High School Science Courses

Living Environment

Successful completion of Science 8 with at least a 70%
1 Unit
Grade 9
This course provides the fundamentals of the life sciences (biology) and prepares students for the Living Environment Regents exam. Topics covered include cells and life processes, biochemistry, human systems, reproduction, genetics, evolution, ecology and human impact on the environment. Scientific inquiry and the development of laboratory skills are emphasized. Students will increase their literacy in reading and writing scientific material. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 1,200 minutes of laboratory work with satisfactory written reports for each laboratory investigation in order to qualify to take the Regents examination.

Living Environment 1.5

Prerequisite — Science 8 
1.5 Units
Grade 9
This course provides the fundamentals of the life sciences (biology) and prepares students for the Living Environment Regents Exam. Living Environment 1.5 meets every day for 2 class periods (88 minutes) providing an extra period of classroom support and time to those students who may struggle in their Living Environment class. Topics covered include cells and life processes, biochemistry, human systems, reproduction, genetics, evolution, ecology, and human impact on the environment. Scientific inquiry and the development of laboratory skills are emphasized. Students will increase their literacy in reading and writing scientific material. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 1,200 minutes of laboratory work with satisfactory written reports for each laboratory investigation in order to qualify to take the Regents examination.

Physical Setting: Earth Science

Prerequisite — Successful completion of Living Environment and Regents exam 
1 Unit
Grade 10
Earth Science follows the curriculum outlined in the New York State Core Curriculum for Physical Science along with alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards. The Earth Science course presents a study designed to encourage students to find out about their world by experiencing it firsthand. It is through this study that students begin to understand the world around them and the forces responsible for the changes they experience. Topics covered include mapping, rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, weathering and erosion, geologic history, meteorology, climate, and astronomy. Students will be asked to complete classwork, assignments, performance tasks, quizzes, tests, and laboratory activities to further their inquiry into the subject. Classes meet every day, and a lab period is scheduled every other day. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 1,200 minutes of laboratory work with satisfactory written reports for each laboratory investigation in order to qualify to take the Regents examination. A two-part Regents examination is administered at the end of the course, for which firm eligibility requirements exist, including but not limited to, laboratory minutes completion.

Physical Setting: Earth Science 1.5

Living Environment 1.5 and Algebra I with lab
1 Unit
Grade 10
Earth Science 1.5 meets every day for 2 class periods (88 minutes) providing extra classroom support to students who need it. This course follows the New York State Core Curriculum for Physical Science and is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. The course encourages students to discover their world by experiencing it firsthand. Students begin to understand the world around them and the forces responsible for the changes they experience. Topics covered include mapping, rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, weathering and erosion, geologic history, meteorology, climate, and astronomy. Students are required to complete classwork, assignments, performance tasks, quizzes, tests, and laboratory activities. Classes meet every day, and a lab period is scheduled every other day. Students must complete a minimum of 1,200 minutes of lab work with satisfactory written reports for each lab investigation to qualify to take the Earth Science Regents exam. A two-part Regents exam is administered at the end of the course.

Physical Setting: Earth Science Honors

Prerequisites — 85% in Living Environment 85% average in Algebra I, Teacher recommendation 
1 Unit
Grade 9
This fast-paced honors course is designed for students who are motivated to study Earth Science at a more complex level or students on the honors sequence with middle school completion of the Living Environment course and Regents. Students must complete additional readings, projects, presentations, field trips and laboratory activities. The use of technology is emphasized in the classroom. This course provides the fundamentals of Earth Science and prepares students for the Earth Science Regents exam. Topics covered include mapping, rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, weathering and erosion, geologic history, meteorology, climate and astronomy. Scientific inquiry and the development of laboratory skills are emphasized. Double lab periods are a part of the course. Enrichment opportunities include, but not limited to, technology usage, research, projects and field trips. Students must complete a minimum of 1,200 minutes of lab work with satisfactory written reports for each lab investigation to qualify to take the Earth Science Regents exam. A two-part Regents exam is administered at the end of the course.

Science Research

Prerequisite — Application admission only 
Grades 10-12
The Science Research program provides students in their sophomore through senior years with the opportunity to conduct original science research. The three-year course is part of the University in the High School Program with the University at Albany. This course is designed to provide students with an excellent understanding of research methodology in the sciences. Students are taught the process of on-line bibliographic researching and are able to access scientific databases. A student’s commitment to long-term focused research, demonstrating initiative, perseverance, and creativity is developed and fostered. A key component of the program is the use of scientists as mentors. Once students identify an area of interest, they begin reading commonly available literature and quickly move to articles in scientific journals. As they refine their topic, students are encouraged to ask a scientist to serve as a mentor. Students then engage in an original piece of research under the supervision of their mentor and of the classroom research teacher. Students are required to continue their research projects and work during summer breaks. Students present their research to their class, their school district and in student science competitions including regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposia. They use the same professional methods employed by scientists developing poster and oral presentations accompanied by slides or PowerPoint graphics.

