Academics
Departments and Curriculum

Science


The science faculty cultivates an appreciation for the role of science in society while providing foundations in the disciplines of Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Teachers emphasize the scientific method as a process for problem-solving in their course work, which includes a lab component. Students of science are guided toward an understanding of the need for both discipline and imagination in their pursuit of a greater mastery of course constructs.

The faculty is also dedicated to raising student awareness of the way that humans interact with the natural environment and the role that the sciences play in those interactions. We hope that our students will leave their courses better prepared to make intelligent choices as voters and consumers.



Scenes from the Classroom





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Science Course Descriptions

  • Biology

    This course introduces students to essential principles of biology: cells, chemistry of life, genetics, evolutionary theory, biological diversity, and organism structure and function. Human anatomy and physiology are emphasized. Students use the framework of the scientific method to explore the living world in laboratory investigations. They are challenged to learn highly detailed material in order to gain greater appreciation for the diversity of life on earth, to understand prevailing thinking on the origin and evolution of living things, and to develop a clear sense of how Homo sapiens fit into this intricate web.

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  • AP Biology

    The AP Biology course covers the entire Advanced Placement curriculum, fully preparing students for the AP exam. There is a comprehensive laboratory component to the course, which includes applications of recombinant DNA technologies and experience using modern lab techniques and equipment. The AP Biology course assists students in organizing biological concepts and topics into a coherent conceptual framework, helps students internalize and effectively utilize the processes of scientific reasoning, and helps them develop or enhance their interest in biology and gain a sense of the subject’s relevance to their everyday lives. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May.

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  • Chemistry

    Though this is a demanding college preparatory course, the teachers encourage an appreciation of the role chemistry plays in our daily lives outside of the classroom. Simply stated, chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. This course is designed to challenge students’ problem-solving skills while covering the concepts of a traditional introductory college preparatory course. Students are given the opportunity to explore the world around them through lab work, class discussions, and activities including an in-depth look at the chemistry of the food we eat and a study of the gases in our atmosphere.

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    No textbook required.
  • Honors Chemistry

    This course is designed to explore the fundamental nature of matter and study its physical and chemical characteristics. Students engage in laboratory activities that reinforce the scientific method, apply knowledge to real-world applications, and integrate technology in the science classroom. The honors course differs from regular chemistry in its more strenuous mathematical component, complexity, and depth of theory studied.

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  • Physics

    Physics examines four basic areas of study: mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal energy, and modern physics. The objective of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to identify four unifying themes of science: scale, models (physical, mathematical, or conceptual), constancy and change, and systems.

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  • Honors Physics

    The Honors Physics course is a rigorous, math-intensive introduction to the subject. The bulk of the course is devoted to the study of mechanics, or the behavior of particles subject to systems of forces, and includes topics such as one- and two-dimensional kinematics, Newton’s Laws, momentum, mechanical energy, rotational motion, gravitation, and oscillations. During the final quarter of the year students examine a variety of modern topics, particularly electricity and magnetism. The course emphasizes collaborative work and problem-solving techniques and involves frequent lab work. The course is designed to develop a solid foundation for college-level physics and to instill an appreciation for and curiosity about the complexity of the universe.

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    No textbook required.
  • AP Physics C: Mechanics

    AP Physics C is a demanding college-level course that requires the use of calculus. The course emphasizes collaborative work and problem-solving techniques. The course aims at covering Mechanics (one of the two Physics C AP examinations). Instruction includes video lectures and computer applets. In class, students will engage in problem sets and labs. Labs – both virtual and real – will be done on a weekly basis. This course is designed to replace introductory college physics courses designed for physics and engineering majors.

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  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

    AP Physics C-E&M is a second-year AP physics class that is intended to replace a college-level introductory course in electricity and magnetism. The course makes extensive use of calculus techniques in the exploration of topics such as electric fields, electric potential, capacitance, circuits, magnetic fields, and electromagnetic induction. Students are required to work well both independently and in small groups, and labs involve long-term, independent projects. Due to the sophisticated conceptual material and mathematical techniques involved, it is strongly recommended that students complete AP calculus and AP physics C-M before taking the course.

