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Science Department

The Science Department seeks to provide a variety of courses to serve the needs of Cathedral High School students.  Science Department offerings vary in both depth and scope.  Honors, Academic and College Prep levels are taught, and students may enroll in these classes based upon the prerequisites they meet, teacher recommendation, individual interest and individual performance in previous science course work. Students who fail the first semester of a two-semester sequential science course will not move to the second semester of that course until the first semester has been passed. The department may waive this policy in unusual situations.


Physical Science, ICP (College Prep)
C455CF/C455C 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Prerequisites: Open to freshmen in College Prep English

Course Description:
Physical Science is a course in which students develop problem solving skills and strategies while performing laboratory and field investigations of fundamental chemical, physical, and related Earth and space science concepts and principles that are related to students’ interests and that address everyday problems. Students enrolled in Physical Science will explore the structure and properties of matter, the nature of energy and its role in chemical reactions and the physical and chemical laws that govern Earth’s interconnected systems and forces of nature.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology I (Academic)
C420AF/C420AS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
None

Course Description:
This course examines the nature of life and provides an explanation for the basic properties and activities of living organisms. Topics covered are scientific process, characteristics of life, biochemistry, cellular biology, physiological processes of unicellular and multicellular organisms, reproduction, genetics, heredity, ecology, and evolution. Many hands-on laboratory investigations and activities are incorporated into the course as well as group work, writing activities and technology integration.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology I (Honors)
C420XF/C420XS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Open only to students who are concurrently enrolled in an Honors English class.

Course Description:
This course encompasses the basic underlying principles of Biology including an in-depth study of the nature of science, the characteristics of life, biochemistry, cellular biology, physiological processes of unicellular and multicellular organisms, reproduction, genetics, heredity, ecology, and evolution. Laboratory experiences including a dissection are an integral part of this class. Technology integration, group and individual work, oral and written activities, and class discussions are also incorporated into this course. The depth, pace, and expectations of this course will be high.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Chemistry I (Academic)
C430AF/C430AS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Prerequisite: Freshmen: Successful passage of the Biology ECA Sophomores: Concurrent enrollment in Geometry A/X Open to all Juniors & Seniors

Course Description:
This course covers those topics that are deemed essential for having a basic understanding of Chemistry. These topics include the factor-label method, scientific notation, significant figures and uncertainty, writing formulas, nomenclature, equation balancing, the mole concept, stoichiometry and limiting reactants, atomic theory and structure of the atom, ionic and covalent bonding, dot diagrams, shapes of molecules, the periodic table, reaction prediction, energy and chemical reactions, solutions, gas laws and nuclear chemistry.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Physics I (Academic)
C440AF/C440AS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Prerequisite: Successful passage of the Biology ECA. Recommended: Concurrent enrollment in at least Algebra II. Recommended: Concurrent enrollment in at least Algebra II.

Course Description:
The goal of this course is to demonstrate to students that Physics can be fun and to encourage the pursuit of physics courses at the college level. Topics deemed essential to adequately introduce students to physics will be taught. Areas of discussion include Newton’s Laws of Motion and Universal Gravitation, forces, fields, energy, momentum, power, charge, electricity, magnetism, sound, light, atoms and nuclear concerns. Other topics that may arise include: quantum concepts, relativity, thermodynamics, cosmology, and even possibly ‘string theory’ or the search to unify all forces. Students will perform laboratory exercises, learning to manipulate equipment and collect data both by physical senses and with data software.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Chemistry I (Honors)
C430XF/C430XS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Open to students enrolled in Geometry X, Algebra II X, Pre-Cal X or Calculus AND with the recommendation of a Science Teacher or Counselor. A scientific calculator is required.

Course Description:
This course covers essentially the same material as Chemistry A but in greater depth and at an accelerated pace. Additional topics may be covered, and additional laboratory investigations will be undertaken. The proper method of scientific writing is emphasized more than in first year chemistry courses and lab reports, essays, additional outside reading assignments and a term paper are options that the instructor may employ to help teach students how to communicate effectively in the area of science. A certain amount of memorization that is not required in Academic chemistry is also required of Honors Chemistry students.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Physics I (Honors)
C440XF/C440XS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Prerequisite: Successful passage of the Biology ECA. Concurrent enrollment in at least Honors Algebra II or higher. Recommended: Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus.

