Physical Science

Prerequisite: None

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Physical Science offers a focused curriculum designed around the understanding of critical physical science concepts, including the nature and structure of matter, the characteristics of energy, and the mastery of critical scientific skills. Topics include an introduction to kinematics, including gravity and two-dimensional motion; force; momentum; waves; electricity; atoms; the periodic table of elements; molecular bonding; chemical reactivity; gases; and an introduction to nuclear energy.

 

Biology

Prerequisite: None

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Biology focuses on the mastery of basic biological concepts and models while building scientific inquiry skills and exploring the connections between living things and their environment. The course begins with an introduction to the nature of science and biology, including the major themes of structure and function, matter and energy flow, systems, and the interconnectedness of life. Students then apply those themes to the structure and function of the cell, cellular metabolism, and biogeochemical cycles. Building on this foundation, students explore the connections and interactions between living things by studying genetics, ecosystems, natural selection, and evolution. The course ends with an applied look at human biology. Scientific inquiry skills a e embedded in the direct instruction, wherein students learn to ask scientific questions, form and test hypotheses, and use logic and evidence to draw conclusions about the concepts. Lab activities reinforce critical thinking, writing, and communication skills and help develop a deeper understanding of the nature of science.

 

Chemistry

Prerequisites: A physical science course and one year of Algebra

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Chemistry offers a curriculum that emphasizes students’ understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts while helping them acquire tools to be conversant in a society highly influenced by science and technology. The course provides students with opportunities to learn and practice critical scientific skills within the context of relevant scientific questions. Topics include the nature of science, the importance of chemistry to society, atomic structure, bonding in matter, chemical reactions, redox reactions, electrochemistry, phases of matter, equilibrium and kinetics, acids and bases, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, nuclear reactions, organic chemistry, and alternative energy Scientific inquiry skills a e embedded in the direct instruction, wherein students learn to ask scientific questions, form and test hypotheses, and use logic and evidence to draw conclusions about the concepts. Lab activities reinforce critical thinking, writing, and communication skills and help students develop a deeper understanding of the nature of science. Throughout this course, students are given an opportunity to understand how chemistry concepts are applied in technology and engineering. Journal and Practice activities provide additional opportunities for students to apply concepts learned in the Studies and practice their writing skills.

 

Physics

Prerequisite: Middle school/junior Virtual school Physics, and one year of Algebra (two years recommended

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Physics offers a curriculum that emphasizes students’ understanding of fundamental physics concepts while helping them acquire tools to be conversant in a society Virtually influenced by science and technology. The course provides students with opportunities to learn and practice critical scientific skills wit in the context of relevant scientific questions. Topics include the nature of science, math for physics, energy, kinematics, force and motion, momentum, gravitation, chemistry for physics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, waves, nuclear physics, quantum physics, and cosmology. Scientific inquiry skills are embedded in the direct instruction, wherein students learn to ask scientific questions, form and test hypotheses, and use logic and evidence to draw conclusions about the concepts. Lab activities reinforce critical thinking, writing, and communication skills and help students develop a deeper understanding of the nature of science. Throughout this course, students are given an opportunity to understand how physics concepts are applied in technology and engineering. Journal and Practice activities provide additional opportunities for students to apply concepts learned in the Studies and practice their writing skills.

 

Earth Science

Prerequisite: None

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Earth Science offers a focused curriculum that explores Earth’s composition, structure, processes, and history; its atmosphere, freshwater, and oceans; and its environment in space. Course topics include an exploration of the major cycles that affect every aspect of life, including weather, climate, air movement, tectonics, volcanic eruptions, rocks, minerals, geologic history, Earth’s environment, sustainability, and energy resources.

 

Environmental Science

Prerequisites: None

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Environmental Science explores the biological, physical, and sociological principles related to the environment in which organisms live on Earth, the biosphere. Course topics include natural systems on Earth, biogeochemical cycles, the nature of matter and energy, the flow of matter and energy through living systems, populations, communities, ecosystems, ecological pyramids, renewable and non-renewable natural resources, land use, biodiversity, pollution, conservation, sustainability, and human impacts on the environment. The course provides students with opportunities to learn and practice scientific skills within the context of relevant scientific questions. Scientific inquiry skills are embedded in the direct instruction, wherein students learn to ask scientific questions, deconstruct claims, form and test hypotheses, and use logic and evidence to draw conclusions about the concepts. Case studies of current environmental challenges introduce each content lesson and acquaint students with real-life environmental issues, debates, and solutions. Lab activities reinforce critical thinking, writing, and communication skills and help students develop a deeper understanding of the nature of science. Virtual Lab activities enable students to engage in investigations that require long periods of observation at remote locations and to explore simulations that enable environmental scientists to test predictions. Throughout this course, students are given an opportunity to understand how biology, earth science, and physical science are applied to the study of the environment and how technology and engineering are contributing solutions for studying and creating a sustainable biosphere.

