Landing slider: Academics JL new 11.3.17
Landing slider: Academics JL new 11.3.17
Landing slider: Academics_JG 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_JG 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_9 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_9 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_8 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_8 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_7 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_7 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_6 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_6 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_5 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_5 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_3 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_3 10.27.17
Landing slider: Academics_4 10.10.17
Landing slider: Academics_4 10.10.17

Science

Credits: 6

The Science Department is dedicated to expanding students’ scientific knowledge through inquiry and investigative skills that enable students to live and contribute in the 21st century society. Students are challenged to investigate, discover, analyze and interact while learning the fundamental principles of the natural and physical sciences on their path to scientific literacy. Through the crosscutting concepts put forth in the Next Generation Science Standards from the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering, we link the discrete disciplines using learning that focuses on engineering and design practices that will empower our students to become innovative thinkers. To better reflect the modern world understanding of chemistry and biology, the Academy has adopted the physics-chemistry-biology sequence. Strong critical thinking and problem solving capabilities are the hallmark of a global citizen and ensure success in secondary and post-secondary scientific endeavors. There is no better discipline than physics to establish and benchmark these tools. The concepts of forces and energy, introduced from the physics standpoint in Grade 9, are content themes that thread through the entire science curriculum. All Grade 9 students take STEM 9, and then progress to Chemistry (Grade 10), Biology (Grade 11) and AP courses or other electives (Grade 12) including more in-depth physics options. In all classes, students learn through such vehicles as project and problem-based investigations, hands-on experimentation, demonstration, computer simulations, research projects, and the use of the Academy's greenhouse and natural areas as living labs.

Enrollment in Honors and Advanced Placement courses as well as the Research Program requires departmental permission.

STEM 9: PHYSICS WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory, Grade 9

Overview: This conceptual physics course is designed to provide all students with the foundations for success in any of the sciences. To develop analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills demanded of 21st century learners, and to incorporate the hallmarks of global citizenry, this course will exploit project and problem based learning to strengthen problem solving ability and information processing. Physics concepts will always thread back to the unifying topic of energy. By melding a skills based approach to science with fundamental content, students will develop and enhance those strategies that will be the basis for all future science courses. Learning will combine both collaborative and independent study. Many modules will examine global and international issues related to the science content in order to better understand that the Nature of Science is very much a social endeavor. Experimentation and design will have both traditional and student-developed components. Students will incorporate communication-of-science skills through research, technical writing, and presentation components, as well as deeper reading and guided independent study.

Prerequisite: none

CHEMISTRY

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory, Grades 10 and 11

Overview: This course is an overview of the chemical nature of matter. Students will study the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of atoms and molecules. This inquiry-based course leads students to develop analytical, critical reasoning skills that extend beyond the chemistry discipline. They will acquire the skills and knowledge inherent to chemistry in order to understand other branches of science more deeply.

Prerequisite: none

HONORS CHEMISTRY

Credits: 3

Level: Accelerated introductory, Grades 10 and 11

Overview: This course is an in-depth introduction to matter and the ways its behavior is expressed and analyzed, providing a basis for understanding the physical nature of matter and building skills that help students learn through evidence based reasoning. Through lecture, discussion, and hands-on experimentation students gain an overview of the chemical nature of matter and develop analytical, critical reasoning skills that extend beyond the chemistry discipline and enable them to examine other branches of science more deeply.

Prerequisite: departmental permission

AP CHEMISTRY

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 11 or above

Overview: This college-level, lab-based course continues in-depth study of the basic concepts of chemistry with emphasis on the application of math skills, including algebra and statistics, as important tools of scientific inquiry. Students deepen skills and content knowledge through lecture, discussion, and hands-on experimentation and investigation. Extensive independent work is expected with intense focus both in and outside of the classroom. The AP exam in May is mandatory.

Prerequisite: One yearlong laboratory chemistry course, departmental permission

BIOLOGY

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory, Grade 11

Overview: This course is an overview of the fundamental principles of living organisms, their processes, and how they interact with the environment. It includes the study of cell structure and function, genetics and heredity, evolution and classification, the diversity of living organisms and their ecological roles. Students will develop scientific process skills in observation, measurement, data collection and analysis, learning and understanding concepts through a combination of lecture, demonstration, discussion and laboratory experimentation. The Academy’s natural areas are used for outdoor investigations.

