Search
Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Science Program & Faculty


Science, like art, involves process. Our courses emphasize both a hands-on and a minds-on approach to learning that applies to more than just science. Students practice skills necessary for success: observing, problem solving, and working cooperatively. They become more familiar with the natural world and aware of their role in it. Having a basic background in science also helps students be more informed consumers of current environmental, medical, and scientific news. Scientific literacy is important in an increasingly complex and technological world.

Requirements in Science

All students are required to take two years of a laboratory science (Biology, Chemistry or Accelerated Chemistry, Physics, Biology II, or Chemistry II). It is highly recommended that students enroll in courses from at least two different disciplines. It is also recommended that students take a lab science each year, for a total of at least three science credits.

Courses in Science

BIOLOGY

Biology is an introductory lab science course exploring life and living systems. Although the course may be organized into discrete units of study such as cell biology, genetics, evolution, energy, and ecology, the overall goal of the course is to impart upon students an appreciation for the techniques and methods scientists use to observe and describe the natural world.

This course is in the standard sequence for 9th graders. Prerequisite for International students: Completion of ELL Intermediate.

CHEMISTRY

This science course offers students a basic introduction to the study of matter. Major topics covered include the classification of matter, atomic structure, bonding, and chemical reactions. Chemistry students will perform approximately 30 laboratory experiments during the semester. They will also have the opportunity to collect and analyze the data for at least one experiment they design and implement.

This course is in the standard science sequence and most often taken in grade 10. Prerequisite: Completion of Math 1 and completion or concurrent enrollment in Math 2 is recommended.

PHYSICS

This course introduces fundamental concepts in physics while developing in students the reasoning skills required to apply these concepts. Emphasis is placed on “discovering” the laws of physics using a hands-on approach. Physics will also introduce various forms of science writing, and enrolled students should feel comfortable composing a lab report. Course materials may cover the basics of Newtonian mechanics, work, energy, electricity and magnetism, and wave phenomena (including sound and light).

This course is in the standard science sequence and most often taken in grade 11. Prerequisite: The concurrent enrollment or prior completion of Math 2.

CHEMISTRY 2 (SCIENCE ELECTIVE)

Chemistry 2 offers students the opportunity for further study in Chemistry beyond what is typically covered in the first-year course. Students in this class will explore topics from both a mathematical and a theoretical approach. The development and execution of experiments is central to the work of the course as is the composition of comprehensive laboratory reports.

Prerequisites: Completion of Chemistry and Math 2. It is recommended that students complete the standard sequence in science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) before electing this class.

BIOLOGY 2: ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY (SCIENCE ELECTIVE)

This elective expands students’ knowledge and appreciation of the natural world through focus on the structures and functions of human physiology. Using the scientific method, lab activities, and dissection, we cover the structure and function of major systems of the body. In addition to a college-level approach to traditional topics, students research and discuss current medical topics, disease processes, and disorders.

Prerequisites: Completion of Biology and Chemistry. It is recommended that students complete the standard sequence in science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)before electing this class.

BIOLOGY 2: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (SCIENCE ELECTIVE)

Environmental Science draws on students’ prior knowledge of biology and chemistry to build a refined understanding of the Earth and its systems including the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Additional topics include ecology, energy, cycles, natural resources, global change, and our environmental future. The course links key social, political, and policy issues to the science that informs them. Students will be expected to perform labs, write papers, present projects, and read articles for this class, as well as journal, collaborate, and discuss environmental issues.

Prerequisites: Completion of Biology and Chemistry. It is recommended that students complete the standard sequence in science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) before electing this class.

BIOLOGY 2: FOOD SCIENCE (SCIENCE ELECTIVE)

In Food Science, students explore the entire food cycle from the creation of food to its terminal state, building an understanding of how we perceive and interact with food as well as how it interacts with our bodies. The overall goal of the course is to empower students to be informed food consumers in both senses of the word - as buyers and as eaters.

Prerequisites: Completion of Biology and Chemistry. It is recommended that students complete the standard sequence in science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) before electing this class.

Science Faculty