Academics
Curriculum

Science

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY:

We engage students in active and evidence-based scientific inquiry as they develop strong foundations in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, physics, and more. Courses model scientific reasoning to show students how accurate information and keen analysis can lead to original thinking. Students explore the phenomena of the physical world and the place of humans within it as they sharpen their analytical, collaborative, and communicative skills in a richly interactive environment.

MEET THE SCIENCE DEPARTMENT FACULTY:

SCIENCE CURRICULUM STRUCTURE:

Stacey Strandberg, the 2018 Wisconsin Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT COURSE OFFERINGS:

List of 12 items.

  • BIOLOGY – 7111 and 7112

    The biology curriculum consists of course numbers 7111 and 7112. Biology is the study of the living world, including microscopic organisms, plants and animals. In biology, it is important to understand life and life processes; therefore, this course is aimed at learning principles and concepts that apply to all levels of organization, no matter how simple or complex they may be. Students in biology will examine general characteristics that are shared by all living things, such as similarities in chemical makeup, energy usage, ability to reproduce and community survival. Other themes developed as the course progresses include relatedness among living things, adaptation for survival, and interactions of living things and their environment. The laboratory work prescribed for this course focuses on skills in microscopy, and general biology laboratory techniques. Activities include lecture, discussion, oral reports, written assignments, worksheets, laboratory investigations and reports, video tapes, collaborative projects, and computer assisted study. The course fee covers preserved and live organisms, disposable materials, and maintenance of microscopes.

    9th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee
    NOTE: Online text will be billed separately. 
  • ACCELERATED BIOLOGY – 7101 and 7102

    The Accelerated Biology curriculum consists of course numbers 7101 and 7102 and is a freshman-level science course most appropriate for students with strong learning and study skills who can work well independently and collaboratively to access, process and apply scientific concepts. As a life science course, biology covers in-depth the concepts of ecology, cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, genetics, DNA, evolution, viruses, and bacteriology. Additionally, the life processes of invertebrates, vertebrates and human systems will be studied. The laboratory work prescribed for this course focuses on skills in microscopy, dissection, and general biology laboratory techniques. Activities include lecture, discussion, oral reports, written assignments, worksheets, laboratory investigations and reports, videos, collaborative projects, and computer assisted study. The course fee covers preserved and live organisms, disposable materials, and maintenance of microscopes.

    9th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee
    NOTE: Online text will be billed separately. 
  • AP BIOLOGY – 7451 and 7452

    Advanced Placement Biology is the equivalent of a one year college introductory course in biology. It is designed to be taken after successful completion of a first course in high school biology. A college text is used and the laboratories are intended to be the equivalent of those done in college. The principal topics included in the course are molecules and cells, heredity and evolution, organisms and populations. Emphasis is on understanding the concepts related to each of these topics and recognizing the unifying themes that prevail throughout biology. Application of knowledge and critical thinking are reinforced through quantitative laboratory work. Students should be prepared to spend a minimum of five hours per week completing course work outside of class. Students are required to complete a summer assignment before the start of school. Students are required to do extensive reading and perform all required AP labs and are expected to take the AP exam in May. The course fee covers AP lab materials.

    11th-12th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee plus AP exam fee
    Prerequisite: Accelerated Biology and Chemistry or Honors Chemistry
     | Additional time commitment of one extra period per week extending into the lunch hour. This class meets 4th hour plus one early Dasher Time each week. 
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
  • CHEMISTRY – 7201 and 7202

    Chemistry is a physical science that studies the matter of our environment and applies mathematical principles to this investigation. In this course students will gain (1) knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of chemical processes, and of properties, reactions, behavior and structures of major classes of chemical compounds and (2) preparation for college by understanding of the basic principles related to the subject matter. The principles of chemistry are developed logically and sequentially through lecture, laboratory work, discussion, written assignments, and computer assisted study. The course fee covers glassware breakage, chemicals, and disposable materials.

    10th-12th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee
    Prerequisites:
    CURRENT FRESHMEN: completion of Biology or Accelerated Biology and C+ in Advanced Algebra 1, Freshmen Algebra II, or Honors Algebra II or A- in Algebra I
    CURRENT SOPHOMORES/ JUNIORS: completion of Biology or Accelerated Biology 
    A scientific calculator is required of all students. 
  • HONORS CHEMISTRY – 7261 and 7262

    This course is a detailed study of the intrinsic principles of chemistry. Chemical concepts are developed with an emphasis on application and mathematical analysis. In addition to acquainting the student with the fundamentals of introductory chemistry, this course focuses on mastery of in-depth problem-solving as applied to structure, quantitative reaction relationships, thermochemistry, chemical equilibrium and acids and bases. The course fee covers replacement of chemicals, glassware, and disposable materials.

