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Science Curriculum Update


AP Biology-

  • Claim, Evidence, Reasoning
  • Standard Deviation/Standard Error
  • Ecology
    • Clover Research for Washington University in St, Louis
    • National Park Research
    • Food Web of Gorongosa
    • Population Math Practice
    • Salt Marsh Research
  • Evolution
    • Stickleback evolution
    • Modeling evolutionary forces
    • Hardy Weinberg math
    • Speciation argumentation

AP Computer Science- 

  • Practice for Explore task of AP exam
  • Hardware
  • Bits and Bytes
  • Memory
  • Binary
  • Scratch basics
  • Syntax of C
  • Pseudocode
  • Algorithms
  • Variables
  • Data Types
  • Operators
  • Booleans and Conditionals
  • Loops
  • compiling

Computer Science-

  • Problem solving
    • create/psuedocode an app
  • web development
    • create own website using HTML and CSS

Biology –  


  • Unit: Scientific Method and Sustainability
    • Observations, inferences, forming hypotheses
    • Graphing from given data
    • LABS: Testing water samples for nitrate and phosphate contamination
  • Unit: Ecology
    • Describe the levels of organization in the biosphere
    • Identify the method of energy production or consumption of organisms (autotrophic vs. heterotrophic)
    • Interpret and/or create food chains, food webs, and food pyramids based on feeding relationships and identify changes that could occur for the entire food web based on changes in certain species
    • Describe and identify the different forms of symbiotic relationships: commensalism, mutualism, parasitism
    • Describe the events that take place to cycle water, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen throughout the environment and living organisms
    • Explain how population growth is affected by birth, death, immigration, emigration, natural causes/disasters, habitat destruction, invasive species, changes in biodiversity, human interference
    • LABS: Energy flow through an aquatic ecosystem, Population growth labs, Ecological Relationships lab


  • Unit: Photosynthesis and Cell Respiration
    • Arrange the events of photosynthesis and cell respiration
    • Describe the products, reactants, location  purpose, and examples of cell respiration
    • Describe the products, reactants, location, purpose, and examples of photosynthesis
    • LABS: Respiration and Photosynthesis in Plants
  • Unit: Respiratory System
    • Describe the location and function of structures in the respiratory system
    • Explain the process of gas exchange between alveoli and the blood
    • Describe the negative effects of tobacco smoke to the respiratory system
    • LABS: Measuring tidal volume and vital capacity of lungs
  • Unit: Macromolecules
    • Describe the monomers, elements, structure, function, and examples of the four macromolecules found in living things: proteins, nucleic acids, carbs, lipids
    • Identify families and basic properties of elements on the periodic table, such as atomic number, atomic mass, ions, and isotopes
    • Describe the structure of an atom and how electrons are important in forming chemicals
    • LABS: Macromolecule Testing Lab, Group Macromolecule Investigation Project

AP Chem 1-

Summer  Work:  Chapter 1, 2, 3

  • Significant Figures, Dimensional Analysis, Atomic theory

Unit 1 Stoichiometry

  • Molar mass
  • Stoichiometry
  • Limiting reactants
  • Percent yield
  • Empirical formula
  • Redox-Oxidation numbers
  • Balancing Redox

LABS: Chemical and Physical changes; Stoichiometry of chemical reactions; chromatography; Redox lab

Unit 2 Gases

  • Boyles, Charles, combined laws
  • Grahams law
  • Daltons law
  • PV=nrt
  • Stoichiometry of gases

LABS: Molar Volume of gases

Unit 3 Electrochemistry

  • Galvanic cells
  • Anode, cathode, cell potentials
  • Electrolytic cells
  • Electrolysis

LABS: Percent copper in Brass


Chemistry –


  • Unit: Chemical Foundations
    • Use the scientific method to draw conclusions about an experiment
    • Identify constants, controls, independent variables, dependent variables in an experiment
    • Convert numbers into and out of scientific notation
    • Accurately make measurements using metric units
    • Convert into different quantities within a unit using prefixes
    • Calculate the volume, mass, and density of matter
    • Distinguish between pure substances and mixtures
    • Define and identify elements, compounds, homogeneous, heterogeneous substances
    • Distinguish between physical and chemical characteristics and changes
    • LABS: Vision of the Graduate Density Lab; Chemical vs. Physical Changes Lab


