Science

Requirements

A minimum of nine credits in science is required for graduation including:
                     -three credits in biology 
                     -three credits in chemistry
                     -three credits in physics 

Science Chart 2019

College Credit

Juniors and seniors enrolled in AP Biology and AP Chemistry, can apply for college credit through the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota PACC Program.

Science Department Philosophy

The Science Department at the Academy of Holy Angels strives to develop scientifically literate students through a systematic study of the world around us. Through this, the department hopes to instill an appreciation for the wonders of the world and enable students of all abilities and learning styles to experience success in the science classroom.

Department Learner Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Apply math skills to a variety of science activities.
  • Utilize current computer technology in the science lab.
  • Write a cohesive lab report (technical writing skills).
  • Critically interpret scientific data and observations. 

The STEM diploma description can be found in Special Academic Programs.


Pre-Engineering

The AHA Science Department agrees with ABET (The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), the leading authority in engineering education that the best high school preparation for a career in engineering includes a strong background in science and math. In addition to traditional courses, ABET suggests a focus on communication skills, a commitment to lifelong learning, an appreciation for cultural diversity, and the ability to drive change.

For students interested in a career in engineering, AHA offers the following sequence of courses:

Normal Sequence

   

Grade

Science

Math

9

Biology

Intermediate Algebra

10

Chemistry

Geometry

11

Physics

Algebra II

12

Elective

Pre-Calculus

Accelerated Sequence

   

Grade

Science

Math

9

Pre-AP Biology

Advanced Intermediate Algebra

10

Pre-AP Chemistry

Advanced/Accelerated Geometry/Algebra II

11

AP Chemistry/AP Biology

Advanced Pre-Calculus

12

AP Physics I

AP Calculus

Writing and Communications: Students interested in preparing for college engineering programs should take Public Speaking and Presentational Styles in addition to the required yearly English courses.

Suggested key electives: Computer Art, Computer-Aided Drafting, Computer Science. 

 


Biology

3 credits

Grade Level: 9

Prerequisite: None

This is an introductory course to the biological sciences. Students will explore the world of living organisms and develop an understanding of how biology applies to everyday life. In this course, students will cover the following topics: biochemistry, the cell, cell metabolism, cell reproduction, DNA function/replication, genetics, protein synthesis, ecology, evolution, and biotechnology.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Read, speak and think scientifically in order to solve scientific problems using models and diagrams.
  • Connect math and science.
  • Use the scientific method to collect date to answer a scientific question or problem.
  • Analyze and evaluate data collected.
  • Understand and use scientific explanations and theories.
  • Connect and relate all topics taught throughout the course of Biology.

 


A note about Advanced Placement (AP) classes


AP science courses are extremely rigorous, with rigorous homework weekly. It is advisable for the student and family to carefully consider the amount of time that will be available for the student’s classwork and co-curricular activities. 


Pre-AP Biology

3 credits

Grade Level: 9

Students must maintain a "C" average to remain in the class.

Prerequisite: Passing score on Physical Science Proficiency Test or 90% on the entrance test science section, concurrent enrollment in Advanced Intermediate Algebra I or higher, and instructor approval.

This course is designed to be an introductory Biology class which will serve as the first-year course for those students who may plan to take the AP Biology course their junior or senior year at Holy Angels. In this course, students will cover the following topics: biochemistry, the cell, cell metabolism, cell reproduction, DNA function/ replication, genetics, protein synthesis, ecology, animal behavior, evolution, and biotechnology.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Perform laboratory experiments which will enhance students’ knowledge of the topics covered and teach laboratory skills to be used through their science classes.
  • Develop skills in experimental design and use of the scientific method.
  • Improve problem-solving skills.
  • Illustrate the use of various methods of data presentation (charts, graphs, illustrations, tables, spreadsheet/graphing software).
  • Understand the interconnection between living organisms and their environment. 

 


AP Biology

3 credits

Grade Level: 11, 12

Students must maintain a "C" average to remain in the class.

Prerequisite: Pre-AP Biology and Pre-AP Chemistry, with a C+ average in both and instructor approval. (Upon instructor approval, students with a B+ average in Chemistry may be admitted.)

This is a second course in Biology to prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Biology test. This course may be taken by juniors and seniors through St. Mary’s University for college credit. This is a rigorous course designed for the college-bound student who is considering majoring in medicine or other biological sciences. This course is for the self-motivated student who has a profound interest in biological sciences. Students will prepare for and take the AP exam in the spring. Students must purchase a college lab notebook for this class.

