Science

Staff serve students seeking to develop knowledge and skills to apply and understand the scientific method of inquiry in their quest to understand living organisms, physical world and properties as well the relationship between all of these areas.

The science curriculum embeds an investigative process designed to meet our student needs and abilities. Staff provides a variety of learning experiences where students are encouraged to engage in scientific inquiry to observe scientific principles that are established through careful observation; weigh facts and arrive at valid conclusions; appreciate the historical contributions of scientists; and recognize that science is incorporated into the human experience.

Students are required to take three year-long courses in the following:  

  • Physical Science or
    STEM Physical Science
  • Biology or AP Biology
  • Chemistry or Physics or Food Science or Conceptual Physics 

Students taking the AP exams will be charged a fee set by the college board.

Click here to view the science registration guide for specifics and requirements.

Course #  Course NameGradesPrerequisiteSemester 
Credits
C506 C507Physical Science9None2
C508 C509STEM Physical Science9

Geometry (recommended grade of B or better)

2
C510
C512 
Biology A & B10-12

Physical Science or
STEM Physical Science

2
C510OL C512OLBlended Biology A & B10-12

Physical Science or
STEM Physical Science

2
C950
C952 
AP Biology A & B10-12

Chemistry or AP Chemistry
(Biology strongly recommended)

2
C550
C552 
Chemistry A & B9-12Algebra 2 (or concurrent enrollment) AND Physical Science or STEM Physical Science2
C550OL
C552OL 
Blended Chemistry A & B9-12Algebra 2 (or concurrent enrollment) AND Physical Science or STEM Physical Science2
C960
C962 
AP Chemistry A & B10-12

Chemistry 
(recommended B or better)

2

G525 G527

Food Science A & B10-12

Physical Science or
STEM Physical Science

2
C570
C572 
Physics A & B10-12

Algebra 2 AND Physical Science or
STEM Physical Science 

2
C584
C586 
Conceptual Physics A & B10-12

Physical Science or
STEM Physical Science

2
C680
C682 
Astronomy A & B9-12

Geometry, 
Recommended: Physical Science or STEM Physical Science

2
C685
C687
Human Anatomy and Medical Terminology A & B9-12None2
C690
C692 
College in the Schools (CIS) Human Anatomy and Physiology11-12

B or better in Chemistry AND
Biology, AP Biology or concurrent enrollment

2
C970
C972 
AP Environmental Science A & B10-12Biology or AP Biology2
G520Biotechnology10-12Biology or AP Biology1
C670
C672 
AP Physics Calculus Based A & B11-12AP Calculus (or concrurrent enrollment) AND Physics2

Physical Science A & B

Pre-requisite: None

Students will evaluate interactions between Chemistry, Physics, and select principles of Earth Science encountered in everyday activities. This course focuses heavily on experimental skills, utilizing formal lab procedures and scientific lab write-ups. The experimental process uses a variety of technical writing approaches and includes an introduction to a variety of engineering concepts. Integrated within the course are activities that utilize up-to-date technology and tools, i.e., motion sensors for laboratory work and internet-based research for real-life applications. Also as part of the course, students will gain a familiarity and proficiency with standard lab equipment.  They will demonstrate this proficiency by completing multiple projects and labs. Student focal points in chemistry are: properties and states of matter; atomic structure and the use of the periodic table; chemical bonds and chemical reactions; and nuclear chemistry.  Student focal points in physics are: the basic fundamentals of forces and motion; work, power, and energy; with explorations in sound, the electromagnetic spectrum, electricity and magnetism.  

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STEM Physical Science A & B

Pre-requisite:  Completion Geometry

Students in STEM Physical Science will explore the same concepts as Physical Science, but this course is designed to challenge students at a more rigorous pace and in greater depth. The students in this class should share a strong aptitude in math and a desire to advance in the area of science. Students will be held accountable to a higher standard in this course than the Physical Science 9 class. The incorporation of the engineering aspects of the course will be introduced through a variety of project-based constructions; for example, but not limited to, robotics, roller coasters, and rockets.

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Biology A & B

Pre-requisite: Physical Science or STEM Physical Science

This class is meant to meet graduation requirements for Biology and to prepare students for success in a college science setting by providing a general overview of pertinent topics in the field of biology. Topics include scientific method, cell structure and function, genetics, heredity, photosynthesis, protein synthesis, classification, biological change and adaptation, ecology, and a survey of the different kingdoms of living things.  In addition to these topics, this class also studies historically important events in the field of science and relates scientific discoveries to technological advancements that have taken place.  

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Blended Biology A & B

Pre-requisite: Physical Science or STEM Physical Science

This course is based on the Minnesota Benchmarks in Biology and will be taught with the same rigor as in-person General Biology. This course is not recommended for most students as it is the instructor’s belief that students benefit most and learn best from consistent student-teacher interaction. That being said, this course may benefit the following types of students: students who are extremely self-motivated, students who have demonstrated the ability to effectively set and adhere to specific deadlines, students who have already taken one of the two semesters of General Biology, or students who are unable to attend school.

