This is an introductory Biology course. We will cover a wide range of topics that all deal with the living organisms around us and hopefully discover a love of science.
-What is Life?
Since Biology is the study of life, it is important to know what qualifies
something as being alive and why these characteristics are important.
-Scientific Method & Metrics
As a lab based course, it is crucial to understand how to think and
measure like a scientist. These skills will be used throughout the
course of the year.
Before we can talk about large organisms, we are going to first learn
about the molecules that make them up. We will be looking at sugars,
proteins and fatty acids which are some of the most important
molecules to a living organism as well as the elements that make them
-Cells and Cell Processes
The smallest living organisms are only one cell big and the largest are
made out of millions of cells yet the cells have striking similarities. In
this unit, we will talk about the organelles, structures and functions of
the cell. This will include how particles enter and leave the cell,
photosynthesis, cellular respiration and mitosis.
-DNA & Protein Synthesis
DNA is this amazing genetic material that passes the code for life on
from one generation to the next. Essentially DNA has all of the
instructions to make all of the proteins in our body and proteins control
how the body works. To truly understand life we have to understand
how these proteins are made.
Scientists are constantly learning more about how DNA works and how
to manipulate it. During this unit we will talk about some cutting edge
technology and the potential of some of these technologies.
We often wonder why we have the same eye color as our mom but are
tall like our dad. In this unit we will discuss how different traits are
inherited and take a look at a few genetic disorders.
The scientific evidence for how organisms have changed over time is
outstanding. We will explore this evidence and discuss how Darwin
discovered these patterns.
Living organisms interact constantly with each other and the world
around them. To fully appreciate living organisms we have to take a
look at these interactions.
In this unit we will look internally...literally! We will focus on how our
body works and take an in depth look at the circulatory system,
respiratory system and the digestive system.
They are green and completely necessary for our survival so we will
discover the wonderful world of plants.
This is an introductory Physics course so we will cover MANY topics. Physics explains to us how our world works so it ends up being a pretty interesting year. The best is when you start seeing physics outside of our classroom and in the world around us.
Physics is all about how objects move so we start the year by looking at
how objects move in one direction.
-Vectors & 2-D Motion
In this unit we will discuss vectors and start working on objects that
move in two directions, like when you hit a baseball - the ball moves
vertically and horizontally!
This unit talks about Newton's first two laws - inertia (an object's
resistance to change of movement) & forces (the things that cause the
object's movement to change). We will discuss everything from the
importance of a seat belt physics speaking to the buoyant force!
-Momentum & Impulse
We talk about the momentum that a sports team has if it is on a major
winning streak, but what is momentum? In this unit we will discover
the physics definition of the word, how to change momentum and when
momentum is conserved.
-Work, Energy & Power
Energy cannot be created or destroyed - just transferred! In this unit
we explore some of the same types of problems from earlier in the year
but from a different perspective. We also put our own power into
perspective with horsepower!
We have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to objects moving in a
circular pattern but we dispel all of those and get dizzy thinking about
how and why objects continue in that circular pattern. We will also
relate this to why planetary objects orbit each other - they are after
all moving in a circle.
This unit is shocking as we talk about what happens when objects have
a charge and how they interact with the environment around them.
This unit has some awesome demos like the hair raising van der graaf.
This unit focuses on how circuits works and electrons move. This is
one of my favorite units because we will have a hands on experience
with how your home is wire and why electricians use certain
We will start the unit by playing with magnetic and discuss how
magnets are present in our life from the Earth's magnetic field to our
daily use of transformers (more than meets the eye!). We will also
look closely at how magnetism and electricity are related.
-Waves & Sound
We will start this unit by talking about all types of waves and then
specifically focus on sound waves. We will figure out how they are
formed and practical applications like how speakers work.
Light waves are all around us. We will discuss all types of light and
some special properties involved with them.
There are many exciting applications of physics currently being
discovered. We will discuss everything from the atomic bomb and
Einstein to the use of nuclear power, the tsunami in Japan and the
standard model of atoms. In exciting news, scientists believe that
they recently found the Higgs Boson!
This is our final unit and focuses on how light waves bend when
travelling through different materials. We will spend time with all
types of mirrors and lenses and even focus on how glasses and
contacts correct vision problems.