Science

The Science Department offers hands-on, inquiry-based courses which strive to engage all students as active learners. The science curriculum is designed to teach scientific concepts, deductive and inductive reasoning, and both independent and cooperative problem-solving skills. The teachers of the Science Department are committed to fostering a love for science and an understanding of the vital contributions of science to society. A firm understanding of the principles of science will enable our students to think intelligently about current issues in science, technology, the environment, and politics. The minimum program requirements are one year of physical science, one year of biology and one year of an elective choice. The department strongly recommends that students take more than three credits of science to prepare for college.

NHS Academic, Social and Civic Learning Expectations - Graduates of Nonnewaug High School will demonstrate that they are logical and creative problem-solvers and independent, technologically-adept learners.


Science Courses


INTEGRATED SCIENCE 9

1 credit

This course provides the student with the principles of physical science and helps the student acquire laboratory and problem-solving skills. Students explore the chemical and physical properties and cycles of matter. The method employed to achieve the stated goals is one of experimentation and guided reasoning based upon the results of student experiments. Connections are made between physical science, earth science, mathematics, and basic ideas of chemistry and physics. Significant time is also spent during the year focusing on state science standards. Integrated Science is offered as a honors or college prep. The honors course is designed for students whose abilities and interests may lead to a career in the science/math fields. The honors course moves at a faster pace than the college prep course and requires more independent work than the college prep course. The student taking this as an honors class should have above grade level reading, writing, and math skills. No Prerequisite Required Honors or College Prep


BIOLOGY 9-10

1 credit

Biology, the study of life, includes the topics: cell structure, chemistry of biomolecules, how animal and plant cells obtain energy, ecology, the genetic code, heredity, evolution, the human body and how these topics relate. This course is offered as honors or college prep. The honors course is designed for students whose abilities and interests may lead to a career in the science/math fields. The honors course studies each topic in greater depth, moves at a faster pace, and requires independent work. The student taking this as an honors level class should have above grade level reading, writing, and math skills. Level selection is recommended through consultation with the Science Department. Prerequisite: Algebra 1 Honors or College Prep


CHEMISTRY

1 credit

Chemistry provides a complete preparatory course in inorganic chemistry and an introduction to organic chemistry. Laboratory investigations and problem solving skills are important components of the course. Topics include atomic structure, stoichiometry, periodic properties, gas laws, solutions, acids and bases, thermochemistry, and classes of organic compounds. Chemistry is offered as a honors or college prep course. The honors course is designed for the student who wishes to acquire a deeper understanding of the theories of chemistry and includes extra topics such as equilibrium. This course moves at a faster pace and requires independent learning. This course also finishes the year with an Advanced Placement unit in preparation for AP Chemistry. Level selection is recommended through consultation with the Science Department. Students who wish to pursue post-secondary studies in the fields of science or medicine should take a Chemistry course. Prerequisite: Biology and concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or Department approval. Honors or College Prep


PHYSICS 11-12

1 credit

Physics is a full year course for the student who is confident in math and science and intends to pursue a post-secondary education in the fields of Science, Pre-Medical, Engineering or Mathematics. It is also highly recommended that all students planning to attend college take this course regardless of career path. Topics covered include Newtonian mechanics, orbital and oscillatory motion, work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuit waves and sound, light and optics, and electricity and magnetism. Evaluation is based upon tests, quizzes, laboratory work, and a final exam. Physics is offered as a honors or college prep course. The honors level course is designed and implemented so that the depth of the topics discussed in the course surpass that of the College Prep course and include the following: extensions of learning, accelerated pacing, greater complexity in topics, and greater responsibility, creativity, and reflection on the part of the students as their thinking and feelings are challenged. Prerequisite: Chemistry and concurrent enrollment in Pre-Calculus Honors or College Prep


BIOTECHNOLOGY 11-12

0.5 credit

Biotechnology is the merging of technology and biology. The products of biotechnology are utilized in most people’s lives every day. This course is designed for students interested in career fields in life sciences. The course will explore standard laboratory practices including DNA extraction and precipitation, column chromatography, solution making, pipetting, media making, sterile techniques, basic microbiology techniques, restriction enzyme and recombinant DNA technology, protein analysis, and antibody techniques. The topic of bioethics will also be explored. Prerequisite: Biology College Prep


ENGINEERING AND DESIGN 10-120.5 credit (course meets technology requirement)

