Science Department

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known 
-Carl Sagan

The passionate and dedicated members of the BHS Science Department offer a comprehensive curriculum, providing students of all abilities and aspirations, pathways to achieve their educational goals.  The science department values authentic learning opportunities.  Students participate in field and laboratory experiences that highlight the applications of science to everyday life.

The Science Department strives to support the academic, social, and civic expectations of Berlin High School in all of its courses. All science courses stress inquiry-based learning and encourage students to use a variety of academic and technological resources. Substantial emphasis is placed on reading critically, solving problems creatively, and developing an understanding of scientific principles.  Acquisition of these skills enables students to become informed, responsible 21st century citizens.


Department Curriculum 


Course Offerings: 

Science Department Curriculum Map

Integrated Earth & Physical

HS03201G Integrated Earth & Physical Science
Full Year 1.25 credit
Grade 9
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation.

Intended for students who are concurrently enrolled in Academic Math Support, Balanced Algebra I/Geometry I, or Algebra I.

This course covers the study of the physical and chemical components of the Earth and provides students with foundational concepts necessary for future study in Science. Units of study include the Structure of Matter, Chemistry and Composition of the Atmosphere; Weather; Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics; Energy and Earth Resources; the Universe; Forces and Motion. Students develop an understanding of interactions and interdependence within and between Earth systems and changes in Earth systems over time. Throughout the year, the scientific method and problem solving are stressed in class demonstrations and laboratory activities. Emphasis is placed on extending student learning through the integration of higher order thinking strategies. CAPT Science Embedded Tasks, labs, and practice are completed throughout the year.  This course includes one double lab period per week.

Chemistry

HS03101G Chemistry
Full Year 1.25 credit
Grades 9 (may be taken in grades 11 or 12 as an elective
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra I or
Balanced Algebra I/Geometry II and science teacher recommendation.

This course is an introductory course in chemistry for the college-bound student with average math skills. The course utilizes as much mathematics as is necessary for the basic material and offers the application of chemistry to everyday life.   Laboratory reports utilizing a technical writing format will be required. Concepts include the properties and structure of matter, the periodic table, writing chemical formulas and balancing equations, acids & bases, gas laws, and nuclear chemistry. CAPT Science Embedded Tasks, labs, and practice are completed throughout the year.  This course includes one double lab period per week.

Advanced Chemistry

HS03101E *Advanced Chemistry
Full Year 1.25 credit
Grade 9
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Honors
Algebra I and science teacher recommendation.

 

This is a full year lab course in the principles of modern chemistry for college preparatory students with superior math skills and a strong interest in Science. Units include properties of matter, atomic structure, periodicity, chemical bonds and formulas, types of reactions, stoichiometry, gas laws, acids and bases, and organic chemistry. Problem solving and critical laboratory report writing will be emphasized as well as required. CAPT Science Embedded Tasks, labs, and practice are completed throughout the year. This course includes one double lab period per week.

Biology

HS03051G Biology
Full Year 1.25 credit
Grade 10

This is a general biology course with an emphasis on the application of the Scientific Method and relevance of Biology to everyday life. Topics include investigations of the following: cell structure and function, genetics, DNA, evolution, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and ecology. Critical thinking and applications will be emphasized. CAPT Science Embedded Tasks, labs, and practice will be completed throughout the first semester. This course includes one double lab period per week.  Successful completion of this course fulfills the Biology graduation requirement. 

*Advanced Placement, UConn ECE Biology (Honors)

HS03056H **Advanced Placement, UConn ECE Biology (Honors)
Full Year 1.50 credits
Grades 10, 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of *Advanced Chemistry with a recommended average of 88 or above and science teacher recommendation.

Students enrolling in this class must be aware that this is a college level course and will be taught as such. Topics covered are consistent with UConn Bio 1107 & 1108 and with the AP Biology Development Committee. Topics covered include biomolecules and cells, genetics and evolution, evolutionary history of biological diversity, plant and animal form and function, and ecology. Students use the college level text Biology (AP) 9th ed, Campbell 2011. Students electing to enroll in this course must participate in field trips and fetal pig dissection. Students are encouraged to take the AP Exam in May and are also encouraged to achieve University of Connecticut credit. Students are individually responsible for the costs associated with the University of Connecticut credit and the Advanced Placement examination. There are two double lab periods scheduled per week. Successful completion of this course fulfills the Biology graduation requirement.

Physics

HS03151G Physics
Full Year 1.25 credits
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry and Algebra II and concurrent enrollment in Pre-Calculus or College Algebra & Math Modeling, and science teacher recommendation.

