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Science

The BA Science Program offers courses that provide students with a solid foundation in the sciences and with opportunities to acquire knowledge and appreciation of the natural world. Students of science courses also understand how scientific issues relate to their lives and to the well-being of our planet, and they recognize the interdependence between science and other fields of study. Because of the continually evolving nature of science, we aspire to create and refine scientific models for our students, whom we encourage to: make observations; ask and answer questions; maintain independence of thought while engaged in learning; participate in discussions; and develop scientific literacy. The Department endeavors to cultivate core academic skills, including critical and constructive thinking as well as the ability to communicate ideas and results clearly and accurately from a scientific perspective. Students participate actively in testing hypotheses, conducting experiments, analyzing data, and solving problems—both qualitatively and quantitatively. Outfitted classrooms and technological innovations ensure that our students have numerous and applicable hands-on experiences. The Department’s course options provide students with opportunities to pursue their interests at appropriate levels of rigor, in turn fostering the ability to become self-directed learners who pursue their own academic agendas.

Biology Honors

Biology Honors is a comprehensive study of the concepts of life and life processes. This course delves into the same subject areas of Biology, but with more depth, a greater degree of analysis, and an emphasis on life processes at the molecular and cellular level. Students will be required to master topics in biochemistry, cell structure and function, protein synthesis, enzyme activity, cell respiration, photosynthesis, cell replication, cell communication, genetics and evolution. These topics will be applied in the study of microorganisms, plant, and animals and their interrelationship in the environment. This course is designed to challenge the student’s critical thinking skills and requires the student to analyze experimental data. Students will learn the process of writing coherent, technical summaries describing the results of the laboratory investigations and applying the results of the investigations to other real life situations. To further student understanding of the research process, the student will design an experiment, collect data and analyze the results.  

Chemistry Honors

This course is designed to be an advanced high school science course. This rigorous course will cover the basic principles of chemistry with an emphasis on the mathematical and laboratory component of chemistry. Quantitative and qualitative analyses in the lab will focus on developing technique and precision. The pace and depth of Chemistry Honors requires a significant investment of time and effort. Problem- solving skills and critical thinking will be reinforced throughout the year. To further student understanding of the research process, the student will design an experiment, collect data and analyze the results.  

AP Physics 1 & 2: Algebra-Based  

Guided by the National Research Council and National Science Foundation, the AP® Program collaborated with college and university educators and AP teachers to develop two full-year AP Physics courses — AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based and AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based, replacing the former one-year AP Physics B course. The AP Physics 1 and 2 courses focus on the big ideas typically included in the first and second semesters of an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics sequence and provide students with enduring understandings to support future advanced course work in the sciences. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, as defined by the AP Science Practices. Students will cultivate their understanding of physics and science practices as they explore the following topics:

AP Physics 1: Kinematics; Dynamics: Newton’s laws; Circular motion and universal law of gravitation; Simple harmonic motion: simple pendulum and mass-spring systems; Impulse, linear momentum, and conservation of linear momentum:collisions; Work, energy, and conservation of energy; Rotational motion: torque, rotational kinematics and energy, rotational dynamics, and conservation of angular momentum; Electrostatics: electric charge and electric force; DC circuits: resistors only; Mechanical waves and sound. 

AP Physics 2: Thermodynamics: laws of thermodynamics, ideal gases, and kinetic theory; Fluid statics and dynamics; Electrostatics: electric force, electric field and electric potential; DC circuits and RC circuits (steady-state only); Magnetism and electromagnetic induction; Geometric and physical optics; Quantum physics, atomic, and nuclear physics. 

AP Physics 1 & 2 Laboratory Requirement - These courses require that 25 percent of the instructional time will be spent in laboratory work, with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations that provide students with opportunities to demonstrate the foundational physics principles and apply all seven science practices defined in the curriculum framework.

 

AP Environmental Science

The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a first year, introductory college course in environmental science. The goal of the course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. They will also be able 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 and / or preventing them. AP Environmental Science promotes the development of citizens who could make informed, knowledgeable decisions concerning environmental issues.

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