Science

2024-2025

Our Upper School Science courses ask our students to practice science as inquiry by engaging in collaborative research and applying fundamental principles to solve problems. Students learn to communicate effectively using graphic, verbal, and mathematical representations of their learning.

Science 24-25

wdt_ID wdt_created_by wdt_created_at wdt_last_edited_by wdt_last_edited_at Dept. Course Number Title Course Description Blocks per week Credits Term Grade level(s)
1 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI565-SY ADV Topics in Physics This second-year physics course is for those students who wish to pursue advanced experiments and advanced calculus-based problem solving. It will focus on algebra and calculus-based studies of electricity and magnetism, and include additional topics in modern physics as time allows. Experiments are designed to measure many of the fundamental constants of the universe such as the universal gravitational constant, the charge and mass of the electron, the permitivity and permeability of free space, Planck's constant, and the speed of light. While the intent of this course is not to prepare students for taking the Advanced Placement tests, most students choose to sit for the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism exam. Prerequisite: ADV Physics: Mechanics, recommendation from current teacher, and permission from the department chair. All 1.00 Year 12
2 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI102-SY Biology: Molecular Focus This inquiry-based and lab-based course explores the fundamental concepts of biology through a molecular perspective. Studying biology from the microscopic to macroscopic levels of the organism, students develop the understanding that DNA and gene expression dictate the form, function, and influence the behavior of living things. Current explanations of evolution and natural selection are examined at the level of genes in populations. Students come to recognize that living systems are chemical systems. The course will include the following seven organizing principles that are designed to promote biological literacy: experimental design; interaction and interdependence; evolution; genetic continuity; growth, development, and differentiation; energy, matter, and organization; and, maintenance of a dynamic equilibrium. Prerequisites: Chemistry and recommendation from current science teacher All 1.00 Year 10,11,12
3 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI302-SY Physics: Mechanics In this course, students will explore topics in mechanics (force, motion, energy, and momentum) through hands-on experimentation and data analysis. They will learn to design and conduct experiments that reveal fundamental laws of physics that govern our universe. Both conceptual understanding and quantitative problem solving will be emphasized. Prerequisite/Corequisite: Chemistry, completion of Precalculus OR concurrent enrollment in Honors Precalculus, and recommendation from current science teacher All 1.00 Year 10,11,12
4 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM donna_eason 28/02/2024 02:46 PM Science SCI601-S2 Marine Science Marine Science is the study of the ocean. Oceanographers work on a wide range of topics including marine life, ocean circulation, seafloor geology, plate tectonics, and the chemical properties of the ocean. Students in Marine Science will explore four sub-disciplines

Geological oceanography is the study of plate tectonics, continental margins, ocean basins, sedimentation, and the structure of the seafloor. This will help students answer the question "Why are the oldest rocks that make up the seafloor only about 250 million years old when the oldest rocks found on the continents are over 4.5 billion years old?"

Physical oceanography is the study of the distribution of temperature and salinity, water mass formation and movement, ocean currents, interior and surface mixing, energy inputs and dissipation, surface and internal waves, and surface and internal tides. This will help students answer the question "How does the ocean influence the Earth's weather and climate?"

Chemical oceanography is the study of the composition of seawater. Students will learn about the properties of the water molecule, the structure and properties of seawater, how light is refracted by seawater, and dissolved gases in seawater. This will help students answer the question "What makes seawater salty when the rivers that supply water to the oceans are not salty?"