A full-year lab course in the principles of physics and problem solving for college preparatory students with strong math backgrounds. Topics include measurement, mechanics, hydrostatics, aerodynamics, optics, sound, electricity, and an introduction to modern physics. This course includes one double lab period per week.

**Advanced Placement, UConn ECE Physics (Honors)

HS03155H **Advanced Placement, UConn ECE Physics (Honors)
Full Year 1.50 credits
Grade 12
Prerequisite: Science teacher recommendation. Must be concurrently enrolled in senior level Honors  Math class and have successfully completed Pre- Calculus Honors.

A full-year lab course in the principles and applications of physics, requiring extensive use of mathematics. Topics include mechanics, hydrostatics, thermodynamics, optics, sound, electricity, magnetism, and an introduction to modern physics. The course includes two double labs per week. Students admitted to the University of Connecticut Early College Experience Program may earn UConn credits in non-calculus physics (PH1201Q & PH1202Q) with a grade of "C" or better. Students are encouraged to take the AP Physics I Exam in May and are also encouraged to achieve University of Connecticut credit. Students are individually responsible for the costs associated with the University of Connecticut credit and the Advanced Placement examination.

Anatomy and Physiology

HS03053G Anatomy and Physiology
Full Year 1.25 credit
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology and Chemistry and science teacher recommendation.

 

A detailed study of human anatomy and physiology for the student with a sincere interest in the biological/medical field, this course is designed to introduce the students to the structures and functions of the human body. Each student is required to dissect a domestic cat, perform other dissections, and become involved in various physiological experiments. This course includes one double lab per week.

**Advanced Placement UConn ECE Chemistry (Honors)

HS03106H **Advanced Placement UConn ECE Chemistry (Honors)
Full Year 1.5 credits
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Advanced Chemistry with a recommended average of 88 or above and a science teacher recommendation. Must have completed an Algebra II course (may not be concurrently enrolled). Completion of a Summer Chemistry Problem Set is required.


Students enrolling in this class must be aware that this is a college level course and will be taught as such. Topics covered are consistent with UConn CHEM 1127Q and 1128Q and with the AP Chemistry Development Committee. Topics covered include: properties/ states/ structure of matter, measurement, stoichiometry, solution chemistry, electron behavior and the quantum concept, covalent and ionic bonding, thermochemistry, gaseous/ acid-base / precipitation equilibrium, spontaneity and rate of reaction, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Students use the college level text: Masterton, William H., and Cecile N. Hurley. Chemistry: Principles and Reactions. This course includes two double lab periods per week.  Students electing to enroll in this course are encouraged to take the AP Exam in May and register with the UConn ECE program for the opportunity to earn UConn credits in CHEM 1127Q and 1128Q. Students are individually responsible for the costs associated with the University of Connecticut credit and the Advanced Placement examination.

**Advanced Placement UConn ECE Environmental Science

HS03207H **AP /UConn ECE Environmental Science
Full Year 1.50 credits
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology and Chemistry and science teacher recommendation.


Students enrolling in this class must be aware that this is a college level course and will be taught as such. AP Environmental Science is designed to align with the Advanced Placement curriculum and UConn's Natural Resource Management (NRE1000). It provides students with principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze both natural and human-made environmental problems, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. This course includes two double lab periods per week. Students electing to enroll in this course are encouraged to take the AP Exam in May and are encouraged to achieve University of Connecticut credit. Students are individually responsible for the costs associated with the Advanced Placement examination and University of Connecticut course fees.   There are two double lab periods scheduled each week.

Horticulture

HS03058G Horticulture
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology.

 

Horticulture involves both outdoor and indoor study of plant care. Students will become involved in seed germination of spring plants as well as learning other methods of plant propagation. Plant form and function will be introduced as part of the information necessary to perform the laboratory experiments. As the weather warms, students will learn basic landscape techniques as they work in the one of the two school courtyards. Students will learn through a combination of field, classroom, and laboratory activities. Hands-on activities will be emphasized and participation in the activities is required to successfully complete the course.

Forensic Science

 HS03202G Forensic Science
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology.

The course will seek to investigate basic concepts in a variety of disciplines including Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics while solving crimes through hands-on experimentation.  Extensive use of math is required to perform thelaboratory assessments. Students will construct a portfolio from all of the laboratory exercises performed in the course. Topics covered in this course will be the analysis of crime scenes, blood, fingerprints, bodily fluids. DNA fingerprints as well as the recognition of protein patterns found in fibers and cells left at a crime scene will be investigated.

