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SCIENCE

Santa Margarita Catholic High School’s science curriculum is designed to entertain the natural curiosity of students, giving them a working knowledge of the natural world while nurturing critical thinking and problem solving skills that go beyond the classroom.

A graduate of SMCHS will gain an understanding of the fundamental concepts in biological and physical sciences. These ideas are built on a foundation of technology, societal impacts, and methods of inquiry.

VIEW Sequence of Courses

COURSES

Academic

3103A CONCEPTS IN SCIENCE
In this course, students will learn the essential concepts of Life and Physical Science. The course is designed to present a balanced approach to science as it transitions between Middle School Science and High School Biology. The class will include topics in Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics, Human Biology and Ecology. The class will focus on mathematical applications and writing in the science classroom. Student will demonstrate their knowledge through laboratory work, discovery, interactive, computer simulations, multimedia and demonstrations. Students will participate in the collection of data, observation, graphing and interpretation of data.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 9
(g) UC Approved

Note: Concurrent enrollment in Algebra 1.

3200A9 BIOLOGY
This freshman course integrates the fundamental concepts of Biology with current, related topics and issues. Major areas of study include cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, evolution, phylogeny, virology, microbiology, animals, ecology and human systems. Laboratory work focuses on the use of proper laboratory techniques, the development of higher level thinking skills and personal responsibility.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 9
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisite: Concurrent placement in Algebra I Honors, Algebra 2 or Algebra 2 Honors.

3199A BIOLOGY
Biology covers the fundamental concepts of Biology. Major areas of study include cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, evolution, virology, microbiology, and phylogeny. Students will participate in laboratories to develop proper use of the microscope and collection of data. The course will incorporate current, related topics and issues.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 10
(d) UC Approved

Prerequisite: This class is available to students enrolled in the ASP Program.

3400A CHEMISTRY IN THE COMMUNITY
Chemistry in the Community (ChemCom) is an alternative to traditional academic Chemistry. Students investigate and analyze community problems that have a chemistry component and use their knowledge of chemistry to suggest ways in which the problems can be solved or abated. ChemCom uses student-centered activities, societal problems and decision-making exercises to successfully introduce chemistry. Major topics include hydro chemistry, biochemistry, polymer chemistry and nuclear chemistry. Development of laboratory skills complements course work.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 10, 11
(d) UC Approved

3410A CHEMISTRY
This course explores the basic concepts of Chemistry. The topics studied include: the activities of science, physical and chemical properties of matter, types of chemical reactions, molar relationships, stoichiometry, gas laws, atomic theory and structure, electron configuration, periodic trends, chemical bonding, geometry of molecules, types and properties of solutions, thermodynamics, reaction rates and acid-base reactions. Laboratory experiments, including simulated computer labs, reinforce or introduce main concepts.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 10,11
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Algebra 1 Honors with no grade lower than C
2. Completion of Algebra 2 with no semester grade lower than a C. Completion of Algebra 2 Honors with no grade lower than a C.
3. Concurrent enrollment in Geometry.
4. Completion of Geometry with no semester grade lower than a B.
5. Completion of Biology or Biology Honors with no semester grade lower than a C.

3600A ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
Anatomy and Physiology is a course designed for juniors and seniors who desire an introduction to human anatomy and physiology. Students will learn about the structure and function of the systems of the human body by exploring organs at a molecular level and as a whole. Dissections and laboratory experiments are performed so students can get a better understanding of how the human body systems work hand in hand to keep homeostasis.. Right of refusal to participate in dissections in not extended for this course.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved

Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Biology and Chemistry with no semester grade lower than B. Completion of Biology Honors or Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than a C.
2. Recommendation of current Science teacher.

3711A ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
This Life Science elective course is available to Junior and Senior students. The class explores the principles of ecology; population dynamics; natural resources and their management; major pollution problems; the role of governing bodies in the environmental management and basic conservation practices. The class will include laboratory activities and independent research. Students will experience environmental science through current topics and hands-on activities.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Biology with no semester lower than a “C”.
2. Completion of Chemistry with no semester lower than a “C” or completion of Chemistry in the Community with no semester grade lower than an “A”.

