Mary Star of the Sea High School

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Course Catalog » Science Department

Science Department

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
 

Note: An asterisk (*) following the course title indicates the course meets the 

entrance requirements for UC/CSU when passed with a grade of C or better. 

 
PHYSICAL SCIENCE
 
Prerequisite: None
 
Grade 9 1 Semester
 
Physical Science is an introductory level science course designed to teach the basic principles of the scientific method using the concepts of the physical sciences. Emphasis is on observation, data recording techniques, analysis, and hypothesis formation. Topics include the physical world; investigation of science problems; motion and energy; forces, work and machines; and properties of matter. The course is lab oriented.
 
BIOLOGY *
 
Prerequisite: Passing grade in Physical Science
 
Grade 10 1 Year
 
Biology enables students to develop an understanding of the role of science in society, and the world, by mastering the scientific method of inquiry, while investigating living systems. It is designed to present the student with the fundamental concepts of biology. Topics include, but are not limited to, the scientific method, cell theory, basic biochemistry, genetics and heredity, evolutionary theory, and a survey of representative living systems. This course also involves extensive hands-on laboratory activities. Emphasis will be on allowing students to gain preparation for further study of the sciences. Requirements include a complete dissection of a crayfish and frog.
 
HONORS BIOLOGY *
 
Prerequisite: "A" in Physical Science, "A" in Algebra I or "B" or better in Honors Algebra I and departmental approval
 
Grade 10 1 Year
 
Honors Biology enables students to develop an understanding of the role of science in society, and the world, by mastering the scientific method of inquiry, while investigating living systems. It is designed to present the student with the fundamental concepts of biology in greater depth than academic Biology. Topics include, but are not limited to, cell theory, basic biochemistry, genetics and heredity, evolutionary theory, and a survey of representative living systems. This course also involves extensive hands-on laboratory activities. Emphasis will be on allowing students to gain preparation for further study of the sciences. Requirements include a complete dissection of a crayfish and frog.
 
CHEMISTRY *
 
Prerequisite: "C-" or better in Biology, concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or higher, and departmental approval.
 
Grade 10, 11, 12  1 Year
 
Chemistry introduces the student to the principles of chemistry. Emphasis is on scientific practices and problem-solving skills. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, the nature of matter, atomic theory, periodic properties, chemical bonding, reactions and equations, molar relationships, stoichiometry, acids and bases, rates, equilibria, and thermochemistry. The course involves hands-on laboratory activities and addresses the nature of scientific inquiry.
 
HONORS CHEMISTRY *
 
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Honors Algebra II or higher, an "A" in Biology, "B" or better in Honors Biology and departmental approval
 
Grade 10, 11 1 Year
 
Honors Chemistry is designed to present the student with the principles of chemistry in greater depth and detail than in the regular chemistry course. Emphasis is on scientific practices, quantitative relationships, and problem-solving skills. Topics include, but are not limited to, the nature of matter, atomic theory, periodic properties, chemical bonding, chemical reactions and equations, molar relationships, stoichiometry, gases, thermodynamics, acids and bases, rates, and equilibria. The course involves hands-on laboratory activities and addresses the nature of scientific inquiry.
 
ANATOMY/PHYSIOLOGY *
 
Prerequisite: "C" or better in Biology and/or Chemistry
 
Grade 10, 11, 12 1 year
 
Anatomy is a laboratory course designed to acquaint the student with the terminology used to describe the human body and the fundamental concepts of human anatomy and physiology. It will focus on the basic organization of the human body, cellular and tissue structure and function, development, and major body systems in health and disease. The course is primarily a laboratory course and involves microscope work and a complete dissection of a fetal pig and sheep heart. Students who are ethically opposed to dissection or who are squeamish about dissection should not enroll in the course.
 
MARINE SCIENCE *
 
Prerequisite: Passing grade or better in Biology and Algebra I
 
Grade 10, 11, 12 1 Year
 
Marine Science is a yearlong course that will build upon the students understanding of biological concepts previously learned. Emphasis will be made on using investigative techniques to explore the chemical, physical, geological, and biological aspects of the marine environment. Students will not only have an understanding of the world's ocean, its organisms' behaviors and adaptations, and structures and functions that exist throughout all of the marine environment, but they will also take a close look at how humans have affected and changed the marine environment over time. Students learn how energy flows and cycles throughout the Earth and analyze the interrelationships of the various organisms involved. The hands-on laboratory activities include, but are not limited to, demonstrations of geological concepts, examination of physical characteristics - such as waves - in the ocean, and examination of anatomical structures and its relation to the physiological adaptations of an organism. Students are required to participate in a variety of dissections representative of marine invertebrates and vertebrates. Students who are ethically opposed to dissection or who are squeamish about dissection should not enroll in the course.
 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE *

Prerequisites:          “C” in Biology/Honors Biology, Chemistry/Honors Chemistry and departmental approval

Grades 11, 12           1 Year

AP Environmental Science is a year-long college-level course designed to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them.  Students are required to take the AP Environmental Science examination in May.


PHYSICS *
 
Prerequisites: "B" or better in Chemistry and Algebra II, and department approval
 
Grade 11, 12 1 Year
 
Physics is designed to familiarize the student with basic principles of the science of matter and energy and their interactions. The class will focus on quantitative relationships and examine how these laws govern the physical world. Students will conduct extensive hands-on laboratory activities that allow them to experience the concepts discussed in the class for themselves. Topics covered include Mechanics, Properties of Matter, Heat, Sound and Light, and Electricity and Magnetism.
 
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS  I*
 
Prerequisite: "B" or better in Chemistry, and Trigonometry/PreCalculus or Honors Trigonometry/PreCalculus, and departmental approval. Suggested concurrent enrollment in Calculus
 
Grade 11, 12 1 Year
 
This course is designed to give students an in-depth study of Newtonian Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism. Students will use mathematical reasoning — arithmetic, algebraic, geometric, trigonometric or calculus, where appropriate — to the study of the physical world and its governing laws. All students enrolled in the course are required to take the AP Physics examination.