Science

All students are required to complete six semesters of science.

Engineering* and Biomedical courses are science electives that do not fulfill the BSM science graduation requirement. 

*Freshman enrolled in a full year of Engineering I are not required to enroll in Introduction to Physics. 

Freshman

Students who have previously taken Physical Science, or have an aptitude and desire, may opt to test out of Introduction to Chemistry and Introduction to Physics. The test must be completed in May and includes both Intro to Chemistry and Intro to Physics. Students who successfully test out are eligible to take Biology or Honors Biology as a freshman.

Sophomore

A yearlong Biology course is required of sophomores and eligible freshmen. Additionally, sophomores who qualify may enroll in Biomedical Science I or engineering as an elective.

Junior

A yearlong Chemistry science course is required during junior year. Placement is based on test scores and teacher recommendation. Juniors may also choose to take Ecology, Biomedical Science I or Biomedical Science II.

BIomedical Electives

*The Biomedical courses allow students to investigate the connections between biology, medicine, and technology. These rigorous electives give students the chance to pursue their interest in medicine and medical technologies by engaging in hands-on laboratory experiences while acting as biomedical professionals. Continuous enrollment in this elective program may provide the opportunity to receive an AP Capstone DiplomaTM.  See Policies/Procedures for a full explanation of this option.​

Courses
Introduction to Physics (S1)

One semester, one credit, required of freshmen.

This project-based course gives students an introduction to physics and engineering. Students will learn fundamental science skills through which teamwork and cooperative learning will be emphasized. Topics covered will include measurement, the metric system, motion, forces, energy, and electricity. Activities will include projects, laboratory work, formal assignments, inquiry-based activities, lectures, and demonstrations.

*Freshman enrolled in a full year of Engineering I are not required to enroll in Introduction to Physics.

Introduction to Chemistry (S2)

One semester, one credit, required of freshmen.

This course gives students an introduction to basic chemistry. This laboratory-based course focuses on developing problem-solving skills necessary for scientific investigations. Topics covered will consist of physical and chemical properties, using properties to classify matter, the periodic table, chemical formulas, and nomenclature. Activities will include projects, laboratory work, formal assignments, inquiry-based activities, lectures, and demonstrations.

Biology (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, required of sophomores and eligible freshmen.

Prerequisite: Physical Science or Physical Science Concepts.

This course examines the biological world with an emphasis on real-world applications. Topics covered will include cell biology, molecular basis of inheritance, and interdependence of organisms, living systems, and the behavior of organisms.  Students will use technology in the classroom and be involved in many laboratory activities such as DNA gel electrophoresis, and fetal pig dissection.                                                                     

General Chemistry (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to juniors and seniors.

This laboratory-based course focuses on the key concepts of chemistry. Students will develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills by collaborating on research projects and laboratory experiments. This course will focus on the following topics: measurement and the metric system, states of matter, atomic structure, kinetic molecular theory, mixtures and compounds, solutions, the periodic table, chemical formulas, chemical reactions, bonding, gas laws, and stoichiometry.

Chemistry (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to juniors and seniors.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Chemistry and a minimum grade of “C+” in each semester of Quadratic Algebra OR Algebra II with a “C” in each semester.

This course is intended for those students who seek a solid chemistry background in preparation for college or desire a complete understanding of chemical principles. Students will study the structure, properties, and changes in matter as well as the laws, principles, and theories describing matter. Classroom activities will include lectures, demonstrations, problem solving, and experiments.

Ecology (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to juniors and seniors.

Ecology will provide hands-on, often outdoor, learning experiences through project-based problem solving activities. Students will learn about the interrelationships of living things and their physical environments. Students will engage in the study of environmental topics affecting the world in which they live.

Forensic Science (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: “C” in first semester of Chemistry.​

Are you intrigued by CSI? Does a statement like, “We’re not quite sure of the C.O.D but there is some GSR on our vic,” resonate with you? If so, this class might be for you! Forensic science is a challenging investigative course that applies scientific principles and technological practices from biology, chemistry, and physics for the purpose of justice. Some major themes of study will include: collecting physical evidence, glass and soil, fingerprints, hair and fiber, DNA typing, chemical analysis, sound waves, blood splatter analysis, entomology, casts, impressions, and tool marks. This is a year-long course that will require critical thinking, problem solving and an investigative and curious mind as we build upon these themes at an advanced level.

