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Course Outlines / Descriptions

Course Descriptions


Elementary School Science - Course Descriptions

Kindergarten

Kindergarten science in LBUSD is an integrated, hands-on/minds-on, standards
based program. Students will study:

  • Matter and its properties
  • Weather
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Life cycles

The teacher will use constructivist teaching to convey these exciting areas of science. Approximately 30-40% of science instruction time should be involved in lab activities. These activities will be based on benchmark requirements and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation & Experimentation Strand of the LBUSD Content Standards.


First Grade

First Grade science in LBUSD is an integrated, hands-on/minds-on,
standards based program. Students will study:

  • Changes in states of matter
  • Forces
  • Seasonal changes
  • The ocean and its effects on humans

The teacher will use constructivist teaching to convey these exciting areas of science. Approximately 30-40% of science instruction time should be involved in lab activities. These activities will be based on benchmark requirements and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation & Experimentation Strand of the LBUSD Content Standards.


Second Grade

Second Grade science in LBUSD is an integrated, hands-on/minds-on,
standards based program. Students will study:

  • Relationship between matter & gravity.
  • Identifying sound and light as energy forms
  • Major landforms
  • Oceans effects on humans
  • Relate that fossils are used to learn the past
  • Organisms are categorized based on physical features
  • Describe changes in ecosystems

The teacher will use constructivist teaching to convey these exciting areas of science. Approximately 30-40% of science instruction time should be involved in lab activities. These activities will be based on benchmark requirements and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation & Experimentation Strand of the LBUSD Content Standards.


Third Grade

Third grade science in LBUSD is an integrated, hands-on/minds-on,
standards based program. Students will study:

  • Simple Machines and their effect on forces
  • The water cycle
  • Rock classification and how rocks were formed
  • Effects of plate tectonics
  • How the Earth, Moon, and Sun interact
  • The structure of the Solar System
  • Natural selection and its effects on populations
  • How the Sun’s energy flows through ecosystems

The teacher will use constructivist teaching to convey these exciting areas of science. Approximately 30-40% of science instruction time should be involved in lab activities. These activities will be based on benchmark requirements and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation & Experimentation Strand of the LBUSD Content Standards.


Fourth Grade

Fourth grade science in LBUSD is an integrated, hands-on/minds-on,
standards based program. Students will study:

  • Simple atomic and molecular structure
  • The suns effects on air
  • How charged particles exert electrical and magnetic forces
  • The cell as the basic unit of life, describing its parts and functions
  • The theory of evolutionary change
  • The roll of diversity and interaction in ecosystems
  • Classification of rocks and how they are formed
  • How energy can be transformed from one form to another

The teacher will use constructivist teaching to convey these exciting areas of science. Approximately 30-40% of science instruction time should be involved in lab activities. These activities will be based on benchmark requirements and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation & Experimentation Strand of the LBUSD Content Standards.


Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade science in LBUSD is an integrated, hands-on/minds-on,
standards based program. Students will study:

  • The atomic structure of elements and compounds
  • The organization of the Periodic Table
  • The Sun and that its effect on air results in changing weather patterns
  • The Earth’s layers
  • The relationship between plate tectonics and convection currents
  • Objects and processes outside our Solar System
  • Inherited and genetic characteristics
  • Anatomical Systems and how they work together to maintain life

The teacher will use constructivist teaching to convey these exciting areas of science. Approximately 30-40% of science instruction time should be involved in lab activities. These activities will be based on benchmark requirements and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation & Experimentation Strand of the LBUSD Content Standards.


Middle School Science - Course Descriptions

Science 6

Sixth grade science is a standards and laboratory based program. Students should spend approximately forty percent (40%) of their class time on hands-on activities. Introductory principles of earth science will be explored in detail, with some related topics from physical and life sciences included. Constructivist methods of teaching are employed to ensure the best possible comprehension and retention or science concepts. Science activities will be based on the California Science Standards as delineated in the California Science Framework and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation and Experimentation Strand of the Content Standards.

  • Science 6

Science 7

Seventh grade science is a standards and laboratory based program. Students should spend approximately forty percent (40%) of their class time on hands-on activities. Introductory principles of life science will be explored in detail, with some related topics from physical and Earth sciences included. Constructivist methods of teaching are employed to ensure the best possible comprehension and retention or science concepts. Science activities will be based on the California Science Standards as delineated in the California Science Framework and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation and Experimentation Strand of the Content Standards.

  • Science 7

Science 8

Eighth grade science is a standards and laboratory based program. Students should spend approximately forty percent (40%) of their class time on hands-on activities. Introductory principles of physical science and astronomy will be explored in detail, with some related topics from Earth and life sciences included. Constructivist methods of teaching are employed to ensure the best possible comprehension and retention or science concepts. Science activities will be based on the California Science Standards as delineated in the California Science Framework and will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation and Experimentation Strand of the Content Standards.   

