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3-5 Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum - Scope & Sequence

High School Curriculum

  • Education has no higher purpose than preparing people to lead personally fulfilling and responsible lives. (Science for All Americans, 1985). Our world is filled with the products of science and technology. It has become a necessity for every citizen to be scientifically literate.  Science education will equip students to participate thoughtfully with fellow citizens in building and protecting our future- on the local, national and global stage. Each student should study science each year of high school in preparation for decisions of everyday life, career, and higher education.

    A student must earn three credits in high school science in order to earn a diploma. Students entering Grade 9 in 2018 and later must pass the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA).

    Students who have successfully completed Algebra 1 or have scored Advanced (4 or 5) in the ELA and Math PARCC assessments or reached a combined score of 8 on the two PARCC assessments may enroll in Honors Biology in grade 9. All other students should enroll in Environmental Science in grade 9 followed by enrollment in Standard or Honors Biology in 10th grade.

    In 10th grade, students who have completed Honors Biology will take Honors Chemistry or Environmental Science.  Students who have completed Environmental Science will take Honors/Standard Biology.  Both pathways lead to the HS Maryland Integrated Science Assessments (MISA) at the end of 10th grade.

    In 11 grade, students should enroll in the core lab-based courses (Chemistry, Earth/Space Science, and Physics). Students may also choose from elective courses, which have a particular science focus and extend and reinforce core learning.

    A full complement of Advanced Placement courses is offered—Biology, Chemistry, Physics (B & C) and Environmental Science for those students who wish to study science at the college level and qualify for college credit while in high school.

    AACPS Recommended Science Course Pathways Flow Chart

     

    COURSE LIST

    Advanced Placement Biology  C428

    The goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. Primary emphasis is on developing and understanding concepts rather than memorizing terms and technical details. Students acquire knowledge of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns. AP Biology is the equivalent of a college introductory biology course. Students delve into eight major themes that recur throughout the course: Science as a Process, Evolution, Energy Transfer, Continuity and Change, Relationship of Structure to Function, Regulation, Interdependence in Nature and Science, and Technology and Society. The laboratory portion supports student understanding of concepts and reinforces the abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry. This course prepares students for the advanced placement test in biology and the opportunity to earn college credits.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Advanced Placement Chemistry  C498

    This course is the equivalent of the general chemistry course taken during the first college year. Students attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course contributes to the development of the students' abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic. Topics of study include the structure of matter, states of matter, chemical reactions, chemical reactivity and products of chemical reaction, relationships in the periodic table, and an introduction to organic chemistry. AP Chemistry prepares students for the advanced placement test in chemistry and the opportunity to earn college credits.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Advanced Placement Environmental Science  C668

    The goal of AP Environmental Science is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methods needed to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems (both natural and human-made), to evaluate the benefits and risks associated with environmental issues, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing risks. Topics include the Interdependence of Earth systems, human population dynamics, renewable and non-renewable resources, environmental quality, global environmental changes, and environmental Issues. This course prepares students for the advanced placement test in environmental science and the opportunity to earn college credits.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Advanced Placement Physics 1  C568 

    Students learn the principles of physics equivalent to a first-semester algebra-based college physics course.  Topics include Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound.  Electric circuits will also be introduced.  This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Test in AP Physics 1 and the oppotunity to earn college credit.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Advanced Placement Physics 2  C578

    Students learn the principles of physics equivalent to a second-semester college course in algrebra-based physics.  The course covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; atomic and nuclear physic.  This course prepares students for the Adavanced Placement Test in AP Physics 2 and the opportunity to earn college credit.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Advanced Placement Physics (C)  C598

    This course forms the first part of the college sequence that is the foundation in physics for students majoring in the physical sciences or engineering. Methods of calculus are used whenever appropriate in formulating physical principles and applying them to physical problems.  The first semester is devoted to the study of mechanics and the second semester is focused on electricity and magnetism. The sequence is more intensive and analytic than in the B course and prepares students for the advanced placement tests in AP Physics C Mechanics and Physics C Electricity and Magnetism.