  • Unit: Atoms, Elements, and Isotopes
    • Atomic and subatomic structures
    • Use the periodic table to identify atomic number, symbols, and atomic mass of elements
    • Distinguish between elements and isotopes as having different numbers of neutrons
    • Distinguish between elements and ions as having different numbers of electrons
    • Calculate average atomic mass of elements
    • LABS: Naming Elements, Compounds, Ions, and Isotopes; Atomic Coatings (Used for formal lab report)
  • Unit: Electron Configurations and Periodic Trends (continued into November)
    • Distinguish between the shapes and orientations of the different atomic orbitals
    • Write electron configurations for elements
    • Identify elements based on their electron configurations
    • Determine the number of valence electrons based on electron configurations
    • Draw orbital diagrams for elements

Honors Chemistry-


  • Unit 1: measurements and reporting
    • Scientific notation
    • Metric system and units of measurement
    • Dimensional analysis
    • Matter
    • LABS: Density lab


  • Unit 2: Atomic structure
    • Protons, neutrons, electrons
    • Atomic number
    • Isotopes
    • Ions
    • Naming binary compounds
    • Periodic trends
    • Electron configurations
    • LABS: flame test, Beanium Isotopes
  • Unit 3: Light and Bonding (continued into November)
    • Types of bonding
      • Ionic, covalent, metallic
    • Ionic lattices
    • Bond and molecular polarity
    • Molecular geometry
    • Electronegativity to determine bond type
    • LAB: molecular modelling

Anatomy & Physiology – 


  • Unit: Intro to Anatomical Terms
    • Distinguish the difference between anatomy and physiology
    • Identify the structural levels of organization
    • Describe the basic functions and organs of each organ system
    • Explain how the body maintains homeostasis to keep a balanced state
    • Identify the different anatomical planes
    • Describe the relative locations of body parts using anatomical positions and directions
    • Identify the location and components of the body cavities and sub-cavities
    • LAB: Review of Microscope


  • Unit: Tissues
    • Describe the differences between the structures and functions of types of epithelial tissue
    • Identify images of different epithelial tissues
    • Describe the differences between the structures and functions of types of connective tissue
    • Identify images of different connective tissues
    • Describe the differences between the structure and functions of muscle tissues
    • Describe the structure and function of nervous tissues
    • LAB: Identifying Types of Tissue Microscope Lab


  • Unit: Integumentary Systems
    • Label and identify skin layers and structures
    • Describe the purpose of skin
    • Identify the differences in structure and function of cutaneous, serous, mucous, and synovial membranes
    • Describe the differences in the three layers of skin
    • Identify the layers of epidermis and dermis
    • Describe the process of pigmentation by melanocytes
    • Identify the structures surrounding hair and nail growth
    • Distinguish between the different types of glands
    • Diagnose difference between benign and malignant skin cancers
    • LAB: Skin Sensitivity Lab

Earth Science – 

Unit 1 Comparing Earth to Other Worlds

  • Geological time periods.
    • Students create a mnemonic for the names of the geological time periods from the Cambrian to present day.
  • Comparing Earth to Mars.
    • Students research and present what it would take for humans to colonize Mars.  Based on one of the four spheres: Atmosphere; Biosphere; Geosphere; Hydrosphere

Unit 2 Solar System Origins

  • Project to write a song outlining the main phases of the solar nebula condensation theory
  • Half-life calculations and modeling using pennies lab.  The graphing data using chrome books
  • Solar System Census Activity
    • Using data cards and the online orary ‘Solar System Scope’
  • Modeling Accretion Investigation – Using pepper and water troughs in the lab
  • Are we alone?  Discussion of the Drake Equation, and the range of possible values for each of the variables.
  • Kepler’s Laws
    • Modeling and calculations
  • Spectroscopy