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  • Environmental Science

    Students enrolled in the Environmental Science course are assumed to possess a broad background in biology and chemistry. Students are provided with experience in advanced field work, laboratory techniques, and laboratory investigation reporting techniques through activities focusing on local ecosystems. Students pursue, from both scientific and social scientific perspectives, the effect of human societies on the natural world. The course stresses students' responsibility for determining the quality of the environment and, consequently, their own lives. Sustainability principles are given special emphasis. Students are trained to identify and seek solutions to environmental problems. In addition to local environmental issues, students investigate the global trends of overpopulation, ecosystem degradation, atmospheric change, and loss of biodiversity.
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  • AP Environmental Science

    The goal of the Advanced Placement Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and humanmade, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study (e.g. biology, chemistry, earth science, geography), yet there are several major unifying themes that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental science. The course takes advantage of the environs surrounding our campus for firsthand research. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May.

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  • Exercise Physiology

    In this course, students will study acute and chronic physiological responses to exercise. Muscle, environmental physiology, practical physiology testing, energy metabolism, and cardiovascular function in response to exercise training will be emphasized in the classroom and applied to laboratory activities.

    Objectives: Students who successfully complete the requirements for this course will:
    • Have a foundational understanding of the complex nature of the human organism from a physiological perspective.
    • Understand the muscular and energy physiological demands from an inactive state to an active state.
    • Understand the acute physiological responses to exercise.
    • Understand the chronic physiological adaptations to exercise.
    • Have mastered basic physiological laboratory experiments and procedures.
    This is a complementary course to the Topics in Human Anatomy and Physiology course.

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    Textbooks will be assigned in class.
  • Neuroscience

    This course will focus on the nervous, endocrine, immune, excretory and digestive systems. Questions such as: Why is laughter infectious? What role does emotion play in memory? How does alcoholism affect balance? How does cancer immunotherapy work? Why does diabetes affect the kidneys? And just how important is vitamin D? will be addressed through discussions, readings, lectures, videos and activities. Laboratory investigations will include a fetal pig dissection and physiology labs. This is offered as a semester course to juniors and seniors. This is a complementary course to the Anatomy and Physiology course focusing on exercise physiology.
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  • Nutrition

    This is an introductory course in nutrition. The focus of the course will be placed on evidence based nutritional strategies to meet the nutrient and energy demands of basic life functions, physical activity, exercise and athletic performance. Scientific literature will be used to evaluate nutritional information found in the media, claims for dietary supplements and popular diets.

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    Coming soon.
  • STEM Robotics I

    As an introductory course in robotics the students will learn JAVA computer programming as well as problem solving strategies. This course will involve students in the development, building and programming of a Tetrix robot. Working in teams they design, build, program and document their progress. Topics include motor control, gear ratios, torque, friction, sensors, timing, program loops, logic gates, decision-making, timing sequences, propulsion systems and binary number systems. Student designed robots will be programmed to compete in a variety of autonomous and remote controlled challenges.

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    No textbook required.
  • STEM Robotics II

    The STEM Robotics II course builds upon the skills students learned in STEM Robotics I. Working in teams, students will design, build, and program Tetrix robots which must complete more complex and more precise tasks with less margin for error than the projects in STEM Robotics I.

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View Our Curriculum

Faculty

  • Photo of Randal Houseman
    Randal Houseman
    Science Department Chair
    St. Anselm College (NH) - BA
    St. Anselm College - Bachelor of Science
    Bishop Guertin HS
    St. Anselm College (NH)
    St. Anselm College - Bachelor of Science
    Bishop Guertin HS
    Bio
  • Photo of Michael Carrigan
    Michael Carrigan
    Science Department Chair (interim)
    (603) 779-5342
    Bates College (ME)
    Bio
  • Photo of Patrick Casey
    Patrick Casey
    Science Faculty
    (603) 779-5396
    The Community School
    University of Utah - BA in Exercise and Sport Science/BA in Environmental Studies
    Bio
  • Photo of Alexandra Disney
    Alexandra Disney
    Science Faculty
    (603) 779-5395
    Bates College - Bachelor of Science
    Klingenstein Summer Institute
    Montana State University - Master of Science
    Bio
  • Edward Hsu
    Math & Science Substitute
  • Photo of Rachel Jastrebsky
    Rachel Jastrebsky
    Science Faculty
    (603) 779-5284
    University of Rhode Island - B.S. Marine Biology
    Old Dominion University - PhD Ecological Sciences
    Bio
  • Photo of Margaret Mumford
    Margaret Mumford
    Science Faculty & Sustainability Coordinator
    (603) 779-5331
    Washington University (MO) - MD
    Plymouth Area High School
    Williams College (MA) - BA
    Bio
  • Photo of Morgan Stepp
    Morgan Stepp
    STEM Faculty