Science

Philosophy
The science department meets the most rigorous core content standards by developing critical thinking skills, promoting creativity, and helping students connect scientific phenomena to real world issues. Through “hands-on, minds-on” learning opportunities in all scientific disciplines, students master concepts using technology, laboratory activities, peer collaboration, and long-term projects.


Science Department Faculty:

Mr. James Rutzler, Department Chair
Mrs. Kristine Carollo
Mrs. Christine Dunbar
Mrs. Yolande Fitzgerald
Mrs. Amy Ingoglia
Mrs. Judith Loff
Mrs. Fabiana Lynch
Mrs. Patricia Olsen
Mr. Stephen Pendergrast
Mr. Frank Setlock
Mrs. Michelle Valentine
Mr. David Wilson


SCI 8 Physical Science

Physical Science is an introductory course to the study of chemistry and physics. Chemistry is the study of the properties, classes, and structure of matter and its changes. Topics include the periodic table of elements, atomic structure, molecules, solutions, and chemical reactions. Physics is the study of the interrelationships of matter and energy that includes the study of motion, electricity, sound, and heat.

This physical science course uses a hands-on approach allowing students to explore the general principles of physical science. Using the text and lab activities, students study forces, machines, motion, energy, electricity, magnetism, sound and light. Students will also study general chemistry concepts including the structure of matter, the periodic table, chemical bonds and reactions, mixtures and compounds. Throughout this course, students discover the relationship between science and daily life. The students will gain a firm understanding of the scientific method by working through carefully planned experiments.  Fundamental concepts are stressed, and throughout the course lab activities are supplemented by carefully chosen POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) and STEM activities. 

Credit: 5
Open to Grades: 8


SCI 8-H-1 Honors Physical Science

Honors Physical Science course will explore the foundational principles of chemistry and physics, and serve to prepare the student for high school science courses.  Using the text and lab activities, students study forces, machines, motion, energy, electricity, magnetism, sound, light, fluid dynamics, density and buoyancy. Students will also study general chemistry concepts including the structure of matter, the periodic table, chemical bonds and reactions, mixtures and compounds and organic chemistry. Math skills are stressed, e.g., graphical analysis of experimental data. Throughout this course, students will use Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) and carefully selected STEM exercises and activities. POGIL and STEM are student-centered activities; students work in small groups with assigned individual roles.

POGIL and STEM activities focus on core concepts and encourage a deep understanding of the course material while developing higher-order thinking skills, i.e., developing process skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication through cooperation and reflection (helping students become lifelong learners and preparing them to be more competitive in a global market).  

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 8



SCI 201 Biology

The study of biology includes biochemistry, cellular biology, the role of genetics in determining organisms’ structural and functional roles, the evolutionary relationship among invertebrates and vertebrates, and animal anatomy and physiology. Technology-enhanced, student-centered instruction and inquiry-based laboratory experiments and dissections (earthworm, perch, fetal pig) teach students the nature of life. The course includes a weekly, eighty-minute laboratory period.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 9, 10
Prerequisite: None


SCI 202  Honors Biology

An accelerated biology course, Honors Biology follows the same course of study as General Biology but in greater depth. The study of biology includes biochemistry, cellular biology, genetics, biological relationship between structure and function, and evolutionary relationships amongst organisms. Technology-enhanced, student-centered instruction, and inquiry-based laboratory experiments will complement the learning environment. This course includes a weekly, eighty-minute laboratory period.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 9, 10
Prerequisite: Pope John 8th graders must have an 85 average in Honors Physical Science or a 95 average in Physical Science. Students entering Pope John as 9th graders must take a placement test.


SCI 300 Conceptual Chemistry

The Conceptual Chemistry course emphasizes the importance of chemistry in students’ personal and professional lives, provides them with a lifelong awareness of the potentials and limitations of science and technology, and prepares them to make informed decisions. The curriculum includes fundamentals of chemistry, its role in technology and society, and laboratory activities that reinforce concepts and skills.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or Geometry.


