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Electives

CRLS offers a number of elective opportunities for juniors and seniors. Students are encouraged to consult the CPS Guide to Curricula and Extra Curricular Activities – The CRLS Experience – as opportunities vary from year to year.

Astronomy
An introduction to Astronomy, this class will focus on the application of physics to the study of the universe. Intended for highly motivated students interested in science, this class expects students to think critically as well as to make use of mathematical reasoning in the solving and creation of problems related to astronomical phenomena. Topics may include: the history of observational astronomy, building a simple telescope and trips to observatories to study the night sky; celestial navigation; stellar evolution from how stars are born to supernovae; black holes; the large scale structure of the cosmos; space-based astronomy and astronomy in the news. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Students can be concurrently enrolled in Biology

Applied Physics
Students will gain a better understanding of the connections between science and engineering, and the application of Physics in every day life and technology. Topics of study will be applications of physics in sports, medical technology, communications, computers, electronics, and transportation. Students will be given performance goals and required to design, build or produce a product that meets those goals using limited resources. Examples of design projects include a motor-driven car, a working barometer, or a helicopter powered by a mousetrap. Students will gain an understanding of the physics concepts used in design projects. There will be emphasis on the writing process and experimental design to help prepare students for lab investigations in college. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Students can be concurrently enrolled in Biology.

Modern Physics
The Modern Physics course examines topics not offered in a classical physics course, instead focusing on some of nature’s most unexpected phenomena. This includes the behavior of very small (quantum and nuclear physics) and very large (wormholes and black holes) quantities. It will also look at the current theories on behavior and origin of energy and matter,such as General Relativity, String Theory and Cosmology. Emphasis will be placed on topics that inspired technological advancements such as semiconductors, lasers, GPS, LCD and plasma screens. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology and completion or concurrent registration in Algebra II/Trig, Pre-Calculus or IMP 3; Required S411 CP Organic Chemistry

AP Physics B
This course is a full year introductory physics course covering a wide spectrum of physics topics: Atomic and Nuclear Physics, Light and Optics, Electricity & Magnetism, Newtonian Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Physics. The course focuses on building conceptual and problem solving skills thus providing the student with a broad knowledge of physics necessary to pursue science, medicine, technology, engineering and mathematics college programs and careers. The course also teaches the use and application of math and prior knowledge of algebra, geometry and trigonometry courses is recommended but not required. The course has an experimental component for the student to gain first hand experience observing the physics and using experimental equipment. The course is the equivalent of a full year non-calculus-base introductory college physics course but is also excellent preparation for a student planning to take calculus-based freshman college physics. The course prepares the students to take the AP Physics B exam, for which qualifying scores at accepting colleges and universities typically earn the students 6 credits. Length: Year; Credits: 20 (one distributional course requirement); Prerequisites: interest in science and desire to take a challenging science course; algebra, geometry and trigonometry recommended but NOT required; AP Physics C: Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism. This is a full year introductory college level course on Newtonian Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism. The course is the equivalent of a calculus-based college introductory physics mechanics course and prepares the student to take both the AP Physics C: Mechanics and the AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism exams for which qualifying scores at accepting colleges and universities typically earn the students 3 credits each. It is offered in two semester-long courses. Students have the option of only taking the first semester for AP Physics C: Mechanics.

AP Physics C
Mechanics (Semester 1 of AP Physics C)  This is a one semester introductory college level course on Newtonian Mechanics. It covers the foundation topics of kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy, and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation. The course focuses on building strong conceptual, theoretical development and problem solving skill for students interested in pursuing science, medicine, engineering or technology college programs and careers. The course also teaches the use and application of the prerequisite math courses: calculus, trigonometry, geometry and algebra. The course has an experimental component for the student to gain first hand experience observing the physics and using experimental equipment. The course is the equivalent of a calculus-base college introductory physics mechanics course and prepare the student to take the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam for which qualifying scores at accepting colleges and universities typically earn the students 6 credits. Students typically take this course in the fall and subsequently take AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism in the spring. Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters; Length: Semester Credits: 10; Prerequisites: AP Calculus recommended but NOT required

AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism (Semester 2 of AP Physics C)
This is a one semester introductory college level course on Electricity and Magnetism. It covers the major introductory areas of E&M including: electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics; electric circuits; Maxwell’s Equations, magnetic fields; and electromagnetism. The course focuses on building strong conceptual, theoretical development and problem solving skill for students interested in pursuing science, medicine, engineering or technology college programs and careers. The course also teaches the use and application of the prerequisite math courses: calculus, trigonometry, geometry and algebra. The course has an experimental component for the student to gain first hand experience observing the physics and using experimental equipment. The course is the equivalent of a calculus- base college introductory physics mechanics course and prepare the student to take the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism exam for which qualifying scores at accepting colleges and universities typically earn the students 6 credits. Students often take this course in the spring following AP Physics C: Mechanics, but the Mechanics course is not a prerequisite. Offered: Spring Semester; Length: Semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: AP Calculus required.

Organic Chemistry
This advanced chemistry course addresses structures, reactions and uses of carbon compounds. The classes of carbon chain and ring molecules will be studied with emphasis on stereo chemistry, reactivity and reaction mechanisms. The practical applications of hydrocarbons and biomolecules will be explored, and laboratory activities will be performed. Familiarity with organic chemistry is excellent preparation for all types of medical careers. Length: One semester (first semester only); Credits: 10; Prerequisites: B or better grade in Chemistry and Biology

AP Chemistry
This course is designed to teach chemistry at the college freshman level and prepare students for the AP Chemistry Exam. Emphasis will be on inorganic chemistry, atomic structure, bonding, reactions, periodicity and equilibrium. Laboratory experiments are an integral part of the course. Students should be prepared to do university level work. Length: Year; Credits: 20 (one distributional course requirement); Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology and previous or concurrent enrollment in Pre-Calculus.

