Science

The Darrow campus and its surrounding community serve as classroom and laboratory for students in Environmental Science. Students conduct field and laboratory investigations, apply scientific methods during investigations, and make informed decisions using critical thinking and scientific problem solving. Students study the interrelationships in the natural world including earth’s ecosystems, atmosphere, climate, soils, energy, water, populations, and natural resources. In this project based learning class students analyze environmental problems, examine solutions for resolving them, and present their results to authentic audiences. The unifying themes are the exploration of the intricate miracle that is this living planet and the potential for science to leverage positive change in the community.

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 the processes of biology 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, other aspects of this science called physics. We will investigate these concepts of physics 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 use Lego Mindstorms Robotics to 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 designed for students of any grade level and is open to students of all levels of experience.

Ever wonder what the spleen does? Or why taste and smell are connected? Anatomy and Physiology will investigate the structure and function of the body systems. Work at your own pace to learn awesome words like acetabulum, lacunae, vitreous humor, glomerulus, gastrocnemius, and more, as we also investigate the newly discovered organ system, the interstitium. You will get hands-on, dissect, experiment, and learn all about the human body.

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.

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 II is hands-on class that requires creativity and design thinking. Students continue to develop computer programming logic and reasoning skills as they design, build, and program robots within an engineering context using Tetrix Robotics. Students work in teams to build a variety of fixed and mobile devices focused upon meeting the criteria of design challenges. As a final challenge students will design, build, and code an entirely original robot of their own design. This course is open to students who have taken Robotics I or have demonstrated past experience with Lego Mindstorms or Tetrix.

Prerequisite: Robotics I

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 an 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!

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