Academics

Science

Science Department’s Philosophy

Here at Fordham High School For The Arts  we believe It is essential that all students have access to a high-quality science education that provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to be well-informed citizens, and to be prepared for college and careers. Thus, Science teachers at Fordham High School For The Arts uses project based learning to develop  the habits and skills that scientists and engineers use in day-to-day life. Lessons are taught using  the 5E model which is supported by research on how students learn. Students use disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts with scientific practices to explore, examine, and explain how and why phenomena occur and to design solutions to problems.  Our  Science course tracks emphasize student acquisition of advanced regents diplomas by giving students at least 2 years to pass one of the required physical science regents that are currently offered (chemistry or physics). By passing a physical science regents in addition to the living environment regents, students will have fulfilled the science requirements for their advanced regents diploma. There are currently six Science Courses offered at Fordham High School For The Arts: Living Environment, Chemistry, Earth Science, AP Biology, AP Computer science and Physics. Each is aligned with the New York State Science Learning Standards, Next generation of Science standards and the Common Core Learning Standards.

 

The Science course progression ensures that students will be on track for their Advanced regents diploma by their sophomore year and will be able to take either AP computer science or AP Biology by their junior or senior year.

Group 1: For Students that are entering that have not yet taken Living Environment or pass the living Environment regents. These groups of students will take on a Living Environment. Successful completion of Living Environment will advance students to Group 2 which is taking one of the physical Science classes Earth Science or Physics. This also pertains to students that have already taken Earth Science in Middle school and has passed the regents or garnished the credit for the course.

Group 2: Students that have already garnished the credit for Living Environment whether in middle school or high school. These students will be enrolled  in one of the physical Science courses Earth Science or Chemistry. The prerequisite for physical science is Algebra 1 and Living Environment.

Group 3: Students that have already completed two or three science courses and have garnished the additional science for Advanced regents Diploma. These students  have been exposed to at least one of the physical sciences and may already have six credits for science. These students will have the opportunity to enroll in AP Biology, or AP Computer Science.

 

Course offerings-

 

Regents Living Environment:

Living Environment is a yearlong freshman-level science course aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards and the Regents Living Environment Standards in the NYS core curriculum. The Living Environment curriculum provides students with the opportunity to develop and master the scientific literacy and critical thinking skills that are necessary for both the NYS regents exam and subsequent science coursework. Over the course of the year, students will explore the following topics: biological functions and ecological relationships that maintain and disrupt homeostasis in our natural world. The course also focuses on fundamental analytical, quantitative, and critical reasoning skills necessary to effectively communicate scientific thought. The units of study include: Organization of Life, Heredity and Genetics, Evolution, Reproduction and Development, Homeostasis, Ecology, and Human Impact on the Environment.

Laboratory Requirements: Critical to understanding science concepts is the use of scientific inquiry to develop explanations of natural phenomena. Therefore, as a prerequisite for admission to the Regents examination in the Living Environment, students must have successfully completed 1200 minutes of laboratory experience with satisfactory written reports for each laboratory investigation.

Requirements: Successful completion of 1200 minutes of lab with submitted lab reports as proof of completion.

Prerequisites: None.

 

Earth Science:

Earth Science is a yearlong course aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards and the Regents Earth Science Standards in the NYS core curriculum. The Earth Science curriculum provides students with the opportunity to develop and master the scientific literacy and critical thinking skills that are necessary for both the NYS regents exam and subsequent science coursework. Over the course of the year, students will explore the following topics: Astronomy (study of outer space), Geology (study of rocks, earthquakes, volcanoes and plate tectonics), and Meteorology (study of the atmosphere, climate and climate change). Earth Science also focuses on fundamental analytical, quantitative, and critical reasoning skills necessary to effectively communicate scientific thought. The units of study include: Astronomy, Earth, Sun & Moon, Dynamic Earth, Landscapes, Earth’s History and Weather & Climate.

Requirements: Successful completion of 1200 minutes of lab with submitted lab reports as proof of completion.

Pre-Requisites: A 75 or higher  the Regents Living Environment Exam or evidence of credits garnered.

