Rome GA High School | Darlington School

Darlington School
Academics
    

Science

Owen Kinney
Science Department Chairman

The science department at Darlington School is committed to addressing two basic tenets of science education. First, students should develop an appreciation of basic scientific theory and methods. Second, they should clearly recognize the importance of science to their lives. The minimum course sequence covers all major disciplines including life, physical, earth, and environmental sciences. Highly motivated students are also given opportunities to take Advanced Placement courses in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Environmental Science.  Darlington currently requires THREE years of science to be completed at the Upper School (high school level). However, many ambitious students take TWO or more science courses during their junior and/or senior years. All science offerings are considered lab courses.

All students enrolled in AP courses are required to take the AP Exam.

 

Typical Course Sequence and Choices

GRADE

Regular Courses

 

      Honors/AP Courses

9

Physics

OR

      Physics Honors

10

Chemistry

OR

        1 AP Chemistry

11

Biology

OR

        1  AP Biology

 

Environmental Science

OR

      AP Environmental Science

 

          Electives (Grades 10-12)

                AP Physics 1

                AP Physics C

                Anatomy

                2 Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry

                Robotics

                Zoology

1    Both AP Chemistry and AP Biology require 45 minutes of extra laboratory time per eight-day cycle which will be included in the iPeriod. 

 The Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry elective is year-long course, and the two segments will be taken in the fall and spring respectively.

 

Physics 1

Have you ever wanted to know how the world around you works? This class will be a hands-on, project-based approach to understanding the physical world. This class will focus on more conceptual issues and is less quantitative that Honors Physics.

Skills Developed
Critical thinking, algebraic problem solving, analytical problem solving

Knowledge Developed
Kinematics (how do objects move), gravitational pull, mechanics (why do objects move), thermodynamics, fluids, sound, light, waves, electricity, magnetism, atomic physics, and nuclear physics

 

Physics Honors

Have you ever wanted to know how the world around you works? This class will be a hands-on, project-based approach to understanding the physical world. This class will require a reasonably strong algebraic skill set.

Skills Developed
Critical thinking, algebraic problem solving, analytical problem solving

Knowledge Developed
Kinematics (how objects move), gravitational pull, mechanics (why objects move), thermodynamics, fluids, sound, light, waves, electricity, magnetism, atomic physics, and nuclear physics.

Required Prerequisites

Teacher recommendation and 90 in previous math and science classes

 

AP Physics 1 

Guided by the National Research Council and National Science Foundation, the AP® Program collaborated with college and university educators and AP teachers to develop a full-year AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based course.

The AP Physics 1 focus on the big ideas typically included in the first semesters of an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics sequence and provide students with enduring understandings to support future advanced course work in the sciences. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop critical thinking and reasoning skills, as defined by the AP Science Practices. Students will cultivate their understanding of physics and science practices as they explore the following topics:

See AP Physics 1 course description

Required Prerequisites

Teacher recommendation and

  • 90 in Physics
  • 85 in Physics Honors
  • 85 in Algebra 2 Honors

Currently enrolled in Pre-Calculus or higher level math course

 

 AP Physics, Syllabus C Mechanics

This is a great course for students to apply their math skills when dealing with physics problems. This course will give students a great advantage when planning to take physics in college. Students need to be skilled at math and will need calculus.

Skills and Knowledge developed

See AP Physics C Mechanics Course Description

Required Prerequisites

A student must be concurrently taking AP Calculus, or have completed it previously

A student must have taken Honors Physics with 90

A student must have taken and passed AP Physics 1 

A student must have completed a pre-assessment before enrolling in the course; AP Application required along with teacher recommendation.

 

 Chemistry

This is an introductory course that covers the study of matter and its changes.Students study the relationships between theoretical concepts and the world around them by the application of theory in the laboratory.Weekly laboratory exercises utilize macro and micro chemistry techniques to enhance classroom discussion.

Skills Developed

Critical thinking

Problem solving

Lab techniques

Knowledge Developed

  • Problem solving
  • Matter and measurements
  • Structure of matter
  • Periodic table, bonding, reactions
  • Stoichiometry
  • States of matter
  • Solutions
  • Thermochemistry
  • Acids and bases

Required Prerequisites

Successful completion of Physics 1 or equivalent freshman-level science

 

 AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry is the equivalent of college-level general chemistry, emphasizing the development of fundamental chemical concepts and the mathematical formulation of these concepts.

Skills and Knowledge Developed

See AP Chemistry Course Description

Required Prerequisites

Teacher recommendation and 90 in Physics 1 or 85 in Physics Honors

Completion of Algebra 2 Honors with 90 
 
Instructor approval
 
PSAT Math score of 550 or higher
 
 

Biology: The Study of Living Things

Biology provides an introduction to biological principles and the properties of life. Among topics considered are structure and function of plants and animals, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, reproduction, development and growth, and evolutionary theory. The laboratory work deals with the descriptive and experimental aspects of the topics covered in the lectures.

