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Science

Biology - 9th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
This is a college preparatory laboratory science course based on regular laboratory and field investigations that include a study of structure and function of living organisms and their interactions with the environment. Topics of study include biochemistry, microscopy, cell structure and function, cellular energetics, cellular reproduction, genetics and heredity, taxonomy and classification, bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, animals, ecology, and human body systems. A special emphasis is placed on laboratory investigations including microscopic techniques, entomology, data collection and analysis, and laboratory dissection techniques with an extensive pig dissection which culminates in a large scale lab practical exam.

Biology Honors - 9th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Selection criteria.
This is a college preparatory laboratory science course that prepares students to be successful in an AP® Biology course. The course is based on understanding science as a process to help students begin to develop a conceptual framework for modern biology. Students will perform regular laboratory and field investigations that include a study of structure and function of living organisms and their interactions with the environment. Topics of study include biochemistry, microscopy, cell structure and function, cellular energetics, cellular reproduction, genetics and heredity, taxonomy and classification, bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, animals, ecology, and human body systems. A special emphasis is placed on problem solving, written communication of concepts and observations, microscopic techniques, entomology, data collection and analysis, and laboratory dissection techniques with an extensive pig dissection which culminates in a large scale lab practical exam.

Biology AP® 11th or 12th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Biology, Chemistry and selection criteria.
The AP® Biology course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course designed to enable students to 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. The key concepts and related content that define the AP® Biology course and exam are organized around a few underlying principles called the big ideas, which encompass the core scientific principles, theories and processes governing living organisms and biological systems. The four big ideas that will be studied in this class are: Cellular Energy and Communication, Evolution, Genetics and Information Transfer, and Biological Interactions. Students will complete at least 10 multi-day lab investigations that reinforce the big ideas and encourage the development of scientific inquiry and reasoning skills. Completion of this course will prepare students for the AP® Biology exam. AP® Biology is historically a challenging and difficult class; therefore, students selecting this course should be highly motivated, self-disciplined and inquisitive. Students enrolled in AP® courses are required to take the AP® exam. Students are responsible for the exam fee which is determined by the College Board.

Chemistry 10th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
The academic level of chemistry is designed for the student who will have a non-science college major. The student needs a mastery of basic algebra concepts. The topics covered in this course are dimensional analysis and International System unit conversions, history of atomic theory, structure of the atom, bonding, naming compounds, balancing equations, stoichiometry, states of matter and energy changes, gases, solutions, and acid/base systems. When time allows, oxidation-reduction reactions and electrochemistry will be introduced. These topics are sufficiently introduced but not with the depth of honors chemistry. 

Chemistry - Honors 10th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Biology and selection criteria.
The honors chemistry course is geared for the student who will be majoring in engineering, pre-med, or a technology related field in college.  Honors chemistry is math based and uses dimensional analysis throughout the course. Topics covered in this course are the International System of units, the periodic table, history of the atom, structure of the atom, bonding, naming compounds, balancing equations, stoichiometry, predicting, states of matter and energy changes, gases, solutions, and acid/base systems. An introduction of oxidations-reduction reaction and electrochemistry may also be covered. The honors chemistry student should be a self-motivated learner and have a strong math background.

AP® Chemistry 11th or 12th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Biology, Chemistry and selection criteria.
AP® Chemistry is a course that deals with chemistry topics at a college level. The topics and laboratory work covered in AP® Chemistry are those specified by the College Board™. Students are expected to have previous knowledge of significant figures with measurements and calculations, scientific laws concerning matter, atomic theory, compounds and nomenclature, balancing equations, oxidation-reduction reactions, stoichiometry, states of matter, solutions, and acidic and basic systems. These topics will be reviewed during the first three weeks of the course. Other topics that are covered in more depth are quantum numbers, periodic relationships, geometry of molecules, intermolecular forces, predicting products and balancing equations, states of matter, spontaneity of reactions, kinetics, equilibrium (general, acid/base, and solution), and electrochemistry. There are sixteen experiments required by College Board for the AP® chemistry student. Students must be able to attend class 90% of the time in order to adequately participate in lab. The AP® Chemistry student should have very strong math skills and be self-directed, self-motivated, and willing to read and study independently. Students enrolled in AP® courses are required to take the AP® exam. Students are responsible for the exam fee which is determined by the College Board.

