Science Department

The BASD science departments’ courses are designed to develop conceptual understandings of scientific laws, theories, and principles in order for students to be knowledgeable about the natural world. Through diverse course offerings, the science departments provide students with the knowledge and skills base needed to meet the PA Academic Standards in the following areas:

  • Unifying Themes of Science
  • Inquiry and Design
  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics
  • Science, Technology and Human Endeavors
  • Earth Sciences
  • Environment and Ecology

Students are required to take a total of 7.0 Math and Science credit, a minimum of 3.0 credits in Science. Please review the recommended course sequence below. To meet the PA Academic Standards, each student should successfully complete a minimum of one credit of Biology, one credit of Chemistry or one credit of Physics, and one science elective credit. Upon completion of the required courses, students will find a multitude of diverse and challenging courses to prepare them for further education beyond high school. Please note that many of the upper level courses have course prerequisites.

Science Recommended Course Sequence

*Indicates Liberty course only
Grade 9
Required
Grade 10
Required with choice of
Grade 11
Required with choice of
Grade 12
Choice of
Honors Biology
Adv Acad Biology*
Biology
Honors Chemistry
Adv Acad Chemistry*
Chemistry
Conceptual Chemistry

OR

AP Physics 1
Physics
Conceptual Physics
Other Science Electives

Honors Human Anatomy
Homan Anatomy
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 2
AP Physics C
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Environmental Science
Other Science Electives

Project Lead the Way

Honors Human Anatomy
Homan Anatomy
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 2
AP Physics C
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP Environmental Science

 

HONORS BIOLOGY (SC1000) 1.0 credit

Prerequisite: See Honors Program Requirements

Honors Biology is a course designed for the college preparatory student who is exceptional, highly motivated, and capable of independent study.  Laboratory experiences and techniques are emphasized to enhance learning and to improve skills. Some topics in the laboratory-oriented program are cytology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, botany, zoology, evolution, and ecology. Notes: A required fetal pig dissection will take place.  The grade for this course is weighted.  This course is strongly recommended for those students who may consider Advanced Placement courses. 

ADVANCED BIOLOGY (SC1001) Liberty only 1.0 credit

Advanced Academic Biology is a course designed for the college preparatory student who is highly motivated and eager to be challenged.  Laboratory experiences and techniques are emphasized to enhance learning and to improve skills. Some topics in the laboratory-oriented program are cytology, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, botany, zoology, evolution, and ecology.  Students will analyze concepts through both student-directed and teacher directed lessons.  Teachers will have high expectations for students; however, also provide high supports to scaffold their learning.

BIOLOGY (SC1002) 1.0 credit

Biology is a course designed for the college preparatory student.  The topics in the course, cytology, microbiology, evolution, genetics, DNA, botany, zoology, and ecology, are designed to expose students to the biological principles that bind all life on earth together and to acquaint them with laboratory techniques and tools.

HONORS CHEMISTRY (SC2000) 1.0 credit

Prerequisites: See Honors Program Requirements and Successful completion of Algebra 1

Honors Chemistry is a rigorous and challenging course designed to give students knowledge of the broad concepts and models upon which chemistry operates.  There is a heavy emphasis on the integration of algebra and geometry with the abstract concepts of chemistry.  Among the concepts to be stressed are: chemical formulas, stoichiometry, atomic structure, chemical bonds and molecular geometry, periodicity, quantum mechanics, solutions and thermochemistry.  Extensive qualitative and quantitative laboratory work is required. Notes: The grade for this course is weighted. This course is strongly recommended for those students who may consider Advanced Placement courses or plan on taking the SAT II in Chemistry.

ADVANCED CHEMISTRY (SC2001) Liberty only 1.0 credit

Advanced Academic Chemistry is a challenging course designed to give students knowledge of the broad concepts and models upon which chemistry operates. There will be an algebra emphasis in this course. Among the concepts to be stressed are: chemical formulas, stoichiometry, atomic structure, chemical bonds and molecular geometry, periodicity, quantum mechanics, solutions and/or thermochemistry. Some qualitative and quantitative laboratory work is required.  Students will analyze and begin to synthesize concepts through both teacher-facilitated and student-directed activities.

