Science Courses for Current Grade 8 Students

Supervisor: Matthew Hall 908-284-7134,

PLEASE NOTE: Science courses listed on this webpage should be used when selecting a course of study for Current Grade 8 students.

Courses have been grouped according to level of academic rigor.  The rigor of a student’s academic schedule and the grades received are key aspects considered by college admissions officers.   Core Program courses satisfy graduation requirements, but may not satisfy certain admissions requirements for some colleges. Please note:  sequencing need not be constant; students may move between “levels” as long as prerequisite courses are taken.  Prerequisite requirements and recommendations for all courses are listed in the course descriptions.  Please read these carefully, to ensure that all prerequisite courses have been taken before selecting a course.  All students are encouraged to pursue a summer learning experience to add to their electronic portfolios.

New for 2017-2018:

New Science Course for the 2017-2018 School Year:

#401 Environmental & Earth Science - 5 credits
#403 Honors Environmental & Earth Science – 5 credits

2017-2018 Science Course Descriptions:

# 401 ENVIRONMENTAL & EARTH SCIENCE – 5 CREDITS

Grade 9

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Earth and Space Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course is designed for students who enjoy science yet may require additional reinforcement to be successful. Concepts emphasized include the Earth and its Place in the Solar System, Earth Structure and Composition, Geologic Processes and Plate Tectonics, Weather, Climate and Global Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Natural Resources, and Human Impact on the Environment.


#402 - ENVIRONMENTAL & EARTH SCIENCE CP – 5 CREDITS
Grade: 9
Co-requisite: Algebra 1 #312 or Algebra 1 #3137

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Earth and Space Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Earth Science concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment. Concepts emphasized include the Earth and its Place in the Solar System, Earth Structure and Composition, Geologic Processes and Plate Tectonics, Weather, Climate and Global Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Natural Resources, and Human Impact on the Environment.


# 403 HONORS ENVIRONMENTAL & EARTH SCIENCE – 5 CREDITS
Grade 9
Prerequisite: Qualification based on Science Placement Matrix; Algebra 1 in 7th or 8th Grade Co-requisite: Algebra 2 #311 or #332, or Geometry #321 or #322

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Earth and Space Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Earth Science concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Environmental & Earth Science. Concepts emphasized include the Earth and its Place in the Solar System, Earth Structure and Composition, Geologic Processes and Plate Tectonics, Weather, Climate and Global Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Natural Resources, and Human Impact on the Environment. 


#411 – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE – 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-11
Co-requisite: Algebra 1 #334

This lab-based class is the second in a sequence of three courses designed to prepare students for   environmental science topics included in the End-of-Course Exam required of all pupils after the completion of their biology course. The class also addresses the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Science that require an understanding of systems, problem solving, critical thinking, use of technology and the integration of math skills in science. Concepts emphasized include environmental systems, ecology and human impact on the environment.

#421 – BIOLOGY- 5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Earth Science #401 or Environmental Science #411

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Life Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course is designed for students who enjoy science yet may require additional reinforcement to be successful. Concepts emphasized include cell structure and function, basic molecular biology, growth and development, metabolic processes, ecosystems, energy and nutrient cycling in nature, biodiversity, heredity and genetics, and biological evolution. Content covered in this course will be assessed in the Spring on the New Jersey Biology Competency Test.

#422 - BIOLOGY CP  - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisites: Environmental 
& Earth Science #402 AND Algebra 1 #312, or #3137

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Life Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Life Science concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment. Concepts emphasized include cell structure and function, basic molecular biology, growth and development, metabolic processes, ecosystems, energy and nutrient cycling in nature, biodiversity, heredity and genetics, and biological evolution. Content covered in this course will be assessed in the Spring on the New Jersey Biology Competency Test.

#423 – HONORS BIOLOGY 1 - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10
Prerequisites: Honors Environmental & Earth Science #403 or #402 (with a grade of 90 or above) Co-requisite: Geometry #321 or #322

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Life Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Life Science concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Biology. Concepts emphasized include cell structure and function, basic molecular biology, growth and development, metabolic processes, ecosystems, energy and nutrient cycling in nature, biodiversity, heredity and genetics, and biological evolution. Content covered in this course will be assessed in the Spring on the New Jersey Biology Competency Test.

