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Science

The Science Department strives to ignite a desire to explore the unknown. Our courses are designed to cultivate intellectual independence through inquiry, direct experience, and collaboration to prepare responsible citizens to innovate in an increasingly complex world.

The program begins with Physics in the freshman year. This “active physics” curriculum serves to introduce students to phenomena and lead them through investigations that help them construct explanations using data analysis. Students have a chance to explore motion through the lens of sports examples, waves through the study of sound, and electricity through the study of household appliances.

Sophomore year continues with study of the physical world through Chemistry. Beginning with an understanding of atoms and the organization of the periodic table, students then move to a deeper analysis of chemical reactions. Extensive experimentation in the lab allows the students to connect the theoretical concepts with practical analysis.

The third required year in science allows students to apply the background in physical sciences to the life sciences by studying Biology. Typically in the junior year, students are challenged to ask questions about the world around them and investigate concepts ranging from ecosystem biology, organismal biology, cellular biology, and molecular biology. At all levels, the department strives to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and within each of the core disciplines, teachers stress connections to engineering and scientific skills.

Most Carondelet students opt to take more science classes than required. 

Additionally, our AP Science classes and Electives showcase the experience of some of the teachers in the departments. Many of the faculty have been involved in science careers before they embraced high school education. For example, students can take Anatomy and Physiology with Janine Orr, who worked with patients in a variety of clinical settings; AP Biology and Biotechnology with Susan Domanico who completed post-doctoral research in Breast Cancer biology; or Forensics with Katie Hutches who was a Forensic Chemist with the Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms. There is a full year Marine Biology elective in which Ashley Mangini integrates field trips around our unique Bay Area Ecosystem.

Graduation Requirements: 30 Credits

  • 9th Grade: Conceptual Physics 
  • 10th Grade: Chemistry, Honors Chemistry 
  • 11th Grade: Biology, Honors Biology, AP Chemistry; semester-long courses: Forensics, Biotechnology, Ornithology, Introduction to Engineering and Design
  • 12th Grade: year-long courses: Marine Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, AP Biology, AP Physics 1, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science. Semester-long courses: Forensics, Biotechnology, Ornithology, Introduction to Engineering and Design

Stories

Exploring Monterey Bay

Seniors in the Marine Biology classes participated in hands-on activities run by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium followed by a kayaking tour of the marine sanctuary. The students immersed themselves in the rich diversity of aquatic life in Monterey Bay.

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