Where Excellence is Expected

Fort Collins

High School

Where Excellence is Expected

Where Excellence is Expected

Science Course Descriptions

6710 | Biology: 10 credits – grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Science – no prerequisite

Biology is a standards based life science course that explores the interactions of the living world. This course illustrates the relevance and impact of science in society, while engaging students in the mastery of basic biology concepts that will prepare them for higher level life sciences. Topics of study include cell structure and function, genetics, evolution, ecology, and other various topics. At FCHS: Some dissection included. This is an entry level course.

 

6709 | College Prep Biology: 10 credits – grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Science – no prerequisite

College Prep Biology is a standards based life science course that explores the interactions of the living world. This course illustrates the relevance and impact of science in society, while engaging students in the mastery of basic biology concepts that will prepare them for higher level life sciences. Topics of study include cell structure and function, genetics, evolution, ecology, and other various topics. The course includes more rigorous reading and intensive lab work that is intended to prepare students, in skill and content knowledge, to take Advanced Placement Biology. At FCHS: This is a rigorous course designed to prepare students for college.

 

6760 | AP Biology: 10 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: recommended Chemistry and requirement of (College Prep) Biology

AP Biology, as designed by the College Board, is a rich and challenging class for highly motivated students in life sciences. The rigor of this class stems from the depth of content, as well as its emphasis on the scientific process through completion of several college laboratories. Students will use a college textbook and supplementary material to study four main concepts focused on the processes of evolution driving the diversity & unity of life, how biological systems utilize molecular building blocks, how living systems store, retrieve, transmit, & respond to information, & the interactions of biological systems. Successful performance on the national AP Biology exam may result in the granting of college credit at many universities. At FCHS: We recommend taking Chemistry prior to taking this class. Upon completion, successful students will be prepared to take the AP Biology Exam.

 

6748 | Biotechnology: 5 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Algebra 1 & Biology

Biotechnology uses a hands-on approach to explore the use of DNA technology in medicine, agriculture, law enforcement, and industry. This class is designed to introduce students to various lab techniques utilized in the life sciences. Students will use state of the art technology to isolate and manipulate DNA, and practice techniques used in crime scene investigation. At FCHS: This course dovetails well with other semester long Science courses. BCA students should take this in 10th grade.

 

6850 | Cell Biology and Genetics: 5 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Recommended ‘B’ in Biology

This class will focus on the cell as the basic unit of structure and function for living systems, cell anatomy, metabolic processes at the molecular level and cell division. The genetic portion deals with Mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, chromosomal mutation, population genetics, and statistical evaluation of data. This class is strongly recommended for students with interests in biology and biomedicine.

 

6780 | Forensic Science/CSI: 5 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Algebra 1 & 10 credits of Science

Forensic science is the study and application of science to the processes of law and involves the collection, examination, evaluation, and interpretation of evidence. This field encompasses many scientific areas that make invaluable contributions to the resolution of social and legal disputes. This course will review the basic applications of the biological, physical, chemical, medical, and behavioral understanding of forensic science and how to apply the scientific process to real world problems. At FCHS: This course dovetails well with other semester long Science courses.

 

6781 | Forensic Science/CSI 2: 5 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: CSI 1

This course will familiarize students with the basic principles and uses of forensic science in the American system of justice.  Forensic science is the study and application of science to the processes of law and involves the collection, examination, evaluation, and interpretation of evidence.  This field encompasses many scientific areas, which if used properly, can make invaluable contributions to the resolution of social and legal disputes.  The course will review the basic applications of the biological, physical, chemical, medical, and behavioral sciences to questions of evidence and law.  In doing so, students should build upon a basic understanding of forensic science from "Forensic Science / CSI 1".  They will learn to apply the scientific process to real-world problems.  Forensic Science / CSI 2 is a semester long course meant to build upon knowledge from CSI 1.

 

6830 | Anatomy and Physiology: 10 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Recommended ‘B’ in Biology

This upper-level course is an in-depth study of the major human systems, their structure, functions, integrations of all systems, clinical applications, health and wellness, and mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis. The course also introduces common human disease processes. The laboratory component includes anatomical studies using microscopy, dissection, and the study of physiological concepts via experimentation. This class is designed to prepare students for college by providing them with the opportunity to develop the skills of note-taking from lectures, preparing laboratory write-ups, and the time management through class projects.

 

6845 | Horticultural Science: 5 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Recommended 10 credits of Science

This one-semester course is designed for the hands-on learner who has a strong work ethic, likes to be outside, and has a desire to work cooperatively with peers. Topics of discussion include plant growth and development, soil management, pollinator management, pest management, sustainability, and garden design. Students will have the opportunity to work in the school’s greenhouse and gain experience with highly applicable procedures such as soil testing. Multiple guest speakers and field trips to local farming operations will round out the course. The final assessment grade will be an individual multi-faceted garden design project.

 

6860 | Zoology: 10 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Recommended ‘B’ in Biology

Zoology students study in depth the major phyla of the animal kingdom. Life cycles, anatomy and physiology, history and ecology are emphasized. Correlated sciences would include entomology, herpetology, mammalogy, parasitology and ornithology. This class should appeal not only to students who desire a career with animals, but also for those who are interested in learning more about the natural world around them.  Lab write-ups are required, note-taking; lecture and some dissection are a part of this rigorous course. This course is demanding & fast-paced & requires rigorous work outside of class.  At FCHS:  This course is a challenging, high-level class that proceeds at a rapid pace, and requires demanding rigorous work outside of class. 

