Science Course Offerings

  • Shoreline School District requires three years of sciences to graduate, and Integrated Physical Science (IPS) and Biology are the standard first two courses (the third course is by student choice).  Most universities like to see four years of science and/or two years of lab science.  A good, well-rounded science background includes IPS, biology, chemistry, and physics, which are excellent preparation for future college work in science, engineering, and health care.

    Honors and non-honors classes have similar curricula and labs.  The main difference is that honors classes are for those who are serious about science and want a challenge.  You should not take honors science if you do not like science, and if you are not willing to work hard to master the material (much more homework and reading is required).  Success in honors science depends on the student’s ability to work independently to master concepts by completing homework, readings, and projects. 

    AP courses follow a set curriculum that generally mirrors a freshman college course.  Some, but not all, colleges will grant course credit for successful completion of the course and the AP test.

    Not all science, honors, or AP courses meet college entrance requirements.  It really depends on the particular college.  You should also check with the college you desire to attend to see what their requirements are for admission.  There are also engineering elective offerings in our CTE department, some of which may provide science elective credit. Your counselor will be able to help you find information and make an informed decision. 

    A brief description of our science courses is below.  The Shorecrest registration website has the most up to date information regarding courses, course descriptions, and graduation requirements. 


     

    9th grade courses:

    The Shorecrest Science Department does not recommend skipping IPS.  It is the foundational course for all the rest of our courses.  Most important are the skills and techniques that are introduced to students for the first time.  Basic experiments are revisited in later courses and covered in more depth, with the expectation that the student knows the content and skills taught in IPS.  Additionally, the Next Generation State Science Testing includes topics that we cover in IPS.

    Integrated Physical Science (IPS)

    This is our introductory science course that covers elements of physics, chemistry, and earth science, as well as the skills and techniques used in all other science courses.  It is the first of two courses required to graduate and covers State science standards.

    Who should take this course:  All incoming freshmen.

    What you need to be successful: Willingness to complete homework and readings in a timely fashion.  Keep a lab notebook.

     

    Honors Integrated Physical Science

    Similar to IPS but with more depth of content and higher student expectations.

    Who should take this course:  Incoming freshman who desire more challenge and rigor and who plan to take more advanced science.

    What you need to be successful:  Solid foundation in algebra and willingness to put in significant time working on homework and assigned readings / projects.  Disciplined study habits.  There is a pre-course summer assignment.


     

    10th grade courses:


    Biology

    This is the second of two course required to graduate and covers State science standards.

    Who should take this course:  All incoming sophomores.

    What you need to be successful:  Willingness to complete homework and readings in a timely fashion.  Keep a lab notebook.

     

    Honors Biology

    Similar to Biology but using a molecular-based approach with more depth of content and higher student expectations.

    Who should take this course:  Incoming sophomores who desire more challenge and rigor and who plan to take more advanced science.

    What you need to be successful:  Solid foundation in algebra and willingness to put in significant time working on homework and assigned readings / projects.  Desire to meet the challenge of independent projects.  Disciplined study habits. There is a pre-course summer assignment. 


     

    11th and 12th grade courses:


    Chemistry

    A course that explores the basics of matter and energy, which are fundamental to all other sciences.

    Who should take this course:  Students planning to attend a university and/or go into a science or health related field.  Students with scientific curiosity who have done well in previous science classes.

    What you need to be successful:  Abstract thinking, algebraic math, and problem solving skills.

     

    Honors Chemistry

    Similar to chemistry but more intensive and with more depth of content.  This course uses a college curriculum and text.  The course explores more about why molecules behave as they do.

    Who should take this course:  Students planning to pursue study in science, engineering, or health related fields at the university level.  Students with scientific curiosity who have done well in previous advanced science classes.

    What you need to be successful:  Advanced math skills, disciplined study habits, willingness to complete assignments and readings well in advance of the due dates.  Willingness to take responsibility for one’s own learning.

     

    AP Chemistry

    This is an advanced, second year chemistry course that picks up where high school chemistry leaves off.  It is taught with a college curriculum and text.

    Who should take this course:  Students planning to pursue study in science, engineering, or health related fields at the university level.

