SCIENCE

The mission of the secondary science program is to educate all students to be scientifically literate and responsible citizens.

The goal of science education is to develop scientifically literate citizens who understand and apply the knowledge and processes of science. It encourages a positive attitude toward solving problems and a curiosity to understand and appreciate the impact of science and technology on the natural world and on society.

Science is more than a body of facts, a set of principles, or a collection of sophisticated tools. It is a structured, creative, and active method of asking and answering questions. An effective framework for teaching science must be based on knowledge of scientific principles and on an understanding of logical thought processes. Effective science education requires a developmentally appropriate and sequential program that stresses problem solving and inquiry through laboratory experiences and a variety of learning activities. Effective science education will help students become informed adults capable of responsible decisions, independent action and teamwork. It will enable all students to develop an understanding of the interconnections between science and technology and the shared human responsibility to preserve and improve life on earth.

The courses below are available in the grade levels indicated, please see the full description of each course for specific prerequisites and details.

Grade 9
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

Full Year

  • Earth Science1(P)
  • Honors Earth Science1(P)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Year Courses: 

  • Biology2 (L)
  • Honors Biology2 (L)
  • AP Biology2(L) (ECE)
  • Conceptual Biology2 (L)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Year Courses:

  • Chemistry (P)
  • AP Chemistry (P)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (L) (Chemistry con-current)
  • AP Environmental Science (ECE)
  • Physical Science (P)

 

 

  • Full Year Courses: 
  • Physics (P)
  • AP Physics 1(P) (ECE)
  • AP Physics 1+2 (P) (ECE) - Conard Only
  • AP Physics C (P) - Hall Only
  • AP Environmental Science (ECE)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (L)
  • Science Research and Applications
  • Physical Science (P)

Semester Courses for Grades 11 - 12:

-Catastrophic Events
-Environmental Science
-Marine Science

 

 

Students are required to complete 2 credits of Science for graduation. These credits must include one credit of Life Science (L) and one credit of Physical Science (P). Course without the (L) or (P) designation are science elective classes.

1. This course MUST be taken in Grade 9. Science Supervisor approval is required for students to take this course in Grades 10, 11, or 12.

2. This course MUST be taken in Grade 10. Science Supervisor approval is required for students to take this course in Grades 9, 11, or 12.

Advanced Placement Biology

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

This course is an introductory college biology course that examines, in an accelerated and in-depth manner, topics in biochemistry, cellular biology, organismal biology, population biology, evolution, genetics and ecology. Advanced Placement Biology will prepare students for the SAT Biology E/M Subject Test and the annual Advanced Placement Examination. This national College Board program enables superior students to complete college level studies in high school. Participating colleges grant credit or advanced placement to students who have done well on the qualifying examination. Participation in the Advanced Placement Exam is an expectation of this course. Eight transferable UConn credits are available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or better as part of the UConn Early College Experience (ECE) Program.

Advanced Placement Chemistry

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Algebra II (L2) which may be taken concurrently with the consent of the Department Supervisor

This course is the equivalent of an introductory university level chemistry course. It is a challenging, accelerated and in-depth presentation of the topics discussed in chemistry. There is a strong emphasis on theory and descriptive chemistry. The analytical portion of the course requires that students have strong mathematical skills especially in Algebra II (L2). The Advanced Placement program prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam administered by the College Board and the SAT Chemistry Subject Test. Success on this exam may lead to college credit. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Advanced Placement Environmental Science

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grade 11-12
Prerequisite: Earth Science, Biology and Algebra II (which may be taken concurrently)

The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. The following themes provide a foundation for the structure of the AP Environmental Science course:

  1. Science is a process.
  2. Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes.
  3. The earth itself is one interconnected system.
  4. Humans alter natural systems.
  5. Environmental problems have a cultural and social context.
  6. Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable systems.

Three transferable UConn credits are available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or better as part of the UConn Early College Experience (ECE) Program.

Advanced Placement Physics 1

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus which may be taken concurrently with permission of the Department Supervisor

AP Physics 1 is equivalent to the first semester of a college introductory, algebra-based physics course. AP Physics 1 addresses the topics of kinematics, Newton's laws of motion; torque; rotational motion and angular momentum; gravitation and circular motion; work, energy, and power; linear momentum; oscillations, mechanical waves and sound; and an introduction to electric circuits. Participation in the Physics I Advanced Placement Exam is an expectation for this full year, two lab period per week course. Four transferable UConn credits may be available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or higher as part of the UConn Early College Experience (ECE) Program.