#424 - HONORS BIOLOGY 2 - 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Honors Biology 1 
#423
Note: Although Honors Biology 2 is no longer a required prerequisite for AP Biology, it is strongly recommended. Specifically our data shows that students earning less than a final grade of “A” in Honors Biology, who do not take Honors Biology 2, generally receive grades in the low “B” to “C” range in AP Biology.

This weighted course is a continuation of Honors Biology 1. Although it is not a required course, it is recommended that students take this course to prepare them for the SAT Subject Test in Biology. It develops in detail the topics not covered in Honors Biology 1. It is strongly recommended that students take this course following the completion of #423 Honors Biology.

#431 – CHEMISTRY - 5 CREDITS 
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Algebra 1 # 3137, or Algebra 1 #334

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Chemistry portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course is designed for students who enjoy science yet may require additional reinforcement to be successful. Concepts emphasized include the structure and properties of matter, the Atomic Theory, the Periodic Table of Elements, chemical reactions, atomic interactions, and chemical nomenclature.

#432 - CHEMISTRY CP - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Algebra 1 #312 or #3137 (with a grade of 85 or better)
Co-requisite: Algebra 2 #3337 or #332

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Chemistry portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Chemistry concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment.  Students are encouraged to evaluate the demands of their entire schedule when considering this course. Students should contemplate the risk involved when choosing courses that build upon previous courses and recognize that prior performance impacts the ability to achieve at the same level in subsequent courses. Please understand that once a student has selected this course, his/her ability to make a subsequent level change is dependent upon seat availability.


#433 – HONORS CHEMISTRY 1 - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2 #311, STEM #332 or #3329 (with a grade of 85 or better) 
Note:  
Students who have taken #432 Chemistry CP are not eligible to enroll in this class.

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Chemistry portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Chemistry concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Chemistry. The emphasis in this course will be upon chemical structure and dynamics. Some of the concepts that will be treated are: significant digits and error in measurements, stoichiometry, electronic structure, chemical bonding, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases.

#434 – HONORS CHEMISTRY 2 - 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
P
rerequisite: Honors Chemistry 1 #433

Honors Chemistry 2 is a continuation of Honors Chemistry 1. It is a weighted laboratory oriented course that includes more advanced concepts in molecular structure, thermodynamics, electrochemistry and other related areas. This course is recommended for students considering the SAT Subject Test in Chemistry. Students are strongly encouraged to take this course immediately following Honors Chemistry 1 #433.

#442 - PHYSICS, CP – 5 CREDITS
Grades: 12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2, #311, #332, or #3337
Corequisite:  
Pre-calculus #363, #342, or #341    

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Physics portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Physics concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment. This is a traditional physics course that will include the study of motion, forces, energy, waves, electricity, and magnetism.


#443 – HONORS PHYSICS – 5 CREDITS
Prerequisite: Honors Algebra 2 #311
Corequisite:Pre-calculus #341, #342

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Physics portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Physics concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Physics. Students will study one and two dimensional kinematics and dynamics. This will include such topics as displacement, velocity, acceleration, free fall, forces, Newton’s laws, circular motion, work, energy, power and momentum. Other topics include waves and vibrations, sound, and electricity and magnetism.

#450 - ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCI– 10 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Honors Biology #423 or a 
Grade of 90 or better in CP Biology #422
Co-Requisites: #432 Chemistry CP 
or #433 Honors Chemistry

This is a weighted laboratory-oriented course that is designed to be the equivalent of a general environmental science college course. It is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination. Successful completion of the course may enable students to gain advanced standing at many colleges. 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 relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. The course is interdisciplinary and covers a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. Topics that will be studied include: environmental history, sustainability, basic ecological principles (ecosystems, energy flow, populations), biodiversity (aquatic, terrestrial, extinction), agriculture, natural resources (water, soil, geologic), energy (renewable, nonrenewable), pollution, climate change, and pest management.  Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.

#452 – ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY - 10 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisites: Honors Biology #423 AND Honors Chemistry #433 or #432 Chemistry CP Recommendation:  Honors Biology 2 #424

Note: Although Honors Biology 2 is no longer a required prerequisite, it is strongly recommended. Specifically our data shows that students earning less than a final grade of “A” in Honors Biology, who do not take Honors Biology 2, generally receive grades in the low “B” to “C” range in AP Biology.

