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Why is the human body so complex? How do all the different structures of the body work together? In Anatomy and Physiology, students survey the different systems of the human body, with an emphasis on the relationship between structure and function. The course begins by teaching the language of anatomy and familiarizing students with the building blocks of the human body: cells and tissues that combine to create the complex organs and support structures of the body. Students get to know their bodies inside and out, from the skin that covers and protects the entire body to the skeleton and the attached muscles that provide support and create movement. Moving deeper inside, students explore the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, and digestive systems, which work together to supply the body with nutrients and rid it of wastes. Students also learn how the nervous and endocrine systems respond to the environment and maintain a state of balance. Students study the reproductive system as they follow the development of a human from a single-celled zygote to a mature adult. Interwoven throughout many lessons is information about genetic diseases, dysfunctions, and ailments such as diabetes, HIV, and arthritis. By the end of this course, students will feel as if they have read the owner’s manual for their bodies.
The science of Biology is large, complex, and constantly changing. This course provides students with a broad and interactive experience covering the main topics of biological science. Topics range from cell reproduction to the diversity of life. Students also learn about the chemical components of life, the process of energy conversion, and life’s functions. The course explores genetics and evolution, incorporating the latest scientific research. Finally, the course covers ecology to raise students’ awareness of the many challenges and opportunities in the modern biological world. Throughout the course, students complete lab activities that reinforce the material and provide an opportunity to apply their knowledge through interactive experiments and activities.
Chemistry is an important science that challenges students to apply their studies in previous sciences to new theories, models, and problems. The course begins with a discussion of the history and importance of chemical principles; moves through the various models of the atom and chemical reactions; explores relationships among liquids, gases, and solids; and investigates the role of energy in these relationships. The course ends with a unit on organic chemistry, a branch of the science that focuses on the molecules that are important to living things. Lab activities throughout the course reinforce the material and provide an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge through hands-on experiments and activities.
Earth Science is the combined study of how geology, physics, chemistry, and biology impact the universe; of the Earth’s internal processes; and of the structure and relationships of the natural world. In this interactive and engaging course, students study air, water, and the physical processes that shape the physical world, and how human civilization has impacted the balance of nature. Students learn about the modern science behind topics such as continental drift, fossil dating, the cause of the seasons, natural disasters, ocean ecosystems, and alternative energy sources. At the end of this course, students have an understanding of and appreciation for earth science, and a solid foundation for future science studies.
Environmental Science, sometimes referred to as Ecology, is the study of the relationships and interdependence of organisms and their connection to the nonliving, or abiotic, factors in the natural world. This course provides students with a profile of the living relationships, abiotic factors, human influences, and current state of Earth’s ecosystems. The course begins with a review of science as a process and the general components of Earth’s structure that impact life. It then progresses through a study of the living groups and their relationships to one another, focusing on the balance achieved by nature through these relationships. The course explores populations and provides examples of unchecked growth and rapid extinction in the context of their effect on ecosystems. The course dedicates a unit to aquatic ecosystems and organisms, and the results of human impact. After covering the influence of energy extraction, production, and use, the course ends by examining the positive influence humans can have on the environment through conservation and sound management practices.
Physical Science is an interactive and engaging course that covers the sciences of chemistry and physics. The course begins with a unit on the nature of science and a review of measurement and its importance. The course proceeds with the study of chemical principles, exposing students to topics such as the properties of matter, the structure of the atom, the formation of bonds, and the properties of solutions. The course then moves to the science of physics, describing the topics of motion, force, work, and energy. Students apply their knowledge of these topics through problems, explanations, graphs, and virtual lab activities.
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of traditional physics and the latest, most modern research in the field today. Beginning with Newtonian mechanics, students learn that every object is acted upon by multiple and predictable forces. The course moves on to investigate the laws of thermodynamics, covering fluid mechanics and the relationship between matter and energy. The course also explores the various models used to explain and apply the universal forces of electricity and magnetism. Students learn the characteristics of waves and the basics of optics before the final set of lessons on atomic physics. Here, students review the characteristics of the atom and its elemental particles, and apply their knowledge to modern physics.