Science » Science Curriculum

Science Curriculum

The goal of the Science Department is for students to appreciate the study of science and its application and importance in our daily lives. Through hands-on discovery and the use of technology to enhance the classroom experience, students study a broad range of scientific principles. Instructors utilize the flipped learning approach to education which is particularly beneficial in the sciences. This enables students to read or watch videos containing background information as homework, freeing up valuable class time for discussion and experimentation. With the recognition that the world is our laboratory, field trips are integral elements of the science curriculum. From a quick walk to the Long Island Sound on our property, to the DNA labs at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory or a visit to the American Museum of Natural History, students are challenged to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life scenarios. As they prepare for their college-level educations, students will have honed their observation and quantitative skills, enabling them to be more active, creative and critical thinkers.

Biology (9th Grade)

The Biology course is designed to provide students with a complete understanding and awareness of the phenomena of the world around them, their relationship to it and their place in it. Students explore the study of life processes and cover topics such as scientific method, chemical aspects of living systems, cell structure and function, cell division, evolution, classification, genetics, reproduction in plants and animals, human anatomy and ecology. Students conduct hands-on laboratory experiments that prepare them for microscopic work and basic lab techniques used in future science classes. There is a special emphasis on human structure and genetics as a growing field in Biology. Students follow current events to learn more about scientific issues in the news, such as stem cell research.

Chemistry (10th Grade)

Students explore matter and energy, bonding, molecular and atomic structure, the periodic table, solids, liquids and gases, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, organic chemistry and the application of principles of reaction. Students develop a capacity for reasoning and note the application of chemistry in the modern world. They gain the necessary scientific knowledge needed to participate in resolving societal issues. Topics covered include: Scientific Method, controlled experiments, chemical quantities, the Newton SI derived unit, dimensional analysis, scientific notation, and relative abundance.

Earth Science (10th and 11th Grade)

This course introduces students to the study of Earth’s systems and its location in the universe.  It includes all Earth Science topics as required by the New York State learning standards for science. These topics can be divided into three major areas of study: Geology, Meteorology/Weather & Climate, and Astronomy.  Students investigate such areas as rocks and minerals, natural disasters, changing landscapes, celestial motion, weather, and water resources. This course includes 30 required labs and concludes with the NYS Physical Setting/Earth Science Regents exam. 

Principles of Physics (11th Grade)

This course emphasizes the study of the physical world with respect to matter and energy. Every unit makes a contribution to the understanding of matter and energy. Students become aware of the unifying principles in mechanical and nuclear physics, electricity, magnetism, light, sound and thermodynamics. The course is divided into four basic units: Mechanics, Wave Electricity, Magnetism and Nuclear Physics. Part of the course is devoted to student controlled experiments that coincide with the course contents.

Advanced Placement Biology (11th and 12th Grade)

AP Biology allows students to cultivate an understanding of biology through inquiry-based learning.  Investigations encourage students to ask questions, observe, make predictions, design experiments, analyze data and construct arguments in a collaborative setting.  While topics of study are similar to those covered in ninth grade biology, AP Biology uses college-level textbooks and the range and depth of exploration are more intense. At the conclusion of the course, students take the Biology Exam administered by the College Board, which may, depending upon their score and university, yield 3-4 college academic credits.

Advanced Placement Physics (12th Grade)

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 these topics: kinematics, dynamics, circular motion and gravitation, energy, momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque and rotational motion, electric charge and electric force, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound. At the conclusion of the course, students take the Physics 1 AP Exam administered by the College Board, which may, depending upon their score and university, yield 3-4 college academic credits.

Science Electives

Environmental Science
This course integrates different science disciplines, particularly biology, chemistry and geology, in order to understand the complex interactions between living organisms and the environment. Topics covered include gemology, the food chain and its ramifications, chemicals in the environment, and global warming, both from a scientific and political perspective. Through this course, students uncover the science behind modern day environment
al debates.
 
DIsease and Diagnosis
This course explores various diseases and disorders throughout human history and investigates their role in the modern world.  Some of the diseases covered are the Bubonic Plague, Smallpox and Cholera.  In collaboration with the Psychology Department, students explore a number of psychological ailments as well.  Through case studies, students analyze the causes of the disease, the physiological systems in affects and possible treatments or cures.  Students hone their lab, research and writing skills throughout the year.
 
Forensics
This introductory course begins with a study of Forensic Science, including topics such as fingerprinting, DNA analysis, blood-typing and spattering, trajectories, comparative anatomy and chemical analysis of drugs, poisons and trace evidence.  Students work in teams to solve mock crimes, learning how to interpret data and techniques involved for both chemical and biological analysis of evidence.  Through the study of forensics, students explore the biological, physiological and cellular systems.