Advanced Placement Physics 1 and 2 - Conard Only

1 Credit; 8 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus, Concurrent registration in Calculus is recommended

AP Physics 1 and 2 is the equivalent of a two-semester (full-year) college introductory, algebra-based physics course.  AP Physics 1 and 2 address all topics in AP Physics 1 as well as the following: fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory and PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and topics in modern physics. Participation in the Advanced Placement Physics 1 Exam and the Advanced Placement Physics 2 Exam are part of the expectations for this full year, three lab period per week course. Eight transferable UConn credits may be available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or higher as part of the UConn Early College Experience (ECE) Program. The 3rd lab period is slated for Wednesdays.

Advanced Placement Physics C - Hall Only

1 Credit; 8 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: Calculus (concurrent registration in Calculus AB or BC is required.  BC is preferred);

AP Physics C is equivalent to a 2-semester college calculus-based physics course, typically for science and engineering majors. AP Physics C is composed of two 1-semester courses: Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism. Physics C Mechanics covers the topics of Newton’s law of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; oscillations and gravitation. Physics C Electricity & Magnetism covers the topics of electrostatics, conductors, capacitors and dielectrics, electric circuits, magnetic fields, electromagnetism and modern physics.

Participation in the Physics C Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism Advanced Placement Exams is an expectation for this full year, three lab period per week course.  Eight transferable UConn credits may be available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or higher as part of the UConn Early College Experience (ECE) Program. The 3rd lab period is slated for Wednesdays.

Anatomy and Physiology

1 Credit; 5 periods per week
Grades 11-12 (Grade 11 with permission of Department Supervisor)
Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry (can be taken concurrently)

Anatomy and Physiology is an elective course for students interested in the following fields: medical sciences, physical and occupational therapy, exercise physiology, dance, physical education, human health topics. The course will emphasize core topics in biochemistry, histology and human body systems (i.e. the digestive, circulatory/lymphatic, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, integumentary, nervous, excretory, immune and endocrine systems) and societal issues associated with the field of anatomy and physiology.

In addition to a physiological study of each system, analysis of diseases, malfunctions, and homeostatic imbalances of each system will be studied. Medical tools and pharmaceutical information may be studied where appropriate in each system. The effect of exercise, dieting, smoking, drug and alcohol use and other health-related topics will be examined.

Biology

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: None

In this course students will learn about life on earth. Topics of study include: biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, ecology, the human body, animals, plants, and populations. Students will be encouraged to use the scientific method in the investigation of living things and will be expected to use a variety of problem solving techniques/practices. This course is designed to prepare students for the NGSS assessment in Grade 11.

Catastrophic Events

.5 Credits; 5 periods per week
Grades 11-12 (Grade 11 with permission of Department Supervisor)
Prerequisite: None

This course will focus on the causes and hazards associated with profound catastrophic events that impact humanity. The curriculum will explore topics such as hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, global epidemics, radiation exposure, and major pollution events. Students will study the nature, causes, and impacts of these events. They will apply science and engineering practices to explore solutions that may help to reduce environmental effects.

Chemistry

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: One credit Algebra I

It is strongly recommended that only students who have earned a C or above in Algebra I (L2) or an A or above in Algebra I (L3) and co-enroll in Algebra II (L2), Pre-Calculus or Calculus enroll in this course. This course presents to students an explanation of the structure, composition, physical and chemical properties and behavior of the materials that make up the world in which we live. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and the ability to make predictions about the behavior of matter. Inquiry is emphasized in class discussions and in many of the lab activities. Students will learn the skills necessary for the communication of chemical ideas within technical and scientific occupations.

Conceptual Biology

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Science Department Supervisor Approval

Students enrolled in this course will study living things including the human body, other animals, plants and microorganisms. These living things will be discussed relative to their interrelationships, their form and their function. Emphasis is placed on practical, concrete experiences that develop scientific concepts and skills. This course is designed to prepare students for the NGSS assessment in Grade 11. The science department supervisor determines whether placement in this course is necessary based on assessment performance and review of records. Please contact the department supervisor for further information.