    Advanced Placement Seminar
    AP Biology Seminar 
    C426
    AP Chemistry Seminar 
    C496 
    AP Physics 1&2 Seminar 
    C566 & C578

    AP Seminar is offered for AP biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics 1 & 2. Students must have concurrent enrollment in the appropriate AP Science Course. Students will focus on developing and enhancing the skills, processes, and concepts that will support success in the AP Science course. This course is recommended for students who require additional practice or support in the methods of scientific inquiry and mathematics to analyze and describe scientific concepts or for students taking an AP Science course for the first time.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit Two Semesters          One credit 

    Astronomy  C80

    Students will use scientific skills and processes to build on knowledge and abilities gained in Earth/Space Systems Science. Students will identify and describe the properties, interactions, and the theories of formation of the universe and its components. In this course students develop and understanding of galaxies, stars, planets, comets, and meteors through scientific inquiry, data analysis, and application of scientific principles.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Biology - Standard  C260

    Biology is the study of organisms and relationships of these organisms to other organisms and the environment. Students use the language and instruments of science to collect, analyze and share information to explain how  living organisms carry out activities necessary for life, their interactions with the environment, and the continuation of life on earth. There is a strong emphasis on laboratory activities. Science skills and processes learned in this course set the stage for continued development of scientific inquiry in other science courses. This is a core course and a required course for graduation. Biology prepares students for the high school assessment in biology. Students who enter high school in 2005 or later must pass the HSA in Biology in order to earn a high school diploma.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Biology - Honors  C267

    Honors Biology is an integrated course designed to provide information regarding the fundamental concepts of life and life processes, but also incorporates Physics, Chemistry and Earth Space concepts necessary for success on the Maryland Integrated State Assessment (MISA).  Project-based learning allows students to connect learning to the real world. The Honors Biology curriculum incorporates the Essential Knowledge and Performance Expectations described by the College Board to prepare students for success in Advanced Placement Biology. 

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Chemistry - Standard  C450

    Students develop the ability to use scientific skills and processes to explain the composition and interactions of matter. Students use mathematics to predict and analyze the outcomes of chemical reactions and the interactions of matter and energy. Science skills and processes learned in this course build on those developed in biology and prepare students for continued development of scientific inquiry in other science disciplines. Chemistry is a core course. The completion of Algebra I is a prerequisite.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Chemistry - Honors  C457

    Honors Chemistry is an integrated course that studies the composition, properties, and reactions of substances but also incorporates the Physics and Earth Space concepts necessary for success on the Maryland Integrated State Assessment (MISA).  Students learn how atoms combine to create all matter in the Universe. They learn about the states of matter and the structure of the atom. Honors Chemistry uses Essential Knowledge and Performance Expectations from the College Board Standards to prepare students for Advanced Placement Chemistry. 

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Cleaner Energy through Plants for a Cleaner World

    Students will use technology and innovation to help address their community’s energy needs through clean energy. In a laboratory and greenhouse setting, students explore how plant waste may be turned into clean energy, how cooking oil can be as biofuel and how something as small as algae can be used to produce biofuels.

    Half Semester          One-quarter (1/4) Credit

    Earth/Space Systems Science  C30

    Earth/Space Systems Science focuses on the changing relationships between the atmosphere, the geosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the earth-universe system. There is a strong emphasis on internet-based and technology activities, and laboratory activities. Science skills and processes learned in this course prepare students for continued development of scientific inquiry in other science disciplines. A partnership with the Goddard Space Flight Center Schools provides enhanced richness to the learning activities. This is a core course.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Environmental Science C65

    Environmental Science is a rigorous interdisciplinary study of the world around us. In this course, students explore the interrelationships among the biological, physical, and chemical components of the environment and examine the interactions between and among the components. The units are project-based, enabling students to apply their learning to real-world environmental issues.  Students in this course attend special events throughout the year.  Guest scientists visit the school to discuss current topics of study with students and share their research. Students have opportunities to ask questions and meet the scientists.  In addition, students participate in specially designed field trips that provide behind the scenes access, opportunities to meet the science researchers in the field, or work in active science laboratories.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    ESOL Science

