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Science

Integrated Science (9th-10th grade two-year course)

This course is an integrated study of the sciences. It focuses on lab work and the lives of scientists. Lectures, seminars, group work, lab experiences, and fieldwork combine to create a cross-disciplinary grounding in the sciences. Communication, reading, writing, and current events in science are also an important aspect of this science class. Further, this course will cover planning scientific investigations, evaluating results, and making real world connections. In Year One, specific emphasis will be given to atomic structure and the periodic table and how these atoms and molecules combine to make up the world around us. In Year Two, specific emphasis will be given to the local ecology and the study of native flora and fauna to better orient students to their place in the world. In addition to this integrated approach, this course raises questions about the ethics of science, including environmental issues, research ethics, genetic engineering, and health care ethics.

IB Biology SL/HL

In line with the IB Diploma Program, this class is a two-year college-level survey course in Biological Sciences. The topics covered over the two years include: cell biology, molecular biology, cellular metabolism, nucleic acids, genetics and evolution, ecology, evolution and biodiversity, plant biology, human anatomy, and physiology. After learning how the basics of Biology work, students will then integrate this knowledge to observe how systems – cell-to-cell; tissue-to-tissue; organism-to-organism – cross and interact through continued learning, labs, activities, and primary paper work. Through both the Nature of Science and Theory of Knowledge, students will enhance and expand understandings, applications, and skills in all topics, as well as engage in the constraints, disciplines, methodologies, and controversies of modern science.

IB Chemistry SL/HL

Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is often called the central science, as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science, and environmental science. Beacon Academy students will examine how the nature of science plays a role in chemistry through studying the development of theories, performing laboratory investigations, and discovering the many interdisciplinary connections of chemistry.

IB Physics SL/HL

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies. Despite the exciting and extraordinary development of ideas throughout the history of physics, observations remain essential to the very core of the subject. Models are developed to try to understand observations, and these themselves can become theories that attempt to explain the observations. Besides helping us better understand the natural world, physics gives us the ability to alter our environments. This raises the issue of the impact of physics on society, the moral and ethical dilemmas, and the social, economic and environmental implications of the work of physicists.

By studying physics students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, it is the emphasis on a practical approach through experimental work that characterizes the subject. Students will have opportunities to develop

IB Environmental Systems and Societies SL (This course is also cross-listed as a humanities course.)

Through studying environmental systems and societies (ESS) students will be provided with a coherent perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies; one that enables them to adopt an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues that they will inevitably come to face.

Forensics

Forensic Science is the application of science to those criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system. Specifically, forensic science deals with the analysis of evidence. This course uses the areas of biology, chemistry, physics and geology to determine the evidential value of crime-scene and related evidence. Specific topics include fingerprints, toxins, hair and fibers, ballistics and DNA. Lab activities accompany each topic and noteworthy cases are discussed throughout the course.