Anatomy & Physiology | Core/Elective | Prerequisite: Biology
This course studies the anatomy and physiology of the human body. It looks at the levels of organization of the human body from the atomic level to the complex interactions of multiple organ systems. The course examines each of the organ systems within the human body as well as the homeostatic mechanisms that keep them in sync. There are numerous labs and projects throughout the year to complement the classroom component.
Biology | Core/Elective
Biology is the study of life. The course studies cell structure, levels of organization, and cell growth; photosynthesis, respiration, glycolysis, and fermentation; DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis; and genetics (in-depth). Biology deals with the simplest of living things, viruses and bacteria, and the most complex of living things, humans. Life on Earth is examined using the three-domain classification system (a system of organization for all living things) and taking an in-depth look at the evolution of a few key phyla. All of these levels of organization are tied together through overarching themes that permeate the field of biology. Laboratories and projects will enhance the classroom component of this class.
Earth Systems | Core
Earth Science concepts include the composition of the Earth, the forces of the Earth, oceanography, and meteorology. Students will understand the balance between all of Earth's four spheres (hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere). The concept of sustainability will unite the study of the four spheres and draw in the way that humans interact with and change Earth's natural balance.
Chemistry | Core/Elective | Prerequisite: Simultaneous enrollment in Secondary Math 2, Intermediate Algebra, or higher; or with instructor approval.
Chemistry is a challenging full-year course that includes traditional concepts integrated with laboratory activities and demonstrations. Topics include the structure of matter, states of matter, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, chemical equilibrium, acids/bases, and electrochemistry. In addition to in-class time, students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours on homework each week.
Physics | Core/Elective | Prerequisite: Simultaneous enrollment in Secondary Math 2, Intermediate Algebra, or higher; or with instructor approval.
Physics is a challenging full-year course that includes traditional concepts integrated with laboratory activities and demonstrations. Students will learn the applications of physical laws and theories. Topics include the mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity/magnetism, and sound/light waves. In addition to in-class time, students should expect to spend approximately 4 hours on homework each week.
AP Biology | Core/Elective | Prerequisite: Biology
The AP Biology course focuses on enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. The course focuses on the following four “big ideas:” the process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life; biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis; living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes; and biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. This approach will enable students to spend less time on factual recall and more time on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts, and will help them develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices used throughout their study of AP Biology. To foster this deeper level of learning, the breadth of content coverage in AP Biology is defined in a way that distinguishes content essential to support the enduring understandings from the many examples or applications that can overburden the course.
Students who take the AP Biology course will also develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses as well as preparedness for the AP Biology test at the end of the year. The revised AP Biology course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course and has been endorsed enthusiastically by higher education officials.
AP Chemistry | Science/Elective | Prerequisite: Chemistry (Department & Administrative Approval)
The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. For some students, this course enables them to undertake, in their first year, second year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. For other students, the AP Chemistry course fulfills the laboratory science requirement and frees time for other courses. Students in this course will attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course will contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic.
The AP Chemistry course will provide a laboratory experience equivalent to that of a typical college course. In order to accommodate a college level lecture and lab course, a single AP Chemistry class will be two periods long. In addition to in-class time, students should expect to spend approximately 10 hours on homework each week. All students who take this course are expected to attempt the AP exam when offered near the end of the year.
There is an emphasis on science practices with course material focused around six “Big Ideas” as prescribed by the College Board. For more information regarding the AP Chemistry course, science practices, and the six Big Ideas, please refer to the following document, published by the College Board:
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