The Science Department is committed to promoting student curiosity through the study of scientific phenomena. Considerable time is allotted to laboratory investigation and research with emphasis on hypotheses development, student problem solving, lab design and technique, and the collection and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data. Students work individually, with partners or in larger groups, investigating their understanding of basic scientific concepts. The curriculum is designed to equip those students who may want to pursue further education in science in college with a solid and comprehensive background while providing all students with a general scientific awareness and sensibility essential for the complexities of today's environment.
Other avenues of scientific study are promoted by the annual Science Fair program required of all 7th graders and encouraged for students of all grade levels. Students having met the demands of more rigorous curricula in honors level courses are encouraged to take AP exams in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. All students in biology, chemistry, and physics are encouraged to take the SAT II in the appropriate subject area.
Lab science courses meet 6 periods each week. Sciences in the senior year are elective. There are prerequisites for honors level courses. Placement is made by the progress of the student in the previous course and recommendation by the instructor.
This course deals with earth’s living resources and how they interact. Students investigate topics in wildlife conservation with an emphasis on biomes. Anatomy and physiology, including health issues and human sexuality, are also investigated. Laboratory experience is important in the course.
Earth and Space Science
This course provides a qualitative analysis of both the physical laws and processes which govern the formation of the planet, the universe and the dynamics of the atmosphere. Students develop methods of investigation through laboratory experiences of phenomena encountered. Course topics include the atmosphere, water in the atmosphere, entities within the universe and the physical laws which govern them. Also included is the study of rock and mineral types, movements of the earth, plate tectonics and geologic time.
Physics and Chemistry
9th Grade; 1 unit
Half of this course offers an introduction to physics including linear and circular motion and buoyancy. The approach stresses experimentation and activity over lecture. Emphasis is on observation, accuracy of measurement, interpretation of data, discovery of quantitative relationships and recognition of concepts at work in the physical world. In the other half of the course, students receive an introduction to chemistry. Emphasis is on developing quantitative skills in measurement and problem solving, and on concepts of the mole, chemical reactions, the structure of the atom, organic chemistry, acids, bases and salts, the Periodic Table and simple biochemistry.
10th Grade; 1 unit
This course introduces students to the world of living things with an evolutionary approach that relates all life forms. A key theme is unity (similarities) and diversity (differences), which is explored throughout the year as each relates to the section being covered. Units discussed include chemistry, the cell, photosynthesis and cellular respiration, genetics and the genetic code, evolution, ecology, plant and animal biology, reproduction and development and select systems of the human body.
10th Grade; 1 unit
This course introduces students to the interaction of living things, societies and the structures of societies, communities and ecosystems. It proceeds through the study of the origins of life and evolution, the processes of cell respiration, photosynthesis and metabolism, master molecules, the genetic code, cell theory, reproduction and development, and the transport, respiratory, digestive, excretory, endocrine, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. Students who are successful in the Honors Section will be qualified to take the Advanced Placement exam.
11th Grade; 1 unit
This course introduces students to chemical concepts and principles through laboratory investigation, lecture and classroom demonstration. The course deals with the atomic and molecular structure of matter and its interaction with energy. Instrumentation has been introduced to some laboratory investigations but the primary emphasis is placed on problem solving, the understanding of fundamental concepts and the interpretation of data. Prerequisites: Previous or concurrent courses in Algebra II.
11th Grade; 1 unit
This course introduces students, at a college level, to chemical concepts and principles through laboratory investigation, lecture and classroom demonstration. The course deals with atomic and molecular structure of matter and its interaction with energy at a much greater depth. There is a much greater demand on problem solving skills, and interpretation of data. A college text is used in this course. Prerequisites: Recommendation of the science department, and at least a concurrent course in Precalculus. Students who are successful in the honors section will be qualified to take the advanced placement exam.
12th Grade; 1 unit
This course is a general survey of classical and modern physics. It is designed to introduce students to physics as it is involved in their lives. Subject areas covered include kinematics, momentum, Newton’s universal law of gravitation, light and sound. Prerequisites: Algebra I
12th Grade; 1 unit;
This course offers an analytic approach to modern and classical physics designed to introduce students to the analysis of physical laws and principles. Subject areas include mechanics, Newton’s Laws, heat, light, sound, electricity and magnetism. Prerequisites: Algebra II/Trigonometry. Students who are successful in the honors section will be qualified to take the advanced placement exam.
Physics C, Mechanics (AP)
12th Grade, 1 unit
The Physics (AP) course is a rigorous course for Flintridge Prep’s most able and motivated math and science students. Its primary purpose is to prepare students for the AP Physics (Level C) exam in May. The course is divided into two parts: Mechanics (kinematics, dynamics, work and energy, momentum and collisions, rotational motion, gravitation, oscillations) and Electricity and Magnetism (electrostatics, electrical energy, current and circuits, magnetism, induction, Maxwell’s Equations), each of which take about half the year. Differential and integral calculus is used throughout the year. Students will be required to take the AP Physics exam in May. Prerequisites: Calculus AB (AP)
Anatomy and Physiology
12th Grade; 1 unit
This course introduces students with a solid background in biology to human body organization and some basic physiological principles. Students are exposed to an abundance of anatomical and medical terminology. Homeostatic imbalances and the development of organ systems are examined. Major units covered include cytology, histology, cancer and several organ systems. The effect of lifestyles on health is emphasized throughout the course. Two projects are assigned, including an oral presentation. The fetal pig is dissected during the second semester, and a unit on kinesiology is included.
12th Grade; 1 unit
This course will examine the chemical, biological and geologic processes of the environment, and how human activity is altering those processes. Students will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, observation and experimentation techniques, and the tools to apply the scientific method to a variety of natural and man-made environmental issues. The social science and economic issues related to current environmental topics will also be addressed to make this course truly interdisciplinary. A sample of topics to be addressed through traditional lectures, project-based learning units, research papers and laboratory experiments will include: water, soil and air pollution, biodiversity, waste management, renewable and nonrenewable energy, global climate change science and policy, and environmental health. Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry