Science

The ultimate goal of the science curriculum is for all students to become scientifically literate citizens who are aware of their moral and social responsibilities about the use of science in a just society. To that end, students are provided opportunities to develop understanding about scientific theories and apply this understanding to scientific problems. They also utilize the skills of the scientist in laboratory investigation while considering the ethical dilemmas associated with the application of science.

Middle school students take a course in science each year. In the high school, three laboratory science courses are required before graduation. This coursework begins with Biology followed by Chemistry and then Physics. Advanced Placement and upper level science electives are also offered.

Available Courses

Items with (*) are electives

Grade Six Science

Grade Six Science

The primary focus of sixth grade science is to introduce the study of earth science. The major themes of focus are the Earth's Geology, Oceanography, Meteorology, and Astronomy. Application of real life experiences are an essential part of the learning process.

Grade Seven Science

Grade Seven Science

The primary focus of seventh grade science is the study and understanding of Life Science. Numerous methods are used, including identifying and organizing various life forms, their functions and their interactions. Problem- solving skills are utilized in every aspect of learning.

Grade Eight Science

Grade Eight Science

Eighth grade science integrates previously learned skills and revisits basic knowledge of Earth and Life Science from the prior years of middle school. Numerous new concepts are also introduced with the primary focus on Physical Science. This study includes, but is not limited to, matter, motion, forces, energy and machines. The study of human genetics will be the final unit in preparation for ninth grade Biology.

Available Courses

Items with (*) are electives

Biology

Biology I

General Biology is open to freshmen. An honors level and an advanced honors level of this course are offered. Placement into Biology I Honors or a Biology I Advanced Honors is based on the student’s application record and teacher recommendation. In Biology, laboratory work is an integral part of the program. This course focuses on the characteristics of living things. Topics include the chemical building blocks of life, cellular organization, energy transformations, cellular reproduction, genetics, and evolution. Ecology, anatomy, and systematics may also be included. Course work stresses the sanctity of life and aims to develop an appreciation in the student for the natural world.

Advanced Honors Biology Requirements:

  1. Earned a consistent grade of A in 8th grade science.
  2. Scored in the 90th percentile or better on the 9th grade placement test.
  3. Scored in the 90th percentile or better on middle school standardized tests.

Any student who does not meet these criteria may still earn placement in Honors Biology by taking an Honors Biology Placement Test and scoring a grade of 70% or better on both an objective test of science knowledge and skills. In addition, prospective students must demonstrate competency in their ability to utilize higher order thinking skills in science by scoring a grade of 70% or better on a short answer portion of the placement test. There is no test-in option for Advanced Honors Biology.

Honors Biology Requirements:

  1. Earned a grade of C+ or better in middle school science.
  2. Scored in the 80th percentile or better on the 9th grade placement test.
  3. Scored in the 80th percentile or better on middle school standardized tests.

Any student who does not meet these criteria may still earn placement in Honors Biology by taking an Honors Biology Placement Test and scoring a grade of 70% or better on both an objective test of science knowledge and skills. In addition, prospective students must demonstrate competency in their ability to utilize higher order thinking skills in science by scoring a grade of 70% or better on a short answer portion of the placement test. There is no test-in option for Advanced Honors Biology.

Chemistry

Introductory Chemistry

Designed for students who have encountered challenges in previous science and mathematics coursework, this course uses laboratory and guided inquiry activities to first introduce chemistry concepts, then provides specialized instructional support to help students develop the correlating logical and mathematical reasoning skills. Pre-requisite: Open to sophomores who have completed Biology and Basic Algebra. Recommendations from the student’s previous Science teacher and his Mathematics and/or English teacher(s) are required.

Chemistry I

College Preparatory Chemistry is open to sophomores who have completed Biology and Basic Algebra. An honors level of this course is also offered. Placement into Chemistry I Honors is based on performance in completed math and science courses as well as teacher recommendation. Chemistry explores the fundamental principles relating to the structure, composition and interaction of matter. Through laboratory activities and projects students see that Chemistry is a dynamic science. The connections of chemistry to the world, especially the environment, medicine, business, industry and the arts, is presented and supported. The ultimate focus of this course is to show the need to keep a delicate balance between the tensions existing in the world; of utilization and replacement of resources; of creation and destruction.