3520A ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGY
Robotics Technology will explore the relations between science and technology. The program is designed to introduce students to basic and advanced concepts in robotics. Course information will be tied to lab experiments where students will work in teams to build and test complex VEX-based mobile robots. Included in this instruction will be the historical development of robotics as a field, the importance of integrating sensors, effectors and control, basic control, the key approaches to mobile robot control (reactive, behavior-based, and hybrid), and discussion of robot learning and multirobot systems history.
Students will work in small teams to research, design, program, and construct robotic devices in competitions amongst each other and other schools in the area. Integrated throughout the course are career preparation standards which include basic academic skills, communicating individual and team ideas, interpersonal skills, problem solving abilities, safety, technology, and employment literacy.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11,12
(g) UC Approval Pending
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Chemistry with no semester grade lower than B or completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than C.
2. Completion of Algebra 2 or Algebra 2 H with no semester grade lower than a B+.
3. Completion of Geometry or Geometry H with no semester grade lower than a B+.
4. Approval of Robotics Teacher.

Note: There are possible additional fees for this class dependent upon competitions.

3500A PHYSICS
This course takes a conceptual and mathematical approach to understanding Physics. Major topics include motion, work, energy, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, atomic theory and their applications. Laboratory experiments emphasize problem solving/critical thinking skills are fundamental to the course.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11,12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Chemistry with no semester grade lower than B or completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than C.
2. Completion of Algebra 2 or Algebra 2 H with no semester grade lower than a B.
3. Completion of Geometry or Geometry H with no semester grade lower than a B.

3501A PHYSICS STEM
The course looks at physics from a STEM approach – using technology, math and engineering applications. Major topics include motion, work, energy, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, atomic theory and their applications. Laboratory experiments emphasize problem solving; critical thinking skills are fundamental to the course. This course works with Precalculus to emphasize the use of mathematics as it applies problem solving in a variety of areas including engineering concepts. TiNspire will be used to enhance problem solving through technology.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11,12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Chemistry with no semester grade lower than B or completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than C.
2. Completion of Algebra 2 or Algebra 2 H with no semester grade lower than a B.
3. Completion of Geometry or Geometry H with no semester grade lower than a B.
4. Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus STEM is required.

3720A OCEANOGRAPHY/MARINE BIOLOGY
The first semester of this course will introduce the world of the ocean covering such topics as the origin and history of the sea to Junior and Senior level students. It will also cover topography and the chemistry of the ocean as it relates to the structures of the ocean. Students will study the circulation patterns and how they relate to climatology. Marine provinces will be a topic of discussion, and field trips will be an integral part of the course.The second semester is a general introduction to the world of Marine Biology for Junior and Senior level students. It will cover the productivity of the ocean including such topics as energy flow and systems and classifications of organisms. There will be information on pollution and ocean environment in general. Integral parts of the course include a field trip and a related research project related to Oceanography/Marine Biology.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites: Completion of Biology and Chemistry with no semester grade lower than C or Biology (3199) and Chemistry in the Community with no semester grade lower than B

3521A ADVANCED ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGY
Advanced Robotics Technology will explore the relations between science and technology. The program is designed to introduce students to advanced concepts of programing and design in robotics. Course information will be tied to lab experiments where students will work in teams to build and test complex Vex-based mobile robots. Included in this instruction will be the autonomous programing of robotics, the importance of integrating sensors, effectors and control, basic control, the key approaches to mobile robot control (reactive, behavior-based, and hybrid) and discussion of robot learning and multi-robot systems history.
Students will work in small teams to research, design, program, and construct robotic devices in competitions amongst each other and other schools in the area. Integrated throughout the course are career preparation standards which include basic academic skills, communicating individual and team ideas, interpersonal skills, problem solving abilities, safety, technology, and employment literacy. Students in Advanced Robotics will be required to lead and mentor students in Robotics Technology.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(g) UC Approval Pending
Prerequisite: Completion of Robotics 1 with a C or better

