Totino-GraceA Catholic High School in the Lasallian Tradition
The Science Department offers a coordinated three-year course sequence of Physics, Chemistry and Biology where one subject becomes the foundation for the next. The focus of the curriculum is on critical thinking and problem solving skills that are developed through laboratory and other investigative activities.
The curriculum allows students to begin their high school science experience with a hands-on, real-world approach that teaches them problem solving techniques. The courses are developmentally more rigorous each year and allow students to build and construct their science knowledge in a way that demonstrates the fact that all sciences are related. By senior year, students may choose advanced science courses according to their interests.
The science curriculum is integrated so students develop deeper intellectual connections between and among the sciences, develop a deeper appreciation for the unity and diversity of life, and have a strong preparation for college.
This course introduces the student to the scientific method, measurement, the SI system, graphing and laboratory report writing. Topics include vectors, velocity, acceleration, Newton’s Laws, forces, energy, momentum, machines, a brief introduction to fluid dynamics, waves, sound, light, color, reflection, refraction, lenses, and electricity and magnetism. This course is a prerequisite to all other Totino-Grace science courses. Fulfills Freshman Requirement 2 semesters - 2 credits
The aim of Chemistry is to enable students to develop a better understanding of their physical world. It focuses on the study of matter and how it interacts with society and the surrounding world. A balanced approach is used in combining chemical theories and concepts with quantitative problems. Appropriate lab work will accompany theory. Fulfills Science Requirement 2 semesters - 2 credits
This course examines the biochemistry of life that occur within cells. Students will study cell organelles and their functions, the chemical aspects of photosynthesis and respiration, the principles of heredity and microbiology as well as an introduction to biotechnology. This course introduces the student to the features of protist, fungus, plant and animal kingdoms and the concepts of ecology. Emphasis is placed on an appreciation for life as well as understanding of human beings in relation to their environment. A study of human body systems is also included. Fulfills Science Requirement 2 semesters - 2 credits
NOTE: Some courses may be taken Junior or Senior year. This means that interested and highly motivated students may be willing to take a year-long Biology course their Junior year along with another science elective.
This is a one semester course in computer programing skills which introduces students to the programming language Python. Students learn to write functions and algorithms to solve real world problems. Students use logic to design, implement, run and debug computer programs. The course focuses on the foundational computer science concepts that control modern computing applications ranging from website design, graphic design, and robotics. Junior/Senior Elective 1 Semester 1 credit
This one semester college preparatory course introduces how physics, chemistry, and biology (emphasis in chemistry) can be applied to criminal and civil law enforcement. Students learn how to analyze physical evidence, collect appropriate data, draw reasonable conclusions from experimental results and communicate their findings effectively. Topics include chemical analysis of physical evidence, drug analysis, serology & DNA analysis, crime-scene reconstruction, fingerprint analysis, questioned document analysis and the relationship between science and the law. Junior/Senior Elective 1 semester/1 credit
This is a one-semester college preparatory science course in the study of planets, stars, galaxies and the universe as a whole. This course will focus on the study of the physical characteristics of our solar system, planets, and our sun. Students will study the physics of stars and stellar evolution as well as the different types of galaxies and galaxy clusters. Finally, students will explore the general structure, history, and the predicted future of our universe. Junior/Senior elective 1 semester - 1 credit
This college preparatory course covers the study of plants and animals and their relationships with each other and the outside world. Topics include ecosystems, biomes, land ecology, water ecology, the atmosphere, changing climate, renewable and alternative energy and human population. This course includes a field trip to Rice Creek to collect and analyze the macroinvertebrate community in order to determine water quality. A fee of $6 is required to purchase a lab notebook for the class.