Course Description:
This course covers the same material as ‘Physics I A’, but with much more mathematics. Students will learn all of the mathematics they need during this course through physical scenarios from which the mathematics arises. In addition to many laboratory exercises we will learn the mathematical structure through which almost all physics is done, and which is not normally taught at the high school level.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology II, Other: Zoology (Academic)
C427AF/C427AS 1 Semester 1 Credit
Prerequisite:
One year of Biology I.

Course Description:
This class is a combination of vertebrate and invertebrate zoology. A study of the major phyla of the animal kingdom emphasizing the evolutionary progress from simple to more complex organisms will be conducted. The similarities and differences among animals will be studied through many dissections observing the internal and external anatomy of various animals and the physiology of systems and organs. Students will be required to dissect individually. Individual and group projects may also be required.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology II, Other: Anatomy and Physiology I (Academic)
C428AS 1 Semester 1 Credit
Prerequisite:
One year of Biology I

Course Description:
This biological elective is an extension of first-year biology. The content of the course will be limited to the study of the structure and function of the human body. A detailed semester-long laboratory dissection of a cat will be an integral part of the course. Computer, laboratory, written and oral activities will also be included. Any student interested or planning to pursue a degree in medicine or nursing should strongly consider taking both semesters of Anatomy.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology II, Other: Anatomy and Physiology II (Academic)
C431AS 1 Semester 1 Credit
Prerequisite:
One year of Biology I and Biology II, Other: Anatomy and Physiology I.

Course Description:
This course is a continuation of Anatomy and Physiology I. The content of the course will be a further study of the structure and function of the human body. Upon the completion of Anatomy and Physiology I and II, students should have a complete understanding of all of the systems of the human body. Animal dissections and other laboratory work will be an integral part of this course. Any student interested or planning to pursue a degree in medicine or nursing should strongly consider taking both semesters of Anatomy.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Forensic Science (Academic)
C402AF/C402AS 1 Semester 1 Credit
Prerequisite:
Recommended: Completion of Chemistry

Course Description:
Forensic science is a course which applies basic biological, chemical and physical science principles and technological practices to the purpose of criminal investigation and justice. Major themes of study in this course include analysis of chemicals found in drugs, blood spatter, DNA, trace evidence and fingerprints. The class primarily focuses on laboratory investigations and writing. For this reason, excellent attendance is crucial to the successful completion of this class.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Earth & Space Science, Other: Astronomy (Academic)
C429AS 1 Semester 1 Credit
Prerequisite:
One year of biology

Course Description:
This course will provide students with an introduction to the concepts of modern astronomy, the origin and history of the Universe and the formation of the Earth and the solar system. Students will compare the Earth's properties with those of the other planets and explore how the heavens have influenced human thought and action. The course gives a description of astronomical phenomena using the simple laws of physics. The course covers many standard topics including planets, stars, the Milky Way and other galaxies, black holes to more complicated questions concerning relativity, time travel, and the life of the universe, its evolution and fate. This course will also look to pop-culture and its portrayal of space and time travel in human endeavors. The course also includes occasional telescope-observation nights where students will meet outside of school hours to use Cathedral’s several exceptional telescopes and other equipment. Although largely descriptive, the course will occasionally require the use of sophomore high school level mathematics.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology II, Other: Environmental Science (Academic)
C451AS 1 Semester 1 Credit
Prerequisite:
1 Year of Biology.

Course Description:
This course will discuss many topics within the environmental science realm; it involves understanding the ‘big picture’ of all aspects of the world and how they are interrelated. The first half of the course will cover several different topics focusing on how environmental processes have led to patterns of life on Earth and then how these patterns shaped human, social, and economic development, particularly paying attention to natural resource use. They will be responsible for utilizing the scientific method in their research and at the end of the semester will share their ideas with others in the class. Students will be challenged to critically think about the issues at hand, and will leave the class with the 21st century tools for succeeding in scientific research and writing in college.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Chemistry II, Other: Organic Chemistry (Honors)
C432XF/432XS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Enrollment in or successful completion of Algebra II A or Algebra II X and successful completion of first year Chemistry with a grade of “C” or above and recommendation of a Science teacher.

