The Science Department at Bishop Kelly High School has as its primary goal providing each student with a solid understanding of basic scientific knowledge, concepts, and processes.  Consequently, all students will be provided opportunities to follow a program in which scientific skill will be stressed and an integrated, interdisciplinary approach will be provided them by linking mathematics, written expression, laboratory experiences and research skills.

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.

Courses and Prerequisites:


Grade Level: 9
Prerequisite: None

Course ID# 1200 – Two Semesters (FY)

Earth Science is the study of the planet in which we live with a focus on four areas of discovery: geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy. Being the most fundamental of sciences, students will be presented with a comprehensive view of a wide variety of topics-all of which are applicable to their lives and world. Basic scientific facts and concepts will be presented regarding the history and future of our earth and data relating to the atmosphere and life beyond our planet will be integrated into the course.


Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Completed or concurrent in Geometry recommended
Recommendation: Recommended for those planning to go into regular Physics or Chemistry

Course ID# 1210 – Two Semesters (FY)

Conceptual Physics is a laboratory course which, like standard physics, will address the main topics of that course: motion, light, energy, sound, electricity, etc. The program will concentrate on providing students with a strong conceptual understanding of physical events. In contrast to standard 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. Though not a prerequisite, Conceptual Physics provides excellent preparation for regular Physics.


Grade Levels: 9,10
Prerequisite: None

Course ID# 1220 – Two Semester (FY)

Biology, a laboratory class which explores various aspects of life, is required of all sophomores. 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 an in-depth 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: 10,11, 12
Prerequisite: Conceptual Physics (recommended for student success) or Biology, and Algebra 2 (concurrent with Instructor Approval
Recommendation: Recommended for those planning to take Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Physics, and AP Chemistry

Course ID# 1230 – Two Semesters (FY)

Physics is a laboratory course, which involves the investigation of such physical phenomena as force and motion, energy, vibrations/waves, light, electricity/ magnetism, electromagnetic induction and relativity. The course will provide students with a strong conceptual understanding of physical events and, as concepts are understood, problems will be presented and solved by the use of mathematics. The link between technology and society will be thoroughly explored and numerous examples will be provided illustrating the manner in which physics finds use in real-world applications.

Students with a strong B or better grades are strongly encouraged to take the AP Physics B Exam in May.


Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: A or B in Biology and Conceptual Physics

Course ID# 1280 – 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 and human-made, 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.


Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Passing grades in either Biology or Conceptual Physics

Course ID# 1201 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 1202 – 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 Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Passing grade in either Biology or Conceptual Physics

Course ID# 1211 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 1212 – 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: 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Earth Science or Conceptual Physics and Algebra 2 (concurrent)
Recommendation: Recommended for those planning to take AP Biology, AP Physics and/or AP Chemistry

Course ID# 1250 – 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 included in this course will be atomic theory, chemical bonding, states of matter, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics and carbon chemistry. Laboratory work and scientific process will be emphasized. This course is highly recommended for all college-bound students.


Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Students may enroll directly in AP Biology with an A or B grade in Conceptual Physics/ Physics and Chemistry (Biology is not a prerequisite, but if taken student must have revieced an A or B). Application required.

Course ID# 1240 – Two Semesters (FY)

AP Biology 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-med 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. Students have the option to take the Advanced Placement Exam and/or enroll in the Concurrent Enrollment Program through Boise State University.


Grade Levels: 11, 12
Prerequisite: A or B in one of the following courses: Chemistry, Conceptual Physics or Physics (concurrent). Application required.

Course ID# 1270 – Two Semesters (FY)

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, nuclear chemistry, states of matter, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics and descriptive chemistry. Problem solving and application of theoretical concepts will be emphasized. This course is highly recommended to those college-bound students who plan to study life science, chemistry or engineering.


Grade Levels: 11,12
Prerequisite: A or B in one of the following courses; Physics, Biology or AP Biology (concurrent), and Chemistry. Instructor Approval required.

Course ID# 1260 – Two Semesters (S2)

Advanced Placement (AP) Physics B is intended for those students who have successfully completed standard Physics and desire a more comprehensive and in-depth treatment of the subject prior to university studies. The regular Physics and AP Physics B sequence, with its heavy emphasis on laboratory experiences, will provide students with the full AP Physics B curriculum, plus more. Special projects and topics of particular interest to students will be included as time permits. A two-year, laboratory-enriched program such as this is strongly recommended by The College Board. AP Physics B is highly recommended for students interested in science, engineering, or medicine. Though not mandatory, students are strongly encouraged to take the AP Exam in May.

Bishop Kelly Science