Unit 3 Earth Structure

  • Project to write an account of what a journey to the center of the Earth would be like.
    • Providing detailed descriptions of teach of the layers of the Earth.
  • Brainstorming: How do we see inside of something without using light?
  • Thinking on a planetary scale
    • Using dimensional analysis to compare the Earth’s statistics to other objects.
  • Constructing scale models of the Earth, one as a paper strip, the other using a greater scale and drawing compass.
  • Activity: See What You Can’t See.  Using sound to differentiate different materials inside aluminum cans.
  • Activity: Body Waves. Using a human chain to model p and s waves.
  • Activity: Locating an Earthquakes Epicenter.  Calculating p and s wave arrival times, then transferring this data to a map to triangulate the epicenter of an earthquake.
  • Energy in Earth’s Interior


H/AP Physics 1-

  • Unit 1 and 2 Kinematics 1d and 2d
    • Motion demonstration and discussion
    • Using freefall to calculate the height of the back gym balcony
    • Lab: Determining g on an incline
    • Motion graph matching using Vernier data loggers
    • Modeling vector addition using displacements in the courtyard
    • Projectile launchers and parabolic motion
    • Bear/nerf gun demonstration (Monkey/Hunter)
    • AP Physics 1 Investigation 1 ‘How is the translational motion of a ball described by kinematics?’
  • Unit 3 Dynamics
    • Calculating weight dependent on location (Everest vs. The Dead Sea)
    • Lab investigation the weight of an unknown mass suspended from two force-meters (Drawing a Free-body diagram)
    • FBD’s circus – Drawing Force diagrams and FBD’s
    • Inertia hoop/hex-nut challenge
    • Apparent weight lab investigation
    • AP Physics 1 Investigation 2 ‘What factors affect the acceleration of a system?’

Students also complete group work on Tipers conceptual problems.  Unit exams for each unit.  AP students take an exam that simulates the actual AP exam with timed Multiple Choice and Free Response sections.

CP Physics-

Students are using new Essential Physics curriculum with online book and quiz component.

  • Unit 1: Nuclear Physics

Topics covered:

    • Types of radioactive decay
      • Alpha
      • Beta
      • Gamma
    • Nuclear reactions
      • Alpha decay
      • Beta decay
      • Positron emission
      • e- capture
    • Balancing nuclear reactions
    • Fission
    • Fusion
    • E=mc2
    • Half-life



  • Half life simulation
  • Sources of natural radiation activity
  • fission/fusion activity  (a trip to pluto)
    • Chapter Exam

Chapter 2: Waves & Sound

    • Harmonic Motion
      • Cycles and oscillators
      • Introduce wave diagram
        • Frequency and period
        • Amplitude and energy
          • With friction
          • Without friction
      • Pendulum
      • Mass-spring oscillation
      • In and out of phase and resonance
    • Waves
      • Waves = oscillators through time
      • Properties of waves
        • Frequency
        • Wavelength
        • speed
        • energy
        • amplitude
      • Transversal vs longitudinal waves
      • Wave interactions
        • Reflection
        • Refraction
        • Diffraction
        • interference
    • Light
      • EMR
      • Diffraction mediums
      • Reflection
        • Law of reflection
      • Refraction
        • Law of refraction
        • Snell’s law
      • mirrors


    • Online simulation activities through essential physics
    • Online Quizzes through Essential Physics
    • Chapter Exam

Intro to Robotics: 

Building a Robot

  • Following directions, schematics to assemble a workable, remote controlled robot
  • Understanding the parts involved and how they are put together

Robot # 1 – constructed using detailed instructions for a bot designed to pick up tennis balls and drop them in a container. Robot #1 competition to capture, lift and maneuver robots to carry, hold and place tennis balls in a container

What defines a robot

  • What are the main components
  • How are robots programmed
  • Developing programs to understand how movement is achieved
  • Applying programs to move robots in desired directions
  • Understanding gear ratios

Robot # 2 – constructed using minimal  instructions for a bot designed for speed. Students are given a task  to design, construct and implement a robot for speed competition  based on their understanding of gears and how they work. To augment and change their design in an effort to increase speed efficiency.

Understanding how and why robots are used in society

  • Researching uses of robots
  • Understanding the history of robots and the development of technology to enhance industry production and efficiency

Engineering Design Process

  • Steps of the design process ( defining problem, brain-storming, develop solutions, select approach, get feedback, build proto-type, improve upon, create final product.

