SCIENCE COURSE OFFERINGS
The Northern Valley Regional High School Science Curriculum provides students with an opportunity to study the natural and physical sciences. Courses have been designed to meet the needs of all students. While three full years of science are required for graduation, students are encouraged to take an additional year of science course work. Most students at Northern Valley take advantage of this and enroll in science for a fourth year. In some cases, highly motivated students may elect to take two sciences during their junior or senior year.
Varied levels of Biology, Chemistry and Physics provide a rigorous science program for all students. Advanced Placement science courses are offered in Biology, Chemistry, Physics 1, Physics 2, Physics C, and Environmental Science for the student of recognized ability who demonstrates exceptional talent in science. Additional college preparatory electives include Forensic Science and Advanced Topics in Biology and Chemistry. All science courses incorporate a lab component aligned to the curriculum. The lab activities are designed to reinforce content as well as assess student understanding of applied concepts.
This is a relevant and informative course designed to help the student gain understanding and mastery of key biological concepts and ideas. The course content is aligned to the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards. Topics include cell structure and function, biochemistry, reproduction, genetics, evolution, and ecology. The method of presentation insures that students gain proficiency in critical thinking, organizational skills, and problem solving. Laboratory work is integrated throughout the course.
The primary purpose of this college preparatory biology course is to gain a better understanding of the processes which govern the affairs of the living world and to improve the ability to use scientific methods of thinking and acting. The course content is aligned to the New Jersey State Science Standards and includes cell structure and function, biochemistry, molecular biology, reproduction and development, genetics, evolution, and ecology. Laboratory experiences are integrated with lecture and discussion sessions. More in-depth activities related to research, open-ended inquiry, and technological components are included in this course.
This honors course is offered by invitation to those students preparing for greater academic challenge.
Biology Honors acquaints the student with an in depth knowledge of principle biological concepts in several areas. The course content is aligned to the New Jersey State Science Standards and includes cell structure and function, biochemistry, molecular biology, reproduction and development, genetics, evolution, and ecology. The primary purpose of the course is to gain a better understanding of the process which governs the affairs of the living world and to improve the ability to use scientific methods of thinking and acting. Laboratory experiences are integrated with lecture and discussion sessions. More in-depth activities related to research, open-ended inquiry, and technological components are included in this course.
This course requires students to demonstrate a greater degree of independent work and an ability to extract and synthesize abstract concepts related to biology.
AP BIOLOGY 1.67
This course is designed to prepare the qualified student to take the Advanced Placement Test. The lectures are of a more advanced nature consistent with the fact that the student has completed a year of high school biology. The forces behind life, plant and animal, are investigated through wider and more in-depth reading and research directed laboratory experiences. Units in molecular biology, genetics, cells and protoplasm, botany, embryology, histology, anatomy and zoology are included in this experience. The lectures will be similar to a college level presentation and will challenge the student.
Pre-requisite: This course is a senior year science course and requires science teacher recommendation and a strong performance in the previous three years of honors science.
All students enrolled will take the AP Biology examination.
This course explains why the properties of matter are a consequence of its structure, and how that structure is related to its energy content. Students will also be acquainted with the impact of chemistry on everyday life. This course is aligned to the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards and includes topics such a matter, boning, energy exchanges, chemical reactions, rate theory, equilibrium, stoichiometry, solutions, colligative properties, chemicals and the environment, and nuclear power. Careful data collection and evaluation make up much of the course with emphasis on quantitative and non-quantitative problem solving.
This course is designed to prepare the student for future study; to develop growth and interest; to introduce students to vocational opportunities in science; and to provide opportunity for development of scientific skills. Emphasis is placed on the understanding and appreciation of major chemical principles, and the solving of chemical problems. The major topics covered in this course are: matter, atomic theory, electron theory, periodic law, chemical bonds, formula writing, equations, gas laws, chemical mathematics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, solutions theory of ionization, acids, bases, salts and nuclear energy.
This course is designed to provide an enriched Chemistry program. Students will be involved in a more quantitative approach to problem solving. The course provides and opportunity for the capable student to pursue a more individualized laboratory program with an in-depth approach to problem solving. Applications of scientific concepts to new situations are stressed. Students who have demonstrated superior ability and interest in mathematics and science will be invited to enroll in this course.
