St. Mary's Dominican High School

Science

Science 8
Science 8 is an integrated science course that covers topics within each of the following branches of science: Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The course begins with earth science topics including weather and astronomy and is followed by biology topics which focus on the systems of the human body. The second semester of the course serves as preparation for Physical Science. Chemistry topics covered include the atom, chemical bonds, and chemical reactions, and physics topics covered include motion, forces, and fluids.

Physical Science
Physical Science is a survey of the basic introductory concepts of chemistry and physics. Some general chemistry topics include: use of basic laboratory tools, techniques, measurements and units, matter and its structure and changes, the periodic table and its properties, and chemical reactions and equations. Some general physics topics include: speed and velocity, forces, Newton’s Laws of motion, work, power, energy, electricity, waves, sound and light, heat and temperature, and dimensional analysis problem solving. This course is designed to prepare students for chemistry and physics.

Physical Science Honors
Physical Science Honors is designed to cover the material as described in regular Physical Science at a faster rate, to greater depth, and includes more challenging mathematical formula application word problems. There is also a required individual and/or group project assigned each semester.

Biology I
Biology I course is a survey of the fundamentals of Biology. It explores characteristics of living things from basic molecules to the ecological community, emphasizing general biological principles. It introduces students to the diversity of living organisms (from simplest to most complex), their structure, and function. Dissection is used to illustrate comparison between invertebrate and vertebrate organisms.

Biology I Honors
Biology I Honors is designed to cover the material as described in regular Biology at a faster rate, to greater depth, and includes more challenging activities and labs. Greater emphasis is placed on application and synthesis of material.

Chemistry I
Chemistry I is designed to provide students with a foundation in the basic principles of chemistry including the structure, properties and reactions of matter. It also includes the development of critical thinking skills, especially in the area of problem solving, and exposure of the student to laboratory experiments and procedures. The areas of study include applications of the scientific method and use of the metric system, creating and interpreting graphs, classification and structure of matter, physical and chemical properties, the atom, the periodic table, chemical bonding, formula writing, balancing equations, quantitative relationships between reactants and products, gases, solutions and energy concepts.

Chemistry I Honors
Chemistry I Honors is the study of matter: its composition, structure, properties, and the changes it undergoes. The course will continue to develop the student’s critical thinking and abstract reasoning skills, especially in relationship to problem solving. Topics covered in this inorganic chemistry course include: classification of matter, nomenclature, chemical equations/reactions, stoichiometry, atomic structure, electron arrangement, periodicity of the elements, bonding, solutions, acids and bases, energy and changes of state, and gas laws. Selected labs will be done throughout the year. The honors course is a more rigorous approach to the study of Chemistry. The topics are covered in a different sequence, usually at a faster rate, to a greater depth, and include the more difficult problems. A strong foundation in mathematics is essential.

Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and Physiology is an in depth study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. All body systems will be studied and knowledge will be applied through intense mammalian dissection. This course involves the application of these principles to the fields of public health, nutrition and medicine. Students are prepared for a basic college Anatomy and Physiology course. Lab activities and demonstrations are included. Students electing to take this course are required to participate in dissections.

Anatomy and Physiology Honors
Anatomy and Physiology Honors is an in depth study of the human body and how it works. All body systems will be studied and knowledge will be applied through detailed mammalian dissection. The course involves the application of these principles to the fields of public health, nutrition, and medicine. The course is meant to prepare a student for a basic college Anatomy and Physiology course. Students electing to take this course are required to participate in dissections and all lab activities. Activities include sheep brain dissection, 3-D image of a bone, an organ system project, an osmosis demonstration and a blood typing lab. Honors classes are taught at a faster rate, to a greater depth, and include more challenging material than the regular level course.

Biology-II
Biology II is designed for students interested in continuing their studies of general biology. Emphasis is placed on the interrelatedness of biological topics, laboratory work, experimentation, and discussion. Topics include taxonomic survey, environmental biology, ecology, biotechnology, microbiology, animal behavior and forensic science.

Biology II Honors
Biology II Honors is designed for students interested in continuing their studies in general biology on a more advanced level. Topics will include detailed studies in the following: characteristics of life, scientific method, macromolecules in living systems, plasma membrane structure and function, energy metabolism, heredity, molecular genetics, biotechnology, selected topics in evolution and its history, taxonomy, survey of the kingdoms, forensic science and ecology. Laboratory work including dissection are required.

Chemistry II AP
The AP Chemistry course is equivalent to a general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. The course stresses the importance of theoretical aspects of chemistry with an emphasis on chemical calculations and the mathematical formulation of principles. Topics such as the structure and states of matter, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics and equilibria are covered in considerable depth. Lab work will also be an integral part of the course. Since problem-solving is a major component of the course, a strong foundation in mathematics is essential, as well as the ability to apply concepts and think critically. Extensive individual study time is required. It is recommended that Chemistry I Honors and Chemistry II AP should be taken in consecutive years. Students in this course are required to take the Advanced Placement examination in May.

Earth Science
Earth Science is a survey of the four main areas of Earth Science: Geology, Oceanography, Astronomy, and Meteorology. Practical, real-life applications of concepts and skill are emphasized. Correlation with other science disciplines is made throughout the course.

Physics
Physics is a survey course which investigates the topics of mechanics, heat, waves, sound, light, electricity and nuclear energy. This course is designed for college-prep students who need an adequate background in this subject in order to advance in a college level program. Problem solving is a major component of this course. Therefore, a good understanding of Algebra, Geometry and the solving of word problems is required. Concepts and theories will be applied rather than memorized. Students will be asked to think logically in all aspects of Physics.

Physics Honors
Physics Honors is a more rigorous approach to the study of Physics using a more advanced textbook. The topics are covered at a faster rate, to a greater depth, and include more difficult problems. A strong foundation in mathematics is essential. Students requesting Physics Honors must also enroll in Calculus (H/AP).

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