Successful completion of summer course work is required to be admitted to this class.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Apply the scientific method to problems encountered in daily life.
  • Provide examples of the historic development of current scientific thought.
  • Demonstrate basic skill of measuring, data collection, and data interpretation.
  • Interpret simulations of biological systems and relate them to concrete applications.
  • Identify the internal and external organelles of both the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and define the functions of each.
  • Recognize energy pathways such as photosynthesis, respiration, and overall cellular metabolism.
  • Describe the basic process of mitosis and meiosis, and how they are related to the life cycle of organisms.
  • Describe the major principles of genetics along with the mechanisms of inheritance and the process by which protein and DNA are synthesized.
  • Understand the mechanisms of natural selection and their impact on evolution.
  • Describe human/plant structures and functions including reproductive biology, development, behavior, and regulation of systems.

 


Engineering and Technology in Science

3 credits

Grade Level: 11, 12

Prerequisite: Completion of one year of Biology and Chemistry.

Engineering and Technology in Science is a STEM based course designed to teach students the fundamentals of forensic science, DNA technologies, and environmental engineering.

Trimester 1: Forensic Science

The first trimester will focus on forensics, the application of science, engineering, and math for solving crimes. It will be rich in exploration and lab investigation which applies many disciplines of scientific study such as biology/anatomy, chemistry, and physics to solving crimes. Labs include crime scene and evidence collection, time of death analysis, fingerprint analysis and blood splatter analysis.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Use various lab techniques to analyze evidence and solve crimes.
  • Understand how crime scene investigators and law enforcement work together to solve crimes.
  • Understand the importance of evidence collection and the reliability of certain types of evidence (eye witness, fingerprints, DNA). 

Trimester 2: DNA Technologies

The second trimester of the course is designed to give students a comprehensive introduction to the scientific concepts and laboratory research techniques currently used in the field of DNA technology such as DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis, and PCR. Students attain knowledge about the field of biotechnology and deeper understanding of the biological concepts used. In addition, students develop the laboratory, critical thinking, and communication skills currently used in the biotechnology industry. Furthermore, students will explore and evaluate career opportunities in the field of biotechnology through extensive readings, laboratory experiments, class discussions, and research projects.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of biological processes on the molecular and cellular levels.
  • Approach and solve biological problems critically with scientific literacy in individual and group settings.
  • Demonstrate ability to perform molecular, cellular, and biochemical techniques used in biotechnology.
  • Apply ethical practices in all aspects of biotechnological scientific endeavors.

Trimester 3: Environmental Engineering

The third trimester of the course will introduce the engineering and design process and the concepts of energy and energy issues focusing on sustainable and renewable energies such as ocean thermal technologies, wind power, biofuels, and solar energy. Projects include designing and testing passive solar homes, windmills, and will culminate in the design, construction, and testing of a solar boat that will compete in a solar boat regatta in May.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Use processes of designing, building, and testing solutions to solve social issues and respond to need of the environment.
  • Understand that the Earth is one interconnected system comprised of numerous ecosystems. Natural systems change over time and space.
  • Consider cultural, social and economic factors when developing solutions to environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate that human survival is dependent on developing practices that will achieve sustainable systems.

 


Physics

3 credits  

Grade Level: 11, 12

Prerequisites: concurrent enrollment in Algebra II

Physics is the study of the motion in the natural world and is required by several college majors including: engineering, physical therapy, and nursing. Topics covered through the year include: kinematics in two dimensions and three dimensions, work and energy, circular motion, momentum, electric fields, electric circuits, wave phenomenon, sound, properties of light, and geometric optics. In addition to learning the concepts of physics, students will develop logical problem-solving skills and improve science communication skills that can be applied to situations ouside of the classroom.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Submit both formal and informal lab reports.
  • Apply math background to the solution of physics problems.
  • Construct replicas of early electrostatic machines and devise an experiment to utilize them.
  • Build simple solid-state electrical circuits and analyze them.
  • Conduct experiments utilizing computer interface and technology, as well as classical physics materials.
  • Present data using spreadsheet software.

 


Conceptual Physics

3 credits

Grade Level: 11, 12

Prerequisite: Teacher approval required for registration.

Physics is the study of the motion in the natural world and is required to develop 21st century STEM and lifelong learner skills. Topics covered through the year include: kinematics, work and energy, simple machines, circular motion, momentum, electric fields, electric circuits, wave phenomenon, sound, properties of light, and geomatric optics. In addition to learning the concepts of phsyics, students will develop logical problem-solving skills and improve science communication skills that can be applied to situations outside of the classroom.


AP Physics I

3 credits

Grade Level: 11, 12

Students must maintain a "C" average to remain in the class.

Prerequisite: Algebra II; Students must apply algebra to solving complex problems.