Engineering and Design is a one-semester course to introduce students to the principles and skills of the field of engineering. The course will focus on design principles, especially mechanical design, including the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. Engineering and Design is for the student who is interested in science and intends to pursue a post- secondary education in the fields of Engineering, Technology, Design, Manufacturing, Architecture, Mathematics or Science. No Prerequisite Required College Prep


HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY 11-12

1 credit

Human Anatomy and Physiology is for students who are preparing for careers in the allied health fields or who are interested in this subject. Emphasis is placed on a detailed study of the human body by systems and discussions of recent medical advances and laboratory experiences. Dissections are used to enhance course material. Honors
Prerequisite: Physical Science/Integrated Science and Biology, and approval of the Science Department.


FORENSICS 11-12

0.5 credits

Forensics is designed to explore the science of crimes. Topics in history, crime solving, techniques (blood analysis, DNA fingerprinting, etc.) and presentation in a court of law will be studied. Prerequisite: Biology and approval of the Science Department. College Prep


ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 11-12

1 credit

Environmental Science is designed to explore the connections of environmental science to land use, food production, natural resources and waste management. The student will examine the complexities of solving current environmental problems at local, national and global levels and will provide practical knowledge of environmental issues that will help the student become an informed citizen and decision maker. Prerequisite: Physical Science/Integrated Science and Biology. College Prep


ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY 11-12

1.5 credit (Double period every day fall semester, single period in the spring) / UConn ECE

The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory Biology course usually taken by biology majors in their first year. This is a rigorous course that requires students be highly motivated and committed to the demanding course work. Course topics include: biochemistry, cells, cellular energetics, heredity, molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, organism diversity, structure and molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, organism diversity, structure and function of plants and animals, and ecology. Students must take the College Board AP examination administered in May. Eight transferable UCONN credits (BIOL 1107, BIOL 1108) are available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or better as part of the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) Program. Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry, and approval of the Science Dept. Advanced Placement / UConn ECE


ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY 11-12

1 credit

The Advanced Placement Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introduction course in chemistry. This is a rigorous course that requires students be highly motivated and committed to the demanding course work. Course topics include: structure of matter, states of matter, reaction types stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, and thermodynamics. Students are expected to complete significant summer work for enrollment in this course. Students must also take the College Board AP examination at NHS in May. Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry, and approval of the Science Department. Advanced Placement


ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 11-12

1 credit / UConn ECE

The Advanced Placement Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory course in environmental science. Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field of study, which embraces a wide variety of topics from all sciences. This course places heavy emphasis (90%) on the hard science (physical and life science) of environmental systems and less emphasis (10%) on the social sciences (politics, ethics, and economics.) The emphasis on hard science allows students to form a solid background and understanding of environmental systems and issues. With this scientific understanding, students are better prepared to make more informed ethical, economic, social, and political choices. Students must take the College Board AP examination administered at NHS in May. Three transferable UCONN credits (NRE 1000) are available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or better as part of the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) Program. Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry, and approval of the Science Dept. Advanced Placement/UConn ECE


ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS 1 11-12

1 credit

Advanced Placement Physics 1 is an algebra-based, first-year physics course designed to be the equivalent of a first semester college introductory course in physics for the student who has advanced skills in math and science and intends to pursue a post-secondary education in the fields of Science, Pre-Medical, Engineering or Mathematics. This course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. After the AP exam, students will complete the course with a unit on optics. Students enrolled in this course must take the AP Physics 1 examination. Four transferable UCONN credits (PHYS 1201Q) are available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or better as part of the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) Program. Prerequisite: Chemistry and concurrent enrollment in Pre-calculus. Advanced Placement/UConn ECE


ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS 2 12

1 credit

Advanced Placement Physics 2 is an algebra-based, second-year physics course designed to be the equivalent of a second semester college introductory course in physics for the student who has advanced skills in math and science and intends to pursue a post-secondary education in the fields of Science, Pre-Medical, Engineering or Mathematics. This course covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; and atomic and nuclear physics. Following the AP exam, topics of study will include relativity theory, astrophysics, and projects or special topics based on student interest. Students enrolled in this course must take the AP Physics 2 examination. Four transferable UCONN credits (PHYS 1202Q) are available for eligible students who earn a grade of C or better as part of the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) Program. Prerequisite: Advanced Placement Physics 1 Advanced Placement/UConn ECE

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