- Courses Offered: Chemistry, physics, advanced physics, biology, marine biology, advanced biology, IB biology, biotech, IB environmental science
- Enrollment: All students are required to take physics, chemistry, and biology. Students on the fast track take advanced and/or IB versions of these classes. Because of this, enrollment in science courses stays constant.
- Textbooks used are designated by the state of California
- Unique Aspects of the Program: IB courses
- Educational Technology: All classrooms have Promethean boards (smart boards) but feel like they have insufficient training to make full use of the technology. By 2014 the school expects to have 1:1 laptops per student.
- Changes in the pas 5 years: IB program was implemented
On Teaching Science:
- Important Trends in Science Teaching? Students don't have a clear idea of what science is. The practical application is lacking. To make connections with the real world we would like to form lessons with colleges and have the students work with actual scientists on projects.
- Labs? We try to have a lab activity for each concept, so there are about 5-6 labs per unit.
- Science Related Social Issues Addressed? I try to bring in articles for building literacy that touch on social issues such as atomic structure and its relationship to nuclear energy, climate change, and recently revisiting how the use of inconsistent English measurement units led to the failure of the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1999.
- Facilities? The facilities are pretty good.
- Materials? We had enough materials but due to the switch from a 4x4 semester system to a rotating A/B day 4x4 schedule we how have double the amount of students enrolled at once. Like before it was 120 students in Fall then 120 students in Spring but now it is 240 students for the whole year.
- Student Interest? Interest really varies by the student. Some are very interested while others don't really have an interest.
- Behavior? No real behavior issues, just the occasional student.
- Seeing the spark in the students' eyes when they become interested in science. Seeing them change their mind and begin to love science :)
Why is Science Important?
- To get a better understanding of the world and gain knowledge that can be used to transform the world for the better and avoid making mistakes.