Science Courses

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The science program at BPHS has been designed to provide opportunities that will enable all students to increase their understanding and appreciation of the natural world in which they live and of the subject matter and methods of scientific inquiry. In our increasingly challenging scientific world, the demand for each individual to have a solid science background is evident. Every student must take a Physical Setting science and Living Environment. Students must also complete the associated lab requirements to take the Regents exam that is required for graduation. In addition to the two required courses, a third unit of science is required for graduation.

Physical Setting: Earth Science

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 9-12
Physical Setting: Earth Science is an investigative science course that gives students the opportunity to learn about their surroundings through first-hand experiences. This program presents a problem-solving approach to the study of earth science. Problem solving requires the application of logical and creative thinking to unfamiliar situations. In this course, students learn the background knowledge that will lead them to question their world, as well as the attitudes that will make them responsible citizens of our planet. All labs must be completed prior to a performance exam in the spring. Students take the Physical Setting: Earth Science Regents Exam at the end of the course in June.

General Science

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 9-12
This course is an introductory course designed to prepare students to take the Regents-level Living Environment course the following year. Students learn about biology in the world around them through hands-on experiences. Instruction focuses on many of the topics covered in Living Environment, as well as a variety of skill-building units that will better prepare students for the rigors of a Regents-level course. Labs are an important part of the learning experience and are included in the course.

Living Environment

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 9-12  |  Living Environment Syllabus
Regents Living Environment is a study of life, the chemistry of living things, the cell, and representative life forms. Life functions of representative species are studied with a focus on genetics and reproduction. The course examines the interrelationships of living and non-living things. The goal of the course is to increase students’ knowledge of living things and to help them develop a respect and appreciation of all life. Students must complete a laboratory requirement before taking the Regents exam in June.

Honors Living Environment

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 10-12
The Honors Living Environment program is designed to go beyond the scope of study of the Regents Living Environment course. The program integrates all the concepts related to living and non-living interactions while allowing students to expand their knowledge through investigative laboratory research. Students will be required to perform additional units of study above and beyond those required in the Regents course, as well as prepare laboratory reports. Students take the Living Environment Regents Exam at the end of the course in June.

SUPA BIO 121: Biology

½ unit & 4 college credit hours  |  half year  |  Grades 11-12  |  SUPA Bio Syllabus
This is the first in a two-course sequence consisting of a survey of major biological concepts ranging from the molecular level to global ecology. The course features five lectures and two to three lab sessions per week. Units within Biology 121 include the nature of science, life chemistry, cell structure and function, photosynthesis and respiration, genetics, and evolution, which is the central and unifying concept of biology and the framework around which the understanding of other concepts in this course is constructed. There is a fee for this course that is determined by Syracuse University.

SUPA BIO 123: Biology

½ unit & 3 college credit hours  |  half year  |  Grades 11-12  |  SUPA Bio Syllabus
This is the second of a two-course sequence consisting of a survey of major biological concepts ranging from the molecular level to global ecology. Units within Biology 123 include biodiversity, plant structure and function, human and comparative animal anatomy and function, ecology, and evolution, which is the central and unifying concept of biology and the framework around which the understanding of other concepts in this course are constructed. There is a fee for this course that is determined by Syracuse University.

SUPA BIO 124: Biology Lab

1 college credit hour  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12  |  SUPA Bio Syllabus
This is the required laboratory course associated with BIO 123. It includes inquiry-based exploration and practical application of the concepts discussed in BIO 123.

AP Biology

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12
This course involves advanced study as outlined in the College Entrance Examination Board’s (CEEB) Advanced Placement (AP) Biology syllabus. Topics include biological chemistry, cells and energy transformations (25%); molecular genetics, heredity and evolution (25%); and ecology and a taxonomic survey of plants and animals, emphasizing structure and function (50%). Students in this course have the option of concurrently enrolling in BIO 121, BIO 123 and BIO 124 for up to 8 hours of credit from Syracuse University. The AP Biology exam is offered in May.

General Chemistry

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 10-12
This course serves as an introduction to the study of chemistry. Topics examined include matter and energy, atomic structure, bonding, kinetics and equilibrium, organics, and acids and bases. This course helps students build a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts of chemistry. Problems are presented logically, one step at a time, with sample solutions to all types of chemistry-based interactions and problems. This approach will prepare students for authentic (lab-based) chemistry. Students will need a background in basic algebra for this class. This is a good course for certain students interested in careers in the medical field; however, those interested in nursing should instead take Regents Chemistry. Students take a final exam at the completion of the course.

