Science Department

The Science Department believes that each student is an individual who deserves to be challenged at his or her personal learning level.  We offer a strong course selection in a sequential curriculum with varying ability levels.  The curriculum incorporates the awareness of the interdependence of all things with the individual's responsibility to respect our environment as created by God.

Department Chairperson: Ms. Liz Savner | 732 549 1108 x613

Biology/Lab (120)

Credits: 6
Grade Level: 9th

This course presents science through inquiry and develops an appreciation of the characteristics, complexity and diversity of living organisms.  Students are introduced to various approaches and techniques of biological research emphasizing the ongoing nature of science.  Scientific thinking is encouraged through experimentation and problem solving.  Topics addressed include the history of biology, evolution, cellular structure/activities, DNA, genetics and a general survey of the phylums of the six kingdoms.

Biology Honors/Lab (122)

Credits: 6
Grade Level: 9th
Prerequisites: Placement determined by High School Placement Tests, department referral

This course takes a molecular approach to the study of major biological concepts.  Areas of study include atomic structure, chemical bonding, organic molecules, cellular activities, DNA structure, genetics and evolution.  A systems approach is used to study various organisms with an emphasis on human systems.  The course concludes with a study of ecology.  Laboratory work provides opportunities to reinforce and apply knowledge, develop scientific procedures and to think critically.

AP Biology/Lab (125)

Credits: 7
Grade Level: 12th
Prerequisites: "A+" average in Biology, Chemistry, Physics; "B+" average in Honors Sciences; department approval

This course is designed to be the equivalent of a first-year college course taken by biology majors. Areas of study include molecules and cells; genetics and evolution; organisms and populations. Lab work encourages the development of important skills such as detailed observation, accurate recording, experimental design, manipulation, data interpretation, and statistical analysis. Assignments offer the opportunity for students to learn about problem solving, the scientific method, techniques of research, and the use of scientific literature. Students are required to take the AP exam.

Chemistry/Lab (140)

Credits: 6
Grade Level: 10th
Prerequisites: Biology

This course is a study of the properties and changes that occur in the composition of matter. This is accomplished by studying and stressing chemical bonding, periodicity in the behavior of chemical elements, the quantum mechanical model of the atom, molecular structure, the mechanics of a chemical reaction and the concept of the mole. Math skills are employed for the quantitative study of stoichiometry problems. This course includes the study of oxidation-reduction reactions, conversion methods and gas laws.

Chemistry Honors/Lab (142)

Credits: 6
Grade Level: 10th
Prerequisites: "A+" average in Biology or "B" average in Biology Honors; "A+" average in Math or "B+" average in Math Honors; department approval

This course covers the study of matter, its properties and the changes that occur in its composition.  Application and logical interpretation of this knowledge is also stressed.  Topics addressed include nomenclature, chemical formulas and equations, stoichiometry, atomic structure and quantum mechanics.  Other topics include chemical bonding and molecular geometry, phases of matter, solution chemistry, equilibrium, reaction rates, thermodynamics, acid-base reductions and electrochemistry.  Lab experiments serve to illustrate and reinforce these areas.

AP Chemistry/Lab

Credits: 7
Grade Level: 12th
Prerequisites: Biology; "A" average in AP Physics or "A+" average in Physics Honors; "A" average in Chemistry Honors; department approval

Completion of summer assignments is required. This course is the equivalent of a first-year college course for science and engi-neering majors, with a highly theoretical, in-depth treatment of the fundamental concepts learned in the Honors Chemistry course. Topics covered include chemical reactions and equations includ-ing oxidation-reduction and precipitation reactions, stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structures with geometry, chemical bonding, periodic trends, states of matter, and solution chemistry. Equilibrium topics include gaseous, acid-base and precipitate. Chemical kinetics, electrochemistry and quantum mechanics are covered. Lab experiments reinforce theory and technique. Students are required to take the AP exam.

Physics/Lab (160)

Credits: 6
Grade Level: 11th
Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry

Physics is a problem-solving course with an emphasis on mathe-matical applications involving the properties and behavior of matter. Topics covered include mechanics, heat, waves, optics and electrical circuits. The main objective of this course is to develop critical thinking.

Physics Honors/Lab (162)

Credits: 6
Grade Level: 11th
Prerequisites: "A+" average in Chemistry or "B" average in Chemistry Honors; "A+" average in Math or "B" average in Math Honors; department approval

This is an in-depth study of the concepts in physics with great emphasis placed on mathematical and physical relationships. Problems are that of a first-year college physics course. Students intending to pursue engineering or science degrees in college are advised to take this course.

AP Physics/Lab (165)

Credits: 7
Grade Level: 11th
Prerequisites: "A+" averages in both Chemistry Honors and Math Honors; department approval

This course is offered as a first-year college-level Physics course for highly motivated and academically-oriented students. This is a rigorous, fast-paced course, which covers the topics of mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, waves and optics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics. Students are required to take the AP Physics exam.

Environmental Science/Lab (170)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 11th, 12th
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, Physics; department referral

This course begins with a study of the Earth and factors making it capable of sustaining life.  Methods and skills needed to study the environment, especially the steps in carrying out a controlled experiment, are developed.  Topics include ecosystem structure and interactions and energy and matter transfer in food chains, webs, and chemical cycles.  The relationship of people to the environment is analyzed, emphasizing the exploitation of the global environment.

This course does not fulfill the three-year core science requirement.

Forensic Science/Lab

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 12th
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, Physics; department referral

This senior year elective focuses on the scientific practices surrounding the field of forensics and crime scene investigation.  The first part of the course focuses on the history and development of forensics as a science with the advent of new technologies.  The basics of criminalistics, both in the lab and at the crime scene, are discussed as well as the importance and definition of physical evidence.  The second part of the course moves into the anatomy of the human body and how it relates to an autopsy and forensic pathology.  The vital organ systems are discussed in detail.  Students act as forensic scientists with regard to specific practices such as fingerprinting, blood serology, toxicology, and ballistics.

This course does not fulfill the three-year core science requirement.

Anatomy and Physiology Honors (192)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 11th, 12th
Prerequisites: "B+" average in all college preparatory Sciences; "B" average in Honors Sciences; department approval

This elective course will include a yearlong program of studying human anatomy with the rigors of an advanced level science course. The areas covered will include medical terminology, cell and tissue structure and the 10 systems of the human body, along with one full quarter dedicated to dissection. Students will also learn how to analyze scientific information and practice the art of scientific writing, research, and presentation of data.

This course does not fulfill the three-year core science requirement.