The course will cover the main areas of biology and will be accompanied by laboratory investigations. The laboratory investigations and homework will reinforce the concepts learned in class, and will count toward the final grade. Homework will include written answers to textbook questions as well as supplementary handouts. The main topics will be covered during class lectures, laboratory investigations, discussions as well as the result of viewing videos, using computer software and preparing homework assignments. The units are Scientific Inquiry, Origin of Life, Ecology, Human Impact on the Environment, The Cell, Homeostasis and Immunity, Reproduction and Development and Genetics and Biotechnology.
The course will cover 10 topics under the umbrella of “Earth Science”: Astronomy, Meteorology, Earth’s processes, the dynamic Earth, rocks and minerals, geologic history, environmental pollution, maps and graphs. The course includes a weekly lab investigation. Identification of rocks and minerals, location of an epicenter, and construction of an ellipse are the major skills taught in the lab. There are 150 interactive assignments on the internet which are a critical component of the homework assigned during the year. 1200 minutes of supervised lab are required to complete the course and be eligible to take the Regents exam.
The basic concept of forensics is Locard’s principle: “every contact leaves a trace.” This is the principle behind the discovery and application of fingerprints. These were first discovered in Argentina in order to solve a murder. It has been thought that each person’s fingerprints are unique. This assumption was seriously challenged in 2004 when the Madrid bombing suspect showed two people with the same fingerprint. This course examines the history and use of different forensic techniques. DNA, Fire, Bombs, Fingerprints, Bones, Cyber crimes, etc. The course looks at historical cases as well as modern applications and potential developments in the future. With a basic understanding of these techniques the course also looks at the JFK assassination and 911 to evaluate the forensic investigation. This course requires an expository essay and an argumentative essay.
Chemistry is a course based on regular laboratory investigations of matter, chemical reactions, and the role of energy in those reactions. Students enrolled in Chemistry compare, contrast, and synthesize useful models of the structure and properties of matter and the mechanisms of its interactions. In addition, students enrolled in this course are expected to: (1) gain an understanding of the history of chemistry, (2) explore the uses of chemistry in various careers, (3) investigate chemical questions and problems related to personal needs and societal issues, and (4) learn and practice laboratory safety. Purchase of a calculator is required; if unable to obtain one independently, the school will provide one for class time.
The course content may include the study of atomic structure, chemical bonding, reactions, mass relationships in reaction, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, acids and bases. Kinetics and equilibrium, oxidation and reduction, organic and nuclear chemistry. Laboratory experiments will be used to reinforce topics studied from the text. The course is structured and designed for students to understand the connections between math and science.
The AP Biology course gives high school students the opportunity to receive college credit for work completed in high school. Students are expected to have proficient knowledge of Living Environment, Chemistry and Algebra. In order to ensure that the course’s curriculum content is equivalent to that of a two-semester, college introductory-level biology course, the College Board appoints a committee composed of college and university professors and high school teachers from around the country who represent a variety of academic institutions and demographics. The course itself includes topics regularly covered in a college biology course for majors. The textbooks used, and the labs done are equivalent of those done by college students. The course aims to provide students with conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills in a range of topics including Molecules and Cells, Heredity and Evolution, Organisms and Populations despite major changes to the structure and style of question for the Exam.