The acquisition of scientific knowledge proceeds through the assimilation of domain-specific (e.g. biology, chemistry) knowledge into categories, concepts, rules, or principles that are then used to interpret situations. Students are trained to advance hypothetical solutions (propositions) and to test and examine conditions, define problems, collect and organize data, and propose solutions. Students evaluate the results of their scientific examination by measuring them against hypothetical solutions. These procedures are applied in experimentation and research projects that allow the students to discover rules and principles specific to their branch of science and to create analyses based on data. Each science course is strategically aligned with a math course so that students interpret science coursework as a true application of mathematics. Data interpretation and analysis is integrated throughout each course to assist in preparing students for the ACT assessment.
INTRO TO STEM - Eighth Graders - ½ credit
The Intro to Stem course uses project-based and hands-on learning activities to prepare students for real-world applications. Each of the units in the course includes relevant, rigorous and blended instruction through project-based and hands-on learning. Units include baseline experiences like teamwork, problem solving and design and modeling as well as more specific areas of study like Medical Technologies, Engineering, Agriculture and related Biotechnologies and Coding/3D Design.
GENERAL SCIENCE - Eighth Graders - 1 credit
This course is an inquiry and laboratory-based study of the scientific method. Students embark on several experiments to master skills in observation, experimental design, organizing and recording data, and data analysis to draw evidence-based conclusions. Students will also be exposed to the rules for creating and analyzing data tables, charts and graphs. Mathematics skills from pre-algebra are used in problem solving.
INTEGRATED PHYSICAL SCIENCE/INTEGRATED PHYSICAL SCIENCE H - Eighth Graders - 1 credit
This course is an inquiry and laboratory-based study of how several science disciplines – biological, physical, chemical, earth, and environmental - relate to one another in the everyday world. This course provides a strong foundation in the sciences by exposing students to the knowledge and skills necessary for a more in-depth discovery into physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science. Students will learn how to create and carry out scientific experiments by performing detailed observations, formulating hypotheses and predictions, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing evidence-based conclusions. Students will also be exposed to the rules for creating and analyzing data tables, charts and graphs. Mathematics skills through pre-algebra are used in problem solving.
PHYSICS/PHYSICS H - Freshmen - 1 credit
The primary objective of this course is to follow the Physics First Curriculum to increase the cohesiveness of the SSA science curriculum and to provide students with a strong foundation in the physical laws fundamental to all sciences. This course paves the way for a more in-depth study of chemistry and biology. Emphasis is placed on a conceptual understanding of the physical laws and the application of algebraic and geometric principles to solve problems. Concepts to be covered include waves and wave behaviors including light and sound), electricity, motion (kinematics), and force interactions.
CHEMISTRY/CHEMISTRY H - Sophomores - 1 credit
Chemistry is a laboratory-based exploration into the substances of which matter is composed. Students design and conduct experiments to investigate the properties of these substances as well as how they interact, combine and change with other substances.
BIOLOGY/BIOLOGY H - Juniors - 1 credit
This course is designed to prepare students for an introductory college-level biology course. It is presented as a comprehensive study of life from the molecular and cellular levels to the complexities of human systems. It focuses on four big ideas: evolution, cellular processes (energy and communication), genetics, and information transfer and interactions. Special emphasis is given to current topics in the research world and to the development of advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting and analyzing data and connecting concepts in and across disciplines.
ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY H - Seniors - 1 credit
This course is designed to meet the needs and interests of students intending to pursue careers in the health sciences. This course exposes students to the structure and function of human body systems. Coursework includes lab practicals and clinical case studies. Students are expected to perform several dissections.
BIOLOGY AP – Seniors - 1 credit
The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory Biology course. The course differs significantly from introductory high school Biology with respect to the textbook, the range and depth of topics, laboratory work, and the time and effort required of students. AP Biology aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to develop an understanding of modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation for science as a process. Four big ideas are presented in the course: evolution, cellular processes (energy and communication), genetics and information transfer, and interactions.
BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH AND INDEPENDENT STUDY - Freshmen / Sophomores - 1 credit
The objective of this course is for students to learn about the nature of scientific research, to understand the ethical implications of scientific research, learn how statistics fit into scientific research, and to experience planning, performing, and communicating real, original research.
CHEMISTRY AP - Juniors / Seniors - 1 credit
AP Chemistry exposes students to the underlying principles, or big ideas, which encompass the core scientific principles, theories, and processes governing the chemical world.It is equivalent to a first-year college chemistry course for those majoring in science.Students will develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for scientific exploration into the chemical world and the application of mathematical routines to concepts in and across domains.The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in chemistry.
ENGINEERING (RG, DE or H) - Sophomores / Juniors / Seniors - 1 credit
This course introduces students to the engineering design process. Students embark on several inquiry-based laboratory exercises in which they design, fabricate and test a scientific concept. Students will also participate in seminars and workshops on special topics of science and engineering as deemed appropriate by the instructor. This course may be taken for honors credit and/or dual enrollment credit through University of Texas at Austin.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE - Freshman / Sophomores / Juniors / Seniors - Elective - 1 credit
This is a field intensive course with instruction provided through outdoor activities. The central theme of study is the interactions of organisms with each other and with their surroundings. Parallels are drawn between the balance of life in nature and the balance, or lack of balance, in the "human” system of life. As part of the course, students participate in three service learning initiatives whereby they grow and harvest produce in SSA’s community garden to donate to the Covington Food Bank, they grow the marsh grass, Bitter panicum, to plant on the beaches of Grand Isle in an effort to slow down coastal erosion, and sample nearby beaches and waters for microplastic pollution
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AP - Sophomores / Juniors / Seniors - Elective - 1 credit
The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Students participate in multiple conservation projects involving hatching paddlefish eggs and raising the fish in the classroom to release into nearby rivers, growing the marsh grass, Bitter panicum, to plant on the beaches of Grand Isle in an effort to slow down coastal erosion, and sample nearby beaches and waters for microplastic pollution. APES students also have the opportunity to grow vegetables at their leisure in the SSA community garden.
PHYSICS I AP - Juniors / Seniors - 1 credit
AP Physics I is an algebra-based course in general physics. It is equivalent to a one-semester introductory level college physics course. Topics covered include Newtonian mechanics, energy and momentum, mechanical waves and an introduction to DC circuits. The primary emphasis of this course is twofold - the development of physical concepts to solve multi-step algebraic problems and to gain personal experience in scientific inquiry.