Science

Students are required to take 3 years of Science: three classes which end in a Regents exam or two classes which end in a Regents exam and one elective. All students must take and pass the Living Environment class and are required to pass one Regents exam in any science for a Regents diploma or two Regents exams for an advanced diploma.

Earth Science (Physical Science)

One (1) year; One (1) credit

The scope of Regents Earth Science encompasses the structure and composition of the earth, the processes that act on it, and its history. Through field and laboratory studies, students will investigate the nature and origin of landforms, rocks, minerals, and phenomena associated with volcanism. Students will also study energy resources, conservation of groundwater, waste disposal, earthquakes, weather and climate, and outer space. Students must complete 30 passing (1200 minutes) of documented labs to be eligible to take the Regents exam in June.

Living Environment/Biology (Life Science)

One (1) year; One (1) credit

This life science program involves the student in the study of unity and diversity in living things, the transmission of inherited traits, human physiology, the maintenance of plant and animal structure and function, reproduction and development, ecology, and the origin of life. Laboratory investigations, computer, and library research projects, and classroom discussion emphasize an informal atmosphere in this study of life. Students must complete 30 passing labs to be eligible to take the Regents exam in June.

Honors Living Environment/Biology (Life Science)

One (1) year; One (1) credit

Prerequisite: Regents Biology, Grade 10-12

Students who took Earth Science in 8th grade or 9th grade and meet the criteria described above may take Honors Living Environment/Biology. This class is designed to prepare students for Advanced Placement Biology to be taken in 11th or 12th grade after completing Chemistry. Some material is taught at the Advanced Placement level using AP textbooks, and some is taught at the Regents level. This class requires students to do extensive work outside of class. Students will be expected to maintain an average of 85 or above or they will be moved to a Regents Biology class. Students will take the Living Environment Regents as well as a local final and will be encouraged to take the College Board SAT2 in Molecular Biology.

Honors Living Environment/Biology (Life Science) by Contract

Students who do not meet the criteria for the Honors Living Environment/Biology class still have the opportunity to earn honors credit by contract. The work in this class is used to enhance work completed in Regents Biology. Students will meet once every four days during an assigned class period to learn how to read scientific journal articles and write a literature review of a topic of their choosing. They will also be required to write 4 lab reports per year and write 4 reading reports per year. In addition, they will meet once every eight days with the teacher to discuss progress toward these requirements. With this designation, students earn weighted credit towards their overall average.

Chemistry in the Community

One (1) year; One (1) credit

Prerequisite: Regents Biology, Grade 10-12

This is a non-Regents chemistry course for those students who desire to have a better understanding of chemistry in our daily lives and its contribution to modem technology. Studies focus on general chemistry with emphasis on the applications of chemical principles to the life sciences. Designed for students who plan to pursue careers in the health science professions and require the need for pre-requisite learning before entering Regents Chemistry. Topics include the structure and properties of matter; energy; atomic structure and bonding; gas laws; chemical reactions. It also covers the molecular basis for life: carbohydrates; lipids; proteins; enzymes, vitamins, and hormones; pathways of metabolism; and nucleic acids. May fulfill the third year science requirement.

Chemistry (Physical Science)

One (1) year; One (1) credit

Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, and properties of the materials which make up our environment, the changes which take place in them, and the energy accompanying these changes. It is a modern course dealing with principles that are basic to an understanding of things we encounter in our world. Students must complete 30 passing labs to be eligible to take the Regents exam in June.

Physics (Physical Science)

One (1) year; One (1) credit

Physics examines the fundamental theories, laws, and principles in the universe. It focuses on the mathematical relationships of matter and energy. For example: how objects move, how energy is transferred from place to place, all the different forms of energy in our world and usefulness. Students must complete 30 passing labs to be eligible to take the Regents exam in June.

Geology

One (1) year; One (1) credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Earth Science Regents and Living Environment Regents courses and exams.