Senior elective (fall semester) 1 semester - 1 credit
This semester course studies the structures and functions of the human body. Students in Anatomy and Physiology A will study medical terminology, body tissues, the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. Laboratory work involves microscope use and includes the following dissections: bone sections, skeletal joints, sheep brain and spinal cord, and the cow eye. Senior elective 1 semester - 1 credit
This one semester course studies the structures and functions of the human body. Students in Anatomy and Physiology B will study the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and endocrine systems. There will also be a unit on the Biomechanics of Sport where students will research the forces, motion, nutrition, and training systems of the athletes involved. Dissection of a cat as a representative mammal is a culminating activity for this course. Students who do not wish to dissect the cat may use a virtual dissection program to complete this requirement. Senior elective 1 semester - 1 credit
This one-semester college preparatory course focuses on activities of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, and their influence on humans. Students are introduced to concepts of morphology, genetics and reproduction of these microbial agents. Lectures focus on individual organisms with emphasis on infectious diseases, biotechnology applications, molecular and biochemical characteristics. In labs, students have the opportunity to prepare media, culture bacteria and perform procedures with practical applications in medicine. Senior elective (spring semester) 1 semester - 1 credit
Enrollment requirements for Honors and AP Science courses: 9th grade: Placement Exams scores 10th - 12th grade: An 'A-' in previous science courses and recommendation of the instructor Criteria for continuing (semester to semester) in Honors and AP Science: 'B-' average in Honors science courses. Adherence to expectations and requirements of each course.
This course is designed for students whose reading and math abilities are well above average, and who want the most challenging preparation for college. Content is covered in greater depth and complexity than Physics A & B, and at an accelerated rate. Students learn the scientific method, measurement, the SI system, graphing and laboratory report writing. Topics include vectors, velocity, acceleration, Newton’s Laws, forces, energy, momentum, machines, a brief introduction to fluid dynamics, waves, sound, light, color, reflection, refraction, lenses, and electricity and magnetism. Placement in this course is based on student interest, supported by strong Placement Exam scores. Fulfills Freshman Requirement 2 semesters - 2 credits
This course is designed to follow and build on the concepts covered in Honors Physics. It includes all of the topics in the general chemistry course, but is run at an accelerated pace and includes advanced lab work. It is designed for students who want the most challenging preparation for college. The topics covered include matter, the atom, nuclear chemistry, stoichiometry, reaction rate, equilibrium, and acids, bases and salts. Overall, this course tends to be more quantitative in nature than the general chemistry course. Fulfills Sophomore Requirement 2 semesters - 2 credits
This course will provide an in depth study of biology topics with a greater level of chemistry and physics included throughout. The course examines in detail the biochemistry of life that occur within cells. Students will also study cell organelles and their functions, the chemical aspects of photosynthesis and respiration, the principles of heredity and microbiology as well as biotechnology. This course introduces the student to the features of protist, fungus, plant and animal kingdoms and the concepts of ecology. Emphasis is placed on an appreciation for life as well as understanding of human beings in relation to their environment. A study of human body systems is also included. Fulfills Junior Requirement 2 semesters - 2 credits
This course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. With a sufficient score on the AP exam, college credit could be earned for this course. This is an academic, quantitative chemistry course. Students in this course will gain an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry, think critically, and clearly express their ideas, both orally and in writing. Chemistry is the study of atoms and molecules and how they interact according to physical laws. Such study is applicable to everyday life and this will be demonstrated repeatedly throughout the year. Topics of study include structure of matter, states of matter, reactions, descriptive chemistry, and chemical calculations. Prerequisite: 1 Year of Chemistry or Honors Chemistry (Honors preferred), Algebra 2/Trig Junior/Senior elective 2 semesters - 2 credits
This course is designed to be the equivalent of the general physics course usually taken during the first year of college. With a sufficient score on the AP exam, college credit could be earned for this course. This is an academic, quantitative physics course. Students in this course will gain an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of physics, think critically, and clearly express their ideas, both orally and in writing. This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Physics test in the spring. Topics will include Newtonian Mechanics, Electricity, Magnetism, Fluid Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Waves, Optics, Atomic and Nuclear Physics. Prerequisite: 1 Year of Physics or Honors Physics (Honors preferred), Algebra 2/Trig Junior/Senior elective 2 semesters - 2 credits
AP Biology is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester college introductory biology course. In this course, students will further develop their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes — energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. The course aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. LABORATORY REQUIREMENT: This course requires that 25 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. Prerequisite: Successful completion of one full year of biology and one full year of chemistry and demonstrates enthusiasm and interest in the field of biology. Senior elective 2 semesters - 2 credits
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