Science

Three years are required for graduation (two must be a lab science). Biology is a requirement for graduation. Download the Science Pathways here.

Anatomy and Physiology - Grades 10, 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits

UC Approved

Prerequisite: A grade of B or better in both semesters of Biology or Biology Honors; teacher approval.

 This is a year-long course that provides students an opportunity to explore the intricate relationship between structure and function in the human body. The course offers students an environment in which they may probe topics such as homeostasis, anatomical and physiological disorders, medical diagnosis and treatment, biochemistry, cytology, histology, and survey of the remarkable array of body systems that comprise the human body. This course will involve laboratory observations, laboratory work centered around the scientific method, disease research, models, dissection and clinical problem solving.

 

Anatomy and Physiology Honors - Grades 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approval Pending

Prerequisite: A grade of “A” (92.0%) in both semesters of Biology and Chemistry or a “B+” (88.0% or higher) in both semesters of Biology Honors and/or Chemistry Honors and Anatomy and Physiology Honors teacher approval. All students enrolled in the PMPMP are required to take this course and therefore MUST meet prerequisites.

This course is designed for those students who are either enrolled in the Pre-Medical Professional Program or considering a career in the medical field. Anatomy and Physiology Honors is a lecture/laboratory course using a college textbook. Students will engage in actual case studies, investigations, and hands-on activities for a minimum of 50% of the instructional time. This allows students to develop conceptual understanding and research/laboratory skills necessary in today’s medical profession. Focus will be at the micro and macro levels reviewing cellular functions along with the biochemical processes that are involved, tissue interactions, organ systems, and the interaction of all the systems as they relate to the human organism. In addition, students will examine the areas of pathology, study of disease, associated with the organ or system of study. Full participation in the hands-on lab assignments is mandatory. Students must be willing to dissect a cat, sheep heart, sheep eye, and cow brain. Students will practice medical scenarios using a Human Body Simulator.

*PMPMP course requirement

AP Biology - Grades 10, 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisites: A minimum of B+ (88.0%) or better in both semesters of Biology Honors; a grade of A (92.0%) or better in Chemistry; Must pass an AP placement test and complete a required summer assignment with an acceptable passing grade as well as AP Biology teacher approval. All AP students who complete this class are required to take the college level AP Biology exam prepared by the College Entrance Examination Board.

This college level course prepares the students for the AP Biology College Board exam in May. This course covers a vast amount of advanced biological material, and therefore demands a lot of time and work on the part of the student. In addition to the thorough use of a college biology text book, students will write several brief papers on scientific articles. The themes throughout the course are the cellular basis of life, continuity and diversity, evolution, technology and society issues are explored. Laboratory experiences use college level techniques. Two hours of homework is expected nightly. Some after school labs may be required. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

AP Chemistry - Grades 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisites: A grade of 88% (B+) or better in both semesters of Chemistry Honors; Pre-Calculus or Pre-Calculus Honors is to be taken concurrently or previously to this course. Students must have approval from the AP Chemistry Teacher and must pass the placement test given during the 4th quarter. A completed AP Chemistry Summer Assignment is due on 1st class meeting followed by a quiz on the assignment topics.

This college level Chemistry course is designed to prepare the students to take and pass the AP Chemistry exam in May. Students will undertake a thorough study of a college textbook, undertake numerous advanced laboratory experiments, prepare written lab reports and write brief summary papers on scientific articles. The course of study will include Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Biochemistry. Lab work will be of a college technique level and there is the possibility of after school labs. Two hours of nightly homework is to be expected. Students are required to take the AP exam in May for college credit. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

*Fulfills one year of JSerra lab science requirement

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

AP Environmental Science - Grades 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approve

Prerequisites: A minimum of A in both semesters of Biology or B+ in both semesters of Biology Honors. A minimum grade of A in both semesters of Chemistry or B+ in both semesters of Chemistry Honors. Students must pass the placement test given during the 4th quarter. A completed APES Summer Assignment is due on first class meeting.

