Academics
Curriculum

Science

The Science Department strives to teach every student how to design, collect and analyze data, and solve problems and think critically using scientific laws and principles.

Essential Outcomes

List of 4 items.

  • Experiments

    Students will be able to Examine experimental results to determine factors affecting predicted cause and effect relationships. (Grad at Grad: Excellence in Education) 
    Students will:
    1. Isolate external factors affecting experimental results
    2. Identify sources of experimental error.
  • Laws & Principles

    Students will be able to Use scientific laws and principles to design solutions to problems in the physical world. (Grad at Grad: Faith in the Presence of God, Excellence in Education) 
    Students will:
    1. Apply the principles of conservation of mass and energy
    2. Utilize field specific laws and principles
  • Skills

    Students will be able to Demonstrate scientific skills and techniques to design solutions to problems in the physical world. (Grad at Grad: Excellence in Education)
    Students will:
    1. Conduct experiments using the scientific method
    2. Analyze data
    3. Use and convert scientific units
    4. Use the mathematical forms of scientific principles to solve problems
  • Systems

    Students will be able to Analyze system properties and interactions to design solutions to problems in the physical world. (Grad at Grad: Concern for the Poor and Social Justice, Excellence in Education, Respect for All Persons, Participation with Inclusive Community) 
    Students will:
    1. Determine how the properties of the parts of a system contribute to its function
    2. Study interactions between systems
    3. Design real ­world applications based on system properties and interactions

Faculty

List of 10 items.

  • Mary Wakumoto

    Department Chair
    mary.wakumoto@mullenhigh.com
    BS and MS in Electrical Engineering: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    MA Education: Stanford University
    Bio
  • Jennifer Bohnsack

    bohnsack@mullenhigh.com
    BSN in Nursing and Cell Biology Degree
    Arizona State University and Western State College
    Bio
  • Mara Dougherty

    mara.dougherty@mullenhigh.com
    BA Chemistry, Saint Anselm College
    PhD Chemistry, University of Maryland, College Park
    Bio
  • Victoria Greene

    victoria.greene@mullenhigh.com
    MEd Secondary Science Education, DePaul University
    Bio
  • Kristy Hilt

    kristy.hilt@mullenhigh.com
    BA Chemistry, University of Arizona

    Bio
  • Jillian Humphrey

    jillian.humphrey@mullenhigh.com
    BA Kinesiology, Rice University

    Bio
  • Lisa McLay

    lisa.mclay@mullenhigh.com
    BS Biology, Salem State College
    PhD Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis, Emory University 

    Bio
  • Julie Metcalfe

    julie.metcalfe@mullenhigh.com
    BS Secondary Science Education, History & Biology, Central Michigan University
    Bio
  • Pete Spiessbach '98

    pete.spiessbach@mullenhigh.com
    BS in Chemistry and Mathematics, Regis University
    MS in Chemical and Life Science, University of Maryland

    Bio
  • Barbara Wallace

    barbara.wallace@mullenhigh.com
    BA Anthropology Minor in Chemistry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    MA Ed Secondary Science Education, Benedictine University
    Bio

Course Offerings

List of 28 items.

  • Biology A

    This course is the first part of a two-trimester college prep course. This beginning course will include the scientific method, microscope studies, basic chemistry, the chemistry of living things, cell structure cell processes, and basic genetics. Students will conduct laboratory investigations and write-ups, and are expected to master basic science vocabulary. (NCAA Course)
  • Biology A Honors

    This first trimester of a two-part sequence follows a similar syllabus to the college-preparatory course with the major distinctions being pace and expectations. The student who successfully places into Honors Biology will be one who has a sufficient command of math including the metric system, they have well established abilities in reading comprehension, their writing skills are age-appropriate and they have the important skills of independent thought and action. As with the college preparatory course, students will study the scientific method, the microscope, and introductory chemistry, chemistry of living things, cell structure and function, cell processes and basic genetics. Student labs will be rigorous and will require technically correct reports. (NCAA Course)
  • Biology AP

    Biology AP is a rigorous course designed to prepare students to take the AP Biology exam in May. AP Biology is a laboratory-based, college-level course that covers three general areas: (1) molecules & cells; (2) heredity & evolution; (3) organisms & populations. The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a conceptual framework of modern biology & to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. (NCAA Course)
  • Biology B

    This course is the second part of a two-trimester college prep course including the following topics: studies on protein synthesis, evolution, ecology, taxonomy, and animal structure and function. Students will conduct laboratory investigations and write-ups, and are expected to master basic science vocabulary. The significant project in the class involves dissection of a fetal pig: a course requirement. (NCAA Course)
  • Biology B Honors

