biology Honors and Chemistry, or permission of instructor. Advanced Placement Biology is a college-level course aligned with a national curriculum approved by the College Board. Emphasis will be placed on developing enduring conceptual understandings of the big ideas in biology (evolution as a driving force on the diversity and unity of life, living systems' use of free energy and molecular building blocks, living systems' storage, reception, transmission, and response to information essential to life's processes, and the complex interactions of biological systems). Through an extensive, inquiry-based laboratory experience students will learn and employ methods of scientific investigation and analysis to help deepen their understanding and to facilitate making connections among ideas in biology and other scientific disciplines. To achieve Honors/AP weight for this course, student must complete all three trimesters and take the AP Biology examination in May. More information regarding the course can be found in the AP Biology Course and Exam Description by College Board.

Course Competencies:

  1. Concepts in Biology - Students will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of life science. These will be demonstrated by engaging in, for example: defining, describing, labeling, matching, recalling, recognizing, recording, drawing, discussing, contrasting, inferring, predicting, observing, and measuring.

  2. Applications of Biology - Students will demonstrate the ability to apply their knowledge and comprehension of science. This will be demonstrated by engaging in, for example: classifying, interpreting, analyzing, designing, developing, diagramming, evaluating, creating, integrating, organizing, planning, revising, assessing, concluding, critiquing, justifying, ranking, and supporting.


AP Chemistry I, II & IIINCAA1.5 Credit, Grade 12

Essential Question:

How can an advanced understanding of chemistry help you to become a more informed citizen and better prepare you for a challenging career?

Prerequisite: B or better in Chemistry H and Algebra II H. The Advanced Placement Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year and has been designed to meet the curricular requirements set forth by the Advanced Placement Program. The first trimester will address the topics introduced in Honors Chemistry with greater depth and rigor typical of a college level course (stoichiometry, gas laws, solutions, atomic theory). The second trimester will introduce more complex topics such as equilibrium, acid base chemistry, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. The third trimester will cover kinetics, nuclear chemistry, molecular geometry and organic chemistry. Mathematics will be used throughout the course; therefore, strong mathematical skills are essential. The laboratory experiments will be more sophisticated and require greater skill than those encountered in Chemistry Honors. A considerable amount of student study time is required including the completion of a summer assignment. To achieve Honors/AP weight for this course, student must complete all three trimesters and take the AP Chemistry examination in May. More information regarding the course can be found in the AP Chemistry Course and Exam Description by College Board.

Course Competencies:

AP Chemistry I

  1. Concepts: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of chemical concepts including atomic theory, nomenclature, chemical reactions, gas behavior, quantum theory, and molecular bonding. (AP Big Ideas 1, 2, and 3, AP Science Practices 6 & 7)

  1. Application: Students will demonstrate the ability to use models, apply mathematics in solving problems, collect and analyze data, and engage in scientific questioning. (AP Science Practices 1-5)

AP Chemistry II

  1. Concepts: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of chemical concepts including equilibrium, acid base chemistry, thermochemistry and electrochemistry. (AP Big Ideas 5 & 6, AP Science Practices 6 & 7)

  1. Application: Students will demonstrate the ability to use models, apply mathematics in solving problems, collect and analyze data, and engage in scientific questioning. (AP Science Practices 1-5)

AP Chemistry III

  1. Concepts: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of chemical concepts including chemical kinetics, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry.(AP Big Idea 4, AP Science Practices 6 & 7)

  1. Application: Students will demonstrate the ability to use models, apply mathematics in solving problems, collect and analyze data, and engage in scientific questioning. (AP Science Practices 1-5)

  1. Synthesis: Students will demonstrate their ability to synthesize chemical information acquired throughout the year by completing practice AP exercises.

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