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.


List of 26 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 organisms, focusing on the discovery of the cell. In the spring term, the attention shifts to cellular structure, functions, and cell reproduction.
  • Science 8 (SC201: Grade 8)

    When we throw a ball up in the air, we know it is going to come right back down; and, the harder we throw it, the longer it takes to return back to our hand. But why is that? Physical science helps us answer questions like these by using observation and reasoning to explain why things happen in the world around us and how we can predict what will happen next. Science 8 is a yearlong physical science course. We introduce students to basic Newtonian mechanics and energy transformations. We build on previous knowledge of energy and mechanics and turn our focus to field forces, specifically electricity and magnetism. Students are also encouraged to think about the connection between energy and matter. Topics include thermal energy, heat transfer, and states of matter. In Term 3, we shift our scope to the microscopic foundation of matter: the atom. We touch on modern atomic theory, including the Standard Model and a small introduction to quantum theory, along with topics about the Periodic Table of Elements and the relationship between atoms and elements. With this knowledge, students are well-positioned to analyze properties of matter and chemical reactions. By the end of this class, students will have the quantitative and analytical skills needed to explain the physical world around them in a new and creative way.
  • 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.
  • Honors 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; ≥88% in Honors Math (Algebra I or higher in 8th grade) in grades 7 and 8

    • Passing score or better on the placement test

    • 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 study of matter and material science. The first unit introduces scientific techniques using the scientific method in the lab and with mathematics analysis and graphing. The second unit defines and describes atomic structure and introduces the mole concept. Unit three explores atomic theories, electronic configurations, and the arrangement of atoms on the Periodic Table. Finally, we will introduce ionic and covalent bonding.

    The second term analyzes the properties of substances and solutions and their reactions. The first unit compares the three main types of bonding – ionic, covalent, and metallic bond. In the second unit, we learn to write balanced chemical equations for these reactions and begin to classify types of reactions (single replacement, double replacement, synthesis, decomposition, combustion). Included is determining the empirical and molecular formulas of some compounds as well as its percent composition. Describing a solution by its concentration, solute, and solubility is the third unit. The final unit is the stoichiometry of chemical reactions, including the percent yield, the theoretical yield, and percent error.

    In the third term of Chemistry, students will study the different phases of matter and reactions between matter. The first unit covers the gas phase, including gas laws, diffusion, and non-ideal behavior. These gases are used to introduce the Kinetic Molecular Theory. The second unit compares solids and liquids, including phase changes. The third unit introduces equilibrium systems and LeChatelier’s Principle. The final unit of the course studies acid-base chemistry.
  • Honors 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:
    • ≥92% in Regular Algebra I or ≥90% in Honors Algebra I
    • ≥92% in Regular Biology Term 1 and departmental recommendation
  • Physics (SC520: 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.
  • Honors Physics (SC515: Grades 11-12)

    Honors 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:
    • Honors 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 more in-depth than those covered in 9th 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 Advanced Placement (AP) Examination is required in May (fee to be announced annually).

    The concepts covered in this course over the year will fall under eight main units:

    • Unit 1: The Chemistry of Life
    • Unit 2: Cell Structure and Function
    • Unit 3: Cellular Energetics
    • Unit 4: Cell Communication and Cell Cycle
    • Unit 5: Heredity
    • Unit 6: Gene Expression and Regulation
    • Unit 7: Natural Selections
    • Unit 8: 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.

    Prerequisite: Approval of instructors, Biology (SC401), or Honors Biology (SC404). 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: Honors Biology (SC504) or approval of instructor. Must be taken with AP Biology (SC901).
  • AP Chemistry (SC911: Grades 11-12)

    This yearlong 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 nine units and six science practices. The units that will be addressed in lecture and lab experiments are:

    • Unit 1: Atomic Structure and Properties
    • Unit 2: Molecular and Ionic Compound Structure and Properties
    • Unit 3: Intermolecular Forces and Properties
    • Unit 4: Chemical Reactions 50
    • Unit 5: Kinetics
    • Unit 6: Thermodynamics
    • Unit 7: Equilibrium
    • Unit 8: Acids and Bases
    • Unit 9: Applications of Thermodynamics

    The science practices for AP Chemistry are designed to get the students to think and act like scientists. The science practices that will be addressed in lecture and lab exercises are:

    • Science Practice 1: Describe models and representations, including across scales.
    • Science Practice 2: Determine scientific questions and methods.
    • Science Practice 3: Create representations or models of chemical phenomena.
    • Science Practice 4: Analyze and interpret models and representations on a single scale or across multiple scales. Science Practice 5: Solve problems using mathematical relationships.
    • Science Practice 6: Develop an explanation or scientific argument.