    10th-12th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee
    Prerequisites: 
    CURRENT FRESHMEN: Completion of Biology or Accelerated Biology and Honors Algebra II or Freshman Algebra II 
    CURRENT SOPHOMORES/ JUNIORS: Completion of Biology or Accelerated Biology and Algebra II with Trig, Algebra II, Honors Algebra II or Freshman Algebra II
    A scientific calculator is required of all students. 
  • AP CHEMISTRY – 7461 and 7462

    Advanced Placement Chemistry is a college-level course designed to build on the concepts learned in first-year chemistry as well as prepare students for the AP Chemistry exam in May. The course is designed to provide students with an increased depth of understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry in the areas of the structure of matter, stoichiometry, gas chemistry, oxidation-reduction, equilibrium, thermodynamics and descriptive chemistry, to name a few. Significant class time will be devoted to hands-on laboratory work. Students should be prepared to spend a minimum of five hours per week completing course work outside of class. Students are required to complete a summer assignment and are expected to take the AP exam in May. In addition to the course textbook, students will be required to purchase a carbonless lab notebook (cost ~$20) available from the instructor. The course fee covers consumable materials.

    11th-12th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee plus AP exam fee
    Prerequisite: successful completion of Honors Chemistry | additional 
    time commitment of 30 minutes each week after school or during the lunch period | graphic calculator required 
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here

  • EARTH SCIENCES

    GEOLOGY and ASTRONOMY – 7181
    In the geology section we will look at the ever changing landmasses that make up planet Earth. Starting with its building blocks, the rocks and minerals, and continuing to the external and internal forces that shape our planet we will discover how the land we live on was formed and molded over time. From the glacial moraines of Wisconsin to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, we will travel around the world and discover the story of Earth's creation and formation. As part of the course students will have opportunities for in depth learning through the required field trip to Northern Kettle Moraine Forest to observe glacial landforms. In the astronomy section we will take off for space to discover the universe around us. Gone will be the days of looking out the window and staring at the sky and wondering how the stars and planets were formed. Students will leave this course with a historical account of how humankind's understanding of the universe has continued to develop over time. The course fee covers materials used and field trip.

    10th-12th grade, 1 semester, $30 fee
     Prerequisite: Biology or Accelerated Biology
    * This course will not be offered in the 2020-2021 school  year, will be offered in the 2021-2022 school year.
    **This course will be offered Semester 2 only and may be taken independent of other Earth or Environmental Science Course Offerings.
    ***Students who have previously taken Geology/Oceanography or Astronomy/Meteorology will not be eligible to register for this course.

    OCEANOGRAPHY AND MARINE BIOLOGY – 7182
    70% of our planet is ocean. This course looks to explore what lies beneath and within that water. To understand marine organisms, you first need to understand the place they call home, the habitat in which they have evolved to live in. Oceanography dives into the erosional and tectonic forces that shape the landscape of the ocean floor along with characteristics of water at different depths. In the marine biology section, we will explore different marine ecosystems like coral reefs, kelp forests, and rocky coastlines and uncover the wondrous diversity of species that inhabits our ocean. This class will also compare the anatomy of different phylums of marine organisms as well as look at how overfishing and climate change have impacted marine ecosystems.
    10th-12th grade, 1 semester, $30 fee
    Prerequisite: Biology or Accelerated Biology
    * This course will be offered in the 2020-2021 school year, but will not be offered in the 2021-2022 school year. 
    **This course will be offered Semester 2 only and may be taken independent of other Earth or Environmental Science Course Offerings
    ***This course will not be available to any student who previously took Geology/Oceanography.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

    ECOLOGY – 7161
    Ecology is the study of the interrelationships between organisms and their environment. We live in an era of expansion where the needs of society are often put up against the needs of the Earth’s flora and fauna. In this class students will discover the wonders of wildlife, their interactions with each other and the environment and how human actions impact the world they live in. Students will use critical thinking, varied forms of communication and problem solving in order to defend decisions regarding current real world concerns. These skills will help students build a global awareness which will empower them to be responsible stewards of the Earth. By the end of this course students will have taken a global tour around Earth’s ecosystem, discovered unique and amazing places and their inhabitants, witnessed the threats to their survival and be prepared to make a difference in their future. Students will have opportunities for indepth learning through the required field trip. The course fee covers materials used and field trip.

