Science


The Saint Gertrude High School Science Department aims to instill an appreciation and enthusiasm for science in our students. Solid foundational courses in physics, chemistry, and biology are designed to prepare students for college and give them the 21st century skills needed for success in the rapidly evolving, technology-based work environment they will enter upon graduation. Elective offerings allow students to further pursue their scientific interests.

Science Courses

Anatomy and Physiology is an introductory course designed to provide an overview of the eleven organ systems of the human body. The course begins with review of cellular anatomy and a focus on cell specialization and histology. The ‘architecture’ of the body is also covered during the first semester with an overview of the integumentary, skeletal, and muscular systems. The second semester begins with the dissection of a cat to provide study and experiential learning of the visceral organs of the mammalian body. This provides a vantage point from which to study the major internal organ systems of the human body. During the second semester, emphasis is placed on the physiology of the major internal organ systems.  Lecture material, dissection, outside readings, and appropriate technological resources accompany learning throughout the year. Chemistry and Biology are prerequisites.

AP Biology is a rigorous and demanding course for high school seniors. The course is structured around the 4 Big Ideas and the Enduring Understandings of the AP Biology Curriculum Framework. Students will be asked to build on the foundation of their freshman level physics, sophomore level chemistry and junior level biology experiences to include a greater emphasis on scientific and analytical thinking. It is important for students to make their own connections during the learning process and for this reason, the process of inquiry in science will be emphasized throughout the course. The course culminates with the College Board AP exam in May. Chemistry and Biology are pre-requisites. Enrollment in a math course is a co-requisite along with department recommendation.

This is an honors college-level survey course with an emphasis on laboratory experiences.  The course is structured around the 6 Big Ideas and the Enduring Understandings of the AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework.    Students will be asked to build on the foundation of their sophomore level chemistry experiences to include a greater emphasis on scientific and analytical thinking.  Topics include an in-depth study of the principles of atomic structure, periodicity, equilibria, thermodynamics, kinetics, acids/bases, electrochemistry as well as other topics.  The course culminates with the College Board AP exam in May.  Chemistry is a prerequisite.  Enrollment in a math course is a co-requisite along with department recommendation.

The Biology course is a full year study of the theories and processes that govern the living world. The core principles of science are used to promote deep understanding and appreciation of the complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of life on earth. The course focuses on: correlation between structure and function starting at the molecular level and up to the level of organisms; principles of classical and molecular genetics and evolutionary theory; energy transformations within living systems; and interactions between organisms and their environment.  The Biology course integrates 7 core science practices within a framework of student experimentation and inquiry.  Physics 1 and Chemistry are pre-requisites.

The Honors Biology course is a full year study of the theories and processes that govern the living world. The core principles of science are used to promote deep understanding and appreciation of the complexity, diversity, and interconnectedness of life on earth. The course focuses on: correlation between structure and function starting at the molecular level and up to the level of organisms; principles of classical and molecular genetics and evolutionary theory; energy transformations within living systems; and interactions between organisms and their environment.  The Honors Biology course integrates 7 core science practices within a framework of student experimentation and inquiry. Physics 1 and Chemistry are prerequisites.

This course is designed to give students a general knowledge of college preparatory chemistry. The student is introduced to the basic chemical theories including concepts of matter, atomic structure, bonding, quantitative relationships in chemical reactions, the study of solutions, acids/bases, kinetics, and nuclear and organic chemistry. Laboratory exploration is an integral part of this course. The Chemistry course integrates 7 core science practices within a framework of student experimentation and inquiry. Physics 1 and Algebra II are pre/co requisites.

This a first year course in chemistry designed for students showing a strong aptitude and high achievement in both science and mathematics. It will cover all of the material in Chemistry but at a faster pace, greater depth, and higher degree of quantitative proficiency along with the inclusion of some more advanced topics. Laboratory exploration is an integral part of this course. The Honors Chemistry course integrates 7 core science practices within a framework of student experimentation and inquiry. Physics 1 and Honors Algebra II, Honors Geometry, or Honors Pre-Calculus are pre/co requisites along with department recommendation.

Environmental Science provides 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 man-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Environmental science is a multidisciplinary, applied science that builds on core ecological principles. In the class, students will be able to apply knowledge from the basic sciences and mathematics to these very interdisciplinary practical global problems. Case studies, lab work and field experiences are integral to the course.  Saint Gertrude High School students will have access to our Outdoor Athletic Complex for field work. Chemistry is a prerequisite and Biology is a pre/co requisite

This laboratory-oriented course explores the laws of nature and the techniques of science. This course provides the basic background material and skills needed for later science courses. The descriptive approach to the study of Physics is complemented by demonstrations and hands-on activities.  This course covers Newtonian Mechanics in one dimension (motion, force, momentum and energy), wave theory and its applications to sound and light, properties of matter, and atomic physics. In keeping with enhancing our students 21st Century Skills, we will use a variety of techniques to peak interest and expand experiences in science and technology. Learning groups, problem based learning, project driven use of technology, and probeware are a few of the skills you will be introduced to in the 21st Century Science Classroom this year.

This laboratory-oriented course explores the laws of nature and the techniques of science. This course provides the basic background material and skills needed for later science courses. The descriptive approach to the study of Physics is complemented by demonstrations and hands-on activities.  This course covers Newtonian Mechanics in one dimension (motion, force, momentum and energy), wave theory and its applications to sound and light, properties of matter, and atomic physics. In keeping with enhancing our students 21st Century Skills, we will use a variety of techniques to peak interest and expand experiences in science and technology. Learning groups, problem based learning, project driven use of technology, and probeware are a few of the skills you will be introduced to in the 21st Century Science Classroom this year. As the honors section of the course, we will be exploring the underlying mathematics inherent to the fundamental Physics which will have reinforcement consequence on the major concepts covered, as well as extension activities for various concepts throughout the curriculum.

This course is a second course in Physics for students who wish to continue their study or as upperclassmen with interest in Physics. It will review topics learned in Physics 1 and expand on many to provide a more indepth background for continuation with other topics not previously studied. Such previously unfamiliar topics include rotational motion, electricity and magnetism, and Modern Physics.

This laboratory-oriented course explores the laws of nature and the techniques of science. As a second year course, this course will build on the foundation from Physics 1 to enhance student comprehension and implementation of Physics concepts. However, Physics 1 is not a prerequisite for this course. Fundamental Physics will be reviewed to provide baseline knowledge for all students. We will work to complete the sections of the text not previously covered in Physics 1, while also exploring more mathematically involved examples of topics such as 2 and 3 dimensional motion, vectors, momentum, and energy.

This laboratory-oriented course explores the laws of nature and the techniques of science. As a second year course, this course will build on the foundation from Physics 1 to enhance student comprehension and implementation of Physics concepts. We will work to complete the remaining sections of the text not previously covered, while also exploring more involved examples of topics such as 2 and 3 dimensional motion, vectors, momentum, and energy. As the honors section, we will delve deeper into mathematical analysis and derivations. Students will be challenged with problem sets equivalent to AP evaluation material.

Science Department Faculty