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Math and Science Curriculum

Science

Science is a method designed to reveal the way that nature works. Nature is traditionally divided into two broad categories, the first being purely physical and the other including living systems.

Our goals are to elicit wonder for the natural world by fostering appreciation for both the remarkable predictability of physical systems and the remarkable adaptability of living systems, and to impart a basic ordered knowledge of that world and an understanding of the roles of theory and experiment.

Students are able to design experiments to gather evidence for hypotheses, and are able to weigh carefully the strength of evidence for claims. Courses include life and earth sciences, biology, chemistry and physics.

The Thomas MacLaren Computing Initiative is an innovative program within eleventh and twelfth grade physics. Students are taught useful computer programs in a powerful easy-entry programming language, MATLAB ® , and to create tools with a modern graphical user interface. Each tool solves a particular class of problems in science or mathematics.

For more information, see Science Curriculum in Detail.

Mathematics

The mathematics program includes the study of quantities, of figures and of relationships between quantities and figures. This study is marked by intuition, analysis, logical rigor, elegance and simplicity. Mathematics has a dual nature that is reflected in our program. As a symbolic system, it has elegance, reflected most clearly in the study of patterns. It is also used to express quantitative relations in other disciplines, which demands proficiency in mathematical skills and problem solving.

Fundamental concepts and skills in graphs, symbols and numbers are developed in the sixth, seventh, eighth and first semester of ninth grade through the study of prealgebra, algebra and geometry. In these courses one viewpoint is studied at a time. Beginning with the second semester of the ninth grade through the end of the first semester of grade twelve, the viewpoints are integrated. In these courses – precalculus and calculus – the dynamic concepts of “function” and “transformation” form a type of backbone for the study of trigonometry, vectors, matrices, probability, derivatives and integrals. Many of these concepts are also used in our science courses. Advanced topics are offered in the final semester of grade twelve, introducing students to structural mathematics.

For more information, see Math Curriculum in Detail.




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