SCI 301 Chemistry

This course is designed to satisfy the secondary science chemistry requirement for students planning studies in the science or health fields. Through comprehensive laboratory study, the student explores the laws and theories of chemistry, the use of chemical calculations, and the nature of chemical reactions. Topics include the metric system, atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical formulae, chemical equations, stoichiometric relations, gas laws, molecular structures, and bonding.  Interested students must demonstrate skill in solving equations.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 70 in Biology.  Concurrent enrollment in Algebra II Accelerated or Geometry Accelerated


SCI 302   Honors Chemistry

An accelerated chemistry course offered to students who have demonstrated an aptitude for science, Honors Chemistry follows the same course of study as General Chemistry but in greater depth. Student must demonstrate the ability to study independently as well as strong analytical and mathematical skills.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of at least 85 in Honors Biology or 93 in Biology.  Concurrent enrollment in an Honors
Level Math course.


SCI 304   Environmental Science

This lab course is designed to present a comprehensive overview of the critical environmental issues, both current and future. Given the broad scope of environmental problems, the course’s interdisciplinary approach addresses ecology, geology, atmospheric science, biology, chemistry, law, economics, and ethics. Ultimately, the student will recognize the vital role humans play in determining our environment’s destiny.

Credit: 5
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 70 in Biology and Chemistry.


SCI 306 Anatomy and Physiology

The Anatomy and Physiology course is a thorough and detailed study of the relationships between the structure and form of the human body and the chemical/physical processes that allow it to function. Students will understand the structure and function of various organ systems as well as their relation to specific disorders. Laboratory exercises will include dissection.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 77 in both Biology and Chemistry.


SCI 307 Forensic Science

Forensic Science offers a thorough and detailed study of forensic techniques used by crime laboratories and private examiners.  Students will explore key cases and “real world” applications of techniques in criminal and civil cases.  By nature lab intensive, Forensic Science requires students to perform many scientific procedures.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 77 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or concurrent enrollment in Physics.


SCI 308 Honors Robotics I

Robotics is a multidisciplinary field of study that includes software engineering, mechanical engineering, electronic circuit design, wireless communications, power systems design, sensor systems, feedback loops and systems theory (cybernetics), esthetics, ergonomics, and more.  Students will learn how to build and program robotic mechanisms through a series of hands-on projects supplemented by theoretical discussions. The students are considered engineers and therefore use actual industry techniques for major projects, such as brainstorming solutions, documenting design criteria, using use cases and requirements, and dividing tasks among team members (“scrum” sessions). Students will understand the role of an engineer by designing and building a product using robotic mechanisms and programming techniques.

Credit: 5
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
Prerequisite: Minimum 85 in Honors Geometry


SCI 309 Honors Zoology

Honors Zoology provides a college level introduction to the classification, relationships, structure, and function of major animal phyla. Emphasis is on levels of organization, reproduction and development, comparative systems, and a survey of selected phyla. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate comprehension of animal form and function, including comparative systems of selected groups. Laboratory exercises include microscope observations and dissections to reinforce topics discussed in class lecture.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 85 in Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry or final grade of 93
in Regular Biology and Regular Chemistry.


SCI 400 Conceptual Physics

Using mathematics at the conceptual Algebraic level, this course presents physics and related physical science topics in a highly concrete, interdisciplinary manner. Topics explored include scientific method, matter, energy, motion, simple machines, sound, light, and electricity, as well as relevant topics in physics technology. The course will include laboratory and decision-making activities to reinforce concepts and skills, stress technological and societal issues, and encourage real-world applications.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 70 in Conceptual Chemistry and Chemistry.  Concurrent enrollment in or completion
of Algebra II.


SCI 401 Physics

A survey of the fundamental laws of Physics, this course covers mechanics, kinematics, energy, thermal power, fluids, electricity, and wave motion. Weekly laboratory experiments supplement theoretical study.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 70 in Chemistry and enrollment in or completion of Algebra II Accelerated.


