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Science

Biology

Grade 9
Full Year
Prerequisites: none

The Park Tudor Biology curriculum is a shared experience for entering ninth-grade students. Intertwined with the Freshman Seminar curriculum and grade-level advisory initiatives, Biology students from all backgrounds are introduced to the Department's philosophy, broad academic expectations and rigor. Biology at Park Tudor is unique, in part, due to the emphasis of various methods of data acquisition and data processing, and the incorporation of biotechnology along with the associated tools and techniques that permit such inquiry.

The study of life is questioned, observed and investigated at the macro, micro and molecular levels using the framework of scientific inquiry based in theory and universal laws. Throughout the course of study, students are exposed to the various sub-disciplines and themes such as ecology, morphology and physiology, taxonomy, molecular biology, biochemistry, cellular biology, evolution and genetics using appropriate research methodologies. The successful student is well-prepared for the continued study of Park Tudor's requisite and elective-based life and physical science courses.

Chemistry

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: A grade of B- or higher for both semesters of Algebra I

Chemistry is fundamental to an understanding of the properties and reactions of matter. It is critical for the development of new drugs, compounds with new properties such as superconductors and nanomaterials, and the continual refinement of substances that make our lives more enjoyable. This course serves as an introduction to the major topics in chemistry and requires the ability to perceive abstract and mathematical relationships. Emphasis is placed on using chemistry to explain and interpret observations and occurrences in everyday life and to understand the role chemistry plays in the student's life. Major topics include atomic structure and theory; periodic trends; chemical equations; stoichiometry; thermodynamics; equilibrium; and acid-base theory. The class incorporates micro and macroscale laboratory experiences. Each laboratory activity will help the student expand and support the concepts presented in lecture. The emphasis will be on collecting data, making observations, and drawing conclusions.

Physics

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Algebra II grade of B+ or higher, or Algebra II with Trig grade of B or higher

The conceptual and non-calculus based analytical course includes examinations of mechanics, wave motion, sound, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and optics. Each phenomenon will be explored through discussion, demonstration, experimentation, and computer analysis. The course is designed to build on and enhance the computational skills developed in the Park Tudor math sequence. Three projects will be required.

AP Advanced Biology

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: B- or higher in Chemistry or Advanced Chemistry. Department approval determined by student's performance in Biology course or placement test.

In Advanced Biology students develop a deep understanding of the big ideas of biology and experience the challenges and satisfactions of thinking about the complexities of living things in a science-minded way. Through laboratory investigations students develop inquiry and science reasoning skills. Students practice forming testable hypotheses, design plans for collecting data and assemble scientific evidence by statistically analyzing data. Class discussion develops the ability to recognize and apply major concepts such as evolution, information transfer, biological recognition and energy transformation across topics and scales of biological organization. You learn to recognize common structures, mechanisms and uncover thought-provoking order and evolutionary relatedness in the midst of what initially appears to be just a bewildering diversity of forms and functions of living things and their parts. Upon completion of the course you will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Biology examination.

AP Advanced Chemistry

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: B- or higher in Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Department approval determined by student's performance in Chemistry course or placement test.

The world thrives on technology today: Lost? Pull out your cell phone and find where you are on a map. Raining? Put on your raincoat that repels water. Bored? Turn on the TV that borders on resolutions so high that the human eye can’t even take in all the detail. All of these technologies were developed through a fundamental understanding of chemistry. AP Chemistry is a college-level course that includes taking the College Board’s Advanced Placement Exam. This course is intended for students with a strong interest in science who are considering a career in science, engineering, or the health sciences. Students enrolling in this course have a thorough understanding of the information presented in Chemistry. Topics closely follow the AP curriculum and include atomic and molecular structure; chemical bonding; acid-base reactions; oxidation-reduction; gas laws; thermodynamics; equilibrium; kinetics; electrochemistry; nuclear chemistry; and the behavior of liquids and solids. Special attention is given to the analysis and applications of concepts and information to solve specific problems and to interpret observations and data. Emphasis is placed on analysis of experimental data, interpretation of results, and evaluation of errors. Thorough and extensive laboratory write-ups are required.

AP Advanced Physics

Grades 10-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: B or higher in Pre-Calculus and concurrently enrolled in Calculus I or higher. B- or higher for both semesters of Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Department approval determined by student's performance in Physics course or placement test.

