SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

A total of three years of science is required for graduation. Earth & Space Science, Biology and Physical Science are also graduation requirements. To meet the Physical Science requirement students may take either (1) Chemistry and Physics, or (2) Physical Science-C and Physical Science P, or (3) Physical Science-C and Physics, or (4) Chemistry and Physical Science-P. Physical Science-C & Physical Science-P are each a semester long, while Chemistry and Physics are EACH year long courses.  

Parents and students need to be aware that admission to a Regents university (Iowa, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa), in general, requires two years from Biology or Chemistry or Physics. Students planning to attend a Regents’ school need to take one year of either Chemistry or Physics instead of two semesters of Physical Science. There may be higher requirements for admission to more specialized areas, such as engineering and health sciences. Students should address all questions to their college/university of choice. More information can be found at http://www.iowaregents.edu/media/cms/building-your-future-pdf1833C832.pdf.  

After completion of Earth & Space Science, students may take two classes at a time. While enrolled in Biology, students may also enroll in Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology, Environmental Science, Physical Science-C, or Physical Science-P concurrently. Students may continue to take any other electives listed below during their 11th and 12th grade years while completing the Physical Science Requirement. Advanced Anatomy/Physiology, AP Chemistry, and Advanced Physics cannot be taken before a student’s junior year due to prerequisites.

Additional Science Electives:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Advanced Anatomy & Physiology
  • AP Chemistry
  • Advanced Physics

EARTH & SPACE SCIENCE: Grade 9, Year=2 CR, No Prerequisite

This interdisciplinary course consists of studying the Earth, space, and the environment. It is the first required course in the science sequence and should be taken by all 9th graders. Topics will include geology, astronomy, and human interactions with the environment. Throughout this course, students will engage in laboratory investigations that include inquiry, problem solving skills, critical thinking, collaboration, communicating scientific information, and using technology as a learning and communication tool. #5700

BIOLOGY: Grade 10, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite= Earth & Space Science

Biology will cover the following topics:  Cells, Genetics, Evolution, Ecology, and Animal Behavior. This course meets a graduation requirement and should be taken by all 10th graders. Students will engage in laboratory investigations that include inquiry, problem solving skills, critical thinking, collaboration, communicating scientific information, and using technology as a learning and communication tool.  #5104


PHYSICAL SCIENCE-C: Grade 10-12, Semester=1 CR, Prerequisite= Biology (or concurrent enrollment)

This semester of physical science focuses in a basic manner on fundamental chemistry topics such as heat, atomic theory, scientific measurement and calculations, and properties of waves. All topics will be supported by hands-on, minds-on laboratory experience. This course meets the same graduation requirements as the yearlong Chemistry course in a less rigorous format. #5002

PHYSICAL SCIENCE-P: Grade 10-12, Semester=1 CR, Prerequisite= Biology (or concurrent enrollment)

This semester of physical science focuses in a basic manner on fundamental physics topics such as motion, forces, energy and momentum. Students will also investigate basic wave, electrical, and magnetic phenomena. All topics will be supported by hands-on, minds-on laboratory experience. This course meets the same graduation requirements as the yearlong Physics course in a less rigorous format. #5003

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY: Grade 10-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite= Biology or a minimum grade of B in Earth & Space Science and concurrent enrollment in Biology

Anatomy and Physiology deals with the study of the human body.  It is designed for students who may be planning careers in health, the medical sciences, or those who simply have an interest in how the body functions.  A cellular and systems approach is used, with emphasis on learning rather than memorization of terms.  The student also studies the diseases and disabilities that occur when the body does not function normally.  Laboratory situations, cooperative activities, and hands-on activities are all utilized so as to best gain understanding of body processes.  #5400

ADVANCED ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY: Grade 11-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite= Anatomy & Physiology

Advanced Anatomy & Physiology continues the study of the human body and is designed for those with a deep interest in the human body or those considering a career in the medical field.  This course will expand on Anatomy & Physiology by continuing with a close look on additional systems and how those systems impact the human body.  In addition to the Endocrine, Digestive, Reproductive and Urinary systems, other topical areas will include cancer, stem cells, microbiology, and bioethics.  Instruction will continue to use patient case studies and lab analysis along with current research information and college seminars.  As scheduling would allow, a trip to a medical school will also be attempted. #5401 

CHEMISTRY: Grade 10-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite= Algebra 1 & Biology (or concurrent enrollment) 

NOTE: Tenth grade students may take chemistry; however, the level of difficulty makes it more appropriate for 11th and 12th grade students.

