Science

All students are required to take three years of science. The program of studies is designed to offer an organized sequence of experiences that will help students develop an understanding and appreciation of the physical world of which they are a part. Full-year courses are offered in Integrated Science, Biology, and Chemistry at different levels of difficulty so that each student receives a course of study that is commensurate with his or her background, ability, and interest. Advanced Placement courses in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Physics are offered for students with a strong interest and ability in science, and electives are offered in interdisciplinary areas.

Integrated Science I

This full-year course introduces ninth grade students to concepts in science with an emphasis on hands-on projects and data analysis through a theme-based approach. Topics covered are in biology, physics and chemistry. It is a skill-building course that is the introduction to the laboratory sciences. Meets 4 times per week.

Integrated Science I Honors

This full-year course introduces ninth grade students to concepts in science with an emphasis on hands-on projects and data analysis through a theme-based approach. Topics covered are in biology, physics and chemistry. It is a skill-building course that is the introduction to the laboratory sciences. It is more mathematically rigorous and goes at a faster pace than the IS-I course. Students are accepted into the Honors level based on placement in Algebra II- Honors. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.


Integrated Science II

This full-year course introduces tenth grade students to concepts in science with an emphasis on data analysis and modeling. Topics covered in both chemistry and biology include chemical bonds and mixtures, chemical reactions, ideal gas laws, ecology, the cell, genetics and evolution. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Integrated Science II Honors

This full-year course introduces tenth grade students to concepts in science with an emphasis on data analysis and modeling. Topics covered in both chemistry and biology include chemical bonds and mixtures, chemical reactions, ideal gas laws, ecology, the cell, genetics and evolution. It is more mathematically rigorous and goes at a faster pace than the IS-II course. Students are accepted into the Honors level based on previous performance in science courses, placement in Geometry for math, and teacher recommendation. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Biology

This full-year course is designed to meet the needs of college preparatory work in biology and acquaint students with the diverse world of living organisms and their interrelation. The course combines lectures, demonstrations, and weekly laboratory work. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Fundamentals of Biology

Where the breadth of material in Biology is quite extensive, Fundamentals of Biology is designed to give students a more focused understanding and appreciation for the main themes in biology. This course is designed for students who require more work on their organizational and language skills and would benefit from a less hurried pace. It meets the needs of college preparatory work in biology and will acquaint students with the essential nature of the diverse world of living organisms. The course combines lectures, demonstrations, and weekly laboratory work. Meets 5 times per week.

Quantitative Chemistry

This course offers a rigorous college preparatory background in chemistry. The emphasis is on a thorough introduction to inorganic chemistry with a mathematical description. Lectures and discussion sessions are supplemented with laboratory exercises and demonstrations. It is open to all students but is most frequently taken by juniors. Students planning on taking AP Biology, AP Chemistry or AP Physics their senior year are expected to take this or the Qual. Chem Honors course. (Prerequisite: successful completion of Algebra II) Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Quantitative Chemistry Honors

This course offers a rigorous college preparatory background in chemistry. The emphasis is on a thorough introduction to inorganic chemistry with a mathematical description. Lectures and discussion sessions are supplemented with laboratory exercises and demonstrations. It is more rigorous and a faster pace than the Qual. Chem. course. Students are accepted into the Honors level based on previous performance in science courses and teacher recommendation. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Environmental Chemistry

This chemistry course is intended to teach fundamental chemical principles with environmental phenomena as the common thread. Using critical thinking and problem solving skills, students will apply chemical principles in the understanding, prevention, and treatment of environmental issues. This course is designed for students whose skills are stronger in the humanities. Successful completion of this course gives students the opportunity to take AP Environmental Science their senior year. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Elective Courses

Grades 10-12

Robotics I

This full-year course introduces students to basic concepts of robotics. Students will focus on the specific programming skill sets required to engineer a working robot: project management, mechanical design and programming. Students will also develop skills in problem solving, novel idea generation, and communications. This course does not fulfill the science requirement for graduation. This is a graded course. Meets 2 times per week.

Robotics II and III

This full-year course continues with the themes of Robotics I while incorporating more engineering design ideas with robotics. Students will expand on the programming and design required for a variety of robotic tasks. (Prerequisite: Students must have completed Robotics I or II.) This course does not fulfill the science requirement for graduation. This is a graded course. Meets 4 times per week.