Physics 11th or 12th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: concurrent or previous enrollment in Algebra II, and selection criteria.
Physics is a physical science concerned with the relationships between matter and energy. The ultimate goal of physics is to explain physical processes in terms of simple interactions and simple particles.  The four main subdivisions of physics are: mechanics and thermal energy; wave motion; electricity; and nuclear and particle physics. This course will involve a considerable amount of laboratory experience. Investigations will be both qualitative and quantitative in nature and will require manipulation of apparatus, observation, gathering of data, processing data and interpreting the data to form conclusions. Topics of study include (but are not limited to) measurement, dimensional analysis and units, statics, vectors, calculational techniques, momentum, “Galilean” relativity, center of mass, Newton’s Laws, conservation of energy, power, conservative forces, simple oscillator, mechanical waves, gravity, Newton’s Law of Gravity, Inverse Square Law, static electricity, charge and electric fields, Coulomb’s Law, electric energy, conductors and capacitors, basic circuit theory, magnetic fields, induction, light and optics, and select topics in modern physics. Students will learn to clearly communicate their scientific work, a critical skill for today’s workplace, through work in small cooperative groups, presentations of projects, homework problem solutions, and writing lab reports. This course will include a variety of activities to reach students with varied learning styles, including several cooperative group activities to help students solidify their own physics knowledge by teaching their peers. 

Physics Honors 11th or 12th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Concurrent or previous enrollment in PreCalculus and selection criteria.
Physics is a physical science concerned with the relationships between matter and energy. The ultimate goal of physics is to explain physical processes in terms of simple interactions and simple particles. The four main subdivisions of physics are: mechanics and thermal energy; wave motion; electricity; and nuclear and particle physics. This course will involve a considerable amount of laboratory experience. Investigations will be both qualitative and quantitative in nature and will require manipulation of apparatus, observation, gathering of data, processing data and interpreting the data to form conclusions. The Honors level involves a more mathematical treatment of the topics covered, which include measurement, dimensional analysis and units, statics, vectors, calculational techniques, momentum, “Galilean” relativity, center of mass, Newton’s Laws, conservation of energy, power, conservative forces, simple oscillator, mechanical waves, gravity and impetus, Newton’s Law of Gravity, Inverse Square Law, static electricity, charge and electric fields, Coulomb’s Law, electric energy, conductors and capacitors, basic circuit theory, magnetic fields, induction, light and optics, and select topics in modern physics. Students will learn to clearly communicate their scientific work, a critical skill for today’s workplace, through work in small cooperative groups, presentations of projects, homework problem solutions, and writing lab reports. This course will include a variety of activities to reach students with varied learning styles, including several cooperative group activities to help students solidify their own physics knowledge by teaching their peers. This course will serve as preparation for AP® Physics C Mechanics.

AP® Physics C-Mechanics 12th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Prerequisite and Limitations: Successful completion of Physics Honors, concurrent or previous enrollment in Calculus and selection criteria.
AP Physics C-Mechanics is a rigorous college level course designed to be equivalent to the first semester of a typical college Physics course.  Major areas of study include kinematics, forces and motion, work and energy, systems of particles, rotational dynamics and statics, gravitation, and oscillations. Calculus is used throughout the course to unify concepts and develop the theoretical framework for the course. Students will develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills in a variety of ways. Understanding concepts and connections will be emphasized over memorizing equations. Homework and in-class activities will offer students opportunities to apply physics knowledge in new and meaningful ways. Students will utilize technology, from computer simulation and data analysis software to calculator and computer data collection equipment, in order to connect the physics they are studying to real- world situations. Students will learn to clearly communicate their scientific work, a critical skill for today’s workplace, through work in small cooperative groups, presentations of projects, homework problem solutions, and writing lab reports. This course will include a variety of activities to reach students with varied learning styles, including several cooperative group activities to help students solidify their own physics knowledge by teaching their peers. This course follows all College Board guidelines and serves as preparation for the AP® Physics C-Mechanics exam. Students enrolled in AP® courses are required to take the AP® exam. Students are responsible for the exam fee which is determined by the College Board. 

Anatomy/Physiology 11th or 12th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
This is a college preparatory laboratory science course which investigates the similarities and differences in the form and function of living organisms. This course will examine the gross anatomy of the systems of the human body, histology, fundamental concepts of physiology, and related terminology. This course concentrates on the body at a microscopic level and then moves on to the individual systems including integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Along with these topics, students will explore current scientific issues so that they have direct access to new developments in the field of anatomy and physiology.  A great deal of emphasis is placed on laboratory experiences including advanced microscopic techniques, chicken wing dissection, cow eye dissection, sheep brain dissection, sheep heart dissection, and an extensive feral cat dissection which culminates in a large scale lab practical exam.

Forensic Science 11th or 12th Grade
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters
Forensic Science is an upper level course that utilizes other science disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physical science and earth science to solve crime scenes. The course is rich in exploration and lab investigation. Students work in teams and individually to separate, isolate and identify physical and chemical materials and analyze biological evidence. Topics that are covered include: fingerprinting; DNA; blood analysis; casts and impressions; arson investigation; entomology and ballistics.

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