    This second part of a two-part course again follows the college preparatory curriculum with a quicker pace and more depth. The topics for the course include DNA and protein synthesis, evolution, ecology, toxicology, plant and animal structure and function. The significant project in the class involves dissection of a fetal pig: a course requirement. (NCAA)
  • Biotechnology CP

    Biotechnology is a rigorous and exciting course designed to give students a comprehensive introduction to cutting edge scientific concepts and laboratory research techniques in the field of biotechnology. Students will engage in design projects from fields such as: the pharmaceutical (medicinal design), biofuel and genetically modified foods industries. Students will explore and evaluate career opportunities in the field of biotechnology through extensive readings, laboratory design experiments, class discussions, research projects, guest speakers, and workplace visits.
  • Chemistry

    This course will include metric system, atomic theory, and nuclear reactions, electron configurations, the Periodic Table, bonding and shapes of molecules, molecular polarity as it relates to the properties of solids, liquids and gases, formulas and names of chemical compounds, and the mole. In addition, the course will include: review of moles, writing and balancing equations; stoichiometry, solutions and molarity, gas laws, heat energy and thermodynamics, acid base chemistry, chemical kinetics and equilibrium. Experiments will aid the student to reach an understanding of interactions of matter. Use of laboratory experiments will continue to reinforce the concepts studied in class. (NCAA Course)
  • Chemistry AP

    This course is designed as the equivalent of first-year collegiate chemistry. It also is designed to prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Chemistry examination. Students will attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. Emphasis will be placed on chemical calculations, mathematical formulations of principles, college-level laboratory work, and clear, logical oral and written expression of ideas. In this course, quantitative differences from both CP and Honors Chemistry will appear in the number of topics treated, class work and homework time and intensity, and the nature and variety of laboratory experiments. (NCAA Course)
  • Chemistry A CP

    This first part of a two-part course will include metric system, atomic theory, and nuclear reactions, electron configurations, the Periodic Table, bonding and shapes of molecules, molecular polarity as it relates to the properties of solids, liquids and gases, formulas and names of chemical compounds, and the mole. Experiments will aid the student to reach an understanding of interactions of matter. (NCAA Course)
  • Chemistry A H

    This is considered an accelerated chemistry course. The course requires students to have laboratory experimentation skills. Some of the topics covered will be atomic structure and electron configurations, quantum theory and numbers, hybridization, nuclear reactions, periodicity, nomenclature, mole calculations, empirical & molecular formulas, and balancing equations. Students will be expected to apply concepts that they have learned to different situations. This is an excellent course for those students wishing to continue some future in medicine, engineering or science. (NCAA Course)
  • Chemistry B CP

    This is the second part of a two-part course of the college-prep chemistry classes. It completes the requirement for chemistry. The course will include: review of moles, writing and balancing equations; stoichiometry, solutions and molarity, gas laws, heat energy and thermodynamics, acid base chemistry, chemical kinetics and equilibrium. Use of laboratory experiments will continue to reinforce the concepts studied in class. (NCAA Course)
  • Chemistry B Honors

    This is considered an accelerated chemistry course and is a continuation of Chemistry A H. This course requires students to have laboratory experimentation skills. Some of the topics covered will be stoichiometry, behavior of gases, solution chemistry, colligative properties, dissociation and ionization, thermodynamics, acid base chemistry, kinetics, equilibrium, and electrochemistry. Students will be expected to apply concepts that they have learned to different situations. This is an excellent course for those students wishing to pursue a career in an area of science. (NCAA Course)
  • Comparative Anatomy

    This is a a college-style course on the specifics of mammalian anatomy. Focus will be upon the human, with domestic and familiar animals used in comparison. Lab work will include required dissections of several organ systems, culminating in the complete domestic cat. Recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a medical or veterinary career. (NCAA Course)
  • Engineering

    Students will be introduced to the mechanical engineering design process by completing projects in which they design, build, and test specific devices. Students will gain hands-on experience working through the engineering design cycle and will learn the concepts and technology to help support their development of a solution. Students will work cooperatively in small design groups and present their work. (NCAA Course)
  • Engineering Dynamics

    Students will be exposed to college-level video lessons and course materials in the fields of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. Students will design, construct and analyze projects in each of the above fields of engineering. A high level of mathematical problem solving is required.
  • Environmental Science

    A review of the abiotic portions of the Earth and Earth processes as well as an in-depth study of how Earth’s biotic factors interact with each other and with their abiotic environment. Emphasis on the impact of man on his environment as well as an analysis of current environmental topics.(NCAA Course)
  • Forensics: Science