 AP Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary science that includes a strong laboratory and field investigation component. Students will be introduced to the concepts, and methodologies required to; understand the inter-relationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing these problems. In this course we will examine the Atmosphere, Water & Soil Resources/Use, Ecosystems, Population Biology, Agriculture, Forestry, Rangelands, Land Use, Mining, Fishing, Global Economics, Energy, Pollution, and Global Changes. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

 


AP Physics 1 - Grades 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisite:

  1. A minimum of A (93%) in both semesters of Physics, or a minimum grade of A (93%) in both semesters of Chemistry or B+ (88%) in both semesters of Chemistry Honors. Concurrent enrollment or previous completion of Pre-Calculus honors or a higher mathematics course.
  2. There will be a placement test for AP physics; all students wishing to study AP physics must take the test on the date advertised, following the placement test, subject to teacher’s approval, a list of successful students will be posted. Failure to take the placement test on advertised dates will disqualify entry to the course.
  3. A completed summer assignment covering several chapters is due on the first day of class. Failure to hand in summer assignment on the first day of class will disqualify entry to the course.

The Advanced Placement Physics 1 course is designed to be the equivalent to a college course in algebra physics, usually taken during the 1st semester of freshman college year. Students are expected to attain a depth of understanding of: Newtonian Mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum), Work, energy, power, mechanical waves, sound and introduction to electric circuits.

The student will participate in a significant number of laboratory investigations during the course. The labs develop skills of experimentation, observation, analysis, and use of lab equipment. Problem solving emphasizes mathematical and analytical skills as applied to physical laws and concepts. Students will use algebra extensively and some trig in this course. Students must take the Advanced Placement Exam in the year the course is taken.

There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

AP Physics 2 - Grades 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisites:

  1. A grade of 80.0 % (B-) or better in both semesters of AP Physics 1 or AP Physics C. At least a grade 3 in AP physics 1 or AP Physics C Exam.
  2. Previous completion of Pre-Calculus Honors with a grade B+ (88%) or higher in both semesters; teacher’s approval.
  3. A summer assignment covering several chapters is due on the first day of class. Failure to hand in summer assignment on the first day of class will disqualify entry to the course.

The Advanced Placement Physics 2 course is designed to be the equivalent to a college course in algebra physics, usually taken during the 2nd semester of freshman college year. Students are expected to attain a depth of understanding of: fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics.

The student will participate in a significant number of laboratory investigations during the course. The labs develop skills of experimentation, observation, analysis, and use of lab equipment. Problem solving emphasizes mathematical and analytical skills as applied to physical laws and concepts. Students will use algebra extensively and some trig in this course. Students must take the Advanced Placement Exam in the year the course is taken.

There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

 **Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

AP Physics C - Mechanics - Grades 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisites:

  1. Student must be concurrently enrolled in AP Calculus or Calculus or have previously completed one of them.
  2. A minimum of A (93%) in both semesters of Physics, or a minimum grade of A (93%) in both semesters of Chemistry or B+ (88%) in both semesters of Chemistry Honors.
  3. There will be a placement test for AP physics; all students wishing to study AP physics must take the test on the date advertised, following the placement test, subject to teacher’s approval, a list of successful students will be posted. Failure to take the placement test on advertised dates will disqualify entry to the course
  4. A summer assignment covering several chapters will be collected on the first day of class. Failure to hand in summer assignment on the first day of class will disqualify entry to the course.

The Advanced Placement Physics course is designed to be equivalent to the calculus-based introductory physics course usually taken during the freshman college year. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand the concepts of Newtonian Mechanics and solve problems in the following areas: Kinematics, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Circular Motion and Rotation, Work Energy and Power, Linear Momentum and Collisions, Universal Gravitation, and Oscillations and Mechanical Waves. This course emphasizes learning physics through demonstrations, problem solving exercises with dimensional analysis, and peer exercises with hands-on laboratory experiments on physical phenomena. Students must take the Advanced Placement exam in May.

There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

Astronomy - Grades 10, 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

This couse is designed to explore the origins of the universe, galaxies, stars, black holes, pulsars, quasars, and the Big Bang. It will explore the origins of our solar system, the planets, comets, and asteroids. Included will be evening observations with telescopes, a visit to an observatory, and a planetarium.

Biology - Grades 9, 10

Year - 10 Credits

UC Approved

Prerequisite: Incoming 9th graders will be placed into Biology based on the results of the Science portion of the High School Placement Test.


