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 to 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 College Prep Integrated Science or Honors Integrated Science based on departmental recommendation. All tenth graders should be enrolled in College Prep Biology or Honors Biology based on departmental recommendation.

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.

600401 - Integrated Science (CP)

Integrated science is a course that focuses on the study of principles and concepts concerning the physical world and integrates with the study of relationships between the structures, processes, and resources on Earth and other solar bodies.  Students are engaged in a wide range of laboratory activities designed to introduce laboratory techniques with an emphasis on problem-solving using the scientific method and the Next Generation Science Standards.

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

600402 - Integrated Science  (H)

An intense, in-depth study of the traditional topics in integrated science including the principles and concepts concerning the physical world and the study of relationships between the structures, processes, and resources on Earth and other solar bodies. 

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 and the Next Generation Science Standards.  

Prerequisite: Departmental recommendation based on previous success in Science class 
Grade:  9
Length: 1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight: 1.05

 

 600412 -  Biology (CP)

College Preparatory 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 an emphasis on problem-solving using the scientific method.

Prerequisite:  Departmental recommendation based on previous success in Science class
Grades: 10                               
Length: 1 year                        
Credit: 1.0
Weight: 1.0

 600411 -  Biology (H)

Honors Biology is 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.

Prerequisite:  Departmental recommendation based on previous success in Science classes
Grades:  10
Length:  1 year
Credit:  1.0
Weight:  1.05

 

600422 -  Chemistry (CP)

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, the study of more advanced topics such as equilibrium, oxidation-reduction, and thermodynamics will be covered. Additional topics in various branches of health chemistry 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.

Prerequisite:  Grade 10: Minimum grade of 80 in CP Algebra I and a 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 - Chemistry (H)

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, the study of more advanced topics such as equilibrium, oxidation-reduction, and thermodynamic will be covered. Additional topics in various branches of health chemistry 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.

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

 600422 – Physics (CP)

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, the 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.

Prerequisites:  Grade 11:  Exception awarded by Department recommendation only (all Grade 12 requirements apply)        Grade 12: Departmental recommendation and a 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's 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, the 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

Prerequisite: Departmental recommendation and a minimum grade of 90 in Algebra I and Algebra II and a minimum grade of 90 in Chemistry or 85 in Honors Chemistry; 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

600446 - UCONN ECE Physics 1202

This course is a continuation of 1201. Topics of study include electrical forces and fields, electric potential and potential energy, circuits, magnetic fields and forces, electromagnetic induction, AC circuits, E-M waves, reflection/refraction of light, mirrors, think lenses, optical instruments, lens equation, interference, wave nature of light, special relativity, particles and waves, nature of the atom, radiation, and nuclear physics. Laboratory work will reinforce these concepts. 

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 are 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.

Prerequisite: None
Grades: 10, 11, 12                  
Length: 1 semester                 
Credit: 1.0                              
Weight: 1.0

600431 -  Anatomy and Physiology (H)

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.

Prerequisite:  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 -  Anatomy and Physiology (CP)

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.

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

600445 – AP Biology

In AP Biology, 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 AP exam; there are no exam exemptions. AP courses provide academically motivated students with the opportunity to take university-level 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.

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).  Expect 6-8 hours of homework per week.

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

 600435 – Forensic Science (CP)

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  (CP)

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, interrogations and interview, and criminal profiling. Laboratory work is required in this class.

Prerequisite: Forensic Science I
Grades: 11, 12            
Length: 1 semester                 
Credit: 0.5                              
Weight: 1.0    

600451 - S.T.E.M.  (CP)

This is a project-based course that focuses on applications of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) topics. 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. Students are expected to carefully document their progress and deliver informal and formal presentations of their ongoing and finished work.

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