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Science

 

The unbalanced scale demonstrates that we teach students science through actually doing science.  Students develop their data collection and analytical skills throughout their courses in the science department.  When data do not appear to "balance" with their preconceived notions, students are encouraged to think critically about their observations in order to come to plausible conclusions.  Students are asked to take their findings and apply them to the greater picture- where and how does the information gathered in the sciences fit into the larger issues faced by societies around the world- environmental and resource issues as well as medical and ethical issues?

AC is proud to offer science courses that are STEM based- Forensic Science, Honors Biotechnology, Introduction to Engineering and Physics (at various levels) in the Science Department as well as a STEM Club and Science Team, both of which compete in local competitions.

 

Faculty

Andrea Morrissey, Science Department Chair, amorrissey@achs.net
AB Biology, College of the Holy Cross
MS Zoology, University of Maine, Orono
MA Ministry, St. John’s Seminary
 
Susan Ampe '80, sampe@achs.net
BS Biology, Suffolk University
MA Biology, University of South Dakota
 
Kathleen Cassell, kcassell@achs.net
BS Physical Education, Bridgewater State University
 
James Hyland, jhyland@achs.net
BA Psychology, University of Notre Dame
MA English, University of Iowa
MS Computer Engineering, Boston University
 
Daniel Munroe, dmunroe@achs.net
BA Biology, Hofstra University
 
Kenneth Murphy, kwmurphy@achs.net
BS Education, Salem State University
MEd Administration, Salem State University
 
Barbara O’Connell, boconnell@achs.net
BA Chemistry/Biology, Emmanuel College
 
Janine Towle, jtowle@achs.net
BA Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
MEd Curriculum and Instruction Secondary Education, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

 

 

Course Offerings

All students are required to take three years of science, two of which must be Biology and Chemistry.

Biology 1

 

BIOLOGY 1 – 322

1 Credit

Biology 1 is a required laboratory course offered to freshmen and sophomores. This course is designed to heighten awareness of the interdependence of living organisms with the environment. Topics covered include: cell structure and function, the cell cycle, biochemistry of organic nutrients, classification, energy transformations, DNA, genetics, evolution and life processes as they relate to various organisms.

 

 

 Grades: 9, 10

Honors Biology 1

HONORS BIOLOGY 1 -320

1 Credit

Honors Biology 1 is designed for freshmen who plan to take four years of science at Arlington Catholic and have demonstrated high aptitude in mathematics and reading comprehension. It is a laboratory-based course intended to provide those students with an in-depth knowledge of biology and to further develop their investigative and interpretive skills. Its content is taught on a molecular level, allowing students a better understanding of the rapid advances in biology. Topics include: cells, DNA structure, protein synthesis, genetics, evolution, biochemistry, as well as a deeper study of life processes as they relate to various organisms. This course requires independent research and study. Sophomores who meet the requirements may also elect to take this course.

 Grades: 9, 10

Biology 2

BIOLOGY 2- 347

1 Credit

This course is for juniors or seniors who need to fulfill a third year science requirement or wish to enroll in a fourth year elective. Topics covered will help students develop into global citizens who are informed of timely issues and who can use their knowledge to make informed decisions at the personal, national and global levels.Topics covered include, but are not limited to, macromolecules; cells; homeostasis; DNA; human body systems; plants; classification; and evolution. These topics go into greater detail than those covered in Biology 1.

Grades:  11, 12

Requirements: Students need to have completed Biology and Chemistry.
Honors Biotechnology

HONORS BIOTECHNOLOGY

1 Credit

 

This introductory course in biotechnology will give students a broad understanding of biotechnology and its impact on society.  Topics covered include microbiology and cell culture; human genetics, plant tissue culturing; DNA and RNA, protein technologies; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; food processing (GMO’s); energy and environmental management; cloning; stem cells; and bioethics. Lab exercises include the following but are not limited to Gram staining, microbes and health, bacterial transformation, DNA extraction, casting agarose gels, electrophoresis, SDS-PAGE, size exclusion chromatography, plant cloning, biofuels, and comparative proteomics.    

 

Requirements:  Students need to have completed Biology and Chemistry and should have attained a B+ average in each class or B- in Honors Biology I or Honors Chemistry I or II.