UC Approved

In this year long course, the student is introduced to the main areas of biology: Cells and their functions; Genetics: Evolution and natural selection and Ecology. The student will use the scientific method in labs and activities throughout the year. Labs and activities include modeling and computer simulations, dissection, topic research, and problem solving.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

Biology Honors - Grades 9, 10

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisite: A grade of A in both semesters of Conceptual Physics or Earth Science and successful passing of a placement test. Incoming 9th graders must pass the Science department exam.

Students will study material that is covered in a non-major college Introduction Biology course using a corresponding textbook. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, application and problem solving using the scientific method in the lab. Other areas covered in this class will include the process of science, the inter relatedness of science, technology, and society, and the place of ethics in science. Laboratory work and writing laboratory reports will constitute a large part of this class.  A B- or above must be maintained throughout the first semester in order for a student to continue enrollment in the course.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

Chemistry - Grades 10, 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisite: Algebra II is to be taken concurrently or previously to this course.

The student is introduced to chemistry through the study of matter and energy and continues with elements and compounds and different types of reactions. Other topics covered in this class include molecular formulas, molar relationships, bonding, the geometry of molecules, types and properties of solutions, thermodynamics and reaction rates. Laboratory experiments, including computer labs will reinforce the main concepts and are an integral part of the class.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

Chemistry Honors - Grades 10, 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisite: A grade of 88.0% (B+) or better in both semesters of Biology Honors or an A in both semesters of Biology and concurrent enrollment in Algebra II Honors.  Previous completion of Algebra II with an 85% (B) or better also permitted. A completed Chapter 1 Summer Assignment is due on 1st class meeting followed with a quiz on the assignment topics. Teacher approval required.

Topics covered in this class are similar to those studied in the regular Chemistry course, but in greater depth and at a faster pace. The course will be more mathematically oriented than the regular Chemistry course. Emphasis is placed on chemical calculation and deductive reasoning. This course also emphasizes naming inorganic chemical compounds, writing balanced chemical equations and reaction stoichiometry. Lab investigations are of a more sophisticated nature than in regular Chemistry.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement


Conceptual Chemistry - Grades 10, 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Geometry; teacher approval.

Students in this course will learn about the structure and composition of matter. In addition, laboratory experiences will strengthen problem-solving skills and teach basic lab techniques. The student is introduced to chemistry through the study of matter and energy and continues with elements and compounds and different types of reactions. Other topics covered in this class include molecular formulas, molar relationships, bonding, the geometry of molecules, types and properties of solutions. It provides a broad exposure to chemistry for college-bound, non-science majors. The course will be less mathematically oriented than the College Preparatory Chemistry course.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

Conceptual Physics - Grade 9

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved for G requirement

This is an introductory course to Physical Science dealing with important concepts of physics, chemistry, and some mathematics. Additionally, students learn how to collect and record data, to graph and interpret graphs. The concepts of matter and energy are studied in connection to such subjects as kinetic theory, wave motion, and atomic structure. Emphasis is on the scientific method, critical thinking skills, and laboratory skills necessary to become successful in other science courses.

Marine Biology - Grades 10, 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in both semesters of Biology.

This is a year long biology course that give students an indepth look at the physical, chemical, and geographical characteristics of the world's oceans. Students will investigate the structure, functions, behaviors, adaptations and classifications of a variety of plant and animals that live in the marine environment. Students will learn how energy flows and matter cycles through the Earth's ocean system. They will gain an understanding of the many ways in which humans interact with the world's oceans: human use and impact on the marine environment, and the influence of the ocean on the human experience. Laboratory activites will include dissection, experimentation, data collection, and data analysis that develop scientific investigation and scientific thinking skills. Off campus assignments are required each quarter.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

Physics - Grades 11, 12

Year - 10 Credits
UC Approved

Prerequisites: A grade of B or better in all semesters of Algebra II and Chemistry.

This course examines the science of matter and energy, and is the foundation to all other sciences. The course is mathematical in nature and requires mastery of algebra and basic trigonometry. Subject matter covered includes the conservation of energy, linear, rotational, and wave motion, heat, electricity, magnetism, light, optical instruments, relativity, and nuclear physics. Problem solving techniques will include written work, laboratory experiments, and computer based models. Critical thinking, analysis, and mathematical skills are important in this course.

**Fulfills one year of UC system lab science requirement

 


JSerra Catholic High School

26351 Junipero Serra Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Phone: 949.493.9307 | Fax: 949.493.9308
Email: info@jserra.org

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