Science

The Joy of Discovery

In keeping with the tradition and teaching of the Catholic Church, Marist science students will cherish the earth and value the interconnectedness of living things to each other and to their environment. Students will demonstrate intellectual honesty, responsibility and integrity as they explore the world through the study of the various scientific disciplines. With an emphasis on methods incorporating curiosity, experimental design, and analysis, students will synthesize information into a framework of existing knowledge to become critical thinkers. Students will demonstrate proficiency in oral and written scientific communication and apply technology and mathematics to the study of science.

Courses

List of 24 items.

  • Science 7 (SC101: Grade 7)

    This yearlong course focuses on the fundamental concept of interdependence. All living things rely on the biotic and abiotic factors around them. The fall term focuses on the topic of environmental science. The winter term emphases the evolution of living things, focusing on the evolution of Homo sapiens. In the spring term, the attention shifts to the cellular level and the processes that occur in cells that allow them to stay alive.
  • Science 8 (SC201: Grade 8)

    Science 8 is a full-year physical science course. First term begins with a review of metric measurement and the properties of matter. We will then move to the characteristics of elements, compounds, and mixtures, and complete the term with a discussion of the structure of the atom and the periodic trends of atoms, and the effect that periodic trends have on chemical reactions and bonding. Second term is a continuation of term one and the interaction of chemicals and the resulting reactions and types of compounds that are formed. We then shift to energy transitions and transformations, and end winter term with a study of electricity and its relationship to magnetism. Third term is a study of the physical characteristics of light and sound energy and how they exist in the natural world. Students will explore each of these forms of energy and their relationships within the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Biology (SC401: Grade 9)

    Biology is a yearlong course that surveys the field of biology by examining the following topics: evolution, homeostasis, energy, matter, organization, reproduction, heredity, and growth. This course is a prerequisite for AP Biology and other life science electives.
  • Advanced Biology (SC405: Grade 9)

    This course will provide an introduction to critical thinking skills through the use of exercises that discover the nature and practice of science; the characteristics of life; biological macromolecules and their transformation; enzymes; chemical, physical, and biological properties of cells; cellular energetics; and Mendelian principles. Term 2 covers the study of the structure and function of the genetic basis of life, including DNA, mitotic and meiotic cell division, principles of classical and modern genetics, and the anatomy and physiology of several major systems in the human body (nervous system, integumentary system, musculoskeletal systems) with emphasis on the function of those systems in daily living. Term 3 continues the study of the structure and function of several major body systems (cardiovascular system, immune system, gastrointestinal system); evolution; the origins of life; taxonomy and systematics; plant anatomy and physiology; plant life cycles; and ecology.
    Placement determined by the following criteria:
    • ≥90% in 7th and 8th grade science courses and teacher recommendation
    • ≥90% in regular math; ≥80% in Advanced Math (Algebra I or higher in 8th grade) in grades 7 and 8
    • Passing score or better on the placement test
    • All 8th grade rubric scores in the “Meets Expectations” column (for students who attended Marist)
    • 50% or better on math, reading, and verbal sections of the SSAT (for incoming 9th grade students)
  • Chemistry (SC501: Grade 10)

    The first term of this course utilizes an integrated approach to chemistry through the use of water and material science. The first unit centers around a fish kill and the students learn about elements, compounds, mixtures, chemical formulas, atomic structure, pH, and water cycles. The second unit centers around designing a new coin, and the students learn about physical and chemical properties, periodic trends, isotopes, redox reactions, conservation of matter, and chemical equations. The second term of this course utilizes an integrated approach to chemistry through the use of material and petroleum science. Students will learn the physical and chemical properties of metals and hydrocarbons while developing skills pertinent to the topics of chemical bonding, chemical reactions, balancing equations, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, and electrochemistry. The third term of this course utilizes an integrated approach to chemistry through the use of the atmosphere and industry science. Students will learn about the gas laws, the pH scale, electromagnetic radiation, climate change, the carbon cycle, acid rain, pollutants, ozone, fertilizer, nitrogen cycle, kinetics, and equilibrium. The students will use their knowledge learned from first and second term to apply to the new concepts and calculations covering this material.
  • Advanced Chemistry (SC505: Grade 10)

