Department Chair: Mrs. Claudia Foerg,, Ext. 2640

Three years of science are needed to fulfill the graduation requirement. All students are required to complete Biology.
It is recommended that all students take the core science courses in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

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Courses in Science 2019-2020

Conceptual Physics (1 credit)

This is a full-year class that teaches the basics of physics from a conceptual rather than a mathematical viewpoint. Applications of physics to everyday phenomena and experiences. Numerous demonstrations and discovery-based laboratory. Mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism, light and relativity. There will be an emphasis on building laboratory skills and applying the scientific method.

Prerequisites: Open to any freshman. Recommended for sophomores with a cumulative G.P.A below 2.0.

Biology (1 credit)

Biology is the study of living systems through lecture and lab. Topics covered include the principles of living systems ranging from basic chemistry to ecology. All students are required to complete Biology.

Prerequisites: Open to all sophomores. Open to juniors who took Conceptual Physics as a sophomore. Open to freshmen who earn a Mathematics score of 80 or higher and a Reading score of 70 or higher on the High School Placement Test. Jesuit Academy students require recommendation from the teacher, the Science Department Chair and the Assistant Principal from Academic Affairs.

Chemistry (1 credit)

This is a college-preparatory course with a strong laboratory emphasis that is closely related to lecture material. Students will learn to see change in the surrounding world as a function of the atomic and molecular makeup and organization of all materials. Topics include matter and measurement, the historical development of the atom, chemical naming, the mathematics of chemical formulas and equations, principles and types of chemical reactivity, modern atomic theory, chemical periodicity and the periodic table of elements, the behavior of gases, thermodynamics, chemical bonding, aqueous solution chemistry, and chemical equilibrium.

Prerequisites: Biology, open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Materials Science (1 credit)

This full year course is a project/lab based course that uses a multidisciplinary approach to science and technology and applies the principles of chemistry and physics to engineering and the study of materials. Students will learn about materials, its uses and applications, scientific theories, and practical experiences on choosing, manipulating and using different materials that are available to human kind. Topics include solids, metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, concrete and energy.

This course is recommended for, but not limited to, students in the senior math courses of Analytical Math or Trigonometry.

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry.

Physics (1 credit)

This is a yearlong survey course that gives the student both a conceptual and a mathematical understanding of the basic principles of physics. Strong emphasis of hands-on investigation and laboratory work encourages the student to develop technical writing skills as well as a practical technical approach to problem solving. Students will develop portfolios to apply the concepts learned in class. The study of physics should be an understandable, related whole that can be drawn upon to solve real world problems.

Prerequisites: Biology, open to juniors and seniors. Chemistry is recommended, but not required.

Honors Science Courses

Placement into Honors Science Courses

Placement is based on the recommendation from the current science teacher plus:

  1. a 90% or better average in a previous non-Honors science course or an 80% average or better in a previous Honors science course, and
  2. a 3.0 GPA or better in mathematics classes.

Approval from the Science Department chairperson is required for students moving from a non-Honors course.

Honors Chemistry (1 credit)

This is an accelerated class covering most of the topics covered in the Chemistry course but at a significantly deeper level. A college textbook is used in this course and, though no attempt is made to complete the text in one year, the depth of coverage is comparable to what students experience in the first-year chemistry course in college.

Prerequisites: See “Placement into Honors Science Courses.” Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Honors Physics (1 credit)

This is an accelerated course where conceptual reasoning as well as an understanding of the process of problem analysis and solution is emphasized. The course is presented at the level of college algebra and basic trigonometry. A student should gain the ability to apply the principles of physics to a wide variety of problems and laboratory situations.

Prerequisites: See “Placement into Honors Science Courses.” Open to juniors and seniors.

Honors Bio-Chemistry Fall (0.5 credits)

The study of chemistry and chemical reactions is continued in this course, but with an emphasis on their role and application in living systems. The fall semester concentrates on the naming, structure, and reaction-mechanisms of the major types of organic compounds and an introduction to organic chemistry.

Prerequisites: See “Placement into Honors Science Courses”, Biology and Chemistry, Open to seniors only.

Honors Bio-Chemistry Winter (0.5 credits)

The second semester is a continuation of the fall semester but is concerned primarily with specific biochemical reactions in microbes, the higher plants, and man. Throughout the year, review and/or introduction of biological terminology takes place.

Prerequisites: See “Placement into Honors Science Courses”, Biology, Chemistry, and Honors Bio-Chemistry Fall. Open to seniors only.

STEM Research (0.5 credits)

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Research is an individualized investigatory course that includes novel research performed by students. The course includes topics in the history and philosophy of science. The year long course offers students an opportunity to perform their research at university or private sector laboratories. Students present their research findings as primary research articles and poster forms. Students may continue their research in subsequent years with approval of course instructor.

The STEM Research program attempts to provide high achieving students with the resources and facilities to complete college-level research in their desired field. Through pairings with U of D Mercy, Wayne State and other local colleges, students are exposed to professional mentors, as well as, independent study. Topics often range widely from medicine and biology to architecture and engineering, though the student will be determining with the Research Director where his interest areas lie. Students are recommended into the course by their instructors.

