Science

The science curriculum follows the California Next Generation Science Standards or the California Science Frameworks. Science classes develop inquiry skills using the eight science and engineering practices described by NGSS.

Students who are interested in science but are following a general college preparatory program (applicable to the University of California or similar institution) should consider the following sequence of courses.

Grade 9Physics 9-H
Grade 10 Chemistry-C
Grade 11Biology-C
Grade 12Anatomy and Physiology-C+ or Earth Science-C*

*La Reina may offer this class on an alternate-year basis

 


Students pursuing a rigorous study of science, as potential math/science majors in college, should consider the following sequence of courses.
 

Grade 9Physics 9-H
Grade 10 Chemistry-H, with the option of concurrent enrollment in
AP Physics 1 or AP Physics 2
Grade 11Biology-H, with the option of concurrent enrollment in AP Physics 1,
AP Physics 2 or AP Environmental Science
Grade 12AP Biology, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Environmental Science+
or Anatomy and Physiology-C*

*La Reina may offer this class on an alternate-year basis.

 

 

 Course Code:  C=College Prep, H=Honors, AP-Advanced Placement

Physics 9-C

This hands-on, algebra-based course provides a foundation for all high school sciences. Through inquiry-based learning, students will explore the development of physical models, velocity and acceleration, Newton’s laws of motion, collisions and momentum, energy, and electricity. Next Generation Science practices are developed as students learn to apply mathematical reasoning to real-world problems, design experiments, analyze and interpret data, use evidence to support scientific arguments, and communicate experimental results orally and in written form.

Physics 9-H

This more rigorous hands-on course provides a foundation for advanced high school sciences, emphasizing the use of mathematical models and the development of advanced problem-solving skills. Through inquiry-based learning, students will explore velocity and acceleration, Newton’s laws of motion, collisions and momentum, energy, and electricity. Next Generation Science practices are developed as students learn to apply mathematical reasoning to real-world problems, design experiments, analyze and interpret data, use evidence to support scientific arguments, and communicate experimental results orally and in written form.

Chemistry/Lab-C

Students study the laws governing chemical reactions using a qualitative approach which emphasizes an understanding of core concepts. STEM projects are integrated into the curriculum. Extended lab time is used to develop the eight major skills of a scientist including designing and performing guided experiments, and data analysis. The course covers the following topics: the nature of matter, chemical reactions, periodicity and bonding, acids and bases, and basic organic chemistry. This course satisfies the physical science requirement for graduation and a laboratory science requirement for the University of California.

Chemistry/Lab-H

Our students study the laws governing chemical reactions using a quantitative approach which emphasizes critical thinking skills and is at a faster pace than the College Prep course. STEM projects are integrated into the curriculum. Extended lab time is used to develop the eight major skills of a scientist including designing and performing guided experiments, and data analysis. The course covers the following topics: the nature of matter, chemical reactions, periodicity and bonding, acids and bases, oxidation-reduction, and basic organic chemistry. This course satisfies the physical science requirement for graduation and a laboratory science requirement for the University of California.

 

*Biology/Lab-C

This college prep lab course emphasizes core concepts in molecular, cellular, evolutionary, and ecological biology. STEM projects are integrated into the curriculum and extended lab time allows students to plan and conduct hands-on experiments at their own pace. The course is designed for students to build the eight major skills of a scientist in practical ways. Topics include life chemistry, cell structure and function, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution and human biology. This course satisfies the life science requirement for graduation and a laboratory science requirement for the University of California.

*This course is not available in the 2016-17 school year due to Physics First curriculum change.

*Biology/Lab-H

This accelerated lab course develops a thorough understanding of molecular, cellular, evolutionary, human, and ecological biology. STEM projects are integrated into the curriculum. Extended lab time allows students to plan and conduct in-depth experiments, to develop critical thinking skills, and analyze scientific evidence. Investigations include hands-on biotechnology activities, studying genetics using Fast Plants and DNA evidence, exploring ecology and energy flow using butterflies, and simulating evolution of the Galapagos Islands. This course satisfies the life science requirement for graduation and a laboratory science requirement for the University of California. This class is limited to 28 students.

 

*This course is not available in the 2016-17 school year due to Physics First curriculum change.

Anatomy & Physiology/Lab-C

Students who are interested in learning more about the human body explore this course through lecture, case studies, investigative and interactive projects and iPad apps, and concept building activities. Investigative labs explore why isotonic saline is used in IV drips, how to measure lung capacity, and how to analyze the spread of disease by epidemiology. STEM projects are integrated into the curriculum, and students refine their skills in using evidence to engage in argument. Topics include the major body systems: circulatory, nervous, digestive, skeletomuscular, immune, endocrine, and reproductive. This course satisfies a laboratory science requirement for the University of California. The class is limited to 28 students.

Biology/Lab-AP

The four Big Ideas of the revised AP curriculum are explored using inquiry labs, reading, and writing. Students work collaboratively to write using scientific argumentation skills, understand historical research papers, perform detailed mathematical analyses, and design, conduct and analyze experiments. In-depth understanding of key content areas is developed in the fields of biochemistry, cell structure and function, molecular biology, genetics and heredity, development and evolution, ecology and energetics. The course follows foundation courses in biology and chemistry. It is expected that students will do some independent work and take the Biology Advanced Placement examination. The class is limited to 28 students.

 

Earth Science/Lab-C

This laboratory course explores geology and oceanography. Students will gain an understanding of the patterns and processes that form the Earth and oceans while continuing to develop the eight skills of engineers and scientists. Topics include plate tectonics, mineral and rock identification and ocean processes. This course satisfies one semester of the physical science requirement for graduation.

Environmental Science-AP

This course is designed to explore the interrelationships in the natural and human-made environment. Critical thinking skills and understanding will be developed through discussion, inquiry-based learning, small field trips, and case studies. Students will explore how to analyze environmental problems, as well as prevent them. The course will explore balanced approaches to the use of energy resources through personal decision-making, civic and cultural debate, and sustainable economic productivity. Biodiversity, populations, geological cycles, renewable and nonrenewable energy, water resources, land use and pollution will be studied. It is expected that students will participate in some field work and take the Environmental Science Advanced Placement examination.

*Physics/Lab-C

This algebra-based college prep course explores the fundamental concepts of physics. Through inquiry-based learning, students will explore the development of physical models, velocity and acceleration, Newton’s laws of motion, collisions and momentum, energy, and electricity. Next Generation Science practices are developed as students learn to apply mathematical reasoning to real-world problems, design experiments, analyze and interpret data, use evidence to support scientific arguments, and communicate experimental results orally and in written form. This is a University of California approved laboratory science course. The course satisfies the school graduation and college admission requirement of one year of laboratory science study.

 

*Only for Class of 2016, 2017, & 2018

Physics 1-AP

This course is designed for the highly motivated and mathematically skilled student. AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course that explores Newtonian mechanics including rotational dynamics and angular momentum; work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and an introduction to electrical circuits. Through inquiry-based learning, students develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Physics 2-AP

This course is designed for the highly motivated and mathematically skilled student.  AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. Through inquiry- based learning, students develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills. Students will take the AP Physics 2 exam.

La Reina's
Science Philosophy

Physics First


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