Science

       Biology - 9th grade

In the 9th grade, students will continue their previously gained knowledge of scientific process and theory to pursue and understand the Dynamics of Life. This course will serve as an introduction into the study of life, covering topics which include molecular replication and repair, cellular structure and function, genetics and heredity, evolution and adaptation, and animal form and function. Interdisciplinary topics will include the history of scientific theory and writings by prominent scientists. All students will learn relevant scientific laboratory techniques and practice these in the classroom. The course will culminate in a scientific project of the student’s choosing.

 

Chemistry - 10th grade

Over the course of human history, the definition of chemistry has changed from “the study of compositions of water,” to “a scientific art by which one…exalts [dissolved bodies] to a higher perfection,” to “the study of matter and the changes it undergoes.” Despite the varying definitions, chemistry has always been a pursuit of knowledge. This same pursuit will be brought to the classroom setting as the students are taught fundamental topics in chemistry and use this knowledge to apply and pursue greater questions. Topics will include use of the Periodic Table, stoichiometry, gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical reactions, electrochemistry, biochemistry, and organic chemistry. This course will contains labs and draws heavily upon an understanding of algebraic calculations. At the end of the year, all students will produce an original experiment and report on their findings.

Astronomy & Physics (11th grade)

Since the beginning of time, man has looked to the heavens to question his existence and creation. Astronomy is therefore the oldest of the sciences and is an integral part of a classical curriculum. In this course we will examine the basics of Astronomy through the eyes of Physics, by examining the history of exploring the universe, electromagnetic radiation, the classification structure, and evolution of stars, and the role of multi‐wavelength astrophysics in solving the mysteries of God’s universe. Special focus will be given on the tools used in studying astronomy, most importantly the telescope, which will be used as part of the lab requirements for the course. Students will be required to use a telescope for some night time viewings, in which we will try to recreate the experiments of Galileo. Further topics in Physics will also include Newtonʹs law of universal gravitation, Keplerʹs laws of planetary motion, Doppler effect, Rutherford‐Bohrʹs model of the atom, Planckʹs formula of a photon energy, nuclear fission and fusion, Einsteinʹs theory of relativity, and inverse‐square law for light luminosity are among topics for class discussions in the course. The emphasis on physics concepts, laws, and theories will allow students to understand better the nature of astronomical phenomena. Students will have use of the newly acquired, professional grade Celestron CPC 1100 11ʺ/279mm Catadioptric Telescope for period night viewings as well as daytime viewings of the sun.  Our Astronomy laboratory is connected to the World Wide Telescope which brings the entire known library of astronomical photographs into our planetarium.  

AP Biology/Chemistry/Physics (12th grade)

The key concepts and related content that define the AP Biology course and exam are organized around a few underlying principles which encompass the core scientific principles, theories and processes governing living organisms and biological systems. These ideas include Evolution, Cellular Processes, Genetics and Information Transfer and Biological Systems Interactions. AP Chemistry is a course geared toward students with interests in chemical and physical sciences, as well as any of the biological sciences. The course aims to prepare students to take the AP Chemistry exam toward the end of the academic year. AP Chemistry topics include atomic theory, chemical bonding, phases of matter, solutions, types of reactions, chemical equilibrium, reaction kinetics, electrochemistry, and thermodynamics.

Independent Science Research (12th grade ‐ Honors)

Students are selectively chosen to work with real‐world researchers from prestigious non‐profit institutions to assist and conduct advanced scientific research into areas affecting our world and even our universe. Organizations with which our students collaborate include the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Gardens and the Hudson River Museum. A year of research culminates in an independent research paper that may be published in peer‐reviewed scientific journals or citation as a research assistant on such a paper. This is work normally reserved for college graduate students.