Scientific Explorations Nine

Ages 14 to 15

Semester One

Week 1-5
Unit - Homeostasis
Discipline - Biology
Unit Description - This unit will explore how cells, and more broadly the human body, regulates itself. Students will understand the key process of osmosis and its modern applications.
Foundational Reading - Walter Cannon & Defining Homeostasis
Experiment - Live Lab: Osmosis through permeable membranes.
Writing - Essay: Can drinking too much water be deadly?

Week 6-10
Unit - Radiation & Nuclear Energy
Discipline - Physics
Unit Description - This unit will examine radiation and its application to nuclear energy production.
Foundational Reading - Marie Curie and Radioactivity
Experiment - Digital Lab: The differences between fission and fusion.
Writing - Essay: Should we harness the power of nuclear energy?

Week 11-15
Unit - Gas Laws
Discipline - Chemistry
Unit Description - This unit will explore the most important laws governing our understanding of the behavior of gasses. Students will look at how the gas laws can be used to benefit humans in everyday life.
Foundational Reading - Boyle's & Charles' Gas Laws
Experiment - Digital Lab: Exploring the relationships between volume, temperature and pressure in gasses.
Writing - Essay: How are the gas laws applied in my daily life?

Semester Two

Week 1-5
Unit - Water & Nutrient Cycles
Discipline - Ecology
Unit Description - This unit will explore the essential abiotic cycles that allow for life on earth. Special focus will be paid to how these cycles interact and how humans tend to alter them.
Foundational Reading - McHale and "Ecological Recycling"
Experiment - Digital Lab: Investigating the cycling of a specific nutrient.
Writing - Essay: How does the modern farming industry disrupt essential abiotic cycles?

Week 6-10
Unit - Space Science
Discipline - Physics
Unit Description - This unit will emphasize how to apply previously taught physics concepts to the understanding of how our universe functions. 
Foundational Reading - Copernicus and Heliocentrism
Experiment - Digital Lab: Exploring the effect of mass and distance on gravity & orbits.
Writing - Essay: How accurate were ancient astronomical observations?

Week 11-15
Unit - Independent Project
Discipline - General Science
Unit Description - This final unit in the two-year Introduction to Science sequence will offer students the opportunity to explore a topic of their choosing, combining research on the topic's historical development, a laboratory investigation on the concept and an examination of its application.
Foundational Reading - Selected Readings Depending on Project
Experiment - Student-Generated Laboratory Investigation
Writing - Student-Generated Research Report on the Application of their Lab Investigation.