Science

  Honors Biology / Biology will provide an introduction to a broad range of topics in life science as well as offering a deeper understanding of fundamental biological topics. This course will also offer lab experience to enhance learning and develop practical science skills. Students will explore scientific experimentation with an inquiry approach. They will have the opportunity to connect scientific topics to other disciplines and courses. Students will be challenged to critically analyze scientific topics, theories, practices, and research. They will extend their learning by creating experiments, models, and research of their own. They will be participating in independent research projects that will be presented as part of the APIS Science Fair.

  Honors Physics / Physics is a branch of science that involves the study of the physical world: energy, matter, and how they are related. Physicists investigate the motions of electrons and rockets, the energy in sound waves and electric currents, the structures of the proton and of the universe. Students will relate concepts learned in class to technology, society, and the world around us; develop the skills, strategies, and habits of mind required for scientific inquiry; gain hands-on experience in the laboratory, and be able to make relevant observations, collect data, form conclusions, verify hypotheses, and communicate results effectively; and be critical and independent thinkers who are able to function effectively in a scientific and technological society.

  Honors Environmental Science / Environmental Science will cover a variety of themes involved in environmental science. It is important to understand the connections between the nature of the biosphere, energy consumption, water use, change over time, and how humans influence natural processes in both positive and negative ways. A good portion of this course will be directed by student interests, but keep in mind that there are some basic understandings that students need to gain even if it is not their area of greatest interest.

  Honors Chemistry / Chemistry is a course where students explore what the world is made of and learn how and why materials change during chemical reactions. Some of the questions students will investigate during this course include:

  • How can we explain the structure, properties, and interactions of matter?
  • How do substances combine or change (react) to make new substances?
  • How does one characterize and explain these reactions and make predictions about them?
  • How is energy transferred and conserved?

Throughout the year, students will also focus on several scientific practices, including (1) developing and using models, (2) planning and conducting investigations, (3) analyzing and interpreting data, (4) using mathematical and computational thinking, and (5) constructing explanations; and to use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core scientific ideas. The models of instruction that will be used during this course are intended to promote enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. These models include both “flipped” and inquiry-based learning of essential concepts and the development of reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices. Specific strategies for teaching this course include laboratory investigations, individual readings, graphic organizers, lecture, note-taking and summarizing, model construction, computer simulations, group and partner discussions, and both individual and group research projects. Students will also design and conduct an original investigation for the APIS Science Fair.

  STEAM is a fusion of engineering, architecture, physics, and a working artistic vocabulary. This course introduces students to the tools students will need to advance in college/university/careers. Guest speakers include practicing mechanical engineers, MIT graduates, and graphic designers. Students will participate in critiques, develop marketing proposals, and gain public speaking skills (the ability to ARTiculate).

  AP Physics is designed to be taught over the course of a full academic year and may be taken as a first-year physics course with no prior physics course work necessary. Students should have completed Geometry and be concurrently taking Algebra II or an equivalent course. Previous knowledge of trigonometric functions is beneficial, but can be gained in the course itself. Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies. Some of the questions we will try to answer during this course include:

  • How can we explain and predict interactions between objects and within systems of objects?
  • How can we predict an object’s continued motion, changes in motion, or stability?
  • What underlying forces explain the variety of interactions we observe?
  • Why are some physical systems more stable than others?
  • What is energy and how is energy transferred and conserved?
  • How are forces related to energy?
  • What are waves and how can they be used to transfer energy and information?

Some of the processes used to investigate these questions, include laboratory investigations, individual readings, graphic organizers, lecture, note-taking and summarizing, model construction, computer simulations, group and partner discussions, and both individual and group research projects.

The models of instruction that will be used during this course are intended to (1) assist students in making connections across domains through employing a broad way of thinking about the physical world and (2) promote enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. These models include both “flipped” and inquiry-based learning of essential concepts and the development of reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices.

  AP Chemistry is a year-long course designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course typically taken during the first college year. As such, it’s recommended that this course is taken only after the successful completion of a first course in high school chemistry and successful completion of a second-year algebra course.

The models of instruction that will be used during this course are intended to promote enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. These models include both “flipped” and inquiry-based learning of essential concepts and the development of reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices. Specific strategies for teaching this course include laboratory investigations, individual readings, graphic organizers, lecture, note-taking and summarizing, model construction, computer simulations, group and partner discussions, and both individual and group research projects.

  AP Biology is a year-long course designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course usually taken by science majors during their first year of college. This course enables students to deepen their understanding of biology through various topics of study. A minimum of 25% of the hours of course time will be spent doing hands-on laboratory work. This is both a difficult yet enjoyable course with primary emphasis on developing an understanding of concepts rather than on memorizing terms and technical details. Students will gain a solid first-year college biology experience, both conceptually and in the laboratory. The labs serve to supplement and enhance students’ understanding through hands-on experience.