    The first term of this course covers the study of chemical nomenclature, uses of mathematics in solving chemical problems, historical development of atomic models, and application of the modern atomic model to explain the composition of the periodic table. An investigation of chemical reactions and the use of stoichiometric principles finishes the term. The second term of this course covers modern atomic theory and molecular structure. We use this foundation to explain the properties of solids, liquids, and gases. An in-depth investigation of solution chemistry with an emphasis on acids and bases ends the term. The third term of this course introduces aqueous solutions and solution concentration as a means to study chemical equilibrium with an emphasis on acid/base equilibrium. We follow that up with the study of reaction dynamics in the aqueous phase and thermochemistry.
    Placement determined by the following criteria:

    • Advanced Biology and departmental recommendation; or
    • ≥90% in Algebra I, ≥90% in Regular Biology Term 1, and departmental recommendation
  • Physics (SC511: Grades 11-12)

    Physics is a yearlong course where students study basic Newtonian Physics. Term 1 investigates the importance of significant digits and units, one and two-dimensional motion, and Newton's Laws of motion. Term 2 investigates the concepts of electricity and magnetism. These will include Coulomb’s Law, electric fields, electric circuits, and electromagnetic induction. Term 3 investigates the properties of waves. Periodic motion, sound, and light will be explored. The study of light will include reflection, refraction, and interaction with lenses and mirrors. The topics will be studied using conceptual and mathematical tools. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of the course.
  • Advanced Physics (SC515: Grades 11-12)

    Advanced Physics is a yearlong course where students learn basic mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, and modern physics. It is taught in a hands-on fashion with many labs in which students derive equations from graphs and apply them to calculations and practical real-life scenarios. Students are expected to memorize the derived equations and apply them with previously taught material in order to appreciate how seemingly different areas of physics are interrelated. This course covers the same basic material that is taught in regular physics, but in more depth in order to increase students’ understanding and ability to use physics skills and habits of mind.

    Placement determined by the following criteria:

    • Advanced Chemistry and departmental recommendation; or
    • ≥92% in Algebra I, II and Geometry, ≥90% in Regular Chemistry Term 1, and departmental recommendation
  • AP Biology (SC901: Grades 11-12)

    AP Biology is equivalent to a two-semester college or university biology course taken by Biology majors in the first year of college. You will be prepared for the College Board AP Biology Exam at the completion of the course. The topics are more wide-ranging and in more depth than those covered in ninth grade biology and include: the chemical composition, structure and functions of cells, classical and molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, diversity and classification of organisms, structures and functions of plants and animals, and ecology.

    The concepts covered in this course over the year will fall under nine main units:
    Unit 1: The Chemistry of Life
    Unit 2: The Cell
    Unit 3: Energy Transformations
    Unit 4: Cell Communication
    Unit 5: Mendelian Genetics
    Unit 6: Molecular Genetics
    Unit 7: Evolutionary Biology
    Unit 8: Biological Diversity
    Unit 9: Ecology

    The learning expectations for the course are centered on four Big Ideas:
    Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life.
    Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.
    Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes.
    Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties.

    The Advanced Placement (AP) Examination is required in May (fee to be announced annually).

    Prerequisite: Advanced Biology (SC504) or approval of instructor. Must be taken with AP Biology Laboratory (SC902).
  • AP Biology Lab (SC902: Grades 11-12)

    AP Biology Lab is a separate course taken concurrently with the lecture during Term 3. This laboratory course focuses on the development of skills such as experimental design, observation, gaining proficiency in the use of laboratory equipment, gathering and interpreting data, and relating empirical information to scientific theory. In this course, eight required investigations will be performed in addition to other lab activities. Selected laboratory activities are completed during the lecture course as needed to reinforce the concepts learned in class. Each laboratory activity will give students the opportunity to perform “hands-on” college-level experiments that meet the objectives described in AP Biology Investigative Labs: An Inquiry-Based Approach and in the AP Biology Laboratory Manual for Students. All of the laboratory exercises, whether done in lecture or in lab, are designed to reinforce seven Science Practices that students will master by the end of the course:

    Science Practice 1: The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.
    Science Practice 2: The student can use mathematics appropriately.
    Science Practice 3: The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course.
    Science Practice 4: The student can plan and implement data collection strategies appropriate to a particular scientific question.
    Science Practice 5: The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.
    Science Practice 6: The student can work with scientific explanations and theories.
    Science Practice 7: The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts and representations in and across domains.

