Grade 9 biology is an inquiry-based course aimed at making sense of biological phenomena through laboratory investigations, class discussions, and readings. Students explore how organisms make and use energy, how traits are “built” and passed to offspring, and how populations and their traits change over time. Units include: the nature of scientific inquiry, the molecular basis of life (with implications in nutrition), cell biology, comparative anatomy, genetics and inheritance, DNA structure and function, protein synthesis, viruses and bacteria, the origins of diversity, and population genetics. Students also discuss current bioethical issues and so learn not only to appreciate diverse viewpoints but also to articulate informed, personal Christian perspectives. Designed to launch students on a lifelong pursuit of God and their relationship with Him through study of the natural world, Grade 9 Biology underscores and promotes the Great Conversation.
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.
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.
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.