 

Grades: 11, 12

 
Requirements: Department approval
AP Biology

ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY –344

1 Credit

 AP Biology is a course designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year. Colleges may grant credit, appropriate placement in college courses, or both, to students who have scored satisfactorily on the AP exam. Goals of this course include the following: to help students develop a conceptual understanding of science as a process; to give students personal experience in scientific inquiry; to study unifying themes that integrate major topics in biology; and to apply knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns.  Students who take AP Biology will develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The AP Biology curriculum revolves around four Big Ideas.  These are: 

 Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.

 Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.

 Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes.

 Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.

 Students will be responsible for designing and running their own experiments which may require extra time before or after school and students must also complete a summer assignment prior to the start of the course in the fall. All students are required to take the AP Biology Exam.

 Grades: 11, 12

Requirements: Students must have advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, and must have received at least an A- in both Honors Biology 1 and Honors Chemistry in addition to having above average reading comprehension. Standardized test scores will also be considered.   Departmental approval is required for enrollment in this course.

Chemistry 1

CHEMISTRY – 351

1 Credit

A scientific calculator is required for this course.

Chemistry is a required laboratory course offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This course is designed to familiarize students with the basic concepts involved in chemistry. Topics covered include: structure, properties and classification of matter; physical and chemical changes in matter; formula writing; chemical equations; atomic structure; periodic properties of the elements; chemical bonding; behavior of gases and the gas laws; acids, bases and salts; and basic stoichiometry. Laboratory exercises are designed to reinforce principles taught in the class.


Grades: 10, 11
Honors Chemistry 1

HONORS CHEMISTRY 1 – 350

1 Credit

A scientific calculator is required for this course.

Honors Chemistry acquaints the student with the basic concepts of chemistry as outlined in college-prep chemistry; however, it includes a more intensive treatment of subject matter with a particular emphasis on chemical mathematics. This course requires independent research.


Grades: 10, 11
Honors Chemistry 2

HONORS CHEMISTRY 2 -  353

1Credit

Honors Chemistry 2 is open to juniors and seniors who have had a solid performance in mathematics and in their first year chemistry course. This course offers a strong college preparatory background in qualitative, quantitative, and theoretical aspects of chemistry for those interested in pursuing science or healthcare-related courses in college. This course expects students will make a serious commitment of time and energy. Concepts presented include: structure and properties of matter; states of matter; energy transformations; solutions; reaction types; stoichiometry; equilibrium; kinetics; electrochemistry; nuclear chemistry; and introduction to both organic chemistry and biochemistry. Students are required to prepare independent projects. A scientific calculator is required for this course.

 

Requirements: Students must have a B+ in Algebra 2 and other mathematics courses and B+ in Chemistry or B in Honors Chemistry and Honors Algebra 2 as well as other honors mathematics courses. Students coming from Chemistry are responsible for topics that bridge the gap between college-prep Chemistry and Honors Chemistry. There will be a summer assignment.  

 

Grades: 11, 12

 
AP Chemistry

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY – 354

1 Credit

AP Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year in college. For some students, this course enables them to undertake, in their first year, second-year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. For other students, the AP Chemistry course fulfills the laboratory science requirement and frees time for other courses. AP Chemistry will meet the objectives of a college general chemistry course. Students in this course will attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course will contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic. This course differs from the usual first high school level chemistry course with respect to the kind of textbook used, the topics covered, the emphasis on chemical calculations and the mathematical formulation of principles, and the kind of laboratory work done by students. Other differences include the number of topics treated, the time spent on the course by students, and the nature and variety of experiments done in the laboratory. Topics covered include atomic theory and structure, periodicity, chemical bonding, acids and bases, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics and thermodynamics. The course also requires students to participate in laboratory experiments, which will involve extra time before and after school. Students must complete a summer assignment prior to the start of the course in the fall.  All students enrolled in this class are required to take the AP Chemistry exam.

Grades: 11, 12

 Requirements: Students must have received at least an A- in Honors Chemistry as well as an A- in Honors Algebra 2 or an equivalent math course. Standardized test scores will also be considered.  Departmental approval is required for enrollment in this class.

Physics

PHYSICS - 341

1 Credit

This course is open to juniors and seniors who have a good mathematical background.  Basic algebra and simple trigonometry are used for problem solving. The course is designed to familiarize students with concepts of physics necessary for following science courses in college. Topics include: kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy, and power, linear momentum, circular and rotational motion, gravitation, waves, heat, electricity and magnetism. Laboratories are included to reinforce topics. Students taking this course are required to prepare independent projects. A scientific calculator is required for this course.

