Science at Pathways Academy of Technology and Design

At Pathways, students will take a series of 3 courses aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS uses a 3 dimensional learning approach which intertwines cross-cutting concepts, including themes in science such as structure and function; science and engineering practices, such as making arguments from evidence, and disciplinary core ideas and key content.

Students will take Physical Science in freshmen year, Biology in sophomore year, and Chemistry in junior year. Students who are interested in taking a fourth year of science may choose from: Physics, Biotechnology, or AP Biology.

Advanced Placement (AP) Biology - 1 credit

Prerequisite: Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and instructor approval

The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester college introductory biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year. It aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Topics covered in AP Biology include: biochemistry, cells, photosynthesis and respiration, molecular genetics, Mendelian genetics, evolution, classification and diversity of life, human/animal body systems, and ecology. Students will also complete and write lab reports for the 14 inquiry-based AP labs.

Biology and Honors Biology - 1 credit

Prerequisite: Physical Science

An introductory biology course designed to acquaint the student with the biological principles which govern living things, and become better equipped to make logical decisions when presented with the biological problems of every life. An in-depth treatment of the following topics is presented: the scientific method, the chemical basis of life, the organization of living things, the diversity of life, genetics, ecology, and evolution.

Biotechnology - 1 credit

Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry and instructor approval

Biotechnology is the science of manipulating living organisms and their genes to solve problems and create products that benefit society and the environment. Together with the science of genomics, biotechnology has revolutionized the field of medicine. This course explores the history of biotechnology and genomics along with the necessary content background in molecular biology. Students will learn about cloning, stem cell research, genetic screening and genetic engineering. Embedded in the curriculum is the examination of ethical issues, “bioethics”, that are often raised about the products, techniques, and research surrounding Biotechnology. Students will also learn thelaboratory techniques used in the field of biotechnology.

Chemistry and Honors Chemistry - 1 credit

Prerequisites: Algebra I, Prerequisites: Physical Science, Biology

This is an introductory chemistry course that integrates experimentation with extensive class discussion. The language of mathematics is employed often when investigating the concepts presented in this course. An in depth treatment of the following topics is presented: the scientific method, measurement, atomic structure, periodic table, stoichiometry, bonding, molecular geometry, phases of matter, gas laws, solutions, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation-reduction, chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics.

Environmental Science - 1 credit

A comprehensive course covering the basic principles of ecology. Emphasis is placed on the impact of human activities on our environment. Topics include Biomes, Matter and Energy Interactions in the Ecosystems, Resources in the Biosphere, and Managing Human Impact on our Environment.

Physical Science - 1 credit

Physical Science is the freshmen level science class that is designed to introduce many basic concepts that support chemistry and biology. This course is designed to act as a stepping stone to build up students' knowledge in critical scientific reasoning and the scientific method. The course has a heavy focus on inquiry and project based learning while aligned to NGSS standards for freshmen science. The course covers chemical bonding and atomic structure, astronomy, geology, electrical systems, and ecology. The course will also be computer-based, and students will be utilizing materials, tools, and principles used in the freshmen technology rotation, which students take concurrently.

Physics - 1 credit

This course is an introduction to the basic principles of physics. Physics is the holistic study of nature, including natural and anthropogenic phenomena, ranging from a single atom to the vast universe. In this course, students conduct field and laboratory experiments using scientific methods to make informed decisions about data. Topics to be studied include motion, force, energy, and their relationship.


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