Earth SciencePrerequisites: NoneEarth Science is a study of the interrelationships between the Earth's composition, structure, processes, and history and its atmosphere, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. Various scientists and their contributions are studied. Students interpret various maps, charts, and tables and utilize technology to organize and analyze data. Facility in using many different kinds of maps and graphics is a major outcome of learning earth science. Students also consider costs and benefits of using the Earth's resources in problem-solving situations.Honors students will begin development of topics to investigate for their Science Research Project (SRP) during the second semester of Earth Science (the SRP is completed during Honors Biology). Academic Earth Science is designed as a challenging course requiring advanced reading and writing skills. Basic Earth Science may employ adapted instructional strategies but the content is builit around the Earth Science SOL test.
Students taking Biology gain detailed knowledge of living systems. Areas of study include cellular organization and processes, molecular biology, classification, genetics, evolution, and ecosystems. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate proper use of laboratory tools. Controlled experiments are performed and results are reported. The importance of science research is emphasized. Honors Biology is designed as a rapidly paced, challenging course, requiring advanced academic skills. Honors students are expected to complete an in-depth, independent Science Research Project (SRP) as a required part of their course work. The SRP begins in Honors Earth Science: consequently, students entering Biology as ninth graders will need to wrok with their teachers to develop a timetable for completion of the SRP assignments. Academic Biology is designed as a challenging course requiring advanced reading and writing skills. Basic Biology may employ adapted instructional strategies but the content is builit around the Biology SOL test
AP Biology (Advanced Placement)
Prerequisites: Aacdemic or Honors Biology and Chemistry (may be taken concurrently), successful performance on the Biology SOL test
This advanced course is a college-level, fast-paced course that follows the course outline of the College Board's Advanced Placement program. The course emphasizes cellular biology, biochemical processes of cellular respiration and photosynthesis, vertebrate anatomy and physiology, advanced genetics, evolution, plant anatomy and physiology, and ecology. Students are expected to take the AP Biology examination for possible college credit.
ChemistryPrerequisites: Algebra I or Algebra I, Parts 1 &2. Successful performance on teh Algebra I SOL testChemistry students develop an appreciation for the interaction between matter and energy. Students investigate the structure, properties, and reactions of matter. Classroom study is balanced with laboratory experiences to deepen the students' understanding of Chemistry. Analytical experimental investigations are conducted using the scientific method and proper safety precautions are employed. Students investigate kinetic theory, the Periodic Table, stoichiometry, redox equations, and chemical equilibrium. Students report findings of both qualitative and quantitative data using effective communication skills, correct expression of significant figures and error, and factor labeling in problem solving. Chemistry is designed as a challenging course requiring advanced reading and writing skills.AP ChemistryPrerequisites: Chemistry, successful performance on the Chemistry SOL test.This advanced course is a college-level, fast-paced course that follows the course outline of the College Board's Advanced Placement program. The course includes many extended lab procedures. In addition, such fields as organic chemistry, biochemistry, nuclear chemistry, coordination complexes, and semi-micro qualitative analysis are introduced. Students are expected to take the AP Chemistry examination for possible college credit.Conceptual PhysicsPrerequisites: Algebra I or Algebra I, Parts 1 & 2Students build on basic physical science principles by exploring in depth the nature and characteristics of energy and its dynamic interaction with matter. Topics include mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and nuclear energy. The course draws connections between concepts of physics and many everyday applications. This course is not intended for students who are planning to pursue the sciences in college. Students who aare warded a credit for Conceptual Physics cannot receive an additional credit if they enroll in Physics.PhysicsPrerequisites: Algebra IIConsidered to be the most fundamental of all the sciences, Physics seeks to understand and explain the behavior of matter and energy. Students will recognize that innumerable phenomena can be explained by a surprisingly small collection of related concepts. The course uses a highly mathematical approach to physics. It presumes a good, working knowledge of Algebra II and Trigonometry. Laboratory work includes graphical analysis. Topics include mechanics, heat, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, the Special Theory of Relativity, and atomic structure. This is a college preparatory Physics course. Students who previously completed Conceptual Physics will not be awarded another science credit for taking Physics.AP Physics (Advancd Placement)Prerequisites: Physics Co-requisite: CalculusThis sourse is a fast-paced, college-level course in Physics that follows the course outline of the CollegeBoard's Advanced Placement Physics program. Emphasis is placed on mechanics, and the students has the option to study additional topics. Pre-Calculus and Calculus skills are used to develop concepts and solve problems. Students are expected to take the AP Physics examinaton for possible college credit.Independent Science Research (ISR)Prerequisites: Completion of 3 lab sciences in different disciplinesThis elective science course is intended for seniors interested in continuing their study through an independent project in science, engineering, mathematics, or computer science. Students participating in ISR should have a significant science background prior to entering thecourse. ISR projects are subject to considerable peer and teacher review during all phases of development. The focus of this course is on sustained, scientific inquiry. Students are expected to to take responsibility for project development, meeting timelines, collecting data, defending procedures, and presenting results. The instructor advises students on the research process, information sources, and contacts. Instruction is also provided on such topics as data collection and presentation, statistical interpretation of results, protocols for research, and presentation skills. The course provides one of the elective science credits required for the Standard or Advanced Studies diploma.Environmental ExplorationsPrerequisites: 2 lab science creditsEnvironmental science provides opportunity to synthesize information and knowledge of physics, chemistry, earth science, and biology while developing the Naturalist Intelligence. Students will gain an understanding of ecological concepts including air, water, soil, biological diversity, and human impacts. Inquiry skills will be developed through fieldwork, service projects, and collaborative investigations while using appropriate technology. Because of the interdisciplinary focus of the course, students are challenged with diverse topics, rigorous reading requirements, and opportunities for written and oral presentations.