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Science

The high school science department offers a diverse selection of courses in both the physical and life sciences. Life science courses include multiple levels of biology (academic, honors, and AP) as well as ecology. Physical science courses include these same levels of physics and chemistry along with earth and space science and the newly introduced honors meteorology course.

All ninth grade students begin their scientific studies with a general science course that serves as an introduction to concepts covered in physics and chemistry. Students in both the academic and honors general science courses experience several opportunities to extend their theoretical understanding of concepts through hands-on, collaborative laboratory experiences.

Biology courses emphasize the various aspects of molecular and cellular biology. Students are exposed to a variety of labs and activities, which enhance the biological experience with real world applications. All students are required to take biology.

Students interested in furthering their knowledge in the biological sciences may choose to take one of the following elective courses:

Biology 2 provides students the opportunity to study the classification, structure, and function of living organisms and will present the opportunity to engage in dissections of various preserved specimens.

The AP Biology course challenges students to explore the living world and develop useful science practices through investigations and experimental design. Students have the opportunity to design seven investigations, which allow students to pose questions related to the course content and then design experiments to answer those questions.

Ecology is a course that makes use of the impressive environmental facilities to study the interactions of living organisms in our environment and the factors that affect them. The course focuses on local environmental topics and issues.

Earth and Space Science offers students the opportunity to explore various aspects of Earth and Space study such as geology, meteorology and astronomy. Topics of study include the universe, rocks and minerals, the earth's landscape, volcanoes and earthquakes, weather forecasting, earth's atmospheric properties, and the solar system. Honors Meteorology will provide students with an introduction to meteorological concepts and the science of weather forecasting. Students will learn to apply scientific data to create weather forecasts.
Chemistry courses allow students to gain an understanding of how macroscopic properties depend on submicroscopic structures. Students will have the opportunity to categorize matter and verify the identity of samples through a variety of tests and to check their own accuracy and precision through careful calculations of results. Students may also elect to take Chemistry II to further their understanding of chemical concepts while preparing for success in a college-level laboratory course.

Physics students expand upon the knowledge gained in general science. They are able to demonstrate their understanding of forces and motion by applying physical concepts to real-world applications.

Students interested in continuing their physics education can choose between two options: AP Physics I and II (algebra-based courses) and AP Physics C Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism (calculus-based courses).

Science courses at the high school engage students in a multitude of exciting labs and activities. Technology plays an integral role in the classrooms along with a variety of teaching techniques to increase student engagement. Students will develop a working knowledge of scientific language, equipment use, and the operations of science. The program encourages independent critical thinking and the application of knowledge to practical situations. The diverse selection of courses within the science department insures that students have multiple pathways to achieve their academic goals.

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