Principles of Science
Principles of Science is CCSC's three-year middle school integrated science course. Through this three-year course, students learn basic science reasoning skills such as making hypotheses, using data to evaluate them, and presenting evidence for theories and facts. In addition, students spend nearly 5 hours a week in science class, which enables them to gain knowledge in all major science disciplines with both breadth and depth.
Students in PS6 learn about a range of different topics including space science (how the earth, the moon, and the sun interact), earth science (evidence for evolution), technology and engineering (the process engineers use to solve complex problems), physical science (types of energy and motion), and life science (parts of a cell and what they do).
Students in PS7 learn about a range of different topics including technology and engineering (how people communicate with each other and how transportations are designed to move people and goods), physical science (energy, motion, heat transfer, magnets), life science (how living things interact with each other and the world around them, human body systems, and plant reproduction), earth science (how do humans impact the environment and how the earth changes over time).
Students in PS8 learn about life science (including cell biology and genetics), physical science (including basic chemistry and physics), space science (seasons, phases or the moon, and our solar system), and technology and engineering. This course also prepares students to take the 8th grade science MCAS.
Physics (Grade 9)
Physics is an introductory course that will guide high school students toward a deeper conceptual understanding of physical phenomena in our everyday lives. Topics covered include motion, forces, energy, momentum, heat and heat transfer, electricity and magnetism, light and waves. Students will complete hands-on labs and projects throughout the year. This course will also help students to strengthen key skills, including organization, problem solving, modeling, measurement and data collection, and scientific writing, which will be useful in future science courses. Students will take the Physics MCAS in June. This course does not prepare students to take the SAT Physics Subject Test, but interested students may prepare for the test independently.
Chemistry (Grade 10)
CCSC’s Chemistry course is designed around the Living by Chemistry curriculum, a research-based, guided inquiry approach to Chemistry. In this course, students will try their hand at engineering during our gas laws unit to create an accurate thermometer. Students are also pushed to apply Chemistry to their everyday lives by answer questions like, “Can we make gold like Alchemists?” while learning about atomic structure, nuclear equations, and chemical bonding. During the organic chemistry unit, students will answer the question “How are atoms and molecules responsible for smell?” while learning about basic functional groups, molecular bonding patterns, and molecular geometry. In the fourth unit, students will focus on answering the question “How much of a chemical is too much for a living organism to handle?” while exploring the harmful effects of sugar and sugar substitutes, acids and bases, chemical reactions, and stoichiometry. Our final unit is based on fire and how we use the energy produced during fires to power our world. Chemistry is a rigorous college-prep course that requires a strong foundation in algebra, pattern recognition, writing, and reading skills.
Introduction to Computer Science (Grade 10)
CS 10 is a basic introduction to computer science class taught through project based learning and exploration. We start the year off understanding what computational thinking is. Then we move into programming in a block based language called Snap! Students will learn programming concepts like loops, conditional statements, Boolean operations, predicates, lists and basic movement. They will build simple algorithms and use abstraction to manage the complexity of their programs. As the year progresses topics will shift to the internet, HTML, internet safety, digital privacy as well as innovations that have and will possibly change the way we live. The goals of this course are to familiarize students with programming and prepare students to be successful when they take AP Computer Science Principles.
Biology (Grade 11)
Biology is an inquiry-based laboratory course that provides students with an overview of life on Earth. Students will write evidence-based arguments and engage in computer simulations and laboratory experiences while students ecology, anatomy, evolution, biochemistry, and genetics. In this course, students will learn to: read basic and advanced scientific texts; how to write scientifically valid arguments; simulate different ecological situations; dissect fetal pigs; examine living organisms; and model the outcome of genetic crosses. These critical skills will help Grade 11 and 12 students refine their problem-solving abilities and expand their ability to analyze and synthesize information for a wide variety of audiences.
AP Computer Science Principles (Grade 12)
CCSC's Computer Science course will use the AP Computer Science Principles curriculum to focus on the creative, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and problem solving nature of computing. Major topics will include human computer interaction, problem solving and discrete mathematics, the internet and web design, algorithm design and development, managing and interpreting data with computers, and applications of computing in robotics. Students can expect to complete several in-depth real-world computing projects throughout the year. We will also explore the uses and limitations of technology as a tool for solving problems, as well as the relevance of computer science and its impact on society within economic, social, and cultural contexts. The logical thinking and data interpretation skills developed in this course are applicable to careers in business, social sciences, engineering, and more.
AP Biology (Grade 12)
Students in AP Biology will work to develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills such as planning investigations, analyzing data, applying mathematics to biological content, and connecting concepts across fields of biology. These skills should prepare students for the AP Biology exam, as well as the rigors of college level coursework. AP Biology will emphasize how to establish evidence and use evidence to develop and test predictions of biological concepts. Scientific practices in this course will include using models and mathematics to explain or analyze biological concepts; writing evidence-based arguments; planning experiments; analyzing data from experiments; and connecting information from different biological big ideas in a well-written essay. The big ideas of this course include: (1) evolution drives the diversity of life (evolution, ecology); (2) free energy and biomolecules drive growth, reproduction, and homoeostasis (biochemistry, ecology, & cell biology); (3) organisms store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information for life (genetics & cell biology); and (4) biological systems interact in complex ways (cell biology & ecology).