Science Courses

The science department offers a core of biological and physical sciences in addition to full year and semester offerings. All students are encouraged to take a course in biology, chemistry, and physics with each discipline offered at a variety of levels to suit the student’s academic needs. The State of Connecticut requires all students earn a minimum of 3 credits in the Sciences. We hope that students also select from a variety of science electives. In selecting courses for next year, be sure to consider the following: many science courses have prerequisites. These prerequisites are to ensure the student is appropriately placed to allow for the best instruction and learning atmosphere for every student. All ninth graders should be enrolled in either Integrated Biology, College Prep Biology, or Honors Biology based on departmental recommendation. This recommendation is done based on previous success in Science Classes.

The science department will use the following placement guides:

  1. Teacher recommendation is the method of placement for science classes.
  2. Placement in honors science courses is by departmental recommendation only.  In order to maintain honors placement, students must earn an 80 or better in both semesters of the previous course.  In order to move to honors level courses, students must earn a 90 or better in the previous college prep course.

 600410 - INTEGRATED BIOLOGY

General Biology introduces the student to the world of living organisms. This course is designed to foster success in students by focusing on the Connecticut Core Standards. The key concepts taught include the scientific method, cell structure and function, genetics, natural selection, mammalian body systems and ecology.

Pre-requisite: Departmental recommendation based on previous success in Science class 
Grade:  9
Length: 1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight: 1.0

 600412 - COLLEGE PREP BIOLOGY

Biology is the study of organisms and their interactions with the environment. Major themes in this course include the characteristics of life, cell structure and function, genetics and heredity, evolution, and ecology.  Students are engaged in a wide range of laboratory activities designed to introduce laboratory techniques with emphasis on problem solving using the scientific method.

 Pre-requisite:  Departmental recommendation based on previous success in Science class
Grades: 9                                
Length: 1 year                        
Credit: 1.0
Weight: 1.0

 600411 - HONORS BIOLOGY

An intense, in-depth study of the traditional topics in biological science. Major themes presented in Honors Biology include: biochemistry, cell structure and function, genetics, DNA structure and function, biotechnology, evolution, microbiology and ecology.  

This course is designed to challenge highly motivated students having a strong interest in science. The curriculum is rigorous and fast paced.  Students are engaged in a wide variety of laboratory activities designed to reinforce lab techniques with problem solving using the scientific method.

Pre-requisite:  Departmental recommendation based on previous success in Science classes
Grades:  9
Length:  1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight:  1.05

600444 - INTEGRATED PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY

This course is an introduction to the physical sciences covering concepts Physics and Chemistry. The course is designed for students who may go on to college or a technical education. The Physics part of the course will investigate forces, motion, energy, work and electricity. The Chemistry part of the course will focus on the properties of matter, including atoms, the periodic table, chemical bonds, mixtures and solutions, chemical reactions, acids and bases and polymers.

 Pre-requisite: Departmental recommendation based on previous success in Science classes
Grade:  10
Length:  1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight:  1.0

600422 - COLLEGE PREP CHEMISTRY

This course is strongly recommended for the student who wishes to make the necessary science preparation for college work. Traditional topics in chemistry such as atomic theory, atomic structure, chemical reactions, gas, laws, solutions and weight relationships in reactions will be studied in this course. As time allows study of more advanced topics such as equilibrium, oxidation reduction and thermodynamics will be covered. Additional topics in various branches of food chemistry, health chemistry, cosmetics and environmental chemistry are also included. Laboratory assignments and experiments are incorporated into this course. Problem solving skills will also be emphasized during the course. Laboratory work constitutes an integral portion of the course and is directly related to the material under discussion.

 Pre-requisite:  Grade 10: Minimum grade of 80 in CP Algebra I and minimum grade of 70 in CP Biology  Grades 11 & 12 with teacher recommendation   
Grades: 10, 11, 12                  
Length: 1 year                        
Credit: 1.0                              
Weight: 1.0

 600421 - HONORS CHEMISTRY

This course is strongly recommended for the student who wishes to make the necessary science preparation for college work. Traditional topics in chemistry such as atomic theory, atomic structure, chemical reactions, gas, laws, solutions and weight relationships in reactions will be studied in this course. As time allows study of more advanced topics such as equilibrium, oxidation reduction and thermodynamic will be covered. Additional topics in various branches of food chemistry, health chemistry, cosmetics and environmental chemistry are also included. Laboratory assignments and experiments are incorporated into this course. Problem solving skills will also be emphasized during the course. Laboratory work constitutes an integral portion of the course and is directly related to the material under discussion.