Prerequisite: Chemistry

HONORS BIOLOGY

Credits: 3

Level: Accelerated introductory, Grade 11

Overview: This course uses lectures, demonstrations and laboratory experimentation to study how living organisms function and interact in the natural world. Major topics include cell structure and function, energy systems, genetics, evolution, plant and animal physiology, and human biology. Emphasis is on the unifying themes of biology: diversity, adaptation, and the struggle for survival. Students use a variety of laboratory tools and models to study living and prepared specimens, learn basic techniques such as dissection and microscopy, and design experiments and identify/classify living organisms in vivo and in vitro. The Academy’s natural areas are used for outdoor investigations.

Prerequisite: Chemistry and departmental permission

AP BIOLOGY

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 11 or above

Overview: The speed with which scientific knowledge is expanding has made it necessary to shift from a “content coverage” approach to an approach that is inquiry-based learning of essential themes and patterns that pervade all content. This shift helps students develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in science practices used throughout the study of AP Biology. The four essential concepts in the course are outlined in the AP Biology course description available on the College Board website. Students will develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data and applying mathematical routines and connecting concepts in and across domains. This course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course. The AP exam in May is mandatory.

Prerequisite: Chemistry, one yearlong biology course and departmental permission

HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory, Grade 11 or above

Overview: This course studies the structure and function of the human body and the mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis within it. The course introduces students to the study of all the body systems and the inter-relationship between anatomy and physiology. Topics covered include: orientation to the human body, chemistry, cells and tissues, integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems.

*Note: Not a lab-based course; does not fulfill the science requirement.

Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry

Physics for engineering and design

Credits: 3

Level: Intermediate, Grade 11 and above

Overview: This problem-based course is an introduction to the intersection of engineering design and physics. It is meant for students who want to explore engineering but might not be ready for a more theoretical or calculus-based study of physics that will be required in advanced engineering courses. Students are exposed to authentic applications associated with various branches of engineering (for example:: Mechanical. Structural, Chemical, Materials, Biological, and Environmental Engineering). Through short and long-term collaborative student-centered investigations all students to develop a solid understanding of fundamental physics principles and demonstrate mastery of the engineering design process.

Prerequisite: Algebra 2, departmental permission

HONORS ADVANCED PHYSICS

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory, Grade 11 and above

Overview: This honors level course is for students looking to develop an in-depth understanding of fundamental principles of physics. Concept development uses algebra-based mathematical problem solving for an in-depth study of dynamics. Overviews of other topics include waves motions, electricity and magnetism, optics, and some modern physics. Students learn through a combination of lecture, demonstration, discussion, laboratory experimentation, and quantitative data analysis.

Prerequisite: Algebra 2 (students should be in Precalculus concurrently), departmental permission.

AP PHYSICS C

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 12 and postgraduate

Overview: This course is equivalent to two semesters of a college-level physics course: Introduction to Mechanics and Introduction to Electricity & Magnetism. It is a calculus-based approach where techniques in mathematics are applied to physics concepts and problem solving. Topics in the course are outlined in the AP Physics Course Description online, as required by the College Board. Students will improve skills in applying calculus-based mathematics to fundamental concepts learned in Newtonian Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism. The AP exam in May is mandatory.

Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC, departmental permission

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Credits: 3

Level: Introductory, Grade 11 or above

Overview: This course is an introduction to environmental science - the study of how humans affect the environment and the organisms living in it. Major topics include ecology, ecosystem dynamics, energy resources, climate change, waste management, and human health issues. Students explore the political, economic and cultural issues that affect environmental policies and practices through class discussion, lectures, hands-on laboratory experiments, and outdoor fieldwork. Students gain insight into our evolving role/impact on the environment and better understand the nature and processes of our world through experimentation, observation, data collection and analysis.

Prerequisite: None (some exposure to both chemistry and biology preferred)

AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Credits: 3

Level: Advanced Placement, Grade 11 or above

Overview: This college level lab-based course is an in-depth investigation of how humans have impacted the environment. Topics include diminishing biodiversity, freshwater shortages, global warming, fossil fuel depletion and long-range import of air pollutants. Students gain insight into our evolving role and impact to the environment and better understand the nature and processes of our world through experimentation, observation, data collection, and analysis. The course primarily utilizes outdoor labs and fieldwork, including investigations of soils, water, terrestrial ecosystems, and population biology with a focus on possible solutions for a sustainable future. In addition, students will participate in class discussion, lectures, and hands-on laboratory experiments. The AP exam in May is mandatory.

Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry, departmental permission