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Science Department Course Offerings-11601

Science Department Course Offerings

Two years (20 credits) of Science are required for graduation. One year must be a biological science and one year must be a physical science.


BIOLOGY

Grade: 9-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
University of California (U.C.)/California State University (C.S.U.): Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Algebra 1 or equivalent

Students in this course may find answers to the many questions of life, like why we eat, how we grow, and where we came from. Through lectures and lab investigations, students will be trained as biologists, studying concepts in molecular biology, genetics, physiology, evolution, and ecology. They will be taught to make connections between the topics discussed and the world around them, ultimately leaving the course with a greater understanding of life, perhaps even appreciating it more.

 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT (A.P.) BIOLOGY

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Strongly recommended: Biology & Chemistry with a grade of B or better

Approximate Homework: 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, plus labs; extra hours for weekend homework and assignments; summer reading

This course is a college-level study of living things: ecology, anatomy and physiology, genetic continuity and the biochemistry of life processes. Extensive lab work, including the study of plants, animals, microorganisms, chemical assays, biotechnology and microscopy is conducted. A college text is used. Completion of a summer assignment is required.

 

BIOTECHNOLOGY 1

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Biology or English Language (E.L.) Biology with a grade of C or better (including Gene Connection unit) or teacher recommendation

Each semester of the biotechnology pathway fuses academic and technical training to prepare students to work in the growing biotechnology industry. The focus of Biotechnology 1 is on mastery of basic standard laboratory operating procedures. Record-keeping, safety and proper use of equipment and employee etiquette are stressed. Students learn sterile technique, cell culture, deoxyribonucleic acid (D.N.A.) and protein isolation and electrophoresis. In the Spring, students build on the skills developed in the Fall with emphasis on assay development, spectrophotometry, recombinant D.N.A. technology and bacterial transformation. All pathway courses have workplace experiences.

 

BIOTECHNOLOGY 2

Grade: 11-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Biotechnology 1 with a grade of B or better

In this class, students build on the skills learned in Biotechnology 1 to perform advanced D.N.A. and protein analysis. The focus of Biotechnology 2 is on pharmaceutical and agricultural biotechnology applications. Students extract and analyze D.N.A. and proteins from plants as well as breed and genetically engineer plants. In the Spring, students conduct sophisticated diagnostic testing of protein and D.N.A. samples, including polymerase chain reaction, D.N.A. synthesis and sequencing and column chromatography.

 

BIOTECHNOLOGY SERVICES (INTERNSHIP)

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Summer + periodic meetings the preceding Spring
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: No U.C./C.S.U. admission requirements met by this course
Prerequisite: Successful completion (B or better grade) in Biotechnology 1 in a course taken at San Mateo, Carlmont, Aragon or Capuchino High School

The Biotechnology Services course prepares students for research and manufacturing positions in academic and industrial biotechnology laboratories. Biotechnology Services is a one-year community classroom course (internship). Biotechnology Services requires a minimum 180-hour commitment from students and a placement into a laboratory internship at a local biotechnology companies. For sixty hours prior to internship placement, students review and demonstrate proficiency in the laboratory research techniques currently used in the field of biotechnology. Students develop placement portfolios and resumes. After interviewing for several laboratory research positions, students are placed at a long-term (minimum of 120 hours) laboratory internship.

 

BIOTECHNOLOGY INDEPENDENT RESEARCH

Grade: 12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: No U.C./C.S.U. admission requirements met by this course
Prerequisite: Successful completion of all six semesters of the San Mateo Biotechnology Careers Pathway

Biotechnology Independent Research is a laboratory research course designed to give students with substantial lab experience an opportunity to conduct industry-standard research. In research teams, student scientists will model research techniques and strategies used at established biotechnology companies. Progress will be monitored by the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.), course instructor, and reported regularly to the company employees (class members).

 

A.P. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: For 10th Graders, an A in Biology is strongly recommended

Approximate Homework: 0.5-1 hour/day, 5 days/week, plus project field trip(s); extra hours for weekend homework and assignments; summer reading

Global Warming? Endangered Species? Hazardous Waste? Overfishing? This course considers the interrelationships between humans and the natural world, and the challenges that arise in these relationships. Students will learn to identify and analyze environmental problems, evaluate relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Topics include Earth, ecosystems, population growth, food, water, resources, pollution and global change. This rigorous year-long course is designed to be the equivalent of a semester-long college course in environmental science.

 

APPLIED CHEMISTRY

Grade: 11-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes, “g” - Elective
Prerequisite: None

This course focuses on concepts of chemistry and deemphasizes its mathematical aspects. A student will investigate the many ways in which chemistry affects his/her life through the study of water, money, petroleum and air. This course prepares students who have had difficulty in middle school science, and/or students who are reading significantly below grade level.

 

CHEMISTRY

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Algebra with a grade of C or better is recommended

This course helps students develop an accurate understanding of matter and energy. Topics for study include atomic and molecular structure, chemical laboratory work, experimental support of concepts, critical thinking skills and the ability to work with others.

 

A.P. CHEMISTRY

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Chemistry with a grade of B or better and a minimum enrollment in Precalculus is strongly recommended

Approximate Homework: 2 hours a day, 5 days/week; extra hours for weekend homework and assignments; summer reading

This course covers college-level Chemistry in depth and employs more mathematics to explain chemical behavior. In addition to basic chemistry topics, students study nuclear, acid-base, equilibrium, organic and electro-chemistry. Advanced labs and student-designed labs are an integral part of this course.

 

PHYSICS

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2

Physics is the study of how and why things work. Why do heavy and light rocks hit the ground at the same time? What holds satellites up? Why is the sky blue? In this laboratory course, students will study motion, the cause of motion, gravitation, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Students contemplating a career in computers, science, engineering or medicine are encouraged to take physics before their senior year.

 

A.P. PHYSICS

Grade: 10-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes – “d” lab science
Prerequisite: Completion of Precalculus or completion of Algebra 2 with teacher recommendation

Approximate Homework: 1 hour a day, 5 days/week; extra hours for weekend homework and assignments; summer reading

This course provides students with an experience equivalent to a first semester college-level Physics class. Designed as a first-year physics course, students will apply mathematics and complex concepts to explain, predict and calculate how the universe behaves. Students should be prepared for complicated inquiry-based labs, engineering projects, and peer collaboration. Topics include motion, energy, momentum, gravity, waves, and electric circuits. A.P. Physics requires dedication and time both in and out of the classroom.

 

E.L. PHYSICS

Grade: 9-12
Duration: Year
Credits: 10
U.C./C.S.U.: Yes; “d” - Lab Science
Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in E.L. 2 or E.L. 3

Physics is the study of how and why things work. Why do heavy and light rocks hit the ground at the same time? What holds satellites up? Why is the sky blue? In this laboratory course students will study motion, the cause of motion, gravitation, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Students contemplating a career in computers, science, engineering or medicine are encouraged to take physics before their senior year. This course is specially designed to make physics content accessible for English Language Learners.