Physical Setting: Chemistry

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12
This course is a challenging study of matter suitable for students who choose to continue their study of the sciences. The study of chemistry not only helps students discover why changes take place, but it also allows students to investigate and understand the very nature of matter. Topics examined include matter and energy, atomic structure, bonding, kinetics and equilibrium, organics, and acids and bases. Laboratory work, which is required in this class, allows students to experience topics using hands-on activities. Prerequisites for this course include the successful completion of CC Algebra II and a recommendation from the student’s prior science teacher. Students take the Physical Setting: Chemistry Regents Exam at the end of the course in June.

Honors Chemistry

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12
The Honors Chemistry program is a course of advanced study for Regents credit that allows students to go beyond the scope of Regents Chemistry in both laboratory and classroom environments. The program gives students the opportunity to learn about their surroundings through experimental hands-on work, along with logical creative thinking. The goal of the program is to provide students with the information needed to understand chemistry and to further investigate chemical reactions and processes through inquiry-based laboratory study. Students must complete a laboratory requirement to receive credit for this course. Students will often be required to design their own laboratory procedure based on minimal information and write detailed laboratory reports based on their study. Prerequisites for this course include the successful completion of CC Algebra II and a recommendation from the student’s prior science teacher. Students take the Physical Setting: Chemistry Regents Exam at the end of the course in June.

Everyday Applied Physics

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12
Everyday Applied Physics is a fundamental physics course for college-bound students interested in pursuing a career in a non-science-related field. Laboratory experiments are a required part of the program. Concepts and principles are presented without a heavy reliance on computation. Topics include mechanics, energy, waves, and electricity and magnetism. Students take a final exam at the completion of the course.

Physical Setting: Physics

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12
This is a challenging math-based course that focuses on mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism, wave phenomena, and modern physics. Laboratory experiments are a required part of the program. Prerequisites for this course include the successful completion of CC Algebra II and Chemistry or Honors Chemistry; enrollment in Pre-Calculus is recommended. Students take the Physical Setting: Physics Regents Exam at the end of the course in June.

Honors Physics

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grade 12
This is a course of advanced study for Regents credit that goes beyond Regents Physics in both the classroom and laboratory environments. Students must be proficient with trigonometry and be comfortable with mathematical problem-solving. The areas of study include mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism, wave phenomena, and modern physics. This is a mathematically intensive, fast-paced course designed for serious students. Prerequisites for this course include the successful completion of Chemistry or Honors Chemistry and Pre-Calculus, as well as a minimum score of 65% on the Chemistry Regents Exam. Students take the Physical Setting: Physics Regents Exam at the end of the course in June.

AP Environmental Science

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 10-12  |  AP Environmental Science Syllabus
The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography. The AP Environmental Science exam is offered in May.

Adirondack Sciences

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 10-12  |  Adirondack Sciences Syllabus
Adirondack Sciences is an elective course that focuses on the identification, research, and management of fish and wildlife species in New York state. The course emphasizes applied ecology and conservation techniques for bringing populations into balance and provides hands-on experiences in the lab and on field trips. Instructors use local resources and principles to drive the curriculum.

Anatomy & Physiology

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12
This is a rigorous college-preparatory science course that includes the study of many human body systems, the relationships between the structure and functions of each system, and how those systems aid in maintaining homeostasis. This course is designed to benefit students who are interested in pursuing a career in the health field, especially students who plan to study medicine, nursing, physical therapy, athletic training, physical education, or science education. Laboratory activities will include several microscopic analyses of tissue specimens and a variety of dissections. Prerequisites for this course include the successful completion of Living Environment, as well as a minimum score of 80% on the Living Environment Regents Exam. Students take a final exam at the completion of the course.

Environmental Science

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 10-12
This course invites students to study all aspects (habitats, soil, air, water) of the environment and the human activities that may influence the environment. The course focuses on local, state, national and global concerns regarding the environment. The course is intended to be participatory, engaging students in hands-on activities that emphasize critical thinking and problem solving.

Forensic Science

1 unit  |  full year  |  Grades 11-12
This course is designed to provide students with the proper techniques and information available in the world of forensic science to investigate crimes, describe and illustrate crimes, and to finally solve crimes. Topics of course discussion include, but are not limited to, crime scene analysis, significance and properties of physical evidence, toxicology, fraud investigation, blood analysis, DNA evidence, fingerprinting, firearms and ballistics investigations, and real life crime cases. Students will also use forensic science while doing internet investigations. Students will utilize each forensics topic to solve a year-long crime investigation.

Science Research

1 unit  |  full year
Science research is a full year course that is designed for the motivated, creative, and inquisitive science student. It is intended to teach students the numerous methodologies and protocols associated with research design, data analysis and report writing. Research will involve collaborative projects with various institutions and focus on local scientific issues.