Science I

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Full year

 Science I

This is the first course in a two-year integrated sequence of biology, chemistry, and physics. We will explore the fundamental concepts of energy, chemical and physical properties of matter, electricity, chemical reactions, biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, evolution, and ecology. Current issues in science will be used to establish a sound foundation in science while highlighting the links between disciplines. In doing so, students will acquire skills in laboratory techniques, critical thinking, the scientific process, and the philosophy and theory of science. Students will learn to write lab reports, translate scientific inquiry into experimental design, and apply mathematical problem-solving to scientific analysis. In the process, students will become informed about current developments in science.

Accelerated Science I 
This course covers all of the topics of Science I at an accelerated pace and a greater level of depth. Additional topics may be included.
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and the department chair.



Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources
Science I

What is matter, what is it composed of, how does it behave, and how is it organized?

What are the differences between chemical and physical changes?

How are electrons organized within atoms?

How are atoms organized into compounds?

What drives chemical reactions, how do we predict the products of reactions, and how do we represent chemical changes?

What different types of chemical reactions are there?

What is energy and what types of energy are there?

How are mass and speed of molecules related to an object's energy?

How do scientists work with measured quantities in calculations?

What is the relationship between thermal energy, potential energy and kinetic energy?

What mathematical expression describes kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy? How do we arrive at this symbolic representation?

Is energy ever gained or lost, or is it conserved? How can we transform one form of energy into another?

What is light and what does it have to do with color?

How do molecules make up cells and what is the structure of a cell?

How is energy used in cellular work and How do plants use light to do chemical work?

How do organisms use "food" to obtain energy for cellular work?

How does energy flow through ecosystems?

What conditions define biomes and what determines weather?

How do water and energy changes determine life in an ecosystem? What is the chemistry of water?

What interactions occur between molecules that define chemical behavior within substances?

  • atoms and subatomic particles
  • elements and compounds
  • periodic table
  • chemical bonds
  • intermolecular forces
  • chemical equations
  • types of chemical reactions
  • conservation of mass
  • energy changes in chemical reactions
  • types of energy
  • thermal energy, temperature, heat and specific heat
  • thermodynamics
  • kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy
  • radiant energy and light
  • electromagnetic spectrum
  • essentials of electricity
  • macromolecules
  • the cell (form and function)
  • chemical changes in cells
  • photosynthesis
  • cellular respiration
  • flow of matter and energy in ecosystems
  • biomes
  • Oregon ecosystems
  • weather
  • water in cells, water in ecosystems, the chemistry of water
  • intermolecular forces

Thinking critically through scientific reasoning

Asking questions and developing methods to find answers

Learning to work collaboratively

Observational skills

Recording data and observations

Written communication of results and solutions

Assessing the veracity of a claim - skepticism fueling critical thinking

Setting up and using lab equipment to collect data

Understanding the function and use of specific lab equipment

Working safely in the lab

Representing data visually as graphs, figures, charts, etc.

Developing a mathematical equation from the graph of data

Working with scientific notation, significant figures and uncertainty

Problem solving using metric system and dimensional analysis

Using a computer to collect and analyze data

Learning to work collaboratively

Developing oral and written communication skills

Experimental design

Lab reports


Tests and quizzes

Classwork and laboratory work

Oral presentations

Numerous online sources

Introduction to Chemical Principles; H.Stephen Stoker; Tenth Edition; Pearson, Prentice Hall

Biology, Life on Earth; Audesirk, Audesirk and Byers; Seventh Edition; Pearson, Prentice Hall