Academics
Curriculum

Science

The faculty members in Grier’s science department are passionate and enthusiastic about sharing their love for the world around us. The science curriculum follows a sequential, but flexible progression through the disciplines. Several challenging Honors and AP courses are available, but concept courses are offered for students who struggle in the sciences. Students can enjoy a variety of science electives, including psychology courses, astronomy, health, anatomy & physiology, computer science, and robotics.

Courses

List of 15 items.

  • Life Science - Grade: 7

    Life Science is a 7th grade inquiry based course. In this class, we will learn how scientists classify/identify organisms and how organism have evolved over time. We will learn about the bare necessities of life and characteristics that all living things share. We will apply this information to the field of astrobiology and discuss where in the universe life might exist. A study of cells and heredity will also be conducted.
  • Earth & Space Science - Grade: 8

    Earth Science is an 8th grade inquiry based course. In this class, we will study of the earth's geologic timescale followed by an astronomy unit that will focus on the Earth, our solar system, and stars/galaxies. During the second semester, we will study minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, volcanoes, and weathering.
  • Physical Science - Grade: 9

    Physical Science is an 9th grade introduction to elementary chemistry and physics principles. This course begins to formulate an understanding of scientific concepts and principles.

    See more on Life and Earth & Space Science by clicking here for the class website!
  • Biology - Grade: 10 or 11

    This course covers the fundamentals of life science: the origins of life, the cell, organisms, genetics, mitosis, meiosis, food chains, photosynthesis, the five kingdoms, ecology, and evolution.
  • Honors Biology - Grade: 10 or 11

    Honors Biology is a fast paced biology course that highlights the core concepts of biology. Emphasis will be placed on cell biology, genetics and biotechnology, evolution, ecology, microbes, protists, fungi, plants and animals. Material will be communicated through verbal instruction, assignments and laboratories. The course is designed to give adequate preparation for higher education in sciences and / or students who are AP Biology bound.
  • AP Biology - Grade: 11 or 12

    Grier's Advanced Placement program provides students with competitive courses which prepare students for university and college studies.

    This two-semester, college-level course covers supporting biochemistry, cells, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell division, genetics, molecular biology, vertebrate zoology, invertebrate zoology, plant ecology, viruses, bacteria, ecology, evolution, environment science and human biology. An intensive look at biology prepares students for the A.P. exam. Students will be expected to meet with this class once a week during an extra help that will be determined by the teacher. Students will be given a summer assignment at the end of the previous year that will be due at the start of classes. This course meets during two class periods each day. Prerequisites: Anatomy, Honor Biology, Chemistry
  • Chemistry Concepts - Grade: 10-12

    This is an introductory chemistry class to teach the basic concepts of chemistry. Topics covered in this class include: physical and chemical properties of matter, how matter changes, naming compounds and molecules, quantifying matter, atomic theory, nuclear chemistry, balancing and classifying chemical equations, and stoichiometry. We visit a local nuclear reactor in the spring. Students in this class have a moderate interest in science and its applications. Prerequisites: Biology; Physics or Physical Science
  • Chemistry - Grade: 11 or 12

    Chemistry offers the same basics as Honors chemistry but at a more non-mathematical, conceptual level. Students in this course typically have good math skills and a moderate interest in science and its applications
  • Honors Chemistry - Grade: 11 or 12

    Honors chemistry offers the student an opportunity to demonstrate her math skills and memorize and apply fundamental chemical concepts. These concepts include, but are not limited to, the use of Periodic Table, acid/base chemistry, nomenclature and stoichiometry. Students in the class typically have strong math skills and a high level of interest in science.
  • AP Chemistry - Grade: 11 or 12

    The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the first-year college general chemistry course. Students in such a course will attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals and a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. The course contributes to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas, orally and in writing, with clarity and logic. The AP course in general chemistry differs qualitatively from the usual first secondary school course in chemistry with respect to the kind of textbook used, the topics covered, the emphasis on chemical calculations and the mathematical formulation of principles, and the kind of laboratory work done by students. Quantitative differences appear in the number of topics treated, the time spent on the course by students, and the nature and the variety of experiments done in the laboratory.
  • Physics 9/10 - Grade: 9 or 10

    This course will cover motion, Newton’s Laws of motion, momentum, energy, electrostatics, electricity, magnetism, waves, sound and light. Emphasis placed on the concepts of physics with mathematical equations as guides to these concepts.
  • Physics 11/12 - Grade: 11 or 12

    This course will cover motion, Newton’s Laws of motion, momentum, energy, electrostatics, electricity, magnetism, waves, sound and light. This course is geared to the older student that wants to learn physics without all the difficult problem solving that goes along with physics.
  • Honors Physics - Grade: 10-12

    This fast paced physics course will cover motion, one and two dimensional motion, Newton’s Laws of motion, momentum, energy, electrostatics, electricity, magnetism, waves, sound and light. This course is very math oriented and requires both algebra and trigonometry to master.
  • AP Physics 1 - Grade: 11 or 12

    AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based introductory college level physics course, first semester. This inquiry based class will encompass kinematics 1D and 2D, dynamics, circular motion, simple harmonic motion, impulse and momentum, work and energy, rotational mechanics, electrostatics, simple DC circuits and sound waves. The class will emphasize learning physics through inquiry labs. Students will be expected to meet with this class once a week during an extra help that will be determined by the teacher. Students are required to take the AP exam in May. Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation.
  • AP Physics 2 - Grade 11 or 12

    AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based introductory college level physics course, second semester. This inquiry based class will explore fluids, thermodynamics, electrical force, electric circuits, magnetism, electromagnetism, geometric and physical optics, quantum physics and nuclear physics. Students will be expected to meet with this class once a week during an extra help that will be determined by the teacher. Students are required to take the AP exam in May. Prerequisites: teacher recommendation.

