Biology (Grades 10 & 11)
This full-year course is an introduction to the structure and function of living organisms. Some of the topics covered are cell theory, genetics, evolution, and the classification of plants and animals. Laboratory exercises give students an opportunity to use the scientific method in solving biological problems.
Chemistry (Grades 10, 11 & 12)
This course presents the major chemical concepts including the scientific method, atomic theory, moles, periodic classification, structure, bonding, acid-base theory and equilibrium. Development of proper laboratory skills and clear, creative technical writing are also emphasized. A course with less emphasis on the quantitative aspects of chemistry which instead focuses more on the role of chemistry in our lives is also offered.
Physics (Grades 11 & 12)
Physics is the study of how the world works. This introductory course is a survey of topics in physics including Newtonian Mechanics: Motion in one and two dimensions, force and friction, circular motion, work and energy, momentum and collisions, heat, waves and sound, light and reflection, electric forces and fields, electrical energy current, and magnetism. Quantitative laboratory explorations and reports will be an integral part of this course. Emphasis will be placed on refining problem solving techniques, laboratory procedures, and developing conceptual, writing, and mathematical skills. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra II.
Advanced Placement Biology (Grade 12)
AP Biology is a course designed to give the student a college-level biology course. Additionally, students will further their interest and understanding of the biological world. Finally, this course will prepare students to sit for the Advanced Placement examination in biology. In order to accomplish these goals, students will focus on four main “Big Ideas” in biology. The four “Big Ideas” are that the process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life; biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to reproduce and maintain dynamic homeostasis; living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life process; and biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. Within this framework, 25% of class time will be devoted to laboratory investigation and collaborative projects. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry and Biology, or approval of the Department Chair.
Advanced Placement Chemistry (Grades 11 & 12)
Students study chemical principles stressing structure, bonding and reactivity of inorganic compounds. General chemistry principles are reviewed in more detail, and advanced theories are presented to instill more curiosity and scientific skills in students. Laboratory work stresses development of more advanced technique and use of modern instrumentation in quantitative and qualitative investigations. Sound technical writing is also emphasized. All students take the Advanced Placement examination. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry and Biology, or approval of the department chairman.
Advanced Placement Physics C: Mechanics (Grades 11 & 12)
AP Physics C is a rigorous, calculus-based course in Newtonian Mechanics that is taught at the college level. Concurrent or past enrollment in an AP Calculus course is required, as this course demands use and facility with both differential and integral calculus. The course delves into the field of Newtonian mechanics and emphasizes problem solving skills and thorough conceptual understanding. Topics include motion along a straight line, vector mathematics, motion in two dimensions, Newton's Laws, work and energy, momentum, rotation, equilibrium, oscillations, and gravitation. The focus of this course will be to prepare students for the AP Physics C: Mechanics examination. This preparation will include an intense emphasis on applying mathematical tools to problem solving. All students are required to take the AP examination in May. Prerequisite: AP Physics B (or instructor’s permission), Pre-Calculus, and concurrent or prior enrollment in AP Calculus AB.
Anatomy & Physiology (Grade 12)
This course thoroughly examines the structure and function of the human body in health and in disease. Major topics include, but are not limited to, human organization within the body, support and movement, integration and coordination, maintenance of the body, and reproduction and development. Memorization skills are refined and emphasis is placed on research, scientific writing, and the development of oral and visual presentation skills.
Astronomy (Grade 12)
A one-term, upper-level elective survey course covering the history of astronomical thought and research, the inclusion of astronomical processes in everyday life, planetary nature and origin, stellar evolution, deep space phenomena, and the realities of space exploration.
Physical Geology (Grade 12) (A One-Term, Upper-Level Elective Survey Course)
"Earth is a unique place, home to more than a million life forms, including us. No other planet yet discovered has the same delicate balance necessary to sustain life. Geology is the science that studies the Earth-how it was born, how it evolved, how it works, and how we can help it."(Press and Siever, Third Edition, 2001)
This Quote only partially answers the question, Why Geology? This term course will help give a better understanding to that question. Geology is the study of the Earth as well as other planets. Physical Geology focuses mainly of the processes that operate at or near the surface of the Earth as well as within the Earth. As this is only a term course, we will only cover a portion of these processes. We will look at the Geologic Time Scale, the structure of the Earth, Plate Tectonics, Minerals, and Rocks. We all have life experiences that have given us some background in Geology. We have experienced floods, earthquakes, and volcanoes. The Earth is a dynamic place. "Stuff happens." Continents move, rocks break, and energy is released resulting in earthquakes. How does the Earth work? What drives the Earth? These are only a few questions that can be answered in a Physical Geology class.
The "Environment Today" course is designed to alert and teach students about the ongoing environmental issues of today. This course will be primarily "journal" based, utilizing a predetermined selection of current event articles and other resources addressing some of the major issues impacting the world around us. Students will also be required to conduct their own research using scientific journals, periodicals, newspaper articles, and web based sources to address ongoing issues or "new" issues that arise during the course window. Topics covered in this class will include global warming and climate change, industrialized food processing, deforestation in the tropics, organic farming, fisheries management, population growth, and alternative energy. A significant amount of student work will focus on debate as there are many political, ethical, and scientific opinions on these issues. This is a one term course.
The science program is designed to teach the fundamental concepts of basic science and foster an interest in science. Trinity-Pawling requires three one-year science courses for graduation. It is strongly recommended to meet this requirement with one course each in physics, chemistry, and biology. In addition to the core courses, elective courses are available. These include introductory course as well as advanced placement courses. Each student is encouraged to take a fourth year of science, beyond the core courses, from the offerings of electives. It is possible to take more than one science class a year, and this is often necessary for a student who wants to pursue a college degree in science or engineering.
