Science Course Offerings

Plano West 2020-2021 School Year

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Anatomy and Physiology of Human Systems

Anatomy and Physiology of Human Systems includes laboratory investigation and fieldwork using appropriate scientific inquiry. This hands-on course is a survey of the structures and functions of the human body and integrates the physics and chemistry concepts found in the body systems. In this course the student will investigate the body’s responses to forces, maintenance of homeostasis, electrical interactions, transport systems, and energy processes.


Things to consider

  • Interest in a medical field

  • Interest in human systems

  • If a student has taken or is currently enrolled in Medical Science, much of the material will be repeated.


Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 1-hour regular

Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of the structure, composition, and behavior of matter. The course of study emphasizes the investigation of matter, its interactions, and the factors affecting the interactions. Chemistry is a laboratory-oriented course that stresses the observation of matter and its behavior, classification of matter, communication of data, measurement of chemical quantities, prediction of chemical phenomena, and manipulation of chemical investigations.


Prerequisite: Algebra and completion of Biology or IPC (Integrated Physics and Chemistry)


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 1-hour regular

Earth and Space Science (ESS)

Earth and Space Science (ESS) is based on Earth's system in space and time. The approach has three themes of Earth in space and time, solid Earth, and fluid Earth. In each theme are included the strands of systems, energy and relevance. Natural and human events and their effect on Earth's systems will be studied within the context of the three themes and strands.


Things to consider

  • Students that struggled with Biology should consider Earth and Space Science.

  • Greater depth and breadth of middle school earth science topics


Topics studied include:

  • Astronomy

  • Geology

  • Oceanography

  • Meteorology


Prerequisite: 2 credits of high school science (Biology and IPC or Chemistry)


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 1-hour regular

Environmental Systems

Environmental Systems will focus on the study of the environment with emphasis on ecology and natural resources. The current energy situation will be studied, and recycling of natural resources will be evaluated. Emphasis on people and society, including cultural perspectives and pollution problems will be made. Field trips, laboratory experiences, group discussions, and other special activities will be planned.


Things to consider

  • The least mathematical on-level science class.

  • Focuses on science literacy.


Topics studied include:

  • Human population growth & impact

  • Food production

  • Water use & pollution

  • Energy use focusing on renewable sources and applications for the future

  • Air pollution & climate change/global warming


Prerequisite: 2 credits of high school science (Biology and IPC or Chemistry)


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 1-hour regular

Physics (On-Level and Honors)

Physics is the study of matter and energy and their interaction. Student investigations emphasize accurate observations, collection of data, analysis of data, and safe manipulation of laboratory materials.


Topics of Study

  • One and Two Dimensional Motion

  • Newton's Laws

  • Work and Energy

  • Gravity and Circular Motion

  • Impulse and Momentum

  • Mechanical and Electromagnetic Waves

  • Electrostatics

  • Circuits

  • Magnetism

  • Modern


Prerequisite:

  • On-Level - Algebra and Geometry, 2 credits of science
  • Honors - concurrent enrollment in Algebra II, 2 credits of science


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 1-hour regular for On-Level; 1-hour honors for Honors


What’s the Difference between On-Level and Honors?

Both first-year physics courses cover the same objectives. The difference is honors students are expected to solve problems with greater mathematical rigor and conceptual complexity. Honors students are expected to algebraically manipulate equations and use trigonometry to solve problems as well as to extend their understanding of physics to: friction, harmonic motion, musical harmonics and curved mirrors


On-Level and Honors Physics Flowcharts

Go to https://www.gkjunior.net/handouts


Upon successful complete of a first-year physics course students can take AP Physics 1-2 or AP Physics C.

AP Biology

The course is based on four Big Ideas, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about living organisms and biological systems. The following are Big Ideas:

  • The process of evolution explains the diversity and unity of life.

  • Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.

  • Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.

  • Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.


Reading Requirement: textbook reading required; 2-3 chapters per unit; 6 units per semester


Math Requirement: 4-function; simple algebra; basic statistical anlaysis; graphical creation and interpretation


Lab Requirement: Inquiry labs to emphasize experimental design, data collection and analysis.


Problem Solving: frequent biomechanical/structure function problem solving


Juniors: should strongly consider concurrent enrollment in Physics. Check with college admission requirements


Class Length: 2 class periods


Credits Awarded: 2-hours AP credit

(1 AP credit for Biology and 1 AP credit for Advanced Biology Lab)

AP Environmental Science

Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. There are several unifying big ideas that cut across topics. The Big Ideas are:

  • Science is a process.

  • Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes.

  • The Earth itself is one interconnected system.

  • Humans alter natural systems.

  • Environmental problems have a cultural and social context.

  • Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable systems.


Reading Requirement: online textbook reading required; 1-2 chapters per unit; 6 units per semester


Math Requirement: simple algebra; dimensional analysis; graphical interpretation


Lab Requirement: Inquiry labs to emphasize experimental design and data collection labs using probes.


Problem Solving: frequent mathematics problem solving


Juniors: should strongly consider concurrent enrollment in Physics. Check with college admission requirements.


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 1-hour AP credit

AP Chemistry

The key concepts and related content that define the AP Chemistry course and exam are organized around underlying principles called the Big Ideas. They encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about the particulate nature of matter underlying the observations students make about the physical world. The following are Big Ideas:

  • The chemical elements are the building blocks of matter, which can be understood in terms of the arrangements of atoms.

  • Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.

  • Changes in matter involve the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons.

  • Rates of chemical reactions are determined by details of the molecular collisions.

  • The laws of thermodynamics describe the essential role of energy and explain and predict the direction of changes in matter.