This is a weighted laboratory oriented course that is designed to be the equivalent of a general biology course usually taken during the first year of college. It is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination. The content includes the items specified in the CEEB Advanced Placement Course Description booklet.  Specifically, the course involves an elaboration of the principles typically encountered in Honors Biology with an emphasis placed upon information coding and transfer, biological diversity, animal and plant biology and ecology. There is a heavy emphasis on experimental work.  Successful completion of the course may enable students to gain advanced standing at most colleges. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.

#454- ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY- 10 CREDITS

Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Honors Algebra 2 #311 and Honors Chemistry #433 with grade of 85 or better, or STEM Algebra 2 #332 OR #3329 and Honors Chemistry #433 with grade of 85 or better in BOTH.
Recommendation: Honors Chemistry 2 #434

This is a weighted laboratory 
 oriented course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement  Examination. This course is equivalent to a first year college chemistry course. The content includes advanced concepts in atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and analytical techniques. There is a     heavy emphasis on experimental work. Students who have not completed a previous chemistry course will be required to complete a departmentally approved course or independent study on introductory chemistry during the summer preceding the AP course. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.

#456 – AP Physics 1 - 10 CREDITS
Grades: 
11-12
Co-requisite: Honors Pre-Calculus #341
Prerequisites: Honors Algebra 2 #311 AND Honors Chemistry #433 AND/OR Honors Physics #443

This weighted laboratory course is designed for students who are considering a science related career. Students will study one and two dimensional kinematics and dynamics. This will include such topics as displacement, velocity, acceleration, free fall, forces, Newton’s laws, rotational dynamics, work, energy, power and angular momentum. The course is designed to prepare students to take the Physics 1 Advanced Placement Examination. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.

#457 – AP PHYSICS 2 – 10 CREDITS
Grades:
12
Prerequisites:  #456 AP Physics 1
Co-requisite: Honors Calculus #357

This is an algebra-based weighted laboratory course designed for students who are considering a science related career. Topics include waves and vibrations, sound, electricity and magnetism, physical optics, relativity, quantum theory and thermodynamics. This course is designed to prepare students to meet the requirements of the AP Physics 2 program as established by The College Board. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.

#458 –AP PHYSICS (C) - 10 CREDITS
Grade: 12
Prerequisite/Co-requisite: Calculus #347, #353 or # 352


This is a weighted 
course that is designed to be the equivalent of an engineering physics course usually taken during the first year of college. It is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination. The content includes the items specified in the CEEB Advanced Placement Course Description booklet. Specifically, the course involves an elaboration of the principles typically encountered in mechanics, electricity & magnetism. Successful completion of the course may enable students to gain advanced standing at most colleges. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT ELECTIVES:

#460 - ASTRONOMY - 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of 
10 credits in math

This is a laboratory-oriented course that offers the student the opportunity to study in some detail the oldest formal science.  The basis of this curriculum will be found in the works of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. During the course students study such topics as lunar motions, optics, spectroscopy, telescope design, planetary exploration, stellar classification and evolution, and cosmology. An independent research project is also to be completed.

#461 - OCEANOGRAPHY – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Biology CP #422 or Honors Biology #423

The field of oceanography is an important tool for exploring major world systems. This course will focus on the interdisciplinary nature of oceanography through an examination of the geological, physical, chemical and biological aspects of the ocean. Topics include: origin of oceans, ocean composition, ocean wave processes, ocean tides, ocean currents, coastal oceanographic processes, ocean seafloor geology, marine communities and ecosystems, marine fisheries, marine resources, ocean pollution, as well as the ocean's role in climatic changes (i.e. El Nino, global warming, carbon dioxide cycles, glacial periods etc.).

 
#462 - METEOROLOGY – 2.5 
CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisites: Earth Science
#401 or higher, AND Algebra #312 or #334 or #3137 or higher

Meteorology is a relevant area of science and affects all people in their everyday lives. Students will apply scientific inquiry skills with an emphasis on real world applications and interpretation of data on weather maps. Students will be expected to construct, interpret, analyze, interpolate and extrapolate data on maps.  Meteorology topics will include: a broad overview of the basics of meteorology, including temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, cloud formation, and atmospheric stability, and the role the sun plays in driving the weather. Additional topics will include tornadoes, hurricanes, El Nino, climate change, winter weather, numerical weather prediction, and urban heat islands.

#463 - AVIATION SCIENCE – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12 
Prerequisites: Environmental and Earth Science #402 AND Algebra #312, #313 or #3137

This course is based on the knowledge required by Federal Aviation Administration to become a private pilot. Topics included are aircraft components, the aerodynamics of flight, flight instruments, airport and radio operations, reading aviation maps, solving navigation problems, and flight planning using a manual E6B computer. Basic flying techniques using computer programs will be demonstrated. The history of flight and the economic and military importance of aviation will also be discussed.

