Upper School Science

Science

Department Philosophy

Science at Tarbut V'Torah emphasizes a hands-on learning experience while engaging students in the most current body of scientific knowledge and technologies. Students can choose from a diverse array of courses that are offered at multiple levels including, college preparatory, honors and six AP courses. As students progress through the courses, they build on previous knowledge and skills. Graduates of the Science department are well versed in the Scientific Method, independent thinkers who can understand and solve real world problems.

The science department is committed to placing students in the level of science where they will enjoy the learning and be successful. To meet this goal, we introduced placement tests for incoming freshman and students who wish to enroll in AP Science. These tests are designed to be an independent measure of the skills required for these classes. They will serve as part of the process for placing students in appropriate levels of science. See below for complete placement criteria.

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Grade 9

    Biology*
    Biology provides an introduction to the principles of biology and prepares students for college biology. Topics covered include, ecology, animal behavior, evolution and the origin of life, biochemistry, cell biology, mitosis and meiosis, genetics and biotechnology, classification of organisms, comparison of the three domains of life, human anatomy and body systems. The laboratory investigation component of the course emphasizes the scientific method and develops laboratory skills. The impact of biology on society and current ethical issues are discussed throughout the course. Emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills and application of knowledge.
    Grade Level: 9
    Prerequisite: None
    Biology Honors*
    Honors biology provides an introduction to the principles of biology and prepares students for college biology. Topics covered include, ecology, animal behavior, evolution and the origin of life, biochemistry, cell biology, mitosis and meiosis, genetics and biotechnology, classification of organisms, comparison of the three domains of life, human anatomy and body systems. The laboratory investigation component of the course emphasizes the scientific method and develops laboratory skills. The impact of biology on society and current ethical issues are discussed throughout the course. Emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills and application of knowledge. Although this course covers the same topics as Biology, the course is more rigorous and the topics are covered in greater depth.
    Grade Level: 9
    Prerequisite: Algebra 1, and meet two of the following:
    1. An A in a previous science course,
    2. teacher recommendation, or
    3. placement test
  • Grade 10

    Chemistry*
    Chemistry is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in chemical principles. It emphasizes the development of problem-solving skills and the refinement of laboratory techniques. Topics of the course include ionic and covalent bonding, development of atomic theory, electron configurations and periodic law, atomic orbital theory, mole conversions, gas laws, molecular structure of solids and liquids, solutions, acid and base chemistry, oxidation and reduction, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, reaction rate, and basic organic chemistry. This course is designed to prepare students for the SAT II exam in chemistry.
    Grade Level: 10
    Prerequisite: Algebra 1
    Chemistry Honors*
    This course is a college preparatory class designed to provide students with a solid foundation in chemical principles. It emphasizes the development of problem solving skills and the refinement of laboratory techniques. Topics of the course include ionic and covalent bonding, development of atomic theory, electron configurations and periodic law, atomic orbital theory, mole conversions and stoichiometry, gas laws, molecular structure of solids and liquids, solutions, acid and base chemistry, oxidation and reduction, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, reaction rate, and basic organic chemistry. Although this course covers the same topics as college prep chemistry, it goes into more depth and requires more extensive calculations and mathematics ability. This course is designed to be the best preparation for the SAT II exam in chemistry.
    Grade Level: 10
    Prerequisite: Algebra 1, and meet two of the following:
    1. An A in a previous science course,
    2. teacher recommendation, or
    3. placement test
  • Grades 11-12

    Anatomy and Physiology*
    This course will cover the structure and function of major body systems such as the cardiovascular, skeletal, and nervous systems. Students will study the cells, tissues, and organs found in each system. In addition, we will look at how each system functions by itself and in connection with other systems, and how diseases and injuries can negatively impact the body. There will be a considerable amount of lab work and students should be willing to perform dissections of organs (heart, eye, brain) as well as an entire organism (cat).
    Grade Level: 11-12
    Prerequisite: Biology
  • Advanced Placement

    AP Biology*
    AP biology is an intensive study of biological principles for students with strong backgrounds in biology and chemistry. It is designed to be the equivalent of a first-year college course for Biology majors. Topics covered include, ecology and animal behavior, organic chemistry, cell biology, genetics, biotechnology, metabolism, anatomy and physiology, evolution and the classification of organisms. The course is arranged around the four big ideas that tie all the topics together. (1) The process of evolution drives the diversity and unit of life. (2) Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis. (3) Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes. (4) Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. The course has a rigorous laboratory investigation component which complements the class material. Emphasis is placed on fostering independent learners by developing the following skills: analysis and critical thinking, scientific writing, oral communication and teamwork skills.
    Grade Level: 10-12
    Prerequisite: Completed Biology Honors and Chemistry Honors concurrent, and meet two of the following:
    1. A B or better in prerequisite course,
    2. recommendation from current science teacher, or
    3. placement test
    AP Chemistry*
    This course is a continuation of the topics covered in honors chemistry that prepares the students for a successful completion of the AP chemistry examination. This course will review the topics of atomic theory, stoichiometry, solution chemistry, acids and bases, and organic and inorganic chemistry. The topics of thermodynamics, crystalline structure, re-action kinetics, molecular geometry, and oxidation-reduction reactions will be explored in more depth. Students will complete the coursework and laboratory experiments equivalent to a first-year college chemistry course.
    Grade Level: 10-12
    Prerequisite: Chemistry Honors, and meet two of following:
    1. A B or better in prerequisite course,
    2. recommendation from current science teacher, or
    3. placement test
    AP Physics*
    This is a year-long high school class that is the equivalent to a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It will also introduce electric circuits.
    Grade Level: 11-12
    Prerequisite: Completed Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus concurrent, and meet two of the following:
    1. A B or better in prerequisite course,
    2. recommendation from current science teacher, or
    3. placement test
    AP Physics C: Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism*
    The emphasis of this course is to prepare students to take and pass the AP Physics C exam. The coursework is demanding and covers the same material as a first year, calculus-based college physics course. The topics covered in the course are kinematics, Newton's laws of motion, work, energy and power, linear momentum, circular motion and rotation, oscillations and gravitation, electrostatics, conductors, capacitors, electric circuits, magnetic fields and electromagnetism.
    AP Physics C requires a solid understanding of calculus. This course emphasizes analytical and problem-solving skills. The electricity and magnetism portion are taught mostly in the second semester.
    Grade Level: 11-12
    Prerequisite: Competed Honors Pre-Calculus. AP Calculus AB or BC Concurrent, and meet two of the following:
    1. A B or better in prerequisite course,
    2. recommendation from current science teacher, or
    3. placement test
    AP Environmental Science*
    The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. Yet there are several major unifying constructs, or themes. In particular the course focuses on science as a process, energy conversions in ecological processes, the Earth as one ecosystem, the effects of humans on the environment and environmental issues in a cultural and social context.
    Grade Level: 11-12
    Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry, and meet two of the following:
    1. A B or better in prerequisite course,
    2. recommendation from current science teacher, or
    3. placement test
*This course is approved by the University of California.
Course Availability: It is important to note that a course may not be offered in a given year due to low course enrollment.
TVT Community Day School is a TK-12 Independent Community Day School in Irvine, CA
Founded in Loving Memory of Naomi Gelman Weiss