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Science

 

 

Actively experience science

The Science department strives to instill in our students a sense of curiosity about the natural and physical world, along with a development of sound knowledge and competency in scientific skills. Students will develop critical reasoning skills to observe, interpret data, solve problems, and develop well-supported conclusions. We strive to develop communication skills in our students to ask and answer sound questions, pursue deep discussions, and convey their understanding in different ways: mathematical, verbal, and visual. We hope to convey the broad application of science to other academic disciplines and the world as a whole. In short, we try to develop independent learners who can use their scientific toolkit as a method of inquiry, problem solving, and life-long learning. 

Science Offerings At Salisbury:

Science

S112 Field Studies 

Field Studies is designed to expose Third Form students to essential concepts of natural physical sciences, utilizing field and laboratory studies. The landscapes of the Salisbury School campus and the surrounding area provide an ideal outdoor classroom through which students will gain exposure to concepts that are the foundation of studies in Biology, Environmental Science, Forestry, and Geology. The fall trimester is devoted to ecosystem function, including species identification and geological principles. The winter trimester is spent largely indoors and concentrates on quantitative aspects of science fundamental to physics and chemistry. In the spring the class will return to field work, concluding the year with a comprehensive study and report on vernal pool ecosystems. 

S112CP Conceptual Physics 

Using the Modeling Instruction approach, students carry out authentic, guided scientific inquiry as they build their knowledge of basic principles of mechanics: velocity, acceleration, forces, Newton’s Laws, and energy. Each unit begins with the observation of a new phenomenon, taking measurements, and then looking for a pattern to build conceptual, graphical, and mathematical models. Crucial aspects of this approach are group discussion, peer collaboration, and careful, evidence-based explanations to the class. 

S222 Biology 

This course examines the structure and function of living organisms as seen through the historical development of biological concepts, beginning with the cell. The relationship of organisms to their environment, the progression from simple to complex, and continuity in change are essential elements of study. 

S332CN Cognitive Neuroscience 

Cognition includes a variety of higher mental processes such as thinking, perceiving, imagining, speaking, acting and planning. Neuroscience is the study of the structure and workings of the nervous system. Cognitive neuroscience, then, is the study of how cognitive processes can be explained by the structure and function of the brain. Topics covered in this class may include the nervous system and neurotransmitters; the organization of the brain; sensation and perception; learning, memory, and emotions; thinking, planning, and language; the developing brain (including the teenage brain); brain states (sleep, arousal, attention); childhood disorders and psychiatric disorders; addiction; injury and illness; and neurodegenerative diseases. 

S332E Environmental Science 

This course explores environmental issues from three vantage points: the unspoiled natural world, man’s impact on the natural world, and possible resolutions to problems. Students investigate historical and current ethical issues in man’s use of the natural environment. Extensive field work is integrated into the course as a means of exploring the various ecosystems on the School’s acreage, including streams, lakes, forests, and ponds. 

S342C Chemistry 

This is an introductory chemistry course covering the following topics: an introduction to matter; compounds, mixtures, and elements; the metric system; measurements in science; atomic structure; the periodic table; chemical formulas and equations; stoichiometry, gases, water, and solutions; thermochemistry; reaction rates, equilibrium, acids, and bases; oxidation/reduction; and some carbon chemistry. The course addresses applications of chemistry concepts to the environment, energy, nutrition, and materials and processes in our world. Numerical problem solving and the ability to communicate scientific ideas are key skills that are developed and used throughout the course. 

Prerequisites: Biology and Algebra I 

S342P Physics 

Physics and Honors Physics are taught using Modeling Instruction, in which the students actively build scientific models of motion and forces by analyzing their own data. The group is seen as a scientific community. Discussions, presentations, and evidence-based arguments within that community are crucial to developing the physics models. The boys must question each other and justify their reasoning to each other. The course covers Newtonian mechanics, energy, and some topics in electricity and magnetism.  

Prerequisite: Algebra II 

S442AN Anatomy and Physiology 

This is an elective science course that offers an overview of the internal and external structures and functions of the human body. Study begins at the cellular level and includes each of the body systems and functions. This elective is geared toward students who are interested in achieving a greater understanding of the human body. They will increase their awareness of their own personal health and wellness and also learn how their bodies use outside resources to function both on and off the field.   

S442F Forest Science 

The purpose of the course is to teach students about forest ecology and the practice of forestry. The range of topics is comprehensive and covers the scientific, technical, and social aspects of American forestry. The course introduces students to the importance of healthy forests as a contributing factor to ecological and economic stability. Salisbury School is situated within its own 600-acre forest, which serves as an outdoor laboratory for much of the students field work. The course covers twelve topics, including tree identification and dendrology, plant physiology, forest ecology, stress forest genetics, measurements and sampling, silviculture, wildlife, policy and economics, and forest products. Recent issues of global significance include carbon sequestration, deforestation, and the impacts of invasive species. In addition, students prepare independent presentations in forest hydrology, the role of fire, and mapping. 

