Science

Biology

Grade 9; 1 Credit - Two Semesters; Honors Section Available

            This core course begins the science cycle of courses.  The scope of the course includes the development of an understanding and appreciation for the living world around us.  Course methodology includes lecture, laboratory work, film presentations, field trips and group discussion of current biological issues.  Topics include the principles and processes of life, genetics, evolution, microbiology, botany, and the development of the animal kingdom.

            The honors section of this course approaches the living condition using the fundamental principles of Physics and Chemistry.  The course emphasizes energy storage and flow, basics of bioorganic chemistry, including coding and flow, and control mechanisms as applied to living systems at all levels, from cell to ecosystem.  A survey of the major groups of organisms is included, as are treatments of population biology, ecology, and other current topics.  Enrollment for the honors section is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in math and science, both in their elementary school courses and on the entrance exam, who will be concurrently taking a math honors course, have departmental approval, and have approval of the Placement Committee.

 

Chemistry

Grade 10; 1 Credit - Two Semesters; Honors Section Available

            This core course is designed to help students understand how chemical principles and concepts are developed from experimental observations and data and how these principles can be used to explain phenomena in daily life as well as in the laboratory.  Special attention is given to problems faced today and to attitudes, procedures and skills that will help students analyze carefully and respond wisely to issues that will confront them as citizens in our technological world.

            The honors section of this course focuses more on the nature of matter.  Topics covered include matter and energy, measurement, atomic theory from a historical approach, the Periodic Table and Periodic Law, bonding, stoichiometry, special properties of solids, liquids, and gases, kinetics and equilibrium, acids, bases, and hydrolysis.  If time allots, the special chemistry of carbon and nuclear chemistry will be covered.  Enrollment for the honors section is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in Biology and Algebra as freshmen, have departmental approval, and have approval of the Placement Committee.

 

Physics

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters; Honors Section Available

            This is a core course that introduces students to traditional topics in Physics.  Physics enables students to solve simple word problems and to gain an appreciation for the simplicity, order and beauty of God's physical creation as revealed in natural laws.  The course's activities include lectures, demonstrations, in-class problem solving, and student lab work.

            The honors section studies a similar text but covers more topics in greater depth in the same time frame.  Students should have at least concurrent registration in Math Analysis.  Enrollment is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in all previous science and mathematics courses, have departmental approval, and have approval of the Placement Committee.

 

AP Physics

Grade 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            This course is a college-level course that focuses on the study of Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and analysis, and on preparation for the Advanced Placement Physics C Exam of the College Board.  AP Physics C is a very mathematics-intensive course.  This class will meet two additional class periods in the cycle.  Enrollment is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in previous science and mathematics courses, who will be concurrently taking or who have already taken AP Calculus, have departmental approval, and have approval of the Placement Committee.

 

AP Chemistry

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            This college-level course uses the College Board Curriculum to cover a full first-year college course.  Students take a three-hour College Board AP Chemistry exam in May and can receive up to 8 college credits for this endeavor.  The course includes extensive individualized laboratory work.  This class will meet two additional class periods in the cycle.  Enrollment in the Advanced Placement section is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in their previous science and math courses, have departmental approval, and have approval of the Placement Committee.

 

AP Biology

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            Organized according to the College Board Curriculum, AP Biology is the equivalent of an intense undergraduate first-year course.  Topics emphasized include biochemistry, cell biology, classical and molecular genetics, evolution, phylogeny, organism and population biology, and ecology.  This class will meet two additional class periods in the cycle.  Enrollment in the Advanced Placement section is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in all previous science courses, have departmental approval, and have the approval of the Placement Committee.

 

Electromechanical Design

Grades 10, 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            This course is a basic course in the theory, design, and application of electronic and mechanical devices.  During the first semester, students will study the behavior of resistors, capacitors, semiconductors, relays, sensors, and servo motors. The application of the Arduino C language and the microcontroller development board to create embedded control systems will be presented. The second semester will require all students to apply the theory they have learned to design, document, and build at least one major project of their choosing. This course is highly recommended for students who intend to pursue a career in engineering. Prerequisites: none.

 

Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            The goal of this elective course is to familiarize students with the structure and function of the major organ systems of the human body and to create an appreciation for the complexities and interrelationships among these systems, thus forming a new respect for life.  At the completion of the course, students will be able to: 1) List the ten organ systems and the major structures of each; 2) Discuss the functioning and interplay between these various organ systems, as well as possible malfunctioning; 3) Exhibit good dissection techniques in the laboratory; and 4) Demonstrate through labs their ability to apply factual knowledge to structural manifestations.

 

Forensic Science

Grades 10, 11, 12; 1/2 Credit - Spring Semester

            The Forensic Science Course will facilitate student understanding and appreciation for the true nature of forensic science problem-solving techniques. The course material will integrate science, math, and writing skills as well as a working knowledge of the criminal justice system by using real-life applications and case studies.  Scenarios taken from the headlines and popular media sources will serve to introduce students to the historical development of current technologies.

            Topics such as crime scene investigation and evidence collection will promote critical and logical thinking skills as students learn the scientific methods of topics including fingerprint and blood analysis, determination of death, and entomological and anthropological data.

 

Introduction to Astronomy

Grades 11, 12; 1/2 Credit - Either Semester

                    This elective is an introductory course in astronomy and astrophysics. The class covers most aspects of astronomy, including the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology. 

 

Introduction to Ecology

Grades 11, 12; 1/2 Credit - Fall Semester

            This course will be laboratory and activity oriented, using the grounds of Holy Ghost Prep as a field of study. Topics will include:  Issues in Environmental Science, Biogeochemical cycles, Ecosystems, Biological Diversity, Populations, Restoration Ecology, the atmosphere and climate and pollution. Successful completion of Biology and Chemistry is required.

 

Introduction to Genetics

Grades 11, 12; 1/2 Credit - Fall Semester

            This course will be laboratory and activity oriented. Topics will include: Structure of  DNA and RNA, chromosomal structure, how traits are passed on, probability laws, solving genetics problems, influence of environment on genes, comparative genetics, genetic engineering, uses of genetic technology. Emphasis will be on human genetics, but study techniques will be with other organisms. Major Laboratory Assignments will include:  Drosophila Technique and Mating, Human Karyotypes, DNA Extraction, Transformation of Bacteria, Gel Electrophoresis, Restriction Enzymes, Making Cheese, Plant Cancer. Biology and Chemistry are pre-requisites.

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