Permission by the science research instructor is required for admission. Students must write an essay, submit two letters of recommendation from 9th grade teachers and complete an interview. Students are required to complete a summer project before the beginning of 10th grade. Students will not be admitted to the program unless they scored 85% or better in Earth Science Honors or 85% or better in Living Environment.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Prerequisites — Living Environment, Earth Science, Teacher recommendation
1 Unit
Grades 11, 12
This elective course is designed to give 11th and 12th grade students a detailed understanding of the structures and functions of the human body systems. The course covers the 11 organ systems in the human body and integrates the chemical basis of the physiology in each system. Students will also learn diseases and malfunctions of each system. The coursework content and rigor mirrors an introductory two-semester sequence of college-level anatomy and physiology. Laboratory activities conducted in class include dissection of various organs and organisms. This course is highly recommended to any student planning on entering into the medical/health field, but is open to any student with interest and meets the prerequisites.

AP Biology

Prerequisites — 85% in Living Environment, 75% in Earth Science and Chemistry, Teacher recommendation
1 Unit
Grades 11, 12
This course prepares 11th and 12th grade students who have demonstrated proficiency in their Regents level science courses for college level science. This course introduces students to the content, organization and rigor of a college-level life science course, and also covers the material to pass the AP Biology exam. Instructors provide a number of supports to assist students in the transition from high school science to mastery of college-level science. Students are expected to invest significant effort into the class, including 1-2 hours of homework per night. Students are expected to complete weekly readings and assignments on time, have near-perfect attendance and actively seek help as soon as needed. Each class member is expected to make productive, supportive contributions in each class session. Students sit for the AP Biology exam in May.

Physical Setting: Chemistry (Regents)

Prerequisites — Living Environment, Earth Science and Geometry
1 Unit
Grade 11
This course provides a modern view of fundamental concepts of Chemistry. The course covers the following topics: matter and energy, atomic structure, chemical bonding, periodic table, the mathematics of chemistry, kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases, redox and electrochemistry, organic chemistry and nuclear chemistry. Students reinforce knowledge of concepts through hands on experiments in a separate lab component. Students must complete a minimum of 1,200 minutes of lab work with satisfactory written reports for each lab investigation to qualify to take the Chemistry Regents exam. It is recommended that students complete Regents or Honors Living Environment AND Earth Science at a proficient level and passed one of the associated Regents exams. This course is highly recommended for anyone interested in pursuing a degree in the medical field.

Chemistry Prep

Prerequisites — Living Environment, Earth Science (1.5)
1 Unit
Grade 11
Students are exposed to most of the topics outlined in Physical Setting/Chemistry Curricula for New York State. Laboratory activities are integrated into class time to reinforce concepts through hands-on experiments. A school-prepared exam is administered at the end of the course. Students are provided with the necessary framework and a solid basis of chemistry to be successful in Regents Chemistry or Human Anatomy and Physiology the following year. Students are recommended to enroll in this course if they have not met the prerequisites for Regents Chemistry, but are planning on enrolling in Regents Chemistry and/or Human Anatomy and Physiology the following year.

Green Energy

Prerequisite — Living Environment and Earth Science 
½ Unit
Grades 11, 12
This course is an exploration of alternative energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar power and their current uses nationally and globally. The course also examines the current use of fossil fuels as a major energy source, how energy is generated, energy efficiencies, as well as environmental impacts and consequences including toxic emissions, greenhouse gases and resource depletion.

Natural Disasters

Prerequisite — Living Environment and Earth Science 
½ Unit
Grades 11, 12
This course is an examination of the causes and effects of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, landslides and flooding. Students study the effects of natural hazards on the landscape of the Earth as well as on populated areas with emphasis on the political, social and economic impacts of these disasters.

Physical Setting: Physics

Prerequisite — Living Environment, Earth Science, Chemistry, Algebra and Geometry 
1 Unit
Grade 12
This Regents course focuses on mathematical application and problem-solving in the areas of mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism, wave phenomena and nuclear physics. Students must complete a minimum of 1,200 minutes of lab work with satisfactory written reports for each lab investigation to qualify to take the Physics Regents exam. A strong background in Math is critical to success in this course.

Environmental Science

Prerequisite — Living Environment and Earth Science 1 Unit
Grades 11, 12
Students explore and investigate the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Topics include, but are not limited to, zoonotic disease, human population growth, water availability and usage, types of pollution, environmental justice, energy use and alternatives, green careers and land use. This class relies on technology, and access to a computer and the Internet is necessary.

Environmental Science – UHS

Prerequisite — Living Environment, Earth Science
1 Unit
Grades 11, 12
This course prepares 11th and 12th grade students who have demonstrated proficiency in their Regents level science courses for college-level science. Students explore and investigate the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Topics include but are not limited to zoonotic disease, human population growth, water availability and usage, types of pollution, environmental justice, energy use and alternatives, green careers, and land use. This class relies on technology, and access to a computer and the Internet is necessary. This course is a UAlbany University in the High School (UHS) program and is a college-level course with associated expectations. Students are expected to invest a significant amount of effort into the class. Students should expect 1-2 hours of homework per night for the course.

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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