Students study Physics as their first science course, focusing on understanding how physics concepts, principles and laws are developed, and how these concepts, principles, and laws are used to explain phenomena in everyday life. An algebra background helps to meet the mathematical challenges underlying the physics concepts. Some aspects of pre-calculus math content, such as trigonometry and vectors, are introduced in this course. Students have opportunities to conduct investigations employing real-time data collecting devices. Topics include motion, force, work, power, energy, momentum, fluids, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and sound.
Students will typically take Biology, or begin considering the IB Diploma Program, by enrolling in Biology and Chemistry concurrently. In these courses, students participate in scientific inquiry individually and in collaboration with others to develop their comprehension and application of the scientific method. Laboratories enhance student comprehension of course content and develop student abilities to analyze results and draw conclusions with opportunities in experimental design.
Most students study the first year of an International Baccalaureate course. The IB courses include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Systems and Societies. In these courses, students assimilate a larger and broader amount of information requiring independent and collaborative study skills. Students develop a thorough understanding of the scientific method by exploring the concepts, theories, models, and techniques that are fundamental in each subject area. In both coursework and practical work students solve new problems that involve multiple topics. Throughout each science course, students continue to make connections between topics, applications, and ethics.
Most students continue in the second year of one or two International Baccalaureate science courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and/or Environmental Systems and Societies. Students complete the core material in their selected subject(s) and delve more deeply into an optional topic exploring the connections between disparate areas, applying these connections to the world around them. Students complete their IB Internal Assessment—an individual investigation in which students demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge. Both coursework and practical work challenges students to solve problems that have multiple steps, to work collaboratively, and to draw connections between subject areas. Through each course, students make connections between topics learned, their application in the real world, and their ethical significance.