Physical Science: 

  • Chemical foundations
  • Scientific Method
  • Notation
    • Exponents
  • Measurement
    • Metric
    • Uncertainty
  • Density
  • Physical vs Chemical changes
  • Matter
    • States of
    • Elements, mixtures, compounds, pure substances
    • Homogeneous vs Heterogeneous
    • Distillation
  • Energy
    • Light and wave properties
  • Atomic Structure
  • Elements/symbols
    • Atomic number, mass
    • Isotopes, ions
  • atomic mass
  • Elements/symbols
    • Atomic number, mass
    • Isotopes, ions

Labs:   SI Measurement lab



  • Egg drop
    • Building an apparatus to properly contain an egg as it’s dropped from the rooftop. Students were graded on creativity and function.
  • Trophy tower
    • Students required to build the tallest tower that can hold one of three sports balls (baseball, soccer ball, bowling ball) by itself


  • Building Bridges
    • A span of two feet to be covered by the strongest bridge possible. Weights distributed until structural failure
  • Mini builds
    • Paper planes
    • Straw boats
  • Balloon Car
    • Students designed and built car powered by inflated balloons. Graded on distance covered, as well as creativity and function of design.
  • Rube Goldberg Machine (started)
    • Groups needed to make a Rube Goldberg device, an overly complicated apparatus that fulfills a very ordinary task.

AP Seminar 

Unit 1: Introduction of the Quest Framework and Adding to the Conversation: What is knowledge?

Essential Questions:

  • What do I know, what to know, learn or understand?
  • How does the context of a problem or issue affect how it is interpreted or presented?
  • What keywords should I use to search for information about this topic?
  • What is the argument’s main idea? what reasoning does the author use to develop it?
  • Why might the author(s) view the issue this way?
  • What biases may the author have that influence his or her perspective?
  • How can I connect different perspectives? What other issues, questions, or topics do they relate to?
  • How can I avoid committing plagiarism?
  • What contributions can I offer to a team?
  • How can I benefit on reflecting on my own work?

Learning Objectives:

Learning objectives that will be addressed in this unit include:

BIG IDEA 1: Question & Explore

LO 1.1A: Identifying and contextualizing a problem or issue.
LO 1.2A: Retrieving, questioning, organizing, and using prior knowledge.
LO 1.3A: Accessing and managing information using effective strategies.
LO 1.1B: Posing complex questions and seeking out answers that reflect multiple, divergent, or contradictory perspectives.

BIG IDEA 2: Understand & Analyze
LO 2.1A: Employing appropriate reading strategies and reading critically for a specific purpose.
LO 2.1B: Summarizing and explaining a text’s main idea or aim while avoiding faulty generalizations and oversimplification

BIG IDEA 3: Evaluate Multiple Perspectives
LO 3.1A: Identifying, comparing, and interpreting multiple perspectives on or arguments about an issue.
LO 3.2A: Evaluating objections, implications, and limitations of alternate, opposing or competing perspectives or arguments.

BIG IDEA 4: Synthesize Ideas
LO 4.1A: Formulating a complex and well-reasoned argument
LO 4.3A: Attributing knowledge and ideas accurately and ethically, using an appropriate citation style guide

BIG IDEA 5: Team, Transform, and Transmit
LO 5.1A: Planning, producing, and presenting a cohesive argument, considering audience, context, and purpose, and using appropriate media (e.g., essay, poster, oral presentation, documentary, research report/thesis).
LO 5.1C: Communicating Information using effective techniques of design.
LO 5.2B: Fostering constructive team climate, resolving conflicts, and facilitating the contributions of all team members to address complex, open-ended questions.
LO 5.3A: Reflecting on and revising their own writing, thinking and creative processes.
LO 5.3B: Reflecting on personal contributions to overall collaborative effort. [CR2A]

 Summative Assessments:

Individual Presentation Practice:

  • Individual Photo Essay and Presentation: Students will compose an individual photo essay reflecting on an aspect, role, or state of power. Students will then develop and present a multimedia presentation (approximately 6-8 minutes) to an audience. Concluding the presentation, the students will be asked a minimum of two questions by the instructor on research process, use of evidence, and conclusion of findings. [CR2h]

Team Project Practice:

  • Students will define one of the roles of power using a series of examples from summer readings, class discussions, and outside readings. [CR2f]; [CR2h]
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