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Science

The Village School science courses provide a strong background in science for every student. For those who plan careers in science or technology, this program is designed to provide students with opportunities for advanced placement studies and elective courses that will challenge and engage them. All science classes at The Village School stress problem-solving and hands on learning in a laboratory setting. Our Upper School Science Lab is equipped with six zSpace computers, allowing for virtual labs and dissections as well as a 100 gallon touch tank to allow for hands on learning.
 
Required Courses
All students are required to take Biology and Chemistry as a graduation requirement. Additionally, students must complete two additional science credits. Two semesters of Engineering courses may count for one Science credit towards a students' graduation requirements.
 

Course Descriptions

Biology CP (1 year/1.0 unit)

This year-long course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the fundamentals of life through a variety of methods including laboratory experiences. Concepts covered in this course include: ecology, the cell, genetics, biological diversity, single celled organisms, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, and human anatomy and physiology. This course requires students to perform laboratory experiments to analyze data and to draw conclusions based on experimental results. New students matriculating after their freshman year that have not taken Biology are required to take this course during their upper school career.

Biology Honors (1 year/1.0 unit)

This year-long course covers the same concepts as Biology, but with more depth, a greater degree of analysis, and additional laboratory experiences. Students will be required to master topics related to the fundamentals of life. Concepts covered in this course include: ecology, the cell, genetics, biological diversity, single celled organisms, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, and human anatomy and physiology. This course is designed to challenge the student’s critical thinking skills while performing complex scientific experiments. Students will be required to complete formal laboratory reports including technical summaries and data analyses.
 
Prerequisite: Recommendation from 8th grade Science instructor along with a final grade of A, A-, or B+

Chemistry CP (1 year/1.0 unit)

This course emphasizes a conceptual understanding of chemistry rather than a mathematical one. Atomic theory, chemical bonding, acid-base behavior, oxidation, reduction and other types of reactions are studied. Students conduct many laboratory experiments to develop an understanding of chemical principles as related to everyday life.
 
Prerequisite: Biology or Biology Honors

Chemistry Honors (1 year/1.0 unit)

This course serves as an introduction to modern chemistry. Atomic structure, bonding, phase change, solutions, chemical reactions, thermodynamics, acid-based equilibria, kinetics and aspects of organic and inorganic chemistry are included. Emphasis is placed on developing problem-solving skills. This course incorporates a substantial component of hands-on laboratory work.
 
Prerequisite: Biology or Biology Honors and departmental approval

Elective Courses

Physics CP (1 year/1.0 unit)

This introductory physics course includes studies in motion, forces, optics, sound, electricity, magnetism, waves and nuclear physics. The emphasis is conceptual rather than mathematical. Lab activities and demonstrations are a major component of the course. Students will use computers for data collection, analysis, and simulation.
 
Prerequisite: Chemistry or Chemistry Honors

Physics Honors (1 year/1.0 unit)

This course provides the tools necessary to make sense of the universe at its most basic level via conceptualization and rigorous problem-solving. Quantitative and qualitative analysis are developed through software analysis of data to construct mathematical models. Scientific literacy is promoted in order to help students make informed and responsible decisions in their lives.
 
Prerequisite: Chemistry or Chemistry Honors and departmental approval

AP Physics (1 year/1.0 unit)

AP Physics is the equivalent of a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics, but it is designed to be taught over a full academic year to enable AP students to develop deep understanding of the content and to focus on applying their knowledge through inquiry labs. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It also introduces electric circuits.
 
Prerequisite: Physics or Physics Honors and concurrent enrollment in Precalculus Honors or higher level math course and departmental approval.

AP Biology (1 year/1.0 unit)

This year-long lab course prepares students for the AP® Biology examination as well as the SAT Subject Test™ in biology. Included in this course are biochemistry, cytology and cellular energy transformations, taxonomy, ecology and population dynamics and molecular genetics, heredity and evolution.
 
Prerequisite: AP Biology is available to juniors and seniors who satisfy department requirements to take the course (an A- or better in previous science courses and departmental approval).

AP Enviornmental Science (1 year/1.0 unit)

AP Environmental Science is a lab-based elective. The class is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on students’ backgrounds in biology, chemistry and physics. Topics covered include earth systems and resources, the living world, population, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution and global change. Students are prepared for the AP Environmental Science examination.
 
Prerequisite: AP Environmental Science is available to juniors or seniors who satisfy department requirements to take the course, earn a B+ in Honors science classes and department approval

AP Chemistry (1 year/1.0 unit)

This course is the equivalent of an introductory college general chemistry course. A brief review of some basic topics in chemistry relating to the nature of atoms, molecules, ions, the concept of mole and stoichiometry is presented. This is followed by a more in-depth discussion of the electronic structure of atoms, the nature of chemical bonding and how it relates to states of matter, thermochemistry, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, thermodynamics and electrochemistry, organic and nuclear chemistry. A major objective of this course is to understand basic principles and apply them towards solving comprehensive problems. The course is integrated with a rigorous laboratory program. Students who have completed this course will be prepared to take the AP Chemistry examination as well as the SAT Subject Test in chemistry.
 
Prerequisite: AP Chemistry is available to juniors or seniors who satisfy department requirements to take the course, earn an A- or better for the first semester of Chemistry Honors, and obtain department approval.

Marine Science CP/Honors (1 year/1.0 unit)

This year-long course explores the major concepts in ecology through an exploration of the Earth’s ocean ecosystems. Students explore the unique conditions in the ocean and implications for life living there. They investigate the distribution of the Earth’s oceans, the major currents and the control and effect of tides. Students also explore the various components of marine food webs, starting with phytoplankton and working our way up to fish, marine mammals and seabirds. The last part of the course includes a survey of the major ocean ecosystems and their unique features.
 
Prerequisite: Departmental approval

Human Anatomy and Physiology CP/Honors (1 year/1.0 unit)

This year-long course is a study of the structure and function of the human body. The course is preparation for advanced biological studies, biomedical nursing, and other science-based careers. Laboratory experiences provide student learning in the following topics: major body systems, how body systems work together to provide homeostasis, body functions in healthy and diseased states, blood typing, muscle action, nerve functioning and bioethics. Dissections of various preserved animals and organs are an integral part of this course.
 
Prerequisite: A or better in Biology or B or better in Honors or AP Biology and department approval

Scientific Nutrition (1 semester - Fall/0.5 unit)

This course Is a scientific study of the molecular basis for nutrition: which foods are nutritious, which may be toxic, how do the food industry, the government, political ideologies and the diet industry distort information about what is nutritious. We will also examine the evidence that poor nutritional guidelines have led to more disease.