Science Department

The field of Science is a complex system of concepts, procedures and observations that require a systematic approach in order to gain a thorough understanding and appreciation.  To gain an understanding of various concepts in the field it is important for students to be able to connect these ideas to the real world where they live.  This is accomplished through taking simple and individual pieces of information and building upon past lessons to gain an understanding of complicated and complex theories.  The courses at Matignon High School are offered in state-of-the-art Chemistry, Physics and Biology Science Labs.

Biology

312 – Biology, College Prep Level 2 – Two Semester Course
This course will also cover a basic overview of Biological Science aiming at the presentation of the subject in a modern relevant manner through a discussion of current topics of interest and importance to the students. It will cover the same topics as Biology level 1, covering the topics a littler slower pace and with a little less depth. The instructional approach will include lecture with the use of power point presentations with interactive quizzes and activities, laboratory investigations, and small group discussions. There will be many alternate assessments such as article reviews and posters. Participation in the spring science fair is required of all students. Departmental approval is required.

313 – Biology, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This course will cover a basic overview of Biological Science aiming at a presentation of the subject in a modern relevant manner through a discussion of current topics of interest and importance to students. The units in this course will include a practical application of knowledge in basic biochemistry, cells, genetics, ecology, classification and taxonomy, plants and animals through a comparative systems approach with weekly reinforcement and extension in a laboratory setting.  The instructional approach will include lectures, small group discussions, laboratory investigations, quarterly independent research projects, and interactive activities in the school media center, and the use of power point presentations with interactive quizzes and activities.  Participation in the spring Science Fair is required of all students. 

316 – Biology, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
This course is a comprehensive biology course offered to capable and motivated students who have demonstrated strong interest in and aptitude for science in middle school.  The honors biology course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the integral relationships among living things and their internal as well as external environment.  This program starts with the study of molecular and cellular structures, cell life processes and metabolism, and proceeds to increasingly larger and more inclusive topics such as genetics, biotechnology, plant and animal systems and evolution.  The laboratory experience plays a central role in the construction of biological knowledge, and students are encouraged to actively participate in each investigation of the course.  Throughout the year, student learning is reinforced by conducting laboratory investigations, quarterly scientific projects, power point presentations and interactive quizzes and activities, and by reading current scientific articles in the school media center.  The course focuses on cultivating analytical thinking processes, abstract reasoning, and independent scientific research capabilities which will be translated into successful completion of a science fair project.  It is recommended that the standardized SAT II Biology test administered in June of the sophomore year be taken by those students who have shown a high level of understanding. Placement into this course is competitive and determined by the Science Dept.

Chemistry

331 – Chemistry, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This course includes the study of the structure of atoms and molecules, chemical bonding, energy effects, chemical mathematics and problem solving types of reactions, and equation writing, mole theory, gas laws, ionization, and acid-base reactions.  The instructional approach includes lectures, power point presentations, interactive quizzes and activities, and small group discussion.  The lab will be used for reinforcement of abstract concepts, to teach manipulative skills and to encourage learning by the direct accumulation, assimilation and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.  Lab reports, quarterly research projects, summary of current scientific articles will be required from all students.  Participation in the spring science fair is required of all students.  Prerequisites: C- average or better in
all previous Math courses.

332 – Chemical and Physical Principles, College Prep Level 2 – Two Semester Course
This is an introductory course covering key concepts in the areas of physical science, chemical science and earth science.  Students will work on basic concepts of the above mentioned areas and will learn to perform basic physical science lab skills.  This course will require students to become skilled in writing formal lab reports.  The instructional approach will include lectures, power point presentations with interactive activities, and small group discussion.  Lab reports, quarterly research projects and presentations, summary of current scientific articles will be required from all students. This course will not replace the more formal exploration of the above mentioned topics in subsequent full-year courses.
Department approval is required.

336 – Chemistry, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
This course is designed for students who desire a more in-depth background in chemistry. As such, this course will cover the same material as general chemistry.  However, an accelerated pace allows for the additional investigation of gas laws and stoichiometry, electro-chemistry, kinetics, equilibrium, oxidation-reduction reactions as well as organic Chemistry.  The more intensive pace will require those students electing Honors Chemistry to have a strong math background and a well-developed sense of abstract reason.  Intense project work will be required for all students.  The instructional approach will include lectures, power point presentations with interactive activities, and small group discussion.  Lab work will be more math-based with detailed lab reports.   The media center will be available to students to research and complete projects and lab reports.  Participation in the spring Science Fair is required of all students.  Prerequisites: B average or better in all previous Math courses and approval of the science department.

