PHS Curriculum » Science Department Overview

Science Department Overview

Science Course Descriptions
 

320 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE  Grade 9  5.0 CR  (Level: 0)

This inquiry-based course is an introduction to the physical, ecological, and environmental concepts underlying the relationship between human society and the natural environment. It involves student evaluation of environmental problems within the areas of natural resources and ecosystems, population growth, energy production and consumption, pollution, and environmental degradation. Course activities allow them to discover and/or propose alternative solutions to these problems. This level science includes expectations for varied classroom activities and guided note-taking.

322 CP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE  Grade 9  5.0 CR  (Level: 1)

This inquiry-based course examines the physical, ecological, and environmental concepts underlying the relationship between human society and the natural environment.  It involves student evaluation of environmental problems within the areas of natural resources and ecosystems, population growth, energy production and consumption, pollution, and environmental degradation.  Course activities allow them to discover and/or propose alternative solutions to these problems. The college program runs at a moderate pace and includes expectations for independent and group work, the completion of frequent homework assignments, note-taking, and the completion of analysis questions following activities. 

324 H ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE  Grade 9  5.0 CR  (Level: 2)

This inquiry-based course is the study of the physical, ecological, and environmental concepts underlying the relationship between human society and the natural environment.  It involves student evaluation of environmental problems within the areas of natural resources and ecosystems, population growth, energy production and consumption, pollution, environmental degradation, and environmental policy.  Course activities allow them to discover and/or propose alternative solutions to these problems.  The Honors program runs at an accelerated pace and includes expectations for independent work, varied note-taking activities, and daily homework.  All topics are more in-depth with statistical calculations and formal laboratory reports.  

326 AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE  Grade 12  5.0 CR  (Level: AP)

Prerequisite: CP Biology and either CP Chemistry or CP Physics

The curriculum for this course is aligned with the NGSS and ETS-approved curriculum.  The course is designed to prepare students for the rigorous AP Environmental Science test administered in mid-May.  In addition, this course is designed to offer students the ability to further their knowledge in one of the most relevant and potentially life-altering sciences of their time.  This course will explore the relationship of mankind with Planet Earth and the devastating effect that our daily activities can have.  The course focuses on the following topics: Maintaining a Sustainable Future, Ecosystems, Human Population Growth, Natural Resources and Energy, Species Biodiversity, Pollution and Prevention, and other current topics. 

330 BIOLOGY  Grade 10  5.0 CR  (Level: 0)

Prerequisite:  Environmental Science

This is a lab-oriented course that introduces students to the core principles of Biology.  This course focuses on cooperative learning and student-centered teaching by emphasizing small group activities.  The topics addressed in this course include:  The Scientific Processes of Investigation, Basic Biochemical Pathways, Cell Structure and Function, The Characteristics of Life, Mendelian Genetics, Evolution and Diversity, and The Major Taxonomic Categories of Life.   Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to successfully perform guided inquiry-based laboratory exercises, complete designated lab reports, maintain a course notebook, perform hands on activities including dissections both independently and in small groups, and have an understanding of basic computer program usage.   

332 CP BIOLOGY  Grade 10  5.0 CR  (Level: 1) 

Prerequisite:  CP Environmental Science 

This course is lab-oriented and is geared toward preparing students for the rigors of the college learning environment.  The design of this course mirrors the level of coursework that prospective colleges expect from high school science students. CP Biology also enables all students the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to think analytically, process multiple layers of information, and develop long lasting relationships between concepts mastered and ongoing learning. The topics addressed in this course include:  The Scientific Processes of Investigation, Biochemical Pathways, Characteristics of Life, Themes of Biology, Cell Structure and Function, Cellular Energetics, Cellular Transport, Cellular Reproduction, Mendelian Genetics, Protein Synthesis and Molecular Biology, Evolution and Diversity, and The Major Taxonomic Categories of Life.      Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to successfully perform guided inquiry-based laboratory exercises, complete designated lab reports, maintain a course notebook, perform hands on activities including dissections both independently and in small groups, and have an understanding of basic computer program usage.   

334 H BIOLOGY  Grade 10  5.0 CR  (Level: 2) 

Prerequisite:  H Environmental Science

This is a lab-oriented course geared toward meeting the needs of students requiring a more rigorous course of study as well as providing a solid framework of conceptual Biological knowledge for those students considering a career path in the field of science. This course requires students to think analytically, process multiple layers of information, and gain a greater knowledge base in the field of Biology that can be used as a framework for future scientific study.  The topics addressed include: The Scientific Processes of Investigation, Biochemical Pathways, Characteristics of Life, Themes of Biology, Cell Structure and Function, Cellular Energetics, Cellular Transport, Cellular Reproduction, Mendelian Genetics, Protein Synthesis and Molecular Biology, Evolution and Diversity, and The Major Taxonomic Categories of Life.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to successfully perform independent inquiry lab-based experiments, maintain a course notebook, prepare typed laboratory reports, complete independent projects each marking period, and complete in-class dissections.  Honors Biology also requires independent reading of the text and extraction of important concepts.   

336 AP BIOLOGY  Grades 10-12  10.0 CR  (Level: AP) 

Prerequisite:  90% or higher in H Environmental Science and teacher recommendation

The curriculum for this course is aligned with NGSS, the Biology Competency Test specifications and ETS approved curriculum.  This course is designed to be the equivalent of a full year (two periods) biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year in college.  The course aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology.  In order to receive college credit for this course, the student must complete all AP labs, pass the AP Biology course with a “C” or better and pass the AP Biology exam with a 3 or better (NOTE:  a 4 or higher is required by some universities).  The topics addressed include:  all topics listed under Honors Biology plus Animal Physiology, including Development, Reproduction, Endocrine, Nervous, Circulatory, Respiratory, Immune, and Digestion, Cell Signaling, Gene Regulation and Expression, DNA technology and current applications, Characteristics of Phyla in the diversity of life, Plant Evolution, Plant Physiology, Ecology and Populations.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to successfully complete all AP laboratories and provide a meticulous analysis of results, prepare laboratory reports according to specifications, and independently read the text and extract important concepts for discussion.   

340 CHEMISTRY  Grade 11  5.0 CR  (Level: 0)

Prerequisite:  Biology 

The topics addressed in this course include matter and change, states of matter, critical thinking, atomic structure, electrons in atoms, metals and nonmetals, chemical periodicity, chemical names and formulas, ionic bonds, covalent bond, basic chemical reactions, and the mole.  Course expectations:  All students will be expected to participate in a safe laboratory environment, maintain a notebook, and participate in hands-on activities in small groups.  

342 CP CHEMISTRY  Grade 11  5.0 CR  (Level: 1) 

Prerequisite:  Minimum 70% in CP Algebra I or 80% in Algebra I and CP Biology

The topics addressed in this course include all listed under Chemistry plus problem solving, data analysis, nuclear chemistry, solutions, thermochemistry, kinetics, acids and bases, oxidation/reduction reactions, precipitation reactions, equilibrium, and stoichiometry.  The course directly follows the Next Generation Science Standards and emphasizes STEM principles.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to own and bring a scientific calculator to class, participate in guided and independent laboratory experiments, independently read and extract important concepts from the text, and be required to maintain an organized notebook.    

344 H CHEMISTRY  Grade 11  5.0 CR  (Level: 2) 

Prerequisite:  Minimum 80% in CP Algebra I or minimum 70% in H Algebra I, minimum 75% in H or AP Biology, and teacher recommendation (H Chemistry and CP Algebra 2 or H Algebra 2 may be taken concurrently)

The topics addressed in this course include all topics listed under CP Chemistry.  However, in the H Chemistry curriculum, the pace is faster, the content is more in-depth, the mathematics are more extensive, and the student needs to exhibit more independence.  The course directly follows the Next Generation Science Standards and emphasizes STEM principles.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to own and bring a scientific calculator to class, participate in guided and independent laboratory experiments, prepare typed laboratory reports, and maintain an organized notebook.  Honors chemistry also requires independent reading of the text and extraction of important concepts.   

