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.

Science students are typically assigned 2.5 - 4 hours of homework per week. For AP courses and research options, please see individual course descriptions. 

MEET THE SCIENCE DEPARTMENT FACULTY:

SCIENCE CURRICULUM STRUCTURE:

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

Stacey Strandberg published an article entitled Autopolyploidy and Allopolyploidy Card Sort: Investigating Chromosomal Errors That Lead to Symptomatic Speciation in the Volume 84, No.8, October 2022 issue of the American Biology Teacher Journal. 

SCIENCE DEPARTMENT COURSE OFFERINGS:

List of 12 items.

  • COLLEGE PREP BIOLOGY – 7121 and 7122

    College Prep Biology is a freshman-level science course where students will develop science reasoning skills like “CER,” claim – evidence – reasoning – and will learn to work both independently and collaboratively to access, process, and apply scientific concepts. As a life science course, College Prep 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: Course fee includes laboratory materials. 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. Depending on the total number of AP Biology sections, the extra time requirement may be scheduled before school, over lunch, or after school. 
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here. 

  • BL 105: BIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS – 7141 & 7142**

    NEW COURSE: BL 105: General Biology I – 7141 & 7142 (former course title)
    NEW COURSE TITLE: BL 105: BIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS – 7141 & 7142

    BL 105: General Biology I. This is a dual-credit course; as an introductory science course, this class would be appropriate for someone who is considering being a biology major but would also be a great choice for a student who knows she does not want to major in biology/science but would like the opportunity to earn college science credits at DSHA.  This is a lab science course and will provide students with an opportunity to go more in-depth on the following biology concepts: cell division and reproduction, principles of genetic inheritance, gene theory and genetic engineering, the theory of evolution, natural selection and methods of speciation, and more.

    11-12th grade
    2 semesters, $50 fee
    Prerequisite: Accelerated Biology and Chemistry or Honors Chemistry

    **Students will be eligible to receive 4 transferable college credits from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (for course BL 105) by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program. This course is a 4-credit college course. 

    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 College-Prep Biology AND Algebra I, Advanced Algebra I, Freshmen Algebra II, or Honors Algebra II 
    CURRENT SOPHOMORES/ JUNIORS: completion of College- Prep 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:
    Completion of College-Prep Biology or Accelerated Biology AND one of the following: Honors Algebra II or highly successful completion of Freshman Algebra II or extremely successful completion of Advanced Algebra I. | 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. The course fee covers consumable materials. 

    11th-12th grade
    2 semesters, $50 fee plus AP exam fee
    Prerequisite: successful completion of Honors Chemistry or extremely successful completion of Chemistry AND successful completion of Precalculus with Trigonometry and Statistics  | additional
    time commitment of 30 minutes each week either before school or during the lunch period, depending on the hour the class is scheduled  | graphic calculator required 
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here

  • 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 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. 

    10th-12th grade
    1 semester, $50 fee
    Prerequisite: College- Prep Biology or Accelerated Biology; Chemistry or Honors Chemistry recommended. 

    This course may be taken independent of other Earth Science course offerings. 
  • EARTH SCIENCE — 7191 & 7192

    In this course, we will explore Earth’s place in the universe and the ever-changing landmasses and bodies of water that make up and shape our planet. Units will include rocks and minerals, the dynamic forces of Earth, space and the solar system, oceans, and marine life (including ocean erosion and tectonic forces), and more. This is a lab-based, year-long science course.

    10-12th grades
    2 semesters, $50 fee
  • 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 College-Prep Biology or Accelerated Biology AND Chemistry or Honors Chemistry | additional time commitment of 30 minutes per week before school or during the lunch period, depending on the hour the class is scheduled | scientific or graphic calculator required  
    Learn more at AP & Dual-Credit offerings here. 
  • 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 (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: Precalculus with Trigonometry and Statistics and concurrent enrollment in Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Advanced Placement Calculus BC | scientific or graphic calculator required 
  • HONORS ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY – 7371 and 7372

    This is a 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 reviewed 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 will also be discussed. Laboratory studies using cow and sheep organs, cadaver study at Marquette University, computer simulations, and various medical test analysis will supplement the course material.

    11th-12th grade
    2 semesters, $50 fee
    Prerequisite: completion of Chemistry or Honors Chemistry, Accelerated Biology or College-Prep Biology 

Department Related Opportunities:

List of 3 items.

  • Robotics Team

  • SMART Team

  • STEM Scholars

Department Related Resources:

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 a marine biology trip. In the summer of 2022, 22 students traveled to Hawaii, completing more than 80 hours of marine science and Hawaiian history, daily quizzes, and a final exam. While going on adventures like the Atlantis submarine excursion and visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, they also learned about coral zonation, intertidal zones, feeding guilds, and waves.

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