course descriptions

Biology
Biology engages students in investigating and making sense of the living world. The purpose of this class is to introduce fundamental topics in biology including biochemistry, cell biology, evolution, genetics, ecology and physiology. Students will gain a practical understanding of core biology concepts using a variety of activities including classroom discussions, laboratory investigations, readings and reflections.

TEXT: Miller & Levine, Biology. ISBN: 9780133235746

Honors Biology
Honors Biology is a course which engages students in investigating at an advanced level the diverse organisms, processes, and interactions that constitute life on our planet.  Honors Biology examines the classification of living organisms, the principles and dynamics of ecological relationships, the cellular basis of life, genetics and inheritance, evolution, and the unique characteristics of viruses, bacteria, fungi, protists, plants, and animals. 

TEXT: Miller & Levine, Biology ISBN: 9780133235746

AP Biology
AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course.  Students expand their understanding of Biology through inquiry-based investigations of biochemistry, cell structure and processes, genetics, information transfer, evolution, classification and diversity, and ecology.  This course prepares students for the AP Biology exam held each year in May. 

TEXT: Jane B. Reece, Biology ISBN: 9780321775658

Chemistry

Students examine how understanding of the basic units of matter has evolved over time, model the structures of atoms and molecules, conduct experiments, and analyze reactions.  In doing so, students learn to describe and explain interactions between atoms, elements, and compounds. Students learn atomic structures, bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, acids and bases, chemical equilibrium, and nuclear processes. 

TEXT: Chemistry, ISBN: 9780132525763

Honors Chemistry
Honors Chemistry engages students in investigating atomic components and structures, the bonding of elements, chemical reactions and notation, kinetic theory, acids and bases, reaction rates and chemical equilibrium, electrochemistry, and nuclear processes. Through hands-on activities, classroom discussions, readings, and laboratory experiments, students become familiar with interplay of elements that dictate the workings of the world around us.

TEXT: Chemistry, ISBN: 9780132525763

AP Chemistry                                                                                                                                                                              AP Chemistry provides students with a college-level foundation to support future advanced course work in chemistry. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium.  As students explore the various properties and behaviors of matter, they develop a detailed appreciation how the structures and interactions of atoms account for such features.  This course prepares students for the AP Chemistry exam held each year in May.

TEXT: Theodore E. Brown, Chemistry, ISBN: 9780321910417

Physics
This course hones skills in qualitative observation, empirical data collection, and problem solving while investigating the interactions of force, energy, and motion.  Students closely analyze kinetics, waves, and electromagnetic phenomena.  Through hand-on activities, class discussions, readings, and laboratory experimentation, students come to understand important physics terms and theories.  Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding and practical application.

TEXT: Paul G. Hewitt, Conceptual Physics, ISBN: 9780321568090

Honors Physics
Honors Physics is a course that engages students in describing and predicting linear and projectile motion, Newton’s laws, rotational motion, thermodynamics, wave properties, light and optics, and electromagnetism. Through class discussions, readings, and laboratory experimentation, students hone their understanding of the underlying laws that govern the workings of our immediate environment and the known universe.

TEXT: John D. Cutnell, Physics, ISBN: 9780470879528

AP Physics 1                                                                                                                                                                                AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits.  AP Physics 1 may be taken as a first-year physics course with no prior physics course work necessary. Students should have completed geometry and be concurrently taking algebra II, or an equivalent course. Although the Physics 1 course includes basic use of trigonometric functions, this understanding can be gained either in the concurrent math course or in the AP Physics 1 course itself.  This course prepares students for the AP Physics 1 exam held each year in May.

TEXT: John D. Cutnell, Physics, ISBN: 9780470879528

AP Physics 2                                                                                                                                                                                 AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.  Students should have AP Physics 1 or a comparable Physics introductory course.  AP Physics 2 should be taken as a second-year course after students have had either AP Physics 1 or a similar introductory course. Students should have taken or be concurrently taking precalculus or an equivalent course.  This course prepares students for the AP Physics 2 exam held each year in May.

