Science Department


The Science Department creates an environment that fosters an appreciation for the nature of science and its application to the real world. Through the presentation of facts, data collection, and experiential learning opportunities, students are immersed in the scientific method, where they explore core scientific concepts through risk-taking and hands-on experiences.

Course Offerings
biology
Biology is the study of living things divided into many specialized fields and their processes which will be explored from the process and function of cells through the relationship to evolution, ecological roles, and structure and function. Throughout this course, students will be exposed to a variety of different teaching strategies that will enhance and strengthen independent observing, questioning, explaining, interpreting, analyzing and reflecting. At the conclusion of this course, students will have a better understanding of their role as global citizens, appreciate the interconnectedness of life on earth and have the necessary foundation
of science skills.
Freshman/Sophomore course
biology (HONORS)
The honors biology course covers course topics in more detail and at a higher conceptual level. In addition to the conceptual topics, a significant emphasis is placed on practical lab skills, knowledge of fundamental lab techniques, and inquiry-based lab investigations. Students are assessed through daily homework assignments, periodic summative examinations, written lab reports, and periodic projects. The vocabulary demands of this course are more significant than in the biology course. A higher level writing proficiency is recommended for students taking this course.
Freshman/Sophomore course
chemistry
Chemistry is the study of matter and its chemical and physical interactions. Students survey the fundamental topics of an introductory inorganic chemistry course: matter, nomenclature, the mole concept, balancing and identifying chemical reactions, introductory quantitative skills, atomic theory and molecular structure, gas laws, and an introduction to acids and bases. In addition to the conceptual topics, a significant emphasis is placed on practical lab skills, knowledge of fundamental lab techniques, and inquiry-based lab investigations. Students are assessed through daily homework assignments, periodic summative examinations, written lab reports, and periodic projects. Students must have successfully completed Algebra I to enroll in this course.
Sophomore/Junior course
chemistry (honors)
The honors chemistry course is a more quantitatively demanding course, and a high level of algebraic competence is expected. In addition, this course will include several more advanced topics including equilibrium, weak acids, electrochemistry, and organic nomenclature. As concepts receive even more emphasis than calculations, high level written and oral language skills are desirable. Written lab reports will be expected to analyze results and evaluate error sources thoroughly. Students must have completed Algebra I with a grade of B or better to enroll in this course.
Sophomore/Junior course
Physics
Physics students investigate topics including an introduction to physics, an in-depth look into mechanics, materials, waves, electricity, magnetism, and an introduction to modern physics and learn to appreciate the development of scientific principles and the people who developed them. Whether or not the student taking this course is planning on pursuing a career in physics, the problem-solving skills developed in this course can be used for tackling any type of problem. Assessments include homework problems, lab work and reports, participation, quizzes and tests. Students wishing to further their education in the sciences are provided a foundation to continue their study of physics and to develop an understanding of related science disciplines. Coming into the class students are expected to have taken Algebra, Algebra 2, Geometry and Trigonometry and be very comfortable applying the material they learned in these classes.

Junior-PG course

IB BIOLOGY SL

This course develops globally minded students who understand and appreciate the world’s biodiversity and interconnectedness by explaining and discussing all aspects of life. Students become independent thinkers possessing the ability to design their own experiments to test aspects of their world and knowledge to empower decision-making. Students explore how molecular and biochemical components of life are essential to proper functioning of cells, which ultimately determines success of organisms in evolution and communities. Furthermore, human health and physiology, as well as plant science, will be incorporated to illustrate interconnectedness within biological systems. Assessments include tests, lab reports, and writing exercises.
Junior/Senior course

IB BIOLOGY HL1/HL2

This two-year course empowers students to investigate their world through a hands-on, experiment-based approach, by providing them with the knowledge and skills needed for scientific inquiry. The course content will have students exploring life from the molecular level, through organismic evolution and its ecological role. Much of this course is dedicated to the internal assessment where students must design their own experiments, follow through with the experiment, and share the results in a detailed report. The HL course includes additional units of study in human health and physiology, genetics, plant science, and photosynthesis. The HL course will also meet additional hours to perform laboratory experiments. Assessments include homework assignments, lab reports, and tests. Upon completion of the course, students are prepared to sit for the IB papers.

Junior/Senior two-year course

IB CHemistry SL1/SL2
SL Chemistry is a two-year course based on a practical approach to learning chemistry through experimental work. The first year will cover the following topics: atomic structure, stoichiometry, periodicity, chemical bonding and structure, energetics, redox, and equilibrium. The Group Four project will take place during the first semester of year one. The second year will cover organic chemistry, analytical techniques, acids & bases, kinetics, and option B: biochemistry. The required individual internal assessment will be planned and carried out in January of the second year.
Junior/Senior course
IB CHemistry hL1/hL2
This two-year course follows the curriculum established by The International Baccalaureate and is representative of a first-year course in college-level chemistry. Topics include standard inorganic concepts as well as an introduction to organic nomenclature and fundamental organic chemical reactions. In addition, students will learn an option in biochemistry during the second year of the course. The Group Four project will take place during the first semester of year one. Extensive laboratory work will be conducted and includes a required individual internal assessment that will be planned and carried out during the first semester of the second year. Problem-solving skills are emphasized throughout the course and will be assessed regularly. Upon completion of the course, students are prepared to sit for the IB papers in May.
Junior/Senior two-year course
IB Physics SL1/SL2/hl1/hl2
The IB program is an exploratory and student centered curriculum that allows students to explore a variety of aspects of their subjects. IB Physics SL/HL provides an in-depth exploration of Measurements; Uncertainties; Mechanics; Thermal Physics; Waves; Electricity and Magnetism; Circular Motion and Gravitation; Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics and Imaging. The course spans two years allowing for increased content and a number of lab experiences. This class is about the general aspects of science; the concepts and principles of physics; abstract thought; physics problem solving and the global impacts of science on our cultures and the cultures of the world. We will endeavor to understand the nature of science through past and present discoveries and the direction of science in the future. Registration for IB Physics HL requires approval from the science department.

