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Department Chair

Independent Study: STEM Research

This is an elective course for students entering 9th and 10th grades who have demonstrated a strong interest in STEM research. This independent study class doesn’t necessarily meet every day, but will require students to spend on average 6-8 hours of work a week. The year long course is a 10 unit, non-UC elective course that will be graded pass/fail. It will not replace a current science course.

There is limited space available in this Independent Study course, but students not in this course will still be able to participate in the LHS STEM Research Program, as in the past.

IS_STEM_application_flyer_2015.pdf

Science

Biology

Biology (10 credits)

Grade level: Mandatory 9th grade science course; open to 10-12 upon approval
Recommended background: none
College eligibility: UC and CSU approved as a biological lab science, subject D

Biology is a recommended Prerequisite course for all other science courses.  It is a standards-based laboratory course that develops an understanding and appreciation of the nature of scientific inquiry applied to the study of living things.  This course is based on California State Content Standards that include Cell Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, Physiology, and Investigation and Experimentation. These standards are interrelated to develop a comprehensive understanding of the living world.

Chemistry/Chemistry Honors

Chemistry (10 credits)

Grade level: 10-12
Recommended: Biology and Algebra 1
College Eligibility: UC and CSU approved Physical Science; Subject area D

Chemistry is a standards-based laboratory course that offers a solid foundation in chemistry. The course guides students through the structures and properties of atoms and compounds, the periodic table, chemical equations, properties of solutions, gases, and acids and bases, principles of equilibrium, and select topics such as nuclear chemistry and biochemistry. Emphasis is placed on the use of algebra to perform quantitative calculations. This laboratory-oriented course is also designed to help students use their knowledge to make informed decisions about chemical issues in their society and the world.

 

Chemistry Honors (10 credits)

Grade level: 10-12
Recommended: Biology and Geometry
College eligibility: UC and CSU approved Physical Science; Subject area D

This course offers a solid foundation in chemistry covering all of the required California State Standards for chemistry as well as most of the optional standards. Emphasis is placed on the experimental nature of chemistry. Students are expected to have a solid background in mathematics. The course deals with scientific measurement, chemical equations and quantitative calculations, the atomic theory, the periodic table, gases, solutions, solubility, ions, reaction rates, equilibrium, acids and bases, energy effects in chemical reactions, organic and nuclear chemistry.

Physics/Physics Honors

Physics (10 credits)

Grade level: 10-12
Recommended: Biology and Algebra 1
College Eligibility: UC and CSU approved physical science; subject area D

Physics is a qualitative study of the central concepts of physics (time, space, energy and matter) with emphasis on the mental imagery, rather than the mathematics, involved in describing events. The purpose is to provide a college preparatory course that meets the standards for those who are interested in discovering the strategies of science through laboratory experiences. Physics explores the concepts of mechanics and the properties of matter, heat, sound, light, electricity and magnetism.

NOTE: It is advised that students complete Geometry, in addition to Biology and Algebra 1, and complete all courses with a C grade or higher.

Physics Honors (10 credits)

Grade level: 10-12
Recommended: Biology and Algebra 2
College Eligibility: UC and CSU approved physical science; subject area D

Much of the time in this course is spent doing physics experiments and in solving physics story problems. The principle content is basic mechanics that includes the properties of matter, motion, forces, and energy. Other topics studied are geometric optics, light and other wave phenomena, properties of waves, electricity and magnetism, force field, quantum mechanics and the physics of atomic structure. With its emphasis on mathematical models, this course is recommended for the student who is planning a career in architecture, engineering, physical sciences, or mathematics.

Physiology

Physiology (10 credits)

Grade level: 11-12
Recommended background: Biology and Chemistry
College eligibility: UC and CSU approved as a biological science, subject D

This is a laboratory course investigating the functional phenomena of human life and the principal conclusions that have been reached about the causes and interdependence of these phenomena. Studies also include structure and functional mechanisms for the performance and coordination of external and internal activities of the human body.

AP Biology, Chemistry, Physics C: Mechanics

AP Biology (10 credits)

Grade level: 11-12
Recommended background: AP Biology students must have an understanding of the basics of both Biology and Chemistry to be successful.
College eligibility: UC and CSU approved as a physical science, subject D

Students enrolling in this course should have a strong knowledge of both biology and chemistry. The course stresses the biochemistry of the processes of living organisms and the unity underlying these processes. The relationship of organisms with their environment, the evolution of structures and functions, ecological succession and the patterns of growth are all covered in depth.


AP Chemistry (10 credits)

Grade level: 11-12
Recommended background: Algebra and Chemistry
College eligibility: UC and CSU approved as a physical science, subject D

The course is strongly aligned with the typical freshman college chemistry course for science majors. It places particular emphasis on atomic structure and periodicity, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, reaction kinetics, acid/base and solubility equilibrium, states of matter, gas laws relating to both ideal and real gasses, nuclear chemistry, thermodynamics, introductory organic chemistry and electrochemistry. Students taking this course should have a strong interest in the subject and a solid background in mathematics and basic chemistry.


AP Physics C: Mechanics (10 credits)

Grade level: 11-12
Recommended background: Pre-Calculus Honors and Physics Honors
College eligibility: UC and CSU approved as a physical science, subject D

This course is strongly aligned with the typical freshman college physics Mechanics course for science majors. Much of the time is spent solving problems and doing experiments involving motion, forces and energy.

Science Course Sequence

LHS Graduation Requirement: 20 credits; 1 biological and 1 phsyical
College Eligibility Requirement: 20 credits; 30 recommended

Grade 9
Biology

Grade 10
Chemistry
Chemistry Honors
Physics
Physics Honors

Grades 11 and 12
All science courses open to junior and senior students

Additional Resources