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BIOLOGY I - 9th Grade - Moderate • Homework: 0-30 minutes Grading: grades are determined by a combination of assessments of projects, labs, class activities, homework and class participation.
Biology coursework covers the Nature of Life, cells, genetics, evolution, and the human body systems. This course will follow the NGSS Guidelines.
CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS - 9th Grade - Moderate • Homework: 30 mins – 90 mins homework, three times per week
Grading: labs 35%, notebook and assignments 35%, exams and semester final 30%. (Rubric based on a 0 - 4 point scale.)
9th grade Conceptual Physics is a U.C. approved laboratory course. It provides a basic introduction to physics in addition to the laboratory and process skills necessary for success in high school science. It builds a conceptual base that will give students a strong foundation for future work in other sciences, such as biology, chemistry, astronomy, and environmental science, as well as reinforcement of the fundamentals of Algebra.
ASTRONOMY - 12th Grade - Difficult • Homework: 30-60 minutes nightly. Grading: assignments- labs, projects, or work packets - are given a point score: A = 90-100% , B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%, F = < 59%. Please note: Astronomy is a fast-moving lab course; absences and tardies often hurt grades.
PREREQUISITES: Students should have successfully completed Algebra 2 and Chemistry, be comfortable using math in labs, and have a strong curiosity about the universe.
Students will study everything in space: missions, telescopes, moons, planets, asteroids, comets, stars, exobiology, star remnants, solar systems, galaxies, galactic clusters, stellar nurseries, inter-stellar gas and dust, quasars, dark matter, dark energy, cosmology, and more. Tools include the laws of forces and motion, conservation of energy and momentum, heat and thermodynamics, and waves, biogeochemical cycles, atomic and molecular structures, reaction rates, nuclear processes, cell biology, ecology, and evolution, and yes, even more! In the Next Gen Science Standards, astronomy covers: the entire High School Earth and Space Sciences storyline, most of the High School Physical Sciences storyline, most of the High School Engineering storyline. For more info, check this link.
MARINE SCIENCE - 12th Grade - Moderate • Homework: 0-30 minutes Grading: grades are determined by a combination of assessments of projects, labs, class activities, homework and class participation.
PREREQUISITES: Students should have successfully completed Chemistry, Biology, and Physical Science.
Marine Science covers the Earth/Ocean systems with emphasis on the San Francisco Bay/Delta system, geology, currents, marine biology, and human impacts. This course will follow the NGSS Guidelines.
CHEMISTRY - 10th Grade - Moderate • Homework: 0-60 minutes nightly. Grading: procedures differ for each instructor. Students may inquire about specifics from their assigned teacher. NOTE: It is not difficult to earn a C in this course. However, it takes concentration, effort, and a love of inquiry to receive an A in Chemistry.
PREREQUISITES: Students should have successfully completed of Algebra 1 and have received a grade of C or higher in their most recent high school English course.
Chemistry is both the oldest practical craft continuously utilized by humans and the most newly organized of the major sciences. It is immediately important as both the source and the solution to the environmental crises blighting our planet. Understanding and knowing how to manipulate chemistry is a matter of global, species, and even personal survival. Students will study atomic and molecular structure, chemical binds, the conservation of matter and stoichiometry, gases, acids, bases, salts, solutions, chemical thermodynamics, reaction rates, chemical equilibrium, organic chemistry and biochemistry, nuclear processes, and environmental chemistry. 20-25% percent of the class is lab work.
AP CHEMISTRY - 11th and 12th Grades - Very difficult • Homework: 60-90 minutes nightly. Grading: 40% tests & quizzes, 25% labs, 10% homework, 25% final exam.
PREREQUISITES: Students should have received a grade of B or higher in Advanced Algebra, and successfully completed Chemistry. Recommendations from math and science teachers are required.
The topics in this class and lab are based on the AP College Board requirements. 25% of class time is laboratory work. Topics covered in depth: atoms, molecules, and ions; atomic structure and periodicity; bonding; liquids, solids and gases; stoichiometry; solutions; thermochemistry; chemical kinetics; chemical equilibrium; electrochemistry; chemical reactions.
AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE - 11th and 12th Grades - Very difficult • Homework: varies; appropriate for an advanced science course. Grading: Labs and Assignments 50%, Notebook 10%, Exams 20%, Semester Final 20%. (Rubric based on a 0 - 4 point scale.)
AP Environmental Science is the "equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science" which includes a laboratory and field investigation component. Emphasis is placed on "the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies, required to understand the inter-relationships 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.
PREREQUISITES: Students should have completed two years of laboratory science (biology and chemistry) and one year of algebra. Prospective AP students should have the ability to read and synthesize texts quickly. They should be able to articulate through writing their understanding of concepts and to justify their claims based on evidence. Typically, the most successful students are highly motivated and enter the class with the broadest and deepest backgrounds in science and math. Because of these prerequisites, students usually take the course in their junior or senior year. For an in-depth course description, check this link.