  • Science 8


Middle School Electives - Course Descriptions

Forensic Science

Middle School Forensic Science is an elective laboratory based program. Students should spend approximately forty percent (40%) of their class time on hands-on activities. This course will explore different aspects of forensic science including, DNA and heredity and their uses in identification, tissue structure and rates of decay, skeletal identification, pattern injury recognition, chromatography, projectile trajectory, and forensic botany. It will also explore uses of technology in the field of forensics. Constructivist methods of teaching are employed to ensure the best possible comprehension and retention of science concepts. Science activities will utilize the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation and Experimentation Strand of the Content Standards along with some used by professional forensic investigators

  • Course Outline


High School Science - Course Descriptions

Biology 1-2

This course is a standards-based study of living things: origins, structures, functions, heredity, growth and development, interactions among, and behavior of living things.  Content is built around major biological concepts such as biochemistry and the biology of cells, genetics, evolution, ecology, physiologic systems, and the diversity of living things.  Emphasis is placed on the utilization of mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, and communication skills as well as interdisciplinary approaches to discovery.  Concepts and skills are reinforced by a strong emphasis on hands-on laboratory experiences and the integration of other branches of science.  Applications to society, individuals, and the utilization of technology are included, as is consideration of the impact of human activity on biological systems.


Biology 1

This course is the first year of a two year course that studies the origins, structures, functions reproduction, growth, development, interactions and behaviors of living things.  Content is built around major biological concepts which include:  historical perspectives, mathematical and analytical skills, and interdisciplinary approaches to discovery.  The major biological concepts explored include the classification of organisms, cell structure and function, the change and diversification of organisms, ecosystems and their interactions, and the influence of humankind on ecosystems. Concepts are reinforced with a strong emphasis on laboratory experiences and the integration of all sciences.  Applications of concepts to society, individuals, and technology are included.

  • Course Outline

Biology 2

This course is the 2nd year of the Biology 1-2 sequence which studies the origins, structures, functions reproduction, growth, development, interactions and behaviors of living things.  Content is built around major biological concepts which include:  historical perspectives, mathematical and analytical skills, and interdisciplinary approaches to discovery.  The major biological concepts explored include the classification of organisms, cell structure and function, the change and diversification of organisms, ecosystems and their interactions, and the influence of humankind on ecosystems. Concepts are reinforced with a strong emphasis on laboratory experiences and the integration of all sciences.  Applications of concepts to society, individuals, and technology are included.

  • Course Outline

Earth Science 1-2

Earth Science 1-2 is laboratory-based approach to the California high school Earth Science Content Standards. Students should spend approximately forty percent (40%) of their class time engaged in hands-on activities. Introductory principles of astronomy and Earth sciences will be explored, including the solar system, cosmology, plate tectonics, energy, biogeochemical cycles, the atmosphere, and California geology. Constructivist methods of teaching are employed to ensure the best possible comprehension and retention of science concepts. Science activities will be based on the California Science Content Standards as delineated in the California Science Framework and will apply the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation and Experimentation Strand of the Content Standards. Successful completion of one year of Earth Science 1-2 meets the high school graduation requirement for physical sciences.


LAB Earth Science 1-2

Laboratory Earth Science 1-2 is laboratory-based approach to the California high school Earth Science Content Standards. Students should spend approximately fifty percent (50%) of their class time engaged in investigative activities. Introductory principles of astronomy and Earth sciences will be explored in detail, including the solar system, cosmology, plate tectonics, energy, biogeochemical cycles, the atmosphere, and California geology. Students will evaluate evidence from experiments and technology used by scientists to understand the nature of the universe and the Earth. They will also explore how basic interactions of matter and energy control global activity in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere. Constructivist methods of teaching are employed to ensure the best possible comprehension and retention of science concepts. Science activities will be based on the California Science Content Standards as delineated in the California Science Framework and will apply the skills and techniques outlined in the Investigation and Experimentation Strand of the Content Standards. Successful completion of one year of Laboratory Earth Science 1-2 meets the high school graduation requirement for physical sciences and fulfills the UC/CSU "g" elective requirement. A course in the life sciences is also needed to complete the minimum graduation requirement for high school.


Life Science 1-2

Life science 1-2 is designed to develop scientific knowledge and process skills in biological sciences.  The standards-based curriculum explores the following topics: biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, physiology, and diversity.  Emphasizing laboratory experiences and the integration of other branches of sciences while utilizing mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, and communication skills reinforce these concepts.  Applications of technology are included as well as the consideration of human impact on biological systems.


