The Science Department works to provide hands-on learning experiences to all cadets through investigation and experimentation. The department’s goal is to develop the cadets’ intellectual curiosity and independent thought through lessons on physical, biological, earth, and laboratory sciences.
From seventh grade Life Science to Advanced Placement level courses, cadets use scientific methodology and assessment to master core concepts. Emphasis is placed on experimentation, error and analysis, teamwork, written and verbal communication, and problem solving. Additionally, upper-level physical science courses strengthen the cadets’ math skills by adding real world applications for the calculations they learn in their math classes.
Astronomy – 9th through 12th grades – UC Approved Course – Full Year
Prerequisites: Students should have completed a physical laboratory science of Chemistry or Physics.
Astronomy is a year long course where students learn about their place in the universe. Students will learn about the sky, the celestial sphere, the history of astronomy, the solar system, the structure of the planets, galaxies, the structure of the Milky Way, cosmology, and the search for life in the Universe. Students will be doing many project based labs, as well as research using telescopes around the world and here on campus.
Biology – 9th through 10th grades – UC Approved Course – Full Year
Pre-requisite: Concurrent enrollment in or successful completion of Algebra I and strong English skills.
Biology will provide a meaningful laboratory-based science course that develops the cadet’s ability to analyze and synthesize scientific information. The major focus centers on cellular functions & metabolism, human physiology, genetics, evolution, plant classification and structure. Cadets develop an appreciation of living organisms and the environment that supports their existence. Finally, the cadets will be encouraged to assess their attitudes and behavior patterns and to understand the impact their lifestyle choices have on their communities and on their own well-being.
Chemistry – 10th through 12th grades – UC Approved Course – Full Year
Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Biology and concurrent enrollment in or successful completion of Algebra 2.
Chemistry will provide a study of properties and transformation of matter under normal conditions where molecules dominate. Cadets taking this course will learn methods used by scientists, compositions of matter, chemical symbols, chemical reactions, physical and chemical properties of matter, stoichiometry, atomic and electronic structures, chemical bonding, the states of matter, acids and bases, and reactions in solutions. Cadets will learn to do calculations associated with chemical reactions. Cadets will also be given a brief introduction to equilibrium and oxidation-reduction reactions.
Life Science 7
Life Science 7 – 7th grade – Full Year
Life Science 7 will present a scientific study of the structure and function of living organisms and their ecological relationships. More specifically there will be an introduction to general scientific skills and their importance. In addition, the second semester will place an emphasis on heredity, evolution, ecosystems, and the environment. Finally, the key elements of health will be introduced and discussed.
Physics – 10th through 12th grades – UC Approved Course – Full Year
Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Biology and concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 with a “B” or higher in Algebra 1 or successful completion of Algebra 2.
Physics will provide cadets with the lifelong science skills necessary to excel in the modern science world. These skills will be accomplished through laboratory work including computer integrated laboratory processes, experimental design, error and analysis, teamwork, formal written and verbal communication, problem solving, algebraic and trigonometric functions. Students will learn about forces, motion, energy, electricity and a wide variety of physical science topics.
Physical Science 8
Physical Science 8 – 8th grade – Full Year
Earth Science 8 will introduce the cadet to the interrelationship between physical and earth sciences. The topics include key elements of physical science: force and motion, magnetism, electricity, structure of matter, and density and buoyancy. It also includes a general introduction to Earth in the solar system, weather, geology, the periodic table, and the chemistry of living things. Investigation and experimentation are taught throughout the year through the many labs.
Physical Science – 9th through 12th grades – UC Approved Course – Full Year
Pre-requisite: Successful completion of Algebra 1
Physical Science will provide students with the lifelong science skills necessary to excel in the modern science world. Course work will include the study of concepts that are based in chemistry, physics and earth and space science. These skills will be accomplished through laboratory processes, experimental design, error and analysis, team work, formal written and verbal communication, problem solving, algebraic and trigonometric function manipulation, and creative thinking.
AP Science Curriculum
AP Biology – 11th or 12th grades – UC Approved Honors Course- Full Year
Pre-requisite: An “A” in Biology or a “B” with instructor approval; concurrent enrollment in or successful completion of Chemistry.
The AP Biology course is the equivalent of a college-level introductory biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year. This course follows the College Board standards and laboratory guidelines for AP Biology. The course covers the 8 major themes identified by the College Board: Science as a process, evolution, energy transfer, continuity vs. change, correlation of structure and function, regulation, interdependence in nature, and science, technology and society. This course differs from regular biology with respect to the pace, range, and depth of topics covered. This course requires a strong work ethic. Work is more intensive, including labs, and requires out of class time be spent during tutorials, evenings and possibly weekends. All cadets are expected to take the AP exam in May.
AP Chemistry -11th or 12th grades – UC Approved Honors Course – Full Year
Pre-requisites: An “A” in Chemistry or a “B” with instructor approval; successful completion of Algebra 2.
AP Chemistry is the equivalent of a general chemistry course usually taken in the first year of college. This course differs from Chemistry with respect to the textbook used, the topics covered, the emphasis on chemical calculations and the mathematical formulation of principles, and the laboratory work completed. All cadets in this course will be expected to take the AP Exam administered at the end of the year.
AP Environmental Science
AP Environmental Science – 11th or 12th grades – UC Approved Honors Course – Full Year
*NEW in 2020-2021*
AP Environmental Science is a challenging course designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester introductory college course in environmental science. The course covers the following topics: ecosystems, biodiversity, populations, earth systems and resources, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global climate change. This is a rigorous science course that stresses scientific principles and includes a laboratory component with an emphasis on inquiry-based labs. A strong work ethic is required, as Cadets are expected to produce college-level work. All Cadets are required to take the AP exam in May.
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 1 – 11th or 12th grades – UC-Approved Honors Course- Full Year
Pre-requisite: Successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Pre-Calculus with instructor approval.
AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits.
AP Physics C
AP Physics C – 11th or 12th grades – UC-Approved Honors Course- Full Year
Pre-requisite: Passing Calculus or taking Calculus at the same time.
AP Physics C: Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism is equivalent to a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. The course explores topics such as kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.