Science Department

The Science program at St. Anselm’s is designed to develop an understanding and appreciation for natural phenomena.

Department Overview

Our classes are built upon inquiry based activities, laboratory investigations, mathematical analysis and textbook readings. Technology is woven through all aspects of the science curriculum. Each student in Forms A – Form VI has science class every day, which includes a double period lab session once per week.

Curriculum Sequence

Form A
Life Science
Form I
Earth Science
Form II
Physical Science
Form III
Chemistry
Form IV
Physics
Form V
AP Biology; Additional electives offered (Please see below)
Form VI
Electives offered: AP Chemistry; AP Physics; AP Environmental
Science; Introductions to Civil, Mechanical, Chemical or Electrical
Engineering; AP Computer Science; Introduction to Robotics and
Advanced Robotics; Anatomy & Physiology; Biotechnology

Course Descriptions

Life Science

Life Science is a general study of living things. Life Science students will explore the following topics: life’s structure and function, bacteria and plants, animal diversity, human body systems, ecology, and human health. The students will also develop the following skills: scientific observation, reasoning, analyzing data, various experimental techniques, communication, good study techniques, and reading skills. The course uses a combination of lecture, discussion, field study, activities, projects and laboratory activities to communicate to students.

Course Length: All Year
Registration Policy: Required for Form A

 

Earth Science

This course, designed and honed over 45 years, meets five days a week and explores the science behind Earth’s surface, natural phenomena, and the solar system. There is an emphasis on developing science-process skills, reading skills, and study skills, and on building fundamental abilities in the sciences: observation, recording of data, naming and labeling, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of scientific facts. Students will learn to communicate information by acquiring a working technical vocabulary. By studying 30 chapters of Earth Science (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston 2012) over three trimesters, students will cover a multitude of topics, including: models of the Earth; Earth as a system; mapping the Earth; plate tectonics; deformation of the crust; earthquakes and volcanoes; rocks and minerals; weathering and erosion; geological time and fossils; ocean basins; ocean currents; atmosphere; weather and climate; stars and galaxies; the sun; the solar system; and the mood, tides, and calendars.

Course Length:  All Year
Registration Policy:  Required for Form I


Physical Science

This Form II class will lay the foundations for studies of chemistry and physics, including an instruction on the scientific method and the use of units and mathematics in science. Hands-on learning will be integrated through lab time and projects. Physics topics will include force and motion, forces and fluids, work and power, energy in all its forms, light, optics, electricity and magnetism. The section on chemistry will include properties and states of matter, atomic structure, the Periodic Table, chemical bonds and reactions, solutions, acids and bases, Carbon chemistry and nuclear chemistry.

Course Length: All Year
Registration Policy: Required for Form II


Chemistry

This course encompasses many of the major domains of chemistry and should adequately prepare students to take AP Chemistry later in their academic careers. Units of study include: data; matter; atomic structure; electrons; the periodic table; ionic compounds and metals; molecules; chemical reactions; moles; stoichiometry; gases; mixture and solutions; thermochemistry; reaction rates; chemical equilibrium; acids and bases; redox reactions; and, time permitting, electrochemistry. Laboratory work includes qualitative and quantitative analysis with an emphasis on experimental design.

Course Length: All Year
Registration Policy: Required for Form III


Physics

This algebra-based Physics course will build on topics introduced in Physical Science to understand the laws of motion. Topics will include an introduction to forces and vectors, kinematics, Newton’s Laws of Motion and Circular Motion, static equilibrium, energy, linear momentum, vibrations and wave motion. Over one-third of class time will be spent in lab or using computer-generated models to deepen understanding of physics concepts. By the end of the year, students will be adequately prepared to enroll in AP Physics, if they choose.

Course Length: All Year
Registration Policy: Required for Form IV
 

 

AP Biology

This biology course prepares the student for the Advanced Placement Biology exam and also for second level college biology courses. In depth reviews of biochemistry and molecular genetics complement general overviews on ecology, cell biology, evolution and taxonomy. Laboratory exercises reinforce the theoretical principles and allow hands-on experience in a wide variety of biological techniques. 

Course Length: All Year
Registration Policy: Prerequisites: Instructor Consent and Departmental Approval; Biology required for Form V (General Biology is also available)


AP Chemistry

This college level course prepares students for the AP Chemistry exam. This course is broad based, and enables students to study, in depth, topics from the following branches of chemistry: inorganic, physical, nuclear and organic. Laboratory work includes qualitative, volumetric, and gravimetric analyses. Volumetric determinations include redox and back titrations, and colorimetric determinations by the use of the spectrophotometer.

Course Length: All Year
Registration Policy: Prerequisites: Chemistry, Instructor Consent and Departmental Approval; Elective for Forms V & VI


AP Physics

This course is composed of two sub courses: AP Physics C Mechanics and AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism. AP Physics C courses cover material similar to two semesters of college physics for science and engineering majors. The first semester covers mechanics (kinematics, dynamics, gravitation, and oscillations). The second semester AP Physics C Electricity and magnetism covers electricity and magnetism, and finishes with Maxwell’s equations. Students will be prepared for both AP Physics C exams.