Environmental Science

HS03003G Environmental Science
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology.


Environmental science is both relevant to students’ personal experiences as well as vital to the future of our planet. In this semester course students will gain a better understanding of the human impact on the environment by expanding on ecological issues presented in biology. Some of the topics that will be covered include resource depletion and shifting to a more sustainable use of resources, different types of pollution and their causes and solutions. Extensive emphasis will be placed on current events. All students will be required to maintain a weekly current events journal. Inquirybased lab activities and field trips will also be included.

Biotechnology

HS14252G Biotechnology
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry and Biology and science teacher recommendation.


The themes of this single semester course are fermentation, microorganisms and DNA manipulation. Using up-to-date laboratory methods and technology, students will explore our ability to engineer DNA to enable harmless forms of microbes to produce useful products. The inquiry-based course includes the history of biotechnology, techniques in DNA science, microbiology, fermentation, genetics, forensics and related societal issues. This course is highly recommended for serious juniors and seniors who plan to major in the biological or medical fields in college.

Marine Biology I

HS03005G12 Marine Biology I
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12 (Semester 1)
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology.

 

Students will study the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the marine environment. Heavy emphasis will be on the chemistry of sea water and the ecology of estuaries. An introduction to the ecology of coral reefs and deep sea hydrothermal vent communities will also be provided. Marine aquariums will be maintained and science field investigations in Long Island Sound, using Project Oceanology, will be done.

Marine Biology II

 HS03005G22 Marine Biology II
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 11 or 12 (Semester 2)
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Marine Biology I.


Students will study the anatomy and physiology of representative animals. Emphasis will be placed upon the structure of the organism sand how they are adapted to their particular habitat. Dissections are included. Field trips are planned in association with Project Oceanology.

Astronomy

HS03004G Astronomy
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 10, 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a full year core science course and Algebra I or Balanced
Alg. I/Geometry II.


Skills developed in Algebra I will be used to investigate topics of current interest such as formation of stars, planets, our solar system, origin of chemical elements, novae and supernovae, white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, active galaxies, quasars, asteroids, meteors, distances in space, and explore the possibility of life outside of Earth. The topics listed above may vary due to current events in astronomy.

Astronomy II

HS030004G2  Astronomy II
1/2 Year   .50 Credit
Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Astronomy I

The skills and content of Astronomy I, will be used to investigate gravitation, orbits, tides, the moon's phases and eclipses, spectral classification, the solar system, binary adn trinary star systems, the Sun as a star, stellar interiors, further exploration of star formation and stellar evolution, the structure of the Milkey Way, the types of galaxies and their properties, clusters and superclusters of glaxies, and current events in astromomy.

Meteorology

HS03006G Meteorology
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 10, 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a full year core science course and Algebra I or Balanced
Algebra I/Geometry II.


Topics of current interest such as: atmospheric structure and composition, global circulation and atmospheric motions, clouds and precipitation, weather patterns and weather prediction, severe weather, the greenhouse effect, atmospheric ozone, air pollution, and El Nino. The topics listed above may vary due to current events in meteorology.

Catastrophic Events in Science

HS03049G Catastrophic Events in Science
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 10, 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a full year core science course.


Topics of current interest such as: asteroid impacts, black holes, gamma ray bursts, super-volcanoes, climate change, epidemics, super-earthquakes, and tsunamis. The topics listed above may vary due to current events in science.

Busting Myths in Science

 HS03210G Busting Myths in Science
1/2 Year .50 credit
Grades 10, 11 or 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of a full year core science course.


This is a project and lab based course based on the hit T.V. show MythBusters. By utilizing the scientific method students will prove or debunk advertising claims, online videos, and myths in science. Students will communicate their finding in numerous ways, including: video presentations, PowerPoint presentations, and written reports.


Elisabeth Cinque
David DelGiudice
Sarah Grillo
Richard Hanbury
Morgan Hanna
Fenn Holt
Megan Hurley
Adam Leonard
Lisa Primus
Matthew Recore
Mary Salerno
Brendan Wilkosz
Jennifer Winkler 


DEPARTMENT CHAIR
Mary Salerno | profile  
 860-828-6577 x2130
 msalerno@berlinschools.org


LAB TECHNICIAN
Nancy Kennure 


PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 55 - Computer Based Lab Interfaces
  • 13 - Document Cameras
  • 4 - AP Courses
  • 3 - UConn ECE Courses


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