We believe that knowledge of science is an important part of being an informed citizen.
Through science courses at Asheville School, students become proficient in solving scientific problems using diagrams, models and representations; demonstrating the use of mathematics in a variety of scenarios; posing scientific questions; analyzing and applying data; working with scientific theories; posing questions; and connecting a multitude of scientific concepts that demonstrate a greater understanding of scientific principles.
Third form (9th grade) students begin their study of science with a course that allows for active participation in the investigation of fundamental biological principles. Students are coached to construct their own understanding of biological principles through structured activities that require effective group work and communication skills.
Fifth and Sixth Form (11th and 12th grade) students may continue their study of biology in this second-year course, which is equivalent to an introductory college biology course with laboratories. Students study biology at every level as it relates to four “big ideas” which include Evolution, Information, Energy, and Interactions. Laboratory work is also more advanced and emphasizes independent experimental design.
Students gain an understanding of modern atomic theory as it applies to the chemical interaction of matter. Students examine the nature of matter, atomic structure, a variety of aspects of chemical reactions, solutions and equilibrium, and are introduced to both organic and nuclear chemistry. All discussions, lectures, and lab work relate to the general theme of how matter and energy work together to produce interactions in the natural world.
This second-year course in chemistry develops a deep conceptual understanding of chemical principles such as atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular modeling, multi-phase stoichiometry, chemical reactions, solution chemistry, kinetics, equilibria, and thermodynamics of reactions.
Students work together to build models (mathematical, verbal, diagrammatic, graphical, and computational) to represent types of motion and interactions and use them to make predictions to test hypotheses. The Modeling Methodology employs a cycle of learning that consists of a paradigm laboratory investigation, student presentation of results, consensus model building, model deployment and verification. Collaboration, Socratic dialogue, and presentations to peers are key tools used in this cycle.
In Honors Physics, students build models (mathematical, verbal, diagrammatic, graphical, and computational) to represent types of motion and interactions. They then use their models to explain phenomena, to make predictions and to test hypotheses. Students will leave the course with a strong conceptual understanding of algebra-based Newtonian mechanics as well as an introduction to electricity and magnetism and will be prepared to take college-level physics.
AP Physics 1 is a first-year course which examines topics in classical mechanics and introduces topics in electricity. Physics AP-C is a second-year course in which classical mechanics and electricity and magnetism are studied in greater detail through calculus-based problem solving and individually designed laboratory experiments.
Students are expected to apply concepts from the fields of biology and chemistry to environmental issues. During the first semester, students study the concept of environmental sustainability as it applies to human health, ecology and biodiversity. In the second semester, student study environmental sustainability as it applies to the use of natural resources. Throughout the course, students analyze case studies, discuss the impact of human activity on the environment, and participate in labs, research, and projects in order to deepen their understanding of the natural environment.
Psychology is offered as an elective course. Topics include research methods and scientific experiments, the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior, personality development, memory and intelligence, social psychology, and disorders and treatments. Instruction in this course is varied and includes laboratory exercises, case studies, group projects and scientific research. Students develop skills that include data analyzation, working with scientific explanations, connecting concepts and posing and evaluating questions to expand understanding.
Anatomy and Physiology is offered as an elective course. Through a conceptual framework, students learn major organ systems in the human body. Instruction in this course is varied and includes laboratory exercises, animal dissections, and inquiry into fundamental physiological principles. Students develop skills that can be used to evaluate current medical and health issues.