SCIENCE/LAB COURSE ADVANCEMENT

Three years (15 credits) of science courses are required for graduation. However, we strongly recommend including science courses in the program every year. The science curriculum consists of courses designed to assist the student in acquiring a scientific literacy and to prepare them for future education. A minimum of 3 lab sciences is recommended for the college bound student. The Science Department opens opportunities for students to advance a level. Students should review the criteria for advancement to an AP Science course. There is an approval process that must be discussed with student’s counselor and approved by department supervisor. Please see the Science website for information and application. Please note: ALL Science courses, unless noted, include 2 labs per cycle.


BIOLOGY I: H34011

Grades: 9-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: In 8th grade, Pre-Algebra C+, Algebra I C+ or better (or concurrent enrollment in Algebra I or Geometry) 

Biology I is designed as a college preparatory course that cultivates inquiry through the use of the NGSS Life Science Standards of Structure and Function, Inheritance and Variation of Traits, Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, and Natural Selection and Evolution. Emphasis will be on scientific literacy, with a focus n evaluating presented information, thinking with a scientific mindset, and an awareness of modern scientific research. Special attention is given to labs, with the intent of cultivating science skills through recognizing variables, developing and planning an experiment, observational techniques, qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis as defined by NGSS Science and Engineering Practices. Students will take the NJ Biology Competency Test in May.


BIOLOGY I ACCELERATED: H34012

Grades: 9-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: A- or better in 8th grade science and Algebra I A- or better and concurrent enrollment in Geometry/Geometry Accelerated. Teacher recommendation and an assessment will determine placement.. A separate placement test will be given for students coming from another district.

Students are expected to use abstract reasoning, exhibit organizational skills and the ability to produce high quality work on time and with minimal additional support. An ability to think scientifically and to perform scientific inquiry independently are considered minimal entry requirements. Students will read scientific literature and apply scientific principles. Laboratory experiences followed by rigorous laboratory reports, posters and presentations on collected data is central to the course. This culminates in a final lab experience (10% of the grade) which is independently designed, performed, and analyzed by the student. Students will take the NJ Biology Competency Test in May. Students who enter this course are expected to remain and will be deterred or restricted to switch into Biology.


AP BIOLOGY: H34013

Grades: 11-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: Algebra II B+ or better or concurrent enrollment, Biology I ACC B+, Biology I A- or better, and B+ in first-year Chemistry (I or Acc) or department supervisor’s approval.

The course follows the College Board approved AP syllabus. The main approach in the class is to integrate biological themes by making connections, and examine quantitative analysis through inquiry of the biological topics studied. The major themes presented in the course are ecology and interdependence, biochemistry, cellular structure, cellular energetics, cellular communication, cellular reproduction and development, heredity, evolution and molecular genetics. Laboratory work is emphasized, and the AP recommended labs will be covered. A summer assignment will be completed to be turned in on the second week of school. The course is designed to explore and integrate facts, models, methods, concepts, themes, and research in the field of biology.

BIOETHICS: BIOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY: H34014

Grade: 12 ONLY
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: Biology I or Biology I Accelerated with an average of B or better

This course is designed for mature students who have a continuing interest in the life sciences, especially those recent advances that have had an impact on society. Students will be expected to complete extensive reading assignments, participate in daily class discussions and activities, complete position papers, and give presentations, and engage in various debate formats. Goals of the course include scientific literacy, consideration of issues following a systematic approach, gaining an understanding and appreciation of the complex nature of different viewpoints, and examining the extent to which biology and ethics interact with other disciplines (legal, social, economic, political, religious, cultural, educational). Topics are taught from an interdisciplinary approach and include the role of science in society, the elements of critical thinking, models of ethical analysis, animal experimentation, reproductive technology, maternal/fetal conflicts, gene therapy, and the AIDS epidemic. Videos, guest speakers, and literature will augment teacher and student presentations.


CHEMISTRY I: H34022

Grades: 10-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: B- or better in Algebra I or coenrolled in Algebra II; C or better in a lab science

This college preparatory course is designed to give students a working knowledge of the basic concepts and principles of chemistry. Rather than memorizing facts, the course emphasizes understanding, analysis, logical thinking and problem solving. The laboratory experience is an integral part of the learning. Major topics include measurements, properties of matter, atomic structure, nuclear reactions, periodicity, chemical bonding, reactions and stoichiometry, solutions, and gas laws, according to the NJ Model Curriculum.