CHEMISTRY (SC2002) 1.0 credit

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra 1

Chemistry is a course designed to give the college-bound student knowledge of the broad concepts and models upon which chemistry operates.  After successful completion of Biology and Algebra 1, chemistry students will study topics including chemical formulas, reactions, basic atomic structure, properties of matter, and the mathematics of chemistry.  Qualitative and quantitative laboratory work is included.

CONCEPTUAL CHEMISTRY (SC2003) 1.0 credit

This course introduces the basic concepts of chemistry and their application in the everyday world.  There is a reduced emphasis on the quantitative aspect of science but focuses on qualitative and descriptive chemistry as well as the practical use of chemistry in our daily lives.  Students will be expected to relate and use learned concepts in class through lab experiences, projects, tests and common applications.

AP PHYSICS 2 (SC5010) 1.0 credit

Prerequisites: Successful Completion of Algebra 2

AP Physics 2 is an Algebra 2-based (as opposed to calculus based) course, which is equivalent to a second semester college course in physics. This course covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; atomic and nuclear physics. Students are required to apply these principles in problem solving techniques. Note: The grade for this course is weighted. Students are encouraged to take the advanced placement examination for AP Physics 2.

AP PHYSICS 1 (SC5000) 1.0 credit

Prerequisites: Successful Completion of Algebra 2

AP Physics 1 is an Algebra 2-based (as opposed to calculus based) course, which is equivalent to a first semester college course in physics. This course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound. It also introduces electric circuits. Students are required to apply these principles in problem solving techniques. Note: The grade for this course is weighted. Students are encouraged to take the advanced placement examination for AP Physics 1.

PHYSICS (SC3002) 1.0 credit

Prerequisite: Successful Completion of Algebra 2

Physics is a study of mechanics, forces, heat, electricity, sound and/or light / optics. After successful completion of Chemistry and Algebra 2 the students will be prepared for this rigorous college preparatory course. This is a course providing an excellent background for a college-bound student aiming at a non-technical major. Sufficient mathematical applications are provided so that students will be prepared for college physics and physical science courses.

CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS (SC3003) 1.0 credit

Physics will be presented at a hands-on concrete level emphasizing the physical laws without the mathematical rigor but challenging reasoning and critical thinking skills. This physics course covers mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound, and light.

SCIENCE ELECTIVES

AP BIOLOGY (SC5050) 1.5 credits (27 weeks)                   

Prerequisites:  See Honors Program Requirements; successful completion of Honors Biology is highly recommended; Successful completion of Honors Chemistry is highly recommended

The Advanced Placement Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course. It aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Students are challenged with new ideas and greater detail in the eight major themes of biology: evolution, energy transfer, continuity and change, relationship of structure and function, regulation, interdependence in nature, science as process, and science, technology, and society. Major units include biochemistry, cellular biology, energy, genetics, molecular genetics, evolution, anatomy and physiology, plant and animal diversity, and ecology. Laboratory skills, including dissection, are developed and reinforced through the AP labs. Notes: The grade for this course is weighted. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP College Board exam in May.

AP CHEMISTRY (SC5040) 1.5 credits (27 weeks)

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Honors Chemistry is highly recommended

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory chemistry course. Students will complete experiments and problems designed to prepare them for taking standardized chemistry tests such as the Advanced Placement Chemistry Exam and SAT II Chemistry exam. Basic concepts of nomenclature, mole relationships and stoichiometry are reviewed to help provide background for lab experiments performed. In depth studies include: analytical chemistry techniques, solutions, equilibria, thermochemistry, kinetics, electrochemistry, materials science, organic chemistry and biochemistry. Notes: The grade for this course is weighted. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP College Board exam in May.

AP PHYSICS C: ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (SC5030) 1.0 credit

Prerequisites: See Honors Program Requirements; Successful completion of AP Physics 1; Successful completion or concurrent enrollment in Precalculus; Offered at Liberty High School

AP Physics C- Electricity & Magnetism is a calculus-based course equivalent to the pre-engineering introductory Physics course for university students.  This course is designed in accordance with the College Board guidelines.  The emphasis of this course is on the understanding of the fundamental principles of electricity and magnetism using analytical problem solving skills and engaging students in laboratory work.  Differential and Integral Calculus is used throughout the course.  Each student will keep a laboratory notebook or save all lab reports in a portfolio. Note: The grade for this course is weighted. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP College Board exam in May.

