Science

Science

Science Department Philosophy

The primary goal of the Bishop Kelly High School Science Department is to provide each student with a solid understanding of basic scientific knowledge, concepts, and processes. Consequently, all students will be provided opportunities to follow a program provided them by linking mathematics, written expression, laboratory experiences, and research skills. Students are highly encouraged to take at least an introductory course in each of the three main areas of science: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

In the society in which they will live and work, the number of decisions they will be required to make involving an understanding of the products, process, ethics, and relationships of science to society are increasing. To prepare them for their responsibilities, the department will address current issues and encourage independent, creative, and critical thinking in the study of those topics which are covered by the curriculum.

The evolution and continual adaptation of scientific knowledge and technology – along with historical, cultural, and ethical perspectives – will be presented within the framework of the varied course offerings contained in the school’s science curriculum. Given the direction of today’s world, the science department believes that an extensive academic preparation which contains a strong presence of science, mathematics, and technology – bound by the Catholic Christian ethic provided at Bishop Kelly – will best prepare the school’s graduates to pursue post-secondary education or to enter the workplace.

ATTENTION STUDENTS!  Any courses marked with an “*” after the course name require you to complete an Application Form. Please expand courses below to access their specific “Required Application Form” links at the bottom of each course description.

Recommended Science Sequence

PATH 1:

A student that is not looking for a heavy AP route. A great option for college prep if still unsure of scientific interests. This sequence is suitable for those who take Algebra I in their freshman year.

9th grade: Environmental Science and Society
10th grade: Biology or Conceptual Physics
11th and 12th grade: Chemistry; Horticulture; Forensics; AP classes (with appropriate prerequisites)

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PATH 2:

High Interest and aptitude for the health and biological sciences with particular interest in opportunities for more AP Science Courses. A great sequence for students interested in pursuing a life science degree in college.

9th grade: Biology
10th grade: Conceptual Physics and/or Chemistry, Accelerated Chemistry
11th and 12th grade: Depending on the choices made in 9th and 10th grade, students are able and recommended to take any of the below classes that suit their interests and for which they have appropriate prerequisites: AP Biology; Anatomy and Physiology; AP Chemistry; AP Environmental Science; AP; Physics I/II; Scientific Thinking and Research

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PATH 3:

High Interest and aptitude for math and physical sciences with particular interest in opportunities for more AP Science Courses. This is also a great sequence for those students interested in pursuing a science degree in college.

Due to the math requirements of the initial science course in this path, we recommend that students take geometry or higher level math (Algebra II, Pre-calculus, etc.) their freshman year.

9th grade: Conceptual Physics
10th grade: AP Physics I and/or Accelerated Chemistry
11th and 12th grade: Depending on the choices made in 9t h and 10t h grade, students are able and recommended to take any of the below classes that suit their interests and for which they have appropriate prerequisites: Anatomy and Physiology; AP Chemistry; AP Physics I/II; AP Environmental Science; AP Biology; Introduction to Engineering Design

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Grade Level: 9, 10
Prerequisites: None
Two Semesters (FY)

The Environmental Science and Society course focuses on the study of our natural environment, with an emphasis on humanity’s impact on the environment. Taking a case-study approach, the goal of the course is to introduce and engage students in the science behind today’s environmental issues. Students will be immersed in hands-on science activities, group work, discussions of current scientific research, and decision-making based on their critical thinking skills. The course will encourage students to think and act at both global and local levels. While topics will focus on life science related issues, basic geological, physical, chemical, and technological components that directly impact living systems will be incorporated.

Grade Levels: 9, 10
Prerequisites: None
Two Semesters (FY)

Biology is a laboratory class which explores various aspects of life. The principles of living matter, cell structure and functions, energy processes, reproduction and genetics, will be covered during the first semester. During the second semester, knowledge of these principles will be applied to a survey of representative organisms found in the five kingdoms: monera, protista, fungi, plantae and animalia. An introductory-level class, the course will provide preparation for more advanced studies in biology.

Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisites: None
Recommended: Geometry (completed or concurrent).
Two Semesters (FY)

Conceptual Physics is a laboratory course which will address the main topics of that course: motion, forces, light, energy, sound, electricity, etc. The curriculum will concentrate on providing students with a strong conceptual understanding of physical events. In contrast to AP Physics, with its traditionally heavy emphasis on mathematics, this course will make use of mathematical equations only to the extent necessary to guarantee understanding of the concept under study.

Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisites: None
Recommended: Biology or Conceptual Physics
Two Semesters (FY)

Chemistry is an introductory course in which students will study the structure of matter and the physical and chemical changes it may undergo. Topics covered in this course will include atomic theory, chemical bonding, states of matter, reactions, stoichiometry, solutions, colligative properties, acid-base chemistry, and reaction energy. Laboratory work and the scientific process will be emphasized.

Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisites: Algebra II (completed or concurrent)
Recommended: Biology or Conceptual Physics
Two Semesters (FY)

Accelerated Chemistry is a more rigorous introductory chemistry course in which students will study the same topics as regular chemistry in more detail and will add units covering equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics, and/or electrochemistry. Laboratory work and scientific process will be emphasized. This course is highly recommended for all students interested in pursuing a degree in the sciences and/or planning to take AP Chemistry later on in their high school career.

Either Accelerated Chemistry or Chemistry is highly recommended for all college-bound students.

Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisites: None
First Semester (S1)

This course will introduce students to indispensable real-world problem solving skills. In an increasingly complex and dynamic world, students and professionals are constantly being asked to develop innovative solutions to difficult problems and questions. The aim of this course is to develop student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills in the context of the scientific research process. Students will design hands-on, experimental research projects, collect meaningful data, report their findings, and reflect on the experience.

Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry or Conceptual Physics
First Semester (S1); Second Semester (S2)

Horticulture is a hands-on curriculum. Students will experiment with different aspects of the horticulture field, including greenhouse management, landscape design and maintenance, plant propagation, pest control, and growing a variety of plant species. Students can expect several required design projects, such as flower arrangement, Christmas wreath, landscape plan, and terrarium. The class objectives are to provide job skills for students and to improve the landscaping at Bishop Kelly High School.

Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry or Conceptual Physics
First Semester (S1); Second Semester (S2)

An innovative, science-based semester course designed to develop student awareness of Forensic Science and the applications, techniques and authentic processes used. This course is lab-based and exposes students to Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as they apply to criminal investigations. Topics include crime scene protocol, fingerprinting, blood evidence analysis, other physical/trace evidence and DNA analysis.

Grade Level: 11, 12
Prerequisites:
(1) Chemistry (with an A or B)
(2) Biology or AP Biology (with an A or B)
Two Semesters (FY)

This Anatomy and Physiology course will focus on both the structures and functions of the human body. As the year progresses, we will work through each system of the body including the skin, muscular system, skeletal system, nervous system, sensory system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, lymphatic system, and reproductive system. These systems will be covered through lecture, group work, labs, and case studies to help prepare students for more advanced studies in the field of medicine and other related fields.

Grade Level: 11, 12
Prerequisites:
(1) Biology (with an A or B) or concurrently taking AP Biology
(2) Chemistry (with an A or B)
(3) Application required
Recommended: Conceptual Physics
Two Semesters (FY)

The goal of the AP 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 human-made, to evaluate the negative risks associated with these problems and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing these problems. The class will be inquiry driven with hands-on labs applying concepts learned through research and instruction. Students should be prepared to invest a great deal of time and energy into the course. In order to succeed on the AP exam, it is imperative that students remain consistently focused and organized throughout the entire year.

Required Application Form »

AP BIOLOGY
Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisites: Conceptual Physics (with an A or B), Chemistry (with an A or B),
Application required
Two Semesters (FY) and the AP exam

DC BIOLOGY
Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisites: Conceptual Physics (with an A or B), Chemistry (with an A or B),
Application required
Two Semesters (FY)
Dual Credit: Boise State BIO 191

AP Biology and DC Biology (BIO 191 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology), will be taught in the same class period with different expectations. Students selecting AP Biology will be expected to take the AP exam and have outside class expectations to meet the curriculum expectations.

This is a two-semester, college-level course. This course is a detailed survey of the main concepts of biology with an emphasis on cellular processes, genetic principles, evolution, and ecology. This course is designed for students who intend to major in the sciences and those in pre-medicine and related fields. The college-level course in biology differs significantly from the usual first high school course in biology with respect to range and depth of topics covered, the type of laboratory work done and the time and effort required of students. It aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Students and parents should be prepared for the unusually high demands on time and energy this course requires. It is imperative that students remain consistently focused and organized throughout the entire year.

Explanation of Concurrent vs AP choice.docx

Required Application Form »

Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisites: Accelerated Chemistry (A or B) or Chemistry (A), Algebra II,
Application required
Two Semesters (FY)
Dual Credit: Boise State CHEM 101

This second year class will focus on the theoretical aspects of chemistry. Topics, which will be covered in depth, will include the structure of matter, chemical bonding, states of matter, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics and descriptive chemistry. Problem solving and application of theoretical concepts will be emphasized. Because AP Chemistry is a very rigorous course, it is imperative that students remain consistently focused and organized throughout the entire year. This course is highly recommended to those college-bound students who plan to study medicine, chemistry, or chemical engineering.

Required Application Form »

Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12
Prerequisites: Algebra 2 (completed or concurrent), Application Required
Recommended: Conceptual Physics
Two Semesters (FY)

AP Physics 1 is the equivalent of the first semester of introductory, algebra-based college courses. This course explores topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits. Because this course is taught over an entire year, there is more time to foster deeper conceptual understanding through increased hands-on laboratory work. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills. Special projects and topics of particular interest to students will be included as time permits.
AP Physics 1 and 2 are highly recommended for students interested in science, engineering, or medicine. Though not mandatory, students are strongly encouraged to take the AP Physics 1 exam in May.

Required Application Form »

Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisites: AP Physics 1 (A or B), Precalculus (completed or concurrent), Application Required
Two Semesters (FY)

AP Physics 2 is the equivalent of the second semester of introductory, algebra-based college courses. This course explores topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV (gas) diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. Because this course is taught over an entire year, there is more time to foster deeper conceptual understanding through increased hands-on laboratory work. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills. Special projects and topics of particular interest to students will be included as time permits.

AP Physics 1 and 2 are highly recommended for students interested in science, engineering, or medicine. Though not mandatory, students are strongly encouraged to take the AP Physics 2 exam in May.

Required Application Form »

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Through education and personal experience, we build upon that foundation to prepare each graduate for a lifetime quest to reach excellence.