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    SCIENCE 
     
     

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

     

    LIFE SCIENCE

    10 Credits / Grades 9-12

    Prerequisite:  None

    HS (e)

     

    Life Science is a one-year program designed to meet the biological science part of the high school science graduation requirement.  This survey course will include units in the following topics: characteristics of living organisms, life processes of plants and animals, ecology, genetics, and human biology.

     

    SDAIE LIFE SCIENCE

    10 Credits / Grades 9-12

    Prerequisite:  CELDT Proficiency Level

    HS (e)

     

    Life Science is a one-year program designed to meet the biological science part of the high school science graduation requirement.  This survey course will include units in the following topics: characteristics of living organisms, life processes of plants and animals, ecology, genetics, and human biology.  Sheltered instructional strategies are utilized.

     

    PHYSICAL SCIENCE OF THE EARTH

    10 Credits / Grades 9-12

    Prerequisite:  None

    HS (e)

     

    This is a one-year course designed to meet the physical science requirement to earn a high school diploma.  This survey course will focus on the CST Earth Science content standards.  Topics of study include measurement, earth’s chemistry, California Geology, earth’s resources, earth’s surface, earth’s water, mapping, earth’s forces, earth’s history, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, and physics.

     

    SDAIE PHYSICAL SCIENCE OF THE EARTH

    10 Credits / Grades 9-12

    Prerequisite:  CELDT Proficiency Level

    HS (e)

     

    This is a one-year course designed to meet the physical science requirement to earn a high school diploma.  This survey course will focus on the CST Earth Science content standards.  Topics of study include measurement, earth’s chemistry, California Geology, earth’s resources, earth’s surface, earth’s water, mapping, earth’s forces, earth’s history, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, and physics.  Sheltered instructional strategies are utilized.

     

     

     

     

     

     


    COLLEGE PREP COURSES

     

    BIOLOGY

    10 Credits / Grades 9-12

    Prerequisite:  Grade of B- or higher in 8th Grade Math for incoming freshmen

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    Biology is a college preparatory course designed to familiarize the student with the diversity and processes of life.  This course emphasizes the classification and ecology of organisms, the role that evolution has played in life on earth, ecological change and stability, the molecular, cellular and organism levels of life, and energy production and flow within living systems.  General topics in Biology include units such as Introduction to Biology, Cell Structure, Cell Function, Taxonomy and Evolution, Viruses, Diversity of Life, Ecology, Genetics, and Animal Physiology.  Students develop the ability to think and express themselves in a scientific manner by focusing on the importance of laboratory skills, experimentation, and analysis.  The biology curriculum meets or exceeds

    state-mandated standards.

     

    SDAIE BIOLOGY

    10 Credits / Grades 9-12

    Prerequisite:  Grade of B- or higher in 8th Grade Math for incoming freshmen

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    SDAIE Biology is a college preparatory course designed to familiarize the student with the diversity and processes of life.  This course emphasizes the classification and ecology of organisms, the role that evolution has played in life on earth, ecological change and stability, the molecular, cellular and organism levels of life, and energy production and flow within living systems.  General topics in Biology include units such as Introduction to Biology, Cell Structure, Cell Function, Taxonomy and Evolution, Viruses, Diversity of Life, Ecology, Genetics, and Animal Physiology.  Students develop the ability to think and express themselves in a scientific manner by focusing on the importance of laboratory skills, experimentation, and analysis.  The biology curriculum meets or exceeds

    s/tate-mandated standards.  Sheltered instructional strategies are utilized.

     

    CHEMISTRY

    10 Credits / Grades 9-12

    Prerequisite:  For Grades 10-12, completion of year-long Algebra I with a grade of B or better or concurrent enrollment in Algebra II; for Grade 9, concurrent enrollment in Geometry Honors or higher level math.  Recommended in Grade 9 only for students planning to take AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and AP Biology.

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    Chemistry covers the California Content Standards in Chemistry.  Principles of chemistry are developed from laboratory observations of physical properties and chemical reactions.  The language, formulas, and equations of chemistry are used in interpreting atomic structure and chemical bonding; periodic behavior of elements; rates and energies of chemical and nuclear change; equilibrium of gaseous systems, acids and bases, and organic functional groups.

     

    CONCEPTUAL CHEMISTRY IN THE LABORATORY

    10 Credits / Grades 10-12

    Prerequisite:  Algebra I, grade of C or better, or Algebra C and D, grade of C or better, and Biology, grade of C or better

    HS (e); CSU / UC (g) – This course does NOT meet the science requirement for the UC (d).  This course does meet the physical science requirement for the CSU.

