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SCIENCE
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Listed below are all of the science classes available to high school students:

Science Systems and Interactions

This course will provide students with a coherent perspective of the Earth's environmental and physical systematic processes and interactions. Scientific methods and inquiry are emphasized and become a part of all topics covered as a means to prepare students for the rigors of biology, chemistry and other advanced sciences.

Biology

The aim of the first year biology course is to introduce the student to the modern world of biology. Students will be exposed to a core of knowledge that is directly related to the biochemical world of biology as it is functioning today. The program is organized to present life from the simplest levels of organization to the complex levels. Basic chemistry, cell biology and genetics provide information about the individual organisms. Interrelationships between these organisms and their surroundings are investigated through studies of the population, communities and ecosystems of the biosphere. Relevant double period laboratories are provided to give the student hands-on experience with scientific methods and procedures. This program is designed to supplement the study of living organisms begun in 7th grade Life Science and to provide a building point for those students who may choose to continue into further biological studies.

Honors Biology (weighted 0.1)

Honors Biology is designed for students who plan to major in biology or related medical fields. The aim is to introduce the student to the modern world of biology while preparing them for the rigors of AP Biology. Students will be exposed to a core of knowledge that is directly related to the biochemical world of biology as it is functioning today. The program is organized to present life from the simplest levels of organization to the complex levels. Basic chemistry, cell biology and genetics provide information about the individual organisms. Interrelationships between these organisms and their surroundings are investigated through studies of the population, communities and ecosystems of the biosphere. Zoological and Botanical topics will be utilized to enrich the core concepts. Relevant double period laboratories are provided to give the student hands-on experience with scientific methods and procedures. An independent research/science fair project will be required from each student for submission in the Reading/Berks Science and Engineering Fair.

PREREQUISITES:

  • Sophomores: Proficient or advanced on the 8th grade PSSA Science Exam and science staff recommendation.
  • Freshmen: Qualification will be based on successful completion of 7th and 8th grade Science, proficiency or advanced proficiency on the 8th grade PSSA Science Exam, and recommendation from the middle school staff.

Advanced Placement Biology
(Weighted 0.1 - Students must take the AP Exam and score at least a "3" to receive the 0.1 weight value)

The Advanced Placement Biology course is offered to students interested in pursuing biologically related careers such as medicine, nursing, physical therapy, and research. Topics are covered in an advanced manner and include chemistry, cells, metabolism, heredity, biotechnology, evolution, taxonomy, anatomy, physiology and ecology. The laboratory segment of the course covers the twelve required AP laboratory exercises as well as supplementary activities. Dissection of the rat accompanies the anatomy and physiology portion of the course. Students may elect to participate in the Dual Enrollment Program with RACC to earn college credits. (PREREQUISITES: B+ in Biology and Chemistry, or concurrently taking Chemistry, and department approval)

Environmental Biology/Ecology

This semester elective course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the environment and ecology. Using case studies and "hands-on" field studies at the local Shillington Park, the course provides the scientific basis for understanding how environmental systems work. Topics include ecosystem dynamics, discussion of the economic impact and consequences of the disruptions of natural systems, the importance of public policy and how environmental issues are linked to our everyday life. The course requires signed permission slips for regular trips to the Shillington Park. (PREREQUISITES: C in Biology, department approval, Grades 11 and 12, Grade 10 available depending on academic ranking, department approval and availability)

Genetics

Genetics is a semester course designed to expose the student to the concepts and techniques of one of the most rapidly developing branches of biological sciences and medicine. Basic inheritance patterns and problems, human chromosome analysis, experimentation with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, biotechnological processes and their implications are a few of the areas which will be covered. Laboratories, assignments, and a research paper on an inherited genetic disease will be completed by the student. (PREREQUISITES: C in Biology, department approval, Grades 11 and 12, Grade 10 available depending on academic ranking, department approval and availability)

Human Biology

Human Biology is a non-lab oriented program meeting six times per cycle for those students interested in the allied health professions such as a paramedic, certified nursing assistant or LPN that would require a one or two year post-secondary degree. The human body and its major components will be examined within each system. Major emphasis will be placed upon specific disorders and diseases as well as an occupation focus within each body system. (PREREQUISITES: Grade 12, successful completion of Biology)

