The Science Department offers courses that expose students to concepts and critical thinking that will enable them to pursue science at the collegiate level. Besides gaining college preparatory (or honors level) content knowledge, students develop confidence in their own abilities to solve problems, discern relevant information, and be an advocate for their own learning. Courses offer opportunities for students to learn proper research skills, techniques for laboratory and field work, interpretation of data and report results, and how to understand practical applications of the material. The Science Department seeks to cultivate active learning, self-reliance, study and note-taking skills, test-taking ability and laboratory report writing. In order for students to maximize success, a progression within the science department is followed that will enables the students to develop study skills in the earlier grades which will be essential in the more content intensive courses in the later grades. The Science Department uses technology and thoughtfully designed travel assignments for each class to allow students to meet course objectives without the benefit of in-class instruction when they are away from the classroom for athletic contests and training.
7th Grade Science is a life science course designed to introduce various areas in biology such as cell structure and function, genetics, evolution, human systems, and plant biology. This course will introduce students to formal lab report writing and emphasize how to actively study, take notes, and organize material; these are all necessary skills needed to do well on unit tests and quizzes and to also prepare students for success in high-school level science.
Physical Science, typically taken in the 8th grade, focuses on nutrition, chemistry, environmental science, and physics. Student development is fostered by a focus on study skills, note taking, hands-on activities and organizational skills.
Earth Science, typically taken in 9th grade, teaches students to appreciate how scientific theories have evolved through time and how the scientific process has helped researchers arrive at these theories. Earth Science is designed to introduce, review, and integrate basic concepts of biology, chemistry, and physical science and is divided into 4 basic units- Geology, Oceanography, Meteorology, and Plate Tectonics.
Biology I (honors option available), typically taken in 10th grade, is a content-based class that covers the following units in-depth: Biochemistry, Cell Structure and Function, Photosynthesis, Cellular Respiration, Cell Cycle, Protein Synthesis, Asexual/Sexual Reproduction, Genetics, Biotechnology, Evolution and Population Genetics. Biology I emphasizes formal lab report writing and critical thinking to set a foundation for academic independence.
Chemistry (honors option available), typically taken in 11th grade, students will further explore scientific laboratory writing and gain a college preparatory foundation in chemistry by studying the following areas: Describing Matter, Chemical Equations, Stoichiometry, Chemical Reactions, Physical Behaviors of Gases, Waves and Light, Electronic Structure of the Atom, The Periodic Table, Chemical Bonding and Molecular Shapes, States of Matter, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acid-Base Theory, and Oxidation-Reduction Reactions. A special emphasis is put on safety and proper laboratory procedures.
Physics (honors option available), typically taken in 12th grade, students use both their science and advanced math skills (math pre-requisite = successful completion of Algebra II and Geometry) to achieve conceptual understanding, to solve applied mathematical problems, and to perform and analyze experiments. The following units are covered in depth: Motion in 1-Dimension, Vectors, Motion in 2-Dimensions, Force, Momentum, Work and Energy, Circular and Orbital Motion, Waves Behavior, Sound and Music, Light and Mirrors, and Electricity.
Honors Biology II (10th, 11th, or 12th grade) is designed to be a continuation of Biology I (a necessary pre-requisite) and is intended for accelerated students who wish to pursue science further in college. The following units are studied: Bacteria and Bacterial Genetics, Plant Biology, Viruses/Prions, Animal Kingdom, Immune System, Endocrine System, Circulatory/Respiratory Systems, Digestive/Excretory Systems, Nervous System and Muscle Physiology. The final trimester of Biology II is designed to help students coalesce their two years of biology as they prepare for the SAT II Biology Subject Test and the AP Biology exam.
Environmental Science is designed to introduce, investigate and analyze environmental concepts and connections through unit based studies in Ecology, Populations, Land, Water, the Atmosphere and Energy. Course work will include class discussions, research, case studies, field work and laboratory experimentation to explore these topics.