TEXT: John D. Cutnell, Physics, ISBN: 9780470879528

AP Physics C: Mechanics                                                                                                                                                            AP Physics C: Mechanics is equivalent to a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering.The course explores topics such as kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.  This course prepares students for the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam held each year in May.

TEXT: University Physics with Modern Physics, ISBN: 9780321973610

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism                                                                                                                                   AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering.The course explores topics such as electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields; and electromagnetism. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.  This course prepares students for the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism exam held each year in May.

TEXT: University Physics with Modern Physics, ISBN: 9780321973610

Robotics                                                                                                                                                                                    Robotics is designed to develop skills in computation, creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking while gaining hands-on experience building and manipulating robots. Throughout the course, students will be using the visual programming language, Scratch, to process output from the robot's sensors. By the courses conclusion, students will have gained an understanding of how algorithms and mathematics govern the outcomes of robot's movements through computation and robotics. 

Anatomy & Physiology Advanced                                                                                                                                         Anatomy and Physiology, Adv. is a course which engages students in investigating the vital structures and core processes that sustain human life.  Students are guided through the structural and functional features of the eleven major organ systems, gaining insight into the roles of each individual system and the interactions that enable them to collectively maintain homeostasis. Human Anatomy and Physiology is an advanced science course that allows students to utilize and expand upon their understandings of biology and chemistry, and offers a valuable foundation for those considering further study in the biological sciences.

Environmental Science
Environmental Science introduces students to the facets of Earth-science, Chemistry, Ecology, and Resource Management at play in the discipline. Over the course of two semesters, students gain insight into the complex interactions between various aspects of the living and non-living world around them.  

AP Environmental Science                                                                                                                                                           AP Environmental Science course is an introductory college-level course.  Students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world.  The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.  This course prepares students for the AP Environmental Science exam held each year in May.

Astronomy
In Astronomy, students study the apparent motion of the stars and constellations, and the technology and techniques that are integral in modern astronomy.  Students make a detailed analysis of the make-up of our own solar system; the life and death of stars; and the premise of and evidence for the big bang theory and competing cosmological models. 

Animal Behavior                                                                                                                                                                    Animal Behavior is a course which engages students in investigating the fascinat- ing and often puzzling patterns of animal behavior.  Students are guided through the study of basic animal behavior, instinctual actions, learned behaviors, play, reasoning and higher thinking, and social behaviors. 

Marine Biology
Marine Biology engages students in exploring the rich diversity of organisms that inhabit the world’s oceans. Students begin by building a foundational understanding of the physical, chemical, and geological factors that comprise aquatic ecosystems and influence life in the sea.  Students hone their understanding of the principles and frameworks of Oceanography and Marine Biology and expand their knowledge of the organisms that populate Earth’s oceans.

Psychology (social science elective)
This course is designed to familiarize students with the basic vocabulary and concepts necessary to understand the six major branches of psychology: Perception Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Personality Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Social Psychology.

AP Psychology (social science elective)                                                                                                                                       AP Psychology is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals.  Students are exposed to each of the major subfields within psychology.  They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.  This course prepares students for the AP Psychology exam held each in May. 

Field Botany (semester)
Field Botany involves students in investigating the rich diversity of plants in the various habitats in and around the local area. Students engage in classroom activities and discussions, read textbooks, journal articles, and field guides, and utilize numerous web-based resources in order to establish the conceptual foundations for the explorations students undertake in the field.  Students hone practical skills in identifying, collecting, and preserving plant specimens, gain core knowledge about plant anatomy, physiology and classification, and build familiarity with significant local flora.

Wildlife Zoology (semester)
In Wildlife Zoology, students investigate the rich diversity of animals.  Students hone practical skills in observing and identifying wildlife and gain insight into the major fauna of local ecosystems, including common invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals, and fishes and other marine animals. 

science