Biological oceanography is the study of life in the oceans—the distribution, abundance, and production of marine species along with the processes that govern species' spread and development. This will help students answer the question "How does the diversity in the oceans diversity affect terrestrial ecosystems?"
All 0.50 Spring 10,11,12
5 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI551-S1 Earth & Space Science Unearth the mysteries of the past and explore the history of the Earth through a scientific lens. Course topics will include: Astronomy - Trace the tumultuous journey from the explosive birth of the universe to the formation galaxies, stars, elements, planets, and the building blocks of life itself. Geology and Evolution - Embark on a geological exploration through time as we delve into our planet's dynamic history. From ancient continental drifts to the emergence of diverse ecosystems, discover the geological forces that have shaped our planet and influenced the rich tapestry of life that calls it home. Human Behavior -Examine the interplay between human behavior and the natural world and explore the ethical dimensions of scientific findings. As we investigate the profound impacts of human choices on ecosystems, climate, and biodiversity, we will pave the way for informed, sustainable solutions to the challenges we currently face on our intricately interconnected planet. Prerequisite: Geometry All 0.50 Fall 10,11,12
6 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI510-SY ADV Biology This course introduces biology concepts and coursework that are equivalent to college-level introductory biology. Topics introduced in introductory biology and chemistry will be explored in greater detail and will be used to generate an advanced understanding of living organisms and their components. This course provides students with a conceptual understanding of modern biology, extensive experience with the scientific process, and prepares students for the AP Biology exam. The areas of focus include molecules and cells, heredity and evolution, organisms, ecology, and behavior. There is an emphasis on laboratory work, which accounts for approximately one-third of the instructional time. Investigative techniques will include wet labs, computer simulations and software packages, statistical methodology, dissection, and other techniques appropriate for studying biology at this level. This course meets for extended periods each week. Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry (B+ or better), recommendation from current science teacher, and permission from department chair All 1.00 Year 11,12
7 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI460-SY ADV Biotechnology This lab-focused course provides students with the opportunity to apply their laboratory skills and knowledge from previous courses to the field of biotechnology. Students will develop proficiency in using laboratory equipment and techniques unique to the biotechnology field including microscopy, spectrophotometry, microbial culture, DNA isolation and gel electrophoresis. In this pursuit, students will gain independence in the lab setting by demonstrating Good Laboratory Practices, which includes maintaining a legal scientific notebook, according to research/industry standards. The supporting content will emphasize molecular and cellular biology, genetics, human health and food production. Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry (B or better in both), recommendation from current science teacher, and permission from department chair. All 1.00 Year 11,12
8 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI520-SY ADV Chemistry This course is for students who enjoyed their experience in Chemistry and want to challenge themselves to reach a more thorough understanding of how atoms determine the composition and properties of everything around them. Advanced Chemistry introduces concepts and coursework that are equivalent to college general chemistry and most students in this course choose to sit for the Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry examination. As a college level course, Advanced Chemistry requires a faster pace and more independent study than Chemistry. This course also requires the student to have a solid foundation of knowledge and skills from introductory chemistry. Some topics from introductory chemistry will be explored in greater detail and many new concepts will be introduced. Laboratory experiences will play an integral role in the program. Advanced Chemistry will meet for extended periods to accommodate the time demands of an advanced laboratory program. Prerequisites: Chemistry (B+ or better), Algebra II, recommendation from current science teacher, and permission from department chair. All 1.00 Year 11,12
9 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI550-SY ADV Environmental Science This course introduces students to environmental science concepts, linking together many disciplines to understand the nature of environmental problems and possible solutions. Aspects of human, social, and political constructs will be included in our study of biological, chemical, and physical aspects of the environment. Opportunities to conduct environmental analyses allow students to delve into current environmental concerns that affect everyday lives worldwide. Topics include: sustainability & global change, earth systems & resources, land & water use, energy production & use, and waste & recycling. A distinct laboratory and research component allow students to explore environmental parameters through lab experiments, field work, and projects. Content differs significantly from the AP Environmental Science syllabus-students taking the AP Environmental Science exam need to independently study the sections not covered in this course. Prerequisites: Chemistry (B or better), recommendation from current science teacher, and permission from the department chair. Completion of a Biology course is also recommended but not strictly required. All 1.00 Year 11,12
