Science

Honors courses in science are available in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics. They are comprehensive and intensive courses designed for the student who not only has an interest in these areas but who has already demonstrated high achievement in previous science courses, is prepared for an in-depth study, and is motivated to excel at an honors level. In addition, students planning to take Honors Biology must have excellent writing skills, whereas those participating in Honors Chemistry and especially Honors Physics are expected to have demonstrated a high aptitude in math.
The honors courses are rigorous and require high levels of critical thinking, logical reasoning, and concept formation. In addition to learning factual information, students are expected to be well organized so that they can collect and interpret data, formulate conclusions, and apply their results appropriately. Honors courses include laboratory experiments, which require more abstract reasoning, and application of concepts than do the college preparatory science courses and consequently only those students who are prepared to meet these expectations should consider the higher-level courses.
In addition to the honors courses, the Mountain Lakes High School Science Department also offers Advanced Placement courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Science.

Contemporary Biology
Grade Level 9-12
6 Credits - Full Year

The emphasis of this course is on the practical, using everyday experiences and examples throughout its presentation.

This course is intended for the student whose individual needs include strong, consistent reinforcement of knowledge areas as well as basic study skills such as reading, writing, note taking and test taking. This will be accomplished through numerous laboratory experiences, demonstrations, "hands- on” activities, and computer assisted learning as well as a major project involving research.

Thus, Contemporary Biology is a course that will provide the individual student with numerous opportunities for success while studying relevant topics such as human anatomy and physiology, plant growth and reproduction, the relationships of living things to their environment and social issues regarding the environment. Motivation is achieved through a high-interest, practical, activity-oriented curriculum.

Biology
Grade Level 9
6 Credits - Full Year

Biology is the study of life on the planet Earth. This is a standard college preparatory life science course. Among the concepts covered in the course are the structures and functions of cells, the biochemical basis of life, the characteristics of various organisms, the classification of organisms, genetics (including molecular genetics) and heredity, evolution and ecological relationships. The unity and diversity of life are emphasized. Various biological processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, circulation, digestion and nervous response are investigated. Laboratory investigations include studies of cells using the microscope, the examination of live and preserved organisms, and the analysis of genetic problems.

Honors Biology
Prerequisite: Previous Science teacher recommendation
Grade Level 9
6 Credits - Full Year

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, and recommended by their 8th grade teachers.

Advanced Placement Biology
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation OR successful completion of Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry; Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry courses must be completed at MLHS during the regular academic calendar year.
Any student not in receipt of a Teacher Recommendation or who does not meet the prerequisite detailed above may complete and submit a Course Placement Application by the required deadline. Submission of a completed form does not guarantee enrollment in the course.
Grade Level 11-12
7 Credits - Full Year

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.

Contemporary Chemistry
Grade Level 10-12
6 Credits - Full Year

Contemporary Chemistry is presented as an alternative to the approaches used in the college preparatory and honors courses. Information obtained in Contemporary Chemistry is designed for practical applications to life in modern society.
The course is highlighted by using numerous laboratory experiences, class activities and demonstrations rather than the traditional lecture. In addition, the student will be provided with opportunities to strengthen reading, writing, math, organizational and thinking skills using the study of chemistry as a vehicle. Lifelong careers are also suggested throughout the course. Thus, Contemporary Chemistry is a course that “touches all bases” to provide the student with an alternative to traditional chemistry. Motivation is achieved through a high interest, practical, activity-centered approach combined with an effort to improve basic skills.

Chemistry
Prerequisite: CP Algebra Enriched
Grade Level 10-12
6 Credits - Full Year

This Chemistry course serves as a comprehensive college preparatory course. The basic principles of conceptual and experimental Chemistry are emphasized, and topics of study will include the fundamentals of physical and chemical changes of matter, the theory behind chemical reactions and molecular bonding, and basic formula and equation writing. Students will develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills by applying abstract chemical concepts to extensive laboratory work. Students are also taught and encouraged to write cogent and analytical laboratory reports, thereby fostering the growth of their written communication skills. Overall, the course provides students with a solid foundation for future science courses.

Honors Chemistry
Teacher Recommendation Required
Prerequisite: Honors Biology, CP Algebra
Co-requisite: CP Algebra 2 Enriched
Grade Level 10-12
6 Credits - Full Year

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, thermo-chemistry, 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 on instruction include lecture, laboratory, demonstration, group discussion, and student board work. It is expected that students who enroll in this course will be able readers and proficient in basic algebra.