Pre-requisite:  Grade 10: Minimum grade of 85 in CP Algebra I and minimum grade of 80 in H Biology or 90 in CP Biology and teacher recommendation  Grades 11 & 12 with teacher recommendation
Grades:  10, 11, 12
Length:  1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight:  1.05

 600422 – PHYSICS

Physics is the study of matter and energy and the interaction between them. The units of study are: measurement, mechanics, work and energy, waves, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. As time allows study of modern physics will be covered. The course is a combination of discussion, demonstration, problem solving, and lab experiments. This is a fundamental science course and should be elected by all students who wish to have a complete preparation in science.

Pre-requisites:  Grade 11:  Exception awarded by Department recommendation only (all Grade 12 requirements apply)  Grade 12: Departmental recommendation and minimum grade of 80 in Algebra I and minimum grade of 70 in Chemistry or 70 in Honors Chemistry

Grades:  11, 12
Length:  1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight:  1.0

600441 - UCONN ECE PHYSICS 1201Q

Physics is the study of matter and energy and the interaction between them. The units of study for UConn ECE Physics 1201Q are measurement, scientific method, one and two-dimensional motion, vector analysis, forces, static and dynamic equilibrium, work and energy, momentum and collisions, rotational motion, phases of matter, properties of solids and fluids, heat and thermodynamics and waves and oscillations. Course content is rigorous and highly mathematical and includes detailed experimental work and laboratory experiments. Students enrolled in the course will be required to take the University of Connecticut final exam. Students who earn a grade of C or better in the course will receive 4 UConn credit hours in ECE Physics 1201Q.

UConn Early College Experience (ECE) is a concurrent enrollment program that allows motivated high school students to take UConn courses at their high schools for both high school and college credit. These challenging courses allow students to preview college work, build confidence in their readiness for college, and earn college credits that provide both an academic and a financial head start on a college degree. Every course taken through UConn ECE is equivalent to the same course at the University of Connecticut. UConn ECE instructors are certified high school teachers who serve as UConn adjunct faculty members. To support rigorous learning, University of Connecticut library resources are available to all UConn ECE students. UConn ECE students must successfully complete the course with a grade of C or above in order to receive University credit. University credits are highly transferable to other colleges and universities. Students are charged a course fee payable to UConn through direct billing. No money is collected by Westbrook High School.

Established in 1955, UConn Early College Experience is the nation's longest running concurrent enrollment program and is nationally accredited by The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). For additional program information visit the website www.ece.uconn.edu.

Note: there is a mandatory summer assignment (material to be tested within the first week of school)

 

 

Grades:  11, 12
Length:  1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight:  1.10

600433 – MARINE BIOLOGY

This course will survey the variety of plant, animal and protist life found in different marine environments including the shore, salt marshes, open sea, and sea bottom. Extensive dissection and study of specimens is completed in the class. A marine aquarium will be maintained as a part of the class.  Assessments in this course include written and practical quizzes on dissection specimens, written summaries of videos, preparation of project models, and oral presentations to the entire class.

 Pre-requisite: None
Grades: 10, 11, 12                  
Length: 1 semester                 
Credit: 1.0                              
Weight: 1.0

600431 - HONORS ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

This course entails a detailed study of the human body in the  relationship of how coordinated structures and functions of how organ systems work to keep the internal environment of the human body relatively stable (homeostatic) despite changes to the outside environment. The pathologies of each organ system will also be explored. This course offers excellent preparation for students planning to further their education in the natural sciences especially those students anticipating careers in the allied health field or any branch of medicine or biology. Specimen dissections are required for this class.

Pre-requisite:  Minimum grade of 80 in H Biology or 90 in CP Biology
Grades: 11, 12            
Length: 1 year                        
Credit: 1.0                                          
Weight: 1.05

 600432 - COLLEGE PREP ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

This course explores the fundamentals of the human body focusing on the relationship between structure and function working to keep the internal environment relatively stable (homeostatic) in adapting to outside changes. The pathologies of each system will also be explored. Specimen dissections are required for this class. The course is an excellent introduction to human anatomy and physiology principals studied in health related fields.

