Due to winter weather, Salem Academy will open at 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. See our Winter Storm Update page for details.

Salem Academy Science Curriculum

 

 

Conceptual Physics            Grade 9                Year-long course

This qualitative study of the fundamental mechanics concepts of physics puts special emphasis on phenomena and events that are familiar to students. The focus is primarily on comprehension of key principles, supplemented by computation at the Algebra I level of mathematics. Laboratory activities are the core of this guided inquiry-based learning process, wherein students analyze and interpret the meaning of data they collect in their observations of systems interacting with their surroundings.

 

 

Honors Biology            Grades 9, 10                Year-long course

In this introductory course, students will study the process of science and survey life through the study of major topics including ecology, cellular and molecular biology, genetics, reproduction and development, evolution, biodiversity and the homeostatic mechanisms that maintain organisms and the diversity of life on Earth. A one-period afternoon lab is held weekly in addition to the morning classes. Honors Biology is a required science credit for graduation. Certain qualified ninth grade students may be placed in Honors Biology based on SSAT scores.

 

Chemistry                Grades 10, 11, 12            Year-long course

Chemistry is a laboratory-based introductory course that emphasizes basic knowledge of rational thinking as it pertains to understanding and problem-solving in the areas of stoichiometry, atomic theory, periodicity, gas laws, phases and phase diagrams, equilibrium, acid/base theory, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and nuclear chemistry.  A one-period afternoon lab is held weekly in addition to the morning classes. The prerequisite is Algebra II; however, with teacher approval, Algebra II may be taken concurrently with Chemistry. This course is required for graduation and may be taken in the eleventh or twelfth grade. Students who complete Honors Biology in ninth grade may enroll in Chemistry in the tenth grade if they meet the Algebra II prerequisite.


 

AP Biology                Grades 11, 12                Year-long course

Advanced Placement Biology is the equivalent of a two-semester college-level introductory course for students with a strong interest in the sciences or a desire to pursue a career in the sciences. The course covers the material recommended by the College Board and is organized around four major concepts that provide a unified course structure: evolution, the use of energy and matter by organisms, response to stimuli, and interactions within biological systems. A two-period laboratory meets each week to allow for inquiry-based investigations that provide open-ended explorations and the development of critical thinking. Biology and Chemistry are prerequisites with at least a B+ average in each course. Students are prepared to take the AP exam and college credit may be awarded for scores of 3 or above. Students who complete Honors Biology in ninth grade may enroll in AP Biology in the 11th grade if they meet the prerequisites.

    

 

AP Chemistry            Grades 11, 12                Year-long course

AP Chemistry is the equivalent of a two-semester college-level introductory course for students with a strong interest in the sciences or a desire to pursue a career in the sciences. The course covers the material recommended by the College Board and is organized around six major concepts that provide a unified course structure: chemical elements, chemical and physical properties of matter, changes in matter, rates of chemical reactions, the laws of thermodynamics and intermolecular attraction. A two-period laboratory meets each week to allow for inquiry-based investigations that provide open-ended explorations and the development of critical thinking. Students who have completed introductory chemistry (with a B+ or higher average) and Algebra II (with a B+ or higher average) may take this course with the approval of the AP Chemistry instructor. Students are prepared to take the AP exam and college credit may be awarded for scores of 3 or higher.  Students who complete Honors Biology in ninth grade may enroll in AP Chemistry in the eleventh grade if they meet the prerequisites.

 

 

AP Physics I                Grades 11, 12                Year-long course

AP Physics is a college-level mechanics physics course offered when there is significant student interest. The course focuses on the “big ideas” typically included in the first semester of an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics sequence and it provides students with enduring understandings to support future advanced coursework in the sciences. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, as defined by the AP Science Practices. Preparation for the Advanced Placement Physics I examination is the primary goal of this course. Completion of Algebra II with at least a B+ average and, preferably, Conceptual Physics or its equivalent, are prerequisites. (Course information herein has been adapted from the course and exam description located at: https://secure-media.collegeboard.org)

 

 

Advanced Environmental Science and Sustainability    Grades 11, 12    Year-long course

Advanced Environmental Science and Sustainability requires the application of knowledge and methods from many other science disciplines to issues and questions relating to the rapidly increasing human population, the sustainability of resource use, problems caused by pollution, and the endangerment and extinction of species and natural systems. This course will provide students with in-depth understanding of the interrelationships of Earth’s ecological processes and will equip them to analyze and evaluate environmental issues and potential solutions. This is an upper-level course designed for eleventh- and twelfth-grade students requiring analysis of complex ecological problems using content learned from previous science classes.

 

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