High School (Grades 9-12)
Download High School Program Book (PDF format - 163 KB)
In the 21st Century, science continues to play a powerful role in guiding our world’s decision making and our progress towards sustainability. Underneath this paradigm of sustainability, Upper School Science incorporates an environmental focus into traditional disciplines through relevant and innovative curriculum within a four-course sequence of Modern Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Applied Physics and Advanced Biology.
Our science program is both content and skill based. Students in science master the skills necessary to think and act like a scientist in the modern world. Content standards are based on the National Science Education Standards written by the National Research Council. These standards incorporate traditional content and emphasize unifying concepts in science, inquiry-based approaches and use of technology. Primary sources (data, journals and experiments) and technology tools such as ArcView (GIS software), Vensim (modeling software), spreadsheet software, statistical software and graphing calculators are used throughout the course. Journals, articles, essays and books from the scientific community and popular press are used to supplement each inquiry during weekly reading seminars.
Within each semester, science inquiries are based on an essential question, and the learning is driven by the students’ “need to know.” Students are challenged to address a relevant local question that contributes to the scientific knowledge base in the community. Frequently, professionals brainstorm with students at the start of an inquiry to determine the most pertinent way to explore a current problem. Assessment is conducted in a variety of forms, including formal research reports, essays, projects, teaching, traditional exams and oral presentations. The goal is for students to be able to demonstrate achievement of the outcomes in a variety of formats.
All science students become able to explain natural processes using scientific evidence and knowledge by program’s end. Students are proficient in writing technical papers, discussing scientific concepts, conducting original research and presenting results as well as demonstrating mastery of fundamental scientific concepts.