Physical Science 1-2

Physical Science 1-2 is an integrated, laboratory based approach to science instruction in Physical and Earth science.  Fundamental; principles of physics, chemistry, and earth science are explored in a constructive method of teaching as they relate to environment and technology.  A thematic approach is used to integrate the different science disciplines into a study of astronomy, physics, meteorology, tectonics, and ecology.  Successful completion of this course will credit ten units toward high school graduation requirements.


LAB Physical Science 1-2

Laboratory Physical Science is a laboratory-based approach to science instruction. Students spend a minimum of sixty percent of their class time engaged in investigative activities. Fundamental principles of physics, chemistry and earth science are explored in a constructive method of teaching as they relate to the environment and technology. A conceptual approach is used to study the laws of mechanics, kinematics, universal gravitation, gravitational interactions, special relativity, elements and their characteristics, chemical reactions, solubilities, acids and bases, metal reactivities, water cycle, natural resources, and plate tectonics. Successful completion of this course will credit ten units towards the high school science graduation requirement and will meet the "f" entrance requirement for the University of California and California State University systems upon completion of one year of Laboratory Physical Science.


Physics

This course is a standards-based study of fundamental physics concepts, such as measurement, calculation, and graphing in kinematics and dynamics, propagation and conservation of energy and momentum, gravitation and orbital mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, waves, optics, electromagnetic phenomena, and relativity and quantum physics. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, graphical, and communication skills as well as interdisciplinary approaches to discovery. Concepts and skills are reinforced by a strong emphasis on hands-on laboratory experiences and the integration of other branches of science. Applications to society, individuals, and the utilization of technology are included. Physics fulfills both the physical science high school graduation requirement and the UC/CSU "d" laboratory science requirement. A course in the biological sciences is also needed to complete the minimum graduation requirement for high school.


Chemistry 1-2

This course is a standards-based study of fundamental chemical concepts, such as atomic theory and its relation to chemical behavior, chemical bonding, the mole and stoichiometry, molecular kinetics, energy relationships, solution dynamics, acids-bases, equilibrium, organic and biological chemistry, and nuclear interactions. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, and communication skills as well as interdisciplinary approaches to discovery. Concepts and skills are reinforced by a strong emphasis on hands-on laboratory experiences and the integration of other branches of science. Applications to society, individuals, and the utilization of technology are included. Chemistry fulfills both the physical science high school graduation requirement and the UC/CSU "d" laboratory science requirement. A course in the biological sciences is also needed to complete the minimum graduation requirement for high school.


Physics 1-2

This course is a standards-based study of fundamental chemical concepts, such as atomic theory and its relation to chemical behavior, chemical bonding, the mole and stoichiometry, molecular kinetics, energy relationships, solution dynamics, acids-bases, equilibrium, organic and biological chemistry, and nuclear interactions. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, and communication skills as well as interdisciplinary approaches to discovery. Concepts and skills are reinforced by a strong emphasis on hands-on laboratory experiences and the integration of other branches of science. Applications to society, individuals, and the utilization of technology are included. Chemistry fulfills both the physical science high school graduation requirement and the UC/CSU "d" laboratory science requirement. A course in the biological sciences is also needed to complete the minimum graduation requirement for high school.


Biotechnology 1-2

Biotechnology 1-2 is a course designed to give students a comprehensive introduction to the scientific concepts and laboratory research techniques currently used in the field of biotechnology.  Students attain knowledge about the field of biotechnology and deeper understanding of the biological concepts used.  In addition, students develop the laboratory, critical thinking, and communication skills currently used in the biotechnology industry.  Furthermore, students will explore and evaluate career opportunities in the field of biotechnology through extensive readings, laboratory experiments, class discussions, research projects, guest speakers, and workplace visits.  The objectives covered in this course are both academic and technical in nature and are presented in a progressively rigorous manner.


Bioctechnology 3-4

Biotechnology 3-4 is a continuation of Biotechnology 1-2 and is designed to give students a comprehensive introduction to the scientific concepts and laboratory research techniques currently used in the field of biotechnology.  Several topics originally taught in Biotechnology 1-2 are repeated in the 3-4 course but in more depth and with additional applications.  In this course, students attain knowledge about the field of biotechnology and deeper understanding of the biological concepts used.  In addition, students further develop the laboratory, critical thinking, and communication skills currently used in the biotechnology industry, including use of a laminar flow hood while learning the principles of plant tissue culturing.  Furthermore, students will explore and evaluate career opportunities in the field of biotechnology through extensive readings, laboratory experiments, class discussions, research projects, guest speakers, and workplace visits.  The objectives covered in this course are both academic and technical in nature and are presented in a progressively rigorous manner.