While the bulk of assignments and projects can and will be completed and submitted virtually, students WILL be expected to physically check in with the instructor at least once a week, and WILL be required to perform select experiments and unit assessments at school.

As with the traditional General Biology course, Online General Biology meets the state requirements for graduation. Students may enroll in either or both semesters.

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Human Anatomy and Medical Terminology A & B

Pre-requisite: Biology/AP Biology

NOTE:  Animal dissections are a part of this class.

This lab-based, project centered course focuses around the study of the structures of the 11 different human body systems and the medical terms that we used to describe the structures of the human body.  The class is designed to give students the basic foundations in the study of the human body so they will be prepared to take on the rigors of a college level human Anatomy and Physiology course in the future.  This foundation will also prepare students who wish to pursue a career choices in the health care fields of physician, nursing, physical therapy, athletic training, x-ray technician, ultrasonography, and a whole host of other medical careers.  Students take a field trip to explore the different jobs in the medical field, as well as participate in activities such as animal and animal organ dissection, body part modeling, torso t-shirt decorating, and lab activities which utilize medical devices as a way to collect pertinent and accurate data for analysis.  This class also serves as a great foundation for the CIS Human Physiology course, but is not required in order to take CIS Human Physiology.

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College in the Schools (CIS) Human Anatomy and Physiology A & B

Pre-requisite: Grade of B or better in Chemistry AND Biology, AP Biology or concurrent enrollment

NOTE:  Animal dissections are a part of this class.

BIOL 1015 Essentials of Human Physiology, technology and Medical Devices is a weighted grade, College freshman-level biological science course consisting of a classroom component where students will conduct scientific investigations with cutting edge data collection equipment, conduct research, and participate in animal dissections and other hands-on activities. Pair and group work, class discussion, analytical thinking, and writing are important components of the course. This course surveys the main organ systems of the human body, placing some emphasis on their relationships to normal and abnormal health. Students will learn to identify and locate many anatomical structures and understand how each functions, individually and in cooperation with others, to maintain homeostasis with the human organism. This course also examines how technology and medical devices are shaping the practice of medicine and health care.  Upon completion the student will receive 4 semester college credits from the University of Minnesota.  

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Chemistry A & B

Pre-requisite: Algebra 2 (or concurrent enrollment) AND Physical Science or STEM Physical Science

Chemistry is a sequential course that builds on skills learned throughout the two semesters.  Chemistry A topics include: atomic structure and measurement, atomic theory, chemical bonding, nomenclature, chemical equations, math tools and mole calculations.  Mastery of these skills will prepare students for the topics in Chemistry B.  It is essential for students to have a background in Algebra.  Students should take additional mathematics to facilitate the study of Chemistry.  A non-graphing scientific calculator is required. Chemistry B continues and uses the skills mastered in Chemistry A, (therefore a passing grade in Chemistry A is a pre-requisite). The topics and concepts introduced are: states of matter, solution chemistry, thermochemistry, kinematics, acid/bases. *This course will satisfy the graduation requirement of Chemistry or Physics.

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Blended Chemistry A & B

Pre-requisite: Algebra 2 (or concurrent enrollment) AND Physical Science or STEM Physical Science

This online chemistry course covers the same learning targets with the same level of difficutly as a regular chemistry course.  Material, however, is presented in an online format through Schoology.  Lectures come in the form of videos, WebAssigns are homework and a weekly checklist offers guidance on what is due when.  Even though you are allowed to be off campus (to be detemined), your attendance is required once a week to fill the laboratory requirements.  It is mandatory that you pass a midterm and final for a passing grade in this course. The subjects covered in this course include components of matter, atomic theory, stoichiometry, chemical reactions and bonding, thermochemistry, gases, quantum theory, electron configuration, models of bonding, theories of covalent bonding, shapes of molecules and intermolecular forces of liquids and solids.  This course will satisfy the graduation requirement of Chemistry or Physics.

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Food Science A & B

Pre-requisite: Physical Science or STEM Physical Science

This hands-on course will apply scientific concepts and procedures to the food science industry through a variety of laboratory activites and experienments focused on the principles of chemistry.  Students will understand how the physical and chemical properies of food products and nutrients are realted to atomic structures, elements, chemical bonding, molecular structures and formulas, and concentrations. Students will study a variety of chemical reactions that occur in processing and storage of food products and describe the factors affecting the rate of reactions.  Students will also understand the relationships between energy, motion of molecules, and states of matter in the devlopment and improvement of food products, processing and packagining.  This course will satisfy the graduation requirement of Chemistry or Physics.

