Science

The goal of the Frederick County Science program is to develop scientific literacy and that all high school students are able to use and apply scientific knowledge. These courses focus provide students opportunities to explore scientific concepts and explanations of natural phenomena, test those explanations, and communicate their findings both in oral and written forms. Through this process, students develop a deep understanding of science that combines knowledge and facts with reasoning and critical thinking.

Highly motivated students have the option of enrolling in Advanced Placement science courses, and/or dual enrollment science courses. Important theories and applications from the science field and elements of experimental design and data analysis are stressed in all courses. Teachers of any course may require an independent or group project.

Students taking Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Chemistry and Advanced Placement Physics C, will be required to enroll in topics in Advanced Placement lab courses for ½ credit.

Although the same material is presented in all classes in a given subject area, differences in learning style, achievement in previous science courses, and differing career and educational goals are reflected in the various course offerings.

Anatomy and Physiology

Honors Anatomy & Physiology I

4330X (ANAT & PHYSIO I)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisites: Biology I and Chemisty I
Recommended: “C” or better in Biology I
 and Chemistry I

This is a rigorous elective biological science course that consists of a detailed study of the anatomy of the human body and the functions of its systems. The biochemistry of each system is emphasized. Required laboratory applications include in-depth analysis of the various systems. If a laboratory investigation includes an animal dissection, an alternative assignment will be provided to students objecting to this activity. This course is designed for students who have an interest in entering a health-related field generally requiring a four-year college degree. Note: Students will not receive credit for both Biology II: Survey of Human Systems and Anatomy and Physiology I. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes.

Honors Anatomy & Physiology II

4320X (ANAT & PHYSIO II)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Honors Anatomy and Physiology I, Chemistry

This course builds upon Anatomy and Physiology I and focuses on the integration of anatomy and physiology of cells, tissues, organs and systems of the human body. Integrates concepts of chemistry, physics and pathology.

Biology

AP Biology

4370X (AP BIOLOGY)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Biology I, Chemistry I and Algebra II
Recommended: “A” or “B” average in Both Biology I and Chemistry I


This course is the equivalent of a college introductory biology course and contains rigorous requirements in terms of the range and depth of topics presented, the kind of laboratory work done by students and the time and effort of students. Students enrolling in this course must also enroll in topics in Advanced Placement Science (4370L). Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes - energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology and interactions. The Advanced Placement course outline is followed, and students are prepared to be successful on the AP exam for possible college credit. If a laboratory investigation includes an animal dissection, an alternative assignment will be provided to students objecting to this activity. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes.

Biology I: Theory With Applications

4310 (BIOLOGY I)
1 Credit
Grades: 9–11


Biology is the study of life—its forms, processes and interactions—and is designed as the second science course for most high school students. Important topics include life at the molecular level and cellular level, inheritance and change, life at the systems and organisms level, and interaction of life forms. Problem-solving skills build on those presented in Earth & Space Science. Important theories are discussed and used to explain the results of applied activities. If a laboratory investigation includes an animal dissection, an alternative assignment will be provided to students objecting to this activity. At the end of this course students will be tested on the Biology Standards of Learning. 

Biology II: Survey of Human Systems

4330 (BIOLOGY II)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Earth Science I and Biology I


This is an elective biology course that focuses on body structures and their functions. Topics will include, but may not be limited to, anatomy, functions of the human body, injuries and illnesses. Lab exercises will include dissections and use of microscopes. If a laboratory investigation includes an animal dissection, an alternative assignment will be provided to students objecting to this activity. Students will be encouraged to apply to their own lives the updated and timely information presented in this class. There will be no SOL test upon completion of this course. Note: Students will not receive credit for both Biology II: Survey of Human Systems and Anatomy and Physiology.

Honors Biology I: Theory With Applications

4310X (HON BIOLOGY I)
1 Credit
Grades: 9–12
Prerequisite: Algebra I


Honors Biology is a rigorous course designed to challenge more advanced students. This course presents the same topics taught in Biology I in greater detail. An individual or group research project is required. If a laboratory investigation includes an animal dissection, an alternative assignment will be provided to students objecting to this activity. At the end of this course students will be tested on the Biology Standards of Learning. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes. 

Topics in Advanced Placement Science: AP Biology

4370L (AP LAB BIO)
½ Credit
Grades: 11–12
Co-requisite: AP Biology (4370X)


This course supports learner objectives for AP biology and will include important content from that course. Although hands on laboratory investigations are an integral part of this course, direct instruction, student projects, assessments and other activities may also be included. This class will meet for a total of 70 hours of instruction during the school year and grades taken in this class will be combined with those from AP Biology (4430X) and reported for that class. All students enrolling in AP Biology (4370X) must also enroll in this course.

Chemistry

AP Chemistry: Theory With Applications

4470X (AP CHEM)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Chemistry I and Algebra II
Recommended: Physics I and Enrolled in Precalculus


AP Chemistry is a second-year course designed for those students who plan to major in a science or related field at the college level. Students enrolling in this course must also enroll in topics in Advanced Placement Science (4470L). The AP course outline is followed and students are prepared to be successful on the Advanced Placement exam for possible college credit. Through inquiry-based learning, students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry and science practices as they explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes.

Chemistry I: Theory With Applications

4410 (CHEM I)
1 Credit
Grades: 10–12
Prerequisite: Biology I, Geometry
Recommended: Enrolled in Algebra II


This course emphasizes writing formulas, naming compounds, writing chemical equations, performing laboratory investigations, communicating laboratory findings, and describing the structure of matter and its behavior. A strong math background in which students have acquired competence in formula writing and solving equations is essential for success in this course. At the end of this course students will be tested on the Chemistry Standards of Learning.