Prerequisites: This course requires a recommendation from the current science teacher and an interview with the STEM instructor.

A.P. Science Courses

Placement into A.P. Science Courses

Advanced Placement courses are college level courses with rigorous demands. Placement is based on:

  1. a recommendation from the teacher of the previous science course,
  2. the results of an interview with the AP teacher,
  3. a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better,
  4. a 90% average or better in non-Honors or Honors science courses, and
  5. a 3.0 GPA or better in mathematics classes.

For some AP courses, final placement may depend on the completion of summer preparation work. Approval from the Science Department chairperson is required.

Taking the AP test is a requirement for each course. The cost of the test will be charged to the student billing account.

A.P. Biology (1 credit)

A.P. Biology is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course taken by biology majors during their first year. The labs and textbook used in the course are at the college level. Students enrolled in this class must take the A.P. Biology Exam for credit in this class.

The curriculum meets the current requirements of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program: 25% molecules and cells, 25% heredity and evolution; and 50% organisms and populations.

Prerequisites: See “Placement into Advanced Placement Science Courses”, Biology and Chemistry.

Course Fee: $94 AP Biology Exam Fee

A.P. Chemistry (1 credit)

This two semester course is equivalent in content and rigor to a first year college course in chemistry. The topics to be studied are similar to those listed for chemistry. The content is reinforced and applied through teacher-led examples, homework, and, most importantly, through problem sets similar to the A.P. Chemistry examination. Laboratory work supplements the AP Chemistry topics when necessary.

Prerequisites: See “Placement into Advanced Placement Science Courses”, Biology and Chemistry.

Course Fee: $94 AP Chemistry Exam Fee

A.P. Physics C Mechanics (1 credit)

This is a two-semester course that will prepare the serious physics student to take the BC Advanced Placement Physics Exam in May. The main objective of this class is to provide students with a clear and logical presentation of the basic concepts of physics through a broad range of interesting applications to the real world. The course deals with Newtonian mechanics and presents the fundamental laws of physics in the language of mathematics.

Prerequisites: See “Placement into Advanced Placement Science Courses”, Biology and Physics. Open to seniors only.

Students must have successfully completed a calculus class or be taking one concurrently.

Course Fee: $94 AP Physics C Mechanics Exam Fee

Junior and Senior Electives

Anatomy and Physiology (0.5 credits)

In this one-semester (0.5 credit) course, students will learn the structures and functions of basic mammalian anatomy and physiology through hands-on dissections.

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry. Open to juniors or seniors. The course may be taken concurrently with Chemistry.

Forensic Science (0.5 credits)

In this one-semester (0.5 credit) course, students will learn and apply the fundamental science and methodologies used in crime scene investigations. Students will learn organic and inorganic chemical analysis as it applies to glass, soil, fiber, blood, and DNA analysis.

This course will employ labs, scientific application of techniques, verification, and process writing.

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry. The course may be taken as part of a third year of science.

Geology (0.5 Credits)

In this one-semester (0.5 credit) course, students will be introduced to the scientific study of our earth and its processes. Major topics will include the rock cycle, geologic time, geologic mapping, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanos, mineralogy, environmental geology, and fossils. The geology of Michigan will be a focal point of the class.

The class is largely hands-on and includes a field trip to a local point of geologic interest.

Prerequisites: Open to Juniors and Seniors. The course may be taken concurrently with Chemistry.

Microbiology (0.5 credits)

This is a one-semester (0.5 credit) course discusses a myriad of microorganisms including prokaryotes, eukaryotes and viruses. Students will learn the classification of these microorganisms as well as their structures. Other areas of focus will include the basic growth and evolutionary influences of microorganisms.

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry. The course may be taken concurrently with the second semester of Chemistry with approval of the department chair.

Physics II - Electricity (0.5 credits)

This is a one-semester (0.5 credit) algebra-based class with two focuses based in electricity use.

  • The electronics component seeks to combine practical skills with a good conceptual understanding of electrical components and their use in circuits.
  • The alternative energy component will focus on various types of alternative energies and their impact on the world. The course will be divided into time for lecture and time for projects.

Prerequisite: Physics

Physics II - Mechanics (0.5 credits)

Physics 2 is a second year (0.5 credit) elective that allows students to explore some of the concepts they learned in Physics I through multiple projects. Students will apply previous knowledge to the development planning and implementation of various projects that use physics based principals. The students will learn the process of research, design, and finally the building stage through labs and hands-on projects. This course will expose the students to the engineering process as they develop and test their projects.

Prerequisite: Physics

Science and Religion (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors encourages students to realize that part of being human is the fundamental and ubiquitous quest for knowledge and understanding of the world that transcends scientific or religious restraints. Both science and religion seek to answer those questions regarding faith and reason. The aim of the multi-faceted approach in this course is through four lenses of the relationship between Science & Religion: opposition, independence/separation, dialogue, and cooperation. The course explores the relationship between science and religion from antiquity to contemporary views taking into account historical, sociological, and philosophical perspectives. Students explore the contributions of scientists and philosophers including Jesuits: Matteo Ricci, SJ, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, George Coyne, SJ, Guy Consolmagno, SJ.

Prerequisites: Open to juniors or seniors.