 

6809 | Earth Systems Science: 10 credits – grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Algebra 1 (concurrent)

Earth Systems Science (ESS) is a standards based physical science course that explores the interactions of the various spheres of Earth (atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, exosphere) as a dynamic, evolving system. This course illustrates the relevance and impact of science in society, while engaging students in the mastery of basic physics and chemistry concepts that will prepare them for higher level physical sciences. At FCHS: Topics discussed include Earth’s layers, volcanoes, earthquakes, weather phenomena and more.

 

6790 | Chemistry: 10 credits – grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Algebra 2 (concurrent)

Chemistry is a laboratory class exploring the interactions of matter. Units of study include atomic structure, stoichiometry, nomenclature, chemical bonding, gases, and acids and bases. Its approach also emphasizes rigorous problem solving skills and quantitative laboratory work necessary for college.

 

6798 | College Prep Chemistry: 10 credits – grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Algebra 2 (concurrent)

This is an enhanced first year chemistry course for students desiring to take AP Chemistry. The first term includes all topics of the General Chemistry course. The second term begins to cover content of the Advanced Placement Exam in Chemistry. This course provides a rigorous preparation for AP Chemistry.

 

6800 | AP Chemistry: 10 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Algebra 2 & College Prep Chemistry

AP Chemistry, as designed by the College Board, is a rich and challenging class for highly motivated students in chemistry. The rigor of this class stems from the depth of content, as well as its emphasis on the scientific process through completion of several college laboratories. Students will use a college textbook and supplementary material to study chemical kinetics and equilibrium, acid base chemistry, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and other miscellaneous topics. Successful performance on the national AP Chemistry exam may result in the granting of college credit at many universities. At FCHS: Upon completion, successful students will be prepared to take the AP Chemistry Exam.

 

6820 | Physics: 10 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Algebra 2

Physics is a laboratory course exploring the interactions of energy and matter. Units of study include forces, motion, energy, waves, sound, light, and introductions to electricity and modern physics. Its approach also emphasizes rigorous problem solving skills and quantitative laboratory work necessary for college. At FCHS: It is recommended that Algebra 2 be completed before taking Physics. Upon completion, successful students will be prepared to take the AP Physics I Exam.

 

6823 | AP Physics 2: 10 credits – grades 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Physics & Pre-Calc (concurrent)

AP Physics 2 is equivalent to a second-semester college course in algebra-based physics designed by the College Board. It is a rich and challenging class for highly motivated students in physics. The rigor of this class stems from the depth of content, as well as its emphasis on the scientific process through completion of several college laboratories. Students will use a college textbook and supplementary material to cover fluid mechanics; thermodynamics; electricity and magnetism, optics; atomic and nuclear physics. Successful performance on the national AP Physics exam may result in the granting of college credit at many universities. At FCHS: Upon completion, successful students will be prepared to take the AP Physics 2 and/or AP Physics C exams.

 

6774 | AP Environmental Science: 10 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Science – prerequisite: Biology & Chemistry

AP Environmental Science, as designed by the College Board, is a rich and challenging class for highly motivated students interested in environmental science. The rigor of this class stems from the depth of content, as well as its emphasis on the scientific process through completion of several college laboratories. Students will use a college textbook and supplementary material to study concepts and methodologies 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 the alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Successful performance on the national AP Environmental Science exam may result in the granting of college credit at many universities. At FCHS: It is recommended that students have taken Biology, Chemistry, and be at least concurrent in Algebra 2. Upon completion, successful students will be prepared to take the AP Environmental Science Exam.

 

6805 | Geospace Science: 10 credits – grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Science – no prerequisite

Geospace is a class that surveys topics in physical and earth science. Units of study include a look at elements and their properties, the periodic table trends, Newton’s laws of motion, types of energy, plate boundaries, natural disasters, energy use, climate change and the history of the earth and universe. Students who have passed Earth Systems, Chemistry or Physics should not take this class; this class is intended to be an alternative to Earth Systems science. At FCHS: This course is one semester of Astronomy and one semester of Earth Science with a primary focus on Astronomy. Students will engage in hands on projects, labs and the creation of a digital science portfolio in this course. The major purpose of this course is to give students opportunities to analyze concepts in science, learn science process skills, and gain exposure to different relevant topics into today’s society.

 

3074S1 | Introduction to Health Science A: 5 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Elective.  

This introductory Health Science course provides an overview of the challenging environments and occupation is the healthcare field. This course introduces students to the five pathways that make up the health science cluster (Diagnostic, Therapeutic, and Support Services, Health Informatics, Biotechnology Research and Development). In addition, students are provided a hands-on application of the foundational skills/ knowledge including health maintenance, employability skills, teamwork, healthcare systems, communications, and legal issues in healthcare. This course includes preparation for Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers certification.

 

3074 | Work Based Learning: Healthcare - 5 credits – grades 10, 11, 12 – Elective.  

Students build on prior knowledge and skills in the program of study to further develop and apply employability and technical skills that prepare them for success in future career and postsecondary education.

 

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PSD does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, age or disability in access or admission to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. A lack of English speaking skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation.