Science

The Darrow campus and its surroundings serve as classroom and laboratory for students in Environmental Science. Students conduct field and laboratory investigations, use scientific methods during investigations, and make informed decisions using critical thinking and scientific problem solving. Students study a variety of topics that include: biotic and abiotic factors in habitats; ecosystems and biomes; interrelationships among resources and an environmental system; sources and flow of energy through an environmental system; relationship between carrying capacity and changes in populations and ecosystems; and changes in environments.

In Biology, students will examine the living world around them and its structures and processes. They will delve into scientific research and ask, “How can I read and interpret scientific findings for myself?” They will learn laboratory skills and create their own investigations. Students study a variety of topics that include: structures and functions of cells and viruses; growth and development of organisms; cells, tissues, and organs; nucleic acids and genetics; biological evolution; taxonomy; metabolism and energy transfers in living organisms; living systems; and homeostasis. Students will identify how biology’s processes are interrelated, and its significance to our daily lives.

In Chemistry, students conduct field and laboratory investigations, use scientific methods during investigations, and make informed decisions using critical thinking and scientific problem solving. Students study a variety of topics that include: characteristics of matter; energy transformations during physical and chemical changes; atomic structure; periodic table of elements; behavior of gases; bonding; nuclear fusion and nuclear fission; oxidation-reduction reactions; chemical equations; solutes; properties of solutions; acids and bases; and chemical reactions. Students will investigate how chemistry is an integral part of our daily lives.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to play a sport on the moon? Or have you wanted to design a roller coaster ride? Physics allows you to understand how matter and energy interact so that you can meaningfully engage in exploring these questions and more. This class will be organized around a series of design challenges that will be based upon your growing knowledge of mechanics, acoustics, optics, heat, electricity, magnetism, and other aspects of physics. We will investigate these concepts together and apply engineering practices to meet the goals of each challenge.

A robot is an embedded configuration of software and hardware designed to interact with its surroundings autonomously and or via human input. This includes everything from a vending machine to the Mars Exploration Rovers. Robotics is a hands-on introduction to the concepts and applications of robots. Students develop computer programming logic and reasoning skills as they design, build, and program robots within an engineering context. Students work in teams to build a variety of fixed and mobile devices focused upon meeting the criteria of design challenges such as simulating a fire rescue or making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This class is open to all levels of experience.

Students will identify plant life on campus, learn to forage and harvest plants, and learn techniques for preservation and medicinal use of the plants. This course focuses on sense of place as well as Darrow’s Shaker history. Students will gain lab experience and will examine the ways in which modern techniques differ from those the Shakers used. Students will also grow and harvest their own plants for use. Time will be spent outside, researching techniques, and creating actual balms, salves, tinctures, etc., from the gathered plants. We will also explore more complicated chemical processes, like extracting essential oils. All levels of science experience welcome.

The purpose of this course is to increase the student’s knowledge and understanding of human physiology, and the adaptations that occur during exercise. Exercise physiology is a branch of biology that deals with the functioning of the human body during exercise. An understanding of how the body responds to acute and chronic exercise is crucial for the physical educator, athletic trainer, coach, fitness expert, or exercise physiologist. Emphasis is placed on environmental factors affecting athletic performance, as well as circulatory, respiratory, and neuromuscular responses to the physical stress of exercise. The objective of this course is for students to gain an understanding and working knowledge of how the body responds to exercise so that they can apply this knowledge to their personal lives and chosen careers. The course is recommended for students interested in the fields of health care, biology, or exercise science.

Have you ever wondered how web pages are made? Have you ever wanted to create your own web page? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this class may be for you. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to planning and designing effective web pages; implementing web pages by writing HTML, HTML5, and CSS (cascading style sheets) code. We will also learn how to enhance web pages with the use of page layout techniques, text formatting, graphics, images, and multimedia. This class will consist largely of independent work with some instructional periods, as well as tests. No prior knowledge of HTML or web design is necessary for this course.

A basic overview of forensic science, covering fingerprinting, observation, crime scene processing techniques, data collection, microscopic evidence analysis, blood analysis, footprints, and other areas of interest. Students will gain a basic understanding of forensic science terminology, techniques, and skills. Students will improve skills such as observation, microscope and slide handling, research, analysis, and critical thinking.

Have you ever wondered what’s inside the machines we use on a daily basis? Mechanical Science will allow you to access the inner workings of some basic tools and machines to gain a deeper understanding of how humans have engineered some elegant solutions to make our lives easier. We will learn to use simple hand tools as well as manual and electronic measuring instruments to take apart and put back together basic mechanical devices. We will focus on gears, motors, engines, and simple electronic circuits in devices to understand how these tools and machines function. Historical perspective will be gained through learning about Renaissance-era work with simple machines and we will use algebraic equations that allow us to calculate mechanical advantage based on these simple concepts. Lastly, we will focus on furthering our manual competency as we learn how to physically take something apart, problem-solving when we can’t immediately solve a problem in front of us, and good teamwork skills when a third or fourth hand, or second pair of eyes, is needed. Get your hands dirty and take it apart!

Students will learn to understand and program in the C programming language. This course is an introduction and requires no prior programming experience, but does require a background in Algebra II. Students will learn the basics of C, including how to write programs and use proper programming “grammar.” Course topics will include, but are not limited to, understanding and using different data types and functions; using arrays; utilizing if, if-else, and else-if statements; and utilizing “while” loops and “for” loops. Students need to have a Windows or Apple laptop to bring to class.

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