Physics (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of three years of mathematics through Algebra II with a grade of “C+” or higher in Algebra II OR Honors Algebra II with a “C” or higher.

This course is designed for students who have a natural curiosity about how the world works. Have you ever wondered why you get pushed to the outside of a car when going around a curve? Why do spaceships “slingshot” themselves past other planets? Why does your hair get more “static-y” during the winter? We’ll focus on topics like kinematics and motion, forces, energy, momentum, electricity, magnetism, waves, light, and sound. Through labs and engineering challenges, students will gain a better understanding of how the rules of nature can explain our everyday experiences. Students will complete lab assignments and 1-2 major projects. This course is designed for anyone who has an interest in science.

Honors Courses
Honors Biology (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to sophomores and elgible freshmen.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of “A-" in Introduction to Chemistry and Introduction to Physics in addition to satisfactory completion of a summer assignment.

Honors Biology is a rigorous course designed to challenge students who have a great curiosity and ability in science. The faster pace of this course covers the same material as the regular Biology course while allowing additional topics related to medicine and anatomy to be covered. Because of the faster pace, students will be expected to be hard workers, motivated learners, and able to grasp scientific concepts quickly.

Honors Chemistry (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to juniors and seniors.

Prerequisite: Honors Algebra II with a minimum grade of “A-“ or better in each semester.

Honors Chemistry is a rigorous course designed to challenge students who have a great curiosity and ability in science. Students should be self-motivated and enjoy challenges. Problem solving skills are very important. The faster pace of this course covers the same material as the regular Chemistry course while allowing additional topics to be covered. Because of the faster pace, students will be expected to be independent problem solvers, motivated learners, and able to grasp scientific concepts quickly.

Honors Physics (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: Honors Precalculus with a minimum grade of an “A-“ in each semester OR successful completion of AP Calculus AB.

This advanced, college preparatory course is designed for students who have a strong mathematical background and an interest in problem solving and abstract reasoning. We will study how matter and energy interact, and will be focusing on quantitative reasoning. The primary focus of this course will be on the laws of conservation of matter, energy, momentum, and electrical charge. Topics include the mechanics of solids and liquids, wave phenomena, electricity, the dual nature of light, and atomic structure. Students will be required to complete lab assignments and one major project. This course is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in a STEM related field.

NOTE: Effective in the 2018-2019 school year, AP Physics will replace Honors Physics.

Science Electives
Biomedical Science I: Investigations (YR)

Two semesters, two credits.

Order of enrollment preference: sophomores, juniors, seniors.

Prerequisites: Biology with a minimum grade of “B” in each semester OR concurrent enrollment in Honors Biology. Students who don’t meet the requirement of Honors Biology should consider waiting until junior year to enroll in biomedical science.  Order of enrollment preference:  sophomores, juniors, seniors.

This course is a hands-on, lab-oriented class designed for those students interested in medicine and medical technologies teaching them how the body works together to maintain health. Students will explore how the body works using Vernier technology, real life medical equipment, act as doctors to diagnose and treat fictitious patients, create and present models of different systems/organs in the human body.  Coursework includes dissections, and case studies, simulations, and guest speakers. The course will culminate with students exploring a disease from beginning to end and creating and presenting their own patient case study.

Biomedical Science II: AP Seminar (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to juniors and seniors.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Biomedical Science I: Investigations or teacher recommendation. Students will be required to complete a summer assignment.

AP Seminar: Biomedical Science is first and foremost a science class. Students will focus their efforts on using the processes of biomedical science to study current areas of debate such as: genetic engineering in humans, animal use in research, effectiveness of stem cell therapies, pandemic preparedness, and cell phone radiation. Using the AP frame-work, Q.U.E.S.T. (Question, Understand, Evaluate Perspectives, Synthesize Ideas, and Team, Transmit, and Transform), will allow students to look deeply and thoroughly at complex issues through multiple lenses.  Each topic addressed will have a series of experiments focused on the biomedical aspect. These experiments and the accompanying research techniques will offer a jumping off point for more questions and answers. The College Board will ask students to engage in two Performance Tasks: one as a team, the other as an individual. Each of these has a multimedia portion and an individual writing assignment. This course prepares the student for the AP Exam in May. College credit may be earned as part of the AP Capstone program. (see page 10 for Capstone program information).

