Science Department

The Pius X Science program provides a variety of laboratory and inquiry-based courses designed to promote critical thinking and reasoning skills, as well as problem solving abilities and scientific literacy. The Science department aims to increase understanding of our natural environment and our complex technological and medical world to produce more informed citizens and to provide a sound foundation for students who want to pursue further study in science. The science curriculum provides a basic background in biology, chemistry, and physics, with opportunities for advanced studies in these areas.

College-bound students are urged to take biology, chemistry, and physics. Juniors and seniors may enroll for more than one science course.

Science class at Pius X High School

Courses

  • Physical Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • AP Biology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Advanced Chemistry
  • Accelerated Physics
  • AP Physics (PACE)
  • Earth, Energy, and Environment
  • Academic Decathlon

Science Teachers

Genesis 1:31

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.

Stories about Science

cox science project

Physics classes race against time

Cox then used a stop watch to measure the amount of time that each design took, and he graded each project based not only on how close they were to one minute, but also on the creativity of the design.

Course Descriptions

PHYSICAL SCIENCE – 9, 10, 11 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

[Not open to 9th graders enrolled in Geometry, or students who have earned credit in Chemistry or Physics.]

This physical science course covers basic topics in chemistry and physics. Students will be introduced to scientific thought in these areas and perform labs to enrich their learning.

BIOLOGY – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

This course will cover topics in ecology, the cell and cell processes, genetics, evolution, and diversity of life. This course requires extensive and technical reading, therefore strong reading comprehension skills are recommended.

CHEMISTRY – 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

[Prerequisite: Biology]

This general course in first-year Chemistry places special emphasis on atomic structure, the mole concept, the theory of chemical reactions, laboratory techniques, and properties of common compounds.

PHYSICS – 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

Prerequisite: Chemistry and Geometry]

This course will include the study of velocity, acceleration, forces, momentum, and energy. Students will perform numerous hands-on, inquiry-based lab activities and will complete several major projects, which typically include a timer, a toothpick bridge, an egg drop, and rockets.

AP BIOLOGY – 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

[Teacher Permission]

AP Biology will follow the Advanced Placement curriculum including interaction and energy use in biological systems, genetics and evolution. Laboratory work, lectures, discussions, field trips, and out of class reading will be utilized. At the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to take the AP Biology exam to earn possible college credit.

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY – 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

[Prerequisite: Chemistry]

Anatomy and Physiology is for students interested in health careers or in careers aided by a background in anatomy and physiology. The course will cover the physiological and anatomical levels of organization of the human body. Medical terminology, diseases, and disorders will also be part of the course of study. Laboratory work, dissections, lectures, discussions and field trips will be utilized. This course will prepare students for a college anatomy and physiology course. Students strongly interested in medical careers should consider taking Anatomy and Physiology as a junior to maximize course options as a senior.

ADVANCED CHEMISTRY – 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

[Prerequisite: Physics or Physics concurrently]

AP Biology will follow the Advanced Placement curriculum including interaction and energy use in biological systems, genetics and evolution. Laboratory work, lectures, discussions, field trips, and out of class reading will be utilized. At the end of the year, students will have the opportunity to take the AP Biology exam to earn possible college credit.

ACCELERATED PHYSICS – 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

[Prerequisite: Chemistry, Pre-Calculus or Pre-Calculus concurrently, Qualifying test score]

Prerequisite: Physics or Accelerated Physics Semester 1) The first semester of this course will include the study of velocity, acceleration, forces, momentum, and energy. The second semester of this course will include the study of fluids and thermodynamics, waves and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. These topics will be discussed in-depth and at an accelerated pace. Students will perform numerous hands-on, inquiry-based lab activities and will complete several major projects.

EARTH, ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENT – 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

[Prerequisite: Biology and either Physical Science or Chemistry]

This course introduces students to the concepts of Earth and Environmental Science. Topics of study include environmental issues, earth composition, rocks and soil, weather and climate, water issues, plate tectonics, geologic time and astronomy. The course will benefit those who are interested in the fields of geology, meteorology, agriculture or environmental science.

ACADEMIC DECATHLON – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

If this course is successfully completed four full years, it may satisfy 5 credits of Science electives, but cannot replace Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

Academic Decathlon is an accelerated and intensive year-long course of study in science, social studies, math, English (literature, critical reading, and writing), art, music, speech and economics. A new theme focuses the study each year, so a student may take this course more than once. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one scrimmage the first semester. A select group of twelve students will compete in Regional, and if successful, State, and possibly National Competitions. Because students in Academic Decathlon must come from three academic levels (A, B, and C or below) as determined by selected portions of their GPA, students of varying ability and grade will be in class together. Grading standards for this course are adjusted for grade and ability. Summer reading is encouraged.