Science Course Descriptions


Biology - Biology is the study of living things.  This lab-based course investigates aspects of living organisms, including the following topics: cell structure and function, ecology, molecular biology, evolution, human body systems, and genetics. 

Biology Pre AP - Pre-AP Biology is a more challenging lab-based course than general Biology.  This course is similar in content to general biology, but will require more intense mastery of subject matter, and more academic demands will be placed upon the student.  This course is also designed to prepare students for Advanced Biology AP.

Advanced Biology AP - Advanced Biology is a one-year course for those students who are interested in a career in a Biological Science or who enjoy Biology and want the challenge of a rigorous honors class. Some of the topics covered include biochemistry, cells, genetics, evolution, and human biology. This course is equivalent to a first-year college Biology course, and uses a college text.  This course is designed to prepare students to take the AP Biology Exam.  This course qualifies for UC Honors credit. This course has a required summer assignment.

Human Physiology - This class studies the structure and function of the human body.  Areas of concentration include: organ systems, dissection of organisms to help understand human systems, and anatomy and structures and how they function in the human body.  This course is of special interest to those planning a career in a medical/health-related field.

Chemistry - College prep Chemistry is the study of the structure and properties of matter.  This course will focus on the following topics: lab safety & procedures, matter and its classification, moles, chemical calculations, the periodic table, chemical bonding, states of matter, solutions and solubility, molarity and concentration, acid/base relationships, atomic structure, and chemical reactions.  Students need a solid math background in graphing, conversions, and scientific notation.

Chemistry Honors - This course covers the same topics as general Chemistry, but students will be expected to take situations a step further than the typical problems.   Students must expect to work at an accelerated pace and to use math to solve problems and manage data in a variety of situations such as labs and homework.  Many labs in the course use computer interface systems. This course qualifies for UC Honors credit.

Applied Chemistry - This course covers the same core

concepts as Chemistry, but with a focus on the everyday materials, events, and issues in the student's world.  Units include matter, compounds, reactions, atoms and nuclear interactions, bonding, and solutions.  While this course does not put as much emphasis on math applications as Chemistry, students will be expected to use simple algebraic equations to solve problems.

Physics - Physics is the study of energy.  Topics include mechanics (the study of motion), heat, waves, sound, light, optics, electricity, magnetism, and nuclear physics.  This course emphasizes the application of physics principles to real-world examples, through problem solving, team projects, and experiments.  Physics is an important preparation for students who are interested in science, math, and technology careers. 

Conceptual Physics - Physics is about the nature of basic things such as motion, forces, energy, matter, heat, sound, light, and the composition of atoms.  This course focuses on a conceptual study of physics, emphasizing the application of physics concepts and principles to students’ lives.  It challenges students to think critically and scientifically.  It provides fundamental science concepts and skills needed for future careers. 

Advanced Physics AP - Advanced Physics focuses on one area of Physics, Mechanics, and studies it in great depth and detail.  This study requires students to use high-level problem-solving and critical thinking skills and advanced math concepts including calculus.  This honors course uses an introductory college physics textbook, and prepares students to take the Advanced Placement Physics C exam.  This course qualifies for UC Honors credit.

Earth Science - Earth science is the study of the earth, its systems, and its place in the universe.  This lab-based course includes topics in geology, astronomy, oceanography, plate tectonics, meteorology, and earth resources.

ELL Science Courses: For students who are English Language Learners, we offer ELL and SDAIE courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Conceptual Physics. These courses are equivalent to Biology, Chemistry, and Conceptual Physics, but use learning strategies focused on the special needs of ELL students.           

Agricultural Science Courses: For students with career interests in Agriculture, special science courses have been developed that integrate agricultural themes and FFA activities, including Ag Biology, Ag Earth Science, Ag Physics, and Natural Resources.

Space & Engineering Academy Science Courses:  For students in the Space & Engineering Academy, special science courses have been developed that integrate space & engineering themes, including Principles of Engineering I, Engineering II, and Engineering III.