Science Department

 

PHYSICAL SCIENCE

Physical Science focuses on two major areas of science:  chemistry and physics.  Students are exposed to hands-on activities, research projects, and physical science events in the news.

Physical Science  Course 511

Grade 9

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: None

 

Honors Physical Science Course 510

Grade 9

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: Combined NWEA math and reading score of 471 in the fall or 480 in the spring ****Or student has received an average of 3.5 on the Freshman Honors Rubric and has received a 93  or higher in 8th grade Science.  Rubric must be completed by 8th grade Science teacher.

Honors Physical Science will explore the same concepts in more depth and at a more accelerated pace than physical science course 511.

BIOLOGY

At the high school level, a solid understanding of the processes of life allows students to make scientifically informed decisions related to their health and to the health of the planet.  Students in biology will study life through cell biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution.  


Biology Course 522

Grade 10

Full Year

1 Credit

Pre-requisite: NoneCourse Selection Survey & related information - please do not complete survey until you have instructions given during class.

 

Course 522 is designed to move at a more accelerated pace than Biology 523Students will develop critical thinking, content literacy, and communication skills.

 

Honors Biology Course 521

Grade 10

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: Recommendation from freshman science teacher

Course 521 has a heavier emphasis on molecular biology and covers material at a faster pace and in greater depth than Biology 522.  There will be a focus on higher order thinking skills, and the comprehensive development of essay writing and lab reports. Students will be encouraged to take the SAT Subject Test in Biology offered by the College Board in May/June.

 

AP Biology Course 550

Grade 10,11,12

Full Year

2 Credits

Prerequisite:

10th - Recommendation from current science teacher

11th & 12th - B or higher in Biology and Chemistry (chemistry may be taken concurrently) or teacher recommendation.

Course Description:

The Advanced Placement Biology course at Brewer High School is the equivalent of an introductory college biology course.  This course  differs significantly from the usual first high school course in biology with respect to the kind of textbook used, the range and depth of topics covered, the type of laboratory work done by students, and the time and effort required of students. The AP Biology redesigned shifts the instructional emphasis to skills, and promotes the complex thinking and reasoning skills essential for in-depth study at the college level. In addition to reading the text, students are encouraged to use study groups and required to spend a great deal of time on the course Moodle.

The course will help prepare students for the AP Biology Exam administered in May by the College Board.  Participating colleges will grant credit and/or advanced placement to students who have done well on the exam.  Up to eight hours of college credit can be earned.

CHEMISTRY

College Prep Chemistry Course 532

Grade 11,12

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: Passing two years of science courses and Algebra I & Geometry

Chemistry is the science that investigates the structure and properties of matter and its transformations. Topics covered create a foundation upon which students can build in future science courses.  Laboratory investigations introduce fundamental topics and techniques designed to foster reasoning skills, creativity, and cooperative learning.

AP Chemistry Course 530

Grade 11,12

Full Year, meets every day

2 Credits

Prerequisite: Recommendation of current science teacher, passing two years of science courses and concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 or higher.  If there are more students requesting the course than available seats, we will use grades in science courses and PSAT scores to determine placement in AP Chemistry.

AP Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year.  Emphasis is placed on the theoretical aspects of chemistry and the curriculum closely follows the list of topics in the AP Chemistry course description.  The course will prepare students for the AP Chemistry exam administered in May by the College Board.  Participating colleges will grant credit and/or advanced placement to students who have done well on the exam.  Up to eight hours of college credit can be earned.

Concurrent  Physics  Course 531

(UMaine Descriptive Physics Course PHY 105 part of the Bridge Year Program)

Grade 12

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: Students must be accepted into the Bridge Year Program.

Course Description: An introduction to basic concepts of physics intended for the non-science major. Students will gain an understanding of the laws of physics that surround them including motion, forces, Newtonian laws, energy, electricity and magnetism, radiation, light and sound. This is an algebra based Physics Course. Students in the Bridge Year Program maintain dual­ enrollment at Brewer High School and the cooperating university resulting in transcripts at both institutions.  (This Course satisfies the General Education Science Basic or Applied Sciences Requirement at the University of Maine.) Students are responsible for the purchase of the textbook.

Concurrent  Chemistry -Course 532

Grade 11

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: Acceptance into Bridge Year Program

Students accepted into the Bridge Year cohort will be enrolled in Chemistry 103. Chemistry of Everyday Living is a non-mathematical introduction to the basic principles of chemistry with an emphasis on chemistry relevant to everyday life. Topics will include nuclear, food, agricultural, drug, cosmetic and polymer chemistry. This is a lab-based course that will form an important background for all students to be further developed at the college level. Emphasis is placed on classroom participation, laboratory techniques, technical writing and problem solving. Students in the Bridge Year Program maintain dual­ enrollment at Brewer High School and the cooperating university resulting in transcripts at both institutions.  This allows students to earn college credit by taking college ­level courses at Brewer High School.  Applications for the program are available in the spring of the sophomore year.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Environmental Issues #537

Grades 11-12

Semester

½ credit

Course Description:

The problems facing the environment on a global scale are massive; in order to solve these problems one must first understand their origins and consequences.  This class will cover topics such as types and sources of pollution, as well as the environmental and economic costs associated with them.  Students will explore traditional and alternative/emerging energy sources and evaluate both the economic and environmental benefits and drawbacks of each.  Students will engage in research about climate change regarding both potential causes and consequences. Students will contrast characteristics of different human populations across the planet and their probable impacts on the global environment.  Finally, each unit will resolve in problem-solving for the vast and complicated issues tackled.