Independent Summer Research

This class introduces students to actual research in scientific laboratories in the Boston area with the goal of working in a lab for six to eight weeks during the summer. Students will meet 2 times per week to review and present current research from periodicals, and work on research projects at school. Eight times through the year students will visit labs in and around Boston. By May, they will apply to work as an intern with one of the labs for the summer. (Elective for Grade 11. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Physics I and Biology I, and permission from department head.) This course does not fulfill your science requirement for graduation. This is a graded course. Meets 2 times per week.

Grade 12

Advanced Topics in Physics

This full-year course is designed to delve more deeply into a variety of physical topics through inquiry, the scientific method and an engineering approach. Two key aspects of this course will be the large-scale projects designing and building things, and some smaller-scale scientific investigations. Students interested in this course should possess strong quantitative skills, a creative bent, the desire and ability to solve problems, and a keen interest in the physical sciences. Many of the class activities are team-based projects, therefore good attendance is essential and will constitute a significant portion of the student’s grade. Meets 4 times per week.

Anatomy and Physiology

Most of us have a natural curiosity about our bodies. This full-year course strives to answer some of these questions using readings, discussions, and activities. The emphasis will be on the structure and function of body systems and their relationships to one another. (Elective for Grade 12 - Prerequisite: Biology I and Chemistry I) Meets 4 times per week.

Astronomy

This class will help students gain a greater appreciation for the night sky and the evolution of planets, stars and galaxies. Students will be introduced to ancient methods of observation and also utilize some of the most modern techniques. A weekly lab held at the Cahall Observatory provides a practical appreciation for observing and studying the Cosmos. Topics include comparative planetology, the sun, star formation, supernovae, black holes and the origin of the universe. (Elective for Grade 12. Students may elect to take for the entire year or only the first semester, but first semester is a prerequisite for second semester.) Meets 4 times per week, 3 days/week in classroom and one evening/week at the Cahall Observatory.

Marine Science

This full-year course explores the world of water through a variety of lectures, labs, papers, and numerous other activities. We look at the biological, chemical, physical, and geological interactions of every aspect of life on our planet, from tide pools to the deep abyss. Units of study include biology, chemistry, geology, current events, navigation, exploration, deep sea, aquaculture and more. (Elective for Grade 12. Prerequisite: completion of Biology I and Chemistry I.) Meets 4 times per week.

AP Biology

This full-year course covers the topics in the AP curriculum and includes advanced studies of biochemistry, cell structure and function, cellular energy, genetics with a strong emphasis on the molecular biology of the gene, evolution, and taxonomic classification. This class will prepare students for the AP exam in Biology in May. Students are expected to take this exam as the culmination of the course. Students must fill out an application form for acceptance into Biology II AP. Some summer preparation is expected as well. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

AP Chemistry

This full-year course covers the topics in the AP curriculum and prepares students for the AP Exam in May. Topics include basic atomic structure with quantum theory of the atom, chemical reactions, thermochemistry molecular geometry, reaction types - acid/base, oxidation/reduction, precipitations - stoichiometry and equilibrium, kinetics and thermodynamics. Students are expected to take the Chemistry AP exam as the culmination of the course. Students must fill out an application form for acceptance into Chemistry AP. Some summer preparation is expected as well. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

AP Environmental Science

Serious environmental problems face the next generation of decision makers and will probably force us to make drastic changes in the decades to come. The goal of this full-year course is to use the students’ knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics to deepen their understanding of current environmental issues. The course will also develop the critical thinking and analytical skills that are necessary to weigh the socioeconomic costs and benefits of this type of decision- making. Research and data collection will be a large part of the class and students’ own interests will be explored. This class prepares students for the AP exam in Environmental Science in May. Students are expected to take this exam as the culmination of the course. Students must fill out an application form for acceptance into AP Environmental Science. Some summer preparation is expected as well. Meets 4 times per week with one double period

AP Physics C – Mechanics

This full-year course is a rigorous, calculus based physics course that covers the Mechanics portion for the AP Exam. The topics taught are included in the Course Description for AP Physics C curriculum published by the CollegeBoard. Students are expected to take this exam as the culmination of the course. Students must fill out an application form for acceptance into AP Physics C. Some summer preparation is expected as well. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab

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