Science

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.

Evolution

This course will introduce students to the fundamental ideas of conventional evolutionary theory. Using the animal kingdom we will focus on the increasing complexity exhibited by the organisms of the various phyla beginning with the porifera and ending with the chordates. Classical Darwinism will be compared to other ideas including modern evolutionary theory. Students will be asked to examine and understand the special position the human being occupies within the living world.

Optics

Optics is the science of the visual world. Light cannot be seen directly; only through interaction with matter can we perceive its existence. Students will explore the phenomena of reflection, refraction, polarization, dispersion, interference, and diffraction. We will study the color spectrum and images generated by mirrors (flat, convex and concave) and lenses (biconcave and biconvex) through observable quantities (parallax and perspective), and later through the ray-tracing. We will discuss some of the contemporary topics related to optics like wave and particle models, and a brief overview of special relativity and quantum mechanics may be included if time allows.

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