Science

Meet the Department
Lou Morton – Department Head
Debbie Crosby
Mick O’Meara
John Svitak


CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS (P) a Laboratory Science Course

Year (9); Prerequisites: None other than concurrent enrollment in Algebra I or above.
One year – Required
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (d)

Conceptual Physics is a one-year freshman course designed to ignite interest in the physical sciences. Course materials are presented in an engaging narrative, with frequent use of visuals, discussion of applications, and a wide range of questions and exercises. The key concepts are reinforced and explored through hands-on laboratory work. The labs will follow the scientific method of observing, forming hypotheses, collection of data, analysis of data, and drawing of conclusions. Basic algebra, statistics, and graphing skills will be a frequent component in the analysis of data. The topics covered will contain a survey of: motion and energy, the atomic nature of matter, thermodynamics, wave phenomena, and electricity and magnetism.

BIOLOGY (P) a Laboratory Science Course
Year (10, 11); Prerequisite: Conceptual Physics
One year – Required
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (d)

Biology is a college preparatory lab course featuring an overview of life science. It includes the fundamentals of scientific theory, basic biochemistry, cell structure and function, cellular respiration and photosynthesis, genetics, protein synthesis, evolution, ecology and a survey of the six kingdoms. Contemporary topics such as AIDS and the effects of alcohol and drugs are covered.

CHEMISTRY (P) a Laboratory Science Course
Year (11, 12); Prerequisite: Conceptual Physics and enrollment in Algebra II. Minimum grade of C+ in Biology and C+ in Geometry.
One year – Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (d)

Chemistry is a college preparatory course for juniors and seniors. Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties and the changes it undergoes. This introduction to chemical concepts includes formula naming, atomic structure, gas laws, solutions, equilibria, redox, acid-based interactions and stoichiometry. The laboratory emphasizes scientific method and measurement, experimentation with data collection and application of chemical principles to everyday life.

HONORS CHEMISTRY (P) a Laboratory Science Course
Year (11, 12); Prerequisite: Enrollment in Honors Algebra II, Minimum grade of B+ in Geometry and B+ in Biology.
One year – Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (d)

Honors Chemistry is a laboratory science offered to students in their junior or senior year. Students in this course attain a greater depth of understanding of chemistry fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course includes the study of atomic structure, nomenclature, chemical reactions and equations, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, chemical bonding and molecular structures. Additional topics include the study of gases, liquids and solids, properties of solution, chemical kinetics and equilibrium, acid-base theory, thermodynamics, oxidation and reduction, and electrochemistry. It is an important foundation course for science majors.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY (P) a Laboratory Science Course
Year (11, 12); Prerequisite: Minimum grade of A- in Biology and concurrent enrollment in Honors Chemistry, or Instructor Approval.
One year – Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (d)

Advanced Placement Biology is a college-level biology course. Students will cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes — energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. Students will develop science practice skills such as using models, scientific questioning, and data analysis. Heavy emphasis is placed on laboratory activities. Students enrolled in this course should take the Advanced Placement Exam and try to receive college credit for this course. NOTE: Students enrolled in this course should take the Advanced Placement Exam and try to receive college credit for this course.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY (P) a Laboratory Science Course
Year (11, 12); Prerequisite: B+ or better in Honors Chemistry and Instructor Approval
One year – Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (d)

Advanced Placement Chemistry is an accelerated lab course designed to prepare the student for successful completion of the Advanced Placement Exam in Chemistry. It will provide a review of Honors Chemistry, as well as an in-depth study of chemical equilibria, kinetics, acid-base reactions, electrochemistry, entropy and the basics of organic and nuclear chemistry. Students enrolled in this course should take the Advanced Placement Exam and try to receive college credit for this course. NOTE: Students enrolled in this course should take the Advanced Placement Exam and try to receive college credit for this course.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, (P)
Year (11, 12); Prerequisite: Algebra I
One year – Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (g)

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study that provides students with the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand human impact on the world. The student will gain a historical perspective to appreciate economic and political realities, learn to recognize the role played by different social experiences and ethical backgrounds, and finally, integrate these concepts with the science that describes the natural world and how humans affect it. The major units of the course are 1) environmental interrelationships, 2) ecological principles and their application, 3) energy, 4) human influences on ecosystems, and 5) pollution and policy. Wherever possible, the course will focus on examples in California that more closely relate to the students’ own experiences. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking skills and laboratory exercises.

PHYSICS (P) a Laboratory Science Course
Year (11, 12); Prerequisite: Minimum grade of B in Algebra II or B- in Honors Algebra II. Completion of Chemistry or Honors Chemistry with a grade of C- or above.
One year – Elective
Meets UC and CSU a-g criteria (d)

Physics is a college preparatory laboratory course. The course of study is a comprehensive survey of physical science topics that includes, but is not limited to, vectors, mechanics, waves, light, sound, electricity and magnetism. Both concepts and application of math skills are integrated with hands-on labs for understanding these topics.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS 1 (P) a Laboratory Science Course
Year (11, 12); Prerequisite: Minimum grade of B in Honors Chemistry or A- in Chemistry and concurrent enrollment in Honors Precalculus or Calculus, or Instructor Approval.
One year – Elective
Pending UC and CSU a-g criteria approval (d)

Advanced Placement Physics 1 is a college level Algebra/Trigonometry based course following a college text. This course examines Newtonian mechanics, including rotational dynamics and angular momentum, work, energy, power, mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. The emphasis of the course is applying knowledge and skills to the practice of scientific inquiry and reasoning. Hands-on, open-ended laboratories are a major component of this course. NOTE: Students enrolled in this course should take the Advanced Placement Exam and try to receive college credit for this course.