Chemistry deals with the substances that make up our environment and changes that take place in these substances. Students learn to apply different concepts and processes, by experimenting, discussing, and by using the facts or data that they have gathered. Chemistry relates chemical and physical changes in substances to changes at the atomic or molecular levels. #5201

ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY: Grade 11-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite= Chemistry & Algebra 2 (or concurrent enrollment)

Note: The Advanced Placement program provides willing and academically prepared high school students with the opportunity to study and learn at the college level. AP courses are taught at the college level incorporating both college level reading and writing. The College Board does not deny any student from taking an AP course; however, students should be academically prepared. OHS strongly recommends that students who wish to enroll in an AP course have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.  

AP Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of a general chemistry course taken during the first college year. For some students, this course enables them to undertake, as freshmen, second-year work in the chemistry sequence at college. This course is intended for students with exceptional strength and interest in chemistry. Both advanced theoretical aspects of chemistry and rigorous chemical calculations are emphasized. The topics and intensive depth of study in this course prepares students for the AP Chemistry exam in May or for intensive freshmen college chemistry course. Topics will be covered in my depth and with a more mathematical approach than in the first year chemistry course. All students taking this course should possess excellent algebra skills. #5203

PHYSICS: Grade 10-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite= Geometry & Biology (or concurrent enrollment)

Physics is the study of the most fundamental properties of nature. Topics include motion, forces, energy, and momentum. Understanding of these topics is gained through laboratory experience and discussion. Students will also increase their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Most four-year colleges recommend physics as a high school science prerequisite, but this course is also open to students who intend to pursue two-year technical degrees.  #5301 

ADVANCED PHYSICS: Grade 11-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite= Physics & Algebra 2 (or concurrent enrollment)

Advanced Physics is a course designed to transition students to a college level physics course. Students can expect to develop a deep understanding of simple harmonic motion, optics, electricity, magnetism, and features of modern physics. This course is designed for students who are interested in the advanced study of the physical sciences. #5303

SCIENCE SKILLS: Grade=9-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite = IEP Team Decision

Students will focus on essential science skills including biological, environmental, and physical science components. Students will engage in laboratory investigations that include inquiry, problem solving skills, critical thinking, collaboration, communicating scientific information, and using technology as a learning and communication tool.  #339, 3392

INTRODUCTION TO EARTH & SPACE SCIENCE: Grade=9, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite = IEP Team Decision

This interdisciplinary course consists of studying the Earth, space, and the environment. It is the first required course in the science sequence. Topics will include geology, astronomy, and human interactions with the environment. Throughout this course, students will engage in laboratory investigations that include inquiry, problem solving skills, critical thinking, collaboration, communicating scientific information, and using technology as a learning and communication tool. #43100, 43102

INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGY: Grade=10-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite = IEP Team Decision

At the end of Intro to Biology, the student will understand that all life is based on underlying principles. Some of these principles are: all life is based on a genetic code; the environment selects the genetic codes that allow the organism to be successful; the cycles that create and use energy within organisms; the energy flow within an ecosystem; and that all life is made up of cells. This will prepare the student for Biology Inclusion or Environmental Science Inclusion.  #43200, 43202

INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL SCIENCE: Grade=11-12, Year=2 CR, Prerequisite = IEP Team Decision

One semester of Introduction to Physical Science focuses on fundamental physics topics such as motion, forces, energy and momentum. Students will also investigate basic wave, electrical, and magnetic phenomena. All topics will be supported by hands-on, minds-on laboratory experience. 

One semester of Introduction to Physical Science focuses on fundamental chemistry topics such as heat, atomic theory, scientific measurement and calculations, and properties of waves. All topics will be supported by hands-on, minds-on laboratory experience. This course uses modified curriculum from Physical Science-P and Physical Science-C. #43400, 43402