Science Courses

Students earn at least 3 credits (for standard diploma) and 4 credits (for advanced studies diploma) from  courses including Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, or Physics.

Biology Courses

Biology I

Grade: 9-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Grade 8 Science

Biology I is a laboratory-based course that includes the study of ecology, taxonomy, cellular chemistry, genetics, microbiology, and physiology. These areas are developed within a framework of principle biological theories with an emphasis on critical thinking and science process skills. This course may utilize animal dissection techniques as an instructional strategy

 

Advanced Biology

Grade: 9-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Grade 8 Science

Designed to give students a foundation in biological concepts as well as the opportunity to apply principles of experimental design in laboratory settings and on a required student project. Advanced Biology includes the same major areas of study as Biology I but with extensions to each curriculum objective and associated specialty program.This course may utilize animal dissection techniques as an instructional strategy

 

AP Biology

Grade: 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least two laboratory sciences to include Biology I and Chemistry I; successful completion of Algebra and Geometry.

Co-requisite: Algebra II

AP Biology is designed to be the equivalent of a first year introduction college biology course. AP Biology is designed for students who have successfully completed foundation courses in biology and chemistry. This course aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Primary emphasis of the course is on developing an understanding of concepts rather than on memorizing terms and technical details. At least 25% of instructional time is dedicated to hands-on laboratory investigations. Students are expected to take the AP Biology examination in May. With a satisfactory score, students may be eligible to receive some credit for college-level biology.

 

Earth Science Courses

Earth Science I

Grade: 9-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Grade 8 Science

Earth Science I is a laboratory-based course that provides students with an opportunity to explore the various physical phenomena that affect the earth. This course, which encompasses research design concepts, helps students become more aware of their surroundings through the study of astronomy, space science, meteorology, oceanography, physical geology, and environmental resources. This course has an associated Standards of Learning (SOL) test. Students will participate in this test only when they have not yet earned sufficient credit for graduation and/or satisfied federal testing requirements.

 

Adv. Earth Science I

Grade: 9-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Grade 8 Science

Advanced Earth Science I is a lab-based course designed to give students a foundation in earth science concepts and as well as the opportunity to apply principles of experimental design in laboratory settings and on a required student project. Advanced Earth Science I includes the study of geology, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, and space science but with extensions to each curriculum objective.

 

Chemistry Courses

Chemistry

Grade: 10-12

Prerequisite:Successful completion of one year of laboratory science; Algebra I

Chemistry I emphasizes the qualitative and quantitative study of substances and the changes that occur in them. Students will investigate using various lab techniques and apply mathematical and problem solving skills. A survey of concepts includes atomic structure, chemical bonding, formulas and equations, stoichiometry and other calculations based on molar relationships, phases of matter and the kinetic molecular theory, the acid-base theory, and simple organic chemistry. This course is intended for college preparatory and general education purposes.

 

Advanced Chemistry

Grade: 10-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of one laboratory science; Algebra I

Advanced Chemistry provides the highly motivated, college-bound student with a rigorous first-year chemistry course. Students who elect to take this course must have a true desire to take AP Chemistry as a second-year course. The content of this course includes the following: matter and energy, atomic structure, bonding, periodic table, mathematics of chemistry, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases, redox and electrochemistry, organic chemistry, applications of chemical properties, nuclear chemistry, and laboratory activities. All content objectives are extended and enriched. Students will complete laboratory activities that emphasize the quantitative applications learned in class.

 

AP Chemistry

Grade: 11-12

Prerequisite: : Successful completion of Chemistry I; at least Algebra II

AP Chemistry is intended to provide a second level of chemistry comparable to the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. Topics include atomic structure and theory, chemical bonding, states of matter, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, and descriptive chemistry. At least 25% of instructional time is dedicated to hands-on laboratory investigations. Students enrolled in this course are encouraged to pursue an advanced mathematics sequence. Students are expected to take the AP Chemistry examination in May. With a satisfactory score, students may be eligible to receive some credit for collegelevel chemistry. This course is in compliance with the AP course description of the College Board.

 

Physics Courses

Physics

Grade: 10-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry

Co-requisite: Enrollment in Algebra II or higher

Physics I is a standard first year course that covers all topics required by the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) for physics. This course is fast paced and students are expected to have strong study and mathematical skills. Students will utilize mathematical calculations while applying scientific methodology to investigate Newtonian mechanics; fluids (hydrostatics and hydrodynamics); wave phenomena; electricity and magnetism; thermodynamics; and selected topics in modern physics. Students will be instructed on how to design, conduct, analyze, and interpret data and present results collected from investigations. Written, detailed laboratory reports are required.

 

AP Physics

Grade: 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry

Co-requisite: Algebra II/Trigonometry

AP Physics is an algebra-based course that is representative of topics covered in similar college physics courses, as determined by periodic surveys. This course could be taken by students with no previous high school experience in physics but who possess strong study skills required for college-level classes. The course covers the following general areas: Newtonian mechanics; work, energy, and power; mechanical waves, and sound. At least 25% of instructional time is dedicated to hands-on laboratory investigations. Students who have taken this course may enroll in either AP Physics 2 or AP Physics C

 

Science Electives

Earth Science II - Oceanography

Grade: 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Earth Science I; and either Biology I or Chemistry I

Oceanography is a second level earth science course designed to be a more in-depth treatment of the oceanography concepts presented in first year earth science. It is a broad survey course dealing mainly with physical oceanography and covering such topics as the geology and geography of ocean basins; physical properties of sea water; marine chemistry; salinity and density; circulation of the oceans, waves and tides; and oceanographic instruments, tools, and methods. Emphasis is also placed on ocean policy and ocean ecology.

 

Earth Science II - Astronomy

Grade: 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Earth Science I; Algebra I; and either Biology I or Chemistry I

Astronomy is a second level earth science course designed to be a more in-depth, mathematical treatment of the astronomical concepts presented in introductory Earth Science course. Topics such as the universe, universal laws, galaxies, stellar evolution, the solar system and its motion, and the exploration of space will be discussed.

 

Biology II (Survey of Adv. Topics in Biology)

Grade: 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I and Chemistry I

Survey of Advanced Topics in Biology is an academically rigorous, in-depth, second year study of selected areas of biology that allows highly motivated students to delve more deeply into life systems and processes. Extensive laboratory work is part of this course. Emphasis is placed on research skills and techniques. This course utilizes animal dissection techniques as a major instructional strategy.

 

AP Environmental Science

Grade: 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I; Chemistry I; Algebra II

AP Environmental Science utilizes students’ mathematics and scientific skills in a systems approach to the environment. Major systems include aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, the atmosphere, and resource allocation/distribution. In addition to laboratory work, some fieldwork is required. This course is in compliance with the AP Environmental Science course description as set by the College Board. Students will take the Earth Science I Standards of Learning assessment at the end of this course only when they have not yet earned sufficient credit for graduation and/or satisfied federal testing requirements. Students are expected to take the AP Environmental Science examination in May.

 

Related Electives

  • Engineering Explorations I- Robotics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Statistics
  • PLTW Intro to Engineering Design
  • PLTW Principles of Engineering