3710A EARTH SCIENCE
Earth Science is an elective physical science course that examines topics in geology, oceanography, astronomy, atmospheric science and earth history. Students continue to develop math and science skills through laboratory experiences. This course is designed to bring about a greater understanding of how the earth and oceans are in a constant state of change, how we are able to predict these changes and what role humans have in the changing atmosphere. This course is not designed for those who have completed Chemistry.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 12
(g) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Must have completed Chemistry in the Community with no semester grade lower than C.
2. Teacher recommendation.

Auxiliary Studies

3102A CONCEPTS IN SCIENCE A
In this class, students will learn the essential concepts of Life and Physical Science. The course is designed with a focus on skills and is presented in a balanced approach to science to lay the foundation for future science classes. Students will participate in laboratory work, discovery and demonstrations. Students will review and practice mathematical concepts in science. Writing skills will be practiced on a regular basis with current events and laboratory write-ups.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 9
(g) UC Approved

Note: This class is available to students enrolled in the ASP Program. Concurrent enrollment in Algebra 1 (2109A).

3199A BIOLOGY
Biology covers the fundamental concepts of Biology. Major areas of study include cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, evolution, virology, microbiology, and phylogeny. Students will participate in laboratories to develop proper use of the microscope and collection of data. The course will incorporate current, related topics and issues.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 10
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisite: This class is available to students enrolled in the ASP Program.

3400A CHEMISTRY IN THE COMMUNITY
Chemistry in the Community (ChemCom) is an alternative to traditional academic Chemistry. Students investigate and analyze community problems that have a chemistry component and use their knowledge of chemistry to suggest ways in which the problems can be solved or abated. ChemCom uses student-centered activities, societal problems and decision-making exercises to successfully introduce chemistry. Major topics include hydro chemistry, biochemistry, polymer chemistry and nuclear chemistry. Development of laboratory skills complements course work.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 10, 11
(d) UC Approved

3710A EARTH SCIENCE
Earth Science is an elective physical science course that examines topics in geology, oceanography, astronomy, atmospheric science and earth history. Students continue to develop math and science skills through laboratory experiences. This course is designed to bring about a greater understanding of how the earth and oceans are in a constant state of change, how we are able to predict these changes and what role humans have in the changing atmosphere. This course is not designed for those who have completed Chemistry.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 12
(g) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Must have completed Chemistry in the Community with no semester grade lower than C.
2. Teacher recommendation.

Advanced Placement

3200E AP BIOLOGY
This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Biology exam. Students who pass their AP Biology exam may be granted college credit or advancement. Credit criteria are determined by individual colleges. Course content includes Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Evolution, Ecology and Physiology. This course integrates Science Practices and Laboratory Experiences which employ college-level techniques.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Biology Honors with no semester grade lower than B or Biology 3200A9 with no semester grade lower than an A.
2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no grade lower than a B or Chemistry with no grade lower than an A or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry Honors.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding AP Biology exam.
Note: A summer assignment is required.

3508E AP PHYSICS 1
AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course that explores topics of classical physics. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, Newton’s Laws, circular motion, Universal Law of Gravitation, simple harmonic motion, linear momentum, work energy, conservation of energy, rotational motion, electric charge, electric force, circuits and mechanical waves. Through science practices and inquiry based learning, students will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus Honors, Mathematics IB SL, AP Calculus AB or BC or Math Studies.
2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than B. Completion of Chemistry with no semester grade lower than an A.
3. Completion of Geometry Honors or Precalculus Honors with no semester grade lower than B.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding AP exam.