346 AP CHEMISTRY  Grades 11-12  10.0 CR  (Level: AP) 

Prerequisite: Minimum 90% in CP Algebra 2 or 80% in H Algebra 2, minimum 90% in H Biology or minimum 75% in AP Biology, and teacher recommendation  (AP Chemistry and CP/H Pre-Calculus may be taken concurrently)

The curriculum for this course is aligned with the NGSS and the ETS approved curriculum.  The course directly follows the Next Generation Science Standards and emphasizes STEM principles.  The topics center around six big ideas which include all of the topics listed in H Chemistry and more.  This course is designed to be the equivalent of a full year (two periods) chemistry course usually taken by chemistry majors during their first year in college.  Approximately 25% of the class time is dedicated to inquiry-based laboratory investigations which emphasize the science practices dictated by ETS.  In order to receive college credit for this course, the student must complete all AP labs, pass the AP Chemistry course with a “C” or better, and pass the AP Chemistry exam with a 3 or better (NOTE:  a 4 or higher is required by some universities).  Course expectations:  This course is designed to prepare students for the rigorous AP chemistry test administered in May.  A significant investment of time is required to successfully master the course material.  Students must successfully complete all AP labs and provide a meticulous analysis of results, prepare lab reports according to specifications, own and bring a scientific calculator to class, maintain an organized notebook, and independently read the text and extract important concepts for discussion.   

352 CP PHYSICS  Grades 11-12  5.0 CR  (Level: 1) 

Prerequisite:  75% or higher in CP Algebra 2 and CP Chemistry

The topics addressed in this course include, an introduction to physics, kinematics, dynamics, energy, momentum, circular motion, gravitation, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, vibrations and waves, light and optics, electric forces, electric fields, electric current, magnetism, and modern physics. Course Expectations: All students will be expected to perform guided inquiry in small groups, participate in a safe laboratory environment, reflect on class discussions, have a scientific calculator, 3-ring binder, access to the Internet outside of the classroom. 

354 H PHYSICS  Grades 11-12  5.0 CR  (Level: 2) 

Prerequisite:  75% or higher in H Algebra 2 Completion of Pre-Calculus and H Chemistry (H Physics and Pre-Calculus may be taken concurrently with teacher permission)

The topics addressed in this course include all topics listed in College Physics plus fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetic induction.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to take charge of their own learning by performing inquiry assignments in small groups, participating in a safe laboratory environment, and reflecting on class discussions.  Additionally, students must have a scientific calculator, 3-ring binder, access to the Internet outside of the classroom, and have access to Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Power Point) outside the classroom.   

355 H PHYSICS  Grade 9  5.0 CR  (Level: 2) 

Prerequisite:  Must have successfully completed H Algebra 1 with a 75% or higher & a Matrix score of 15  The topics addressed in this course include all topics listed in College Physics plus fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetic induction.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to take charge of their own learning by performing inquiry assignments in small groups, participating in a safe laboratory environment, and reflecting on class discussions.  Additionally, students must have a scientific calculator, 3-ring binder, access to the Internet outside of the classroom, and have access to Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Power Point) outside the classroom. 

356 AP PHYSICS 1  Grades 11-12  5.0 CR  (Level: AP)

Prerequisite:   Concurrent or completion of AP Calculus and 80% or higher in H Pre-Calculus and completion of H or AP Chemistry

The curriculum for this course is aligned with the NGSS and the ETS approved curriculum.  This course is designed for students looking to pursue a course of study in Engineering or Physical Science beyond high school. The topics include Kinematics, Dynamics, Circular Motion, Work and Energy, Gravitation, Momentum, Simple Harmonic Motion, Waves, Rotational Motion, Electric Force, Electric Fields, Electric Potential, and Electric Circuits.    Course Expectations:  The course is designed to prepare students for the rigorous AP Physics 1 test administered in mid-May.  A significant amount of time is required to successfully master the course material.  Students are expected to provide a meticulous analysis of laboratory results in their laboratory reports and independently read the text.  

