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Upper School Science

Built around experimentation and discovery, our science courses are dedicated to helping our students become socially engaged and scientifically literate citizens.

Hands-On Inquiry

Our science program is inquiry-based, encouraging lively discussions and observational studies. Students learn through hands-on projects, fieldwork, laboratory research, and experiments, challenging what they know and expanding their awareness and knowledge about the world around them. As they learn the role of science in the larger local and global community, they become prepared, socially engaged, and scientifically literate citizens.

Accordion

For ninth-graders, these lab-based courses integrate data acquisition and analysis technologies to introduce students to the relationship between ethics, public policy, and biological issues. They explore molecular biology, cellular biology, microbiology, evolution, ecology, and immunology.

By 10th grade, students are exploring modern atomic theory, the nature of the chemical bond, chemical composition and reactivity, solution chemistry, and the behavior of physical states of matter.

In this course, students may:

  • Explore key concepts through experiments
  • Acquire new skills with common laboratory techniques
  • Learn proper data analysis and scientific writing

For 11th- and 12th-graders, these courses are designed to broaden the study of matter by exploring the laws of physics, from the subatomic scale to the astronomical. Students touch on topics such as dynamics, kinematics, conservation laws, waves, electricity, and magnetism.

Designed for 11th- and 12th-graders who would like to study the human body more thoroughly, this course includes both lecture and laboratory experiences. Students learn a vast amount of technical vocabulary while also participating in dissections and other experiments.

This course provides students with a deeper understanding of cellular and molecular processes, genetics, organismal form and function, ecology, and evolution. Through classroom discussions, group activities, and laboratory investigations, they explore the unifying principles and underlying mechanisms of life science.

In this course, students may:

  • Conduct independent investigations
  • Analyze data
  • Develop critical thinking skills through keen observation and inquiry

This course explores in depth the topics of atomic structure, the relationship between structure and properties, chemical and physical transformations, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium.

In this course, students may:

  • Conduct a series of 22 laboratory experiments
  • Gain a deep conceptual understanding of chemistry
  • Refine their experimental practices
  • Strengthen their ability to use scientific evidence to make predictions about natural phenomena

With a heavy emphasis in math, this course offers in-depth coverage of forces, energy, momentum conservation, translational and rotational kinematics, gravity and rotational motion, orbits, oscillations, electrostatics, and electric fields. Students also investigate conductors and dielectrics, the origins and effects of magnetic fields, electromagnetism, waves, thermodynamics, special relativity, and atomic physics.

Students in this course are introduced to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings and  other animals. 

In this course, students may: 

  • Survey the major subfields of psychology, including scientific research methods, ethical considerations in research with human and animal subjects, and the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal behavior
  • Complete one or more independent research projects

This course introduces students to plant tissue culturing, DNA, RNA, protein technologies, genetic diagnostics, fermentation technology, forensic science, and cloning.

In this course, students may:

  • Explore the topics of stem cells and bioethics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and energy and environment management
  • Study food processing and bioethics
  • Gain insight into biotechnology career pathways and business applications

Macro Engineering will survey the field of engineering and engineering technology, providing an introduction to such engineering disciplines as civil, mechanical, and materials. This course will integrate math, science, technology, and writing as students learn the Engineering Design Process (Design, Build, Test, Evaluate, Redesign) to solve engineering problems and explore the impact technology has on society. The course will be primarily project-based. It will emphasize teamwork and oral and written communication, and require substantial participation by all students. 

Micro Engineering will survey the field of engineering and engineering technology, providing an introduction to such engineering disciplines as electrical, biomedical, chemical, and environmental. This course will integrate math, science, technology, and writing as students learn the Engineering Design Process (Design, Build, Test, Evaluate, Redesign) to solve engineering problems and explore the impact technology has on society. The course will be primarily project-based. It will emphasize teamwork and oral and written communication, and require substantial participation by all students.

This course is designed to be an interdisciplinary investigation into crucial environmental issues, combining the study of science, history, and culture. It is designed to be as hands-on and exploratory as possible, with a number of projects and field trips into the community.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn about how people think about the environment and have interacted with it throughout history
  • Learn how science informs the ways in which we interact with the environment
  • Learn the major environmental issues facing society today