Course Descriptions

Below are descriptions of required Academy courses. All available courses at Mountain Lakes can be found here. Freshman Year Honors Academy Biology: 6 Credits This comprehensive and intensive course is specifically designed for the 9th-grade student who not only has an interest in science but also has already demonstrated previous high-level achievement in science and in writing. The basic topics are similar to the Biology course; however, each area in this rigorous course is treated with more in-depth study along with more advanced laboratory work. In addition to developing laboratory techniques and interpreting data, the writing up of experiments is stressed. Students are scheduled for two extended periods for laboratory work.  It is expected that students who enroll in this course will be proficient readers, well organized, capable of abstract reasoning, highly motivated. This course is only available for Freshman student enrolled in the Academy for Biotechnology.

Honors Experimental Design: 6 Credits Experimental Design is a full-year, six-credit lab course focused on allowing students to practice real-life science by conducting real-life experiments. The course has the ultimate goal of showing students the nuances and intricacies associated with the scientific process in order to develop inquisitively driven student-thinking. Students will learn about the components that make up scientific experimentation by exploring both procedural and ethical means of inquiry. Students will then utilize this knowledge to plan, develop, and conduct their own novel experiments. The course will culminate in a capstone symposium-style presentation of students' experiments, outcomes, and results to the MLHS community.
Sophomore Year: Introductory Biotechnology: 6 Credits Honors Chemistry: 6 Credits
This is a comprehensive and intensive course in experimental and conceptual chemistry. The work includes the history and methods of science and ranges over the nature of atoms, molecules, and reactions. Among the major topics are structure, nuclear chemistry, quantum chemistry, bonding, formula and equation writing, stoichiometry, change of state, thermochemistry, solutions, kinetics, equilibrium, and electrochemistry. Understanding the periodic table, developing laboratory techniques, interpreting data, and writing up experiments are stressed. The extensive laboratory work ranges from investigating the fundamental laws of chemical change to the analytical chemistry of acid-base titration and the determination of reaction rates. Modes of instruction include lecture, laboratory, demonstration, group discussion, and student board work. It is expected that students who enroll in this course will be able to readers and proficient in basic algebra.

AP Capstone Seminar: 5 Credits AP Seminar, which serves to fulfill the sophomore year of English requirements, is a foundational course in the AP Capstone Program that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives.  Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of team.  Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments and to produce research-based compositions and presentations. To receive AP weighting, students who enroll in AP Seminar must complete all coursework, must take the AP Seminar Exam in May, and must also enroll in AP Research for the junior or senior year in fulfillment of the two-year AP Capstone Certificate Program. Junior Year: Applied Biotechnology: 6 Credits AP Statistics: 6 Credits The AP Statistics program is built around four essential topics: exploring data, planning a study, probability as it relates to distributions of data, and inferential reasoning. Exploratory analysis of data will make use of graphical and numerical techniques in order to study patterns and departures from patterns. The collection of data will be done according to a well-developed plan in an effort to obtain valid inferences. Probability is the tool used for anticipating what the distribution of data should look like under a given model. Finally, statistical inference will guide the selection of appropriate models. Students who successfully complete this course are expected to take the AP Statistics exam. AP Language: 5 Credits The Advanced Placement Language and Composition course emphasize the skilled reading of prose, rather than poetry. Students will be instructed in the reading, interpretation, and analysis of a wide variety of complex prose texts written in a range of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. The development of effective expository, analytical, and argumentative writing styles and approaches is one of the primary objectives of this course. Teacher recommendation is required for admission. The course is open to juniors and seniors only. Students are expected to register for and to take the College Board AP Language and Composition Exam at the end of the year. Senior Year:

AP Capstone Research: 6 Credits Structured Learning Experience: 5 credits AP Science Courses: AP Biology: 7 Credits The Advanced Placement Biology course is a rigorous course for those students who have a background, ability, and motivation to take a first-year college biology course. The syllabus is outlined in the CEEB Advanced Placement Course Description booklet. In-depth studies and experimentation will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination in order for them to qualify for college credit and/or placement. Extensive laboratory sessions are scheduled relating to topics covered in lecture and discussion periods are included. Major areas of study include molecular, cellular, organism, and populational biology. Students are expected to register for and to take the College Board AP Biology Exam at the end of the year.

AP Chemistry: 7 Credits The AP Chemistry course is essentially a first-year college chemistry course designed to prepare the student for the Advanced Placement Examination. The content includes the items specified in the CEEB Advanced Placement Course Descriptions booklet. Specifically, the course involves review and elaboration of principles encountered in chemistry and physics especially in the area of atomic structure, bonding, equilibrium, and kinetics, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. Students are expected to spend at least six hours a week in textbook study, problem-solving and laboratory reports outside of class. Students are expected to register for and to take the College Board AP Chemistry exam at the end of the year. AP Physics I: 7 Credits AP Physics 1: Algebra-based is the equivalent of a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics that is designed to be taught over a full academic year. Having a full year enables AP teachers and students to develop a deep understanding of the content and to focus on applying their knowledge through inquiry-based laboratory experiences. The full year also allows time for inclusion of physics content specified by New Jersey State standards. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound. It also introduces electric circuits. Students are expected to register for and to take the College Board AP Physics 1 Exam at the end of the year. AP Physics II: 7 Credits AP Physics 2: Algebra-based is the equivalent of a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics that is designed to be taught over a full academic year. Having a full year enables AP teachers and students to develop a deep understanding of the content and to focus on applying their knowledge through inquiry-based laboratory experiences. The full year also allows time for inclusion of physics content specified by New Jersey State standards. The course covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; atomic and nuclear physics. Students are expected to register for and to take the College Board AP Physics 2 Exam at the end of the year. AP Physics C: 7 Credits There are two AP Physics C courses — Physics C: Mechanics and Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, each corresponding to approximately a semester of college work.  Mechanics is typically taught first, followed by Electricity and Magnetism. The courses are taught over the course of a year, with approximately equal time given to each.  Both courses will utilize guided inquiry and student-centered learning to foster the development of critical thinking skills and will use introductory differential and integral calculus throughout the course. Permission of instructor is required for admittance into this course. Physics C: Mechanics will provide instruction in each of the following six content areas: kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation.  Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism will provide instruction in each of the following five content areas: electrostatics; conductors, capacitors and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields; and electromagnetism

AP Environmental: 7 Credits The goal of the AP 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 human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. Yet there are several major unifying constructs, or themes, that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental science. The following themes provide a foundation for the structure of the AP Environmental Science course. The AP Environmental Science course is an excellent option for any interested student who has completed two years of high school honors laboratory science — one year of honors life science and one year of honors chemistry. Due to the quantitative analysis that is required in the course, students should also have completed an Algebra II course (Enriched or Honors).  The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one semester, introductory college course in environmental science. Students are expected to register for and to take the College Board AP Environmental Science Exam at the end of the year.



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