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Introduction

Science

Recent studies have emphasized the need for all high school graduates to be scientifically literate. Our rapidly expanding scientific and technological base presents both solutions and problems for our present and future society. Therefore, all students are encouraged to enroll in a continuous sequence of science so they can function as responsible and knowledgeable citizens. Selections from all the scientific disciplines should be made.

The laboratory is an integral part of all science instruction, serving as a place to practice the experimental method of science and obtain hands-on experience. Societal and technical issues are infused into each course through a wide variety of methods.

Scientific literacy is an admirable goal for the student who is planning a high school education. Understanding the many scientific principles and ideas and applying them to real situations in our world is a useful practice for both the future scientist as well as those who seek careers outside the field of science.

Please Note: The courses and grade levels below represent typical programming pathways. Shaker Heights High School's counseling staff can help direct students and their families to the courses that best fit a student's academic needs.
 
  

Course Selection

Science uses mathematics as a tool to describe, explain and predict various principles. Science course selections should be compatible with mathematical skills.

Students are required to earn three units of lab science for graduation, and to include at least one unit of biological sciences and one unit of physical sciences. If a student wishes to use science as one of the criteria for a Diploma with Honors, he/she must take four units of science.

Some courses may require students to purchase goggles, laboratory manuals, or lab composition notebooks.

With the exception of biology, students may select any particular sequence as long as the graduation requirement is completed.

Courses

Physical Science

Grades 9/10
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed to introduce students to various topics found in the traditional physical sciences. One semester focuses on chemistry topics and one semester focuses on physics topics. Added emphasis will be placed on lab skills and the quantitative approach to solving problems throughout the duration of the course.

Recommended: Concurrent enrollment in either Geometry or 9 Honors Math

Biology

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Biology is rigorous and conceptual in design with an emphasis on biological vocabulary, reading, and digital literacy. A biochemical approach is used with evolution as a unifying theme. Analysis, synthesis, application and evaluation of biological themes are expected.

Recommended: Physical Science

AP Biology

Grade 10
Full Year – 2 Units

Advanced Placement Biology is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester college introductory biology course taken by biology majors. This course is fast paced and rigorous. The class meets for two consecutive class periods daily and is two units of credit. At Shaker it has been formulated to offer sophomores who have been very successful in Physical Science the opportunity to be challenged and to learn at an accelerated pace. To complete the requirements for this course, it may be necessary to occasionally meet for extra time periods after school. The course takes a biochemical approach to biology. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must take the Advanced Placement Exam.

Recommended: Physical Science and student has a passion for Biology and willingness to commit to roughly an hour of work an evening.


Chemistry

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Chemistry is designed to develop strong problem-solving ability. Introductory inorganic concepts will be presented in theory and mathematically analyzed and applied. Some topics include: matter, the periodic table, atomic theory, chemical compounds and reactions, bonding, gas laws, stoichiometry, molarity, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry.

Recommended: Physical Science and Concurrent Algebra II or higher

AP Chemistry

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 2 Units

AP Chemistry parallels a college chemistry course and requires students to take the AP Chemistry test in May. The class meets for two consecutive class periods daily and earns two units of credit. In-depth training in chemistry with appropriate mathematical applications can be expected. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must take the Advanced Placement Exam.

Recommended: Honors or Advanced Math and one unit in Physical Science

Chemistry I HL/SL

Grade 11
Full Year – 1 Unit

Chemistry I (IB HL/SL) is the first year of a two-year course taken in the junior year. During year one, HL and SL students will study the same core topics and develop manipulative and experimental skills necessary to successfully complete the course. Participation in the IB Group 4 Project is required once during the two-year program. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal (formal and informal lab work) and External (written exams at the end of the second year) Assessments.

Recommended: Honors or Advanced Math and 1 Unit Physical Science

Chemistry II HL/SL

Grade 12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Chemistry II (IB HL/SL) is the second year of the two-year course taken in the senior year. During the second year, HL and SL students will study organic chemistry and two options chosen by the teacher. Participation in the IB Group 4 Project is required once during the two-year program. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal (formal and informal lab work) and External (written exam) Assessments.

Prerequisite: Chemistry I IB HL/SL

Physics & Engineering Conceptual

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course covers the classic core concepts of physics, such as Newton’s laws, energy, electricity and magnetism through contemporary topics like rocketry, space, robotics, flight, music and much more. The student will be exposed to answering such questions as “How do we know that?” and “Why does that happen?” The course includes projects, labs, hands-on activities, and demonstrations. The emphasis will be on conceptual development, applications of physics, projects, and “doing” physics, rather than on mathematics. Engineering concepts and applications will be stressed.

Concurrent: Algebra I or higher

Physics

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

In this course, the student is challenged to reason and discover the underlying laws and theories that form the basis of modern physics. This course is excellent preparation for students who like to solve problems.

Concurrent: Precalculus or higher

Physics SL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This class is designed to fulfill the requirements for the IB Standard Level Physics course. This course will be especially important in developing the student as a knowledgeable inquirer and as a thinker. Topics include measurement and uncertainties, mechanics, thermal physics, waves, electricity and magnetism, circular motion and gravitation, atomic, nuclear, and particle physics, energy production, rotational dynamics and thermodynamics. Participation in the IB Group 4 project is a requirement. To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must complete the IB Internal (formal and informal lab work) and External (written exam) Assessments.