Skills Developed

Computer-based data collection

Data synthesis and analysis

Critical reading

Discussion

Required Pre-requisites

Successful completion of Physics (or freshman-level science) and Chemistry.

 

 AP Biology

A college-level course equivalent to six to eight credit hours.

Skills and Knowledge Developed

See AP Biology Course Description


Required Prerequisites

Teacher recommendation and

  • 90 in Physics and Chemistry
  • 85 in Physics Honors and AP Chemistry

 

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is a detailed study of Earth’s systems and the interrelationships between human societies and the environment. This interdisciplinary course is designed to give students opportunities to use scientific principles to assess local and global environmental issues.

Knowledge Developed:

Skills Developed

  • Critical thinking
  • Mass media evaluation
  • Graphical interpretation
  • Data analysis and presentation
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Analytical problem solving

Required Prerequisites

Successful completion of at least three science courses. This course can be taken simultaneously with the third science course during the junior or senior years.

 

AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science is a detailed study of Earth’s systems and the interrelationships between human societies and the environment. This interdisciplinary course is designed to give students opportunities to use scientific principles to assess local and global environmental issues. The AP section of this course goes into more detail and covers the entire AP Environmental Science curriculum in preparation for the AP test.

Skills and Knowledge Developed

See AP Environmental Science Course Description
 

Required Prerequisites

Teacher recommendation and

  • 90 in Physics and Biology or Chemistry
  • 85 in Physics Honors or AP Biology or AP Chemistry

 

 Human Anatomy and Physiology

This course covers all the systems of the human body, beginning with the most basic (the cell) and ending with the more complex systems. The course is a sequence in which human anatomy and physiology are studied using a body systems approach, with emphasis on the interrelationships between form and function at the gross and microscopic levels of organization.

Skills Developed

Critical assessment of normal versus disease states

Frequent class discussion

Knowledge Developed

Comprehensive understanding of human system structure and function

Homeostatic imbalances

Required Prerequisites

Successful completion of at least three science courses. This course can be taken simultaneously with the third science course during the junior or senior years.

 

 Zoology

Study of animal diversity on planet Earth with an emphasis on terrestrial and freshwater animals found in Northwest Georgia.

Knowledge Developed

  • Terrestrial invertebrate diversity and ecology
  • Fish diversity and ecology
  • Reptile and amphibian diversity and ecology
  • Bird diversity and ecology
  • Mammal diversity and ecology

Skills Developed

  • Individual distillation of key concepts
  • Animal identification and classification
  • Field observation and inference building

Required Prerequisites

Successful completion of at least three science courses. This course can be taken simultaneously with the third science course during the junior or senior years.

 

Organic Chemistry / Biochemistry

Organic Chemistry / Biochemistry provides a lab-based introduction to two advanced topics in Chemistry.

Skills Developed

Analytical chemical concepts, critical-thinking, basic organic / biochemistry laboratory techniques.

Knowledge Developed

Concepts of chemical bonding, organic nomenclature and structure, basic organic reactions and mechanisms, and functional groups. 

Required Prerequisites

Successful completion of at least three science courses. Organic Chemistry / Biochemistry is a senior-only elective and can be taken alongside any other science course(s).

 

Robotics 1

Students work within a team structure to learn the basics of robotic design and programming. An independent study framework requires applicants to have demonstrated proficiency in technical courses as well as diligence with regard to work outside of the classroom. Applicants will be interviewed and evaluated by the instructor upon enrollment in the course. Also, previous teachers will be consulted to assess an applicant’s motivation and potential for independent work. Students will develop skills in robot control using the Java programming language, computer-aided design principles using AutoDesk, and construction using the Tetrix building system.

Knowledge Developed

  • Basic engineering principles
  • Basic computer programming and electronics troubleshooting
  • Robotics applications in industry

Skills Developed

  • Vehicle and mechanism design using AutoDesk
  • Building with Tetrix System
  • Programming in a Java/Android environment

Required Prerequisites

Instructor permission. This course can be taken any year as an additional science class.

 

Robotics 2 Honors

Advanced students will be invited to enroll in Robotics 2 Honors after taking Robotics 1. Honors students are expected to serve as Peer Mentors to participants in the Robotics 1 courses. A high degree of technical skill and a demonstrated ability to function as an leader during the Robotics competition season are essential. Third and fourth years of the Robotics course are also available to highly qualified students.

Required Prerequisites:

Exemplary performance and skill acquisition in Robotics 1 and the permission of instructors.

 


    

    

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