Marine Biology
Students who take Marine Biology will gain a deeper understanding into the variety and diversity of living organisms in the world’s oceans through an ecological and evolutionary lens. From Algae to Zooxanthellae and everything in between, we will examine and study the diverse organisms and complex relationships that make life in the ocean possible. Understanding human impact and conservation will be an underlying theme to the course. Wet and dry labs, snorkeling, microscopy, dissections, field trips, lectures and discussions are all used to engage students into the wonderful world of life beneath the waves. As a part of this class, you will learn the skills to create and present a unique project that shows your understanding of the course content and highlights your interests and ideas. See page 14 for more about Authentic Inquiry Projects. Length: Fall semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Chemistry and Biology

Plant Biology
Ever wondered how plants save lives? How plants complete with each other? Why some plants are poisonous and how others eat animals? This course will explore the science, culture, economics, evolution and ecology of plants. Students will do research and conduct inquiry investigations into the amazing Kingdom Plantae. Come prepared with a previous course in biology and interest in learning about the bottom of the food chain. You wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for plants! Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Passing grades in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

AP Biology
This college level course builds on knowledge obtained in physics, chemistry and biology. The course emphasizes biological principles from an evolutionary perspective. The first semester examines the structure and function of molecules and cells, the molecular basis of heredity and evolution. The second semester examines organismal diversity and the structure and function of plants and animals, followed by a study of interactions in populations and communities. Length: Year; Credits: 20 (one distributional course requirement); Prerequisites: Grades of B- or better in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and the recommendation of a science teacher; The Biology requirement may be waived with a science teacher recommendation and a grade of B or better on a Biology exam by the end of the first week of school. Students will be expected to complete a summer assignment before course begins.

Ecology
From our days as a hunter-gatherer society to the information age, humans have always had a close relationship with the environment. This relationship will be examined through the study of ecological principles that govern population dynamics, community interactions and ecosystem processes. Students gain an understanding of the biosphere as we examine the ways humans have altered the natural ecological processes during our species time on Earth. Human ecological issues to be covered include over-population, pollution, environmental justice, urban sprawl, habitat loss, invasive species, biodiversity loss and global climate change. Over the semester, students will find local solutions to global, ecological problems. Students will design and conduct ecological studies and experiments to engage in research and environmental education advocacy activities. Partnerships with Earthwatch, Massachusetts Audubon Society, and MIT will support student environmental research and study. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Epidemiology
Why are some diseases “catching”? What tools do scientists use to study and control disease? How does my body fight off invaders? What kind of organisms can and do invade my body? Why do Third World countries experience more diseases than developed countries? What ethical issues arise in studying and treating disease? How has biotechnology contributed to making new treatments for these diseases? Students use current lab techniques, read current literature and participate in research projects and design their own epidemiologic study. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Contemporary Applications of Genetics
Why are some diseases inherited from parents who are perfectly healthy? What is the difference between infectious and genetic disease? Can you find out if you will get a genetic disease? How does one decide whether to learn about one’s genetic make-up and what to do with that information? How do we develop guidelines for these advancements that are equitable for ALL? Who pays for the research and who makes a profit? Students use the same cutting edge lab techniques that scientists do in their labs to try to answer these questions about devastating diseases. Finally, students learn how the biotechnology industry is using these modern techniques by investigating how an idea is turned into a profit-making product. This course is lab oriented with an emphasis on investigative skills. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Human Anatomy and Physiology
This course is a challenging and intensive investigation of human body systems that includes the molecular, cellular and tissue level of the organ systems. Students will engage in discussion, activities and laboratories, and write research papers to gain a better understanding of the structure and physiologic processes of the healthy body. Current trends and treatments in medicine as well as medical ethics are explored. Guest speakers are invited to make presentations. Class will consider career opportunities within the medical field. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Exercise Physiology
Knowledge and application of scientific principles are prerequisites for this intensive, advanced biology course. The course covers how the body functions during exercise, the adaptations that occur in response at a tissue, cellular and molecular level. Focus will be on changes that occur in the circulatory, respiratory and muscular systems; students will conduct labs, plan experiments and write research papers. Please note that this is not a class that will involve general fitness goals or means to achieve them. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Oceanography
Oceanography is the study of all of the physical, chemical and biological processes that make up the world’s ocean. Topics will include the origins of the world’s oceans, history of ocean exploration and examples of marine technology that allowed this exploration. We will study the forces that have shaped our oceans over time and the features of the sea floor resulting from these forces. Physical processes in the Ocean like tides, currents, waves, erosion of coasts and environmental concerns will make up the bulk of the course content. The capstone project in the course will be designing, building and flying an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in a competition in the school pool. As a part of this class, you will learn the skills to create and present a unique project that shows your understanding of the course content and highlights your interests and ideas. Length: Spring semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Chemistry

Zoology
This course is a challenging elective that studies animals of all shapes and sizes, from flatworms to whales. Students will examine the diversity of the animal kingdom, focusing on the major groups of invertebrates and vertebrates. They will learn about the physical features and survival strategies of the various phyla, evolutionary relationships between organisms, and the ecological connections between them. Students will engage in authentic inquiry projects, discussion, lab experiences, and research as they learn about the animal kingdom. This course prepares students for an Enhanced Senior Year Internship in zoology. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

AP Environmental Science
This course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course. Environmental science is offered from a wide variety of disciplines, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry and geography. This course has been designed to enable students to undertake an advanced study of environmental topics in college. The goal is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Length: One semester; Credits: 10; Prerequisites: Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Algebra