Course Description:
This course involves a survey of the major functional groups found in organic molecules and studies how such groups can be interconverted via various chemical reactions. The reactions that occur between these different functional groups are also discussed. Additional topics such as oxidation-reduction, acid-base theory, consumer chemistry, environmental concerns and historical perspectives are addressed within the context of the course as time permits. Students are expected to save their first year chemistry textbook, their classroom notebook and any reference sheets they were given by the instructor. Laboratory work encompasses about one-half of the allotted class time. Students coming from first year chemistry classes will be expected to commit the metric system to memory.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology, IB (IB)
C437IF/C437IS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
One year of Biology I with a “B” or above, and with the recommendation of your previous Biology teacher or the department chair. IB students are required to take the IB exam at the end of the course.

Course Description:
Junior IB - 1st Year (SL & HL) AP - one year (may be taken as a junior or senior) This is a combined course of AP biology and first year of IB. The curriculum followed meets the objective of both. AP Biology is a highly intensive college-level course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Biology exam and to provide exposure to a rigorous college-level curriculum. This course gives students an advanced-level background in all areas of Biology. The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. The IB Biology program provides a rigorous, pre-university curriculum for those students who exhibit a high level of interest in Biology and a significant amount of self-motivation. Upon completion of this two-year course, the student will not only be able to demonstrate an understanding of scientific facts, methods, terminology and techniques; but will also be able to apply this knowledge to specific examples in everyday life. In addition, the student will analyze and evaluate situations and offer explanations to scientific problems. The course covers a variety of topics ranging from the cell, biochemistry, genetics and human physiology to ecology, evolution and plant science. Further emphasis and detail will be added to certain topics for those students who are higher level IB candidates. The aim of this course, its curriculum, and content is to develop the IB learner profile traits and encourage students to be communicators, knowledgeable, open-minded, risk-takers, balanced, thinkers, inquirers, principled, caring, and reflective.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology, AP (Advanced Placement)
C438IF/C438IS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
One year of Biology I with a “B” or above, and with the recommendation of your previous Biology teacher or the department chair. Students are required to take the AP exam at the end of the course.

Course Description:
AP Biology is a highly intensive college-level course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Biology exam and to provide exposure to a rigorous college-level curriculum. This course gives students an advanced-level background in all areas of Biology. The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. The course covers a variety of topics ranging from the cell, biochemistry, genetics and human physiology to ecology, evolution and plant science.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology, IB 2nd Year (IB)
C439IF/C439IS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Prerequisite: One year of AP Biology or IB Biology I

Course Description:
The IB Biology program provides a rigorous, pre-university curriculum for those students who exhibit a high level of interest in Biology and a significant amount of self-motivation. Upon completion of this two-year course, the student will not only be able to demonstrate an understanding of scientific facts, methods, terminology and techniques; but will also be able to apply this knowledge to specific examples in everyday life. In addition, the student will analyze and evaluate situations and offer explanations to scientific problems. The course covers a variety of topics ranging from the cell, biochemistry, genetics and human physiology to ecology, evolution and plant science. Further emphasis and detail will be added to certain topics for those students who are higher level IB candidates.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Chemistry, IB/AP (Advanced Placement) (IB)
C447IF/C447IS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
One year of Biology I, one year of Honors Chemistry and concurrent enrollment in Precalculus or Calculus. All students are required to take the AP exam in the spring.

Course Description:
Junior IB, HL - 1st Year AP - one year course (may be taken as a junior or senior) This course is a one year program for AP only students and the first year of a two year program for IB students. It provides an advanced treatment of topics in Chemistry designed in accordance with the course objectives of organization and Advanced Placement Chemistry curriculum. A college textbook is used as a supplement to the classroom lectures and laboratory experiments. The goal of this course is to allow students to pass the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam. Class time is arranged such that approximately 25% of the class time is spent on laboratory and problem solving activities related to the laboratory experiments. The remaining 75% is lecture, inquiry based learning activities, and problem solving. During the course, students will be expected to maintain and regularly update a laboratory notebook and keep up with corresponding readings in the textbook.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Advanced Physics, IB (IB)
C449IF, C449IS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Prerequisite: One year of Physics I with at least a “B” average Recommended: Successful completion of Algebra II Recommended: Successful completion of Algebra II

Course Description:
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Physics program is a rigorous pre-university course that is internationally well recognized. By design this course allows students to experience the challenges normally felt at undergraduate level, including a rigorous mathematical approach. Students are made aware of the moral and ethical social responsibility in the use of scientific knowledge. Students are encouraged to understand the relationship between the various scientific disciplines and carry out an interdisciplinary project. The subjects range from the infinitesimally small quantum world of atoms and particles to the scale of solar systems, galaxies and the universe. Students will conduct an independent research project that will span many months and will be assessed according to the IB Physics standards. Being a subject of universal application, students are encouraged to collaborate with students of other IB-schools nationally or internationally through the use of email and Internet. Students could appreciate the extent to which the subject is applicable in various cultures and regions. Practical investigations are an integral part of the curriculum. Students are required to research a scientific problem, develop hypothesis, design an experiment, conduct investigations and draw conclusions. Special emphasis is given to manipulative skills required to carry out scientific investigations. Student assessment is conducted both externally through written examination and internally by means of practical investigations and an interdisciplinary project.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Chemistry, IB (IB)
C448IF/C448IS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
One year of Chemistry IB/AP is required. IB students are required to take the IB exam in the spring.

Course Description:
Senior IB, HL- 2nd Year IB. This is the second year course is a two year program providing an advanced treatment of topics in Chemistry designed in accordance with the course objectives of the International Baccalaureate organization A college textbook is used as a supplement to the classroom lectures and laboratory experiments. The goal of this course is to allow students to pass the IB Chemistry examination and internal laboratory assessments. Class time is arranged such that approximately 25% of the class time is spent on laboratory and problem solving activities related to the laboratory experiments. The remaining 75% is lecture, inquiry based learning activities, and problem solving. During the course, students will be expected to maintain and regularly update a laboratory notebook and to participate in a Group 4 project that will involve collaboration with students from the IB Biology and IB Physics classes. The aim of this course, its curriculum, and content is to develop the IB learner profile traits and encourage students to be communicators, knowledgeable, open-minded, risk-takers, balanced, thinkers, inquirers, principled, caring, and reflective. Class time is arranged such that approximately 25% of the class time is spent on laboratory and problem solving activities related to the laboratory experiments. The remaining 75% is lecture, inquiry based learning activities, and problem solving. During the course, students will be expected to maintain and regularly update a laboratory notebook and to participate in a Group 4 project that will involve collaboration with students from the IB Biology and IB Physics classes.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology II, Other: AP Environmental Science (AP/IB) (Advanced Placement) (IB)
C454XF/C454XS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
B or better in Biology I & Chemistry I/Physics I -or- successful completion of 1 semester of Academic Environmental Science. Students are required to take the AP exam in the Spring.

Course Description:
The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them . Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study . Yet there are several major unifying constructs, or themes, that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental science . The following themes provide a foundation for the structure of the AP Environmental Science course.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Biology II, Other: Sports and Exercise Health Science (IB)
C460IF/C460IS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
1 year of Chemistry or Physics IB Students - 1 year of Anatomy & Physiology (can be concurrent; recommended for non-IB students)

Course Description:
The sports, exercise, and health science (SEHS) course incorporates the disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition, which are studied in the context of sport, exercise and health. A combination of syllabus content and experimental work provides the opportunity for students to acquire the knowledge and understanding necessary to apply scientific principles and analyze human performance. Students will be asked to design prototypes, solutions, and experiments as well as becoming the subjects in the experiments that test human performance. The SEHS course has strong international dimensions such as international sporting competition and the international bodies that regulate them. Ethical issues that exist within sporting competitions are considered. The SEHS course is taught at the SL for IB diploma candidates; however, the course is open to anyone interested in the topic of related fields of SEHS. The comprehensive curriculum provides excellent preparation for university courses including those specifically related to Sport, Sports Science or Physical Education.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

Science Projects, Techniques, or Directed Research (Honors)
C450XF/C450XS 2 Semesters 2 Credits
Prerequisite:
Two years of science with a “B” average or above, acceptance of a proposal and availability of a mentor, & recommendation/approval of department chair.

Course Description:
This course gives the self-motivated student a chance to do independent research in any area of science of interest to the student. Students must submit a research proposal five weeks before the end of the school year prior to the school year in which the proposed project/research is to be undertaken and secure the assistance of a faculty mentor. In directed research, the research ideas come from the instructor and are researched and investigated by the student. Please note that this course only generates one credit for the entire school year.

Course Information
Graduation
Requirement
Core 40
Approved
Academic
Honors Approved
Elective
Course
NCAA
Approved
Course
Fee

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