AP PHYSICS C: MECHANICS (SC5020) 1.5 credits (27 weeks)

Prerequisites: See Honors Program Requirements; Successful completion of AP Physics 1; Successful completion or concurrent enrollment in Precalculus; Offered at Freedom High School

AP Physics C – Mechanics will improve student’s skills by stressing the use of fundamental modeling in classical mechanics, increasing their analytical skills, and using hands-on laboratory investigations.  Differential and Integral calculus is used throughout the course.  Students will be required to keep a detailed lab book. Each student will be required to keep a detailed notebook. Note: The grade for this course is weighted. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP College Board exam in May.

AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (SC5060) 1.5 credits (27 weeks)

Prerequisites:  Successful completion of Honors Biology and Honors Chemistry is highly recommended

The goal of the AP Environmental Science Course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.  This course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in Environmental Science.  Students are encouraged to take the AP Environmental Science test offered by College Board in the spring. Note: The grade for this course is weighted. Students are strongly encouraged to take the AP College Board exam in May.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (SC9009) 1.0 credit

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Biology

The goal of the Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. Students will also identify and analyze environmental issues both natural and human-made. The students will be exposed to a variety of environmental testing techniques to help understand the strategies involved in solving environmental problems. Topics may include: ecology, water, soils, pollution, and populations.

PENNSYLVANIA WILDLIFE CSI (SC9039) Offered at Liberty High School 1.0 credit

Pennsylvania Wildlife CSI is a course for third year science students and will provide a detailed study of the ecology of Pennsylvania including wildlife, aquatics, and forestry.  The emphasis will then be on using this information to solve a variety of crimes based on biological clues taken from the scene. Forensic skills utilized will be microscopy fiber analysis, trace evidence study, forensic entomology, forensic botany, fingerprint identification, and other evidence. Most of the work will be done on simulated crime scenes based on real life cases.

HONORS HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY (SC9000) 1.0 credit

Prerequisites: See Honors Program Requirements and successful completion of biology and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry

Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology is designed for the highly motivated college preparatory student who may be planning further study in the natural sciences or in the allied health fields or simply would like to understand their own bodies better.  This course will emphasize, in detail, metabolism, histology, support, movement, communication, control, and integration.  Instructional methods include but are not limited to: lecture and discussion, report writing, computer-aided instruction, handling human skeletons, and multiple in depth dissections. Notes: The grade for this course is weighted. This course is strongly recommended for those students who may consider Advanced Placement courses.

HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY (SC9002) 1.0 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry

Human Anatomy and Physiology is a course designed for the college preparatory student who has successfully completed Biology and Chemistry and who is interested in careers in the allied health fields, or any student that has a strong interest in the structure and function of the human body.  This course will cover: anatomical and physiological terminology, basic biochemistry, cytology, histology, the skeletal system, the muscular system, and the nervous system.  Instructional methods include but are not limited to: lecture and discussion, computer-aided instruction, handling human skeletons, and multiple in depth dissections.

EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE (SC9119) 1.0 credit

Earth and Space Science will provide a student with a brief overview of the primary disciplines comprising Earth and Space Science. Approximately six weeks will be spent on each of the following areas: oceanography, geology, cartography and meteorology. It will also emphasize student awareness of the relationships between the various disciplines of Earth and Space Science.

 ASTRONOMY 1 (SC9129) 0.5 credit

Astronomy 1 is a non-mathematical course in which the student will study the solar system, the earth, and the earth’s immediate space environment.  The history of astronomy, the space race, eclipses, the planets, physical laws governing the universe, the measurement of time, and theories regarding the origin of the solar system and universe will be considered.

ASTRONOMY 2 (SC9139) Offered at Freedom High School 0.5 credit

Astronomy 2 is a course intended to continue the study of Astronomy using Starry Night Software and the Planetarium. This course is intended to introduce the student to other topics in astronomy that include the solar system and moons and planets, asteroids, Comets and meteors, near earth objects, galaxies and our milky way galaxy, black holes, Creation of the universe, and other advanced topics in astronomy.

METEOROLOGY (SC9149)Offered at Freedom High School 0.5 credit

This course will provide students with an overview of meteorology. The students will investigate the forces that determine weather patterns both locally and globally. Topics will include the formation, movement, and interactions of air masses. Severe weather disturbances such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes will also be discussed. The class will wrap up with a cumulative weather map forecasting project designed to incorporate much of the course content.