First Year Physics (Grades 9 & 10)
First-Year Physics is an introductory physics course offered to all freshmen and some incoming sophomores who have not already taken a physics course. The course stresses how physics applies to everyday activities in students' lives. Topics covered include kinetics, energy, wave motion, optics, electricity/magnetism, atomic theory, and radioactivity. The curriculum is project-based with a strong emphasis on discovery learning. Concurrent enrollment in (or successful completion of) Algebra I is required.
Science Research (Grades 10, 11, 12)
The research course is a three year elective in which students choose a topic and carry out an original research project on that topic. The student does ALL of what professional researchers do, from journal readings to finding a mentor, planning a project, and carrying it out to an appropriate research conclusion. As the work progresses, the student writes research papers, creates posters, and presents research findings at available competitions and symposia as determined by the instructor. During the student’s junior and senior years, he may elect to take the course for college credit for a total of up to twelve credits at the State University of New York. Also during the junior and senior years, each student is required to enter available venues for competition as determined by the instructor. All students are welcome to apply regardless of past academic history. The only prerequisite is that the candidate be a self motivated, hard worker.
Honors Biology is a course designed to give the student an accelerated biology course. Additionally, students will further their interest and understanding of the biological world. In order to accomplish these goals, students will focus on three main areas of biology. First, they will learn about Molecules and Cells, including biochemistry, an in-depth look at cell structure and function and cellular energetics. Second, they will discuss Heredity and Evolution, including molecular genetics, heredity, and evolutionary biology. Finally, the course will focus on Organisms and Populations, examining diversity of organisms, structure and function of plant and animals, and ecology. This course will also provide students the opportunity to examine several topics that fall under the theme of Science, Technology, and Society. Throughout the year, current issues of major scientific concern, including but not limited to, global warming and stem cell research will be discussed in order to make students who are informed and scientifically literate students. Finally, Honors Biology will also serve as a primer for the Advanced Placement Biology course. Students taking this course are encouraged to further their understanding of the material by taking the AP Biology class next year.
Advanced Placement Physics I (Grades 10, 11, & 12)
AP Physics 1 focuses on the big ideas typically included in the first semester of an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics sequence. It also provides students with enduring understandings to support future course work in the sciences. Through inquiry-based learning, students will develop critical thinking and reasoning skills. AP Physics 1 includes the following major topics: Newtonian Mechanics (including rotation), wave motion and sound, and an introduction to electrostatics and direct current circuits. After the AP exam in May, students will explore one of these topics in depth through a self-designed project or experiment. All enrolled students are required to take the AP examination. Prerequisites: concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of a pre-calculus course, or permission of the instructor.
Advanced Placement Physics C: Electricity And Magnetism (Grade 12)
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is a rigorous, calculus-based course in Electricity and Magnetism that is taught at the college level. Prior completion of at least one AP Calculus course is required, as this course demands a high level use and facility with both differential and integral calculus. The course delves into the fields of Electricity and Magnetism and emphasizes problem solving skills and thorough conceptual understanding. Topics include Electrostatics; Conductors, Capacitors, and Dielectrics; Electric Circuits; Magnetic Fields; and Electromagnetism. The focus of this course will be to prepare students for the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism examination. This preparation will include an intense emphasis on applying mathematical tools to problem solving. All students are required to take the AP examination in May. Prerequisite: AP Physics C: Mechanics (or instructor’s permission), AP Calculus AB, and concurrent or prior enrollment in AP Calculus BC.
Advanced Placement Environmental Science (Grade 12)
An in-depth look at the inter-relationships of the natural world. Topics include interdependence of the earth's system, human population dynamics, environmental quality and environment and society tradeoffs. Laboratory work includes studies in populations, soil, air and water pollution including acid rain and the greenhouse effect. The Class of 1970 Pond House is used for lab activities during this class.
Meteorology (Grade 12)
A one-term, upper-level elective survey course covering the origin and composition of the atmosphere, global climate patterns, the systematic and anomalous weather patterns within the lower atmosphere, predicting the weather, changes in climate, and air pollution.
The Ecology course, new in 2010, is an elective and a one term course. Originally, the curriculum for Ecology was a major component of our annual Environmental Studies course, which has changed to a trimester based elective. Ecology students will be introduced to the undamentals of ecosystems: how they work, system components, biodiversity, energy flow, and the cycling of matter. Students will study Evolution as it relates to diversity in species, genetics, and adaptations. A study of biotic factors and abiotic factors will provide reason and evidence for the location of various biomes around the world - including tropical rain forests, deserts, tundra, and grasslands. Other topics to be covered include species interactions, ecological succession, population dynamics, and carrying capacity. We will also evaluate methods of sustainability to protect ecosystem structure, system function, endangered and threatened species. This course is designed to have a lab component to supplement classroom studies. The boys will utilize the "Pond House" as an outdoor laboratory throughout the fall.
Environmental Field Science
The Environmental Field Science course is an elective based course for students that have completed a year of high school chemistry. In order to understand many of the environmental concerns of today, there is no question that a solid background in chemistry is required. Students taking this elective will spend the beginning of the spring term refreshing their chemistry skills including formation of bonds, naming chemicals, balancing equations, and likely, some stoichiometry. With a chemistry foundation in place, students will study a variety of environmental issues from a chemical perspective. We will cover outdoor and indoor air pollution, acid rain, water quality and water pollutants, petroleum resources, nuclear power and agricultural chemistry. As a spring course, a significant portion of out laboratory time will utilize the "Pond House".