  • Bonds or attractions that can be formed can be broken. These two processes are in constant competition, sensitive to initial conditions and external forces or changes.


Reading Requirement: textbook reading required; 1-2 chapters per unit; 8 units per semester


Math Requirement: graphing calculator; daily use of algebra; graphical creation and interpretation; error analysis


Lab Requirement: weekly data collection and analysis using a wide variety of techniques, technical writing


Problem Solving: daily mathematics problem solving; online homework service


Juniors: should strongly consider concurrent enrollment in Physics. Check with college admission requirements.


Class Length: 2 class periods


Credits Awarded: 2-hours AP credit

(1 AP credit for Chemistry and 1 AP credit for Advanced Chemistry Lab)

AP Physics 1-2

The AP Physics 1 and 2 courses explore principles of Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound, optics, fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, circuits magnetism and topics in modern physics. The course is based on several Big Ideas, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about the physical world. The following are Big Ideas:

  • Objects and systems have properties such as mass and charge. Systems may have internal structure.

  • Fields existing in space can be used to explain interactions.

  • The interactions of an object with other objects can be described by forces.

  • Interactions between systems can result in changes in those systems.

  • Changes that occur as a result of interactions are constrained by conservation laws.

  • Waves can transfer energy and momentum from one location to another without the permanent transfer of mass and serve as a mathematical model for the description of other phenomena.

  • The mathematics of probability can be used to describe the behavior of complex systems and to interpret the behavior of quantum mechanical systems.


Reading Requirement: physical and online textbook is used as support material; 1-2 chapters per unit; 8 units per semester


Math Requirement: graphing calculator; uniterrupted math program (recommended concurent enrollment in precalculus); everyday use of algebra & trigonometry; graphical creation and interpretation


Lab Requirement: inquiry-based investigations and performance-based lab activities


Problem Solving: daily mathematics problem solving; online homework service; goal or task oriented lab activities


Juniors: Must complete a first-year physics course before the start of the school year.


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 2-hours AP credit (successful completion of both semesters)

  • 1 AP credit for AP Physics 1 (fall semester)
  • 1 AP credit for AP Physics 2 (spring semester)


Prerequisite: Prior to the start of the school year, either complete a first-year physics course (both semesters) or earn a first-year physics credit by successfully passing the CBE. Courses that meet this requirement are: Honors Physics, On-Level Physics, Summer School Physics or eSchool Physics.


Students who take eSchool or CBE to accelerate their study of physics are not thoroughly prepared for AP Physics. This does not preclude them from taking the course but will require more work outside the classroom to achieve the same level of success as students who followed the traditional sequence of a first-year physics course.


AP Physics Flowcharts

Go to https://www.gkjunior.net/ap-handouts


ATTENTION

  • Students may NOT take both AP Physics 1-2 and AP Physic C concurretly.
  • Students may NOT take AP Physics C after completing AP Physics 1-2
  • AP Physics awards 1.0 credit for each semester (2.0 credits for the year)

Which AP Physics to Take?

Click HERE

AP Physics C

The Physics C course covers mechanics and electricity & magnetism and is equivalent to a one-year, calculus-based, college-level physics. Calculus is integrated into the course at the same pace as learned in the AP Calculus class. It is especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. The AP Physics C course is structured around 4 Big Ideas.

  1. Interactions produce changes in motion
  2. Forces characterize interactions between objects or systems.
  3. Fields predict and describe interactions.
  4. Conservation laws constrain interactions.

The Big Ideas serve as the foundation of the course and develop understanding as they spiral throughout the course. The Big Ideas enable students to create meaningful connections among course concepts.


Topics of study include:

Mechanics - (Fall Semester)

  • Kinematics

  • Newton’s Laws of Motion

  • Work, Energy and Power

  • Systems of Particles and Linear Momentum

  • Circular Motion and Rotation

  • Oscillations and Gravitation

Electricity and Magnetism - (Spring Semester)

  • Electrostatics

  • Electric Fields

  • Electric Potential

  • Electric Circuits (resistance, capacitance and inductance)

  • Magnetic Fields

  • Electromagnetism


Reading Requirement: physical and online textbook is used as support material;

1-2 chapters per unit; 6 units per semester


Math Requirement: graphing calculator; concurent enrollment in either calculus AB or BC; everyday use of algebra & trigonometry; everyday use of calculus by the end of the course; graphical creation and interpretation


Lab Requirement: inquiry-based investigations and performance-based lab activities


Problem Solving: daily mathematics problem solving; online homework service; goal or task oriented lab activities


Juniors: Must complete a first-year physics course before the start of the school year.


Class Length: 1 class period


Credits Awarded: 2-hours AP credit (successful completion of both semesters)

  • 1 AP credit for AP Physics Mechanics (fall semester)
  • 1 AP credit for AP Physics E&M (spring semester)


Prerequisite: Prior to the start of the school year, either complete a first-year physics course (both semesters) or earn a first-year physics credit by successfully passing the CBE. Courses that meet this requirement are: Honors Physics, On-Level Physics, Summer School Physics or eSchool Physics.


Students who take eSchool or CBE to accelerate their study of physics are not thoroughly prepared for AP Physics. This does not preclude them from taking the course but will require more work outside the classroom to achieve the same level of success as students who followed the traditional sequence of a first-year physics course.


AP Physics Flowcharts

Go to https://www.gkjunior.net/ap-handouts


ATTENTION

  • Students may NOT take both AP Physics 1-2 and AP Physic C concurretly.
  • Students may NOT take AP Physics 1-2 after completing AP Physics C.
  • AP Physics awards 1.0 credit for each semester (2.0 credits for the year)

Which AP Physics to Take?

Click HERE