This course is designed to prepare students for the B or C level Advanced Placement exam. The course builds on the skills and knowledge base developed during the first-year physics course. Topics are reviewed and re-introduced with a calculus base. The topics include kinematics, dynamics, equilibrium, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion, waves, sound, optics, thermo-dynamics, fluids, and electromagnetism. New areas of exploration include nuclear and space-time physics. The class meets seven periods each week. Class time is divided among problem-solving sessions, computer simulation explorations, and hands-on lab experience.

Environmental Science

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

The view of our earth from space makes it clear that human life and well-being depends on the ecosystem services provided by our planet’s land, atmosphere and bodies of water. Through readings, class discussion, lab, and field work, Environmental Science examines how human life on the planet is supported by natural processes that are often hidden from view and taken for granted. Carbon sequestration, decomposition, nutrient cycling, atmospheric circulation, ocean currents and soil formation are examples of important ecosystem services that permit the abundance of life on the planet. The course also examines how 7 billion people on the planet, empowered by the advances of the agricultural, industrial and information revolutions, are putting these ecosystem services that society is embedded in and dependent on, at risk. As a result of the course, students develop an understanding of the science and economics of ecosystem services, ecological footprints and sustainable approaches that seek to combine environmental integrity with economic vitality. Students begin to translate their understanding of Environmental Science into a personal response to the timeless question of “how are we to live?”

Human Anatomy & Physiology

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

This course deals with both the anatomy and physiology of the human body. It is designed to help students discover the functioning of their bodies in both normal and abnormal situations such as drugs, disease, and stress. Students will be able to understand and appreciate the daily life-sustaining activities performed by the human body. Practical aspects will show how knowledge of this subject matter can be applied in their lives and will be accomplished through the use of laboratory techniques, discussions, guest speakers, material presented in lecture and videos, and field trips.

Microbiology

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

The course is a systematic study of microscopic organisms and their morphology, classification and differentiation. Students will be exposed to the major themes of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology and immunology, through the lens of human pathology. Laboratory and curricular-extension experiences emphasizing aseptic techniques for identifying, screening and differentiating common microorganisms provide unique opportunities for students to engage in hands-on application of the core knowledge.

The course is intended for seasoned science students who have a particular aptitude and interest in science (i.e., who generally have earned a grade of B- or higher in Chemistry and Biology), have demonstrated achievement in their science classes, and who are enthusiastic about doing high-level work. This course is intended to supplement a student’s science studies, rather than replace a full-year course. In addition to the prerequisites, the overall balance of students’ academic programming will be considered prior to registration; final approval lies with the Department Chair.

Organic Chemistry

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology or AP Biology, AP Chemistry, Pre-Calculus with a grade of B- or higher, and concurrently enrolled in Calculus AB

Organic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that deals with the structure, properties and reactions of compounds that contain carbon (DNA, peptides, proteins and enzymes, for example). The course serves as a systematic study of theories, principles, and techniques of organic chemistry. It is a highly creative and rewarding area of chemistry because students learn about new molecules that have important properties for the betterment of humankind. Topics include: molecular structure, resonance, acid-base theory, nomenclature, reactions, and mechanisms of hydrocarbons, alkyl halides, alcohols, ethers, and carboxylic acids. Isomerization, stereochemistry, and an introduction to spectroscopy are discussed. Organic chemistry is an exciting and enriching course option for advanced science students who have a desire to enroll in a post-AP chemistry course.

Conceptual Chemistry

Grades 10-11
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology and Algebra I

Conceptual chemistry will help students connect with the world we live in through the eyes of a scientist. The core topics in chemistry will be introduced through meaningful applications. States of matter, energetics, bonding theory, reaction chemistry, acid/base theory, properties of water, the periodic table, and an introduction to quantitative analysis (stoichiometry) will be the main areas of study presented. Laboratory investigations will be used to highlight these topics, as well as to collect, graph, and interpret data. Mathematics will be used as a tool in the understanding of core relationships in chemistry. These relationships will be presented at a level consistent with basic Algebra skills. Many of the concepts and skills will be introduced using articles from current issues in our daily lives.

LOGOS Science Research Program

Grades 11-12
Elective
Two semesters plus summer work
Prerequisites: 3 years of Science by the end of 11th grade with at least one Tier 2 course

The LOGOS Science Research Program is a 2-year course of study that includes 150 hours (approximately 4 weeks) of summer research. The program is designed to encourage students to consider studying science in college and potentially pursue a career in science-related fields. Students who are members of Global Scholars and interested in a science-based research project are encouraged to enroll in Logos. The program is also open to students not enrolled in Global Scholars.

Junior Year Spring Semester: Students will take a 1/2 credit course that meets once per week. Students need to be able to attend class during the scheduled meeting time. This course will develop the understanding and skills related to science research methodology.

Summer Research Between the Junior and Senior Year: Students conduct 150 hours of research with a mentor scientist or engineer.

Senior Year Fall Semester: Students who have completed 150 hours of summer research and turn in a complete lab notebook documenting their research are allowed to enroll in Logos II. Students will take a 1/2 credit course that meets once per week. Students need to be able to attend class during the scheduled meeting time. In Logos II students will write a report and prepare a poster presentation of their research project. This report will be the Global Scholars project for the students enrolled in Logos II and Global Scholars. Students enrolled in Global Scholars and Logos will not complete two separate projects.

Psychology

Grades 11-12
Elective
One Semester
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

The emphasis of this course is on psychology as it applies to everyday life, especially the lives of high school students. We intend to make psychological research practical and relevant via the activities and assignments presented in class. For example, not only will we examine some basic conceptions of clinical psychology, social psychology, educational psychology, sports psychology, forensic psychology and physiological psychology, but the students can expect that for each topic studied they also will participate in activities that allow them to experience the discipline.

Computer Science

AP Computer Science Principles

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full year
Prerequisites: Geometry

This course introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking and inviting students to understand how computing changes the world. This course promotes deep learning of computational content, develops computational thinking skills, and engages students in creative aspects of the field. The major areas of study are organized around seven big ideas: creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, programming, the internet, and global impact. This rigorous course is aimed at highly motivated students who are interested in exploring computer science and have a strong background in problem solving and logical reasoning.

AP Computer Science A

Grades 10-12
Elective
Full year
Prerequisites: AP Computer Science Principles

This course introduces students to concepts covered on the Advanced Placement (AP) computer science "A" exam. Emphasis is placed on object oriented programming and software engineering to develop software solutions using the Java programming language. Key topics include object oriented programming, class design, data types, decision making, iteration, arrays, array lists, two-dimensional arrays, inheritance, interfaces, abstraction, polymorphism, recursion, sorting and searching.

Data Structures

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: AP Computer Science A

This course introduces students to fundamental data structures and algorithms in computer science. Emphasis is placed on developing software that optimizes data structures to solve problems efficiently. Several hands-on projects are incorporated throughout the semester to reinforce concepts and promote active learning, and students often work within groups to strengthen collaboration and teamwork skills. Key concepts include linked lists, iterators, list iterators, stacks, queues, recursion, trees, binary search trees, self-balancing trees, heaps, priority queues, hash tables, sets, maps, graphs searching and sorting.

Bioinformatics Algorithms

Grade 12
Elective
1st Semester
Prerequisites: Data Structures

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of bioinformatics with an emphasis on the algorithmic principles that underlie topics in the field. Students work with assembling genomes, comparing DNA and protein sequences, finding regulatory motifs, analyzing genome rearrangements and identifying proteins. Key algorithmic concepts include brute force, greedy, randomized, graph, combinatorial, combinatorial pattern matching and dynamic programming. Several hands-on projects are incorporated throughout the semester to reinforce concepts and promote active learning.

Computer Science Seminar

Grade 12
Elective
2nd Semester
Prerequisites: Bioinformatics Algorithms

Students complete a semester-long computer science project in the field of computer science. This course meets 2 periods each week. To enroll in the course, students need to be able to attend class during the scheduled meeting time.

Science

The Upper School science curriculum is designed to challenge students to think critically and ask questions about the world around them. The Science Department faculty teaches systematic methods of observation and evaluation, so that students may connect this knowledge with other areas of learning.

The curriculum varies from basic biology to a selection of three Advanced Placement courses. Each student is sure to find science classes that will challenge him or her appropriately.

It is expected that all students will leave Park Tudor School aware of their relationship to living things and to their environment, aware of the place of science and technology in society, and with the ability to think critically about controversial issues that will emerge during their lifetimes.

Computer Science

The computer science curriculum is project-based and focused on actively constructing meaning and knowledge from what is learned in the classroom. By learning fundamental concepts, students are able to work collaboratively on real projects, such as building websites and back-end databases for local nonprofits, building programs used by students and faculty, and creating mobile applications.

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