3509E AP PHYSICS 2
This course is designed to prepare students to pursue college-level studies and possibly earn college credit. This algebra-based course is equivalent to a second semester Introductory Physics class with an emphasis on deeper conceptual understanding through inquiry. Topics include topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits and capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics, and quantum, atomic and nuclear physics. An emphasis is placed on the six Big Ideas and encompasses core scientific principles. Science practices are emphasized and instructional time will focus on inquiry-based investigations.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Successful completion of AP Physics 1 with no semester grade lower than a B, or Physics Honors or Physics Academic with no semester grade lower than an A.
2. Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus Honors, Mathematics IB SL or AP Calculus AB or BC.
3. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than a B. Completion of Chemistry with no semester grade lower than an A.
4. Completion of Geometry Honors or Precalculus Honors with no semester grade lower than a B.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding AP exam.

3512E AP PHYSICS C: MECHANICS
This Calculus based physics course is designed for highly motivated students planning to specialize in physical science or engineering. Successfully passing the associated AP exam may lead to advanced placement in a calculus based college freshman physics sequence. AP Physics C: Mechanics should be taken concurrently with either AP Calculus AB or BC AP otherwise the student’s advanced placement in Physics may be delayed or denied due to insufficient mathematical background. AP Calculus BC is the preferred choice to help assure advance placement in college. AP Physics C: Mechanics provides in depth instruction in the following six content areas: kinematics; Newton’s Laws of Motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of this course.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11,12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus BC (preferred) or AP Calculus AB or completion of AP Calculus BC with no semester grade lower than B or completion of AP Calculus AB with no semester grade lower than A.
2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than B.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding AP exam.

Honors

3200C BIOLOGY HONORS
Students investigate the same concepts presented in Biology, however, the pace is accelerated and content is investigated in more depth. Emphasis is on the development of critical thinking/problem solving skill. Laboratory work focuses on the use of proper techniques, the development of higher level thinking skills and personal responsibility.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 9
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Algebra I Honors, Algebra 2 or Algebra 2 Honors AND a Basic Skills Reading score on the HSPT at or above 565.

3410C CHEMISTRY HONORS
This fast paced course deals with the same concepts covered in Chemistry, however, emphasis is on chemical calculations and deductive reasoning. Laboratory investigations and techniques are of a more sophisticated nature than in Chemistry. Laboratory reports are required.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 10, 11
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Algebra 1 Honors (A- both semesters), or Algebra 2 (A both semesters), or Algebra 2 Honors with a B or better, both semesters.
2. Completion of Biology Honors with a B or better each semester, or Biology with an A or better both semesters.

International Baccalaureate

3200F BIOLOGY IB SL
This one year course prepares students for the IB Exams (papers 1, 2 and 3). Students who pass their IB exams may be granted college credit or advancement. Credit criteria are determined by individual colleges. IB students are required to participate in the Group 4 Project and complete all Internal Assessment Assignments. Course content includes Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Evolution, Ecology and Physiology. This course integrates laboratory experiences which employ college level techniques.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11,12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Biology Honors with no semester grade lower than B or Biology 3200A9 with no semester grade lower than an A.
2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no grade lower than a B or Chemistry with no grade lower than an A or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry Honors.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding IB Biology exam.
Note: A summer assignment is required.

3201F BIOLOGY IB HL 1
This course (first of two years) prepares students for the IB Exams (papers 1, 2 and 3) in their senior year. This class is designed to be a pre-university course for highly motivated secondary students who plan to major in science as an undergraduate in college. Students who pass their IB exams may be granted college credit or advancement. Credit criteria are determined by individual colleges. Course content includes Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Evolution, Ecology and Physiology. This course integrates laboratory experiences which employ college-level techniques.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 11
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Biology Honors with no semester grade lower than B or Biology 3200A9 with no semester grade lower than an A.
2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no grade lower than a B or Chemistry with no grade lower than an A or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry Honors.

