Science

The science program at Valor provides contextual knowledge and skills from which students can become scientifically literate in order to make Godly, responsible decisions. Each course actively involves students in problem solving, qualitative and quantitative analysis, hands-on minds-on learning, and verbal and written communication. Students will develop an appreciation of God’s creation and use science as a process to investigate and discover the natural relationships in our world.

Science Department Courses

SCI 110: Biology

Essential concepts include the scientific method, basic biochemistry, cell physiology, metabolic processes, cell division and cancer, animal structure and function, homeostasis, DNA and RNA, protein synthesis, gene expression, origins and evolution, anatomy and physiology (select systems), taxonomy, plant structure and function, and ecology. Students follow a comprehensive laboratory curriculum including dissections, microscope use, collection and interpretation of data, and use of a variety of laboratory equipment and tools. Regular writing assignments and/or projects require the application of student learning to current societal issues on a local, national, or worldwide level.

Grade: Freshman, Sophomore

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: None

SCI 120: Honors Biology

Essential concepts include the nature of life, scientific method, basic biochemistry, cell anatomy and physiology, cell growth and division, genetics, origins and evolution, taxonomy, microbiology, plant structure and function, and animal anatomy and physiology (including dissection of select systems). Students follow a comprehensive laboratory curriculum including dissections, microscope use, collection and interpretation of data, and use of a variety of laboratory equipment and tools. Regular writing assignments, reflection papers, and/or projects require the application of student learning to current societal issues on a local, national, or worldwide level.  Honors biology students rank in the top 35% of the incoming freshman class in reading comprehension and math skills.  Students are self-motivated, innately curious, have a deeper desire to understand biology (possibly related to future fields of study), and exhibit above average critical thinking and communication skills (written and oral).  Above average proficiency in technology including information gathering, ability to distinguish reliable sources, and use of word processing and power point skills are beneficial.

Grade: Freshman, Sophomore

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: None

SCI 210: Chemistry

Teaches basic principles, laws, theories and techniques of chemistry, stressing concepts, applications, and problem-solving skills. Labs reinforce topics and follow the scientific method. Curriculum includes scientific measurement, atomic structure, the mole concept, stoichiometry, nomenclature, chemical equations, gas laws, liquid and solid behavior, chemical bonding, molecular and ionic structure and acid/base and redox chemistry.

Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: Biology I, Algebra 1

SCI 220: Honors Chemistry

Honors Chemistry is a full year course with an emphasis on critical thinking, problem solving, hands-on learning, discussions, and safety during lab work. Honors Chemistry is a fast paced, more in depth study of chemistry, which will prepare students to take AP Chemistry if desired. Topics include the scientific method, the nature and properties of matter, the atom, the periodic table, chemical nomenclature, significant figures, the mole, stoichiometry, chemical composition, chemical reactions, molar/mass quantities, energy types, structure and function of chemical bonding, gas laws, liquids and solids, solubility and molarity, and properties of acids and bases. Students will also reflect on how the concepts they are studying affect their daily lives.

Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of "A" in Biology I or a minimum grade of "B" in Honors Biology and a minimum grade of "B" in Algebra I; or teacher approval

SCI 305: Marine Science

Marine Biology is a one semester, lab and project-based elective course which will cover classification, dissection, and understanding of marine organisms. The class will also cover many aspects of the physical and chemical properties of the ocean including waves and tsunamis, pressure, and ocean chemistry. There are two main projects. First, students will research, plan, and present a marine phyla or class to their peers in a presentation that lasts the entire period. Secondly, students will stock, monitor and maintain their own saltwater tanks. There is a lab fee of $50.00 to cover the cost of the fish and supplies. An optional summer scuba diving trip to Cozumel will bring these concepts to life and give much greater depth, focus, and appreciation for the marine environment.

Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Term: SemesterCredit: .05

Prerequisites: Biology or Honors Biology

Notes: Fee required. ($50)

SCI 310: Physics

College-prep Physics is a full year class highly recommended as an introduction to a more mathematically rigorous AP Physics course. This course is well suited for students seeking a liberal arts or non-science-based degree at a competitive college. This course requires an understanding of algebra and trigonometry and is designed to help students fully appreciate our world and the laws of nature. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, sound, electricity, magnetism and light.

Grade: Junior, Senior

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or higher; completion of Biology or Biology Honors and Chemistry or Chemistry Honors; or Teacher approval

SCI 335: Forensic Science

Forensic science uses scientific concepts, processes and thinking for investigating and solving crimes for legal purposes. In this class various branches of forensics will be covered: crime scene analysis, trace evidence, study of hair and fiber, blood and blood spatter, DNA evidence, fingerprints, death and decomposition, forensic anthropology, and casts and impressions. This course incorporates guest speakers from various occupations in the scope of forensic science. Using techniques learned in each area, students will analyze a crime scene.

Grade: Junior, Senior

Term: SemesterCredit: .05

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry

SCI 370: Robotics and Engineering

Robotics and Engineering is a semester science elective where students explore the amazing world of robotics. This course predominantly focuses on the hands-on creation of robots that meet both remote and autonomous control requirements. Through the process of discovery, students will inherently learn product development life-cycle principles from an engineering perspective. Integrated software development will be encapsulated within a V-Model development framework. The product and software development processes will be learned via creation of robots that meet specified user criteria. Students will research formal development approaches and the current and future role of robotics in society.

Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Term: SemesterCredit: .05

Prerequisites: 85% or better in math and science courses

Notes: $50 Fee.

SCI 430: AP Physics 1

AP Physics 1 is designed to be the equivalent of the first semester of general physics in college. AP Physics 1 will provide students with deep understanding in the areas of Newtonian mechanics; applying work, energy, and power to novel situations; mechanical waves, including but not limited to sound; and an introduction to electric circuits. Students will also be challenged in inquiry lab work as part of the AP course. Students are required to take the AP Physics 1 exam given by the College Board in May. After AP Physics 1 students can elect to move on to AP Physics 2, AP Physics C or another AP science course.

Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: A or B in biology and chemistry, A or B in Algebra II, concurrent enrollment in pre-calculus

SCI 440: AP Physics 2

AP Physics 2

Grade: N/A

Prerequisites: None

SCI 510: AP Biology

AP Biology is a one-year college level class that will engage students in high levels of critical thinking, inquiry, analysis, and evaluation. It encompasses scientific method, biochemistry, cell structure & function, biotechnology, genetics, evolution & origins, anatomy & physiology, taxonomy, behavior, and ecology. There are four big ideas, each with a variety of enduring understandings, and learning objectives. Students will focus on content as a way to provide examples for each of the big ideas and enduring understandings. The laboratory component includes 8 investigative labs that are specifically related to topics on the AP exam. Students are expected to take the AP Biology exam in May.

Grade: Sophomore

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of "A" in Biology I or minimum grade of “B” in Honors Biology; minimum grade of “A” in Chemistry or minimum grade of “B” in Honors Chemistry; or teacher approval. (Recommended: Anatomy and Physiology)

Notes: The cost for the required AP exam will be approximately $90.

SCI 520: AP Chemistry

This course is the equivalent to a first-year university chemistry program. It encompasses topics such as thermodynamics, kinetics and reaction mechanisms, chemical equilibrium, acid/base chemistry, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Course work emphasizes the theory behind results. Students must be prepared to explain their observations in light of concepts discussed in class. As with any chemistry course, strong math skills are essential to student success. Students are expected to take the AP Chemistry exam in May.

Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: Grade of “A” in Biology I or “B” or higher in Biology I Honors, “A” in Chemistry or “B” or higher in Chemistry Honors; Concurrent enrollment in Algebra II with a B or higher; science and math teacher approval needed.

Notes: The cost for the required AP exam will be approximately $90.

SCI 540: AP Physics C Engineering Mechanics

AP Physics C is a full year Calculus based course that is equivalent to the first semester Calculus based general physics course that is required for engineering and science majors in college. This course is an in depth college level course tailored to provide the Calculus based mechanics Physics principals and requirements for those seeking degrees in; Engineering, Technology, Environmental Science, and all Science disciplines requiring a calculus based Physics background. This course is designed for students to validate their first College level Calculus based Newtonian Mechanics Physics lab course and go directly to their college Calculus based Electricity and Magnetism Physics lab course. This course will cover Kinematics 1 and 2D, Newtonian Mechanics, Circular motion, Orbital Mechanics, Work, Energy, Oscillations, and Fluids Mechanics. This course will incorporate college level physics labs to reinforce the physics concepts covered and to develop critical thinking skills. Students should plan on a demanding workload that will culminate in taking the AP Physics C Mechanics exam given by the College Board in May. Engineering design projects will be done in this course to give the students an opportunity to apply their Physics knowledge and an introduction of college engineering disciplines.

Grade: Junior

Term: YearCredit: 1.0

Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Calculus or higher; Completion of Honors Physics or AP Physics B

Notes: The cost for the required AP exam will be approximately $90.

SCI 610: Human Anatomy and Physiology

Human Anatomy and Physiology is a two-semester introductory college course designed to expand the students’ knowledge of the structure and function of the human body. Students may take this course for high school and/or college credit. The main emphasis of the course is to provide a survey of human body systems and to explore more in depth material pertinent in various allied health and medical careers. Students will be exposed to some basics of surgical intervention and basic health care while learning this subject. Current lectures, labs, texts, video surgery, games, and dissections will be used to achieve this knowledge. Individual project(s) will also be assigned. Also, note that the human reproductive system is covered and this is a class for the mature student, therefore, students will see some slides and/or human cadavers that depict the nude body and there will be some discussion of human sexuality. Graphic surgical procedures will be occasionally shown in class.

Grade: Junior, Senior

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisites: Grade of “B” in Biology or Honors Biology

Notes: Fee required for cadaver lab. Additional fee for concurrent college credit.