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The Science Department provides in-depth study of scientific principles, employing appropriate technology and hands-on laboratory experiences at every level. Coursework prepares students for college studies, as well as fulfilling high school requirements.

Course Descriptions
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Biology (UC/CSU) (9th - 12th graders) Q2000XX

This is a one-year, laboratory course devoted to the study of the major themes and concepts that explain life
processes. These major themes/standards include: cell biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, physiology, and
investigation and experimentation. The content is primarily descriptive, but includes some concepts that require the application of basic mathematical skills. Observation and analysis of laboratory events represent a major proportion of the course.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Integrated Science I.

Chemistry (UC/CSU) (11th and 12th graders) Q3000XX
Chemistry is an NGSS course that focuses on the study of matter, how matter changes, and how energy is involved in these changes. Chemistry enables students to better understand the phenomena that occur in everyday life. Much of chemistry is learned through hands-on experimentation, modeling, and constructing explanations through explorations and evidence gathering. This course fulfills the lab science D-level course for A-G Requirements (UC/CSU).
Recommended preparatory courses: Successful completion of Math 1 and Biology.

Physics (UC/CSU) (11th and 12th graders) Q4000XX

Physics is a one-year science course concerned with the study of energy and forces. Topics covered include motion, energy, electricity and magnetism, the nature of light, properties of waves, thermodynamics, and modern theories. Emphasis is on laboratory experiments, problem solving, and reading. This course fulfills the lab science
requirements for college and universities. This course is recommended for students planning on careers in all
disciplines of science and engineering.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of at least one year of college prep science. Completion of Algebra II is
strongly recommended.

Physiology (UC/CSU) (11th and 12th graders) Q5000XX

Physiology is a one-year laboratory science course designed primarily for seniors with high ability in science and who are interested in pursuing any of the careers requiring the application or knowledge of biological science. The course is recommended for students planning careers in physical education or careers related to medicine. The role of physiology in the general plan of education is to familiarize students with the functions of their own bodies and other related animals and to prepare those who are interested for further specialized work in the field. Physiology is a one year college preparatory course in laboratory science.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Biology and Chemistry.

Forensic Science (UC/CSU) (11th and 12th graders) Q7500XX
Prerequisites: Student must have successfully completed one year of Biological Science and one year of Physical Science
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 & application of a full-service crime laboratory. These include a
physical science (chemistry, physics, geology,) biology, firearms, document examination, photography,
toxicology, fingerprint unit, etc. It is strongly recommended that students have a basic understanding of the
principles of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and familiarity with computer applications. This course
meets the UC/CSU requirement for a “g”, college prep elective, requirement.
AP Physics (UC/CSU) (11th and 12th graders) Q4200XP
AP Physics 1 is an algebra based course in general physics that meets for 55 minutes each day for the entire school year. General physics topics presented during the course closely follow those outlined by the College Board and also mirrors the concepts in an introductory level university physics course.
AP Physics 1 is organized around six big ideas that bring together the fundamental science principles and theories of general physics. These big ideas are intended to encourage students to think about physics concepts as interconnected pieces of a puzzle. The solution to the puzzle is how the real world around them actually works. The students will participate in inquiry-based explorations of these topics to gain a more conceptual understanding of these physics concepts. Students will spend less of their time in traditional formula-based learning and more of their effort will be directed to developing critical thinking and reasoning skills.
*This course meets one year of the two ESUHSD graduation requirements for science, and meets one of the two UC/CSU elective requirements.  
Students establish lines of evidence and use them to develop and refine testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena. Focusing on these disciplinary practices enables teachers to use the principles of scientific inquiry to promote a more engaging and rigorous experience for AP Physics students. Such practices require that students:
  • Use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems;
  • Use mathematics appropriately;
  • Engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course;
  • Plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question;
  • Perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence;
  • Work with scientific explanations and theories; and
  • Connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations in and across domains.