 

Requirements: Students enrolling in this course should have completed Algebra 2 and received a minimum of a B as a final average. It is recommended that students have received at least a B- in previous science courses.

 

Grades: 11, 12

 

 

Honors Physics

HONORS PHYSICS – 340

1 Credit

This course provides an introduction to physics principles with a more quantitative approach than Physics. This course moves at a faster pace and involves more problem solving than Physics. Laboratories are included to reinforce topics. Topics include kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy, and power, linear momentum, circular and rotational motion and gravitation, waves, heat, electricity and magnetism. A scientific calculator is required for this course.

Grades: 11, 12

Requirements: Students must have demonstrated very strong mathematical abilities and should have taken Honors Algebra 2/Trig (Course #230) and received a minimum of a B as a final average. Departmental approval is required for enrollment in this course.
AP Physics C: Mechanics

ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS C: MECHANICS - 339

1 Credit

This course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory physics course usually taken by physics and engineering majors during their first semester. This is a calculus-based course that deals with the following topics: kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy and power, systems of particles and linear momentum, circular motion and rotation, oscillations and gravitation. The course includes hands-on laboratory work that is comparable to the laboratory component of an introductory college physics course.  The student is required to take the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam. A TI-84 Plus graphing calculator (silver edition) is required for this course.

 Grades:  11, 12

 Requirements: AP Calculus AB must be taken previously or concurrently. If AP Calculus is being taken concurrently then students should have received an A- in Advanced Pre-Calculus (Course #244).  Departmental approval is required for enrollment in this course.

Honors Anatomy & Physiology

HONORS ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY - 346

1 Credit

Honors Anatomy and Physiology is open to juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing a health-care related course of study in college. It is an in-depth, lab-based course that explores the structure and function of the human body systems and how they work together to maintain homeostasis or health. The course prepares the student for a college level Anatomy and Physiology course.  Students who do not intend to undertake a college program of study in the health care fields can take the course but should be aware of the rapid pace and in depth approach the course will follow. Independent reading and research are required in this course. The lab component includes mandatory dissections. Also, a summer project will be required and will be due on the first day of class.

 Grades: 11, 12

 Requirements: Students need to have completed Biology and Chemistry and should have attained a B+ average in each class or B- in Honors Biology I or II and Honors Chemistry I or II. Departmental approval is required for enrollment in this course.

Forensic Science

FORENSIC SCIENCE- 375

1 Credit

Forensics is a multidisciplinary course which incorporates biology, chemistry, and physics as well as analytical skills. This course is developed to fulfill the third year lab science requirement or for those students who wish to take a fourth year of science. It is intended for those who have a strong interest in the sciences. The course will include labs, lab reports, projects and presentations. Topics will include, but are not limited to: observation skills, crime scene investigation, hair analysis, blood and blood splatter patterns, fingerprinting analysis, case studies, forensic toxicology, handwriting analysis, and forensic anthropology.

 

Students should be aware there may be graphic material.

 

Requirements: Students need to have completed Biology and Chemistry.

 

Grades: 11, 12

 

 

Introduction to Engineering

INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING-

1 Credit

 

This elective gives students a basic overview of the engineering process. This involves the application of scientific knowledge to the solution of everyday problems in ways that pay attention to the needs of society and the environment while taking into account economic constraints.  This hands on course requires students to work independently as well as in groups to research, develop, build and test projects in areas such as, but not limited to, transportation, manufacturing, and construction.  

 

Requirements: It is recommended that students have received at least a B- in previous science courses.

 

Grades: 11, 12

Physical Education

Physical Education is a course requirement for all Freshmen and Sophomores. The Physical Education class is an introduction to basic skills and movement by participation and instruction in the following activities: Badminton, Basketball, Flag Football, Lacrosse, Paddle Tennis, Pilo-Polo, Ping Pong, Wiffle Ball, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Jump Rope, and Hula Hoops. Students will work on individual skills as well as group work and teamwork by participating in a variety of structured recreational games. Physical Education class will also utilize and understand the importance of the Wellness Center and the Turf Field. Throughout the year all Physical Education classes will participate in Health Workshop programs. The Physical Education Program helps students develop socially, emotionally and physically. The Physical Education class promotes a healthy environment with emphasis placed on good sportsmanship and fair play.