CHEMISTRY I ACCELERATED: H34023

Grades: 10-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: Minimum B+ in Accelerated Biology or A in Biology. Minimum A in Geometry or B+ in Geometry Accelerated and coenrollment in Algebra II or completion of Algebra II with B+ or better. It is strongly recommended that for this class students are enrolled in Pre-Calculus or a higher level math class.

This college-preparatory course is a broader and deeper introduction to chemistry than Chemistry I. It covers Chemistry I topics in greater depth, with more mathematics and at a faster pace. Additional topics, not included in Chemistry I are colligative properties, net iconic equations, equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation/reduction, and organic chemistry. This course emphasizes abstract reasoning and mathematics and will assist students planning to take the SAT II test in chemistry.


AP CHEMISTRY: H34024

Grades: 11-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: B+ in Chemistry I ACC or A in Chemistry I, Pre Calculus (may be taken concurrently), A- or better in Algebra II or department supervisor’s approval. Prior chemistry lab experience is required.

This course is designed to meet the needs of the student who has developed a special interest in chemistry, who is considering a career in science or a related field, and who intends to take the Advanced Placement exam in May. This course follows the AP syllabus with a rigorous pace and is equivalent to a first year college course. The course uses a college text and supplementary publications. The course focuses on the ability to express ideas with clarity and logic, to design and conduct laboratory experiments (two double labs per cycle), to arrive at conclusions with mathematical vigor, and to manipulate equations and solve problems. Topics include: Atomic Structure, Analytical and Descriptive Chemistry, Gas Laws, Thermodynamics, Kinetics, Bonding, and Equilibrium including Keq, Ksp, Ka, Kb, Kp Oxidation and Reduction.


PHYSICS I: H34030

Grades: 10-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: Minimum B- in Algebra I, B- in Geometry, and co-enrolled in Algebra II, This college preparatory course is designed to provide a balanced approach of conceptual and mathematical understanding and skills in physics.

Topics include fundamentals of motion, dynamics, momentum, energy, heat, vibrations and waves, sound and music, light, electricity, magnetism, atoms, and nuclei. While a conceptual approach to the subject is stressed, critical thinking skills are practiced. Students should take AP Physics 1 if they have taken Pre-Calculus.


AP PHYSICS 1: H34033

Grades: 10-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: A- or better in Algebra II and coenrolled in Pre-Calculus, A in Bio I, A in Chem I, B+ in Bio I Acc, B+ in Chem I Acc, or department supervisor's approval

This course is the equivalent of a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics, but is designed to be taught over a full academic year to enable AP students to develop a deep understanding of the content and to focus on applying their knowledge through inquiry labs. The full year also allows time for inclusion of physics content specified by state standards. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound. It also introduces electric circuits, electric and magnetic fields, induction, and physical and geometric optics.


AP PHYSICS C: H34034

Grades: 10-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: B+ or better in AP Physics 1 or a 4 on the AP Physics 1 exam, A in Physics I, B in Calc AB (may be taken concurrently), or department supervisor's approval.
  
This course is the equivalent of a first-year university-level course in classical mechanics, electricity, and magnetism. It is recommended for those students considering majoring in science or engineering. Supplementary topics are taken from modern physics, thermodynamics, optics, and wave mechanics. Some laboratory activities may be carried out. This course is recommended for students who plan to take the Advanced Placement Examination in physics in May.


ACCELERATED ASTRONOMY: H32040

Grades: 11-12
3.2 credits
Sem
Prerequisite: An A- or better in Algebra I or a B+ in Algebra I Accelerated, and B+ in the most recent science class.

A semester course exploring cosmology, solar semester, and local space science, this course would employ some Algebra and examine current understanding of the deep sky and local phenomena.


ACCELERATED OCEANOGRAPHY & ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE: H32041

Grades 11-12
3.2 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: An A- or better in Algebra I or a B+ in Algebra I Accelerated, and B+ in the most recent science class.

A semester course exploring the coupling of ocean and atmospheres, ocean physics, geology, chemistry and biology, and would involve and employ some algebra and examine current understanding of climate change and ocean food webs.


ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY: H34042

Grade: 12 ONLY
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: Biology I or Biology I ACC with a C+ or better average

This course is designed for senior students who have a continuing interest in the biological sciences. It will provide the student with information about the human body and its processes; the concept of structure and function provides the foundation of the course. A cat dissection is conducted to provide the students with observations of the connection between structure and function. Students should demonstrate a mature demeanor and attitude to actively participate in all components of the course.


