Academic Course Catalog » Science Courses

Science Courses

Biology

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

The objectives of this course are to examine the basic principles of biology, the structure and function of living organisms, and contemporary issues. Students will gain insight and an understanding of life by examining and exploring the following concepts which satisfy the state standards for Biology: Cytology, Genetics, Ecology and Evolution. The goal is to shape students into critical thinkers, effective communicators, good citizens and life-long learners of science. In addition, through this class students will grow academically and develop strong study skills that will enable them to be successful at the next level. An environmental or ecological service learning project throughout the year is also a requirement. Either this course or the Honors Biology course is required as part of the science curriculum.

 

Honors Biology

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

This is an accelerated biology course for students with an interest in science and the desire to be challenged by the amount of work and pace at which it is delivered. Students will have the opportunity to study the principles of biology in greater depth and will be expected to complete and present a science research paper. Placement is determined by recommendations of previous teachers. The objectives of this course are to examine the basic principles of biology, the structure and function of living organisms, and contemporary issues. Students will gain insight and an understanding of life by examining and exploring the following concepts which satisfy the state standards for Biology: Cytology, Genetics, Ecology and Evolution. The goal of this class is to shape students into critical thinkers, effective communicators, good citizens and life-long learners of science. In addition, through this class students will grow academically and develop strong study skills that will enable them to be successful at the next level. An environmental or ecological service learning project throughout the year is also a requirement. Either this course or the Biology course is required as part of the science curriculum.

 

AP Biology

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

Advanced Placement Biology is a college level course for able and motivated students who have earned a B or higher in biology and chemistry. Students will be challenged to think critically while applying biological knowledge to contemporary environmental and societal concerns. The primary emphasis of the course is to help students understand concepts in biology beyond the memorization of terms and technical details. Rather than an accumulation of facts, students should understand science is a process and apply it to solve problems, as well as analyze environmental and social concerns. This course is covers three major concepts: Molecules and Cell, Heredity and Evolution, and Organisms and Populations. The course is designed to prepare students for the AP Biology exam in the spring. Depending on the AP exam score, some colleges will transfer in college credits or count it as completion of a pre-requisite.

 

Chemistry

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter and the changes it undergoes. Students are introduced to the important concepts of chemistry including atomic theory and structure, chemical bonding and chemical reactions. Chemistry involves hands-on lab experiments which help elucidate the chemical nature of the world. Chemistry students should have successfully completed biology and be enrolled in algebra II or higher. Either this course or the Honors Chemistry course is required as part of the science curriculum.

 

Honors Chemistry

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

Chemistry Honors is an accelerated course for students who have high test scores in math and are recommended by their biology teacher. This is the study of composition, structure, and properties of matter and the changes it undergoes. Students are introduced to the concepts of chemistry including atomic theory and structure, chemical bonding, and chemical reactions. Chemistry involves hands-on lab experiments which help elucidate the chemical nature of the world. Honors Chemistry students should have successfully completed biology and be enrolled in algebra II or higher. This course is recommended for those students who wish to pursue any field of science, medicine, nursing, architecture or engineering. Either this course or the Chemistry course is required as part of the science curriculum.

 

AP Chemistry

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

This course is meant to be equivalent with the general chemistry course taken during the first year of college. It is a challenging second year chemistry class which builds upon topics mastered in the first year high school course. A college level textbook is used and the curriculum follows that prescribed by the College Board for AP Chemistry. Emphasis is placed on chemical calculations, analytical reasoning, and laboratory skills. The course is designed to prepare students for the AP Chemistry exam in the spring. Depending on the AP exam score, some colleges will transfer in college credits or count it as completion of a pre-requisite. Students enrolled in AP Chemistry should have successfully completed chemistry and Algebra II.

 

Environmental Science

11th-12th Grades • Full Year, 1.0 Credit or Semester, 0.5 Credit

The curriculum provides students with opportunities to increase their knowledge of local and global environmental systems under stress. The causes and effects of various environmental science problems will be studied through a systemic point of view to reveal the interconnectedness of the landscapes in which we live. The class will include a laboratory component as necessary to strengthen key concepts. Semester one topics include studying the historical perspective of environmental science, environmental justice, ecosystems, water and air pollution, global climate change, weather, earth science and loss of biodiversity. Semester two topics include toxicology, food and agriculture, pesticide use, soil pollution, land management, population growth, sustainability and traditional and alternative energy sources. It is recommended that the student take the full year, but a student may decide to taker either semester.

 

Anatomy & Physiology

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

Anatomy and Physiology is a year-long science laboratory elective for students interested in studying nursing, medicine, or biology in college. This course may be taken concurrently with an AP Science elective or Chemistry. The human body is a complex system of molecules, tissues, organs and body systems communicating and collaborating. Students will research and learn how the body maintains homeostasis at the anatomical, physiological and histological levels of the major body systems through inquiry-based lessons and labs, presentations, and collaborative course work. The course will be arranged by themes: Anatomical Orientation, Protection, Support and Movement, Integration and Regulation, Transportation, Absorption and Excretion, and Reproduction, Growth, and Development. A long-term dissection of mammals is required. (Prerequiste: A grade of "B" or higher in Biology is recommended.)

 

AP Physics

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

This AP course is equivalent to first-semester collegiate algebra-based Physics, and will serve as an excellent foundation for students interested in pursuing STEM related fields. Units covered include Newtonian mechanics, rotational motion, energy, waves and sound, and electrical circuits. It will build upon the groundwork of the 9th Grade physics curriculum offered at La Salle, incorporating additional mathematics to describe two dimensional motion and systems of objects as well as new topics in every unit. There will be a heavy emphasis on hands-on and data driven lab work including the use of graphs and equations to predict the behavior of objects. Students must have completed a full year of Physics and be currently taking Pre-Calculus or higher mathematics course in order to enroll.

 

Physics: 9th Grade

9th grade only • Full Year, 1.0 Credit

This required course for all incoming 9th graders will focus on three main areas: Physics concepts and applications, Engineering design and Scientific method and analysis. Students will study motion (both linear and some circular), Newton's Laws, energy, and momentum in the first semester and sound, light, waves, electricity and magnetism in the second semester. This course will be heavily inquiry based and incorporate engineering design projects into each concept area, along with laboratory experiments and demonstrations.

 

Physical Science

Full Year, 1.0 Credit

This class encompasses the study of physics: motion, energy, forces, and waves; and the study of chemistry, about matter, and how matter interacts. This course also integrates the physics and science relating to the earth’s interior, surface, tectonic forces, resources and chemistry. Approval by Academic Vice Principal required.

 

BioEthics

Semester Class, 0.5 Elective Credit

This is a Blended Online class. Open to Seniors and Juniors only. Must have strong organizational and self-management skills. Enrollment is limited to 15. Think Social Justice meets Science. Bioethics is the application of scientific knowledge to guide decisions on what we should do when faced with the morals challenges of 21st Century, such as medical, health, and scientific technologies. As science and medicine pushes the boundaries of discovery, our global citizens’ respect, dignity, justice and humanity must be examined. Topics such as genetically modified organisms, human and animal research, vaccinations, gene therapy, cloning, stem cell research, human tissue transplant, and sports ethics will be evaluated from a variety of perspectives for students to develop a well-supported position.