SCIENCE

The Science Department’s mission is to offer a variety of science classes that present material in a dynamic and experiential manner while teaching students the strategies and solid scientific research skills they will need in college.


Students learn critical thinking skills by regularly conducting scientific research and experiments, by learning how to make an appropriate conjecture and how their collected data either supports or refutes that statement. Science classes also teach students effective strategies for accessing information from a variety of sources. Teachers use the latest technology to present material in an interactive manner. The focus in all science classes is to encourage students to think critically about the world, to improve their understanding of the scientific method and use of research skills, and to hone their ability to present their knowledge in written and visual form.


Health and Wellness

  • Grade 9
  • .5 Credit

The course focuses on the basic foundations for promoting a healthy mind and body. The course begins with lessons centered on helping students build a strong sense of who they are; students examine their core values and the outside forces that can reinforce or challenge those central beliefs. The Wellness curriculum also covers strategies for developing and promoting positive, self-management skills and habits, as well as how to build and maintain healthy relationships.


Conceptual Physics

  • Grade 9
  • .5 Credit
  • .May be taken at an Honors level

Conceptual Physics is the first course in the Science curriculum. This course will offer students opportunities for both scientific and creative learning experiences, where the main focus of the class will be a basic introduction to physics by learning basic concepts in forces, motion, Newton’s Laws of Motion, work, energy, power and simple machines. After receiving the foundational concepts and math that supports those concepts, students will be required to complete a project where they create a prototype in one of the following topics: sustainable energy, pollution, robotics and Human Impact Designs. Use of electronics will be taught to support the content and help students manage their time effectively to create their projects. Students conduct projects based upon the Buck Institute Project Based Learning (PBL) model. Then students showcase their project models for public review and submit a paper and a verbal presentation.


Biology

  • Grades 10, 11, 12, PG
  • Includes Lab

This course provides a broad overview of the structure of life, biochemistry, genetics, evolution, a survey of plants and animals, and an introduction to ecology. The Biology curriculum requires students to employ the skills and concepts learned in previous science courses. Laboratory sessions and research projects help reinforce the concepts students have learned by giving them practice in analytical techniques, scientific writing skills, and following directions. Students will also learn to use electronics as tools for laboratory, reading and writing.


Biology Honors

  • Grades 10, 11, 12, PG
  • Includes Lab
  • By teacher recommendation

Biology Honors will provide a broad overview of the structure of life, biochemistry, genetics, evolution, a survey of plants and animals, human body systems, and an introduction to ecology. The Biology curriculum requires students to employ the skills and concepts learned in previous science courses. Laboratory sessions and research projects help reinforce the concepts students have learned by giving them practice in analytical techniques, scientific writing skills, and following directions. Students will also learn to use electronics as tool for laboratory, reading and writing.


Emerging Diseases

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 Credit
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Biology

Emerging Diseases is a science course that explores the relationships between microorganism, environment, and diseases. General principles of genetics and evolution as well as historical and political factors will be examined in an effort to explain the emergence of new diseases. Laboratory exercises include basic microbiology, data analysis, simulations, and survey research. Development and function of the immune system in normal immunity and immune systems diseases, such as HIV, are also explored. This course examines clinically relevant topics including allergy and inflammation, vaccines and molecular medicine, autoimmunity, immune deficiencies, and cancer immunotherapy as well as immune responses to viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Class discussions examine immunological topics in scientific research, clinical case presentations, diagnoses and the impact of immunology on public health. Readings may include: Hot Zone, Yellow Death, Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History's Deadliest Diseases by Mary Dobson


Chemistry

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Algebra I

Students in this course study the properties of matter and observe the relationship between matter and energy through a variety of real world applications. Students enrolling in this course should have strong abstract reasoning skills, as chemical concepts are the most intangible of any of the sciences. Reasonable proficiency in Algebra is also required. Regular laboratory sessions and demonstrations teach analytical techniques, reinforce lecture concepts, improve writing skills, and stress the importance of following directions. Students also refine research skills and present oral reports.


Cambridge International AS Level Chemistry

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • 2 credits, scheduled daily
  • Includes Lab
  • By teacher recommendation

Cambridge International AS and A Level Chemistry encourages learners to explore their subject in depth. The syllabus has been designed, in consultation with teachers and universities, to help learners develop not only subject knowledge, but also a strong understanding of some of the key concepts that are critical to mastering the subject. The Chemistry syllabus includes the main theoretical concepts, which are fundamental to the subject, a section on current applications of chemistry, and a strong emphasis on advanced practical skills. Practical skills are assessed in a timetabled practical examination. Students practice experimental skills throughout their course of study. Students will spend at least 20% of their time doing practical work individually or in small groups. The practical work that learners complete during their course aims to develop the skills they need to carry out experimental and investigative work; reinforce the student’s learning of the theoretical subject content of the syllabus; and instill an understanding of the interplay of experiment and theory in scientific method. At the end of this course, students will be prepared for, and are expected to take the Cambridge International AS Level Exam.


General Physics

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry, and Algebra II
  • Must be currently enrolled in Pre-Calculus

This course will study motion, simple mechanics, forms of energy, heat, and basic electricity. Students begin by studying the motion of objects on earth and beyond. Students apply their knowledge of motion in the study of force, momentum, and universal gravitation. This provides the foundation for understanding energy, heat, and fluid forces. This course stresses mastery of basic concepts in physics as well as the mathematical skills needed to quantify, represent, and communicate these concepts. Regular laboratory sessions and demonstrations teach analytical techniques, reinforce lecture concepts, improve writing skills, and stress the importance of following directions.


Physics Honors

  • Grades 12, PG
  • Honors
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry, and Pre-Calculus
  • Must be currently enrolled in Calculus
  • By teacher recommendation

Students will study motion, simple mechanics, forms of energy, heat, the basics of electricity, pressure, and the atmosphere. Students begin by studying the motion of objects on earth and beyond. That is then applied to the study of force, momentum, and universal gravitation. This provides the foundation for understanding energy, heat, and electricity. This course stresses mastery of these concepts in physics as well as the mathematical skills needed to quantify, represent, and communicate these concepts.

Several laboratory sessions will be conducted in order for students to apply their knowledge of analytical techniques, and reinforce lecture concepts. This course will allow students to apply concepts learned in a pre-calculus or calculus course to real world concepts.


Tropical Ecology Seminar

  • Grades 12, PG
  • Honors
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Biology
  • Interview process is required to be chosen for this course

Tropical Ecology Seminar focuses on current global environmental issues by studying how they have impacted the tropical rain forest. The curriculum focuses on four major areas: field research skills, critical thinking skills, an in-depth view of tropical biology, and the complex issues of tropical deforestation. Each unit demands a considerable amount of time outside the classroom conducting independent research. Students focus on one of five on-going research projects in class and in the rainforest of Costa Rica. This course is devoted to the study of the world’s rain forests, culminating in two weeks of field study in Costa Rica. The results of this field study will be presented to local community groups. This course is taught with college level material. An interview process is required to be chosen for this course by a group of students and trip leaders. This course travels to the Rain Forest of Costa Rica at an additional cost, during the Winterim period (the first two weeks of March).


Ecology

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Biology

Ecology is the study of the Earth’s processes and systems that have evolved over millions of years to sustain life on our planet. This field of study teaches students about the relationships between the living and non-living environment. Students will learn the basic principles of ecology through a survey of terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Regular laboratory sessions will emphasize critical thinking and reasoning skills, while reinforcing lecture topics and improve scientific writing skills. Students will also be required to read a non-fiction book to reinforce topics and will participate in oral presentations. Field Laboratory skills will also be taught and practiced as weather permits.


Anatomy and Physiology

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • Includes Lab

Anatomy and Physiology is a science course that investigates the structure and function of whole-body systems, including the mechanisms of control and integration of various systems. While the primary focus will be regulation of human systems, animal models will be used to further explore the topic. Students will be required to prepare oral and written presentations. Laboratory work will require dissections, where practical exams will be part of the assessment standard. Virtual Dissections on iPads will also be used prior to the dissection of preserved specimens.


Forensic Science

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Geometry

This course provides students with the scientific principles, techniques, and skills used today to link a crime suspect with the victim and crime scene. It will also provide the opportunity to stimulate interest in science using the probing questions of crime scene investigators. Seeing science through the eyes of an investigator will allow students to apply the knowledge gained through their study of biology, chemistry, and physics. Through their investigations, students will improve their critical reading and thinking skills and learn principles and concepts of chemical and drag analysis, as well as the techniques used in DNA typing. The nature of physical evidence will be emphasized along with practices relating to the proper collection and preservation of evidence. Microscopic investigation of hair, fibers, and trace evidence will be conducted. Forensic aspects of arson, serology, entomology, fingerprints, weather-related fatalities, and document investigation will be explored. Criminal case studies will be discussed as part of the coursework.


Further Topics in Forensic Science

  • Grades 12, PG
  • .5 credit
  • Includes Lab
  • Prerequisite: Forensic Science and Algebra II

Advanced Topics in Forensic Science is a half-year course designed to broaden students’ understanding in forensics. This course will provide students with the basic theoretical and philosophical understanding of the investigatory process as well as fundamental investigation techniques such as crime scene analysis, collection, preservation, and testing of evidence, modus operandi, use of technology, types of evidence, and the science of criminalistics. Topics covered include an analysis of hair and fiber, ballistics and firearms, advanced techniques in blood spatter, and DNA analysis.


Robotics and Advanced Robotics

  • Grades 10, 11, 12, PG
  • Prerequisites: High interest and/or prior knowledge in learning computer programming and learning the techniques of building a robot

This class is registered with VEX-EDR; the high school/college robotics platform, which offers a rich and exciting program to immerse students in STEM through the fun of building robots. This course introduces the fundamental concepts of programming and techniques of building Robots. The class is the team which competes with other high schools and colleges in Southern New England with the VEX platform and the design game for that academic year. Students are challenged to improve logic and problem-solving skills that serve as a foundation for future study in computer science and a variety of disciplines.


Computer Programming

  • All grades

Computer Programming is aimed at students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in solving problems. It also aims to help students, regardless of their major, to feel justifiably confident of their ability to write small programs that allow them to accomplish useful goals. The class will use a variety of entry level programming languages. Focus will be on scoping of projects, execution, and delivery. We will incorporate the business end of programming so that students can understand the big picture. The course has a flexible structure that allows us to explore topic of interest to the students themselves.


Advanced Programming
• Grades 10, 11, 12, PG
• Prerequisite: Computer Programming

In this course, students will learn C#, C++ and Java. Advanced Programming is aimed at showing students the link between higher levels of mathematics and programming. Throughout the year students will work through projects that explore programming from several different perspectives including game development, computer graphics, artificial intelligence and encryption. During this course students will learn how to utilize vector mathematics and industry software such as Autodesk Maya and Unreal 4 Engine to design, program and develop video games. This class is largely project-based and will provide students with an opportunity to work both individually and collectively throughout the year.

 

Forman School
12 Norfolk Road, P.O. Box 80, Litchfield, CT 06759
Phone: 860.567.8712
Fax: 860.567.8317

 

Forman School is a coeducational, preparatory boarding and day school for grades 9-PG exclusively dedicated to empowering bright students who learn differently.

 

 

 

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