AP Physics I is the equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. Students are expected to be proficient in solving linear equations, working with ratios and proportions, and using basic trigonometry. Students will prepare for and take the AP Physics I exam in the spring for potential college credit.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Solve systems of equations mathematically
  • Design and describe experiments, including data and error analysis
  • Clearly explain justifications and reasons for experimental interpretations in written form
  • Utilize computer interface technology
  • Build collaborative skills

 


AP Physics II

3 credits

Grade Level: 12

Students must maintain a "C" average to remain in the class.

Prerequisite: Physics or AP Physics I (recommended)

AP Physics II is equivalent to a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course builds on the existing physics knowledge students already have and covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; atomic and nuclear physics.

Students are expected to be proficient in physics concepts involving forces, centripetal motion, simple electric circuits, solving linear equations, working with ratios and proportions, using basic trigonometry, and logarithmic functions.

Students will prepare for and take the AP Physics II exam in the spring for potential college credit.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Solve systems of equations mathematically.
  • Design and describe experiments, including data and error analysis.
  • Clearly explain justifications and reasons for experimental interpretations in written form.
  • Utilize computer interface technology.
  • Present data using spreadsheet software.
  • Develop collaborative skills. 

 


Chemistry

3 credits

Grade level: 10, 11

Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Intermediate Algebra and Geometry. 

This course is for college-bound students desiring a strong background in science. Students should be self-motivated and like challenges. Problem solving skills are important, and will be developed through the year.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Explain the atom using the current quantum model.
  • Understand the concept of the mole.
  • Understand chemistry in a historical context.
  • Understand the nature of gases and the ideal gas law.
  • Understand the nature of acids and bases.
  • Write a detailed laboratory report presenting data using spread- sheet software.

 


Pre-AP Chemistry

3 credits

Grade Level: 10, 11

Students must maintain a "C" average to remain in the class.

Prerequisite: C+ average in Pre-AP Biology, and a grade of B+ or higher in Advanced Intermediate Algebra. Students must pass a math skills exam given in the spring prior to enrollment.

This is an in-depth and fast-paced study of the laws and principles of chemistry. Problem solving is integral. Explored comprehensively are atomic theory, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, bonding, molecular structure and geometry, periodicity, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, redox reactions, and descriptive chemistry. An extensive lab program reinforces the principles. A scientific graphing calculator and college lab notebook are required.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Explain the atom using the current quantum mechanics model.
  • Understand the significance of the mole and the role it plays in chemistry.
  • Conceptualize molecules using valence-bond theory and the VSEPR model.
  • Understand the kinetic molecular theory and the ideal gas law. 
  • Gain a basic understanding of the analytical and mathematical tools used in the study and application of chemistry.
  • Gather data in the lab using computer-interfaced tools such as Vernier hardware in conjunction with their computer.
  • Gain technical writing skills by preparing formal lab reports and using spreadsheet software applications to present and graph data.

 



AP Chemistry

3 credits

Grade Level: 11, 12

Students must maintain a "C" average to remain in the class.

Prerequisites: Advanced Algebra II or Accelerated Advanced Geometry/Algebra II. An average grade of C+ or higher in Pre AP Chemistry. Concurrent registration in, or completion of, Advanced Algebra II and instructor permission are required. This class may be taken for college credit through the St. Mary’s University PACC program. Tuition fees for college credit will apply.

This college-level course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Examination. Topics include: The structure of matter, gas laws, redox equations, thermodynamics, kinetics, acid-base theory, electrochemistry, equilibrium, organic chemistry and nuclear chemistry. Descriptive chemistry is covered in depth and lab experiments reinforce the principles. Successful completion of the assigned summer work is required for admission. Studentsare expected to take the AP Chemistry exam in May. A graphing calculator is required. Students must purchase a college lab notebook for this class.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Prepare for the AP Chemistry exam in May.
  • Work as part of a collaborative lab team using critical thinking skills.
  • Gain experience in technical writing by preparing formal lab reports using spreadsheet software applications to present and graph data.

 


Anatomy and Physiology

3 credits

Grade Level: 11, 12

Prerequisites: Completion of one year of Biology and Chemistry with a grade of C or better.

This course is for the student with a serious interest in the biological sciences and/or health careers. It builds on skills and knowledge gained in previously completed biology and chemistry courses. It provides an overview of the organ systems in the body as well as a look at how each system works down to the cellular level. It will provide a strong foundation for students going into medical fields. It is taught as a primer for a college anatomy course and will be offered for PACC credit through Saint Mary’s University. Students will study the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. The course also includes the dissection of a cat.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Describe or demonstrate an understanding of the basic chemical processes in the human body.
  • Utilize a basic working knowledge of medical terminology.
  • Use directional, sectional, and planar terms to locate or identify structures in the body.
  • Name and identify the basic organs and related structures of the 11 human organ systems.
  • List and explain the major functions of each organ or organ system in the human body.
  • Explain and demonstrate the interrelationships of structures, organs, and organ systems to maintain homeostasis.