Credits: 2

 

Regents Chemistry:

Chemistry is a yearlong course aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards and the Regents Chemistry Standards in the NYS core curriculum. Students will explore the fundamental building blocks of matter, changes in matter, and the effects of these changes on the physical and biological world. The course focuses greatly on critical and abstract thinking, as well as quantitative and deductive reasoning. The units of study include: Introduction to Matter, Units of Measurement, Atomic Concepts, Nuclear Chemistry, The Periodic Table, Bonding, Chemical Reactions, Kinetics and Equilibrium, Energy, Solutions and Gases, Acid/ Base Chemistry, Electrochemistry, and Organic Chemistry. The course requires successful completion of 1200 minutes of hands-on laboratory experience and culminates with a Regents exam in June.

Requirements: Successful completion of 1200 minutes of lab with submitted lab reports as proof of completion.

Pre-Requisites: A 75 or higher on both the Regents Living Environment and Regents Earth Science exams or a 80 or higher on the Regents Living Environment and the Regents Integrated Algebra exams or  evidence of credits garnered.

Co-requisite: Algebra 1.

Credits: 2

 

Regents Physics:

Physics is a yearlong course aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards and the Regents Physics Standards in the NYS core curriculum. Students will learn the fundamental scientific laws that govern the physical world. The course places heavy emphasis on abstract and critical thinking, as well as understanding quantitative relationships and translating scientific concepts mathematically. The units of study include: Units and Measurement, 1-dimensional Motion and Kinematics, 2-D Kinematics and Forces, Energy, Electricity and Magnetism, Waves, and Modern Physics. The course requires successful completion of 1200 minutes of hands-on laboratory experience and culminates with a Regents exam in June.

Requirements: Successful completion of 1200 minutes of lab with submitted lab reports as proof of completion.

Pre-Requisites: A 65 or higher on the Regents Chemistry exam and Geometry exam.

Co-requisite: Algebra II/ Trigonometry or higher level math.

 

AP Biology:

AP Biology is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course. The course  is designed to offer students a solid curriculum in introductory college-level biology. The course is structured around  enduring conceptual understandings and the biological content that supports them.  Students will engage in Science practices that are employed to help students utilize inquiry-based learning that maximizes the depth of their learning. Students will be provided with opportunities to develop skills utilized by biologists as they employ the science practices throughout the course. AP Biology allows students opportunities to develop an appreciation for the science of biology and to identify and understand unifying principles within a diversified biological world. The process of inquiry and the development of critical thinking skills are also important components of  the AP Biology Curriculum. Students will also engage in hands-on or Virtual labs to investigate natural phenomena.  All the units are organized around coherent storylines, in which students ask and investigate questions related to an anchoring phenomenon or design challenge that is culturally relative to student’s  lives.

Requirements: Successful completion of 13 Inquiry required labs along with submitted lab reports as proof of completion.

Pre-Requisites: Living Environment, or currently enrolled in Chemistry,

Co-requisite: Algebra II/ Geometry or higher level math.

 

AP Computer Science:

AP Computer science  curriculum is an introductory college-level computer science course. Students cultivate their understanding of coding through analyzing, writing, and testing code as they explore concepts like modularity, variables, and control structures. The AP Computer Science  framework is organized into 10 commonly taught units of study that teaches students the skills that will help them learn to think and act like computer scientists. The Curriculum focuses on big ideas that encompass core principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The AP Computer Science framework prepares students for advanced computer  integration into a wide array of STEM-related fields  and the skills and knowledge that students need to be well-informed citizens. By the end of student’s for years at Fordham High school for the Arts all students will have the opportunity to take AP Computer Science. The AP Computer Science curriculum includes  a minimum of 20 hours of hands-on, structured lab experiences to engage students in individual or group problem solving. Thus, each AP Computer Science A course includes a substantial lab component in which students design solutions to problems, express their solutions precisely (e.g., in the Java programming language), test their solutions, identify and correct errors (when mistakes occur), and compare possible solutions.

Requirements: Successful completion of 20 hours of hands on structured lab experiences.

Pre-Requisites:

Co-requisite: Algebra I.