10 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI365-SY ADV Physics: Mechanics This first-year physics course is designed for students who are taking or have completed Advanced Calculus. Students will design and conduct laboratory experiments that enable them to model and apply fundamental physical principles including Newton's Laws, energy, momentum, torque, harmonic motion, and gravitation. Conceptual understanding and strategic problem-solving will be emphasized along with mathematical analysis of complex, university-level problems. Students enrolled in this course are encouraged to sit for the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam at the end of the year. This course prepares students for the Advanced Topics in Physics course and/or post-secondary studies in in physics and engineering. This course meets for extra periods each week. Prerequisite or corequisite: ADV Calculus or ADV Calculus I & II, recommendation from current science teacher, and permission from the department chair All 1.00 Year 11,12
11 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI511-SY ADV Topics in Oncology In the United States, 1.9 million people receive a cancer diagnosis annually, prompting an intensive focus on identifying causes and developing effective treatments. This year-long, advanced-level course offers students a comprehensive exploration of cancer cell biology, beginning with a study of normal cellular, tissue, and organ functions within the human body. After establishing this foundation, the course examines the six "hallmarks of cancer", dissecting the roles of genetics, oncogenes, and tumor suppressor genes in cancer development. Ethical considerations are also explored, including Henrietta Lacks' legacy, genetic testing's impact on cancer treatment, and the phenomenon of contagious cancer. Utilizing primary literature on cancer, engaging in relevant laboratory activities, hosting guest speakers, and incorporating field trips, the course provides students with tangible illustrations of discussed concepts. Prerequisite: Biology, recommendation from current teacher, and permission of the department chair All 1.00 Year 11,12
12 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI101-SY Biology: Ecological Focus This model-based and lab-based course explores the over-arching principals of biology through the lens of ecology. Students will examine how organisms meet the characteristics of life and the interconnection of organisms with their environment at both the macroscopic and microscopic levels. Additionally, students will explore the adaptations organisms employ to endure challenges in their environment. Special emphasis will be placed on energy storage and transfer within and between organisms by examining the features of a variety of organisms, both multi- and unicellular, via digital images, microscopic work, and dissection. Throughout this course, students will gain scientific literacy skills in the realms or experimental design, research, data collection, analysis, and communication. All 1.00 Year 9,10,11,12
13 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI202-SY Chemistry: Interactive Framework of Matter In this laboratory course, participants delve into the fascinating realm of the chemical composition of matter, unraveling the complexities of atomic interactions. The journey begins with an exploration of the subatomic architecture of atoms, progressing systematically to the behavior and characteristics of elements and compounds. Students will decipher atomic properties and energy transfers and employ these insights to explain and predict chemical reactions. Additionally, the molecular structure of compounds will be investigated, giving insight into force interactions occurring at the molecular level. This immersive experience promises a rich exploration of the chemical world, fostering an understanding of matter and its dynamic transformations. Quantitative data analysis is emphasized in many of the lab experiments. Prerequisite: Geometry All 1.00 Year 9,10,11,12
14 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI201-SY Chemistry: Particle Exploration of Matter This is a laboratory-based course in which students practice building conceptual models based on direct observations. The goal of the course if to understand the macroscopic behaviors of matter by imagining and modeling the microscopic mechanisms that underly them. Prerequisite: Algebra I All 1.00 Year 9,10,11,12
15 emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM emi_charboneau 24/02/2024 02:01 AM Science SCI301-SY Physics: Waves, Electricity, Light How do camera lenses create focused images? Why does a siren sound different when it is moving toward or away from you? What is going on inside the wall when you flip a light switch? In this course, students will investigate topics related to the ray model of light, mechanical waves, and electric circuits in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Both conceptual and mathematical aspects of everyday phenomena will be explored, with a primary focus on conceptual understanding. Students learn to conduct experiments, analyze data, and construct diagrammatic and mathematical models of the phenomena they observe. This course fulfills the physics graduation requirement. In can also preceed or follow a Physics: Mechanics course for those who want exposure to more physics topics. Corequisite: Geometry or higher All 1.00 Year 9,10,11,12
Dept. Course Number Title Course Description Blocks per week Credits Term Grade level(s)