Physics

Physics I

College Preparatory Physics is open to students who have completed Chemistry and Basic Geometry. Three levels of Physics are offered: Conceptual Physics, College Preparatory Physics and Physics Honors. Placement into one of these levels is based on performance in completed math and science courses as well as teacher recommendation. The Physics program strikes a balance between emphasizing the principles and concepts of physics and the solution of problems encountered in everyday life involving physics. Laboratory experiences serve as models for these concepts and examples of real life situations. Students are challenged to apply these physics principles by constructing devices to use in their physics Olympics competitions.

Honors Physics

This class is open to a limited number of students. To be eligible to apply for admission to this class, a student must have:

  1. Earned a grade of A- or better in Honors Geometry or Honors Algebra II
  2. Earned a grade of A- or better in Honors Chemistry
  3. Received a score above 60 on their PSAT Test.

If students meet only TWO of the criteria for a particular course, they may obtain placement by recommendation of their Chemistry teacher.

College Preparatory Physics

To be eligible to apply for admission to this class, a student must have:

  1. Earned a grade of C- or better in their previous math course.
  2. Earned a grade of C- or better in a Chemistry course.
  3. Received a score above 40 on their PSAT test.

If students meet only TWO of the criteria for a particular course, they may obtain placement by recommendation of their Chemistry teacher.

Conceptual Physics

This class is open to a limited number of students. To be eligible to apply for admission a student must have:

  1. Earned a grade of B or less in their previous math class.
  2. Earned a grade of B or less in College Preparatory Chemistry.
  3. Received a score below 45 on their PSAT test.

If students meet only TWO of the criteria for a particular course, they may obtain placement by recommendation of their Chemistry teacher.

AP Chemistry

AP Level Requirements

For students desiring a more intensive study of core subjects in the science curriculum, AP level courses are offered in Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry and Physics. One primary component of each AP course is to prepare students for the corresponding National AP Examination offered by the College Board each May. High achievement on this exam may allow students to enroll in an accelerated or advanced course at their respective college or university. To be eligible for these courses, students must demonstrate above average work in mathematics and the introductory science courses. Approval to enroll in an AP course must be obtained from the student's current science teacher and/or the chairperson of the science department.

AP Chemistry students must have:

  1. Earned a grade of A in both Honors Chemistry and Honors Algebra II.
  2. Earned a grade of A on both mid-term and final exams in both Honors Chemistry and honors Algebra II.

The AP Chemistry curriculum is extremely content- intensive. Therefore, a prospective student must meet with the AP Chemistry teacher in the Spring of the school year prior to enrolling in the course and be willing to complete the first four chapters in the AP Chemistry book by himself over the summer prior to gaining admittance to the AP Chemistry course.

Biotechnology/Forensic Science

Biotechnology

This is an elective course that addresses the applications of molecular biology to life in the 21st century. The field of biotechnology is rapidly revolutionizing life science education. Topics to be addressed are the Human Genome, Evolution, Forensics, genetically modified organisms, cloning, genetic screening, gene therapy, and bioethics. There is heavy emphasis on laboratory techniques and procedures.

Marine Science

Marine Science 101

This is an elective course in which students study the origin and composition of the world's Oceans. The chemical, physical and biological aspects of marine and estuarine ecosystems are studied. The students study and reflect on man's use and abuse of aquatic systems. Students evaluate both past and present approaches to the preservation of aquatic resources. Furthermore, students are encouraged to develop future models.

Faculty

 

Department Chair


Ryan C. Bromwell
(2002)
B.S., University of Miami; M.Ed., Loyola University
443-841-3482        

 

Faculty


Timothy N. Baier
(2001)
B.S., Villanova University; M.A., Loyola University
443-841-3486       


Tracy L. Biebesheimer
(2013)
B. A., Goucher College
443-841-3628       


Christopher L. Cucuzzella
(1986)
B.S., William and Mary; M.A., University of Maryland
443-841-3496       


Joshua Davalli
(2005)
B.S., Towson University; M.A., Loyola University Maryland
443-841-3208       


Charles L. Donovan
(2005)
B.S., Stanford University
443-841-3484       


Jeffrey W. Glorioso
(2002)
B.S., Towson University; M.A., Loyola University Maryland
443-841-3432       


Lakeisha S. O’keiffe
(2005)
B.S., Morgan State University; M.S., Lehigh University
443-841-3490       


Rosa Maria G. Pongchit
(2003)
B.A., College of Notre Dame; M.S., Universidad del Valle de Guatemalia
443-841-3494       


Alan Schott
(2010)
B.S., Saint Vincent College; M.S., Temple University School of Dentistry
443-841-3318       


Bruce A. Steggert, S.J.
(2012)
B.A., LaSalle University; B.S., Saint Louis University; M.Div., Boston College
443-841-3488