    What you need to be successful:  A solid grounding in chemistry through a previous chemistry course. Excellent math skills. Disciplined study habits, and willingness to complete assignments and readings well in advance of the due dates.  Willingness to take responsibility for one’s own learning.  Intent to take the AP exam.

    Note:  This is normally offered at Shorewood High School and Shorecrest students would need to provide their own transportation.

     

    Physics

    A course that explores how the physical world works through both conceptual and mathematical approaches.

    Who should take this course:  Students planning to attend a university and/or go into a science, engineering, or health related field.  Students with scientific curiosity who have done well in previous science and math classes. Students who like math.

    What you need to be successful:  Problem solving skills and math skills (especially algebra and trig).

     

    AP Physics

    Similar to Physics but with significantly more depth and content.  It is taught with a college curriculum and text and uses higher-level math.

    Who should take this course:  Students planning to pursue study in science, engineering, or health related fields at the university level.  Students with scientific curiosity who have done well in previous advanced science classes.

    What you need to be successful:  Students who really like math problems, have disciplined study habits, and willingness to complete assignments and readings well in advance of the due dates.  Willingness to take responsibility for one’s own learning.  Intent to take the AP exam.

     

    AP Biology

    This is an advanced level molecular biology and biochemistry course.  It is taught with a college curriculum and text.

    Who should take this course:  Students who plan to major in life science or health care at the university level.  Students with scientific curiosity who have done well in previous science and math classes.

    What you need to be successful:  A solid grounding in chemistry through a previous chemistry course.  Good math skills. Disciplined study habits, and willingness to complete assignments and readings well in advance of the due dates.  Willingness to take responsibility for one’s own learning.  Intent to take the AP exam.

     

    AP Environmental Science

    This is an advanced science class covering scientific aspects of environmental systems, as well as how humans alter these natural systems.  It is taught with a college curriculum and text and uses higher-level critical thinking skills.

    Who should take this course:  Students interested in advanced science study that do not necessarily intend to pursue science beyond high school (or college-bound students looking for a 4th year of science).  Especially recommended for AVID students.

    What you need to be successful:  An interest in science and willingness to study and keep up with assignments.  Good writing and math skills.

     

    Astronomy / UW Astronomy 101

    This is an advanced science course about stars, galaxies, and the universe.  It also covers the essential elements in physics needed to understand the basics of astronomy.  It uses a college curriculum and text.  Optional: students can enroll in the University of Washington and receive 5 college credits (you do not need to travel to the UW).

    Who should take this course:  Students who are interested in science and may or may not be intending to pursue a career in science.

    What you need to be successful:  An interest in science and willingness to study and to complete assignments and readings well in advance of the due dates.  Some basic math skills and understanding.

     

    Physical Geology / Geology 101

    This is an advanced science course about the physical systems that give the Earth its form.  It uses a college curriculum and text.  Optional: students can enroll in the University of Washington and receive 5 college credits (you do not need to travel to the UW).

    Who should take this course:  Students who are interested in science and may or may not be intending to pursue a career in science.

    What you need to be successful:  An interest in science and willingness to study and to complete assignments and readings well in advance of the due dates.  Some basic math skills and understanding.

    Note:  This is only offered at Shorewood High School and Shorecrest students would need to provide their own transportation.


     

    10th, 11th and 12th grade courses:


    Earth Science

    This is a basic science class that covers geology, oceanography, weather, and energy in an interactive and friendly way.  The course is designed to build skills and knowledge in the physical sciences.  Entry as a 10th grader would be to make up a semester of IPS and would be by permission of counselor only.

    Who should take this course:  Students that have had some difficulties in past science classes.

    What you need to be successful:  Willingness to try, study, and complete assignments.

     

    Environmental Science

    This is a basic science class that focuses on current local and worldwide environmental issues in an interactive and friendly way. The course is designed to build skills and knowledge in the biological sciences.  Entry as a 10th grader would be to make up a semester of Biology and would be by permission of counselor only.

    Who should take this course:  Students that have had some difficulties in past science.

    What you need to be successful:  Willingness to try, study, and complete assignments.