Science & Technology

STEM class Wilberforce School


One of the hallmarks of the Upper School is an advanced math and science curriculum that enable students to enter into a two-year calculus, physics, and programming course in junior and senior years.

Grade 9

Biology

A laboratory course, Grade 9 biology focuses on the unifying themes of biology: cell theory, genetics, and the theory of evolution. We use an inductive approach to the study of kingdoms, as students dissect earthworms, starfish, squid, grasshoppers, and frogs. We follow this with a more substantial discussion of molecular biology, cell theory, and genetics. The course then concludes with a unit and project on ecology. This course prepares interested students for the Molecular Biology SAT II Subject Test.

Grade 10

Chemistry

Grade 10 Chemistry studies the structures, properties, and reactions of substances at the atomic and molecular levels. Small-scale labs and demonstrations provide the physical experience of chemistry. Topics in the first semester include the periodic table, bonding, stoichiometry, reaction rates and equilibrium, states of matter, and redox and acid-base reactions. The second semester is devoted to organic chemistry and biochemistry, with an emphasis on understanding the structures of proteins and DNA. This course prepares interested students for the Chemistry SAT II Subject Test.

Grade 11

MATLAB / Physics I

Even though Grade 11 and 12 students use MATLAB throughout their final two years, this semester focuses on thorough teaching of the program itself. MATLAB is a programming language that allows students to manipulate data, design simulations, and create both 2D and 3D graphs of data and algebraic relationships. After students have studied linear motion in the context of MATLAB and in Calculus, they build on these understandings in order to complete a study of mechanics including Newton’s Laws of motion, energy relationships, motion in two dimensions, and rotational motion. This course incorporates MATLAB applications each week.

Grade 12

MATLAB / Physics II

Students will continue studying oscillations and waves, sound, electricity and magnetism, and light, as well as tackling some topics in modern physics. In Grade 12, MATLAB remains integral to the the physics curriculum.