Science Courses

  • BIOLOGY

    Grade: 9-12
    Duration/Credit: Year/10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science

    Students in this course will explore the following questions: How do organisms live, grow, respond to their environment and reproduce? How and why do organisms interact with their environment? What are the effects of these interactions?  How are characteristics of one generation passed to the next? How can individuals of the same species, and even siblings have different characteristics? How can there be so many similarities among organisms yet so many different types of plants, animals, and organisms? How does biodiversity affect humans? Through group activities, lab investigations, and lectures, students will be trained as biologists, studying concepts in molecular biology, genetics, physiology, evolution, ecology, and biotechnology. Students will develop scientific skills, including graph analysis, planning investigations, and constructing scientific explanations using evidence and more. They will make connections between biology topics and the world around them, leaving the course with a greater appreciation for the interdependence of living things.

    AP BIOLOGY

    Grade: 11-12
    Duration/Credit: Year/10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
    Prerequisite: Completion of Biology and Chemistry with a “B” or better

    This class is the equivalent of a year-long introductory college biology course. Many of the topics that were covered in Biology 1-2 will be revisited and studied in greater detail using a college level textbook, especially units on biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics, evolution, and ecology. The revised AP Biology course focuses less on factual recall and more on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts. Grades are based largely on tests and labs.

    AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (APES)

    Grade: 10-12
    Duration/Credit: Year/10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
    Prerequisite: Completion of Biology, Chemistry, and Algebra with B or higher

    This class is the equivalent of a one semester, introductory college course in environmental science. The main areas of study are earth systems, ecology, population and community ecology, water and land use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. Although this is a science course that will include a laboratory component and math problems, it includes a great deal of social science: geography, economics, law, and politics. The primary goal is to provide students with the concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary; you will be using and adding to your knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics and earth science. A main goal is to prepare you to take and pass the AP Exam given in May.

    CHEMISTRY

    Grade: 10-12
    Duration/Credit: Year/10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
    Prerequisite: Algebra with a grade of C or better is strongly recommended.

    This course helps students develop an accurate understanding of matter and energy. Topics for study include atomic and molecular structure, gas laws, thermochemistry, the mole, chemical reactions (including calculations), solution chemistry, acids and bases, equilibrium, and kinetics. The course includes chemical laboratory work, experimental support of concepts, critical thinking skills and the ability to work with others.

    AP CHEMISTRY

    Grade: 11-12 Duration/Credit: Year/10
    Credits UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science 21
    Prerequisite: Chemistry with a grade of B or better and a minimum enrollment in Pre-calculus is strongly recommended.

    This class is designed to prepare students for the lecture and lab sections of a first year college chemistry class. Preparing for the large number of topics on the AP exam in May creates a broad foundation in the principles of chemistry. Many of the topics covered in Chem. 1-2 will be studied but in greater depth, with a greater degree of mathematical computation, and there will be a number of additional topics (e.g. chemical kinetics, oxidation-reduction, and thermodynamics) as well as a new AP focus on guided-inquiry experiments and understanding phenomena on the particle level.

    PHYSICS

    Grade 11-12 Duration/Credit: Year/10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
    Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in Algebra II

    Physics is the study of how and why things work. Why do heavy and light rocks hit the ground at the same time? What holds satellites up? Why is the sky blue? In this laboratory course students will study motion, Newton's Laws, Conservation of Energy and Momentum, Circular motion and Gravitation, Waves Sound, Light, Electricity and Magnetism. Students contemplating a career in computers, science, engineering or medicine are encouraged to take physics before their senior year.

    AP PHYSICS 1

    Grade: 11-12 Duration/Credit: Year/10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
    Prerequisite: Completion of Pre-Calculus or completion of Algebra II with teacher recommendation.

    AP Physics is a year-long algebra and trigonometry-based, introductory college-level physics course that explores topics such as one and two dimensional motion, Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion), work and energy, simple harmonic motion, mechanical waves and sound, and introductory simple direct current circuits. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills.

    AP PHYSICS 2

    Grade: 11-12 Duration/Credit: Year/10 Credits
    UC/CSU: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
    Prerequisite: Completion of AP Physics 1 or Completion of Physics with a grade of A. Completion of Pre-Calculus or completion of Algebra II with teacher recommendation.

    AP Physics 2 is a year-long algebra and trigonometry-based, college-level physics course that continues where AP Physics 1 left off. Topics include fluids, Thermodynamics, DCCircuits, Voltage and Capacitance, Magnetism and Electromagnetic Induction, Electromagnetic Waves, Interference, Quantum Physics, and Atomic and Nuclear Physics.Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills.