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Mountain View High School

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Science Course Information Sheets

2020-21: Anatomy & Physiology

Anatomy & Physiology is a life-science course that covers the science of how our body works. Physiology is the study of the functions of the parts of the body. Anatomy is the study of the structure of parts of the body. Throughout the course we will utilize critical thinking skills to explore the fields of anatomy and physiology and their relevance toward disease prevention, wellness, and the modern day health industry. Content that will be covered in this course includes:
 

  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry & Digestive System
  • Cells, Tissues, and Integumentary System
  • Nervous System
  • Skeletal and Muscular System
  • Circulatory & Respiratory System
  • Immune System & Epidemiology
  • If time: Excretory, Reproductive, Endocrine System
In addition to mastery of the content listed above, students will continue to practice academic behaviors necessary for success in future academic courses. We will develop a mindset towards learning; challenge is a good thing and how we grow as learners. We will learn to be effective communicators and health advocates in our community by practicing communication through a variety of media and aiming at different audiences. Lastly, we are all in this together: supporting each other as we work collaboratively to bring out the best in each other.

2020-21: Biology

In this foundational biology course, students will follow California’s Next Generation Science Standards to...
 
  • use mathematical and computer models to determine the factors that affect the size and diversity of populations in ecosystems, including the availability of resources and interactions between organisms.
  • make a model that links photosynthesis and respiration in organisms to cycles of energy and matter in the Earth system. They will gather evidence about the linked history of Earth’s biosphere and atmosphere.

  • develop a model about how rock layers record evidence of evolution as fossils. Building on their learning from previous grades, they will focus on effectively communicating this evidence and relating it to principles of natural selection.

  • develop explanations about the specific mechanisms that enable parents to pass traits on to their offspring. They will make claims about which processes give rise to variation in DNA codes and calculate the probability that offspring will inherit traits from their parents.  

  • use models to create explanations of how cells use DNA to construct proteins, build biomass, reproduce, and create complex multicellular organisms. They will investigate how these organisms maintain stability.

  • use computer models to investigate how Earth’s systems respond to changes, including climate change. They will make specific forecasts and design solutions to mitigate the impacts of these changes on the biosphere.

2020-21: Biology (AP)

The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year. The content based components of the AP Biology Curriculum Framework (i.e., big ideas,enduring understandings, and learning objectives), are integrated with science practices to achieve conceptual
understanding and facilitate scientific inquiry and reasoning.

2020-21: Biology (Honors)

Biology Honors will cover the California Science Framework for Biology, and elements of the Common Core/Next Generation Science Standards. Throughout the course we will utilize critical thinking skills, explore content, and develop mastery of content with a deep level of comprehension. Content that will be covered in this course includes:
 

  • Classification of Life
  • Biochemistry 
  • Cells
  • Origin of Life on Earth
  • Metabolism, photosynthesis, and respiration
  • DNA and genetics
  • Gene Expression 
  • Evolution 
  • Ecology
  • Biotechnology (if time)
  • Physiology (if time)
In addition to mastery of the content listed above, students will develop the academic behaviors necessary for success in future high school courses and in college. We will use the class to refine note taking skills, organization, reflection, revision, and research. Together, we will hone our reading, writing, and presenting skills within the context of science. We will develop a mindset towards learning; challenge is a good thing and the mechanism by which we grow as learners. Lastly, we are all in this together; supporting each other as we work individually, collaborating as we work in pairs and bringing out the best in each other as we work in teams in discussions, projects, labs, or activities.

2020-21: Chemistry

In this course, we will learn to see the world through its chemical makeup in an effort to become a scientifically literate citizen. Chemistry is the study of the composition of matter and the changes matter can undergo.  You will learn to interpret and question data, see the connections between chemistry and biology, make predictions about the behavior of matter based on mathematical relationships and begin to understand the chemistry behind much of our everyday lives.
 
Unit 1 – How Chemistry is Done
Unit 2 – The Atom
Unit 3 – Electrons
Unit 4 – Chemical Bonding
Unit 5 – Quantifying Chemical Reactions
Unit 6 – Modifying Chemical Reactions
Unit 7 – Acids, Bases, & Oceans
Unit 8 – Energy

During each of these instructional segments, you will learn to
  • collaborate and contribute when working with others.
  • communicate through a variety of media.
  • embrace growth mindset and the continuous process of learning.
  • build strong content knowledge. 
  • pose questions & analyze evidence to reach a conclusion or solve a problem.
  • reason abstractly & quantitatively.
  • practice integrity by being honest, ethical & respectful

2020-21: Chemistry (AP)

Advanced Placement Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of a first year college Introductory Chemistry course and as such is a valuable asset for any student with a desire to major in science.  This course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Chemistry held annually every May.

Students will be able to coordinate a combination of knowledge and skills in order to accomplish a goal or task using science practices.  Students will establish lines of evidence and use them to develop and refine testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena with equal parts content, inquiry, and reasoning skills.  All course work will center on the following AP College Board’s six Big Ideas:

  • Students will know and understand chemical elements are fundamental building materials of matter, and that all matter can be understood in terms of arrangements of atoms.  Students will learn these atoms retain their identity in chemical reactions.
  • Students will know and understand chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.
  • Students will know and understand change in matter involves the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons.
  • Students will know and understand rates of chemical reactions are determined by details of the molecular collisions.
  • Students will know and understand the laws of thermodynamics describe the essential role of energy and explain and predict the direction of changes in matter
  • Students will know and understand any bond or intermolecular attraction that can be formed can be broken.  Students will learn these two processes are in a dynamic competition, sensitive to initial conditions and external perturbations.

