Elective: Chemistry

This seminar commences with a unit on the development and organization of the Periodic Table. A brief review of atomic structure is used to introduce students to the concepts of ions, oxidation numbers and bonding. The class then studies different types of chemical bonding, the kinetic theory of gases, equilibrium, and redox reactions. Theoretical concepts are investigated in the laboratory and by means of problem solving. Laboratory activities are an integral part of this class.

Elective: physics

The goal of this one-year course is to help students understand and develop conceptual principles in physics with the ability to reason by using problem solving skills. Topics include kinematics in one and two dimensions, forces, Newton’s Law of Motion, dynamics of uniform circular motion, work and energy, and impulse and momentum. Elasticity and simple harmonic motion, principle of linear superposition and interference phenomena, Electromagnetic theory, and magnetism are among many concepts developed.

Prerequisites: Upper level math course, B+ average in all science courses, and teacher recommendation.

Acids and Bases

Topics covered include stoichiometry, basic chemical reactions (synthesis, decomposition, single displacement, and double displacement), and molarity (concentration of acids and bases). Several titration experiments are performed with different acids, bases, and indicators. The ions of several metals are observed through the “flame test” experiment. Advanced chemistry concepts will include pH, pOH, Ka,, Kb, Kw, salt hydrolysis and buffers.  The general properties of acids and bases are discussed and tested in order to see their relevance in everyday life.

Electricity and Magnetism

This seminar focuses primarily on electrostatic and magnetic phenomena. Students study classic physics apparatus including the electroscope, the Van de Graaf, the Whimshurst machine, the electrophorus, the Faraday cage, and the Leyden jar. Students dissect the inner workings of some of the major technological inventions in the field including the microphone/speaker system, the AC generator, the electric motor, the AM radio receiver, and others. Each student builds an AC generator or an electric motor from scratch as their final project.


A survey of the animal kingdom that asks students to compare and contrast the major animal phyla. A trip to the Bronx Zoo provides the opportunity to observe and analyze animal behavior.


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