Science

Science Course Offerings

Biology I & II (9th & 10th Grade)

Biology I and Biology II are full year courses offered to all ninth and tenth graders. Topics will focus on the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and will include scientific method, organic molecules, cell structure and function, cell division, genetics, evolution and ecology. Students will learn through a variety of activities including hands-on projects, laboratory experimentation, research, reading, writing, portfolios, presentations and inquiry.

Physics I (9th Grade)

Principally focused on motion and mechanics, this ninth-grade course covers estimation, unit conversion, kinematics (displacement, velocity, acceleration, and their relationships), vectors and scalars, dynamics (including Newton’s Laws of Motion), and conservation laws (momentum and energy).

Physics II (10th Grade)

This continuation of the ninth grade course for tenth grade expands upon the fundamentals established in Physics One and applies these concepts to simple harmonic motion, waves, sound, thermal physics, gravitation, electricity & magnetism, and light.

Circuit Design (11th Grade)

This course goes beyond looking at electrical systems in general and introduces students to applied digital logic, a key element of careers in engineering and engineering technology. Students will create truth tables, learn binary signaling, develop an understanding of logic and logic systems, and apply the physical and mathematical reasoning to transform circuitry into simple problem-solving, reactive hardware.

Renewable Energy (11th Grade)

This is a Grade 11 elective course that supports students from any of the shop areas. Their goal is to introduce and reinforce the students’ use of energy in their housing, transportation, product selection, and vocational economic viability by focusing the energy use streams, both renewable and non-renewable, in the complex biological, chemical and physical systems in use today.

Anatomy & Physiology I (11th Grade)

This is the first section of a two-year course on the anatomy and physiology of the human body with some anatomical comparisons to other living organisms including vertebrates and invertebrates. The beginning of the occurs will consider the relationship between cells, tissues, organs and organisms. The biological systems covered include the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular, circulatory, lymphatic, immune, nervous, endocrine, digestive, urinary and reproductive. Each system will be taught at the introductory level and will also include the homeostatic mechanisms that maintain the organism as a whole. Throughout the two years, additional topics that will be covered include human diseases, biotechnology including stem cell research and cloning, pathogenic organisms found in the public workplace, and miscellaneous topics that exists in the current news. There will also be individual integration assignments for students in their respected shops with special emphasis on culinary arts, cosmetology, and health. Laboratory experiments, presentations, and other hands on activities will be offered throughout the year. Students will not be required but will have the opportunity to dissect preserved specimens of organisms that may include: mammals, amphibians, annelids, and fish for the purpose of viewing and comparing anatomical structures.

Anatomy & Physiology II (12th Grade)

This course is a continuation of Anatomy & Physiology I. Please see the description of A&P I for more details.

Chemistry (12th Grade)

This course serves as an introduction to the major theories and concepts in Chemistry. The science of matter and how it interacts will be explored through lectures, demonstrations, readings, and laboratory work. By the end of this course, you will have an understanding of the composition of matter, how matter is categorized, how matter interacts, the Atomic Theory throughout history, the signs and causes of chemical reactions, and the properties and structure of matter. 

Robotics (12th Grade)

This advanced, interactive, computer-based course is designed to engage students while learning programming skills.  Students will work in partners to build and program VEX Robots using ROBOTC, a computer-based programming language.  Students will learn how write programs that will respond to sensors and will engage motors to achieve desired results.  

Engineering by Craft (12th Grade)

The focus in this course is on solving problems by using the Engineering Design Process through hands-on learning.  Students will apply critical thinking as they investigate, design, plan, create, and evaluate solutions which satisfy specific criteria and constraints.

Project Lead The Way

A sequence of five courses in pre-engineering, is listed below. Students taking pre-engineering courses must also be enrolled in a college preparatory math course and must maintain above average grades in all their courses.

​Introduction to Engineering Design (9th Grade)

Introduction to Engineering Design is an introductory course, which develops student problem solving skills, with emphasis on the development of three-dimensional solid models. Students will work from sketching simple geometric shapes to applying a solid modeling computer software package. They will learn a problem solving design process and how it is used in industry to manufacture a product. The Computer Aided Design system (CAD) will also be used to analyze and evaluate the product design. The techniques learned, and equipment used, are state of the art and are currently being used by engineers throughout the United States.

Principles of Engineering (10th Grade)

Principles of Engineering, the third Project Lead The Way course, provides an overview of engineering and engineering technology. Students develop problem solving skills by tackling real-world engineering problems. They explore four engineering systems and manufacturing processes: mechanical, fluid, electrical, and thermal. Students learn the properties of various materials, how materials are shaped and joined, and material testing. Through theory and practical hands-on experiences, students will address the emerging social and political consequences of technological change.

​Digital Electronics (11th Grade)

Digital Electronics is the second Project Lead The Way course in pre-engineering. It introduces students to applied digital logic, a key element of careers in engineering and engineering technology. This course explores the smart circuits found in watches, calculators, video games and computers. Students use industry-standard software to test and analyze digital circuitry. They design circuits to solve problems, export their designs to a printed circuit program that generates printed circuit boards, and use appropriate components to actually build their designs. Students use mathematics and science in solving real-world problems.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (11th Grade)

This course teaches the fundamentals of computerized manufacturing technology. It builds on the solid-modeling skills developed in the Introduction to Engineering Design course. Students use 3-D computer software to solve design problems. They assess their solutions through mass property analysis (the relationship of design, function and materials), modify their designs, and use prototyping equipment to produce 3-D models. Students program robots to handle materials in assembly-line operations.

Engineering Design and Development (12th Grade)

This is the capstone course in the Project Lead The Way sequence. Students apply what they have learned in academic and pre-engineering courses as they complete challenging, self-directed projects. Students work in teams to design and build solutions to authentic engineering problems. An engineer from the school's partnership team mentors each student team. Examples of projects may include a robotic mascot for the school, a remote-controlled hovercraft, or a solar-powered device. Each team must submit progress reports and a final research paper. The team members then defend the solution with an oral presentation before an outside review panel.

​Project Lead the Way Biomedical Sciences

Principals of Biomedical Science  (10th Grade, Double Period)

This course provides an introduction to the biomedical sciences through exciting hands-on projects and problems. Students investigate concepts of biology and medicine as they explore health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. They will determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional woman as they sequentially piece together evidence found in her medical history and her autopsy report. Students will investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the woman’s life and demonstrate how the development of disease is related to changes in human body systems. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes and allow students to design experiments to solve problems. Key biological concepts including maintenance of homeostasis in the body, metabolism, inheritance of traits, and defense against disease are embedded in the curriculum. This course is designed to provide an overview of all the courses in the biomedical sciences program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.

Human Body Systems I (11th Grade)

Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries. 

Human Body Systems II  (12th Grade)

Students examine the interactions of body systems as they explore identity, communication, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of the human body, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal manikin, work through interesting real world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.

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Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

80 Locust Street,

Northampton, Ma 01060

Phone: 413-587-1414

Fax: 413-587-1406

Email: info@smithtec.org

Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex,gender identity, disability, religion or sexual orientation.