 

Prerequisite and Subsequent Courses:

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of biology

Subsequent Courses: May opt to take Ecology either before or after this course to complete the environmental science credit cycle, though the class can stand alone as a half credit semester class.  Will help prepare student to take AP Environmental Science.

 

 

AP Environmental Science Course 535

Grade 11,12

Full Year

2 Credits

Prerequisite: Recommendation from current science teacher

 

AP Environmental Science is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science.  The major topics of study include energy conversions that underlie all ecological processes, the Earth as an inter­connected system and human impact on natural systems.  The curriculum closely follows the list of topics in the AP Environmental Science course description.  The course will prepare students for the AP Environmental Exam administered in May by the College Board.  Participating colleges will grant credit and/or advanced placement to students who have done well on the exam.  Up to four hours of college credit can be earned. Students who register for this class will be expected to complete a summer assignment before school starts in the fall.

Ecology course #536

 

Course Description:

Ecology is the branch that deals primarily with how living things interact with both the biotic and abiotic parts of the environment.  Students who take this class will study how ecosystems are organized and the roles that organisms have in those ecosystems.  They will explore the delicate balances found within ecosystems regarding energy transfer and nutrient cycling.  Students will compare the diversity of ecosystems on the planet and analyze how the abiotic factors of those ecosystems dictate the structure of biotic associations.  Finally, students will study the dynamics of Earth’s ecosystems and how disturbances can have both local and global implications.

 

Prerequisite and Subsequent Courses:

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of biology

Subsequent Courses: May opt to take Environmental Issues either before or after this course to complete the environmental science credit cycle, though the class can stand alone as a half credit semester class.  Will help prepare student to take AP Environmental Science.

 

Grade level(s): 11 & 12

 

Human Anatomy and Physiology Course 560

Grades 11,12

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisites: Passing grade in biology

Course Description:

Anatomy/Physiology is a study of the structure and function of the human body. The course is preparation for advanced biological studies, biomedical nursing, and other science based careers. Laboratory experiences and text based activities provide student learning in the following topics: the major body systems; how the body systems work together to provide homeostasis; body functions in the healthy and diseased states; blood typing; muscle action; Course Selection Survey & related information - please do not complete survey until you have instructions given during class.cranial nerve functioning; and bioethics.

PHYSICS

Applied Physics  Course 542

Grade 11,12

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: Recommendation of current science teacher

Course 542 places primary emphasis on understanding and investigating concepts in physics through lab investigations and projects. Topics include: motion, gravitation, conservation of energy, the nature of matter, work, rotation, electricity and magnetism, and radiation.

 Laboratory investigations introduce fundamental topics and techniques designed to foster deductive reasoning, creativity and cooperative learning.

College Preparatory Physics Course 541

Grade 12

Full Year

1 Credit

Prerequisite: Passing two years of science courses and concurrent enrollment in Algebra

2 or higher

The topics covered by this course are:  Newtonian Laws, motion, conservation of energy, work, gravitation, electricity and magnetism, and radioactivity. All of the topics mentioned above are treated in the laboratory as well as in class. Technical writing skills to communicate lab results and techniques in problem solving are emphasized in this course.

Laboratory investigations introduce fundamental topics and techniques designed to foster deductive reasoning, creativity and cooperative learning.

 

Advanced Placement Physics C  Course 540

Grade 12

Full Year, meets every day

2 Credits

Prerequisite: Recommendation from current science teacher, passing two years of science courses and concurrent enrollment in calculus is preferred.

 

AP Physics C is designed to be the equivalent of the general physics course for science majors usually taken during the first semester of the first college year.  Emphasis is placed on the theoretical aspects of physics and the curriculum closely follows the list of topics in the AP Physics C Mechanics course description. This course requires students to solve calculus based physics problems. The course will prepare students for the AP Physics C Mechanics exam administered in May by the College Board.  Participating colleges will grant credit and/or advanced placement to students who have done well on the exam.

Forensic Science Course 561

Course Description:  Forensic Science is a semester long elective science course to expose students to the science knowledge and methodology applied to law.  Topics will focus around the types of evidence collected and used in forensic science.

½ credit, semester course

Prerequisite(s):  Successful completion of 2 years of science

Astronomy Course 562

Course Description:    Astronomy at Brewer High School is a semester-long, lab-based course. The course will focus on the solar system and stellar astronomy. Students will use a variety of podcasts and animations to understand the key ideas which will be reinforced through in-class learning-tutorials, peer-instruction, and other learner-centered models. Lab time will include hands-on labs as well as a number of computer based simulations. The student will have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding through the use of several core projects.

Prerequisite and Subsequent Courses: The course is open to students grade 10 - 12. No prerequisite.