     

    Conceptual Chemistry is a two-semester course aligned with the California Content Standards in Chemistry.  The emphasis will be on a conceptual understanding (less rigor and less emphasis on mathematical applications); however, basic algebraic and graphing skills will be used to analyze data and reinforce concepts.  Conceptual Chemistry builds a foundation of vocabulary and conceptual

    knowledge in the basic areas of chemistry:  atomic structure, chemical bonding, periodic behavior of elements, chemical and nuclear change, equilibrium, gaseous systems, and acids and bases.  Principles of chemistry are developed from laboratory observations and teacher-led demonstrations.

     

    PHYSICS

    10 Credits / Grades 10-12

    Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or higher level math

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    Physics covers the California Content Standards in Physics.  This is an introductory one-year college preparatory course based on lecture, demonstrations, and laboratory experiments.  Topics studied include: mechanics, heat, waves, energy, and electro-magnetism.  Emphasis is on building a strong foundation in principles of physics and how they apply to daily life.

     

    HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

    10 Credits / Grades 10-12

    Prerequisite:  Biology, grade of C or better, or completion of science graduation requirements with grades of C or better

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    This course is designed as a science enhancement class for students interested in the human body.  The course will address each body system including an emphasis on care and wellness.  Common abnormalities or pathologies will also be discussed with coverage of disease prevention and medical treatments.  Numerous laboratory exercises will support the lecture presentations and facilitate practical physiological analysis.

     

    MARINE BIOLOGY/OCEANOGRAPHY

    10 Credits / Grades 11-12

    Prerequisite:  Biology, grade of C or better, and completion of the physical science graduation requirement

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    This course is designed as a science enrichment course for students interested in pursuing additional knowledge in the science area.  To familiarize students with the marine environment (an integral part of Southern California), topics such as physical oceanography, marine organismic biology, and marine ecology will be presented.  Numerous laboratory exercises will be incorporated throughout the curriculum.

     

     

     

    HONORS COURSES

     

    BIOLOGY ADVANCED PLACEMENT

    10 Credits / Grades 11-12

    Prerequisite:  Biology or AP Chemistry, grade of A, and Chemistry, grade of A, and teacher approval

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    This is a demanding course presented at the college level and is designed to meet the needs of students who want a thorough training in biology.  This course will emphasize biochemistry, genetics, evolution, physiology, ecology, and behavior.  This is a study of biology on a molecular level.  This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement test in Biology, and students enrolling in the course are expected to sit for the exam in May.

     

    CHEMISTRY ADVANCED PLACEMENT

    10 Credits / Grades 10-12

    Prerequisite:  Chemistry, grade of A both semesters, teacher approval

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    Advanced Placement Chemistry is a rigorous one-year course provided for students who desire further study in chemistry during high school.  The course is designed to examine the principles and properties of matter and to investigate the changes in energy accompanying chemical change.  The course is presented at college level.  If the student is planning to take both AP Chemistry and AP

    Biology, enrollment in AP Chemistry is recommended first.  This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement test in Chemistry, and students enrolling in the course are expected to sit for the exam in May.

     

    ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE ADVANCED PLACEMENT

    10 Credits / Grades 11-12

    Prerequisite:  Biology, grade of B or better both semesters, and Chemistry, grade of B or better both semesters; teacher approval

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     

    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 and/or preventing them.  Students will enter the debate about man’s effect on the environment, the current scientific theories about man’s effect on the environment, and the diverse political positions associated with these theories.  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.  This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement test in Environmental Science, and students enrolling in the course are expected to sit for the exam in May.

     
    PHYSICS 1 ADVANCE PLACEMENT (AP) 
    10 Credits / Grades 10-12

    Prerequisite:  Algebra II/Trigonometry, grade of B or better, or concurrent enrollment Pre-Calculus

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d)

     
    Students explore principles of Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits. The course is based on six 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.  
    Students enrolling in the course are expected to sit for the exam in May.

     

    PHYSICS C (MECHANICS) ADVANCED PLACEMENT

    10 Credits / Grades 11-12

    Prerequisite:  Physics or AP Physics B preferred and concurrent enrollment or successful completion of AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC

    HS (e); CSU / UC (d) pending

     

    This is the first semester of a one-year college-level, calculus-based physics class spread out over one year at Los Alamitos High School.  This would be the college course taken by students majoring in science or engineering and requires concurrent enrollment in calculus.  The sequence is more intensive and analytical than that in the B course.  Strong emphasis is placed on solving a variety of challenging problems, some requiring calculus.  This course requires previous exposure to physics.

    Students enrolling in the course are expected to sit for the exam in May.

     
    Revised 3/14/13