Advanced Placement Chemistry
Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation OR successful completion of Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry; Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry courses must be completed at MLHS during the regular academic calendar year.
Co-requisites: Honors Pre-Calculus or Calculus
Any student not in receipt of a Teacher Recommendation or who does not meet the prerequisite detailed above may complete and submit a Course Placement Application by the required deadline. Submission of a completed form does not guarantee enrollment in the course.
Grade Level 11-12
7 Credits - Full Year

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.

Physics & Concepts
Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry
Co-requisite: CP Algebra II Enriched
Grade Level 11-12
6 Credits - Full Year


Physics&Concepts is a laboratory-based physics course that is writing intensive. Standard topics in mechanics, thermodynamics, waves, optics, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics will be covered. The course will require some use of algebra and geometry but the emphasis will be on written descriptions of the physics of everyday phenomena.

Physics
Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry
Co-requisite: Pre-Calculus
Grade Level 11-12
6 Credits - Full Year


This is a college preparatory course in physics, which is designed to interest and benefit all students. The student explores topics such as space, time, motion, energy, light, waves, sound, electricity and modern physics by means of a variety of activities. Included are laboratory experiments, numerous demonstrations, and computer-aided experiments.

Advanced Placement Physics 1
Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation OR successful completion of Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry; Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry courses must be completed at MLHS during the regular academic calendar year.
Co-requisite: Honors Pre-Calculus or Calculus
Any student not in receipt of a Teacher Recommendation or who does not meet the prerequisite detailed above may complete and submit a Course Placement Application by the required deadline. Submission of a completed form does not guarantee enrollment in the course.
Grade Level 11-12
7 Credits - Full Year

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 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.

Advanced Placement Physics 2
Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation OR successful completion of AP Physics 1
Co-requisite: Calculus or AP Statistics or AP Chemistry and Calculus
Any student not in receipt of a Teacher Recommendation or who does not meet the prerequisite detailed above may complete and submit a Course Placement Application by the required deadline. Submission of a completed form does not guarantee enrollment in the course.
Grade Level 12
7 Credits - Full Year

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 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.

Advanced Placement Physics C
Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation OR successful completion of AP Physics 1
Co-requisite: AP Calculus AB or BC
Any student not in receipt of a Teacher Recommendation or who does not meet the prerequisite detailed above may complete and submit a Course Placement Application by the required deadline. Submission of a completed form does not guarantee enrollment in the course.
Grade Level 12
7 Credits - Full Year

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. In addition, Prospective students must have taken the AP Physics 1 National Examination administered by the College Board and received a score of 3, 4 or 5. Students may not submit a Course Placement Application to gain entrance into these courses.

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 Advanced Placement Physics C will be blocked with students who are enrolled in Advanced Placement Calculus BC. Students interested in these courses must enroll in both courses, which will be scheduled sequentially. ​

Earth/Space Science
Prerequisite: Any Biology Course&Any Chemistry Course
Grade Level 11-12
6 Credits - Full Year

Earth/Space Science is the study of the materials, which compose the planet Earth, the processes that alter those materials, and the features and processes found in the universe outside our world. The course is divided into four main sections: geology, astronomy, meteorology, and oceanography. The physics topics of motion, forces and energy will be infused, where applicable, throughout the course. Geologic studies include the study of the structure of the Earth, minerals and rocks, volcanic activity, the​ ​measurement of geologic time, erosion, shoreline features, earthquakes, mountain formation, plate tectonics, and ancient life. Astronomy considers the nature and formation of the solar system, stars, and galaxies. Meteorology deals with the composition, structure, and behavior of the atmosphere. Various weather phenomena are considered and worldwide weather patterns are studied. Oceanographic studies include investigations of the structure, chemistry, and behavior of the world’s oceans. Ocean currents and the sea floor are studied. Laboratory work includes the use of minerals, rocks, fossils, several kinds of maps, stereoscopic aerial photographs of the Earth’s surface, earthquake records, weather satellite images and maps, star charts, and a telescope for viewing extra-terrestrial features.