357 AP PHYSICS C Mechanics  Grades 11-12  5.0 CR  (Level: AP) 

Prerequisite: Concurrent or completion of AP Calculus and 80% or higher in H Pre-Calculus and completion of H or AP Chemistry and Honors Physics

The curriculum for this course is aligned with NGSS and the ETS approved curriculum.  This course is designed for students looking to pursue a course of study in Engineering or Physical Science beyond high school.  The curriculum consists of a rigorous and comprehensive study of Kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, Work, Energy, Power, Linear Momentum, Circular Motion and Rotation, Oscillations and Gravitation, Fluid Mechanics.  Course Expectations:  The course is designed to prepare students for the rigorous AP Physics C test administered in mid-May.  A significant amount of time is required to successfully master the course material.  Students are expected to provide a meticulous analysis of laboratory results in their laboratory reports and independently read the text.  

358 H ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY  Grades 11-12  5.0 CR  (Level: 2) 

Prerequisite:  85% or higher in H Biology

The topics addressed in this course include the organization of the human body, body tissues, anatomy and physiology of the Integumentary System, Skeletal System, Muscular System, Circulatory System, Respiratory System, Digestive System, Reproductive System, Excretory System, Endocrine System, Nervous System, and Sense Organs.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to develop experiments and ideas in investigating biological phenomena, complete two large specimen dissections, independent Internet research, present information on various topics of discussion, and research and write position papers on controversial current event topics covered in class.   

360 CP EARTH-SPACE SCIENCE  Grades 10-12  5.0 CR  (Level: 1) 

The topics addressed in this course include rocks and minerals, weathering and erosion, plate tectonics, weather and climate, and the solar system.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to complete daily homework assignments, keep a notebook, and participate in group lab activities.   

362 ASTRONOMY  Grades 10-12  2.5 CR  (Level: 0) 

The topics addressed in this course include early astronomers, planetary forces and motions, the Earth’s moon, the planets, asteroids, meteors, comets, the sun, stars, galaxies, and space exploration.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to complete daily homework assignments and keep a notebook. 

364 GEOLOGY  Grades 10-12  2.5 CR  (Level: 0)

The topics addressed in this course include plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, river systems, landslides, and glaciers.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to complete daily homework assignments and keep a notebook. 

366 METEOROLOGY  Grades 10-12  2.5 CR  (Level: 0) 

The topics addressed in this course include layers of the atmosphere, energy transfer, global and local wind patterns, cloud development, precipitation, weather systems and storms, and weather forecasting.  Course Expectations:   All students will be expected to complete daily homework assignments, keep a notebook, and maintain a daily weather log. 

370 CP FORENSICS  Grades 11-12  2.5 CR  (Level: 1) 

Prerequisite:  Biology and Chemistry

The topics addressed in this course include definition of and development of Forensic Science, along with the processing of and legal aspects of processing a crime scene:  the science behind fingerprint analysis, glass, document examination, hairs, drugs (controlled substances), blood patters, characteristics, identification and DNA profiling.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to participate in a safe laboratory environment, maintain meticulous notes, and become involved in many hands-on activities in small groups.  Students will also be expected to present findings in front of the class and complete independent research.

372 CP ANIMAL BEHAVIOR  Grades 11-12  2.5 CR  (Level: 1) 

Prerequisite:  80% or higher in Biology

The topics addressed in this course include Behavioral Foundations, Natural Selection, Proximate Causation, Learning, Social Learning, Cultural Transmission, Sexual Selection, Mating Systems, Kinship and Cooperation, Foraging, Predator Relationships, Communication, Habitat Selection, Aggression, Play, Aging and Disease, and Animal Personalities.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to develop a semester long behavior study project (kept in a notebook), work in cohesive groups to complete guided inquiry based lab exercises, complete designated lab reports, examine and test learned concepts in and out of the classroom, monitor and analyze the behavior of living organisms in and out of class, independently read the text and other supplemental materials, and present a semester long behavior study at the conclusion of the course. 

374 CP MARINE BIOLOGY  Grades 11-12  2.5 CR  (Level: 1) 

Prerequisite:  80% or higher in Biology 

The topics addressed in this course include Principles of Marine Biology, Life in the Marine Environment, Structure of Marine Ecosystems, Function of Marine Ecosystems, and Humans and the Sea.  Course Expectations:  All students will be expected to maintain a course notebook, participate in a safe laboratory environment, perform hands-on activities both independently and in small groups, present projects to their peers, have an understanding of basic computer programs including Power Point, have access to the Internet outside of class, prepare lab reports, and read independently.