Honors Analytical Chemistry

Department: Science

Course Description: Analytical Chemistry is to be taken after either the successful completion of Honors Chemistry or Advanced Placement Chemistry. The course is modeled after similar courses taught by college chemistry departments at either the sophomore or junior level. It will cover both fundamental and practical aspects
of chemical analysis utilizing both classical and modern techniques drawn from many areas of science including but not limited to the following: life sciences, environmental chemistry, clinical chemistry and industrial analysis. The first portion of the course will emphasize traditional techniques including gravimetric analysis, titrimetric methods of analysis including precipitation, acid-base and complexes, as well as electrochemical methods. The second half of the course will focus on the use of instrumentation with emphasis placed on spectroscopy and chromatography. The entire course will be heavily experimentally oriented with the majority of the students’ classroom time being spent in the chemistry laboratory.

Prerequisite: Honors or AP Chemistry and department approval. UC approved.

Interview with: Mr. Korin

Produced by: Enya Lu

AP Biology

Department: Science

Course Description: This yearlong lab course prepares students for the AP Biology examination as well as the SAT Subject Test in biology. Included in this course are biochemistry, cytology and cellular energy transformations, taxonomy, ecology and population dynamics and molecular genetics, heredity and evolution.

Prerequisite: Grade 11 - AP Biology is available to juniors who satisfy department requirements to take the course (from Honors Chemistry an A- or better for the first semester; from AP Chemistry a B+ or better for the first semester), obtain departmental approval and successfully complete a Harker summer course. UC approved. Grade 12 - A or better in Biology or B+ or better in Honors Biology and department approval. UC approved.

Interview with: Ms. Chetty

Produced by: Evan Cheng

Biotechnology

Department: Science

Course Description: Biotechnology is the use of living organisms or their products to enhance our lives and our environment. This course examines the fundamental issues of biotechnology, such as what biotechnology is and its history, how biotechnology is done and being used today, how it impacts the lives of humans, other animals, plants and the environment. We also look at ethical issues about the role of science and technology in our society. The course is very lab-based, allowing the students exposure to many of the basic techniques used in biotechnology today.

Prerequisite: Completion of first semester of Biology or Biology Honors. UC approved.

Interview with: Dr. Harley

Produced by: Evan Cheng

Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology

Department: Science

Course Description: This yearlong lab course begins with a microscopic study of the cytology of tissues and then explores the physiology of the major systems of the human body. Laboratory work includes a systematic dissection of a cat, plus a study of other specimens. Current trends and research in the areas of nutrition, health and disease are discussed.

Prerequisite: A or better in Biology or B or better in Honors or AP Biology and department approval. UC approved.

Interview with: Ms. Chetty

Produced by: Evan Cheng

Marine Biology

Department: Science

Course Description: This one-semester course explores the major concepts in ecology through an exploration of the Earth’s ocean ecosystems. First, we explore the unique conditions in the ocean and implications for life living there. Then we investigate the distribution of the Earth’s oceans, the major currents and the control and effect of tides. Next, we explore the various components of marine food webs, starting with phytoplankton and working our way up to fish, marine mammals and sea birds. The last part of the course includes a survey of the major ocean ecosystems and their unique features.

Prerequisite: Physics or Honors Physics. UC approved.

Interview with: Dr. Schafer

Produced by: Larissa Tyagi

AP Physics 2 vs. AP Physics C

Department: Science

Course Description for AP Physics 2: This course follows all directives as set by the College Board in their description of the AP Physics
2 course. This course (which replaces AP Physics B) continues the systematic introduction to the main principles of physics that began in the freshman physics course and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability using algebra and trigonometry. The Physics 2 course includes topics in both classical and modern physics. Knowledge of algebra and basic trigonometry is required; the basic ideas of calculus may be introduced in the theoretical development of some physical concepts, such as acceleration and work. Understanding of the basic principles involved and the ability to apply these principles in the solution of problems is a major goal of the course, which serves as preparation for the AP Physics 2 exam.

Prerequisite for AP Physics 2: Students who completed Honors Physics with a B+ both semesters or Physics with an A both semesters, have concurrent enrollment in Honors Precalculus or higher level math course, and earn department approval are eligible for AP Physics 2. UC approved.

Course Description for AP Physics C: This course follows all course directives as set by the College Board in their description of the AP Physics C course. This yearlong, calculus-based physics course is composed of roughly one-half mechanics (including linear and rotational kinematics and dynamics) and one-half electricity and magnetism. Methods of calculus are used wherever appropriate in formulating physical principles and in applying them to physical problems. The sequence is more intensive and analytic than that in AP Physics 2. Strong emphasis is placed on solving
a variety of challenging problems, some requiring calculus. After this course students will be able to take the AP Physics C exam in either Mechanics or Electricity and Magnetism.

Prerequisite for AP Physics C: AP Physics C is designed for students who have earned A- or higher grades in Honors Physics and have completed, or for seniors are enrolled in, AP Calculus BC. Department approval required. UC approved.

Interviews with: Dr. Brada and Mr. Spenner

Produced by: Evan Cheng

Research Methods and Advanced Research

Department: Science

Course Description for Research Methods: Research Methods is designed for students interested in independent science research. Because of the breadth of material included in most science classes, it is a challenge for students to delve deeply into a given topic that interests them. This program allows students to develop a research question using resources online and in college libraries. Students design and conduct experiments to test their research questions and then analyze their results with statistical analyses. Students expand their communication skills with formal reports and presentations to the class. They also participate in a larger research community at the local science fair and the Harker Research Symposium.

Prerequisite for Research Methods: Physics or Honors Physics and recommendation of the student’s science and/or mathematics teacher. In addition, students must attend a brief meeting in the spring prior to their enrollment in the course. UC approved.

Course Description for Advanced Research: In Advanced Research, students have the option of continuing their research projects from the Research Methods course with additional experiments and/or more in-depth analyses. They also may pursue research in a different field altogether. Students who complete a research project over the summer or are ready to collect data on a project approved by the instructor may also enroll. The course requires much independent work, but also incorporates peer review and mentoring of less experienced research students. Advanced Research may be taken for credit more than once. With instructor approval, students may enroll in an honors version of the course. Honors students are held to a higher standard of writing quality and are expected to incorporate original procedures and/or analysis into their projects. Honors students also take on additional mentoring duties with students in the Research Methods course.

Prerequisite for Advanced Research: Research Methods or instructor approval. Typically, instructor approval requires satisfactory completion of a summer research internship or a formal research proposal.

Interview with: Mr. Spenner

Produced by: Evan Cheng

The Science of Food

Department: Science

Course Description: This course will explore a variety of topics related to the science of food including: the chemistry and nutrition
of carbohydrates, fats and proteins; the chemistry and importance of the various vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in our diets; the use of food substitutes and additives to various food products; the role of microorganisms in the production of various foods such as bread and yogurt and how these microbes alter the chemistry of important foods; and the chemical changes that take place in foods during cooking and baking. We will be spending significant time both in the lab and in the kitchen, conducting experiments and investigating the impact of cooking and baking on different foods.

Prerequisite: Chemistry, Honors Chemistry or AP Chemistry. UC approved.

Interview with: Dr. Schafer

Produced by: Larissa Tyagi