Science

Summary

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 Living Environment – Biology Honors / 9 / 1.0 / 1.05 / Regents / Must be selected for class

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

Science Course Descriptions

The Living Environment – Biology

Grade 9

1 credit

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, and evolution. 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

Grade 10

1 credit

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

1 credit

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, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases, redox and electrochemistry and organic chemistry. This course requires a serious commitment and much work. 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

1 credit

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

Grade 11-12

Prerequisites: Successful completion of HighSchool Chemistry or High School Physics

4 credits – including lab

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

Grade 11-12

Prerequisites: Successful completion of High School Chemistry or High School Physics, and General Biology I

4 credits – including lab

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

Grade 11-12

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Regents Chemistry, with a suggested Regents score of 85 or higher

4 credits

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

Grade 11-12

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SUPA Chemistry I

4 credits

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

Grade 11-12

4 credits

Forensics will explore the science behind criminal investigation; it is the application of science to law. We will investigate actual case histories and, with an increasing background in the subject area, come up with clues and answer questions presented by scientists and law enforcement agencies. Topics covered will include forensics chemistry, biology, earth science, physics, pathology, odontology, entomology, and anthropology to name a few. We will be following cases and articles from news sources on a daily basis as well as individual projects each marking period. 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.

Environmental Science

Grades 11–12

1 credit

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.

Oceanography

Grades 11–12

1/2 credit Oceanography I

1/2 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.