Course Length: All Year
Registration Policy: Prerequisites: Instructor Consent; Completion of AP Calculus BC I with concurrent enrollment in BC II; Elective for Form VI

 

AP Environmental Science

Designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, this course explores the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand and appreciate the ecological, economic, ethical , and aesthetic issues presented by the various interrelationships within our environment.

Course Length: 1 Semester
Registration Policy: Elective for Form V & VI

 

AP Computer Science

This course explores object-oriented programming methodology using the programming language Java. Independent exercises in problem solving and algorithm development will be emphasized as this course is meant to be the equivalent of a first-semester college-level course in Computer Science. Other content include the study of data structures, design, and abstraction. (Limited enrollment)

Course Length: 2 Semesters
Registration Policy: Elective for Forms V & VI



Introduction to Robotics

This fall semester course uses a hands-on approach to introduce the fundamental concepts of robotics. Using the Arduino Shield Bot, the class will learn basic coding, movement, and sensor platforms. This slowly trains the robot to interact with its environment. The class will consist of weekly exercises and multiple projects. At the end of the semester, all students will participate in a culminating in-class robotics competition as the final project.

Course Length: 1 Semester
Registration Policy: Elective for Forms V & VI

Advanced Robotics

This is a hands-on, project-based course in robotics. It’s a continuation of the study in Robotics I in terms of the sketch language and Arduino platform. The goals are to design, then build multiple Arduino (and other)-based robotics projects. Use of glue guns, soldering irons, wiring, breadboards, and code will be the norm in this course!

Course Length: 1 Semester
Registration Policy: Prerequisite: Introduction to Robotics; Elective for Forms V & VI

Introduction to Civil Engineering

In this introductory engineering course, the principles of mechanics are used to design and build a structure assigned by the instructor that will be sufficiently stable subject to predetermined load conditions. These student-directed projects will be designed and completed by student teams in consultation with the instructor. (Limited enrollment)

Course Length: 1 Semester
Registration Policy: Elective for Forms V & VI

Introduction to Chemical Engineering

In this introductory engineering course, the principles of chemistry are used to design and build an apparatus assigned by the instructor to conduct a chemical process and to examine the yield and usefulness of the process. (Limited Enrollment)

Course Length: 1 Semester
Registration Policy: Elective for Forms V & VI

Introduction to Electrical Engineering

In this introductory course, the principles of physics are used to design and construct a device that will safely accomplish a project assigned by the instructor. This student-directed project will be designed and completed by a student team in consultation with the instructor. (Limited enrollment)

Course Length: 1 Semester
Registration Policy: Elective for Forms V & VI

Introduction to Mechanical Engineering

In this introductory engineering course, the principles of statics, dynamics, and thermodynamics are used to design and construct a device that will safely perform an assigned function. These student-directed projects will be designed and completed by student teams in consultation with the instructor. (Limited enrollment)

Course Length: 1 Semester
Registration Policy: Elective for Forms V & VI

Biotechnology

Biotechnology is one of the fastest growing areas of science. This course investigates how technology combined with biology can be a powerful tool in many different areas. Students explore the fundamental principles of biotechnology and business applications. Units of study include: plant tissue culturing; plant and animal agriculture; DNA, RNA, and protein technologies; genetic diagnostics; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; food processing (GMO’s); fermentation technology; energy and environmental management; forensic science; cloning; stem cells; and bioethics. 

Anatomy and Physiology

Through the study of human anatomy, students will learn the various types of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems of the human body; how these parts function together; and, what happens when certain parts malfunction. Major units will include (but are not limited to) histology, the skeletal system, the muscular system, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, sensory organs, and the digestive system. Labs will consist of examining identifying tissues and cells under the microscope, identifying model or actual human body parts, and dissecting animals and organs that share features in common with humans.

 

Science & Technology Faculty
Mr. Bryan Taylor, Department Chair
Physics; AP Physics; Robotics I; AP Computer Science
M.P.S., Middle School Mathematics, George Washington University
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Colorado   
btaylor@saintanselms.org
Mr. Chris Battle
AP Biology, AP Environmental Science
B.A. Biology, Johns Hopkins University
cbattle@saintanselms.org
Dr. Anita Chernovitz
Chemistry; AP Chemistry
Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Syracuse University
B.S., Chemistry, Southern Connecticut State University 
achernovitz@saintanselms.org
Mrs. Kay Kalhorn
Life Science, Physical Science
M.S., Biology, Georgetown University
B.A., Physics, College of the Holy Cross
kkalhorn@saintanselms.org 
Ms. Sean Lane
Intro. Computers, Computer I
B.A., Art and Design Technology, Art Institute of Atlanta
B.S., Economics and Business, Florida A&M University
slane@saintanselms.org
Fr. Peter Weigand, OSB
Earth Science
M.T.S., Biology, Catholic University of America
B.D., Theology, Catholic University of America
B.A., Philosophy, Catholic University of America
pweigand@saintanselms.org
Dr. Herbert T. Wood
Introduction to Mechanical Engineering; Intro to Civil Engineering
Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison
B.Ch.E., Chemical Engineering, Catholic University of America
hwood@saintanselms.org