3411F CHEMISTRY IB SL
This accelerated Chemistry course is designed to prepare the students to pass the Chemistry SL IB exam. (Individual colleges determine college credit criteria.) The IB curriculum will include the study of Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. Laboratory work stresses the research techniques employed in college and industry. Participation in a G-4 Project is required of the Chemistry SL IB students.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than an A-
2. Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus, Precalculus Honors, or Math IB SL 3. Recommendation of Chemistry Honors teacher.

3513F PHYSICS IB SL
This accelerated Physics course is designed to prepare the students to pass the Physics SL IB exam. (Individual colleges determine college credit criteria.) The course places heavy emphasis on mathematical application and calculations. The main topics of study are Motion, Electricity, Work, Energy, Thermal Physics and Magnetism. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of this course. Participation in a Group 4 project is required.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus Honors, Mathematics IB SL, AP Calculus AB or BC or Math Studies. 2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than B. Completion of Chemistry with no semester grade lower than an A.
3. Completion of Geometry Honors or Precalculus Honors with no semester grade lower than B.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding IB exam.

3510F PHYSICS IB HL 1
Physics IB HL 1 is designed for the academically talented, highly motivated science student and will prepare them for further studies in IB Physics classes. The course places heavy emphasis on mathematical application and calculations. The main topics of study are Motion, Electricity, Work, Energy, Thermal Physics and Magnetism. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of this course.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 11
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Concurrent enrollment in Precalculus Honors, Mathematics IB SL, AP Calculus AB or BC or Math Studies.
2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no semester grade lower than B. Completion of Chemistry with no semester grade lower than an A.
3. Completion of Geometry Honors or Precalculus Honors with no semester grade lower than B.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding IB exam.

3712F ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS AND SOCIETIES SL
This one year course prepares students for the IB Exams. (Individual colleges determine college credit criteria.) This course explores the structure and function of environmental systems as well as the cultural, economic, ethical, political, and social interactions of societies with the environment. Core content includes ecosystems and ecology, biodiversity and conservation, water and food production systems and societies, soil and terrestrial food production systems and societies, atmospheric systems and societies, climate change, and human systems and resource use. This course integrates laboratory experiments and field work with philosophical discussion. IB students are required to participate in the Group 4 Project and complete all Internal Assessment Assignments.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 11, 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites:
1. Completion of Biology Honors with no semester grade lower than B or Biology 3200A9 with no semester grade lower than an A.
2. Completion of Chemistry Honors with no grade lower than a B or Chemistry with no grade lower than an A or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry Honors.

Note: This is a college level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the corresponding IB exams.
Note: A summer assignment is required.

3511F PHYSICS IB HL 2
This course fulfills the International Baccalaureate requirement for Physics, and prepares the student to pass the Physics HL IB exam. The core topics include Fluids, Modern Physics, Measurement, Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Energy, Power, Waves, Electricity and Magnetism, and Atomic Physics with added topics in Optics, Relativity, and Astrophysics. Participation in a group experimental research project is also required. One-fourth of class time is devoted to lab work.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grade: 12
(d) UC Approved
Prerequisites: Completion of Physics IB HL 1 with no semester grade lower than a B.

Faculty & Staff

Science Department

Brittany Adame

Science Teacher

Ifeoluwa (Ife) Adesina

Science Lab Technician

Shellsy Ashen

Science Teacher

Russell Carvalho

Science Teacher

Michael Cope

Science Teacher

Karen Crede

Science Department Chair and Teacher

Katy Daly

Head Girls Volleyball Coach, Health Teacher, Social Studies Teacher

Craig DeBusk

Head Girls Basketball Coach, Health Teacher

Carly Gordon

Science Teacher

Kristyne Hanberg

Science Teacher

Isaac Huerta

Science Teacher

Thomas Lau

Math Teacher

Jason Lawrence

Science Teacher, Robotics Director

Andrea Marcantonio

Science Teacher, Pep Squad Coordinator

Candice Tupajic

Science Teacher

Mark Van Ness

Science Teacher, National Honor Society (NHS) Advisor

Megan Vanni

Science Teacher

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