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Science

Students are only guaranteed entrance into one science class per year.  Additional science classes may be added after the start of the school year on a space available basis.  The Castro Valley High School graduation requirement is one year of physical science and one year of biological science.

 

 

Community College Prep Courses

 

Successful completion of two years of science courses from this sequence will fulfill minimum high school graduation requirements and provide a foundation for students who are preparing for health-related or technology-related occupations.   Completion of more courses will strengthen scientific knowledge and increase success in the Regional Occupational Program, technical training, and community college.  Note: These courses do not meet the four year university entrance requirements.

ROP Science Credit

The following science-related courses are listed and described in the Regional Occupational Program section:

Dental Assisting

Medical Occupations

Five units of science credit may be granted to students who complete 30 units in either of these classes.

 

 

Forensic Science 1-2

One or two semester course, 5 units each semester, grades 10-12

Prerequisites: None

Description: Science is the cornerstone of forensics; it allows the forensic scientist to eliminate what is irrelevant, and to correctly interpret what is relevant.  Science is basically what will decide (through its influence on a jury) that a guilty person goes to prison, and an innocent person will go free. This course explores how forensic scientists interpret the physical evidence found at crime scenes.  Attention will be put on helping students to prepare for the CASHEE and developing the study skills they will need to succeed should they go on to take a college preparatory lab course. Topics will include ballistics, DNA, Blood, Death and Decomposition, Fingerprints, and hair/fiber analysis.

MEETS: This course meets High School Biological Science or Physical Science graduation requirement and may be taken for UC/CSU elective credit.

 

 

Marine Science

One or two semester course, 5 units each semester, grades 10-12

Prerequisites: None

Description: In Marine Science we will study all aspects of one of our most important ecosystems:  the ocean.  We will study the amazing variety of life in the ocean as well as the physical, chemical, biological and ecological factors that affect the ocean.  We will also study our impact and dependency on the ocean.

MEETS: Meets the high school Biological Science requirement and the high school Physical Science graduation requirement.  This course does not meet UC/CSU entrance requirements.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 10-12

Prerequisites: None

Description: This course will introduce students to the ecosystem concept and to the process of studying environmental issues using the scientific method.  It will integrate Next Generation Science standards from Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science in an effort to help students learn how they can apply their knowledge to real world problems.  Topics will include:  Pollution, interdependence of Earth processes, biomes, populations, global warming, and environmental law.  Environmental Science is designed to help students obtain the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in subsequent high school science courses.  The course will focus on the following:  organizational skills; collecting, presenting and interpreting data; developing laboratory skills; problem-solving, critical thinking skills and research.

Note:  Upon successful completion of Environmental Science, students may select upper-division science classes according to their career goals, math level, and Environmental Science grade.

MEETS: This course meets High School Biological Science or Physical Science graduation requirement and may be taken for UC/CSU elective credit.

 

Four Year University Prep Sequence

The University of California and California State University system requires minimum grades of "C" in a minimum of two courses selected from laboratory courses:  Anatomy and Physiology, AP Environmental Science, Biology, AP Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Physics and Robotics.  The CSU/UC requirement is a C- (some cases C) or better in 2 laboratory sciences - one year physical and one year biological.

 

Advanced Placement Biology 1-2

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 11 – 12

Prerequisites:  Completion of Biology with a “B” or better.  Completion of Chemistry with an “A” or Honors Chemistry with a “B”.  Completion of Algebra 2.

Description: This second year Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a 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. The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. Primary emphasis in an AP Biology course should be on developing an understanding of concepts rather than on memorizing terms and technical details. Essential to this conceptual understanding are the following: a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns. Strong writing, reading, reasoning and mathematical skills are necessary for successful comprehension of course concepts and completion of laboratory investigations.

MEETS: This course meets High School and UC/CSU Biological Science lab requirement.