Students explore the workings of our dynamic planet through units on plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, rock and mineral formation, weathering and erosion, paleontology, hydrogeology, and others in an attempt to understand the fundamental principles of geology at work on our planet. This class includes extensive work outside of class and is designed to meet the third year science requirement for graduation.

Anatomy and Physiology

One (1) year; One (1) credit

Prerequisite: Regents Biology, Grade 11-12

Anatomy and Physiology provides a basic understanding of the organization of the human body and how the body works. Organs of the body will be studied to understand their structure, location in the body, their function and how they interact with other parts of the body. Students will acquire the knowledge necessary to understand what the body is doing and how they can help the body cope with many different situations (exercise, relaxation, disease, injury, etc.). They will work on developing good study habits and skills in;

  1. accuracy and attention to details;
  2. efficient and disciplined study skills for science (scheduling, analysis, and synthesis of information, and perseverance);
  3. accurate and precise oral and written communication and;
  4. community relationship.

May be used to fulfill the third science requirement.

AP Biology

One (1) year; One (1) credit

(ADVANCED PLACEMENT)

Prerequisite: Regents Biology and Regents Chemistry.

The Advanced Placement Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course. The prerequisite for this course is the successful completion of high school Earth Science, Biology and Chemistry. Students must have earned mastery on these Regents exams (85% and above). The AP Biology program aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. The emphasis is placed on such topics as molecules and cells, genetics and evolution, and organisms and populations. College level textbooks, laboratory and computer investigations library research projects and classroom discussions focus the students’ attention on the objectives of this program. This class requires extensive work outside of class. Students are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May, which may earn them college credit if their score is accepted by their specific college.

Forensics

One (1) year; One (1) credit

Prerequisite: Regents Biology and Earth Science, Grade 11-12

This course surveys key topics in forensic science, including the application of the scientific process to forensic analysis, procedures and principles of crime scene investigation, physical and trace evidence and the law and courtroom procedures from the perspective of the forensic scientist. Through virtual and hands-on labs and analysis of fictional crime scenarios, students learn about forensic tools, technical resources, forming and testing hypotheses, proper data collection, and responsible conclusions.

Global Problem Solving: Rising to the Challenge

Credit determined based on class format (every day = 1 credit vs. every other day = ½ credit)

This class requires independent and group work to help solve global concerns, such as water shortages, global warming, world health concerns and ethics in genetic research. Across the world, complex social, political, economic and environmental issues threaten the progress of our nation and our communities. Join us on a cross-disciplinary approach to solving global problems such as:

  • Will the next World War be fought over water rights? Protecting our most precious natural resource- water.
  • What are the responsibilities of every nation in preventing global epidemics? Should countries be allowed to close their borders?
  • What role should governments play in advancing genetic research to better detect, treat and prevent diseases? Should genetic research be privatized

Students will work in small groups and apply the eight disciplines (8D) of problem-solving while using biology, geology, history, technology, math and communication skills to formulate creative solutions to these and other challenges of living in the 21st century.

UHS Science Research/AP Capstone

This is a University in High School/Advanced Placement course.

Students have the opportunity to embark on research in a discipline of their own choosing. In their first year, students take a Seminar and learn how to write a literature review and develop a plausible, measurable original hypothesis. They would then develop an experimental procedure with the help of a mentor in the field of the research they are pursuing. Students may pursue any topic of interest in the sciences, humanities, literature, mathematics, etc. during Research.

In the summer between Seminar and Research, the student will conduct their original research either in the lab of their mentor or other location, which will continue throughout the academic year. (Students would be responsible for their own transport to the facilities if travel is required.) This makes students eligible for the UHS credit. Students will complete their project by writing their research paper and presenting their findings. Students may earn two University in the High School credits through UAlbany.

If students wish, they may opt for (or work concurrently on) an AP Capstone project which would require a two-year commitment. In the first year, students would take AP Seminar in which they would learn how to conduct research which would lead to the completion of an argumentative paper. In the second year, they would conduct original research and write their paper during AP Research.