For more information on staff and their emails, please visit: Directory / Staff Directory
Michael Clarkston Science Teacher
Sarah Ijames Science Teacher / Co-Dept. Chair
Erin Gordon Science / AVID Teacher
Clint Lawrence Science Teacher
Twila Jackson Science Teacher
Heather Leonard Science Teacher
Patricia Gutierrez Science Teacher
Melanie Ludwig Science Teacher
Mikayla Waugh Science Teacher / Co-Dept. Chair



(1 yr) 9th - 12th grade

Throughout this course the scientific method is used, along with lab tools and techniques. Basic biochemistry is learned along with the physiology of cells (including animal and plant). The variety of living things and natural selection are emphasized. Cell structure, development, and genetics are covered in detail. This course includes the study of life at the microcosmic levels as well as the level of the individual, populations, and communities. This course deals with life and the environment needed for that life to exist. Experiments requiring individual compilation and analysis of data are performed.


(1 yr) 10th - 12th grade

Prerequisite: Completion of Integrated Math I with a C or better, concurrent enrollment in Integrated Math II; completion of Biology P or Earth P with a grade of C or better

Chemistry-P covers the topics of atomic structure; chemical bonds; periodicity; kinetics; equilibrium; and atomic and molecular theories, with the emphasis on the development of concepts through inquiry and experimentation. The goal of this course is to have students understand the behavior of the elements; to recognize the organization of knowledge in the Periodic Table; to be able to give examples of practical applications of that knowledge; and to understand the risks associated with chemistry and chemical technology. Approximately twenty percent of the course is spent performing experiments and analyzing the data. Emphasis is placed on recognizing patterns of chemical reactions and the reasons underlying these patterns; the scientific method; proper methods of experimental record keeping; the different methods used to express scientific data; and the development of conclusions based on the facts presented. This course utilizes a hardbound lab notebook.


(1 yr) 10th - 12th grade

Prerequisite: Integrated Math II concurrently enrolled, (IM 3 recommended); grade of B or better in Biology P; grade of C with teacher recommendation.

Chemistry-HP is for the potential science major and high ability student. The course covers the topics of atomic structure, chem­ical bonds, periodicity, kinetics, equilibrium, atomic, and molecular theory in depth with emphasis on development of concepts through inquiry and experimentation. At a minimum, Honors Chemistry will cover the same topics as Chemistry P but with approximately one fourth of the course spent doing experiments. Emphasis is placed on scientific method and higher order thinking skills, utilizing a hardbound lab notebook.


(1 yr) 9th - 12th grade

Earth Science P will provide students with skills in laboratory methods, measurement, scientific method, data collection and interpretation. Laboratory activities and demonstrations will be an extensive portion of the curriculum.

Students enrolled in Earth Science-P will study both the natural and physical world. First semester topics include: a review of science skills, geology, oceanography, and chemistry. Topics covered during geology include plate tectonics, geologic history, earth structure, and California's unique geological features and hazards. Chemistry involves the study of matter and its interactions. Students will learn about chemical bonding, chemical reactions, the periodic table, and will be involved with significant laboratory practice.

Second semester topics include: meteorology and astronomy. In meteorology topics will include the structure and composition of the atmosphere, climate and weather, and global climatological problems. Students will learn about star sequences, theories regarding the birth of the universe, our solar system and space exploration while studying astronomy.


(1 year) 11th - 12th grade

Prerequisite: Biology; Chemistry; Integrated Math 2 with a grade of “C” or better both semesters in each course.

HP Earth Science is an Honors level lab course designed for students in grades 11 and 12, to build upon knowledge gained in Biology and Chemistry. The course emphasis is geology, including plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, topography, environmental studies, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy. The course includes all California Earth Science Standards as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. Honors Earth Science is a one-year (two semesters) course designed for students looking to increase their breadth and depth in science. Honors Earth Science includes the study of physical geology, which encompasses plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, earthquakes, mass wasting, glaciers, deserts streams, and groundwater processes. The course also includes topics in astronomy, meteorology, and oceanography. It includes all California State Earth Science standards and as well as all of the Disciplinary Core Ideas from the current Next Generation Science Standards.


(1 yr) 10th - 12th grade

Prerequisite: Biology-P, Integrated Math I with a B or better, C grade with teacher recommendation; concurrent enrollment in Integrated Math II.

This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth study of the human body systems. Anatomy, physiology and pathology will be included in each system studied. Emphasis will be placed on terminology, facts, concepts, clinical aspects and laboratory skill. Animal systems similar to human will illustrate the basic principles with experiments and dissections. When possible the students will observe the actions of their own bodies.


(1 yr) 11th - 12th grade

Prerequisite: Trigonometry P or Pre-Calculus P or concurrent enrollment; teacher recommendation if enrolled in Algebra II

Physics-P emphasizes learning through experimentation, observation, and analysis. Matter and energy, optics and waves, mechanics, electricity with some electronics, and atomic structure are covered. Approximately one-third of the course is spent doing experiments. Emphasis is placed on scientific method and proper method of experimental record keeping; i.e., utilizing a hardbound laboratory notebook.


(1 yr) 11th-- 12th grade

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Pre-Calculus-P or Pre-Calculus-HP or a "C" or better in Pre-Calculus-P or Pre-Calculus-HP or Trigonometry.

This course will prepare students for the AP Physics examination. Course topics include: kinematics, dynamics, rotational motion, gravitation, general relativity, statics, momentum, work, energy, thermodynamics, waves, sound, light, optics, electricity, magnetism, and atomic physics. The course has a strong emphasis on mathematics including some use of limit theory. *Students will take the A.P. Exam or an equivalent exam as part of their final course grade.


(1 yr) 11th - 12th grade

Prerequisite: Two years of lab science: Biology P and Chemistry P/H or Biology P and Earth P with a grade of B or better; C grade with teacher recommendation.

This course is designed to be the equivalent of an introductory college course in environmental science. Students will be encouraged to think critically about our natural world and how we influence it. The course will include the following: study of the interrelationships of living things and their environment; identification and study of both natural and human-made environmental problems; analysis of national and international legislation; laboratory and field studies. Students will prepare to take the AP Environmental Science Exam in May.


(1 yr) 11th - 12th grade

Prerequisite: Two years of lab science: Biology P and Chemistry P/H with a grade of B or better; C grade with teacher recommendation


(1 yr) 11th - 12th grade (*10th Grade with teacher recommendation)

Prerequisite: Recommended two years of lab science: Biology P or Chemistry with grade of C or better or teacher recommendation

Students will study the major concepts of biology and their relevance to themselves and society. The fall semester places a focus on cellular molecular concepts, including biochemistry, cellular structure and function along with biochemical processes. The spring semester includes the study of genetics and biotech along with taxonomy/phylogeny, evolution, and ecology. Students will design and carry out laboratory experiments in a collaborative environment with emphasis placed on the individual analysis of data. The course is designed to enable students to develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills necessary for college readiness. Students will prepare to take the AP Biology Exam in May.

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