Electives

List of 12 items.

  • Advanced Ecosystems Design

    Using the school’s greenhouse, 10th-12 grade students will explore topics involving ecosystems within the greenhouse and our earth. Topics will include the energy balance of the earth, greenhouse gases, carbon capturing, carbon footprint, composting, soils and growing our own food. Classes will be held in the greenhouse and in the classroom throughout the year. Prerequisite: Physics or Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry (may be taken concurrently.)
  • Anatomy & Physiology

    Anatomy & Physiology is a full year, in-depth course on the human body. Students will cover all organ systems, with a focus on the names and locations of structures and their functions. The course also examines how the organ systems work together to keep us alive and common diseases associated with each organ system. Animal dissections will be performed throughout the course and participation is mandatory.
  • Environmental Science

    This full year course in environmental studies will explore current environmental issues. Students will discover how ecosystems work, diversity of ecosystems and organisms, and the dynamics of wild and human populations. Important environmental topics such as water and air pollution, food and agriculture, land use, climate change, nonrenewable and renewable energy, waste generation and disposal, and human and environmental will then be studied. Students’ own interests will be explored and information will be applied to their everyday lives. Pre-requisites - Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
  • Introduction to Equine Studies

    This course presents theoretical and practical scientific knowledge in the study and care of horses. Instruction focuses on basic anatomy, equine health and disease prevention, equine disciplines, breeds, dental care, hoof care, conformation, judging guidelines and in-depth riding principals.
  • Advanced Equine Studies

    This course presents theoretical and practical scientific knowledge in the study and care of horses. Instruction focuses on biomechanics of movement, genetics, common management practices, horse behavior and training, career opportunities, hoof care, and in-depth riding principals.
  • Marine Biology

    Marine Biology is the scientific study of the organisms that live in the sea. The study of organisms in the marine environment expands to those in the world’s oceans and brackish water (marshes, bays, etc.) This course begins with the history of Marine Biology, the sea floor, and its topography. The chemical and physical features of the ocean such as sea water, ocean circulation, waves, and tides are also discussed. The fundamentals of biology such as reproductive strategies, challenges of life in the sea, and the diversity of life in the sea will be covered. The course will then begin a look at the biological properties contained within the sea, starting with marine primary producers and the major factors that shape the pattern of marine primary productivity. Following marine primary productivity, the wide range of phyla in the marine systems coupled with animal behavior of marine organisms will be discussed. The course will then explore different marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, estuaries, bays, marshes, intertidal communities and the pelagic ocean. Lastly the course will discuss the effects of human presence upon the marine ecosystem, including fishing and pollution, and the prospects for the future of marine systems. Class time is spent on a mixture of lectures, activities and laboratories. Laboratories and activities will be performed for each topic. Some labs will include dissection of marine organisms. Trips to aquariums and a marine science station will be taken for out of classroom experience. Prerequisites: Physics, Biology and Chemistry.
  • Survey of Topics in Neurobiology

    This year-long class for students in grades 11 or 12 will be dedicated to understanding the basic function and structure of the human nervous system with an emphasis on current topics in neurobiology. No major tests will be given in this class. Instead, grades will be based on research projects, quizzes and reading and review of current literature. These are some of the topics that will be covered: structure and function of the nervous system, cellular neurobiology, neurotransmitters, senses, learning and memory, disorders of thought. Prerequisites: Biology, Physics or Physical Science, Chemistry (may be taken concurrently.)
  • Organic Chemistry

    Organic Chemistry is a full-year science elective designed for students who want to explore the broader range of this division of chemistry beyond their current chemical knowledge. Organic Chemistry focuses on the composition and properties of organic compounds and biomolecules, and the reactions that involve these substances.

    Topics include: structure and bonding; nomenclature, hydrocarbons and their derivatives; functional groups; stereochemistry; organic reactions; technology, polymer chemistry; and biomolecules.
  • Abnormal Psychology

    This course studies unusual patterns of behavior, emotion, and thought. Examining empirical evidence and case studies we will cover many topics of abnormal psych including stress, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual/gender identity disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, age-related mental disorders, and more.
  • Forensic Psychology

    Using research in clinical, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology, Forensic and Legal Psychology shows how psychological science can enhance the gathering and presentation of evidence, improve legal decision-making, prevent crime, rehabilitate criminals, and promote justice. Although heavily based on psychological research, actual cases are studied in depth. This is a one semester class.
  • Introduction to Psychology

    Psychology is a dynamic discipline that is constantly seeking new ways to apply knowledge gained through research. Introduction to Psychology offers students an opportunity to learn about the following topics of psychology: history of psychology, biology, human development, gender and sexuality, sensation and perception, learning, memory, intelligence, motivation and emotion, stress and human health, personality, abnormal psychology, therapy, and social psychology. Prerequisites: Anatomy/Physiology, or Biology or Chemistry
  • Social Psychology

    Social psychology bridges the gap between sociology and psychology using the scientific method, case studies, and research. Social Psychology offers students opportunity to learn about how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are affected by the presence of others. Some topics covered are conformity, mass communications, propaganda, persuasion, aggression, and prejudice. This is a one semester course.

Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Kelly Forest 

    Science Department Chair
  • Kallie Brubaker 

    Teacher
  • Nancy Burke 

    Teacher
  • Christine Fernandes 

    Teacher
  • Samantha  Knepp 

    Teacher
  • Arron Ort 

    Teacher
  • Kaitlyn Wyland 

    Teacher

Science News

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Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308 Tyrone, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177