Junior/Senior course

IB Sports/exercise/health Science Sl
The SEHS course follows the Group 4 SL curriculum model; a core syllabus and two of the four options.  Students are required to spend 40 hours on practical/investigative work and complete a written internal assessment. This course incorporates the disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition, which are studied in the context of sport, exercise and health. A combination of syllabus content and experimental work provides the opportunity for students to acquire the knowledge and understanding necessary to apply scientific principles and analyze human performance. This dynamic Group 4 course option has strong international dimensions such as international sporting competition and the international bodies that regulate them. Ethical issues that exist within sporting competitions are considered. The comprehensive curriculum provides excellent preparation for university courses including those specifically related to sport, sports science or physical education. Students enrolled in SEHS will be assessed through both internal and external assessments, in addition to in a compulsory Group Four project.
Junior – PG Course
IB Environmental Systems and society SL

 The IB Environmental Systems and Society class will provide students with a deeper and more coherent perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies which inhabit them. This course will enable students to adopt an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues they will inevitably face. Students will be challenged to reflect on their own roles within the environment and encouraged to evaluate decisions with respect to their world and their lives. This single year course is ideal for students who are interested in a hands-on approach to understanding their world and the challenges we face as part of it. Students will evaluate scientific, ethical, and sociopolitical aspects of issues around our Environment and society.
Junior/Senior course

environmental science (fall or Spring)

Environmental Science is a semester elective course focusing on the study of Earth, its atmosphere and environment and the impact of the human population. Students explore Earth/environmental systems and global change, energy sources and sustainability, human health and population growth, with an emphasis throughout the course on biodiversity and resource conservation. Students develop improved awareness and problem solving and critical thinking skills through a focus on group work and project-based learning. Topics in this course will be presented using connections to real-world issues and current event data. Students are assessed using a variety of techniques, with an emphasis on research, debate and extended inquiry projects. Students develop a greater understanding of our Earth and environment, with a focus on the impact of the human population and what we as humans can do to preserve our planet and decrease our negative impact. 

Junior/Senior/PG elective

Anatomy and Physiology i (Fall)
Anatomy & Physiology is a semester course that focuses on the many structures of the human body, how they function, and the relationships of those structures to each other. The main focus of the course will be directed toward the systems of the body, including but not limited to the integumentary system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, muscular system, and skeletal system. Students examine everything related to these systems from the macroscopic to the microscopic and focus on discussion, laboratory assignments, activities/projects, and a paper. Students’ knowledge will be assessed through quizzes, exams, and laboratory practical quizzes. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the human body and many of the different structures within us, and how these structures relate to each other while working together to provide a living organism.
Junior/Senior/PG elective
Anatomy and Physiology ii (spring)
Anatomy and Physiology II will continue to go in depth regarding the structures and functions of the human body, but on topics that are different from Anatomy and Physiology I. This course explores the role of nutrition and exercise in the prevention and control of disease and the maintenance of good health. It comprises the key strands of nutrition together with sport and exercise science and multidisciplinary topics related to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.
Junior/Senior/PG elective
engineering (fall or spring)
This semester-long course is designed to introduce students to technology and engineering. Students will have the opportunity to see science, mathematics and engineering through the real-world connections made in the classroom. They will see how these disciplines play a major role in their everyday world and the importance of being scientifically and technologically literate. The course focuses on the design process and its application. Through hands on projects, the students will learn to apply engineering standards and document their work. Topics include mechanisms, energy, statics, materials and kinematics. Students will develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge in research and design as they create solutions to different challenges, and then document their work and communicate their solutions to their peers.
Junior – PG elective
biotechnology and forensic science (fall or spring)
This activities-based course aims to engage students in the scientific study of searching and processing crimes scenes as well as the proper collection and analysis of simulated physical evidence. Students will experience a variety of procedures to analyze such things as fingerprints, hair and fiber, blood splatter, cybercrimes, DNA analysis, and more. Prerequisites for the course include Biology and Chemistry.
Junior – PG elective
9th grade health and wellness (fall or Spring)
The Health and Wellness course addresses issues relating to physical, mental, emotional and social health. Topics covered will include: the terminology and stigma associated with mental health, stress management, digital citizenship, healthy relationships, hygiene, exercise, nutrition, human development, and drugs and alcohol. Throughout the course students will be engaged in group projects, debates, role-playing, labs, reflective journaling, presentations, and written assessments. The objective of this class is to allow students to understand their bodies, healthy practices, and develop the ability to live a balanced life as global citizens. 

Required course for all ninth graders

Science Department Faculty

Lauren Kelly

Lauren Kelly

Science Department Chair; Head Coach, Girls Track

Samantha Cieri

Samantha Cieri

Science Teacher

Raymond Cirmo

Raymond Cirmo

Science Teacher; Associate Director of the Summer Program

Colleen Cruise

Colleen Cruise

Science Teacher

Molly Purcell

Molly Purcell

Health Teacher

Caron Quantick

Caron Quantick

Science Teacher

Owen Quantick

Owen Quantick

Science Teacher

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Address: 890 Lorem Ipsum Street #12 San Francisco, California 65432 Phone: 123.4567.890 Business Hours: 8a-6:30p M-F, 9a-2p S-S