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Science

Graduation Requirement:  Students must pass two years or  20 credits in Science courses for graduation.  One year must be a biological science and one year must be a physical science

​College Requirement:  Students must pass two years or 20 credits of college-prep laboratory Science courses with grades of "C" or higher.  

CSU requires one year each of physical and biological science.  For highly competitive colleges, 4 years of science coursework is recommended.

Social Science courses receive credit in the D area for the University of California (UC)  and California State University (CSU)  systems.

P - Biology
Grades 9/10/11/12
Prerequisites:  None

This laboratory science course is devoted to the study of life processes and the interrelationships that exist among all living organisms and their environment.  Content includes inquiry, evolution, reproduction, genetics, cell physiology, growth, energy transformations, classification, and molecular biology.  The teaching and learning of biological concepts involves the completion of laboratory experiments, lecture/discussions, videos, projects, and reading assignments.  Biology is an essential component of a student’s four-year science program.

​P - Chemistry
Grades 10/11/12
Prerequisites:  Concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 or completion of Algebra two with “C” or better

Chemistry is an experimental science concerned with discovering the fundamental nature of matter.  The course is designed to prepare the student for entrance into the first year college chemistry.  This is a laboratory science course based on experiment and observation that stresses the understanding of the basic theoretical concepts of chemistry. The major emphasis is on the study of the chemistry of elements, salts, acids and bases and other non-living substances.  The course is quantitative in nature, and therefore requires strong math skills.

P - Physics
Grades 9/10/11/12
Prerequisites:  None

This is a laboratory and college preparatory science course for students interested in preparation for college. The course deals with the study of the physical laws of nature. It is concerned with motion, energy, heat, waves, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics. This course meets the UC/CSU laboratory science requirement.  

P - Forensic Science
Grades 11/12
Prerequisites:  2 years of Biology, Chemistry, and /or Physics w/ a “C-” or better. 

Forensics is the science that examines evidence and solves crimes for presentation in a court of law. The students will be taught the theory, concepts and applications of a full-service crime laboratory. These include DNA analysis, fingerprints, blood spatter, Firearms, Forensic anthropology, document examination, photography, toxicology, serial killers/criminal profiling, insect collection/entomology unit etc. Students will analyze various physical evidences, reconstruct crime scenes, and present the results in mock trials. Besides from participating in many hand-on activities, students will go on various field trips such as the Crime Lab to explore the Forensic Science career field. To be prepared for Forensic Science it is strongly recommended that students have a basic understanding of the principles of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and familiarity with computer applications.

P - Physiology
Grades 11/12
Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Biology, completion of one year of chemistry is highly recommended.

This course is an advanced laboratory and college preparatory elective for students interested in biological science.  It is recommended for students planning careers in pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, medicine, veterinary medicine, physical education, or other health-related fields.  Animal dissection is a crucial part of the course.

P - Biology AP
Grades 9/10/11/12
Prerequisites:  Completion of both Chemistry and Biology

AP Biology is a college-level course designed to be the equivalent of a General Biology course taken in the first year of college.  Topics covered include biochemistry, cells, photosynthesis, respiration, heredity, molecular genetics, evolution, diversity of life, plant and animal form and function, and ecology.  The course differs significantly with respect to the college textbook used, the range and depth of topics covered, the type of laboratory work done, and the amount of time and effort required of students.  AP Biology is designed to be taken by students after the successful completion of biology and chemistry.  This course will prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Biology examination. All students in an AP course are expected to take the exam in May.

P - Physics 1 AP
Grades  10/11/12
Prerequisites:  C or better in Algebra 2

This is the first course in a two-part sequence. Students will continue on to Physics 2 AP after successful completion of Physics 1 AP. Physics 1 AP is a college level physics course for students planning careers in the science, mathematics and engineering areas. Students are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement test in May.  This course meets the UC/CSU laboratory science requirement.

P - Physics 2 AP
Grades 9/10/11/12
Prerequisites: C or better in AP Physics 1 & Algebra 2

This is the second course in a two-part sequence. Students must successfully complete Physics 1 AP prior to enrolling in Physics 2 AP. Physics 2 AP is a college level physics course for students planning careers in the science, mathematics and engineering areas. Students are expected to take the College Board exam in May.

P - Physics C: Mechanics/AP
Grades 9/10/11/12
Prerequisites:  Completion of AP Physics 1 and  completion of Math Analysis (concurrent enrollment in Calculus AB or BC)

This course ordinarily forms the second part of the college sequence that serves as the foundation in physics for students majoring in the physical sciences or engineering. The sequence is parallel to or preceded by mathematics courses that include calculus.  Methods of calculus are used wherever appropriate in formulating physical principles and in applying them to physical problems. Strong emphasis is placed on solving a variety of challenging problems, some requiring calculus. Of course the subject matter of the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism course is principally electricity and magnetism, some colleges and universities include additional topics such as wave motion, thermal physics, optics, alternating current circuits, or special relativity in this type of second semester course. Although wave motion, optics, and thermal physics are usually the most commonly included, there is little uniformity among such offerings, and these topics are not included in the AP Physics C examination. However, many AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism teachers add supplementary material in these topics to the course and have found that a good time to do this is late in the year, after the AP Exams have been given.

P - Chemistry AP
Grades 11/12
Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Algebra 2 and General Chemistry

The AP Chemistry course is equivalent to a freshman college course in General Chemistry.  This course includes the major concepts and principles of chemistry.  Laboratory investigations emphasize basic chemical principles and mathematical relationships.  This course prepares the student to take the College Board Advanced Placement Exam for college credit.  It is recommended that this course follow one year of high school chemistry.  Students enrolling in the course in the spring will receive a summer packet covering basic principles of chemistry.  Upon their return in the fall, the student will be tested on the packet during the first week of class. All students in an AP course are expected to take the exam in May.

P - Integrated Science  (Receives college prep credit in the ELECTIVE or "G" Area for university)
Grades 9/10/11/12
Prerequisites:  None

This two-semester course can meet either the physical or biological district science requirement.  Integrated Science 1 is the first year of a spiraling integrated curriculum that provides the foundation of content, process, and scientific problem-solving skills associated with chemistry, physics, earth, and life sciences. Major environmental topics include matter cycles and energy flow through the biosphere. Foundational chemical and energy principles, including conservation of matter and energy, are provided by the physical science strand.