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Science Course Information Sheets

2019-20: 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.
We will use research, dissections, labs, activities, surgical videos, and several unit-long projects alongside typical class instruction in order to review body structures and functions. There is an emphasis on safety in this course as we regularly use hazardous lab equipment and dissect specimens.
 

2019-20: Biology (Pre)

Course Description: Pre-biology is a class designed for English language learners and introduces key topics in biology, such as ecology, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, micro and macro anatomy and physiology, and genetics. Teachers focus on both science and English content to ensure that students are ready for further science courses at Mountain View High School and beyond.
 

2019-20: 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 n 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; and 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.
 

2019-20: Biology (AP)

Course Information: 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 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. The course aims to motivate students to succeed in higher education and the world of scientific work.
 

2019-20: Biology Honors

Course Description: Biology Honors will cover the California State Standards for Biology, elements of the Common Core/Next Generation Science Standards, AND to a deeper level of understanding and critical thinking.
 

2019-20: 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.
 

2019-20: Chemistry (AP)

Course Description: 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. This second year course will expand your knowledge of chemistry in both breadth and depth. First we look at the fundamental structure of the atom, starting with the nucleus and its influence on its surrounding space and on atomic stability. We continue this exploration of the atom by focusing on electron location as a natural entry to the realm of bonding. Next we examine the formation and structure of compounds, including compounds of the transition metals. We relate compound structure to the states of substances as we study the behavior of gases and the properties of liquids and solids. As we deal with the ideas associated with measuring and expressing the structure of substances, quantifying their reactions and predicting reaction products, we encounter theoretical ideas in an extended treatment of aqueous chemistry. Finally we apply the principles we have learned to the realm of organic chemistry as we examine a few of the basic building blocks of life. The material covered is consistent with the requirements of the AP Chemistry curriculum as outlined by the College Board.
 

2019-20: 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.
 

2019-20: Environmental Science

Course Description: 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, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and humanmade, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Topics include Living and Earth Systems, Populations, Land Use, Energy, Water, and Air. The goal of the laboratory component is to learn about the environment through firsthand observations. 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 with a depth not easily achieved otherwise, and gain an awareness of the importance of confounding variables that exist in the “real world”.
 

2019-20: Environmental Science (AP)

Course Description: 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 analyze environmental problems, evaluate risks, collect data, and investigate complex issues. Through their investigations, they will design solutions to prevent, resolve, or mitigate environmental problems. Field investigations, historic and current case studies, and problem-solving exercises will focus on in-depth analysis of specific environmental topics and issues.
 

2019-20: Physics I

Course Description: 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), Conservation Laws (energy & momentum), and Waves (light and sound, including astronomy). An equally important aspect of this course will be a constant effort to improve students’ organizational and study skills, as student’s ability to be independent learners will greatly increase their academic success.
 

2019-20: Physics (AP)

Course Description: 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), Electricity & Circuits, and Mechanical Waves. This class will prepare students to take the AP Physics 1 Exam in May. An equally important aspect of this course will be a constant effort to improve students’ organizational and study skills, as student’s ability to be independent learners will greatly increase their academic success.
 

2019-20: Physics C (AP)

Course Description: 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.