Environmental & Sustainability Science
Prerequisite: Any Biology Course&Any Chemistry Course
Grade Level 11-12
6 Credits - Full Year

Environmental&Sustainability Science is intended to bring the outside world into the classroom in a way that engages, involves, and empowers the students – no matter what their ability levels. Environmental&Sustainability Science uses real case studies, current data, engaging inquiry activities, and rich multimedia support in order to drive home each concept. The aim of the class is to make Environmental&Sustainability Science personal, actionable, and inspiring. Students will gain an understanding of Environmental Science, current economics and environmental policy, Earth’s environmental systems, ecology, humans and the environment, and how we can use Sustainability Science to ensure a livable, productive planet Earth now and for future generations.

Human Anatomy and Physiology
Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry
Grades 11-12
6 Credits - Full Year

Human Anatomy and Physiology is a college preparatory course designed for the Junior or Senior student with a genuine interest in the biological sciences, or a strong interest in a possible career choice for which a background in Anatomy and Physiology might be of value. The course will be targeted at the general level student at Mountain Lakes, so that, with appropriate effort, most of our students could successfully complete the course.

Human Anatomy and Physiology will be a survey of human systems, their functions, and mechanisms of action. Emphasis will be placed on integration of systems, homeostatic mechanisms, and failures of those mechanisms that lead to disease. Laboratory activities will be an integral part of the course, and will include dissections, mechanical, and chemical activities, as well as cardiovascular and pulmonary activities related to exercise and fitness. Topics covered will include a review of cell biology, the integument, muscle anatomy and physiology, the nervous system, the senses, the cardiovascular system, the excretory system, hormonal control physiology, the reproductive systems, and human development. NOTE: Students who may have struggled in Biology and/or Chemistry will have difficulty in this course.

Forensic Science&Criminal Psychology
Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry
Grade Level 11-12
6 Credits - Full Year

This full year science course will be geared towards junior and senior students with a high interest in the criminal justice system and criminalistics. This comprehensive course includes aspects of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology along with various other studies of science. Students will need to have Biology and Chemistry completed as a prerequisite for this class. Learning within the class will be carried out through student involvement in classroom discussions, independent case study readings, hands-on laboratory activities, student made crime scene videos along with various other resources using technology.

The first half of the year will encompass the field of forensic science along with the various ways to connect evidence within a crime. The major topics include processing a crime scene, collecting and preserving evidence, determining time of death, fingerprinting, DNA profiling, blood spatter analysis, hair and fiber analysis, toxicology, document analysis, anthropology, firearms, and glass evidence. In addition students will identify how forensic scientists are used inside the courtroom to testify as an expert witness. The students will culminate this part of the class by creating their own CSI video that shows their understanding of collecting evidence, identifying connections of analyzed evidence, and then creating a plausible sequence of events to capture their suspect.

The second half of the year will encompass criminal psychology and investigative patterns used to identify possible suspects for a crime. The major topics covered for this segment of the class will include how forensic psychologists are used to explain the actions of criminals, what leads to criminal behavior, and also theories behind violent and nonviolent crimes. Students will read articles and view documentaries on some of the most well known cases in our history and identify how criminal psychologists have learned from these cases.

Advanced Placement Environmental Science
Prerequisites in Science: Teacher Recommendation OR successful completion of Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry; Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry courses must be completed at MLHS during the regular academic calendar year.
Prerequisite in Math: Successful completion of Algebra 2 Honors or CP Algebra 2 Enriched
Any student not in receipt of a Teacher Recommendation or who does not meet the prerequisite detailed above may complete and submit a Course Placement Application by the required deadline. Submission of a completed form does not guarantee enrollment in the course.
Grade 12
7 Credits - Full Year

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.

*Science is a process.
-Science is a method of learning more about the world. -Science constantly changes the way we understand the world.

*Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes.
-Energy cannot be created; it must come from somewhere.
-As energy flows through systems, at each step more of it becomes unusable.

*The Earth itself is one interconnected system.
-Natural systems change over time and space.
-Biogeochemical systems vary in ability to recover from disturbances.

*Humans alter natural systems.
-Humans have had an impact on the environment for millions of years. -Technology and population growth have enabled humans to increase both the rate and scale of their impact on the environment.

*Environmental problems have a cultural and social context.
-Understanding the role of cultural, social, and economic factors is vital to the development of solutions.

*Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable systems. -A suitable combination of conservation and development is required. -Management of common resources is essential.

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.

Experimental Design
Co-requisite/Prerequisite: Biology/Chemistry
Grade 9-10
6 Credits - Full Year

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.