Biomedical Science III: AP Research (YR)

Two semesters, two credits.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Biomedical Science II: AP Seminar and teacher recommendation.

Students will collaborate with other students, teachers, and/or professionals in their field of study to design and implement a research project or product. Students will focus on an area of personal interest in the Biomedical field and study it in depth. Outcomes from the course may include publishing research findings, a professional poster symposium, participating in national research-related competitions, and/or an internship in the field.

Advanced Courses
AP Chemistry (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of one of these options:

  • Chemistry or Honors Chemistry
  • Precalculus with a grade of “B” or Honors Precalculus with a grade of “B- “or higher in both semesters.  In addition, students enrolling in AP Chemistry as a first-year of chemistry must successfully complete the online summer curriculum. The summer curriculum will cover a minimum of chapters 1-3 including on line simulations, worksheets, quizzes, and tests.

This course is a second-year chemistry course, designed to be the equivalent of the general course taken during the first year of college. This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement exam. It is structured around the six big ideas as described the AP Curriculum Framework; including the structure of matter, properties of matter, chemical reactions, the rates of chemical reactions, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. A special emphasis will be placed on the seven science practices, which capture important aspects of the work in which scientists engage. Learning objectives will combine content with inquiry and reasoning skills during multiple hands-on laboratory investigations.

AP Physics I (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to seniors.

Prerequisite: “A-“ in Honors Precalculus or successful completion of AP Calculus AB.

AP Physics I is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the topics of kinematics, dynamics, circular motion and gravitation, energy, momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque and rotational motion, electrical charge and force, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound.

Students should have a basic Algebra background before enrolling in this course. Students should also plan to spend at least 25% of instructional time doing hands-on laboratory work, with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations that allow opportunities to demonstrate foundational physics principles and apply important scientific practices.

AP Seminar: Biomedical Science (YR)

Two semesters, two credits, open to juniors and seniors.

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Biomedical Science I or teacher recommendation.  Students will be required to complete a summer assignment.

AP Seminar: Biomedical Science is first and foremost a science class. Students will focus their efforts on using the processes of biomedical sciences to study current areas of debate such as: genetic engineering in humans, animal use in research, effectiveness of stem cell therapies, pandemic preparedness and cell phone radiation as. Using the AP framework,Q.U.E.S.T. (Question, Understand, Evaluate Perspectives, Synthesize Ideas and Team, Transmit and Transform),  will allow students to look deeply and thoroughly at complex issues through multiple lenses. Each topic addressed will have a series of experiments focused on the biomedical aspect. These experiments and the accompanying research techniques will offer a jumping off point for more questions and answers. The College Board will ask students to engage in two Performances Tasks: one as a team, the other as an individual. Each of these has a multimedia portion and an individual writing assignment. This course prepares the student for the AP Exam in May. College credit may be earned as part of the AP Capstone program. (see page ## for Capstone program information).

AP Research: Biomedical Science III: (YR)

Two semesters, two credits.

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of AP Seminar: Biomedical Science II and teacher recommendation.

Students will collaborate with other students, teachers, and/or professionals in their field of study to design and implement a research project or product. Students will focus on an area of personal interest in the biomedical field and study it in depth.  Outcomes from the course may include publishing research findings, a professional poster symposium, participating in national research-related competitions, and/or an internship in the field.                                                                               

AP Research, the second course in the AP Capstone experience, allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue, or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan, and implement a yearlong investigation to address a research question. Through this inquiry, they further the skills they acquired in the AP Seminar course by learning research methodology, employing ethical research practices, and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information. Students reflect on their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of their scholarly work through a process and reflection portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4,000–5,000 words (accompanied by a performance, exhibit, or product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.