    10th-12th grade, 1 semester, $50 fee
    Prerequisite: Biology or Accelerated Biology

    *This course will be offered Semester I only and may be taken independent of other Earth or Environmental Science Course Offerings

    FOOD CHEMISTRY - 7162 
    Humans need to eat food to survive, but how often do we take time to consider where our food came from, how chemistry plays a role in the way we cook it or how the types of food we put into 42 our body impacts our health and wellness. Using the fields of chemistry, sustainability and nutrition this course will allow students to discover the science and health benefits behind how we grow and cook our food. By the end of the class students will learn how to conduct research, create an experiment, analyze data and write a college level lab report while at the same time learning how science principles are used to prepare nutritious meals to improve your overall health and wellness. As part of this course we will also conduct a lab associated with UW-Milwaukee and present our research posters at the UW-Milwaukee Science Education Research Conference. 

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester, $50 fee
    Prerequisite: Biology or Accelerated Biology, Chemistry or Honors Chemistry recommended 
         *This course will be offered Semester 1 only and may be taken           independent of other Earth or Environmental Science course            offerings
    Read More
  • AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE – 7151 and 7152

    The AP Environmental Science course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science. The course requires that students use a college textbook, complete laboratory experiments and understand environmental science typical of an introductory college course. Students will identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. This course is made as an interdisciplinary course, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography. Application of knowledge and critical thinking are reinforced through quantitative laboratory work. Students are required to have successfully completed Biology and Chemistry prior to taking this course. Students will need to spend a minimum of five hours of outside work on this course each week and complete all AP labs to successfully prepare for the AP exam in May. The course fee covers the AP lab materials.

    11th-12th grades, 2 semesters, $50 plus AP exam fee
    Prerequisite: completion of Biology or Accelerated Biology and Chemistry or Honors Chemistry | additional time commitment of 30 minutes per week after school or during the lunch period | scientific or graphic calculator required 
  • PHYSICS – 7301 and 7302

    Physics follows either the honors or the standard chemistry course. Physics provides a general understanding of motion, forces, energy, electricity and magnetism. Emphasis is placed on mastery of graphical and mathematical relationships and the analysis of lab data to make interpretations and generalizations. Activities include lecture, discussion, problem solving, lab activities, written reports, and computer simulations. Physics should be taken by anyone interested in a career in science, engineering, or the medical field. The course fee covers the purchase and maintenance of lab equipment. Daily homework is given, estimated at 20-30 minutes per day.

    11th-12th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee
    Prerequisite: 
    CURRENT SOPHOMORES: concurrent enrollment of Algebra II w/ Trig (as juniors), Honors Algebra II or Freshman Algebra, or Algebra II and Chemistry or Honors Chemistry
    CURRENT JUNIORS: Completion of Chemistry or Honors Chemistry
    A scientific or graphic calculator is required of all students.  
  • AP PHYSICS C MECHANICS – 7321 and 7322

    DSHA offers Advanced Placement Physics C Mechanics as a year-long course. This course is designed to be equivalent to a first semester Calculus-based college Physics course. Students must be enrolled in an AP Calculus course concurrent with this course, but prior coursework in Physics is not required. Course content includes kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy, and power, momentum, circular motion and gravitation, rotational motion, and oscillations. Significant class time will be devoted to hands-on laboratory work. Students should be prepared to spend a minimum of five hours per week completing course work outside of class. Students are required to complete a summer assignment before the start of first semester and are expected to take the AP exam in May. The course fee covers consumable materials.


    2 semesters, $50 plus AP exam fee 
    Prerequisite: Honors Trigonometry/Precalculus and concurrent enrollment in Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Advanced Placement Calculus BC | additional time commitment of 30 minutes each week after school or during the lunch period | scientific or graphic calculator required 
  • BL 111 HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY – 7371 and 7372

    This is a foundational course covering the basic structure and function of the human body at various levels, including the cell, the tissue, the organ, and the organ system. A minimal amount of chemistry is covered at the beginning of the course to enhance the student's understanding of the chemical processes underlying cellular function. The focus of this course is normal structure and function; however, some disease states also may be discussed. Laboratory studies using cow and sheep organs, cadaver study at Marquette University, computer simulations, and various medical test analysis may be used to supplement the course material.

    11th-12th grade, 2 semesters, $50 fee
    Prerequisite: completion of Chemistry or Honors Chemistry, Accelerated Biology
    **Students will be eligible to receive 4 transferable college credits from Cardinal Stritch University by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
DSHA offers science-based courses through the new Specialized Studies department, including Intro to Engineering and AP Computer Science courses.
Click here to learn more
The DSHA Science Department offers marine biology every two years. The most recent travel destination occurred this past summer, when 20 students traveled to a Marine Science Seminar in Hawaii. The next trip of its kind will take place in June 2020.
There are many opportunities outside of the classroom for students interested in science at DSHA, including specialty courses, research projects, and trips. Discover some of the science-related opportunities below:

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