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Other Science Classes

S408: Marine Biology | Learn more >>
Students who take Marine Biology will gain a deeper understanding into the variety and diversity of living organisms in the world’s oceans through an ecological and evolutionary lens. From Algae to Zooxanthellae and everything in between, we will examine and study the diverse organisms and complex relationships that make life in the ocean possible. Understanding human impact and conservation will be an underlying theme to the course. Wet and dry labs, snorkeling, microscopy, dissections, field trips, lectures and discussions are all used to engage students into the wonderful world of life beneath the waves. As a part of this class, you will learn the skills to create and present a unique project that shows your understanding of the course content and highlights your interests and ideas. Length: Fall semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Chemistry and Biology

S409: Forensics
This elective integrated science course is ideal for those interested in future studies and/or careers in law, criminal justice, and public safety. Essential questions including the following will be explored: How can someone be wrongfully convicted? What is the history of forensic science, its advancements, and how did it become integrated into the criminal justice system? What are the types of evidence utilized to analyze a crime scene and how are they gathered and processed? When is forensic evidence admissible and when is it not? Length: One semester; Credits 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology

S414: Plant Biology
Plants are both common and complex organisms. There are plants that eat animals, plants that are thousands of years old, plants that can grow 400 feet tall and plants that are stronger than steel. Plants are intricately part of our lives and some plants have changed the shape of human history. There are plants that have wrought havoc on communities and cost billions of dollars in damage. There are plants that hold the potential to cure cancer and to fuel the energy needs of the future. Learn about the amazing lives of plants: their diversity, their complex evolution, how their reproduction and structure shape ecosystems, how they benefit our health and communities, how they have altered civilizations and how they might solve some of our most difficult environmental issues. We will plant, grow, harvest, propagate, design and experiment. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: CP or HN Biology

S403: Astronomy
An introduction to Astronomy, this class will focus on the application of physics to the study of the universe. Intended for highly motivated students interested in science, this class expects students to think critically as well as to make use of mathematical reasoning in the solving and creation of problems related to astronomical phenomena. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of Algebra II concepts. This course will also teach and apply trigonometry and logarithms to astronomy problems. Topics may include: the history of observational astronomy, building a simple telescope and trips to observatories to study the night sky; celestial navigation; stellar evolution from how stars are born to supernovae; black holes; the large scale structure of the cosmos; space-based astronomy and astronomy in the news. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Students can be concurrently enrolled in Biology. Recommended prerequisites: Algebra 2

S405: Ecology
Science LabFrom our days as a hunter-gatherer society to the information age, humans have always had a close relationship with the environment. This relationship will be examined through the study of ecological principles that govern population dynamics, community interactions and ecosystem processes. Students gain an understanding of the biosphere as we examine the ways humans have altered the natural ecological processes during our species time on Earth. Human ecological issues to be covered include over-population, pollution, environmental justice, urban sprawl, habitat loss, invasive species, biodiversity loss and global climate change. Over the semester, students will find local solutions to global, ecological problems. Students will design and conduct ecological studies and experiments to engage in research and environmental education advocacy activities. Partnerships with Earthwatch, Massachusetts Audubon Society, and MIT will support student environmental research and study. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

S406: Epidemiology
Why are some diseases “catching”? What tools do scientists use to study and control disease? How does my body fight off invaders? What kind of organisms can and do invade my body? Why do Third World countries experience more diseases than developed countries? What ethical issues arise in studying and treating disease? How has biotechnology contributed to making new treatments for these diseases? Students use current lab techniques, read current literature and participate in research projects and design their own epidemiologic study. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

S404: Contemporary Applications of Genetics
Why are some diseases inherited from parents who are perfectly healthy? What is the difference between infectious and genetic disease? Can you find out if you will get a genetic disease? How does one decide whether to learn about one’s genetic make-up and what to do with that information? How do we develop guidelines for these advancements that are equitable for ALL? Who pays for the research and who makes a profit? Students use the same cutting edge lab techniques that scientists do in their labs to try to answer these questions about devastating diseases. Finally, students learn how the biotechnology industry is using these modern techniques by investigating how an idea is turned into a profit-making product. This course is lab oriented with an emphasis on investigative skills. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

S407: Human Anatomy and Physiology
This course is a challenging and intensive investigation of human body systems that includes the molecular, cellular and tissue level of the organ systems. Students will engage in discussion, activities and laboratories, and write research papers to gain a better understanding of the structure and physiologic processes of the healthy body. Current trends and treatments in medicine as well as medical ethics are explored. Guest speakers are invited to make presentations. Class will consider career opportunities within the medical field. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

S416: Exercise Physiology
Kids in ClassKnowledge and application of scientific principles are prerequisites for this intensive, advanced biology course. The course covers how the body functions during exercise, the adaptations that occur in response at a tissue, cellular and molecular level. Focus will be on changes that occur in the circulatory, respiratory and muscular systems; students will conduct labs, plan experiments and write research papers. Please note that this is not a class that will involve general fitness goals or means to achieve them. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

S418: Oceanography | Learn more >>
Oceanography is the study of all of the physical, chemical and biological processes that make up the world’s ocean. Topics will include the origins of the world’s oceans, history of ocean exploration and examples of marine technology that allowed this exploration. We will study the forces that have shaped our oceans over time and the features of the sea floor resulting from these forces. Physical processes in the Ocean like tides, currents, waves, erosion of coasts and environmental concerns will make up the bulk of the course content. The capstone project in the course will be designing, building and flying an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in a competition in the school pool. As a part of this class, you will learn the skills to create and present a unique project that shows your understanding of the course content and highlights your interests and ideas. Length: Spring semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Chemistry

H423: Eco-Action
Through this multi-disciplinary environmental action course, students will gain knowledge and skills to help businesses run their office in more sustainable ways. Eco-Action is a comprehensive, hands-on course where students will be taught how toconduct environmental audits of offices, create thorough reports to recommend ways to conserve resources, and give presentations to the businesses’ employees. Eco-Action examines the consequences human activities have on the environment, and helps relate concepts such as climate change, global warming and carbon footprint to local, community and individual levels. In addition to conducting on-site eco-audits of local offices students will visit content-related facilities and organizations in the area. Professionals with relevant expertise will make presentations to the students. Course content meets Massachusetts standards for mathematics, science and language arts, and students gain professional communication, report writing, and project management skills. Length: One Semester; Credits: 10; Grade: 12; Prerequisites: ?

S510: AP Environmental Science
This course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course. Environmental science is offered from a wide variety of disciplines, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry and geography. This course has been designed to enable students to undertake an advanced study of environmental topics in college. The goal is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Algebra