#466 - HUMAN IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT-2.5 CREDITS 
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite:  Biology #421, #422 or Honors Biology #423

This laboratory-oriented course examines the interrelationships between living organisms and their surroundings. Emphasis is placed upon the global impact that humans have on their environment, both living and non-living. The students explore, in depth, both sides of environmental issues. An emphasis will be placed on problem solving and action research giving personal meaning to the phrase, "Think globally, and act locally".

#467 - AQUATIC BIOLOGY – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades 10-12
Prerequisites: Biology CP #422 or Honors Biology #423

This lab-centered course utilizes aquatic resources on campus as well as the Jersey Shore to compare and contrast adaptations of organisms in both the freshwater and saltwater environments. Students will conduct behavioral studies with living organisms with an emphasis on environmental stresses and human impact on New Jersey aquatic wildlife.  Species studied will include plankton, micro and macro-invertebrates i.e.,snails, crabs and copepods and vertebrates such as fish, turtles, seals and dolphins.

#470 – ANATOMY/PHYSIOLOGY - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Biology CP #422 OR Honors Biology #423
Note: For students in grades 11 and 12, this course is offered as a dual enrollment program with Raritan Valley Community College. Students taking this course may be eligible to receive college credits in RVCC’s equivalent Human Biology course offering. Please contact the course teacher, or your counselor for more information.

This is a laboratory-oriented course designed for students who are considering health and laboratory related careers. It consists in the study of the human body and the related areas of health and disease. Laboratory work is a major part of the course and the students will perform various physiological experiments that include the dissection of a representative animal for human anatomy, blood count, urine analysis, hearing and visual perception, computerized EKG and EEG and biofeedback.

#472 - INTRODUCTION TO FORENSIC INVESTIGATIONS–2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisites: Biology #422, #423 or #452
Co-requisites: Chemistry #432, #433, #434 or #454
Note: Students who completed Biology #421 and Chemistry #431 must have completed both courses with a final grade of 90 or higher.

The goal of the course is to have students integrate prior knowledge obtained in Biology AND Chemistry courses through the scientific processes of analysis, interpretation, measurement, technology, design, and collaboration. The course is interdisciplinary and covers a range of topics  and fields associated with scientific and forensic applications, procedures, and analysis. It is designed around students solving crime scene scenarios through the use of several skills including but not limited to, skin and tissue analysis, DNA evidence, animal and insect (entomology) evidence, hair and nail evidence, ballistics, and serology.

#474 - HONORS ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry 1 #433

This course is designed for students interested in continuing their studies in chemistry. This course focuses on the chemistry of carbon compounds. The content includes nomenclature, structural formulas, alkanes, aldehydes, alcohols, carboxylic acids, carbonyl compounds. Labs include synthesis and analysis of organic compounds. This course is designed to give students background for future science courses, such as AP Biology, and for students interested in medicine, pharmacy and nutrition science.


#475 - HONORS GENETICS - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisites: Honors Biology #423 AND Honors Chemistry #433 or Chemistry CP #432

Honors Genetics is a semester long laboratory-oriented course intended for highly motivated students interested in the world of genetics.  Topics covered in the course include: molecular genetics (DNA structure, DNA replication, protein synthesis, transformation), and yeast genetics. Students will perform basic molecular techniques including serial dilutions, bacterial transformation, and gel electrophoresis. The ethical, legal and social implications of genetic research will be discussed. “Hot” topics will include forensic genetics, the Human Genome Project, human and animal cloning and stem cell research. Each student is responsible for the design, implementation, analysis, and completion of an independent research project under the direct supervision of the instructor as well as an independent reading assignment and follow-up analysis.

#476 – HONORS BIOCHEMISTRY – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisites: Honors Biology #423 AND Honors Chemistry 1 
#433

This course is a laboratory-oriented course designed for students interested in continuing studies in chemistry and biology. This course will provide a foundation for understanding the chemistry of biological systems.  Topics include structure and function of important biomolecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins and nucleic acids, modern methods of separation and characterization of biomolecules, biochemical reactions, energetics, and metabolism. Having an understanding of biochemistry will be helpful to students who are considering careers in the life sciences, physical sciences, and who are interested in biotechnology.