Recommended: Grade 11: 10 Advanced Math or Concurrent Precalculus / Grade 12: IB Math HL (or equivalent) or Precalculus


AP Physics: Mechanics

Grade 12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This theoretical and lab course prepares students for and requires students to take the AP Physics C Mechanics test in May. It parallels a college physics course with an emphasis on mechanics. The major focus of the course is on problem solving, and it offers the highest level of preparation for those interested in science and engineering. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must take the Advanced Placement Exam.

Concurrent: AP AB/BC Calculus

AP Physics: Electricity & Magnetism

Grade 12
Full Year – 1 Unit

AP Physics: Electricity and Magnetism is a rigorous course that prepares students to take the AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism Test in May. This course should be considered by students who wish to enter a science or engineering program of study in college, as it is similar to the second semester of an introductory engineering physics course. Students will participate in challenging laboratory investigations and become versed in solving physics problems, often requiring the use of calculus techniques. Students must be co-enrolled in the AP C Mechanics course. In order to earn AP credit for this course, the student is required to take the AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism Test in May. For a complete description of the course, please see collegeboard.org for the most current curriculum.

Concurrent: AP Physics: Mechanics

Anatomy & Physiology I

Grades 11/12
Semester I – ½ Unit

This course offers an interdisciplinary study of the human body with emphasis on body systems, bioethics, and current human health issues. Students can expect to learn college-preparatory human anatomy and common medical terminology. Laboratory experience and dissections enhance student learning of the human body.

Prerequisite: One unit of Physical Science and one unit of Biology

Anatomy & Physiology II

Grades 11/12
Semester II – ½ Unit

This course builds on the content from Anatomy and Physiology I. Students will continue to learn about human body systems, current events, and health careers. Anatomical knowledge is supported by hands-on laboratory activities.

Prerequisite: One unit of Physical Science and one unit of Biology.  
Prerequisite: Take Anatomy and Physiology I Semester I for sequence.  

Introduction to Computer Science Principles

Grade 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course will introduce students to foundational concepts of computer science such as computer programming, algorithms, the Internet, HTML, and web design.  Students will explore how computing and technology can impact the world. The course covers a broad range of topics such as the Internet, digital data, programming and algorithms, digital privacy and security, and the societal impacts of computing. We will be using the Code.org Computer Science Principles curriculum for many of the units in this course.  In addition, students will use the MYP Design cycle to design, plan and complete cooperative and independent performance tasks.  The material covered in the course is designed to help prepare students to take AP Computer Science A (JAVA).

Recommended: Successful completion of Algebra 1


AP Computer Science Principles

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year - 1 Unit

AP Computer Science Principles provides a broad overview of computer science topics focused on computational thinking practices and problem solving. The course covers five big ideas which are essential to studying computer science: Creative Development, Data, Algorithms and Programming, Computer Systems and Networks, and the Impact of Computing. The course covers a range of topics such as programming, algorithms, computer systems, networks, big data, digital privacy and security, and the societal impacts of computing. Students will learn JavaScript and use this programming language to solve problems and create computational artifacts.

Students will independently complete a performance task as outlined by the College Board and upload it to their AP Digital Portfolio. The AP performance task and the AP CSP exam in May are combined to determine the final AP score for this class. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, students must take the Advanced Placement Exam.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra 1

AP Computer Science A (JAVA)

Grades 9/10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

The course introduces students to fundamental topics including problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and societal implications of computing. Students should be proficient in independent problem solving and comfortable with mathematics. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language exclusively. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. Successful completion of Introduction to Computer Science Principles would benefit students who do not have a background in writing computer code, but may not be necessary if the candidate is a strong problem solver.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 10 Honors Math or Precalculus

Design: Introduction to Engineering

Grades 9/10
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to apply theoretical science and mathematical concepts in an engineering and technology environment. The course will stress the application of the IB Middle Years Programme Design Process: Inquiring and Analyzing, Developing Ideas, Creating a Solution, and Evaluating. Students will work on projects and solve problems dealing with topics such as: positive messaging, truss structures, architecture, programming, computer aided design and manufacturing, manufacturing, optics, biospherics and more. These projects will let the student experience a range of engineering genres including mechanical, civil, computer, systems, structural, biomedical and others. The course models real-world engineering and design practices and assessments. For students in the Engineering and Science Technologies Career Technical Education pathway at Shaker Heights High School, this is the first of the required courses.

Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing

Grades 10/11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed to give students experience in robotics, mechatronics, basic electronics, and laboratory safety through training modules and authentic advanced manufacturing hands-on projects. Students can earn several industry credentials and up to 8 points towards graduation through the career pathway. The industry credentials and graduation points students can earn after passing credential tests include: OSHA 10-hour General Industry Certification (1 point), CPR/AED/First Aid Certification (1 point), and FANUC Handling and Tool Operation & Programming J2P0310 IACT Approval (6 points). Students will receive credit when at least 2 points are earned toward graduation through industry training and passage of industry credential tests. For students in the Engineering and Science Technologies Career Technical Education pathway at Shaker Heights High School, this is one of the required courses.