 

Advanced Placement Chemistry

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grade 11-12

Prerequisites: Completion of Algebra 2 Honors with a "B" or better, completion of Honors Chemistry with a "B" or better, or completion of Chemistry 1-2 with an “A”, and teacher recommendation.

Description: This course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. As such, it is a demanding course that requires frequent use of advanced mathematical techniques. The topics covered will address the AP College Board directives to have students explore the following “big ideas”: Big Idea 1: The chemical elements are fundamental building materials of matter, and all matter can be understood in terms of arrangements of atoms. These atoms retain their identity in chemical reactions. Big Idea 2: Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them. Big Idea 3: Changes in matter involve the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons. Big Idea 4: Rates of chemical reactions are determined by details of the molecular collisions. Big Idea 5: The laws of thermodynamics describe the essential role of energy and explain and predict the direction of changes in matter. Big Idea 6: Any bond or intermolecular attraction that can be formed can be broken. These two processes are in a dynamic competition, sensitive to initial conditions and external perturbations. Students are expected to take the AP Chemistry exam in May. Individual study guides are provided.
MEETS: This course meets High School Science and UC/CSU Physical Science lab requirement.

 

Advanced Placement Environmental Science

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 11-12

Prerequisites: Completion of Biology with a “B” or better grade.  Completion of Chemistry  or Physics with a “C” or better grade.

Description: This course is an Advancement Placement course equivalent to a college-level course. The student will use laboratory or field investigations and independent research to understand topics such as water quality, pollution, and interdependence of earth’s systems, global warming, and environmental ethics. Students are encouraged to take the national AP Exam in Environmental Science in May.

MEETS:  This course meets High School and UC/CSU Biological Science or Physical Science lab requirement.

 

 

Anatomy and Physiology

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 11-12

Prerequisites: Completion of Biology 1-2 and Algebra 1-2 with a "C" or better. Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Chemistry with a "C" or better.

Description: Anatomy and Physiology is designed to be a second year Biological Science course for students who are interested in biology or the medical professions. It is a rigorous laboratory science that will focus on the structure and function of human body systems. In the laboratory there is an emphasis on learning through dissection and hands on activities.

MEETS: This course meets High School and UC/CSU Biological Science lab requirement.

 

 

Biology 1-2

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 9-12

Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in Integrated Math I.

Description:  This course uses a conceptual laboratory approach to investigate contemporary concepts and principles of biology. Major emphasis of the course includes molecular chemistry and genetics, evolutionary patterns, systems physiology, and ecosystems. Course includes observations of living and preserved organisms. Strong writing, reading, reasoning, and mathematical skills are necessary for successful comprehension of course concepts and completion of laboratory investigations.

MEETS: This course meets High School and UC/CSU Biological Science lab requirement.

 

Biotechnology:  Methods and Principles (ROP) - onsite

Full year course, 5 units each semester, ROP credits also, grades 11-12.  Students must also be enrolled in five other classes.

Prerequisites: Completion of Biology 1-2 and Algebra 2 with a "C" or better. Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Chemistry with a "C" or better.

Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts and practices of modern biotechnology, thus enabling them to further pursue academic and industrial opportunities. The emphasis is on practical methods and basic concepts of molecular biology, utilizing modern equipment, and state-of-the-art protocols.

MEETS:  This course meets High School and UC/CSU Biological Science lab requirement and Career Technical Education.

 

 

Chemistry 1-2

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 10-12

Prerequisites: Completion of most recent science class (Biology or Physics) with a “C-” grade.  Concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 strongly recommended.

Description: State and District Science Standards are addressed through the study of the structure of matter, periodic table, solutions, organic and biochemistry, as well as electrochemistry (see course content). Problem solving is emphasized using the unit factor approach. Formal lab write-ups will be taught and utilized.    Strong writing, reading, reasoning and mathematical skills are necessary for successful comprehension of course concepts and completion of laboratory investigations.  The course is demanding, requiring frequent use of mathematical concepts.