Strongly recommended: Concurrent placement in honors level math course (Algebra II Honors)
AP CHEMISTRY 1.67
This course is designed to prepare the qualified student to take the Advanced Placement Test. An opportunity is provided for independent work in the laboratory. The class work includes lectures on the fundamental theories of chemistry, the elements and their compounds. Emphasis is placed on the following topics: general concepts, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, properties of solutions, chemical equilibrium, ionic equilibrium, kinetics, electrochemistry, oxidation-reduction, solubility-product, mole concept and stoichiometry. The lectures will be similar to a college level presentation and will challenge the student. Lab is an important component of this course and will provide the student with a basic background appropriate for a college level course.
Pre-requisite: This course is open to juniors and requires science teacher recommendation and a strong
performance in previous honors science areas. All students enrolled will take the AP Chemistry examination.
This is a laboratory physics course that includes topics such as mechanics, heat, light, sound, magnetism, electricity, optics, and nuclear energy. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding, careful observation, and data evaluation. Much of the laboratory work will use computers and technology. By the end of the course, students will gain a better understanding of the interrelationship between energy and matter, and the importance of that interrelationship to everyday occurrences.
This course includes the fundamentals of mechanics, heat, light, sound, magnetism, and electricity. It is a study of matter and energy with special emphasis on the transformation of energy. By means of appropriate demonstrations, selected laboratory experiments, and the solution of representative mathematical problems, the student will develop knowledge of the application of important physical laws which relate to his/her physical environment.
AP PHYSICS 1 1.33
This is a first year physics course for the highly motivated and advanced student. Concurrent placement in pre-calculus is required. Topics of study include kinematics, dynamics, circular motion, simple harmonic motion, impulse and linear momentum, work and energy, rotational motion, electrostatics, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound. This course is also offered as a second year course for students previously enrolled in Physics 1 with approval from the department supervisor. Students will prepare for the AP Physics 1 exam
Strongly recommended: Concurrent placement in honors level Pre-Calculus
AP PHYSICS 2 1.33
This is a second year, algebra based physics course for the highly motivated and advanced student successfully completing AP Physics 1. Topics include thermodynamics, fluid statics and dynamics, electrostatics, DC and RC circuits, magnetisms and electromagnetic induction, geometric and physical optics, quantum physics, atomic and nuclear physics. Students will prepare for the AP Physics 2 exam.
AP PHYSICS-C 1.67
AP Physics-C is designed to prepare the qualified physics student to take the Advanced Placement Physics C Tests in Mechanics and Electricity/Magnetism. This course requires the use of Calculus in the solution of problems in the following areas: motion in two and three dimensions, work, energy, momentum, rotation, oscillatory motion, universal gravitation, electric forces and fields, capacitance, steady state and nonsteady state circuits, magnetic fields and forces, and induction. Successful completion of this course and the AP Physics Exams in Mechanics and Electricity/Magnetism will provide an experience similar to that of two semesters of physics in an engineering, physical science, mathematics, or pre-med program at a university.
AP Calculus is a co-requisite. Concurrent placement in AP level Calculus course (Calculus AB; Calculus BC) is required.
All students enrolled will take the AP Physics – C examination.
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, Physics.
This is an elective course for the highly motivated senior wishing to pursue a fourth year of science. This course integrates in-depth studies in biology, chemistry, and physics as it relates to science and our legal system. Mathematical applications are incorporated throughout the course. Some topics of study may include evidence collection and analysis, forensic instrumentation, amplification of trace evidence, forensic toxicology, serology, fingerprint analysis, DNA and biotechnology, entomology, and forensic chemistry. Laboratory components are included with this course. Students will also have an opportunity to process mock crime scenes, analyze case studies, work extensively in collaborative groups, and prepare written reports.
ADVANCED TOPICS IN BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY
This is an elective course for the motivated senior wishing to pursue a fourth year of science. This course provides the college bound student with a second year course integrating biology and chemistry themes such as matter, energy, and systems. Emphasis is placed on real world applications of content. Some topics of study may include biochemistry of food, biotechnology and modern genetic engineering, anatomy and disease, environmental chemistry and sustainability, nuclear energy and alternative fuels. Laboratory experiences are an essential component of the course.
AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
This course is for the highly motivated and advanced student after completion of biology and chemistry. The goal of AP Environmental Science is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems and their associated risks, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing the problems. Students will prepare for the AP Environmental Science exam