SCI 402 Honors Physics

This laboratory course will follow an ambitious curriculum designed to parallel a first year college, non-calculus based Physics course. Students in the course will study in detail the fundamental laws and underlying theories of Physics. The topics covered will include mechanics, kinematics, kinetic theory, electricity and magnetism, and quantum mechanics. Laboratory experiments will be conducted weekly to supplement theoretical study.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Grade of at least 85 in Honors Chemistry or 93 in Chemistry. Enrollment in any of the following math courses: Honors Algebra II, Honors Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, Pre-Calculus or Calculus.


SCI 501 Advanced Placement Biology

Advanced Placement Biology is the equivalent of a first year college general biology class. Focusing on all organisms’ biological processes, the course’s main topics – molecules and cells, heredity and evolution, and organisms and populations--will be used to explore eight major themes: science as a process, evolution, energy transfer, continuity and change, relationship of structure and function, regulation, interdependence in nature, science, and technology and society. Students taking this course are required to sit for the Advanced Placement Biology examination at the end of the school year.

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 85 in Honors Biology or 93 in Biology AND final grade of 85 in Honors Chemistry or 93 in Chemistry.


SCI 502 Advanced Placement Chemistry

Advanced Placement Chemistry is the equivalent of a first year college general chemistry class and is therefore recommended for those students planning college studies in engineering or the physical sciences.  The course is designed to provide the advanced science student with a deeper and more diverse background in chemistry, laboratory skills, and scientific reasoning skills. Topics covered include nuclear chemistry, solution stoichiometry, oxidation-reduction, acid-base, colligative properties, electrochemistry, equilibrium, chemical kinetics, and chemical thermodynamics. Special emphasis will be placed upon chemical calculations. Students taking this course are required to sit for the Advanced Placement Chemistry examination at the end of the school year.


Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 85 in Honors Chemistry or 93 in Chemistry.


SCI 504 Advanced Placement Environmental Science

The Advanced Placement Environmental Science course is designed as the equivalent of an introductory college course in environmental science.  Students learn the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies necessary to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems--both natural and man-made —to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. AP Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, embracing a wide variety of disciplines, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and geography. Students taking this course are required to sit for the AP Environmental Science exam at the end of the school year. 


Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 85 in Honors Biology or 93 in Biology. Final grade of 85 in Honors Chemistry or a 93 in Chemistry.  Final grade of 70 in Algebra II Accelerated.


SCI 510 Advanced Placement Physics I

This algebra-based course provides students with an enduring, conceptual understanding of foundational physics principles by investigating major ideas and science practices in the introductory college-level physics sequence that includes objects and systems, fields, forces, system changes, conservation laws, and energy and momentum. AP Physics I covers: kinetics; 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 introduction to electric circuits. Students taking this course are required to sit for the AP Physics exam at the end of the school year.


Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 93 in Honors Chemistry and 93 in Honors Algebra II (or concurrent enrollment in Honors Algebra II).


SCI 511 Advanced Placement Physics II (not offered in 2015-2016)

This algebra-based course provides students with an enduring, conceptual understanding of foundational physics principles by investigating major ideas and science practices in the introductory college-level physics sequence that includes objects and systems, fields, forces, system changes, conservation laws, and energy and momentum. AP Physics II covers: fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory, PV diagrams and probability; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and topics in modern physics. Students taking this course are required to sit for the AP Physics II exam at the end of the school year

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Final grade of 85 in AP Physics I, 85 in Honors Pre-Calculus, or concurrent enrollment in Honors Pre-Calculus.


SCI 512 Advanced Placement Physics C, Mechanics and E&M

AP Physics C (Mechanics) is designed for college-bound students with high-level critical thinking skills who plan to study advanced sciences, applied sciences, and engineering. The course provides a systematic study of mechanics, statics, dynamics, and momentum energy. Calculus based, the course entails problem-solving, hands-on activities, and computer-based labs. Students taking this course are required to sit for the AP Physics C exam at the end of the school year. 

Credit: 6
Open to Grades: 11,12
Prerequisite: Grade of 93 in AP Physics I and 93 in Honors Pre-Calculus and concurrent enrollment in
AP Calculus AB or BC.

 

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