    Prerequisite: Advanced Biology (SC504) or approval of instructor. Must be taken with AP Biology (SC901).
  • AP Chemistry (SC911: Grades 11-12)

    This three-term course covers the principles and concepts of chemistry generally taught in a first-year college course and provides the student with sufficient knowledge and background to take the Advanced Placement Chemistry Examination. The student is required to take the AP examination in May (fee to be announced annually).

    The course is built around six big ideas and seven science practices. The big ideas that will be addressed in lecture and lab experiments are:
    • Big Idea 1: The chemical elements are fundamental building materials of matter, and all matter can be understood in terms of arrangements of atoms. These atoms retain their identity in chemical reactions.
    • Big Idea 2: Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules and the forces between them.
    • Big Idea 3: Changes in matter involve the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons.
    • Big Idea 4: Rates of chemical reactions are determined by details of the molecular collisions.
    • Big Idea 5: The laws of thermodynamics describe the essential role of energy and explain and predict the direction of changes in matter.
    • Big Idea 6: Any bond or intermolecular attraction that can be formed can be broken. These two processes are in a dynamic competition, sensitive to initial conditions and external perturbations.
    The science practices for AP Chemistry are designed to get the students to think and act like scientists. The science practices that will be address in lecture and lab exercises are:
    • Science Practice 1: The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.
    • Science Practice 2: The student can use mathematics appropriately.
    • Science Practice 3: The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course.
    • Science Practice 4: The student can plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question.
    • Science Practice 5: The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.
    • Science Practice 6: The student can work with scientific explanations and theories.
    • Science Practice 7: The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts and representations in and across domains.
    The Advanced Placement (AP) Examination is required in May (fee to be announced annually).

    Prerequisite: Advanced Chemistry (SC505) or approval of instructor. Must be taken with AP Chemistry Laboratory (SC912).
  • AP Chemistry Laboratory (SC912: Grades 11-12)

    We will cover the study of stoichiometry, gases, chemical equations, chemical equilibrium acid-base chemistry, solutions; chemical kinetics, equilibrium, free energy changes, types of chemical reactions, and chemical thermodynamics. The labs completed require following or developing processes and procedures, taking observations, and data manipulation. A minimum of six laboratory exercises will come from the College Board’s AP Chemistry laboratory textbook. The remaining labs will come from the Vernier laboratory textbook. Each student will have a lab partner, with whom he/she will work the entire term.  Although students have partners, each student is expected to keep an individual notebook and work on assignments separately. Laboratory notebooks are reviewed and graded periodically. Upon completion of the course, students will be given their laboratory notebook to provide evidence of their lab work to future chemistry professors and/or higher learning institutions. The laboratory is equipped with a full range of glassware (beakers, flask, titration apparatus, Graduated cylinders, etc.), Vernier LabQuest, probeware (Temperature, Gas Pressure, Conductivity, Colorimeter, pH and Voltage).

    Prerequisite:  Advanced Chemistry (SC505) or approval of instructor. Must be taken with AP Chemistry (SC911).
  • AP Physics C (SC921: Grades 11-12)

    Advanced Placement Physics C is a calculus-based course in physics. This course is equivalent to the pre-engineering introductory physics course for university students. The students will be required to derive equations using differential and integral calculus, use those equations to solve problems, understand the concepts of Newtonian mechanics, and apply those concepts and problem solving skills to new and “real-world” problems. The Advanced Placement (AP) Examination is required in May (fee to be announced annually).

