• SCIENCE

    BIOLOGY I
    5-6 Credits
    Biology is a science that studies living things, from the simplest form to the most complex. Biology I will provide students with a deeper understanding of the basic biological principles and scientific processes. This is a rigorous course requiring extensive reading, organizational and study skills. Topics covered will include Matter and Energy Transformations in Ecosystems, Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, Human Activity and Climate, Human Activity and Biodiversity, Cell Specialization and Homeostasis, DNA and Inheritance, Natural Selection, and Evolution. Assessments will include tests, laboratory investigations, and homework/classwork assignments. The next course of study will be Chemistry I or Physical Science. *Academic course level (Adaptive, Essentials, College Prep) will be based on the results of the PV Placement Test, available middle school data, as well as sending district recommendation.
    Prerequisite: None

    BIOLOGY I HONORS
    6 Credits
    Biology I Honors combines students’ science understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. The disciplinary core ideas for life science are: 1) From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, 2) Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, 3) Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits, 4) Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. The performance expectations for Biology I Honors blend these core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing applicable knowledge that can be used across the science disciplines. Upon successful completion, Chemistry I Honors will be the next course of study.
    Prerequisite: Eligibility for honors will be based on the results of the Passaic Valley placement tests as well as sending district recommendation

    PHYSICAL SCIENCE
    5 Credits
    This course is designed to allow students to “see” their physical world in an integrated way before specialization in a yearlong course. Topics include: an introduction to matter and energy, forces and motion, electricity and magnetism. Math and analytical skills will be applied to lab and other classroom activities. This provides students with a path toward further studies in a yearlong Chemistry and/or Physics course in their junior and senior years.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I and Algebra I

    CHEMISTRY I
    6 Credits
    This course is designed to give the student an understanding of matter, its composition, structure and properties. The content consists of general chemical concepts, presented with emphasis on explaining the behavior of matter in the real world, laboratory procedures and quantitative problem solving which requires the use of basic algebraic skills. Topics covered will be measurement, matter and energy, atomic structure, chemical formulas and bonding, moles and stoichiometric calculations, gas laws, and solutions, acids, and bases. Assessments include lab reports and activities, tests, quizzes and homework. The recommended next course of study will be Physics I. However, students can choose Environmental Science or semester courses where appropriate.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I and teacher recommendation

    CHEMISTRY I HONORS
    6 Credits
    Chemistry is the science that deals with the materials of the universe and the changes that these materials undergo. This course is designed to provide the foundation of basic principles of matter and energy. This course is directed to students who plan to take advanced courses in Science and feel comfortable working with information at a faster pace and a more detailed level than the Chemistry I curriculum. Problemsolving is strongly emphasized in both classroom and laboratory activities. Topics covered will be chemical bonding, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, acids and bases, equilibrium, oxidation-reduction reactions, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Methods of evaluation will include the following: tests and quizzes, lab reports, homework assignments, and class activities. The next course of study will be Physics I Honors.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I with a final average of no less than an A-(90-92) or Biology I Honors with a B (83-86); Successful completion of Algebra I with no less than an A- (90-92) or Algebra I Honors with no less than a B (83-86); Instructor recommendation

    PHYSICS I
    6 Credits
    This course will give the student an understanding of the physical world. It develops fundamental understanding about matter and energy and the quantitative relationships that enable us to describe, with precision, the behavior of matter and energy. The presentation emphasizes a laboratory approach when possible and utilizes video and computer simulations as reinforcement for topics, which are not so easily demonstrable. Assessments in Physics I include tests, quizzes, laboratory activities, and homework assignments. It is expected that students who successfully complete this course will have developed mastery and proficiency in use of physics lab equipment, use of algebraic and geometric techniques to solve quantitative problems, understand the basics of mechanics, sound and light, electricity, and magnetism, use of word processing to prepare lab reports, and use of physics software.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry I

    PHYSICS I HONORS
    6 Credits
    This course will give the students an understanding of the physical world. The content consists of a conceptual understanding about matter, graphing and using mathematical equations to describe the physical world. Students must have strong math skills (Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry) to properly apply physical concepts. The course emphasizes a laboratory approach when possible and utilizes video and computer simulations as reinforcement for topics. Assessment in Honors Physics includes tests, quizzes, laboratory activities, and homework assignments. Students who successfully complete this course will have demonstrated mastery and proficiency in use of physics lab equipment, use of algebraic and geometric techniques to solve quantitative problems, understand the basics of mechanics, dynamics, sound and light, electricity, and magnetism, use of word processing to prepare lab reports, and use of physics software.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry I and Algebra II with a final average no less than a B+ (87-89) or Chemistry Honors and Algebra II Honors with no less than a B (83-86); Instructor recommendation

    ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
    5 Credits
    Environmental Science emphasizes two broad areas: ecology and environmental science. Ecological topics include the study of ecosystems, evolution, and populations. Students will take advantage of the school’s proximity to the Peckman and Passaic Rivers for field studies. Environmental Science topics will be developed with student input and may include air and water pollution, climate change, threats to species, and human population growth. Assessments will be varied, including traditional tests, quizzes, and papers along with performance and data activities. Students who successfully complete this course will have demonstrated mastery and proficiency in understanding the scientific approach to problem solving, applying graphing and analysis techniques to data, identifying and investigating indigenous fauna, flora and other indicators of quality, and assessing the impact of human demands on the local and global environment.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of a Biology and Chemistry or Physical Science course

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
    5 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    This course is the equivalent of a one semester introductory college course in Environmental Science. The goal of the course is to help students acquire the scientific principles, concepts, and methods needed to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. Topics which will be explored include Earth systems and resources, the living world, populations, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. Students in this course are expected to take the AP exam in May.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I and Chemistry I with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89) or Biology Honors and Chemistry Honors with no less than a B (83-86); Instructor recommendation

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY
    6 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement test. This is a college level course that requires students to have excellent skills in reading, observing, and formal reasoning. Students must show proficiency in using lab equipment, designing an experiment, and analyzing data. Topics which will be covered include chemistry of life, cell structure and function, cellular energetics, cell communication and cell cycle, heredity, gene expression and regulation, natural selection, and ecology. Since this course is designed to prepare students to take the AP Exam in May, tests will be the major instrument of evaluation. Other methods of evaluation will be quizzes, lab reports, and homework. Students in this course are expected to take the AP exam in May.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I and Chemistry I with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89) or Biology Honors and Chemistry Honors with no less than a B (83-86); Instructor recommendation

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY
    6 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Test. This is a college level course that requires students to have excellent skills in mathematics, reading, and formal reasoning. Exams are the primary means of assessment in AP Chemistry. Laboratory activities, and other types of assessment are utilized to reinforce the concepts discussed during class. Topics which will be covered include stoichiometry, atomic theory, thermodynamics, equilibrium and kinetics, acids, bases, salts, and electrochemistry. Students in this course are expected to take the AP exam in May.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry I and Algebra II with a final average of no less than a B+ (87-89) or Chemistry I Honors and Algebra II Honors with no less than a B (83-86); Instructor recommendation

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS
    6 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    This course is designed to provide the student with a college level presentation of the laws of physics in preparation for the Advanced Placement Exam in Physics. The ability to recall and apply physics concepts to solve complex problems is emphasized. Successful students exhibit excellent reading and mathematical skills and the formal reasoning needed for solving equations. The course content includes Mechanics, Conservation Laws, Thermodynamics, Waves and Optics, Electricity and Magnetism, General and Special Relativity, and Modern Physics. The presentation emphasizes a laboratory approach when possible and utilizes videos and computer simulations as reinforcement for topics, which are not so easily demonstrable. Assessments in Advanced Placement Physics include tests, quizzes, laboratory activities, and homework assignments. Students in this course are expected to take the AP exam in May.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Physics I Honors and Pre-calculus Honors with a final average of no less than a B (83-86); Instructor recommendation; Co-requisite: Calculus

    ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY HONORS
    6 Credits
    Grade 12
    This course is designed to introduce students to the structural, functional, and organizational relationships of the human body as a whole. It will include a detailed study of the human, not simply as material to be memorized, but to clarify the interwoven relationships of structure and function. The anatomy and physiology of the individual organs will be studied first, then the systems they form, and finally, the unified organism, man. Appropriate laboratory experiments in biochemistry and dissections are used to supplement the class work. A detailed dissection of all the systems of the cat will be performed. Topics which will be covered include orientation of the human body, chemistry, biochemistry, cytology, histology, the ten human systems, and the nervous system. *Students enrolled in this course are eligible for dual enrollment credit through Fairleigh Dickinson University.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology I and Chemistry I with final average of no less than a B+ (87-89) or Biology I Honors, and Chemistry I Honors with no less than a B (83-86); Completion of a 3rd year of College Prep/Honors science with no less than a B- (83-86) or an AP Science with no less than a B-( 80-82); Instructor recommendation

    ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCE
    5 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    This course is designed to benefit students interested in biomedical and health related careers. Students are introduced to biosciences and skills utilized in biomedical research. Anatomy and physiology and medical terminology are emphasized as well as topics that include cells, biochemistry, disease, microbiology and pathogenic organisms, infections, metabolism and nutrition, and body defenses and immunity. Students will also consider topics in bioethics and medical genetics. This course will involve presentations, discussions, projects, and the use of technology.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of a Biology and Chemistry course; Instructor Recommendation

    CLIMATE AND WEATHER
    2.5 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? How about in 2050? This course won’t give you the answers, but it will help you understand how meteorologists make forecasts and why climate scientists say the Earth’s climate is changing. Course objectives include developing an understanding of how the atmosphere and the weather system work; how and why climate has changed in the past; what the evidence for human-caused climate change is; the role that energy use plays in climate change; the impact that climate change is likely to have on wildlife and people; and measures that humanity can take to possibly reverse or minimize the impacts. Coursework will include a variety of readings, explorations of data, guest speakers, and student presentations.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of a Biology and Chemistry course; Instructor Recommendation

    FORENSIC SCIENCE
    2.5 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    Forensic Science applies biology, chemistry, physical science, and technology to the analysis of criminal acts and law enforcement. This course focuses on the development of critical thinking skills and the examination of evidence as they relate to crimes and case studies. Students will apply scientific methods to consider aspects of evidence relevant to crime scenes. Students will also consider the functions of a typical crime laboratory. This course will involve presentations, discussions, projects, laboratory investigations, use of technology and readings. Students will also be exposed to career opportunities in forensic science.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of a Biology and Chemistry course; Instructor Recommendation

    THE OCEAN
    2.5 Credits
    Grades 11-12
    Covering three-quarters of the Earth, the ocean continues to surprise. It contains the deepest canyon, the longest mountain range, and the tallest mountain on the planet. Billions of people depend on it for food and other resources. And yet, through our actions, people are having an enormous negative impact on this vital ecosystem. This course will open a window on all things marine: Students will explore how volcanic islands form, how waves, currents, and tides work, and how global warming is drastically changing the ocean. Much of our food comes from the ocean, yet commercial fishing threatens several important species with extinction. We even get a lot of our energy from the ocean—more than one-third of our oil for example—and the amount is increasing. Students will also look at the geopolitics of the ocean, as countries compete for influence around the world.
    Prerequisite: Successful completion of a Biology and Chemistry course; Instructor Recommendation