MEETS:  This course meets High School and UC/CSU Physical Science lab requirement.

 

Chemistry 1-2 Honors

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 10-12

Prerequisites: Completion of most recent science class (Biology or Physics) with a “B” or better grade.  Completion of Algebra 2 with a “C” grade or better, or concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 Advanced or higher level math.

Description: This course is strongly recommended for students intending to pursue a science career which necessitates further chemistry courses at the college level; however, this does not exclude students wishing to challenge themselves with a demanding, rigorous course. The course follows a classical chemistry format.  However, the subject matter is broadened and treated in greater depth with the inclusion of units in thermochemistry, chemical bonding, and molecular structure.  Problem solving is emphasized using the unit factor approach.  The problems are more challenging than those in regular Chemistry.  Students are encouraged to take the SAT II (Chemistry) exam.

MEETS: This course meets High School and UC/CSU Physical Science lab requirement.

 

Physics of Electronic Robotics

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 10-12

Prerequisites: Completion of Integrated Math I (or Algebra 1) with a ”C” grade for both semesters.

Description: The Physics of Electronic Robotics is an integrated Physics and Engineering Technology program that will allow students to study physics and pre-engineering in a unique way that blends a traditional science course with the principles of engineering and technology. In addition to classroom activities, experiments and labs, students will investigate physics through the design and fabrication of robotic and automated systems. Areas of study include motion and forces, matter and energy, heat and thermodynamics, waveforms, electricity and magnetism. Robotic design challenges and project based activities will be used to assess student’s skills and abilities.

MEETS: This course meets High School and UC/CSU Physical Science lab requirement.

 

Physics 1-2

Full year course, 5 units each semester, grades 11-12

Prerequisites: Completion of most recent science class with a "C" or better.  Completion of Algebra 2 with “C” grade or better or concurrent enrollment in Biology or Chemistry or Algebra 2 Advanced.

Description: This course delves into the laws which govern the physical world in which we live. It is designed to strengthen the students’ abilities to solve problems logically, analyze experimental data effectively, make accurate predictions, and reach useful generalizations. Emphasis is on understanding concepts in the major units of study including force and motion, energy, gravity, relativity, waves and optics, electricity, and nuclear physics.

MEETS: This course meets High School and UC/CSU Physical Science lab requirement.

 

Physics 1-2 Honors

Full Year course, 5 units each semester, grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Completion of most recent science class (Biology or Chemistry) with a "B" or better ("C" or better for honors level courses). Concurrent enrollment or completion of  PreCalculus.

Description: Honors Physics has similar objectives and follows the same course outline as Physics 1-2. However, topics are treated in greater depth and with much greater emphasis on mathematical problem solving. Trigonometry is used frequently and students should be adept at translating word problems into mathematical equations. This course is well suited for students who intend to study engineering or physical science in college and those who enjoy a more mathematical approach.

MEETS: This course meets High School and UC/CSU Physical Science lab requirement.

 

Elective Courses

 

Medical Careers

In conjunction with the Health, and Biotechnology Academy (HABIT)

Full year course, 10 units, grades 11-12

Prerequisites:  Strong interest in the medical field.

Description:  This course introduces the fields of nursing, emergency medicine, and other health professions as a foundation for health care practice.  It will include basics of  First Aid/CPR, an overview of medical traditions, the structure of the US healthcare system, medical knowledge, terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and career exploration.  The course will also cover the roles, skills and abilities required for work as a care provider, manager and contributor to the medical profession. The professional values of caring, integrity, ethical practice, compassion, empathy, cultural competence, service and quality are emphasized. Aspects of the healthcare process covered include legal, ethical, and professional issues, wellness and illness patterns and basic health care skills. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a beginning understanding of the health care process to promote, maintain and restore optimum health for diverse patients throughout the lifespan. Note: Students will receive Vocational Education credit but not Science credit.