Pre-requisite:    Minimum grade of 70 in H Biology or 70 in CP Biology
Grades: 11, 12            
Length: 1 year                        
Credit: 1.0                              
Weight: 1.0

600443 – UCONN BIOLOGY/ADVANCED BIOLOGY

This course is divided into UCONN Biology 1107 the first semester and Advanced Biology the second semester.  Students enrolled in this course have the opportunity to earn 4 credits from the University of Connecticut during the first semester.  Students will receive 1 credit towards their high school credit requirements for their successful completion of both semesters.

In UCONN Biology 1107, students will study and investigate in depth biological concepts that focus on molecular biology, cellular biology, and animal structure and function.  Course content is rigorous and requires extensive laboratory work and reading assignments.  Students enrolled in the course will be required to take the University of Connecticut final exam; there are no exam exemptions. Students who earn a grade of C or better in the course will receive 4 UCONN credit hours in Biology 1107. UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) provides academically motivated students with the opportunity to take university courses while still in high school. These challenging courses allow students to preview college work, build confidence in their readiness for college, and earn college credits that provide both an academic and a financial head start on a college degree. UCONN ECE instructors, who are high school teachers certified as adjunct professors by UCONN faculty, create a classroom environment fostering independent learning, creativity and critical thinking.  To support rigorous learning, University of Connecticut library resources are available to all UCONN ECE students. UCONN ECE students must successfully complete the course with a grade of C or above in order to receive University credit. University credits are highly transferable to other colleges and universities. For additional program information visit: www.ece.uconn.edu.

In Advanced Biology, students will study and investigate topics not included in UCONN Biology 1107.  These topics include genetics, evolution, microbiology, and ecology.  Laboratory work is an integral part of this honors course.  This course is intended for highly motivated students who are planning to further their education in the biological sciences or medical field. 

Prerequisite: Departmental recommendation and 90 in Biology 1 or 85 in Honors Biology and 90 in Chemistry or 85 in Honors Chemistry

Note: there is a multiple chapter mandatory summer assignment (material to be tested within the first week of school)

 Grades: 11, 12            
Length:  1 year                        
Credit:   1.0                              
Weight: 1.10

 600435 – FORENSIC SCIENCE

This introductory college preparatory level course focuses on how a wide range of sciences and technologies are used to investigate evidence and establish facts in relation to criminal cases and the law.  The major topics covered in this course include crime scene investigation, hair and fiber analysis, fingerprint analysis, blood spatter analysis, and the cause, manner, time, and mechanism of death.  Laboratory work is required in this class.

Prerequisite: A course in biology and chemistry is preferred
Grades: 11, 12            
Length: 1 semester                 
Credit:  0.5                              
Weight: 1.0

 600437 – FORENSIC SCIENCE II

This college preparatory level course is a continuation of the forensic science I course. Students must take Forensic Science I in order to enroll in Forensic Science II. The major topics covered in this course include forensic anthropology, forensic toxicology, interrogations and interview, criminal profiling, and handwriting analysis.  Laboratory work is required in this class.

Pre-requisite: Forensic Science I
Grades: 11, 12            
Length: 1 semester                 
Credit: 0.5                              
Weight: 1.0

600436 - ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to use the scientific skills and processes and major environmental science concepts to understand the interrelationships of the natural world and to analyze environmental issues and their solutions. The complex interactions between humans and their environment will be studied; in particular, renewable and nonrenewable resources, and resource conservation.  We will also discuss how all life on earth depends on interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment.   Students should expect to carry out field studies, read and analyze case studies, present research, and discuss current events regarding environmental topics.

Prerequisite: A course in biology and chemistry is preferred
Grades: 11, 12            
Length: 1 semester                 
Credit: 0.5                              
Weight: 1.0      


Intro and Applications of S.T.E.M.

The purpose of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) elective is to offer students engaging, hands-on experiences that integrate the four areas.  Students will collaborate with their peers and instructor to design, create, and carry out a variety of projects based on areas of their personal interest.

Prerequisite: At least 2 years in Science courses is recommended
Grades: 11, 12
Length: 1 year
Credits: 1.0
Weight 1.0