GENETICS: H34043

Grades: 11-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: First year Biology and Chemistry, with a C+ average or better in both.

In this genetics course, students learn the detail, structure and function of DNA. All units involve real-world examples of how the genetics content affects human lives. Topics covered include cell division, cancer, reproductive technologies, heredity, DNA structure and function, epigenetics and biotechnology. Lab work is an integral part of the curriculum, and the students will have the opportunity to use biotechnology tools to analyze and modify DNA. Students also read one nonfiction book per semester: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Forever Fix. These books apply many of the genetics concepts covered in the course and demonstrate how geneticists carry out the scientific process to develop therapies.


SUSTAINABLE HORTICULTURE: H34044

Grades: 10-12
6.4 Credits
Year
rerequisites: C+ or better in Biology I and C+ or better in first-year Chemistry

This course is designed for those students who have an interest in Horticulture, its effect on the environment, personal health, and community sustainability. The class integrates the practical application of horticulture as a means towards understanding how individual choices can influence or compromise the creation of a sustainable, healthy community. The program is a college-preparatory elective and students interested in starting their own “niche” business would also benefit. Some topics to be covered are: the changing face of Horticulture in the metropolitan area, native vs. exotic species in the landscape, biodynamic agricultural systems, soil as a thriving community, conventional vs. ecological landscape management, and creating livable communities through horticulture. Students are expected to collaborate and participate in school-based projects that reinforce learned-themes. Students will be actively engaged with green communities of the school. A final project is also associated with this course.


ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: H34047

Grades: 10-12 6.4 credits
Year
Prerequisite: First-year Biology Course

The course centers around how humans interact with their environment, learning the material becomes more personal. The topics covered themselves to hands-on activities, research, and debate, providing students with a rich learning experience. Students will understand how their personal choices affect their environment, their health and the economy. This class will allow them to make more informed decisions, whether it is in purchasing groceries or voting for president. It will also help them understand and evaluate current environmental issues presented in the media. These are skills and understandings that all students should have when they graduate from high school, but aren’t fully fostered in an Earth Science class. The Environmental Science course would prepare students to become responsible citizens. Students will examine the following units: Nature of Science and Knowing Science, Dynamic Earth, Principles of Ecology, Biodiversity, Populations Dynamics, Human Population Trends and Predictions, Biospheres, and Management of Resources.


AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: H34046

Grades: 11-12
6.4 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: A- or better Biology I, B+ or better first year Chemistry, B+ or better first-year Physics, B or better Algebra II or department supervisor approval.

AP Environmental Science is an introductory college level course that will provide the highly motivated student with the scientific principles and concepts necessary to understand relationships of the natural world. Students will be able to identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made, as well as examine various alternative solutions for resolving or preventing the problems. The following themes will be covered: energy conversions, earth as a single interactive system, human alterations of natural systems, the cultural and social context of environmental problems, and how human survival is dependent on the achievement of sustainable living systems. Special emphasis will be placed on how these five themes relate to current, local, regional, and world events.


PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY: H32047

Grades: 11-12
3.2 Credit
Sem
Prerequisite: C+ or better in two previous science classes.

This is a natural science course designed to expose students to scientific ways of answering questions about human origins and human biology. We want to know what we can learn about ourselves by approaching the study of human traits the way a biologist would. Our goal is to demystify ourselves by viewing humans in a broad biological framework. This course and the associated lectures, readings, and labs address the following questions: What processes shape humans (and other creatures) over time? What are genes; why do we have the ones we do; and how do they interact with our experiences in shaping us? What can we learn about ourselves from studies of our close relatives among the non-human primates? How much is known about our ancestry and what does that tell us about human nature?


FORENSICS: H32048

Grades: 11-12
3.2 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: B or better in 1 year Biology or higher, B or better in 1 year of Chemistry or higher Forensic Science is the application of scientific techniques and technology to the investigation of a crime, and the presentation of evidence in a court of law.

This class emphasizes inquiry based learning, deductive reasoning skills, and higher-order thinking skills to analyze data. Students will investigate crime scenarios through hands-on lab activities that mimic techniques used by criminal investigators. Unlike other science courses, forensic science is not one filed of study; rather, it is a truly holistic science in that it combines many fields, with the crucial addition of legal standards and rules of evidence. Since this class is focused on the evaluation of evidence through the use of scientific techniques, a final crime scene video is created to demonstrate laboratory proficiency and evidence analysis.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY IN A 21ST CENTURY SOCIETY SEMESTER A OR B: H32049

Grades: 10-12
3.2 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: Completion of a previous Science course.
Students will select Semester A or B.

Students will use technological applications as the vehicle for guided inquiry and independent research. In this environment, imagination, innovation, artistic ability and leadership skills are given equal value as computing, reading and writing in evaluation. Seven cross-cutting concepts identified in the Next Generation Science Standards form the basis for instruction in STEM21: patterns, cause and effect, scale, proportion and quantity, energy and matter, systems and system models, structure and function and stability and change. As students explore core disciplinary content ideas, each of these cross-cutting concepts will be used to anchor discussion and frame presentations. Semesters A & B address the stated goals through four major topics. Semester A includes: Defining Science and Technology in the 21st Century, Scientific Design, Matter-Structure, Properties and Change, and Forces and Motion. Semester B includes Secondary Data Analysis, Energy, Energy Effect on Humans, and Research and Advocacy.


ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: H32050

Grades: 11-12
5 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: A in AP Chemistry and 4 or 5 on the AP Chem Exam, or department supervisor approval. AP Chem lab experience is required.

This course will provide an overview of structures of functional groups (reactive portions of a molecule) and the reaction mechanisms (pathways of chemical reactions) that these functional groups undergo. The main topics covered are: molecular structures and bonding, introduction to stereochemistry, formalisms used to describe reactions and mechanisms, thermodynamics, analytical methods used to elucidate molecular structures and several types of reactions. This is a college-level course that will be weighted.


RESEARCH METHODS: H34051

Grades: 10-12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: Pre-approval prior to course selection process

The course provides students with a one to three year experience to build science research skills, develop scientific writing and presentation skills, design and conduct research with a mentor, visit local science symposia, visit research facilities, and submit to local fairs and competitions that may lead to the regional or national level. In addition to class time, students must commit to find additional times such as lunch, free periods, or Wednesday afternoon to attend to the research process. Students will be accepted to the program after 9th grade. With completion of the first-year, students may apply for subsequent years. Students seeking to enter the research course without completing the first year must submit previous research work and meet a set level of prior work that must be approved by the supervisor. A first-year student (10th grade) develops reading, writing and mathematical skills that will aide in research process. Students will visit research facilities, colloquia, and read recent scientific publications to expose them to possible areas of future research. Year one will culminate in a written and oral proposal of a research topic. A second-year student (11th grade) will apply the skills developed in year one when writing an individual research plan, annotated bibliography, and literature review. Students will continue visiting research facilities, colloquia, and reading scientific articles to further develop the scope of their research question. Students may elect to follow a design path for development of technology or an engineering design as well. The year will culminate in an internal symposium that allows students to present a study applicable to their research question. The summer between year two and three be utilized for execution of a scientific experiment under the guidance of a mentor. This mentor will be a contact beyond school; transportation to research sites fall beyond the scope of the school to provide. A third-year student (12th grade) will analyze the data collected over the summer. This analysis will require the application of statistical tools, as well as further research. The year will culminate with the composition of a scientific journal article. Students will be able to submit their work to local scientific competitions, which will ideally lead to presentation opportunities on the regional and national level.


RESEARCH APPLICATIONS: H34052

Grades: 11-12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: Research Methods This course will be a continuation of Research Methods.

Students will create an experimental design to answer a research question that was generated during the previous year. This experimental design will be based on previously conducted experimentation and theoretical research. Students will carry out their experiment under the guidance of a mentor in their field of interest. This course will prepare students to present their data and conclusions during the following school year (Research Presentation).


RESEARCH ANALYSIS: H34053

Grades: 12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: Research Methods & Applications

During the last year of the science research program, students will be working to analyze and present data that they collected during the previous year. The data is a culmination of 2 years of research and planning that led students to develop and address a scientific question of 34 their own design. When analyzing their data, students will be required to perform statistical analysis to appropriately portray trends and conclusions. The students will then thoroughly analyze their data in order to construct a written conclusion that connects their work back to their research question and other published data. The reports created by each year 3 student will be submitted to at least 2 scientific competitions (i.e. The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at Rutgers University, Siemens Competition, Mercer County Science Fair). Students will also be required to present their findings at the Princeton High School Research Symposium that was held for the first time in May 2016.