    Prerequisite: Approval of instructor, Chemistry (SC501) or Honors Chemistry (SC505). 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, and probeware (Temperature, Gas Pressure, Conductivity, Colorimeter, pH and Voltage).

    Prerequisite:  Approval of instructor, Chemistry (SC501), or Honors Chemistry (SC505). Must be taken with AP Chemistry (SC911).
  • AP Physics C (SC931: 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: Honors Chemistry (SC505) or Chemistry (SC501). Permission of AP Physics instructor required. Must have completed or be taken concurrently with AP Calculus AB (MA 901) or AP Calculus BC (MA902).

    Corequisite: Must be taken with AP Physics Laboratory (SC922).
  • AP Physics C Laboratory (SC932: Grades 11-12)

    Advanced Placement Physics C Lab gives hands-on experience that corresponds 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.

    Priority is given to seniors.
  • 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, 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.

    Permission course. Prerequisite or taking concurrently: Honors Physics (SC515) or AP Physics (SC931) and regular Calculus (MA601) or higher math.
  • Introduction to Neuroscience (SC563: Grades 11-12)

    From sensing to moving to thinking to feeling, neuroscience explains how we perceive and interact with the world around us. Students will dive headfirst into this fascinating field through the analysis of case studies, discussions, and laboratory experiments. Using a wide range of active learning strategies, students will not only learn the fundamentals of neuroscience, but also experience its relevance to their daily lives. As a result, students will walk away with an appreciation for the wide variety of topics that neuroscientists pursue and be inspired to learn more about the field. 

    Priority is given to seniors. 
  • Environmental Science: Solving Global Issues (SC641: 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.

    The course will be offered in Term 1 and Term 2. Students can elect to take the class either or both terms it is offered.
  • 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.

    Priority is given to seniors. 

    Prerequisites: One year of Biology, one year of Chemistry, and one year of Physics. Physics may be taken concurrently.
  • Genetics (SC465: Grades 11-12)

    This course is designed as a second course in high school biology. Using case studies, scenarios, and laboratory experiments, 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.

    This course will be offered on rotating years with Zoology (SC564).
  • Ornithology (SC460: Grades 11-12)

    Ornithology is an introductory course 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.
  • Marine Biology (SC551: Grades 11-12)

    This course is a one-term survey of marine science using a laboratory-based instructional model. Topics to be covered include introductory basic oceanography, waves, ocean chemistry, construction and use of dichotomous keys, measuring biodiversity, methods to study plankton, population sampling, invertebrate and vertebrate life forms, and marine ecosystem dynamics.

    Priority is given to seniors.

    Prerequisites: One year of Biology, one year of Chemistry, and one year of Physics. Physics may be taken concurrently.
  • Zoology (SC564: Grades 11-12)

    Zoology is designed as a second course in Biology. This course discusses the branch of biology that deals with animals and animal life. It will include study of the structure, physiology, development, evolution, and classification of the animal kingdom. Many types of animals will be studied including invertebrates and vertebrates. Classwork will consist of research, case studies, and dissections.

    This course will be offered on rotating years with Genetics (SC465).

    Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry.

Science Department

List of 15 members.

  • Photo of Carol Rivera

    Mrs. Carol Rivera 

    Science Department Chair
  • Photo of Sarah Conn

    Ms. Sarah Conn 

  • Photo of Kevin Lisle

    Mr. Kevin Lisle 

  • Photo of Gregory LoCurto

    Mr. Gregory LoCurto 

  • Photo of Stephen Lorys

    Mr. Stephen Lorys 

    Assistant Science Department Chair
  • Photo of Kelly Mandy

    Mrs. Kelly Crowe Mandy 96

    Director of Global & Humane Studies
  • Photo of Gary Miller

    Mr. Gary Miller 

  • Photo of Betty Motter

    Mrs. Betty Dalton Motter 

  • Photo of James Naum-Bedigian

    Mr. James Naum-Bedigian 

  • Photo of Aileen Phillips

    Mrs. Aileen Phillips 

  • Photo of Susan Richerson

    Mrs. Susan Richerson 

  • Photo of Lawrence Rogers

    Mr. Lawrence Rogers 

  • Photo of Peter Spalitto

    Mr. Peter Spalitto 

  • Photo of Jeanette Stewart

    Ms. Jeanette Stewart 

  • Mr.  Donald Davis 

    Long-Term Substitute

Marist School

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