2017-18 CVA Course of Study Handbook – Science Department

Science Department

Note: Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of laboratory activities with satisfactory written reports to be eligible to take the Regents Examination at the end of any Regents Science course.

Living Environment (R)—9th Grade (1 credit)

This course is the branch of science that investigates the origin, structure, function and distribution of life forms, both plant and animal. The course has seven major units: unity and diversity among living things, biochemistry, human physiology, reproduction and development, heredity and biochemical genetics, evolution and ecology. The successful completion of at least 1200 minutes of laboratory work is required. The Living Environment Regents exam is administered at the conclusion of the course in June.

Earth Science (R)—9th-10th Grade (1 credit)

This course follows the state syllabus, emphasizing the earth science content areas of astronomy, meteorology, and geology and geologic history. The focus is on basic scientific processes and concepts and includes 1 laboratory period, which is a significant part of the course. A student must complete a minimum of 1200 minutes of labs in order to be eligible to take the Earth Science Regents exam at the end of the course in June.

Chemistry (R)—10th-11th Grade (1 credit)

This course presents the modern view of chemistry with a study of the underlying principles related to facts of the physical environment. Among the concepts covered are: matter and energy, atomic structure, chemical bonding, periodicity of chemical elements, kinetics and equilibrium, acid and base theories, electrochemistry, organic chemistry and nuclear chemistry. Because of the mathematical background necessary for this Regents course, students should have successfully completed Geometry and be enrolled in and/or have completed Trigonometry.

Physics (R)—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)

A rigorous course emphasizing the fundamental laws of nature on which all science is based. The course covers a range of physics topics including: classical mechanics, energy, electricity & magnetism, waves & light, and modern physics. Open to all students who want to expand their knowledge and highly recommended for any student considering a future in any STEM field.
Regents Physics Lab: Co-requisite of Regents Physics with laboratory experiments and activities designed to coincide with and reinforce the physics curriculum. Students will become familiar with and use high-tech sensors and equipment as well as computers to complete many of the labs. ~ Prerequisite: Integrated Algebra (R)

Science Department – Electives

Anatomy and Physiology (College Now)—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)/3 college credits

This course addresses Math/Science and Technology Standards at the commencement level (1,2,4). It is designed to parallel a college-level course and has six units of study relating to the human body: levels of organizations, support and movement, integration and coordination, processing and transport, human life cycles, modern genetics. There is an extensive lab experience built into this course that involves dissection and other activities. College Now credit is available through Herkimer College. ~ Prerequisite: Advanced Science Courses

Ecology—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)

Ecology is a full-year course focusing on understanding the impacts on the environment around us. Students will participate in projects to assess the stability of an environment, estimate population sizes of local plants and wild life, learn about local environmental issues and try to improve ecological problems. Written papers, poster projects, and PowerPoint presentations will be used to present research and work. ~ Prerequisites: Earth Science (R) and Living Environment (R)

Forensic Science—10th-12th Grade (.5 credit)

This class covers human osteology in order to identify the age, sex and ethnicity of victims, crime scene discovery, processing of evidence, fingerprinting, handwriting analysis, reconstruction of crime scenes, preparing of lab results and reports, and ability to defend results at mock trial.

Advanced Placement – Biology—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)

This course includes topics regularly covered in a college-level biology course. It aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the changing science of biology. Topics include: the chemistry of life, cells and energetics, heredity and molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, diversity of organisms, structure and function of plants and animals, and ecology. Students will take the AP Exam in May. ~ Prerequisites: Chemistry (R) and Algebra 2 CC (R) OR currently enrolled in them

Health 9/10—9th-10th Grade (.5 credit)

This course continues the topics of wellness, safety, drug and alcohol dependence, substance abuse, human life cycle, AIDS, disease and its prevention, fitness and nutrition, self-esteem, goal-setting, decision-making and parenting. The goal of this course is to have the student develop a better understanding of the mind and body. The object is for a better informed student to make more appropriate decisions in terms of his/her total well-being.

Astronomy—10th-12th Grade (.5 credit)

This course serves as an introduction to astronomy. Course topics include: observations of the changing night sky, the historical development of astronomy, exploration of our solar system, stars and stellar evolution, galaxies and cosmology.

Applied Science—11th-—12th Grade (1 credit)

A third year science course with a concentration on physical sciences, specifically; mechanics, energy and robotics. The course is designed with a hands-on approach, using activities to teach and model the concepts of physical science. The robotics topic is taught via the use of Lego Mindstorms robotics and accompanying computer software.

Science in Fiction—10th-12th Grade (.5 credit)

This class is designed as an interdisciplinary approach to teach science concepts from fiction books by popular authors (such as Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell, H.G Wells, and Stephanie Meyers), movies, TV shows and laboratory activities. The science units covered are forensics, anatomy and physiology, medical mystery/disease processes, time travel, earth processes and space. Commencement level reading, writing of lab reports, book reports and reflection papers are required in this course.

Psychology (College Now)—11th-12th Grade (.5 credit/3 college credits)

This course is designed to familiarize students with the major divisions of psychology including physiology, learning, perception, motivation, emotion, personality, adjustment and abnormal behavior. Attention is focused on the mastery of basic concepts and theories, along with support research and application.

Hawaii Course—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)

The Hawaii Course is designed around a working trip to one of the most unique geologic sites in the world. Students enrolled in the course will study the interrelationship of geology, the environment, and culture throughout the year. A large component of the trip will be a 10-day field study over April break. The only students enrolled in this course are those previously registered for the 10-day field study. All participating students must have passed the Earth Science Regents Exam. Students will have to pass a series of fitness tests and complete all required course work to remain eligible for the trip.

Computer Architecture—11th-12th Grade (.5 credit)

Students will learn the details about how the components in a modern computer work, the technologies used by different hardware companies, how hardware and software interact, the binary number system, and many other things. Students will get a hands-on look at the inside of a computer and will be able to dissect the individual components

Computer Programming—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)

This course will teach students many of the basic principles of computer programming, such as basic propositional logic, iterative loops, input and output functions, recursion, image manipulation, n-dimensional arrays, use of variables, functions, methods, subroutines, random number generators and more. Students will also learn, through the creation of 2D and 3D videogames, to think in a scientific and logical way, as they troubleshoot and debug their programs and learn to trace through their code both mentally and on paper. This course will be largely hands-on. Students will practice programming techniques as they re-create games created by the instructor. This course will teach students many of the concepts they would not normally learn until their first computer science course in college

Video Game Programming—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)

This course will teach students many of the basic principles of computer programming. Students will also learn, through the creation of 2D and 3D videogames, to think in a scientific and logical way, as they troubleshoot and debug their programs and learn to trace through their code to find and correct errors. This course will be largely hands-on. Students will practice programming techniques as they re-create games created by the instructor. This course will teach students many of the concepts they would not normally learn until their first computer science course in college.

AP Computer Science—11th-12th Grade (1 credit)

AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college level course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. The AP Computer Science A course curriculum is compatible with many CS1 courses in colleges and universities.

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