Physics

341 – Physics, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This course is for the student with a mature outlook and a developed sense of responsibility. It reinforces the student’s approach to laboratory investigations.  The student is introduced to Newton’s Laws of Motion, the concept of matter and energy, force, and general motion.  It is planned to include topics from the theories of heat, electricity, sound, light and nuclear reactions.  The instructional approach will include lecture with the use of power point presentations with interactive quizzes and activities, laboratory investigations, and small group problem solving. 

346 – Physics, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
This course is designed for students who desire a more in-depth background in physics.  As such, this course will cover the same material as Physics level 1. However, an accelerated pace allows for more time to be spent on electricity, sound, light, and nuclear reactions. The more intensive pace will require those students electing this course to have a strong math background and a well-developed sense of abstract reason.  The instructional approach will include lecture with the use of power point presentations with interactive quizzes and activities, laboratory investigations, and small group problem solving. Department approval is required.
 

Human Anatomy and Physiology

342 – Human Anatomy and Physiology, College Prep Level 2 – Two Semester Course
This course is for the student who desires to know how he / she functions.  It will cover the same topics as Human Anatomy and Physiology level 1, but at a slower pace and it will not go into as much depth as the level 1 course.  Various labs of physiology and comparative anatomy, as well as short research topics and quarterly projects will be used to reinforce and extend the topics covered in the course.  Department approval is required.

343 – Human Anatomy and Physiology, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This course is for the student who desires to know how the human body functions.  Not only is it concerned with how the organism functions, but also why it functions the way it does.  The study of the structure of the organism (morphology) and its parts (anatomy), as well as their relationship to function (physiology) will be the main theme of this course.  The focal point will be that the human body is an integrated unit at all structural levels, from cell through system.  The basic following topics will be studied: cellular organization, nutrition, biochemistry, metabolism, human development, reproduction, and genetics. The instructional approach will include lecture, power point presentations with interactive quizzes and activities, and small group discussions. Various labs of physiology and comparative anatomy, as  well as short research papers and quarterly independent projects will be used to reinforce and extend the above topics.

344 – Human Anatomy and Physiology, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
This course is designed for juniors and seniors who desire a more in depth study of fundamental anatomy and physiology on a system-by-system basis. This course will cover the same topics as Human Anatomy and Physiology level 1.  However, the more intensive and accelerated pace of the class will allow for more time to be spent on current issues in genetics, immunology, dieting and nutrition.  Other important topics of interest to students will be discussed with the purpose of giving the information needed to create a healthy lifestyle.  Through a variety of teaching methods, such as lectures, power point presentations with interactive quizzes and activities, small group interactive activities, laboratory investigations, and independent research in the school media center, students will gain knowledge of human diseases and health care issues.  This course is explicitly aimed at students who want to pursue careers in health fields such as clinical medicine, sports medicine, medical research, kinesiology and other related fields.  Participation in quarterly projects is required. Departmental approval is
required.

Advanced Placement Biology

347 – Advanced Placement Biology, College Prep Advanced Placement – Two Semester Course
AP Biology is an elective, upper level Biology course. The course content is the equivalent of an introductory college-level Biology course designed to be intellectually strenuous, comprehensive, and intensive. The curriculum is aligned with the AP Biology course description and is geared towards the successful completion of the College Board standardized AP exam.  This exam is administered in May and qualified students can earn up to two semesters of college credit.  During the year students will learn eight topics in Biology that are correlated to the eight major Biology themes specified in the AP Biology curriculum requirement.  The eight units include: the chemistry of life; the cell structure, function, and metabolism; heredity and molecular genetics; evolutionary biology; diversity of organisms and taxonomy; structure and function of plants; structure and function of animals; ecology. Emphasis of the course will be on technology and lab skills, experimental concepts, and research projects. Throughout the year field labs are conducted in community labs of scientific institutions and biotech companies to broaden the student’s exposure to how science is conducted in Academia and industry.   The pace of the class is challenging and fast.  Students need to take an active role in their learning and are encouraged to learn independently.  At the end of the course, students will gain a broad understanding of how biological systems function and work together in everyday phenomena, as well as an appreciation of how scientific research is done and communicated.  Acceptance into the course is competitive and limited.  Senior students who have demonstrated academic success and motivation will be invited by the science department into the course.   Due to time limitations, each student will be required to complete a substantial amount of work during the summer.  Department approval is required.

Advanced Placement Physics 1

349 – Advanced Placement Physics 1, College Prep Advanced Placement – Two Semester Course
AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course.  Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion): work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory simple circuits.  Twenty-five percent of instructional time will be spent in hands-on laboratory work, with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations that provide students with opportunities to apply the science practices.  Students should have completed Geometry and be concurrently taking Algebra II or a more advanced course.  Department approval is required.