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Science Course Descriptions

Science Course Descriptions

Biology

10 units Grade Level 10 (A-G “d” Laboratory Science)

Prerequisite: none

This standards-based course acquaints students with the living world around them. The main themes are cell biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, and physiology. Students will perform dissections and will become familiar with laboratory equipment.

 

Biology (AP)

10 units Grade Level 11 – 12 (A-G “d” Laboratory Science)

Prerequisite: Completion of Chemistry, one year of Biology, and instructor approval.

AP Biology is the equivalent of a 1st year college Biology class for science majors. It utilizes the same textbook and covers the same material as classes taught at the University of California and California State University. The coursework for this class will be very demanding. Students will be expected to be highly motivated and be able to commit to two hours of study for each hour of class time. Additionally, students will need to complete introductory course work for this class over the summer preceding the start of the school year.

 

Biomedical Innovations (PLTW 4)

10 units Grade Level 11 – 12 (A-G “d” Elective/Lab Science - pending)

Prerequisite: Completion of Medical Interventionswith grade of “C” or better.

Students design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century. They work through progressively challenging open-ended problems, addressing topics such as clinical medicine, physiology, biomedical engineering, and public health. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, hospital, research institution, or the biomedical industry. Throughout the course, students are expected to present their work to an audience of STEM professionals. This course is designed for 12th grade students.

 

Honors Biology

10 units Grade Level 10 (A-G “d” Laboratory Science)

Prerequisite: Grade “B” or better in 9th grade science, and approval of instructor

This standards-based class is a more rigorous and demanding version of Biology. It is intended for students who are highly motivated and willing to commit to several hours of work per week outside the classroom.

 

Chemistry

10 units Grade Level 10 – 12 (A-G “d” Laboratory Science)

Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra II with "C" or better or concurrent term enrollment in Algebra II, and instructor approval

Chemistry is a rigorous standards-based college prep course that introduces students to chemistry. Students will participate in both class and laboratory activities. Students should expect frequent homework and other assignments that will need to be completed outside of class. Students should be comfortable with scientific calculators, algebra, and unit conversions.

 

Honors Chemistry

10 units Grade Level 10 – 12 (A-G “d” Laboratory Science)

Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra II with "C" or better or concurrent term enrollment in Algebra II, and instructor approval

Honors Chemistry is intended for students with a strong interest in chemistry. Honors students are expected to be self-motivated, mature, and have well developed study skills, as well as strong math backgrounds. Honors Chemistry incorporates the same material covered in Chemistry, but goes into much greater detail.

 

Forensic Science

10 units Grade Level 11-12 (A-G Elective )

Prerequisite: None

Forensic science is a laboratory-based introduction to the analysis of crime scenes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. This course is designed to integrate the core scientific disciplines while giving students both theory and hands-on experience with the skills and knowledge required for a forensic crime scene investigator. This multidisciplinary approach will highlight topics in DNA, genetics, anatomy, chemistry, physics, entomology, botany, and investigative techniques with supplemental subject matter through case studies, earth science, mathematics, medicine, technology and sociology.

 

Human Body Systems (PLTW 2)

10 units Grade Level 10 – 12 (A-G Elective/Lab Science)

Prerequisite: Completion of Principles of BioMedical Sciences with grade of “C” or better.

Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries. This is a Project Lead the Way course. More information about Project Lead the Way can be found at http://www.pltw.org/ .

 

Medical Interventions (PLTW 3)

10 units Grade Level 10 – 12 (A-G Elective/Lab Science)

Prerequisite: Completion of Human Body Systems with grade of “C” or better.

Students investigate a variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease as they follow the life of a fictitious family. The course is a “How-To” manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body. Students explore how to prevent and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; prevent, diagnose and treat cancer; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through these scenarios, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics. This course is designed for 11th or 12th grade students.

 

Physics

10 units Grade Level 10 – 12 (A-G “d” Laboratory Science)

Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra II with "C" or better or concurrent term enrollment in Algebra II, and instructor approval.

This course is a state standards-based study of Physics that is conceptual in approach and mathematically rigorous. Topics covered are: mechanics of motion, heat and thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism and wave energy, and subatomic physics. The text is Physics by Serway and Faughn, 2002.

 

Physiology

10 units Grade Level 10 – 12 (A-G Elective)

Prerequisite: “C” or better in Biology, recommendation of Biology teacher

Physiology is a detailed study of all the human body systems. Introductory units progress from the chemical basis of life, to tissues, organs, and then to organ systems. In addition to a working knowledge of physiology, scientific analysis and laboratory work is stressed. Dissections will include many different organisms throughout the term.

 

Principles of BioMedical Sciences (PLTW 1)

10 units Grade Level 9 – 12 (A-G Elective/Lab Science)

Prerequisite: none

Students investigate the human body systems and various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. They determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, medicine, research processes and bioinformatics. This course is designed to provide an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses. This is a Project Lead the Way course. More information about Project Lead the Way can be found at http://www.pltw.org/ .

 

Principles of Technology

10 units Grade Level 9 – 12 (A-G “d” Laboratory Science)

Prerequisite: Grade “C” or better in Algebra I, and approval of instructor

Principles of Technology is a unique blend of science, math, and technology in a sophisticated system of instruction. This curriculum uses a unifying approach in the study of four basic energy systems – mechanical, fluid (air & liquid), electrical and thermal. This approach is achieved by showing that principles such as force, work, rate, resistance, energy, and power operate in parallel ways in each of the energy systems.