Life Science. This is a life science course in which interactions between organisms and their environment are studied through use of living materials, printed materials, and laboratory investigations. Science content strands on cellular structure and function; heredity, and diversity, and ecosystems are emphasized throughout the year. Scientific skills such as designing experiments, collecting data, interpreting results, and constructing models are integrated throughout the curriculum.
Physical Science. This course builds upon the experiences in the physical sciences introduced to students in upper elementary. Properties of matter; energy forms and their transformations; and forces and motion are content strands developed through a sequence of varied instructional strategies with an emphasis on experimentation, observation, generalization, and discussion. Skills for designing student investigations; collecting, organizing and analyzing data; and communicating results are integrated throughout the course. Graphing calculators and computer technologies are integrated with instruction and used to enhance student understanding.
Earth Science. This course is the same as GeoSystems offered by FCPS. Students explore the planet Earth, its changes and its place in the solar system. Earth Science can be divided into four major branches: geology: the study of the solid part of the earth; meteorology: the study of the atmosphere; hydrology: the study of the earth's water; and, astronomy: the study of the universe and the earth's position in it. Topics include: Stewardship of the Earth; Exploring the Earth and Methods of Science; the Biosphere; Mapping; the Dynamic Earth; Composition of the Earth; History of the Earth; Oceans; Atmospheric Forces; the Earth in Space; the Solar System, Galaxy, and Universe.
Biology. This course is an introductory study of life processes and organisms. Laboratory activities allow students to directly study organisms and practice the process of observation, classification, and appropriate lab technique. Included is an overview of the chemical nature of matter and life, cells, genetics, evolution and evidence for change, classifications of organisms, and ecological interactions.
Chemistry. Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and interactions of the building blocks of matter. In this course students develop a practical understanding of the connection between matter and energy through the use of laboratory techniques, manipulation of chemical quantities and problem-solving applications. The scientific methodology is used in experimental and analytical investigations, using observation, experimentation, models, evidence and systematic processes.
Physics. This course will motivate the student to investigate and explore the physical nature of the world using classical physics. Through the use of hands-on laboratory experiences, Internet resources, and teacher-led activities, students conceptualize and understand principles of physics. These principles include mechanics, heat, light and optics, waves and sound, electricity and magnetism. Underlying all investigative aspects of the course will be the fundamental three-step process of experimentation: Observe, Analyze, Predict.