Students are required to complete three credits of study, four credits are highly recommended for college admission.
The Science Department program provides a complete basic science core of study, including both the life and physical sciences for all students. The courses provide every student with the science background needed to understand and live in a modern and technological society. Advanced science courses provide students with the opportunity to satisfy college entrance requirements and individual pupil interests.
Summary of courses offered appears below, with specific course descriptions in the pages that follow.
Course / Grade / Credit / Weight / Classification / Special Note
The Living Environment – Biology / 9 / 1.0 / 1.0 / Regents / Regents examination
The Physical Setting – Earth Science / 10 / 1.0 / 1.0 / Regents / Regents examination
The Physical Setting – Chemistry / 10-12 / 1.0 / 1.05 / Regents / Regents examination
The Physical Setting – Physics / 11-12 / 1.0 / 1.05 / Regents / Regents examination
General Biology I & II / 11-12 / 4.0 / 1.1 / CCHS / CCHS, prerequisites
SUPA Chemistry I &II / 11-12 / 4.0 / 1.1 / SUPA / SUPA, prerequisites
SUPA Forensics / 11-12 / 4.0 / 1.1 / SUPA / SUPA, prerequisites
Environmental Science / 11-12 / 1.0 / 1.0 / Elective
Oceanography / 11-12 / 1.0 / 1.0 / Elective
For more information about the Community College in the High School program, click here. CCHS classes require tuition, books and fees paid by student.
Science Course Descriptions
The Living Environment – Biology
This course emphasizes the major concepts of biology. The subject matter is selected and organized to develop the conceptual approach to modern biology. Class and laboratory exercises are used to develop and understanding of the following topics: biochemistry, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, cellular and representative organism structure and function, reproduction, genetics, evolution and ecology. 1200 minutes of lab including a number of specific topics mandated by the state are required for admittance to the Living Environment Regents examination.
The Physical Setting – Earth Science
Regents Earth Science includes astronomy (study of space), meteorology (study of the atmosphere) and geology (study of the earth). Class and laboratory topics include maps, mapping, planets, celestial motions, heat, weather, rocks and minerals, erosion and plate tectonics. Emphasis is placed on the ability to interpret graphs and use given information to create original answers. A minimum of 1200 minutes of lab are required for admission to the Regents examination. In addition, a laboratory practical component is part of the final Regents examination.
The Physical Setting – Chemistry
Grades 10 – 12
Regents Chemistry is offered to students in grades 10 through 12 and provides an introduction to the theories and principles of Chemistry. Topics covered include atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical bonding, behavior of gases, mathematics of chemical equations, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases, electrochemistry and organic chemistry. This course requires a strong grasp of how to manipulate algebraic expressions. The material is approached from a theoretical perspective rather than the study of individual elements. A minimum of 1200 minutes of lab are required for admission to the Regents examination.
The Physical Setting – Physics
Grades 11 – 12
Regents Physics consists of 4 major topics: mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism. Problem solving involving algebra, basic trigonometry, abstract thinking and the application of concepts to everyday physical events are a major focus of the course. Laboratory investigations will be conducted and reported on the topics discussed in class. A minimum of 1200 minutes of lab is required for admittance to the Regents examination.
General Biology I
4 credits – including lab
- Successful completion of High School Chemistry or High School Physics
Topics include a study of the nature and scope of science in general and biological science in particular: the chemical and physical basis of life; the structures and functions of the cell with an emphasis on photosynthesis, respiration, functions of DNA, and the processes of mitosis and meiosis. The course concludes with the genetic and evolutionary consequences of meiosis and reproduction.
General Biology II
4 credits – including lab
- Successful completion of High School Chemistry or High School Physics, and General Biology I
This course studies the plant and animal organism with an emphasis on the vertebrate animal and the flowering plant. Comparative systems are studied. The relationships between organisms and the environment are also covered.
SUPA Chemistry I
- Successful completion of Regents Chemistry, with a suggested Regents score of 85 or higher
Chemistry 106 is a general chemistry course intended for students with an interest or background in science. Chemistry 106, General Chemistry I, presents lectures, demonstrations and recitations focused upon understanding the nature of elements and compounds, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, the electronic structure of atoms, periodic properties, the nature of chemical bonds, molecular geometry, bonding theories, and the properties of gases. A general, basic understanding of math and algebra, including an understanding of decimals, exponents, logarithms, quadratics, and algebraic equations, is essential to success in this course (calculus is not required). You should not be taking remedial algebra concurrently with this course.
SUPA Chemistry II
- Successful completion of SUPA Chemistry I
This course builds upon on the fundamental chemical principles learned in the first semester course (CHE 106) and introduces chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, intermolecular forces, detailed chemical equilibria, modern materials, and introductory organic chemistry. A general, basic understanding of math and algebra, including an understanding of decimals, exponents, logarithms, quadratics, and algebraic equations, is essential to success in this course (calculus is not required). You should not be taking remedial algebra concurrently with this course.
SUPA Forensics: CHE 113
- Successful completion of Regents Chemistry
Forensics is focused upon the application of scientific methods and techniques to crime and law. Recent advances in scientific methods and principles have had an enormous impact upon science, law enforcement and the entire criminal justice system. In this course, scientific methods specifically relevant to crime detection and analysis will be presented. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the science underlying the techniques used in evaluating physical evidence. Topics included are blood analysis, organic and inorganic evidence analysis, fingerprints, hair analysis, DNA, drug chemistry, forensic medicine, forensic anthropology, toxicology, fiber comparisons, soil comparisons and fire and engineering investigations, among others. This is a college level course. Minimum averages, as stated by SSSI policy for honors and advanced courses, will be required to remain in the class.
Grades 11 – 12
This course is a science elective course for juniors and seniors. The first semester of this course of study is composed of an overview of topics related to ecology and human interaction with the environment. Class, lab, and fieldwork dealing with current environmental issues such as pollution, resource utilization, and ecology will be a mandatory requirement of the course. A term paper and final exam are requirements for the receipt of credit.
The second semester will focus on Forensic Science, the study of physical evidence left at the scene of a crime. Students will be involved in the collection of physical evidence from simulated crime scenes. Students will use standard scientific procedures and current techniques to analyze collected evidence. Emphasis is on the application of basic principles of biology, chemistry and physics to the study of forensics.
Grades 11 – 12
½ credit Oceanography I
½ credit Oceanography II
Oceanography will cover the basic physical, geological, chemical, and biological aspects of the ocean. The major topics covered include: geomorphology of the ocean floor, marine sediments, oceanographic instrumentation, chemistry of sea water, the heat balance in the ocean, sea level changes, surface currents, deep water circulation, tides, beach and costal process, life in the sea, food cycles, deep scattering layers, and marine plants and animals.
Students will learn to appreciate the role of the ocean in human history; trace the development of oceanography, describe the scientific basis for the origin of the Earth’s oceans, explain the features of the sea floor using the Plate Tectonics theory; explain the physical and chemical properties of sea water and its implications, explain how the interaction between the atmosphere and ocean affects climate and weather, explain the cause of ocean currents, waves and tides and appreciate the role of technology in enhancing knowledge about the ocean.
The study of physical evidence left at the scene of a crime. Students will be involved in the collection of physical evidence from simulated crime scenes. Students will use standard scientific procedures and current techniques to analyze collected evidence. Emphasis is on the application of basic principles of biology, chemistry and physics to the study of forensics.