Honors Chemistry I: Theory With Applications

4410X (HON CHEM I)
1 Credit
Grades: 10–12
Prerequisite: Biology I, Geometry
Recommended: “A” or “B” average in Biology I and Algebra I, enrolled in Algebra II


This course is designed to challenge the more advanced students and is taught at an accelerated pace. An individual or group research project is required. This course emphasizes writing formulas, naming compounds, writing chemical equations, performing laboratory investigations, communicating laboratory findings, and describing the structure of matter and its behavior. A strong math background in which the student has acquired competence in formula writing and solving equations is essential for success. At the end of this course students will be tested on the Chemistry Standards of Learning. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes.

Topics in Advanced Placement Science: AP Chemistry

4470L (AP LAB CHEM)
½ Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Students must be concurrently enrolled in AP Chemistry (4470X)


This course supports learner objectives for AP Chemistry and will include important content from that course. Although hands on laboratory investigations are an integral part of this course, direct instruction, student projects, assessments and other activities may also be included. This class will meet for a total of 70 hours of instruction during the school year and grades taken in this class will be combined with those from AP Chemistry (4470X) and reported for that class. All students enrolling in AP Chemistry (4470X) must also enroll in this course.

Earth Science

Earth & Space Science I: Theory With Applications

4210/4210SC (EARTH SCI)
1 Credit
Grades: 10–12
Prerequisite: Biology I

Important topics for this course include astronomy, meteorology, geology and oceanography. Emphasis is placed on everyday applications of this knowledge and the relationship of these topics to our environment.

Earth Science II: Advanced Survey of Earth Science Topics

4220/4220SC (EARTH SCI II)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Earth Science I
Recommended: Biology I


Earth Science II is an elective course that focuses on topics in astronomy such as the universe, the solar system and space exploration; and environmental science such as soil, water and air quality, and human impact on local ecosystems and watersheds. While important content objectives are taught, the focus is on laboratory, field and technology-based investigations. Although there is no math prerequisite, quantitative data is collected and analyzed. 

Honors Earth & Space Science I: Theory With Applications

4210X (HON E SCI)
1 Credit
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisite: Biology I
 

This course includes such important topics as astronomy, geology, oceanography and meteorology. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of mathematical principles, observational evidence, and current scientific theories and their applications to the history of the universe, earth history and environmental issues. This course contains a more rigorous work requirement to challenge the more advanced students. An individual or group research project is required.  See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes.

Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science

4270X (AP ENVIRON SCI)
1 Credit
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisites: Biology I and Chemistry I This course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. This course requires students to identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.

Environmental Science

4280 (ENVIRON SCI)
1 Credit
Grades: 9–12


This course  focuses on exploring the human dependence on Earth for a variety of resources.  Students will examine how human actions have changed the environment and promote civic responsibility and investigate the flow of matter and energy between the biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.

Physics

AP Physics 1

4573X (AP PHYSICS I)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Algebra II
Recommended: Honors Chemistry I and enrolled in Honors Math Analysis and/or Advanced Algebra/Trig. 

This is the first year of a two year course sequence designed to cover all of the topics presented in a first year Algebra based college Physics course. Emphasis is placed on mathematical development of concepts; therefore, a stronger mathematics background is required for success. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits. Students demonstrating outstanding achievement in this course will be prepared for the Advanced Placement Physics 1 exam for possible college credit. Co-enrollment in a Topics in Advanced Placement Science course is not required. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes. 

AP Physics 2

4574X (AP PHYSICS 2)
1 Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Algebra II and Physics I or AP Physics 1
Recommended: Honors Chemistry I and enrolled in Honors Math Analysis and/or Advanced Algebra/Trig.

This is the second year of a two year course sequence designed to cover all of the topics presented in a first year Algebra based college Physics course.  Emphasis is placed on mathematical development of concepts; therefore, a stronger mathematics background is required for success.  The course covers fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism; optics; atomic and nuclear physics.  Students demonstrating outstanding achievement in this course will be prepared for the Advanced Placement Physics 2 exam for possible college credit. Co-enrollment in a Topics in Advanced Placement Science course is not required. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes. 

AP Physics C: Theory With Applications

4571X (AP PHYSICS C)
1 Credit
Grade: 12
Prerequisite: AP Physics 1, Precalculus and enrollment in or completion of Calculus
Recommended: “C” in Precalculus and “B” in Physics I


AP Physics is a calculus-based second year course. It provides a strong science foundation for students who are college bound. Students enrolling in this course must also enroll in Topics in Advanced Placement Science (4570L). The Advanced Placement course outline for Physics C, which emphasizes Newtonian mechanics and electricity and magnetism, is followed. Students are prepared to be successful on the AP Physics C examination for possible college credit. See Guidelines for Placement of Students in Honors/AP/Dual Enrolled Classes.

Physics I: Theory With Applications

4510 (PHYSICS)
1 Credit
Grades: 10–12
Prerequisite: Algebra I and a verified science credit
Co-requisite: Geometry

The laws of nature are studied in this course with an emphasis on conceptual understanding and problem solving skills. Topics include classical mechanics with waves and electricity and magnetism. Topics in modern physics are integrated throughout the course. Development of math skills will be a focus in the context of physics solving problems.

Topics in Advanced Placement Science: AP Physics (C)

4571L (AP LAB PHY C)
½ Credit
Grades: 11–12
Prerequisite: Students must be enrolled in AP Physics C (4571X)


This course supports learner objectives for AP Physics C and will include important content from that course. Although hands on laboratory investigations are an integral part of this course, direct instruction, student projects, assessments and other activities may also be included. This class will meet for a total of 70 hours of instruction during the school year and grades taken in this class will be combined with those from AP Physics C (4571X) and reported for that class. All students enrolling in AP Physics C (4571X) must also enroll in this course.