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Biotechnology 

Pre-requisite: Biology or AP Biology

This one semester course is for any student who has an interest in a career in the applied sciences. Students in this hands-on course will use cutting edge tools and technology to complete laboratories and activities in the following areas: electrophoresis, DNA fingerprinting, genetic engineering, bioinformatics, immunoassays, protein analysis, and other topics in the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology.  This course may be used to meet science entrance requirements at the University of Minnesota.  

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Physics A & B

Pre-requisite: Algebra 2 AND Physical Science or STEM Physical Science

Do you wonder what underlies all physical phenomena or how matter responds to energy?  Learn the tricks of nature and find out how to make things faster, slower, stronger, or more sensitive. Discover how and why things work the way they do by using and/or creating models that demonstrate the Laws of Physics. Topics covered in Physics A include motion, forces, energy, momentum, heat, and mechanical waves.  Physics B includes a review of Physics A along with electromagnetic waves (light, x-rays, etc.), electricity, magnetism, and atomic physics.  Physics is one of the three major sciences and is strongly recommended for a complete science background at graduation. This course would not only be useful as a college preparatory class for fields like engineering, medicine or any science-related technology field, but also meets the requirements for the Carlson School of Management .  *This course will satisfy the graduation requirement of Chemistry or Physics.

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Conceptual Physics A & B

Pre-requisite: Physical Science or STEM Physical Science.

This course is designed for the student who prefers a hands-on approach to learning science.  This is a physics course that is built around application of concepts more than the application of mathematics.  Students will demonstrate knowldge though project work, presentations and academic tests, all focused on understanding content in a way that will help students become active, informed, scientifically literate citizens.  This course is designed for 2 year and 4 year college bound students in non-science fields.  We cover the same topics coverd in General Physics, using computer data collection and simutations to collect and analyze data.  Technology acquired data is also used to analyze results from 4 major projects a year, these projects can include bridge building, generating electricity using wind and solar, sound and light and an independent study project at the end of 4th quarter.  

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Astronomy A & B

Pre-requisite: Geometry (recommended: Physical Science or STEM Physical Science)

Students planning on attending a two or four year college in a field of study that may or may not be in the sciences. First semester includes learning the basic constellations of the northern hemisphere, history of astronomy, calendar and the seasons, electromagnetic spectrum, use of telescopes, and the solar system. Second semester includes the life cycle of the star, black hole, Milky Way, galaxies, and the origin of the universe.

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Advanced Placement (AP) Biology A & B

Pre-requisite: Chemistry or AP Chemistry (Biology strongly recommended)

This advanced biology course designed for college bound biology majors, Pre-Vet, Pre-Med or related fields. This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination offered by The College Board each May. Topics include: biochemistry, metabolism, macromolecules, genetics, evolution, survey of life, systematics, ecology and animal systems. In addition AP College Board Labs will be used. Textbooks are provided; however, students may wish to purchase their own.  Prerequisite: ACP or Chemistry.  Biology highly recommended.  

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Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry A & B

Pre-requisite: Chemistry (Recommended B or better)

Summer homework is required in this course.

This rigorous, inquiry-based course will cover the content of a full year of college chemistry with laboratory. Students will build upon the chemistry knowledge acquired in their high school chemistry (or ACP I) course. As a result, a thorough understanding of general chemistry principles will be expected. Topics include: atomic structure, chemical bonding, equilibrium, kinetics and thermodynamics. This is designed to prepare students for the AP Exam offered by The College Board each May. Independent study units completed over the summer are required for this course. 

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Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science A & B

Pre-requisite: Biology or AP Biology

This course is designed to inspire students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world.  Students learn to analyze and identify environmental problems both natural and human caused.  Students spend the first quarter doing hands on fieldwork and data collection.  Bird banding, small mammal trapping, forest inventories, water quality testing, setting camera traps, and radio telemetry to name a few.  Then students study ecology and environmental science using the Friedland and Relyea text and hands on labs to prepare for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science test.  The curriculum uses an interdisciplinary template where students evaluate human activities and environmental impacts applied to local events and news stories.  The last month of the class, students will do an independent field project of their choice using skills from the first quarter.

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Advanced Placement (AP) Physics Calculus Based A & B

Pre-requisite: AP Calculus (or concurrent enrollment) AND Physics

This course is designed to prepare students for the Physics C AP Exam offered by the College Board each May. First semester covers mechanics topics such as kinematics, dynamics, momentum, rotation, oscillations, and gravitation.  Second semester covers electricity and magnetism topics such as electrostatics, electric fields, capacitors, circuits, magnetic fields and forces, and electromagnetism.  Lab component of the course reviews and extends the labs which were done in the first year of the pre-requisite physics course.  After successful completion of the course, the students are prepared to take the AP Physics C Mechanics test and the AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism test. Textbooks are provided; however, students may wish to purchase their own.

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Environmental Learning Center

Great things are happening in the Environmental Learning Center!