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 9, 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 1 or “B” or better in Honors Algebra 1 and departmental approval.

Grade 9, 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: Passing grade or better in Biology or Honors Biology, concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 or higher, and department 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: Passing grade or better in Honors Biology, concurrent enrollment in Honors Algebra 2 or higher, 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 1

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 and 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 *

Prerequisite: “B” or better in Chemistry and Algebra 2, and departmental 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 1 *

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 1 examination.



ENGINEERING 1 *

Prerequisites: “B” or better in Geometry, as well as “B” or better in Chemistry or concurrent enrollment in Honors Chemistry 

Grades 11, 12 1 Year



This course is designed to introduce students to various engineering disciplines as well as common tools and problem-solving skills that are used in these disciplines.  Students are required to have some background in Chemistry and a willingness to apply mathematical reasoning to help solve practical problems.  We will begin our study with a general introduction to Engineering and the Engineering design process, followed by units that include Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, and Aerospace Engineering, among others.  The course will be structured with a focus on teamwork and the completion of hands-on laboratory activities and projects throughout the year, such as DC motor boat construction, home electrical wiring, modeling with TinkerCAD, building load-bearing structures, and launching simple rockets.  Students will also gain experience documenting their design process and presenting completed projects to their peers as they find solutions to problems an engineer would face.