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Science Overview

Students are required to pass 30 credits of Science and 5 credits of Health for high school graduation. At least one of the science classes must be a physical science and one a life science. For entrance to the University of California and California State University systems, students are required to complete a minimum of two ‘d’ lab sciences. Taking additional ‘d’ science courses will make a student’s college application more competitive, particularly for students interested in science, medicine, or engineering.


Science Courses

Health                                                         Semester, 5 Credits

Grade 9

The class is designed to promote good health and allow students to make responsible health decisions. Students are engaged in activities that foster the development of each individual’s optimal physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Individual growth, exercise, nutrition, drugs, safety, disease, and family life (including sex, birth control, pregnancy, and STDs) are studied. This course leads to the mastery of the California State Health Standards.  Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisite: None.


Physics in the Universe                                  Year, 10 Credits

(Concept Physics)                                                                        

Grade 9

This course introduces students to the scientific content and the basic scientific skills in inquiry, experimental design, and data analysis that will be necessary during the rest of the science sequence. Primarily through investigation and experimentation, students in this course will study motion, energy, waves, electricity, and magnetism.  Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisite: None.  UC/CSU (d)


The Living Earth                                               Year, 10 Credits


Grade 10

This course will cover the following topics on both the macroscopic and microscopic scale: Evolution, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Ecology. During the course of study, students will also explore structural & functional relationships (DNA, RNA, Proteins, etc.), Biotechnology and the Biochemical processes that define all life on earth. These biochemical processes will include, but not be limited to, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, and metabolic pathways. Process skills will include design, implementation and analysis of experiments as well as the ability to communicate and defend/critique a scientific argument based on data, research, and reasoning. There will be a clear focus on building students’ scientific and academic literacy. This course leads to the mastery of the California State Biology Standards.  Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisite: None.  UC/CSU (d)



Chemistry in the Earth System                    Year, 10 Credits


Grade 11-12

Chemistry is the study of matter and how it changes. This year, you will come to better understand the matter in your life by studying topics such as the periodic table, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, bonding, reactions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, solutions, acids and bases, and redox reactions.  The guiding question for the year is “How can we explain our everyday life in terms of the particles that make up everything?”  This course leads to the mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards for Matter and Its Interactions. Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisites: Successful completion of Math 1/Algebra 1. UC/CSU (d)


Physics                                                               Year, 10 Credits

Grade 11-12

Students study classical physics including the fundamental ideas of time, space, and matter. Mechanics, heat, sound, light, electricity, and aspects of modern physics such as radiation and electronics. Instruction includes lecture, demonstration, and laboratory experimentation. This course leads to the mastery of the California State Physics Standards.  Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisite: “C” or better in Math 1/Algebra. UC/CSU (d)


Anatomy and Physiology                               Year, 10 Credits

Grade 11-12

Students receive a comprehensive systematic study of the structure and function of the human body. Specifically, students learn about the specialized structures and associated functions of the different cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems of the body. It is recommended for those planning to enter the health fields (dentistry, medicine, and nursing).  Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisite: Recommended “C” or better in Biology. UC/CSU (d)



AP Biology                                                         Year, 10 Credits

Grade 11-12

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes - energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. Lab donations accepted.    Prerequisite: “C” or better in both Biology and Chemistry or the recommendation of the Biology teacher. UC/CSU (d)


AP Chemistry                                                   Year, 10 Credits

Grade 11-12

AP Chemistry will meet the objectives of a college chemistry course. Students in this course will attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course will contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas orally and in written form with clarity and logic. Knowledge of specific facts of chemistry is essential for an understanding of principles and concepts. These descriptive facts, including the chemistry involved in environmental and societal issues, will be taught throughout the course to illustrate and illuminate the principles. Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisite: “C” or better in both Biology and Chemistry or the recommendation of the Chemistry teacher. “C” or better in Math 2/Geometry or concurrent enrollment in Math Modeling or Math 3. UC/CSU (d)


Patterns of Disease                                  Semester, 5 Credits

Grade 11-12

Students in this course will engage in a systematic study of the patterns and processes that have influenced the spread and characteristics of diseases. The influence of geography, cultural behaviors, environmental conditions, globalization, and demographics will all be extensively examined. Students will analyze the human response and the consequences of diseases at the local, national, and international levels. This class may be taken to fulfill the Health requirement. Lab donations accepted.  Prerequisite: None.