GEOLOGY (SC9159) 0.5 credit

Geology is the study of the materials of which the earth is composed and the geologic processes taking place within the earth and on its surface. The third year student will study topics including minerals, weathering, erosion, and plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and mass wasting.

ZOOLOGY (SC9059) 0.5 credit

This course explores zoology and issues dealing with ecology, evolution, comparative anatomy and biotechnology. This course is designed for college prep students who have completed Biology and are self-motivated and interested in broadening their knowledge of the biological sciences. Students will have the opportunity to enhance laboratory and research skills in groups and independent explorations.

HUMAN FORENSICS (SC9079) 0.5 credit

As a 9 week course, Human Forensics will provide an introduction to criminalistics and forensics, including such topics as: fingerprints; impressions (footprints, bite marks, tool marks, tire marks, and firearms), document analysis, analysis of human (including skeletal) remains, and evidence from blood and other bodily fluids. The course includes case studies and examination of reproduced evidence from actual crimes as well as laboratory analysis of evidence gathered at simulated crime scenes.

GENETICS (SC9089) 0.5 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology

This course will expand upon what is learned about genetics in Honors Biology or Biology. Students will explore the principles of heredity at an advanced level using multiple model organisms. Human inheritance will be explored focusing on human behavior and disorders. Emphasis will be placed on statistical analysis of data in laboratory experiments, as well as reading scientific literature. At least one formal lab report is required. This course can be taken along with the Biotechnology elective for a full semester course.

BIOTECHNOLOGY  (SC9099) 0.5 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology

This course will focus on answering three questions: How does our understanding of human heredity and genetics allow us to investigate and manipulate cellular function?  How can we use these techniques to impact and advance human society?  How can the scientific community ethically monitor its use of this technology? Students will enhance their understanding of inheritance and gene expression as they expand upon the foundational knowledge learned in the introductory biology course. The majority of class time will be spent in the laboratory setting, where students will be actively engaged in learning various biotech techniques such as DNA extraction, microbial culturing, quantitative protein analysis, polymerase chain reaction, bacterial transformation, and gel electrophoresis. A written component of this course requires students to write detailed lab report summaries, as well as summarize and evaluate at least one scientific journal article. This course can be taken along with the Genetics elective for a full semester course.

HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT (SC9069) 0.5 credit

Offered at Liberty High School

This course focuses on the basic structure and function of the human reproductive system.  The physiology of gametogenesis, fertilization, contraception, gestation, parturition, lactation, and reproductive behavior will be discussed. Fetal development and the process of delivery will be studied in relation to pregnancy and birth.

FORENSIC ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (SC9109) 0.5 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry

Forensic Organic Chemistry includes such topics such as organic structures and simple nomenclature, properties of organic chemicals; investigation of arson and bomb evidence; and analysis of physical evidence such as ink, paint, fibers, and lipstick; and drug and toxicology screens. The course will include case studies and examination of reproduced evidence from actual crimes as well as laboratory analysis of evidence gathered at simulated crime scenes. Note: This course does not take the place of regular chemistry.

MATERIAL SCIENCE: METALS AND SOLIDS (SC91890.5 credit

Materials Science is the study of “stuff.” It involves designing, choosing, and using two major classes of materials—metals and solids. The course is lab and project-based with intensive hands-on experiences. Investigations include growth of crystals, corrosion, making alloys, rolling a coin, drawing a wire, tin-lead soldering, science of chocolate, and more. This course is perfect for the student who is interested in an engineering and STEM career pathway. Evaluation is based on journaling, homework, projects, lab reports, lab practicals, and quizzes.

MATERIAL SCIENCE: CERAMICS (SC9199) 0.5 credit

Materials Science is the study of “stuff.” It involves designing, choosing, and using three major classes of materials—ceramics, polymers, and composites. The course is lab and project-based with intensive hands-on experiences. Investigations include stained glass, Raku pottery, polymer identification, making Nylon and Latex, concrete, and more. This course is perfect for the student who is interested in an engineering and STEM career pathway. Evaluation is based on journaling, homework, projects, lab reports, lab practicals, and quizzes.