The science curriculum seeks to give students a firm foundation in science, as well as an understanding of the interrelationship among the different branches of science.
Courses aim to give students greater knowledge of themselves and their surroundings, as well as an understanding of each particular science, its attendant thought processes and the particular ethical issues it raises. The department’s goal is to have each science course contribute to the student’s ability to think logically and creatively. To this end, all science courses seek to strengthen observational skills, problem-solving, and analytical reasoning. All core courses require extensive laboratory work, and students learn how to use computers for data collection and analysis.
Students must take three units of science in order to meet graduation requirements. Most students take more. Ninth graders take Physics, which interweaves a range of concepts to provide a basis for further science study. Typically, tenth graders take Chemistry and eleventh graders take Biology, since having a firm foundation in chemistry before studying biology enables the student to understand biology on a deeper level. Upperclass students may choose to take Advanced Placement Chemistry, Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Environmental Science, Advanced Physics, AP Physics, or other science electives. In recent years these electives have included Issues in Science, Astronomy, Animal Behavior, Evolution, and Genetics.