The science curriculum has been designed to provide courses for students who are preparing for college. In a complex world that relies on technology, students are given ample opportunity to understand how chemists, biologists, physicists, and other scientists interrelate to solve problems that are faced today. The students will be given a opportunity to analyze and to act wisely on issues that confront people in our technological world.

We recognize a Catholic atmosphere and moral goodness in all of our teaching and hope to encourage values in the presentation of scientific information necessary for the formation of responsible citizens and Christians.

Each student must complete three science courses (Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry) during the four years at Hallahan. Students are encouraged to complete four years of science.

Course Listing

412 Physical Science

Gr: 9    Trk: 2    Cr: 1
Physical Science is a course that furnishes students with a basic introduction to chemistry and physics. As the students progress through the semester, they soon realize that chemistry is the foundation for all sciences. In the physics portion of this course, the students will observe the forces of gravity and fluids. They will also develop respect for the power of heat, energy, and electricity. Computer technology is integrated throughout the course. Laboratory reports must be completed and submitted; these are calculated into the course assessment.

413 Physical Science

Gr: 9    Trk: 3     Cr: 1
Physical Science provides students with the foundation for all other science courses. Major topics such as measurement, energy, motion, momentum, and electricity will be covered and discussed under the physics portion of the course. Hands-on laboratory experiments as well as the interactive computer programs are used by the students.

421 Honors Biology

Gr: 10    Trk: 1    Cr: 1
This course is designed for the college bound student. It stresses the student’s ability to think independently and apply learned principles. Students will investigate various topics in life sciences, including cellular functions, genetics, taxonomy, basic botany, and the structure and function of the human system. The course curriculum utilizes lab work, lecture, discussions, and computer resources.

422 Biology

Gr: 10     Trk: 2     Cr: 1
The course consists of a comprehensive study of living organisms, both plant and animal, their structure, function, development, and relationships. It includes topics, such as cell biology, genetics, ecology, and classification and diversity of living things. Critical thinking will be developed through the computer laboratory simulations, hands-on laboratory experiments, cooperative learning groups, and classroom discussions.

431 Honors Chemistry

Gr: 10    Trk: 1    Cr: 1
The approach through observation leads to an understanding of such topics as equilibrium, quantitative relationships and thermodynamics. The purpose of this course is to encourage the student to think independently and to form the habit of questioning to verify assumptions by reference to evidence obtained through experimentation. The course places heavy emphasis on the relationship between mathematical and chemical principles.

Prerequisite: Honors Physical Science, Honors Biology, Honors Algebra I, Honors Geometry/Trigonometry, Honors Algebra 2/Pre-Calculus. Department Chair recommendation.

432 Chemistry

Gr: 11    Trk: 2    Cr: 1
This course is designed to give insight into the structure of the complex and diverse world in which we live. It is a lecture and laboratory-oriented course leading to the making of discoveries by thinking creatively and solving problems in chemistry. Principles discussed will include the properties and structure of matter, chemical reactions, energy changes, acids, bases, bonding, carbon and its compounds. The students will use the computer to perform laboratory experiments as well as hands-on experiments. Through the use of the computer, the students will reinforce concepts learned. All students are required to complete and submit written laboratory reports which will be included in the course assessment process.

Prerequisite: Algebra 2 track 1 or 2

435 AP Chemistry

Gr: 11, 12    Trk: 5    Cr: 1
This course is designed for seriously motivated students who intend to major in a science discipline in college. The course outline follows the guidelines published by the College Entrance Examination Board. Laboratory work will include qualitative and quantitative analysis of traditional and instrumental methods and selected organic synthesis. A research project is required. Outside readings are required. Students are required to take the Advanced Placement Examination.


Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry, Honors Algebra II, Department Chair recommendation

441 Honors Physics

Gr: 12    Trk: 1    Cr: 1
Physics is concerned with the relationship between matter and energy. The ultimate goal of Physics is to explain the physical universe in terms of basic interactions and simple particles. In the rigorous, mathematics-based course, the students will study mechanics, heat, waves, electricity, magnetism, and nuclear physics. Emphasis will be placed on problem-solving and real-world applications of physical principles.

Prerequisite: Honors Algebra2/Pre-Calculus and Department Chair recommendation

445 A. P. Biology

Gr: 11, 12     Trk: 5     Cr: 1
This course is intended for seriously motivated students who intend to major in science discipline in college. The course outline follows the guidelines published by the College Entrance Examination Board. Topics include: Cell Theory, Information Coding and Transfer, Nutrition, Hormones, Reproduction, Animal Psychology and Behavior, and Ecology. A research project is required. Outside readings are required. Students are required to take the Advanced Placement Examination. Summer Assignment is required.


Prerequisite: Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry, Honors Math 3 years, Department Chair recommendation.

452 Anatomy & Physiology

Gr: 12     Trk: 2     Cr: 1
This course is a general study of the anatomy and physiology of the human organism emphasizing body structure in relation to other various functions from the cellular level to the integrated organ system including biochemical aspects of physiology. Fundamentals of this course will be reinforced through laboratory instruction including microscopy, cat dissection and computer simulations. All students must participate in cat dissection throughout the term.

Prerequisite: Chemistry track 1 or 2, a grade of 85, department chairperson recommendation

461 Forensic Science

Gr: 12     Trk: 1    Cr: 1
The course is designed to emphasize the laboratory techniques used by forensic scientists in the analysis of crimes. Techniques studied include analytical chemistry, fingerprinting, DNA analysis, crime scene management, and investigative procedures. Case studies of actual crimes are discussed. Students will learn how to lift latent fingerprints, shoeprints, lip prints, and collect other evidence. They will also learn the rudiments of fiber, hair, and other trace evidence analysis. It is important that our students appreciate the role that forensics plays in modern criminal court cases.

Prerequisite: Chemistry (Honors or Track 2) and department chair approval

472 Environmental Science

Gr: 12     Trk: 2    Cr: 1
This course expands the basic principles of ecology and diversity and applies them to the world in which we live. Basic topics such as nutrient cycles, ecosystem stability and diversity, feeding relationships, and the major biome types found on earth are covered. Current issues and literature are incorporated in order to make the student more aware of the world in which she lives. Lab work and computer simulations are part of the curriculum. Scientific principles learned in previous courses are integrated into the current environmental issues and concerns. It is expected that these students will use the scientific method as literate individuals who will be our ethical caretakers of the future environment.

Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry, Algebra 2, track 2 or 3

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