    This redeveloped course is for Newcomer English Learners that have been identified through the WIDA ACCESS Screener as being in the “entering” phase of English language development.   The goal of this specially-designed course is to provide the pre-requisite background knowledge, skills and vocabulary that English Learners need to be successful in Environmental Science and MISA. The course should be offered concurrently with ESOL I only for English Learners who have experienced prolonged educational interruptions. It is recommended that it be coupled with a semester of Science Research.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Exercise Science C25

    This upper-level course is designed to be taken following the introductory course known as Anatomy and Physiology. Through kinesthetic and exercise testing mechanisms, students will monitor and evaluate and apply cause and effect relationships between physical activity, body systems, nutrition, biomechnic, social physiological, and motor learning principals. They will assess the advantages and disadvantages of physical activity on the body’s development and performance. Students will partake in a variety of hands-on and self-exploratory tests to apply their understanding of the scientific principles involved in the design and implementation of physical activity programs. Strategies integral to this course include the opportunity to discuss and apply real world exercise related experiences and issues that plague individuals across age spectrums in our society, working collaboratively in groups in participating in multidisciplinary project based learning, and providing connections across contents (physical education, health and science).

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Forensic Science: CSI  C33

    Students use the principles of science, technology, and mathematics to investigate crime scenes.  Students collect and analyze physical evidence.  This course builds on a basic knowledge of biology, physical science, and computer technology.  Because of the mature nature of crime science subject matter, this course is recommeded for upper classmen.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Growing Organically: A Little Dirt Never Hurt 

    Organic gardening means not using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. But how do you protect the health of plants and ward off pests? In this hands-on course, students learn how to use organic gardening methods to grow their own fruits and vegetables. They discover gardening tips, including organic pest control methods and advice on determining the best soil, correct amount of sun and the role of composting to promote the plant's natural growing environment, and apply their knowledge to promote a farm to table movement.

    Half Semester          One-quarter (1/4) Credit

    Human Anatomy Physiology C40

    Human physiology is the study of the structure and function of human body systems. Students build on their prior knowledge of human systems to investigate the role of cells, tissues, organs, and systems of the human from a chemical and physical perspective. Activities will likely involve animal dissection. Students should consult the science department chairperson to determine the type of the lab activities and the alternate activities that may be available.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Marine Biology C81

    Students use scientific skills and processes to build on knowledge and abilities gained from biology to investigate the organisms that inhabit the marine ecosystems. Students analyze the interdependence of marine organisms and their environment, including the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Data analysis and application of scientific principles are used to further understanding.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit 

    Oceanography  C75

    Students use scientific skills and processes to build on knowledge and abilities gained in Earth/Space Systems Science to learn about the physical processes that have shaped the oceans. Students develop an understanding of oceanography through examination of chemical and physical principles. Data analysis and application of scientific principles are used to further understanding.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Physics  C550

    In physics, students use the language and instruments of science to predict the outcome of interactions between matter and energy. There is an emphasis on mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermodynamics, waves, and theories of modern physics. Students apply the principles of physics and mathematics to predict the outcomes of interactions between matter and energy and examine the impact of physics on society. Physics is a core course.

    Two Semesters          One Credit

    Science Research  C50

    Students use the scientific method to identify and solve problems in science, mathematics, computer science, and/or engineering. Students develop skills in formatting questions based on data or observations, and create experimental designs to answer these questions. Computers and other laboratory tools are used to collect and analyze data to draw conclusions. Students build communications skills by sharing their findings both orally and in writing. Students are expected to work individually or as part of a team to complete a research project and enter the project in a school-wide or regional science competition for feedback by peers and experts in the community.

    One Semester          One-half (1/2) Credit

    Zoology C41

    This rigorous course takes students through an in-depth examination of the organisms of the animal kingdom. After an overview of the molecular and chemical interactions of cells and tissues, zoology students examine diversity and adaptations of animals. There is an investigation of the structure and function of animal systems and a study of species dynamics. Students analyze the mechanisms of evolutionary change among the animal kingdom. Zoology laboratory will likely involve activities that include animal dissection.

    Two Semesters          One Credit