Academics
A Notre Dame Education

Science

Philosophy

The Science Department of Notre Dame High School strives for excellence in science education through investigative research, laboratory activities, and collaborative dialogue among peers. Upon completion of a minimum of three years of science, students demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental concepts of the diverse fields of study within the physical and life sciences.

Through science education, Notre Dame provides each student with a rich academic background, an appropriate sense of self, an opportunity for growth, and a respect for the spiritual dignity of all persons. Students are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in higher education and future careers in science.  All aspects of planning are aligned with the Mission Statement of Notre Dame High School.  Course content is planned using both State and National Education standards.



Courses Offered

List of 15 items.

  • Biology

    This course is a study of life and its diversity. It is focused on the following topics: cell structure, homeostasis, reproduction, metabolism, genetics, ecology, and personal health, which includes drug and alcohol education as well as sex education. These topics are explored using the text, laboratory investigation, and current technology. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Required course for all freshmen not taking Honors Biology. 
    (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • Honors Biology

    Topics covered are the same as Biology. Honors Biology students are expected to work at an accelerated pace and cover material in greater detail. There is a high expectation for self-directed study and advanced reading comprehension. Dissection is required. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - This course is offered to a selected number of freshmen chosen by the Admissions Committee. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • AP Biology

    This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Biology exam. Topics covered include evolution, energy transfer, continuity and change, the relationship of structure to function, regulation, interdependencies, and the relationship between science, technology, and society. Students are expected to be self-directed and capable of independent work. Students will be required to complete summer assignments. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - A- or above in both semesters of Biology (B- or above in Honors Biology) AND A- or above in both semesters of Chemistry (B- or above in Honors Chemistry). Department chair approval required. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • Chemistry

    Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter. Students will learn about the laws which govern the interactions of matter on the atomic and molecular levels. Coursework includes laboratory investigation and requires a working knowledge of mathematics. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Requires a passing grade in Biology. This is a required course for all sophomores not taking Honors Chemistry. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • Honors Chemistry

    This Honors level course moves at an accelerated pace and includes more areas of study and greater detail than the college prep chemistry course. Students will learn the basics of atomic structure and interaction and learn how these properties affect materials on the macro scale. Coursework includes laboratory work and requires a strong knowledge of mathematics. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Students with a B- or above in Honors Biology or A- or above in Biology (both semesters) may take this course. Students with a B+ in Biology, both semesters, will be considered with department chair approval. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • AP Chemistry

    This challenging course is designed to prepare students for the AP chemistry exam. Students will extend concepts from Honors Chemistry, undertaking demanding investigations and modeling molecular behavior. Topics mirror those of a college first-year chemistry course. Students are expected to be self-directed and capable of independent work. Students will be required to complete summer assignments. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Students with an A- or above in Honors Chemistry (both semesters) may take this course. Students with a B+ in Honors Chemistry or a 95% or above in Chemistry, both semesters, will be considered with department chair approval. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • Physics

    This course is designed to involve students in the methods of science through investigations in the areas of mechanics, sound, light, thermodynamics and electricity. Coursework includes lab investigations, data analysis and report writing. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Passing grade in chemistry. Completed Algebra II with semester grades of B- or higher or completed Geometry with semester grades of A- or higher; trigonometry recommended. 
    (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • AP Physics 1

    This is designed to be the equivalent of a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. Students may take this course as their first physics course, or may take it as a follow-up course to college prep physics. Students are expected to be self-directed and capable of independent work. Students will be required to complete summer assignments. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of Algebra II with an A or completion of College Prep Physics with a grade of A or B. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • AP Physics 2

    This course is designed to be the equivalent of a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. Students are expected to be self-directed and capable of independent work. Students will be required to complete summer assignments. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Must have completed AP Physics 1. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • AP Physics 1 & 2 Integrated

    This course meets daily (both Blue and Gold days) and will count as two science classes, but only one grade will be assigned. All topics from both AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 will be covered. AP Physics 1 topics include Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. AP Physics 2 topics include fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. This course may be taken as a first physics course or as a follow-up to college prep Physics. Students are expected to be self-directed and capable of independent work. Students will take both the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 College Board Exam at the end of the year. Students will be required to complete summer assignments. There is a fee for the course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of Algebra II with an A or completion of College Prep Physics with a grade of A or B. (UC “d” Lab Science-AP Physics I and II) 
  • Sports Medicine

    This course provides an introduction to the field of sports medicine. Emphasis is on the study of human anatomy and physiology. Components include prevention, recognition and treatment of sports injuries. Dissection is required. Athletic training hours outside of class are also required. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - This course is open to 11th or 12th grade students with passing grades in biology and in chemistry with an expressed interest in sports medicine. Requires written instructor approval. Students are required to complete 15 hours of athletic training activities per semester outside of class time. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • Advanced Sports Medicine: Physics of Movement and Performance

    This course is a 2nd-year course in which students will enhance their knowledge base through learning the concepts of mechanics as they apply to human movement, particularly those pertaining to exercise, sport, and physical activity. The students will gain an understanding of the mechanical and anatomical principles that govern human motion and develop the ability to link the structure of the human body with its function from a mechanical perspective. Research and analysis will be carried out in multiple areas, including forces that act on the human body and the effects those forces produce. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - This course is open to 12th grade students who have completed Sports Medicine, Physics, or Human Anatomy/Physiology with a grade of B or higher, and completed Algebra II or higher with a grade of B or higher. Concurrent enrollment or prior completion of Pre-Calculus is recommended. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology

    This course is the study of the structures and functions of the human body. Content material is organized around body systems and focuses on how each system works together to promote homeostasis. Dissection is required. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - An elective for juniors and seniors who have taken Biology and Chemistry with grades of C or higher. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • AP Environmental Science

    This is a college-level course that incorporates physical and biological sciences in the study of the environment. Topics include the interdependence of Earth’s systems, human population dynamics, renewable and nonrenewable resources, environmental quality, global changes and their consequences, environment and society, and choices for the future. The course includes a considerable reading requirement as well as a laboratory component. Students are expected to completed summer assignments. There is a fee for this course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - A- or above in two of four semesters of Biology and Chemistry (B- or above, if Honors) AND remaining two grades must not be below a B- (C-, if Honors). Department Chair approval required. This course is open to junior and senior students. If scheduling conflicts arise, priority will be given to seniors. (UC “d” Lab Science) 
  • Forensic Science

    This course introduces students to the investigative process used by crime scene investigators, forensic pathologists, and medical examiners. Topics covered include DNA analysis, trace evidence, blood spatter, toxicology, psychological profiling, ballistics, and lab techniques. A significant portion of the course will involve hands-on activities. There is a fee for the course.

    Prerequisites/Comments - Course is only available to seniors who have completed Anatomy, Sports Medicine, or AP Biology with a C- or above. All other senior requests must receive Department Chair Approval. (UC “d” Lab Science) 

Faculty

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