2020-21: Chemistry (Honors)

Chemistry is the branch of science that deals with the composition of matter and the changes in composition that matter can undergo.  In investigating the composition of matter, we will explore the structure of the atom and the ways in which that structure determines the kinds of substances that can be formed.  In studying changes in composition, we will integrate this structure with the energy considerations that govern chemical reactions.

2020-21: Environmental Science

The goal of the Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. Environmental Science combines ideas and information from Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science, as well as the social science fields of Economics and Political Science. Topics of study include Earth’s systems, human population, land and water use, energy sources, and global change. Students will combine their scientific knowledge with perspectives from history and economics to examine progress in the field of environmental science. Students will be able to:
 
  • identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made
  • evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems
  • examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing these problems 
  • learn about the environment through firsthand observations by participating in laboratory investigations
  • experiences both in the laboratory and in the field provide students with important opportunities to test concepts and principles that are introduced in the classroom, explore specific problems, and gain an awareness of the importance of confounding variables that exist in the “real world”  

2020-21: Environmental Science (AP)

AP Environmental Science combines ideas and information from Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science, as well as the social science fields of Economics and Political Science. Topics of study include Earth’s systems, human population, land and water use, energy sources, and global change. Students will combine their scientific knowledge with perspectives from history and economics to examine progress in the field of environmental science.
 
Laboratory, field, and internet-based research and investigations are emphasized to familiarize students with contemporary environmental research techniques. 
 
Students will be able to:
 
  • analyze environmental problems
  • evaluate risks
  • collect data
  • investigate complex issues
  • design solutions to prevent, resolve, or mitigate environmental problems
  • participate in field investigations, historic and current case studies, and problem-solving exercises that will focus on in-depth analysis of specific environmental topics and issues.

2020-21: Physics

Physics is the basic science. It is the study of the fundamental laws that govern the properties of and interactions between motion, matter, and energy.  As such, physics underlies every other science and is very useful in helping students understand and appreciate how things work in the everyday world. This course is designed to acquaint you with the basic concepts of physics.  The principal content areas are Kinematics (description of motion, including planets), Dynamics (Newton’s laws, gravity and orbital mechanics), Conservation Laws (energy & momentum), and Waves (light and sound, including astronomy). 

2020-21: Physics (AP)

Physics is the basic science. It is the study of the fundamental laws that govern the properties of and
interactions between motion, matter, and energy. As such, physics underlies every other science and is very
useful in helping students understand and appreciate how things work in the everyday world. The principle
content areas are

● Kinematics (description of motion, including planets)
● Dynamics (Newton’s laws, gravity and orbital mechanics)
● Simple Harmonic Motion
● Rotational Motion
● Conservation Laws (energy & momentum)
● Electrostatics
● Electrical Fields, Forces, Potential and Capacitance
● DC Circuits
● Magnetic Fields, Forces and Induction
● Maxwell’s Equations

This course is designed to enable students to develop the ability to reason about physical phenomena using
important science process skills such as

● Explaining causal relationships, such as constructing explanations of physical situations involving
the interaction of bodies using Newton’s third law and the representation of action-reaction pairs
of forces.
● Applying and justifying the use of mathematical routines, such as applying mathematical routines
appropriately to problems involving elastic collisions in one dimension and justify the selection of those
mathematical routines based on conservation of momentum and restoration of kinetic energy.
● Designing experiments, such as designing an experiment for collecting data to determine the
relationship between the net force exerted on an object’s inertial mass and its acceleration.
● Analyzing data and making connections across multiple topics within the course, e.g., analyzing
experimental data describing the motion of an object and expressing the results of the analysis using
narrative, mathematical, and graphical representations.
● Using computers to collect and analyze experimental data.
● Using computers to model physical phenomena such as Simple Harmonic Motion.

2020-21: Physics C (AP)

Physics is the basic science. It is the study of the fundamental laws that govern the properties of and interactions between motion, matter, and energy. As such, physics underlies every other science and is very useful in helping students understand and appreciate how things work in the everyday world. The principle content areas are
 
  • Kinematics (description of motion, including planets)
  • Dynamics (Newton’s laws, gravity and orbital mechanics)
  • Simple Harmonic Motion
  • Rotational Motion
  • Conservation Laws (energy & momentum)
  • Electrostatics
  • Electrical Fields, Forces, Potential and Capacitance
  • DC Circuits
  • Magnetic Fields, Forces and Induction
  • Maxwell’s Equations
 
This course is designed to enable students to develop the ability to reason about physical phenomena using important science process skills such as
 
  • Explaining causal relationships, such as constructing explanations of physical situations involving the interaction of bodies using Newton’s third law and the representation of action-reaction pairs of
  • Applying and justifying the use of mathematical routines, such as applying mathematical routines appropriately to problems involving elastic collisions in one dimension and justify the selection of those mathematical routines based on conservation of momentum and restoration of kinetic
  • Designing experiments, such as designing an experiment for collecting data to determine the relationship between the net force exerted on an object’s inertial mass and its
  • Analyzing data and making connections across multiple topics within the course, g., analyzing experimental data describing the motion of an object and expressing the results of the analysis using narrative, mathematical, and graphical representations.
  • Using computers to collect and analyze experimental
  • Using computers to model physical phenomena such as Simple Harmonic