Mount St. Mary Academy
Science Department

BIOLOGY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADES 9

 

This course is designed to teach students that science can be meaningful to their present interests and future goals and to arouse the curiosity of students about themselves and their environment.   Students are expected to gain a thorough understanding of biological concepts and be able to apply those concepts to the explanation and resolution of various problems and situations present in today’s world.  Topics of study include scientific method, cell biology, genetics, classification, microbiology, plants, animals, and ecology.  Laboratory time is spent in developing laboratory safety and basic microscope skills and fundamental laboratory techniques used in biology.  

 

HONORS BIOLOGY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADE 9 WITH STRONG TEST SCORES AND ACADEMIC RECORDS

 

This course is designed for the task-committed, self-motivated student with above average interest and ability in science and problem solving.  It emphasizes unifying themes in Biology.  It is designed to expand the range and depth of the following topics:  molecular and cell biology, bioenergetics, heredity, classification, and diversity (organisms and populations), biological change through time, and ecology.  Laboratory investigations are an integral part of this course.

 

PHYSICAL SCIENCE
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADES 10, 11, 12

 

Physical Science Survey is designed as preparatory instruction to help students achieve diverse knowledge in the concepts of chemistry and physics.  Students gain a thorough understanding of physical science concepts and are able to apply those concepts to the explanation and resolution of problems in the lab or classroom setting.  Key components of this class include lab safety, microscopy, physical and chemical properties of matter, and in-depth study of forces and motion. Problem-based and cooperative learning are emphasized through group projects with an emphasis on scientific method.  

 

HONORS PHYSICAL SCIENCE
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO: GRADES 10, 11, 12

PREREQUISITE: BIOLOGY OR HONOR BIOLOGY, ALGEBRA I OR HONORS ALGEBRA I AND TEACHER RECOMMENDATION

 

The course includes studies of the scientific method, scientific measurement, the nature of matter, current understanding of the atom; nature, classification, and naming of matter; characteristics and components of radioactivity; arrangement of the Periodic Table; phase of matter and molecular motion; properties of solutions; transformations and flow of energy; force, mass, and motion; properties of waves; properties of electricity and magnetism.  Mathematical applications will be used often with scientific formulas.  

 

CHEMISTRY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADE 11

PREREQUISITE:  BIOLOGY, PHYSICAL SCIENCE

 

This course studies unit analysis, measurement, scientific measurements, accuracy and significant digits as building blocks for future problems.  Atomic structure, chemical formula, and chemical equations are investigated.  Stoichiometry calculations, limiting reactants, stoichiometry of solution, molality, and normality are studied.  Solutions and their properties, gases and their properties and chemical reactions are analyzed.  Acid-base titration and pH are investigated.  Compounds of carbon are examined.  This class spends a minimum of 20% of its class time in the laboratory, and many class demonstrations are performed for the visual learners.  

 

HONORS CHEMISTRY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:    GRADES 10, 11

PREREQUISITE:  GRADE 10- HONORS BIOLOGY, HONORS ALGEBRA I, ENROLLED IN HONORS GEOMETRY, SCIENCE TEACHER RECOMMENDATION.  

PREREQUISITE: GRADE 11- BIOLOGY, PHYSICAL SCIENCE, SCIENCE TEACHER RECOMMENDATION

 

This course studies unit analysis, measurement, scientific measurements, accuracy and significant digits as building blocks for future problems.  Atomic structure, chemical formula, and chemical equations are investigated.  Stoichiometry calculations, limiting reactants, stoichiometry of solution, molality, and normality are studied.  Solutions and their properties, gases and their properties and chemical reactions are analyzed.  Acid-base titration and pH are investigated. Chemical reactions, kinetic and dynamic equilibria and oxidation-reduction reactions are studied.  Compounds of carbon are examined.  This class spends a minimum of 20% of its class time in the laboratory and many class demonstrations are performed for the visual learners.  The course uses the same textbook as standard chemistry but covers more topics quickly and in more detail.

 

ANATOMY
CREDIT: 1/2
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

PREREQUISITE: BIOLOGY AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE/CHEMISTRY

 

Covers the basics of human anatomy and physiology including anatomical terminology, basic biochemistry, cells and tissues, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic/immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. Introduces common human disease processes

 

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
C
REDIT: 1/2
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

PREREQUISITE: BIOLOGY AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE/CHEMISTRY

 

This course is an introduction to environmental science and environmental studies for non-science majors. It examines the environmental impact of population growth on natural resources; mineral and resource extraction; water resource use and water pollution; air pollution and climate change; and conventional and sustainable energy supplies. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using class discussions, laboratory exercises, and environmental surveys to reinforce scientific principles. 

