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Science Department @ McKinley Education Campus

AP/Pre-AP Classes

The Science department strives to foster critical thinking skills and real-world application of content in all of our classes. With the infusion of inquiry into our curricula, we hope to equip our students with the ability to ask questions and seek out answers to those questions as well as develop explanations to the phenomena that occur in our environment. Students begin by matriculating through a standard course of study in their first two years at McKinley, and then they have a choice of classes to take based on their interest, including Pre-AP and AP classes.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college-level courses that follow the College Board Advanced Placement guidelines. These courses involve an extensive accumulation of knowledge in the field that is tested on the AP exam. Colleges and universities have the option of accepting the AP results for college credit. While there is a fee to take the exam, financial aid is available. Gifted and talented students needs are served through Pre-AP and Advanced Placement programs. Students and parents are required to complete and submit an AP contract that outlines in detail the requirements of the class.

Courses

STANDARD CURRICULUM

Biology I

Credits: 1.0 (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: None

This science lab course is designed to develop student critical thinking skills as well as enhance students' comprehension and appreciation of life. Students will study how organisms work on a cellular and molecular level, human body systems, evolution and ecological relationships in the environment.

Chemistry I

Credits: 1.0 (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: None

This science lab course emphasizes the study of chemistry and the skills necessary to investigate properties of matter and energy. Students will learn how to apply these skills in order to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between matter and energy. Students will be able to use and interpret the periodic chart, apply gas laws, use stoichiometry, and prepare solutions.

Physics I

Credits: 1.0 (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: None

This science lab course provides an introduction to physics. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the physical universe by exploring the laws of nature through hands-on activities and laboratory exercises.

 

Anatomy & Physiology

Credits: 1.0 (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry

This science elective gives students an in-depth look at the anatomy and physiology of man. Students will learn about the structure and function of the human body systems. Students will be able to understand the relationship between the structure and function of the body and how homeostasis is maintained within it.

 

Environmental Science

Credits: 1.0 (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: None

This Environmental Science course teaches a scientific approach to the study of environmental issues. Students will learn their role in environmental management through hands-on activities based on topics such as ecosystems, biochemical cycles, and natural resources.

Forensics

Credits: 1.0 (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: None

Forensic Science is a multidisciplinary college preparatory course.  It integrates biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science.  This year long course bridges inquiry and the criminal justice system.  Forensic Science utilizes lecture, laboratory activities, scientific literature, case study analysis to develop writing, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.  Topics covered include criminal law, crime scene analysis, physical and chemical analysis, chromatography, hair and fiber analysis, fingerprint analysis, questionable documents, toxicology, entomology, blood analysis (serology), and more.  

Pre-AP/AP CURRICULUM

Honors Biology

Credits: 1.0; may substitute credit with Biology (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: None

This honors lab science course is an advanced study of biology. It is an accelerated course that covers the same content as the regular Biology course, but the content is covered in greater detail so students can delve more deeply into these biological concepts. 

 

Honors Chemistry

Credits: 1.0; may substitute credit with Chemistry (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: None

 

This honors lab science course is an advanced study of chemistry, which includes an in-depth emphasis on the application of these skills to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Students will investigate such topics as the properties of matter and energy, stoichiometry, and the periodic table of the elements.

AP Biology

Credits: 2.0 (Laboratory Credit)

Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry

Schedule: this course is offered as a double period and meets daily

Required for graduation? No

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through different activities and lab investigations as they explore the following topics: ecology, evolution, body systems and communication, cellular processes, genetics and information transfer. Students will be assigned homework daily. Students are expected to keep up with textbook reading nightly, as we cover chapters every 1-2 weeks. Students will also be expected to attend 2-3 practice test weekend sessions to prepare for the exam in May. Students who take this class should have a love for Biology and a lot of self-motivation.

AP Chemistry (Laboratory Credit)

Credit: 2.0

Prerequisite: Chemistry

Schedule: this course is offered every other year as a double period and meets daily

AP Chemistry is an introductory college-level chemistry course. Students will be challenged to think critically and observe and analyzed patterns, and will perform chemistry labs in order to apply and better understand chemistry concepts. Topics covered include stoichiometry, kinetics, equilibrium, atomic theory, gas laws, and others. Students will be expected to study outside of class and complete the assigned homework. This is a challenging course that requires student initiative. Students will be required to write lab reports, complete assessments, and ask questions.

AP Physics (Laboratory Credit)

Credit: 2.0

Prerequisites: Physics, Algebra II & Trigonometry

Schedule: this course is offered every other year as a double period and meets daily

The AP Physics-1 course is a University level course that will pose a significant intellectual and psychological challenge. Students will be called upon to employ higher order analytical skills to solve math and physical complexities and abstractions. Intellectually, students will gain a deeper understanding of the how things work. Students will learn to derive formulas, acquire new ways to solve problems and become more likely to plan problem solutions instead of just "plugging and chugging". Personally, students will gain the personal satisfaction of tackling a huge challenge and becoming successful in a difficult subject like algebra-based physics.

This course will require strong self-study skills, organization and a strong long-term memory. Students' success depends on their ability to recall concepts and techniques introduced earlier in the course. Students should expect 10 unit tests throughout the year, scored using the AP scoring guidelines, and short quizzes once or twice weekly.

 

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