    This course is part one of a two-part interdisciplinary class in which students who have completed the prerequisite science and social studies classes are able to combine their studies to study the fields of science and law in more depth. This laboratory-based class will focus crime scene analysis, trace evidence, serology, forensic anthropology, DNA fingerprint analysis, ballistics and forensic entomology. Students must also enroll in 866 Forensics: Law CP (NCAA Course)
  • Human Physiology

    A college-style course on the workings of the human body. Focus will be upon the processes involved in a living mammalian system. A working knowledge of human anatomy is helpful. Lab work will include various experiments with students as their own subjects. Recommended for students interested in medicine or sports physiology careers. (NCAA Course)
  • Physical Science A

    This course includes the metric system, scientific notation, significant figures, measurement and analysis, the study of matter, the atomic structure, and the periodic table.. Students perform hands-on laboratory experiments to investigate concepts studied in class. This is an excellent course to prepare students for subsequent chemistry courses. (NCAA Course)
  • Physical Science B

    Topics include motion, forces, gravity, work, power, energy, simple machines, mechanical waves, and sound. Students perform hands-on laboratory experiments to investigate concepts studied in class. This is an excellent course to prepare students for subsequent physics courses. (NCAA Course)
  • Physical Science A Honors

    This course moves at a faster pace than its CP counterpart. Students will be expected to demonstrate a good grasp of scientific notation, conversion of units, and algebraic manipulation of equations as they enter the class. Topics include the metric system, scientific notation, significant figures, measurement and analysis, the study of matter, the atomic structure, the periodic table, balancing equations, basic stoichiometry, acids and bases. Students perform hands-on laboratory experiments to investigate concepts studied in class. This is an excellent course to prepare students for subsequent chemistry courses. (NCAA Course)
  • Physical Science B Honors

    This course moves at a faster pace than its CP counterpart. Topics include motion, forces, gravity, work, power, energy, simple machines, mechanical waves, and sound. Students perform numerous hands-on laboratory experiments to investigate concepts studied in class. This is an excellent course to prepare students for subsequent physics courses. (NCAA Course)
  • Physics A

    This algebra-based physics course is designed to give students hands-on problem-solving and laboratory experience in the field of mechanics. Topics include the SI-system, vectors, one and two dimensional kinematics, Newton's Laws, statics, dynamics and circular motion. In addition, students may complete one or mechanical design projects. This course is intended for students who are considering a continuation of their science studies at the college level. (NCAACourse)
  • Physics A Honors

    Physics Honors is a rigorous algebra-based physics course with introduction of calculus. Topics include the SI-system, vectors, one and two dimensional kinematics, uniform circular motion, Newton's Laws, statics, dynamics, work, energy, power and momentum. There is a strong emphasis on problem solving and laboratory work. In addition, students may complete one or more mechanical design projects. This course is intended for students who are strongly interested in continuing their science studies at the college level and may pursue a major in physics or engineering. . (NCAA Course)
  • Physics B

    This algebra-based physics course is designed to give students hands-on problem-solving and laboratory experience in the fields of energy and electricity. Topics include work, energy, momentum, electric charge, electric field, electric potential, current, resistance, capacitance and circuit analysis. In addition, students may complete one or more electrical-circuit design projects. This course is intended for students who are considering a continuation of their science studies at the college level. (NCAA Course)
  • Physics B Honors

    Physics Honors is a rigorous algebra-based physics course with introduction of calculus. Topics include rotational motion, moment of inertia, conservation of angular momentum, torque, static equilibrium, electric force, electric field, electric potential, current, resistance, capacitance and RC circuit analysis. There is a strong emphasis on problem solving and laboratory work. In addition, students may complete one or more electrical design projects. This course is intended for students who are strongly interested in continuing their science studies at the college level and may pursue a major in physics or engineering. (NCAA Course)
  • Physics C AP

    AP Physics C is a rigorous calculus-based physics course designed to prepare students to take the AP Physics C - Mechanics and AP Physics C - Electricity & Magnetism exams in May. Mechanics topics include one and two dimensional kinematics, uniform circular motion, Newton's Laws, statics, dynamics, work, energy, power, momentum, rotational motion, gravitation and oscillations. Electricity topics include electric force, electric field, electric potential, current, resistance, capacitance and RC circuit analysis. Magnetism topics include magnetic fields and flux, magnetic induction, inductance, and RL circuit analysis. There is a strong emphasis on problem solving and laboratory work. This course is intended for students who are strongly interested in continuing their science studies at the college level and may pursue a major in physics or engineering. (NCAA Course)
  • Science Lab Assistant

    Students will learn basic and advanced laboratory procedures, scientific equipment maintenance, and experiment /research methods. Students will assist the instructor with a variety of laboratory tasks and projects.