 

FORENSIC SCIENCE
CREDIT: 1/2
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

PREREQUISITE: BIOLOGY AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE/CHEMISTRY

 

The course is designed to emphasize the laboratory techniques used by forensic scientists in the analysis of crimes and the role of evidence in criminal and civil proceedings. Investigative procedures to be studied include crime scene processing and reconstruction, fingerprinting, evaluation of injuries and cause of death, determination of the post-mortem interval, forensic entomology, bite mark analysis, tool marks, ballistics, trajectory analysis, blood spatter analysis, and DNA analysis. Ethical issues and case studies of actual crimes will be discussed. Students will learn how to lift latent fingerprints using multiple techniques, and then match them with a suspect. Students will also collect and analyze trace evidence such as hair and fiber to determine their origin. Examination of skeletal remains will include determination of gender and race, as well as differentiating post-mortem and ante-mortem injuries. Experts from local and state forensic labs and law enforcement will give seminars in actual crime scene investigation.

 

GEOLOGY AND SPACE
C
REDIT: 1/2
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

PREREQUISITE: BIOLOGY AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE/CHEMISTRY

 

This course deals with the physical earth and the universe in which it is found. Various instructional media are used to explore the topics of earth materials, geologic history, forces and events shaping Earth’s surface, and astronomy. Emphasis is also placed on the scientific method and learning how currently held theories have been developed. Appropriate laboratory activities are included to support the concepts and skills developed in the course.

 

AP BIOLOGY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITE: HONORS BIOLOGY AND HONORS PHYSICAL SCIENCE AND TEACHER RECOMMENDATION; HONORS CHEMISTRY CAN BE CONCURRENT

 

This course is an introductory college level biology course that focuses on the following topics: evolution, cellular processes, energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology and interactions.  This course shifts the emphasis from a traditional “content coverage” model of instruction to one that focuses on enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports them. This approach will enable students to spend less time on factual recall and more time on inquiry-based learning of essential concepts, and will help them develop the reasoning skills necessary to engage in the science practices used throughout their study of AP Biology. This course requires that 25% of instruction time will be spent in hands-on laboratory work, with an emphasis on inquiry based investigations that provide students with the opportunity to apply concepts learned throughout the course. Students will learn to design a plan for collecting data, analyze data, apply mathematical routines, and connect concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses. At the end of the year, students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Examination for college credit. Students taking this course may be required to complete laboratory work outside of the regular class time. This course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course.

For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.

 

AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITE: BIOLOGY OR HONORS BIOLOGY, PHYSICAL SCIENCE OR HONORS PHYSICAL SCIENCE, HONORS CHEMISTRY, ALGEBRA I OR HONORS ALGEBRA I, GEOMETRY OR HONORS GEOMETRY, AND TEACHER RECOMMENDATION

 

The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.

 

Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. Yet there are several major unifying themes, that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental science. The following themes provide a foundation for the structure of the AP Environmental Science course:  Earth Systems and Resources (10%–15%),The Living World (10%–15%),Population (10%–15%), Land and Water Use (10%–15%),Energy Resources and Consumption (10%–15%),Pollution (25%–30%),Global Change (10%–15%).

For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.

 

AP CHEMISTRY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITE: HONORS BIOLOGY, HONORS PHYSICAL SCIENCE, HONORS CHEMISTRY AND HONORS ALGEBRA I, HONORS GEOMETRY AND TEACHER RECOMMENDATION  

 

Chemistry is equivalent to a college level general chemistry course that provides rigorous study in four major areas: structure of matter, states of matter, reaction and descriptive chemistry. Students must be highly motivated to tackle this rigorous course. At the end of the year, students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Examination for college credit. Students taking this course may be required to complete laboratory work outside of the regular class time. The student will demonstrate a basic understanding of, and the ability to apply, mathematical solutions to problems involving atomic theory and structures, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, kinetic theory, solutions, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, and descriptive chemistry. Evaluation is based on homework, lab reports and tests. Much of the class is “out of class homework” and in class “lab” based work.

For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.

 

AP PHYSICS 1
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADE 12

RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITE: HONOR BIOLOGY, HONOR PHYSICAL SCIENCE, HONOR CHEMISTRY AND HONOR ALGEBRA I, HONOR GEOMETRY, HONOR ALGEBRA II, AND TEACHER RECOMMENDATION  

 

AP Physics 1 is designed as an introductory course in physics.  Concepts in mechanics, thermodynamics, optics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics are studied.  A minimum of 20% of class time is spent in the laboratory.  A TI-Nspire calculator is required for this course.

For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.