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, Chemistry and Physics 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 Integrated Science 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 is a continuation of Integrated Science I. Students will work with scientific concepts through a theme-based approach. Emphasis will be on modeling and data analysis. It is an application of the skills of scientific inquiry. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Integrated Science II Honors

This full-year course is a continuation of Integrated Science I. Students will work with scientific concepts through a theme-based approach. Emphasis will be on modeling and data analysis. It is an application of the skills of scientific inquiry. It is more mathematically rigorous and goes at a faster pace than the Integrated Science II 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.

Biology

This year long 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. This course is open to juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: successful completion of Algebra II. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

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. This course is open to juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: successful completion of Algebra II. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

Physics

This year-long course introduces students to the basic concepts in physics. Although introduced conceptually, this course is mathematically intensive. Students will study simple harmonic motion, waves, sound, light, geometric optics, electricity and magnetism, and mechanics. The course consists of lectures, class demonstrations, and weekly laboratory exercises. This course is open to juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: successful completion of Algebra II. 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. 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 and II. This course does not fulfill the science requirement for graduation. Meets 4 times per week.

Collaborative Design Lab

This one semester course introduces students to group work in problem-solving and independent thinking. Small teams of students will be assigned a variety of tasks where they will have to determine the best course of action to accomplish their goal. Using a variety of tools and materials, teams will strategize, create, design, invent and learn. This course does not fulfill the science requirement for graduation. Meets 2 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. This course is an elective for juniors. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Integrated Science I and Integrated Science II, and/or permission from department head. This course does not fulfill your science requirement for graduation. Meets 2 times per week.

Elective Courses: Grades 11-12

Anatomy and Physiology

Most of us have a natural curiosity about our bodies. This year long 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. This course is open to juniors and seniors, but seniors take precedence over junior applicants. 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. This course is open to juniors and seniors, but seniors take precedence over junior applicants. Meets 4 times per week, 3 days/week in classroom and one evening/week at the Cahall Observatory.

Astrophotography

This class will help students explore astronomy, science, and the art of photography. Students will learn the process that goes into astrophotography including planning, taking, and the post-processing of images through software. Subjects will be based on seasonal conditions and student interest. These may include, for example, landscape milky way photography, creating star-trails, planetary and lunar imaging, sunspots, and deep sky objects such as galaxies or nebulae through the use of Cahall Observatory's telescopes. Students should be prepared to spend some class time at night both at the observatory, and other off-campus locations. This course does not fulfill your science requirement for graduation. Meets 2 times per week.

Earth Science

The Physics of Natural Phenomena. The purpose of this full-year course is to help students develop an appreciation and understanding of How Earth Works. We will study major topics in Geology and Meteorology including mapping, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, mountain building, erosion, weather, and climate. We’ll explore, in depth, the cause and effect of natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, floods, landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, and climate change. The teacher also hopes to introduce students to enough beautiful places (e.g., National Parks and Forests) that they can't wait to go out and visit some of them! This course is designed to be very "visual" (extensive use of media) and features plenty of hands-on projects and activities. This course is open to juniors and seniors, but seniors take precedence over junior applicants. Meets 4 times per week.

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. This course is open to juniors and seniors, but seniors take precedence over junior applicants. Meets 4 times per week.

Organic Chemistry

This course is a unique opportunity for students to be introduced to the basics of organic chemistry. Organic substances include biochemical molecules that make up all living things, materials such as wood, plastics, Styrofoam and rubber, gasoline, oil, tires, natural and synthetic fibers, and medicines. The topics covered in this course will focus on the classification, structure, and function of organic compounds. Students will learn to use organic nomenclature, analyze structures for isomers, observe different physical and chemical properties, and study chemical reactions and mechanisms. Substantial time will be spent working in the laboratory, building models and running experiments. Meets 4 times per week.

Systems and Structures

This full-year course is designed to delve more deeply into a variety of physical and human systems through inquiry and the Engineering Design Process. Two key aspects of this course will be designing and building large-scale projects, and the leadership and management involved in a team environment. Students interested in this course should possess strong quantitative skills, a creative bent, the desire and ability to solve problems in groups, 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. This course is open to juniors and seniors, but seniors take precedence over junior applicants. 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 for acceptance into AP Biology. 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 for acceptance into AP Chemistry. 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 decisionmaking. 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 for acceptance into AP Environmental Science. Some summer preparation is expected as well. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.

AP Physics C – Mechanics

This course is a rigorous, lab and calculus based physics course that covers the Mechanics portion for the AP Exam. Topics include: kinematics, Newton’s laws, energy, momentum, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion and gravity. Students are expected to take the AP Exam as the culmination of the course. Students must fill out an application for acceptance into AP Physics C - Mechanics. Some summer preparation is expected as well. Meets 4 times per week with one double period lab.