Earth Science

1 Credit; 5 periods per week
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None

Students enrolled in this course will study the composition and dynamics of the earth and its place in the universe. The areas of geology, meteorology and environmental issues will be explored. The environmental issues studied include the use of fossil, nuclear and alternative fuels to produce electricity; the impact of civilization on climate; the disposal of solid waste; the efforts to reduce resource consumption and improve air and water quality; and the impact of housing patterns and transportation options on resource consumption and the environment. This course is designed to prepare students for the NGSS assessment in Grade 11.

Environmental Science

.5 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: One credit Biology (any level)

Studying Environmental Science leads to a better understanding of human impact on the environment, allows us to practice our problem solving skills and provides for an increased awareness of the diversity of life around us. Topics studied in Environmental Science focus on three key issues:

  1. Resource depletion and shifting to a more sustainable use of resources
  2. Pollution and its causes and solutions
  3. Loss of biodiversity and how we impact it

Humans as a species are responsible for both useful and harmful global changes to earth's ecosystems. By studying Environmental Science, we, as individuals and as a society, learn how to best impact our planet, thus improving and preserving nature for future generations.

Honors Biology

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

It is recommended that students enrolling in Honors Biology have earned an A or B in Honors Earth Science or an A in Earth Science. Honors Biology covers the topics and processes of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, ecology, the human body, animals, plants, populations, science investigational skills, etc. with a greater depth and breadth than the standard program. Students completing Honors Biology will be prepared for the SAT Biology E/M Subject Test. This course is designed to prepare students for the NGSS assessment in Grade 11.

Honors Earth Science

1 Credit; 5 periods per week
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Math 8 Honors or Department Recommendation

Honors earth science is an intensive examination of geology, meteorology and selected environmental issues. This course is designed for the academically advanced student and will stress the quantitative analysis of collected data and problem solving techniques. The depth and breadth of the material will be greater than in the standard course. This course is designed to prepare students for the NGSS assessment in Grade 11.

Marine Science

.5 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: One credit Biology (any level)

The importance of Marine Science to understanding life on earth has been realized in recent years. In this course physical, chemical, biological, ecological and geological aspects of marine science will be surveyed. Long Island Sound, our closest marine environment, will be a focus of study.

Physical Science

1 Credit; 5 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: Biology (any level) and Algebra (any level)

This course emphasizes the cross-cutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas within physics and chemistry.  Physics topics include explorations of the forces and laws associated with motion, the relationship between electricity and magnetism, energy transformations, and wave applications. Chemistry topics will include explorations of atomic structures and periodic trends, process of chemical interactions, thermodynamics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the physical environment and be able to apply scientific principles and processes. No credit will be given to students who have already earned credit for a Chemistry or Physics Course.

Physics

1 Credit; 7 periods per week
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: One credit Algebra II

It is strongly recommended that only students who have earned a C or above in Algebra II (L2) or an A or above in Algebra II (L3) enroll in this course. Students who wish to take Honors Algebra II (L1) or Algebra II (L2) concurrently may do so with permission of the Department Supervisor. Physics is the study of energy and matter and their relationships. During the first semester, students study energy related to the position or movement of solid objects including motion, forces, gravity, vectors, momentum, potential and kinetic energy, work and power. During the second semester, students study fluids, waves - including mechanical, sound, and light waves - static electricity, electrical current, electrical circuits, magnetism and electromagnetic induction. Physics stresses the use of mathematics to solve problems. Students spend time in the laboratory applying science skills to real data to develop the concept upon which the course is based.

Science Research and Applications

1 Credit: 5 Periods per Week
Grade 12 (Grade 11 with Permission of the Science Department Supervisor)
Prerequisites: Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry

"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose." Zora Neale Hurston. This course provides a unique opportunity for students to develop and employ the skills of a practicing scientist. The overall goal of the Science Research and Applications course is to help students plan, design, conduct, and present original science research. Students enrolled in this course will develop learning, innovation, career, and informational technology skills that relate to an area of strong personal interest. In addition to their science teacher the student may work with an internship host (i.e., a practicing scientist) to complete their project.