Grade 9-12 Science Course Descriptions

  • Note: Most science courses are 6 credits since they meet for a double lab period once each week. A 7-credit course meets for 2 double lab periods each week. A 5-credit course does not meet for a double lab period. All courses include laboratory activities and an inquiry approach.

    Grade 9-12: Core Science Courses

    Physics: This course is an introductory, algebra-based physics course that exposes students to the fundamental principles of a variety of topics including kinematics, dynamics, energy, momentum and waves. Students will participate in a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to discovering the natural phenomena of the physical world. 6 credits.

    Chemistry: This course will ask students to combine scientific and mathematical concepts to solve problems. Topics include the Atom and Period Table of Elements, Bonding, Chemical Reactions, States of Matter, Thermodynamics, and Acids and Bases. Physics and Algebra are pre-requisites to this course; 6 credits.

    Biology: Students will learn about the origins of life and the process of evolution through natural selection. They will also learn about molecular and cellular biology and processes, genetics, and ecology. This course serves as a strong foundation for the elective courses of Anatomy and Physiology and Marine Science. Chemistry is a pre-requisite for this course; 6 credits.

    Honors Physics, Chemistry, and Biology: The honors courses follow the same curriculum as the general education courses, but the pace is accelerated to allow for enrichment and an in-depth discovery of topics. Honors-level courses prepare students for further study in AP courses. 6 credits.

    Grade 9-12: Elective Courses

    Robotics: This course introduces students to basic engineering principles and skills. Students design and build bridges, airplanes and the VEX Clawbot robot while developing problem-solving strategies. Students will work hands-on in teams to design, build and document their progress. Topics may include motor control, structural design, gear ratios, torque, friction, sensors, timing, decision-making, leadership and propulsion systems. Student projects will compete in various in-class competitive arenas. Prior programming experience is not required, although students will get an introduction to programming principles using the VEX Robotics Design System. 5 credits.

    Grade 10-12 Elective Courses

    Anatomy & Physiology: This course is a systematic study of the shape and structure of the organs of the human body and the functioning of those organ systems. It includes: cytology, histology, morphology, genetics, immunology, and pathology. Human anatomy and physiology is offered to meet the needs of our students who want an advanced-level science course after taking the core courses. It also serves to prepare students interested in entering medicine, nursing, dentistry, and other related health occupations. Chemistry and Biology are prerequisites; 6 credits. 

    Environmental Science: The goal of this course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing these problems. 6 credits.

    Earth & Space Science: This course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of astronomy, the solar system, and the universe beyond. Students increase their awareness of the scope and scale of our universe by gaining an understanding of Earth’s place in this system. Students then study the Earth’s hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere. 5 credits.

    Forensic Science: Forensic Science is the application of scientific techniques and technology to the investigation of a crime and the presentation of evidence in a court of law. Study includes the applications of concepts from the areas of biology, chemistry, physics and geology to analyze and investigate evidence that may be discovered in a criminal investigation. Chemistry and Biology are prerequisites; 5 credits.

    Marine Science: Marine Science is a laboratory course that is designed to introduce the student to the study of marine environments. This is accomplished through the application of theory introduced within the traditional classroom laboratory to field experiences utilizing the marine ecosystem available at the Perth Amboy waterfront. Biology is a prerequisite; 6 credits.

    AP Electives:

    AP Biology: This course is the equivalent of a college level biology course taken during their first year of college. Topics include the chemistry of life, cells, cells use of energy, heredity, molecular genetics, evolution, the diversity of organisms, the structure and function of both plants and animals, and ecology. Honors Biology or Biology is a prerequisite; 7 credits.

    AP Chemistry: This course is the equivalent of a general chemistry taken during the first year of college. This course is structured around the six big ideas articulated in the AP Chemistry curriculum framework provided by the College Board. Honors Chemistry or Chemistry is a prerequisite; 7 credits.

    AP Environmental Science: The goal of this course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Biology and Chemistry are prerequisites; 7 credits.

    AP Physics: AP Physics I is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course that explores topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion), work, energy, mechanical waves, sound and an introduction to electrostatics and simple circuits. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills through both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Honors Physics or Physics is a prerequisite; 7 credits.

    Health Sciences Courses:

    Dynamics of Health Care: Students explore community health while improving fundamental research skills, applying statistical analysis and enhancing oral and visual presentation techniques. Students will utilize research skills to learn about components of the health care field of employment and human disease. Each student develops his/her own independent science research project with a foundation in community health and learn how to structure, organize, publish, and communicate findings during a more formal presentation. 5 credits.

    Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology (part 1): Medical Terminology is the study of words that pertain to body systems, anatomy, physiology, medical processes and procedures and a variety of diseases. It provides specialized language for the health care team, enabling health care workers to communicate in an accurate, articulate and concise manner. Anatomy & Physiology allows students to learn about the concepts and language related to anatomy of the human body, functions of health and disease, and the urocessing medical/dental records and claim forms. Labs include slide work, dissection of various animals and studies of the human skeleton. The course also usesa computer-simulated dissection. 7 credits.

    Medical Terminology and Anatomy & Physiology (part 2): This course allows further exploration of the structure and function of the human body. Following a sequential development of the major body systems in an organized and structured curriculum, the course is designed to give the students an overview of human anatomical structure and an analysis of human physiological principles. Labs include slide work, dissection of various animals, and studies of the human skeleton. The course will also use computer simulated dissections. Part 1 of this course is a prerequisite; 7 credits.