Human Anatomy and Physiology

This course is a rigorously designed, non-laboratory program for those students interested in careers within the biological sciences that require a four year or more post-secondary degree, such as doctors, physical therapists and registered nurses. The course is designed to investigate the fine details of the entire human body and all of its systems. The focus of the course is to discover the interrelationships of the anatomy and physiology within the body. An introductory college text is used. Students may select to take this course along with AP Biology or Physics but not in place of either of these courses. (Grade 12) (PREREQUISITES: B in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or presently taking Physics and department approval)

Chemistry

The purpose of the Chemistry program is to provide an understanding of matter and its changes. Basic instruction in chemical changes, electronic structure, chemical reactions, mole concept, kinetic molecular theory, atomic orbital theory, bonding, nomenclature and periodic table trends will provide the student with background for further study of chemistry on the college level. The program is designed so that the laboratory experiences parallel the textbook topics. (PREREQUISITES: Successful completion of Algebra 1)

Honors Chemistry (weighted .01)

Honors Chemistry is designed for students who plan to major in Chemistry, Engineering, Pharmacy or related science fields. The goal is to provide a broad foundation in the principles of chemistry, while preparing for the rigors of the AP Chemistry course. Students will be exposed to a core of chemistry topics and principles that will prepare them for both the Keystone Exam and college-level work. Relevent laboratories are provided to give the students hands-on experience with scientific methods and procedures. Additional advanced topics such as Organic Chemistry and Acid-Base Chemistry will be included. Lab work may include Inquiry-based projects where students develop and carry out their own procedures, then analyze the data for patterns and complete a rigorous error analysis. Lab reports will be written using a technical style as per the ACS style guide.

PREREQUISITES:

  • B in Algebra 1, Science Systems and Interactions, and Biology. Biology can be taken concurrently with Chemistry in the sophomore year if there are seats available after Juniors are scheduled.
  • Candidates must score proficient or advanced on the Science PSSA or have a recommendation from their science teacher.
  • CO-REQUISITE: Algebra 2 or higher mathematics.

Advanced Placement Chemistry
(Weighted 0.1 - Students must take the AP Exam and score at least a "3" to receive the 0.1 weight value)

Advanced Placement Chemistry is offered as an elective to students who have completed the first year chemistry course with a grade of "A-", have completed Algebra 1 and 2 with a grade of "A-," and have completed physics. This challenging course is designed to prepare students for the AP Chemistry exam. Some of the topics covered are the electronic structure of atoms, descriptive chemistry, oxidation reduction reactions, gas behavior, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, kinetics and chemical analysis. Independent work is emphasized in the laboratory program which is closely coordinated with the classroom work. This course has dual enrollment agreement with RACC. (PREREQUISITES: B+ in Chemistry and Algebra 2 and department approval. Seniors must have taken or be concurrently enrolled in Physics 1441.)

Physics

The major aim of this physics course is to serve students by enhancing their appreciation of the world around them. This does not exclude, of course, the equally-important aim of helping students to discover their talent in a physical science. This course follows a traditional approach to physics. It does not assume that all students are heading toward a scientific career; however, the disciplines involved are best suited to the academic student. Topics covered are concepts of motion, energy, sound, light and electromagnetism. (PREREQUISITES: C in Algebra 2 and previous sciences and department approval. It is recommended that students take or have previously taken Pre-Calculus.)

Advanced Placement Physics-Algebra (B)
(Weighted 0.1 - Students must take the AP Exam and score at least a "3" to receive the 0.1 weight value)

This course is designed for the student who will be entering college and taking math and science courses. The class will be designed like a college course, but students will not be exposed to the rigors of a calculus-based physics course. Students should have had pre-calculus or be taking pre-calculus while enrolled in this course. Students may elect to participate in the Dual Enrollment Program with RACC to earn college credits. (PREREQUISITES: B in Algebra 2; Pre-Calculus)

 
 
Governor Mifflin Middle School MR. JOHN ALTHOUSE, principal
 
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