    Prerequisite: Advanced or regular Chemistry. Permission of AP Physics instructor required. Must be taken with AP Physics Laboratory (SC922). Must be taken concurrently with AP Calculus.
  • AP Physics Laboratory (SC922: Grades 11-12)

    Advanced Placement Physics C Lab gives hands-on experience that correspond with AP Physics C. This course is equivalent to the pre-engineering introductory lab physics course for university students. This will help the students see the application of the mathematics and concepts learned in the main course.

    Prerequisite: Advanced or regular Chemistry. Permission of AP Physics instructor required. Must be taken with AP Physics (SC921). Must be taken concurrently with AP Calculus.
  • Anatomy & Physiology (SC562: Grades 11-12)

    This course is designed as a second course in high school biology stressing the structure and function of select organs and systems of the human body. Anatomy & Physiology is taught in a problem-based learning style using case studies. Laboratory experiments and dissections are essential components of the course.
  • Applied Physics of Film and Literature (SC620: Grades 11-12)

    The course is designed as a second course in high school physics stressing analysis and application. Short scenes from movies and selected short readings from books are presented to establish the problem(s) in question. The class is laboratory-style application and analysis, where the data set is taken from the short scenes or readings. The scenes being analyzed are examined for the types of physics and engineering concepts and applications presented. These areas are researched to arrive at a set of equations for analysis. Then, mathematical analysis is completed to arrive at real-world answers to the presented problem(s).
  • Astronomy and Planetary Science (SC558: Grades 11-12)

    This course is a study of astronomy including the study of origins of modern astronomy, astronomical observations, and the Sun, our solar system, areas beyond our solar system, and a history of space exploration.
  • Introduction to Engineering (SC630: Grade 12)

    This one-term elective will explore the areas of statics, mechanics, materials, circuits, project management, and the economics of engineering. The course is project-based and designed to introduce prospective engineering majors in college to the ideas that encompass an engineering program. In addition to hands-on application, mathematical analysis of systems is an integral part of the course.

    Prerequisite or taking concurrently: Advanced or AP Physics and regular Calculus or higher math
  • Environmental Science (SC443: Grades 11-12)

    Environmental science focuses on some of the most important scientific issues facing the global community. Students will study the environmental issues that are of most concern to the local community. Students will work to address these issues and enact positive environmental change.
  • Forensic Science (SC651: Grades 11-12)

    This course is a one-term survey of forensic science using a laboratory-based instructional model that emphasizes the science in solving crimes. Experiments are grouped in subspecialty clusters of basic scientific principles, crime scene documentation, trace evidence collection and analysis, forensic serology, DNA analysis, ballistics and tools, forensic entomology, and forensic anthropology. For the final exam, students will participate in analyzing a simulated crime scene on campus.
  • Genetics (SC465: Grades 11-12)

    This course is designed as a second course in high school biology. Through the use of case studies, scenarios, and laboratory experiment, students will learn and understand the implications and complicated issues that are emerging in the science of genetics. Emphasis is placed on the molecular basis of heredity, patterns of Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance, evolution, and biotechnological applications. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize and describe genetic phenomena and demonstrate knowledge of important genetic principles.
  • Marine Biology (SC551: Grades 11-12)

    This course is a one-term survey of marine science using a laboratory-based instructional model with a particular focus on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean (Southeastern United States). Topics to be covered include introductory basic oceanography, plankton and energy production in food webs, invertebrate and vertebrate life form adaptations, and marine ecosystems.
  • Ornithology (SC460: Grades 11-12)

    Ornithology is an introductory class designed to introduce students to the study of birds and instill an appreciation of their role and importance in the environment. In keeping with Marist’s goal of sustainability, the course will increase student awareness of how their actions impact the environment and the organisms that share it with them. This class will help students further develop their independent research skills.
  • Physical Geology (SC555: Grades 11-12)

    This course is an introduction to physical geology. The basic principles of mineralogy, petrology, geomorphology, seismology, historical geology, and map reading will be studied.

Science Department

List of 12 members.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers