Science Course Descriptions 2017-05-30T23:54:27+00:00

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Science: Course Descriptions

High School Science Courses

(2 semesters: 1 credit)
All high school science courses contain significant lab experiences and skills. Biology and Physics courses alternate yearly for Grades 9 and 10. Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology courses alternate yearly for Grades 11 and 12. The skills addressed at each level are in accordance with the MA Curriculum Frameworks and also correspond to the Common Core Curriculum.

Biology      Grades 9/10
Students investigate key topics in the chemistry of life, cell biology (structure and functions), cells and energy, and heredity and genetics. They also focus on MCAS preparation and critical thinking skills. In addition, an emphasis upon language skills is the foundation for content exploration, and students work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.

Physics      Grades 9/10
In this introductory physics course, topics in the areas of motion and forces, conservation of energy and momentum, heat and heat transfer, waves, electromagnetism, and electromagnetic radiation. Mathematics skills are utilized throughout this course. Students make observations, raise questions, formulate hypotheses, design and conduct scientific investigations, and analyze, interpret, and report upon the results of those investigations. They also focus on MCAS preparation and critical thinking skills. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.

Anatomy & Physiology      Grades 11/12
The focus of this course is on the structures and functions of organs and the relationships within the body systems of an organism. Students engage in studies on the digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, muscular/skeletal system, sexual reproductive system, communication among cells, and the interaction between systems to maintain homeostasis. An emphasis upon language skills is the foundation for content exploration, and students work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.

Chemistry      Grades 11/12
Topics covered in this course include properties and states of matter, solids, liquids, and gases, Kinetic Molecular Theory, atomic structure and nuclear chemistry, the Periodic Table of Elements, chemical bonding, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, thermochemistry, solutions, rates of reaction, and equilibrium, acids and bases and oxidation-reduction reactions. Students will make observations, generate questions, form hypotheses, and investigate the credibility and validity of scientific claims. Students will also explore careers that require training in chemistry and investigate the Love Canal Tragedy and the environmental waste case in Woburn, MA, that became the basis for A Civil Action. An emphasis upon language skills will be the foundation for content exploration, and students work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.

Grades 4 – 8: General Science

The General Science curriculum includes semesters of revolving content: Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.

Earth and Space Science      Grades 4 – 8
Students will explore Earth’s structure and history, investigate causes and effects of heat transfer, and learn about the earth’s atmosphere. They will investigate various maps of the earth and be able to describe the earth’s layers, the role of tectonic plates, causes for earth’s seasons, and the causes and effects of earth’s natural processes (rock formation, sedimentary deposits, weathering, erosion) upon its surface. They will study weather phenomena and the water cycle. Students will generate questions, make predictions, seek out solutions, record the procedures used, evaluate their conclusions, and develop reports on their investigations. Students will also focus on the role of gravity upon the solar system, describe lunar and solar eclipses, compare and contrast planets, and explore the Milky Way. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.

Environmental Science      Grades 4 – 8
In this course, students focus on evolution and biodiversity, biomes and interactions between living things and their environment, food webs, food chains, natural resources, and changes in ecosystems over time. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.

Life Science      Grades 4 – 8
Students will investigate the classification of organisms, structure and function of cells, systems in living things, reproduction and heredity, and energy and living things. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.

Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics)      Grades 4 – 8
Key topics in this general science course include properties of matter; elements, compounds, and mixtures; motion of objects, forms of energy, and heat energy; and simple machines. With an emphasis upon language skills as the foundation for content exploration, students will work on developing notetaking, writing, lab, research, vocabulary, classroom discussion and organization, and independent work skills.