S442T Tiny House/STEM Foundations 

This course involves the application of science concepts and processes to design and build a very small house. Project planning, teamwork, identification of problems and development of alternative solutions, research, experimentation, computer-aided design, 3d printing, construction, testing, and communication are key components of this course. Students will develop an engineering mindset; learn the environmental and social drivers behind the tiny house movement; create budgets and timelines in Microsoft Excel; seek outside help as needed to address technical challenges; design and carry out experiments; select materials based on energy efficiency, safety, aesthetics, and environmental impact; and evaluate competing construction techniques. Students will document the project from the beginning and communicate their work in written and oral form. Fourth form or above. (Permission of instructor is required.) 

S550 Linguistics 

This trimester elective course provides a brief introduction to several aspects of linguistics, the formal study of human language. Students learn how to describe the patterns found in human language structure through explorations of the universals and variations. Probable topics: the International Phonetic Alphabet, phonology/morphology, syntax, language acquisition, and dialects of English. 

Honors

S221 Biology Honors 

This accelerated course examines the structure and function of living organisms as seen through the historical development of biological concepts, beginning with the cell. The relationship of organisms to their environment, the progression from simple to complex, and continuity in change are essential elements of study. 

S342CH Chemistry Honors 

This advanced chemistry course covering the following topics: an introduction to matter; compounds, mixtures, and elements; the metric system; measurements in science; atomic structure; the periodic table; chemical formulas and equations; stoichiometry, gases, water, and solutions; thermochemistry; reaction rates, equilibrium, acids, and bases; oxidation/reduction; and some carbon chemistry. The course addresses applications of chemistry concepts to the environment, energy, nutrition, and materials and processes in our world. Numerical problem solving and the ability to communicate scientific ideas are key skills that are developed and used throughout the course. 

This is a more advanced version of Chemistry S342C Chemistry, which will prepare students to move into AP Chemistry in the future. 

Prerequisites: Biology and Algebra I 

Advanced Placement

S441B Advanced Placement Biology 

This course follows the prescribed AP Biology curriculum and prepares students for the AP Exam. 

Prerequisites: 1. A in Biology or Biology Honors. 2. A in Chemistry or B+ in Chemistry Honors. 3. Summer work completed and a passing grade on an assessment in the first week. 

S441C Advanced Placement Chemistry 

This course follows the prescribed AP Chemistry curriculum and prepares students for the AP exam. 

Prerequisite: A in Chemistry, preferably Honors. 

S441E Advanced Placement Environmental Science 

This course follows the prescribed AP Environmental Science curriculum and prepares students for the AP exam. 

Prerequisites: 1. A in previous Biology and Chemistry classes (or B+ if Honors). 2. Possible summer work. 

S441P  Advanced Placement Physics C 

This course follows the prescribed AP curriculum and prepares students for the examinations in both Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism. 

Prerequisites: 1. Grade of A in a prior Physics class, preferably Honors. 2. A completed Calculus course or a clear summer calculus study plan in place. 3. Completion of summer work with textbook, including a successful assessment on this material in first week of school. 

The academic life at Salisbury is motivating. The teachers, coaches, and mentors at Salisbury are exceptional. They bring passion and expertise into their intimate classroom settings. Collaboration, innovation, problem solving, creativity, and civic responsibility are just some of the principles that guide Salisbury School’s educational model. Most importantly, these men and women partner with you each day and always with the highest expectations. 
Dean of Academic Life Sarah Mulrooney

A Glimpse At Just Two Of Our Offerings:

COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

This course will explore the connection between the brain, the body, and our behavior. The first unit will cover the psychology of the self with a close look at brain anatomy, brain area functions, and how this organ connects to the rest of the body. Dissections, brain mapping, and imaging will be utilized for this unit. The second unit, the psychology of networks, will explore how our brain and body connects with our immediate world. Experimentation and research will assist students in gaining a deeper understanding of their personal networks. The third unit, the psychology of power and influence, will explore how individuals use the power of the mind to influence or be influenced by the minds of others. Portfolios and biographies will assist in analyzing particular case studies.

 

 

FOREST SCIENCE

The purpose of the course is to teach students about forest ecology and the practice of forestry. The range of topics is comprehensive, and covers the scientific, technical, and social aspect of American forestry. The course introduces students to the importance of healthy forests as a contributing factor to ecological and economic stability. Salisbury School is situated within its own 600 acre forest, which serves as an outdoor laboratory for much of the students’ field work. The course covers twelve topics, including tree identification and dendrology, plant physiology, forest ecology, stress, forest genetics, measurements and sampling, silviculture, wildlife, policy and economics, and forest products. Recent issues of global significance include carbon sequestration, deforestation, and the impacts of invasive species. In addition, students prepare independent presentations in forest hydrology, the role of fire, and mapping.