Psychology

Prerequisite: None

Length: One semester

Credits: 0.5

 

Psychology provides a solid overview of the field’s major domains: methods, biopsychology, cognitive and developmental psychology, and variations in individual and group behavior. By focusing on significant scientific research and on the questions that are most important to psychologists, students see psychology as an evolving science. Each topic clusters around challenge questions, such as “What is happiness?” Students answer these questions before, during, and after they interact with direct instruction. Students learn about all the domains the American Psychological Association (APA) emphasizes: methods, biopsychology, cognitive and developmental psychology, and variations in individual and group behavior

 

AP Biology

Prerequisites: Biology

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

AP* Biology builds students’ understanding of biology on both the micro and macro scales. After studying cell biology, students move on to understand how evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Students will examine how living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information and the processes used by organisms to utilize free energy. The equivalent of an introductory college-level biology course, AP Biology prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in science, health sciences, or engineering. The AP Biology course provides a learning experience focused on allowing students to develop their critical thinking skills and cognitive strategies. Frequent no- and low-stakes assessments allow students to measure their comprehension and improve performance as they progress through each activity. Students regularly engage with primary source materials, allowing them to practice the critical reading and analysis skills that they will need in order to pass the AP exam and succeed in a college biology course. Students will perform hands-on labs that give them insight into the nature of science and help them understand biological concepts, as well as how evidence can be obtained to support those concepts. Students will also complete several virtual lab studies where they form hypotheses; collect, analyze, and manipulate data; and report their findings and conclusions. During both virtual and traditional lab investigations and research opportunities, students summarize their findings and analyze others’ findings in summaries, using statistical and mathematical calculations when appropriate. Summative tests are offered at the end of each unit as well as at the end of each semester, and contain objective and constructed response items. Robust scaffolding, rigorous instruction, relevant material and regular active learning opportunities ensure that students can achieve mastery of the skills necessary to excel on the AP exam. This course has been authorized by the College Board to use the AP designation.

 

AP Psychology

Prerequisite: Biology

Length: One semester

Credits: 0.5

 

Advanced Placement Psychology provides an overview of current psychological theories and research methods. Students will explore a range of therapies used by professional counselors and clinical psychologists and examine the reasons for normal human reactions: how people learn and think, the process of human development and human aggression, altruism, intimacy, and self-reflection. They will study core psychological concepts such as the brain and sense functions, and learn to gauge human reactions, gather information, and form meaningful syntheses. Along the way, students will also investigate relevant concepts like study skills and information retention. The equivalent of a 100-level college survey course, AP Psychology prepares students for the AP exam and for further studies in psychology and life sciences.

 

AP Chemistry

Prerequisites: Chemistry and Algebra II

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

AP* Chemistry builds students’ understanding of the nature and reactivity of matter. After studying chemical reactions and electrochemistry, students move on to understand how the chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and arrangements of the molecules and the forces between those molecules. Students will examine the laws of thermodynamics, molecular collisions, and the reorganization of matter in order to understand how changes in matter take place. Finally, students will explore chemical equilibria, including acidbase equilibria. The equivalent of an introductory college-level biology course, AP Chemistry prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in science, health sciences, or engineering. The AP Chemistry course provides a learning experience focused on allowing students to develop their critical thinking skills and cognitive strategies. Frequent no- and low-stakes assessments allow students to measure their comprehension and improve performance as they progress through each activity. Students regularly engage with primary source materials, allowing them to practice the critical reading and analysis skills that they will need in order to pass the AP exam and succeed in a college chemistry course. Students will perform hands-on labs that give them insight into the nature of science and help them understand chemical concepts, as well as how evidence can be obtained to support those concepts. Students will also complete several virtual lab studies where they form hypotheses; collect, analyze, and manipulate data; and report their findings and conclusions. During both virtual and traditional lab investigations and research opportunities students summarize their findings and analyze others’ findings in summaries, using statistical and mathematical calculations when appropriate. Summative tests are offered at the end of each unit as well as at the end of each semester, and contain objective and constructed response items. Robust scaffolding, rigorous instruction, relevant material and regular active learning opportunities ensure that students can achieve mastery of the skills necessary to excel on the AP exam.

 

AP Environmental Science

Prerequisite: Two years of high school laboratory science (one year of life science and one year of physical science), and one year of algebra

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Advanced Placement PAP®* Environmental Science provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course draws upon various disciplines, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography in order to explore a variety of environmental topics. Topics explored include natural systems on Earth; biogeochemical cycles; the nature of matter and energy; the flow of matter and energy through living systems; populations; communities; ecosystems; ecological pyramids; renewable and nonrenewable resources; land use; biodiversity; pollution; conservation; sustainability; and human impacts on the environment. The equivalent of an introductory college-level science course, AP® Environmental Science prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in science, health sciences, or engineering. The AP® Environmental Science course provides a learning experience focused on allowing students to develop their critical thinking skills and cognitive strategies. Scientific inquiry skills are embedded in the direct instruction, wherein students learn to ask scientific questions, deconstruct claims, form and test hypotheses, and use logic and evidence to draw conclusions about the concepts. Frequent no- and low-stakes assessments allow students to measure their comprehension and improve their performance as they progress through each activity. Students perform hands-on labs and projects that give them insight into the nature of science and help them understand environmental concepts, as well as how evidence can be obtained to support those concepts. Virtual lab activities enable students to engage in investigations that would otherwise require long periods of observation at remote locations and to explore simulations that enable environmental scientists to test predictions. During both hands-on and virtual labs, students form hypotheses; collect, analyze, and manipulate data; and report their findings and conclusions. Throughout this course, students are given an opportunity to understand how biology, earth science, and physical science are applied to the study of the environment and how technology and engineering are contributing solutions for studying and creating a sustainable biosphere. Summative tests are offered at the end of each unit as well as at the end of each semester, and contain objective and constructed response items. Robust scaffolding, rigorous instruction, relevant material, and regular active learning opportunities ensure that students can achieve mastery of the skills necessary to excel on the AP exam.