Recommended: Design: Introduction to Engineering (concurrent)

Machining & Manufacturing

Grades 10, 11, 12                          
Full Year  - 1 Unit

This course is designed to teach the principles of machining and metal cutting using machine tools, hand tools and precision measuring instruments. Students will use design tools, and commonly used industrial materials such as wood, metals, polymers and other commonly used industrial materials to complete a number of projects throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to earn industry credentials after passing credentialing tests in the following areas: NIMS Level 1 Measurement, Materials, and Safety Certification (6 or 12 points), OSHA 10-hr Certification (1 point), CPR/AED/First Aid Certification (1 point), and Autodesk Certification (4 points). Students will receive credit if they achieve NIMS Level 1 Certification. For students in the Engineering and Science Technologies Career Technical Education pathway at Shaker Heights High School, this is one of the required courses.

Recommended: Design: Introduction to Engineering

Engineering Applications

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed to give upper level science and mathematics students the opportunity to apply theoretical ideas in an engineering environment. Students must have taken or be currently taking Honors or AP Physics. The course will stress using the “Design-Construct-Test” model in various engineering disciplines. Students will work on projects dealing with microgravity, rocketry, flight, robotics, roller coasters, electronics, manufacturing, alternative energies, biospherics and more. These projects will let the student experience a range of engineering genres including mechanical, civil, computer, electrical, systems, mechatronics, aeronautical, structural, biomedical and others. For students in the Engineering and Science Technologies Career Technical Education pathway at Shaker Heights High School, this is one of the required courses.

Concurrent: Physics, IB Physics, or AP Physics

Environmental Science

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed to apply principles learned in both the physical and biological sciences to our environment. Ecological principles are developed using the outdoors as a laboratory. The human influence on the environment is stressed during the second semester.

Prerequisite: One unit Biology and one unit Physical Science

AP Environmental Science

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

AP Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary laboratory science course designed to give students the knowledge and methodologies necessary to understand the interrelationships of our world, to analyze environmental problems, and to evaluate solutions to those problems. Field experiences, using satellite technology and state of the art software, will be used to demonstrate ecological principles. Students will be required to take the AP Environmental Science test in May. To receive Advanced Placement Credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, the student must take the Advanced Placement Exam.

Prerequisite: One unit Biology, one unit in Physical Science and one unit Chemistry or concurrent Chemistry

Environmental Systems & Societies SL

Grades 11/12
Full Year – 1 Unit

Environmental Systems & Societies SL (ESS) is an interdisciplinary group 3 and 4 course that is offered only at the standard level (SL). It is firmly grounded in both a scientific exploration of environmental systems in their structure and function and in the exploration of cultural, economic, ethical, political, and social interactions of societies with the environment. The interdisciplinary nature of the course requires a broad skill set from students and includes the ability to perform research and investigations and to participate in philosophical discussion. The course requires a systems approach to environmental understanding and problem solving, and promotes holistic thinking about environmental issues. This course can be used by students seeking the IB Diploma to fulfill either a Group 3 (Individuals and Societies) or Group 4 (Science). To receive International Baccalaureate credit on a Shaker Heights High School transcript, all students taking the course must complete the IB Internal (formal lab work) and External (written exams at the end of the year) Assessments.

Prerequisite: One year of Physical Science and one year AP Biology or Biology with teacher recommendation; Algebra II or IB Math (or equivalent) concurrent

Astronomy, Planets

Grades 10/11/12
Semester I – ½ Unit

This course is a general overview of astronomy that focuses on discussions of planetary objects through use of the planetarium. Topics covered include:  movements of celestial objects, history of astronomy, calculating forces and motion, formation of solar systems, and comparative planetology.

Recommended: Algebra I

Astronomy, Stars

Grades 10/11/12
Semester II – ½ Unit

This course is a general overview of astronomy that focuses on discussions of stars and other stellar objects through use of the planetarium. Topics covered include: the nature of light and its use in studying our universe, calculating properties of stellar objects, stellar evolution, and cosmology. In addition, a major focus is learning the constellations and stars of our night sky.

Recommended: Algebra I

Geology

Grades 10/11/12
Semester I – ½ Unit

This introductory course in geologic principles includes a survey of the planet earth including its composition, structure, and dynamics. An understanding of both internal and surface processes is developed, serving as a framework for summary of geological history.

Recommended: Algebra I or higher; one unit in Physical Science Core or Honors, and one unit in Biology Core or Honors or concurrent Biology

Oceanography

Grades 10/11/12
Semester II – ½ Unit

The Oceanography curriculum will focus on understanding the basic geologic, physical, and chemical processes of the world’s oceans as well as a large portion focusing on the biology of the oceans. In addition, students will learn about marine mapping, marine pollution, and current events relating our lives with the marine world.

Recommended: Algebra I or higher; one unit in Physical Science, and one unit in Biology, or concurrent Biology