Program Description

The high school Science Department provides programs for Earth/Space Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. The department provides a program consisting of lecture, discussions, projects, and laboratory experiments. The Science Department also offers learning outside of the classroom. These opportunities may take the form of outside projects, experiments, and various science competitions offered throughout the year.

General Policies

  1. Every student is required to take two full years of Science to graduate from Lake Zurich High School.
  2. A student in an honors course of study may continue to the next course in the sequence as long as they maintain a “B-” or better and are recommended by their teacher. A grade of “B-” must be maintained to remain in the present honors course of study class.
  3. A student may continue to the next course in the sequence as long as they maintain a “C” average or better and are recommended by their teacher. A grade of “D” must be maintained to remain in the current course of study class.
  4. AP Sciences refers to Advanced Placement Science classes. Lake Zurich High School offers college-level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Physics. Biology AP, Chemistry AP, and Physics AP C are double period classes and students completing this college level course will receive double credit. Environmental Science AP and Physics AP 1 are one credit, single period college level classes. Students must meet all the prerequisites for a particular class to enroll or request a waiver for the class.
  5. The Science Department Chair must approve all exceptions to this policy.

College-Bound Students

College-bound students are strongly recommended to take three or four full years of science classes. Students who aspire to study in science-related fields are strongly advised to take four full years of Science.

Students wishing to enroll in a second science should consider the following options: Anatomy, Earth Science, Biology II, or any appropriate A.P. Science for which the student has met the prerequisite.

The Science Department at Lake Zurich High School recommends the following course sequence for those students who are planning an emphasis in the sciences in college or have a strong aptitude in science.
Freshmen – Honors Biology, Sophomores – Honors Physical Science or Honors Chemistry, Juniors – Honors Chemistry or Physics AP I, Seniors – Physics AP I, AP Biology, or AP Chemistry, or AP Physics

Recommendation For Placement

  1. Based upon prerequisites and teacher recommendations, a student may change from one course of study to another course of study. It is crucial that a student master the concepts taught in an initial course before enrolling for the next course in the sequence.
  2. Recommendation for placement in any course is based on prerequisites, effort, motivation, and performance. Each teacher monitors these four aspects and considers them in making a recommendation for placement of the student for the following year. The Science Department Chair must approve all exceptions to this policy.
  3. Recommendation for placement of incoming freshmen is determined by separate criteria.
  4. Parents are welcome to contact the Guidance Department for further information about course descriptions or the Science Department Chair for placement.

Life Science/Physical Science Classification

Each student is required to take a minimum of one year of a physical science and a minimum of one year of a life science. The classifications are listed below.

Life Science Physical Science
Biology I S879 Physical Science S875
Biology I S401 Physical Science S427
Biology I Honors S411 Physical Science Honors S425
Anatomy/Physiology S437 Chemistry S433
Anatomy/Physiology Honors S439 Chemistry Honors S431
Biology II S443 Physics S445
Biology AP S449 AP Physics 1 S448
Environmental Science S415, S877* Chemistry AP S455
Environmental Science AP S419 * Physics AP S461
Environmental Science S415, S877 *
Environmental Science AP S419 *
Earth Science S417
Earth Science S874
Astronomy S421 (1 semester)


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD Science Electives Presentation PPT

S879 Biology I

Prerequisites: See Freshman Guidelines On Webpage
Open To: 9
1 Credit

Biology I is the study of living things and the life processes. The course focuses on science investigation through inquiry, the relationship of structure and function, the importance of diversity of life, Mendelian genetics, and the relationship of organisms to their environment. Laboratory units are taught from living materials or preserved specimens. Supplementary aids such as models, charts, and books (novels) are used to increase understanding of the subject material.
Modifications and adaptations to the course materials are created based on student need.

S401 Biology I

Prerequisites: See Freshman Guidelines On Webpage
Open To: 9
1 Credit

Biology I is the study of living things and the life processes. The course focuses on science investigation through inquiry, the relationship of structure and function, the importance of diversity of life, Mendelian genetics, and the relationship of organisms to their environment. Laboratory units are taught from living materials or preserved specimens. Supplementary aids such as models, charts, and books (novels) are used to increase understanding of the subject material.

S411 Biology I – Honors

Prerequisites: See Freshman Guidelines On Webpage
Open To: 9
1 Credit

Biology I – Honors is an in-depth study of the cell, cellular processes, the scientific method, genetics, evolution, and biotechnology. This is an English intensive course. Students are required to write analytical essays and formal lab reports (from scientific periodicals and other periodic literature found through student research). Both the laboratory work and the topics covered in this course are more extensive than that done in S409. A supplemental novel will be used.

S437 Anatomy And Physiology

Prerequisites: Biology I (S401) With A Grade Of “C” Or Better
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

Anatomy and Physiology is an introductory course in human anatomy and physiology. Students who want to know how their body is made and work, along with those who are preparing for any type of health-orientated career will find this course interesting and stimulating. A discussion of each system and organ of the body is introduced as well as its structure and function. Common clinical considerations of these organs are also discussed. Lab work focusing on lab specimens as well as on the students themselves will be performed.

S439 Anatomy And Physiology – Honors

Prerequisites: Biology I (S401) With A Grade Of “A” And Teacher Recommendation Or Biology I – Honors With A Grade Of “B”- Or Better
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

Anatomy and Physiology – Honors is an accelerated class in human anatomy and physiology. In addition to the regular curriculum for anatomy and physiology, the students are required to do hands-on activities, projects, and dissections. Students who enroll should have mastered the concepts in Honors Biology I.

S415 Environmental Science

Prerequisites: One Year Of Hs Science
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

Environmental Science is designed to study the field of environmental problems. Topics covered in the course include ecology, energy, conservation, pollution, waste disposal, and other problems that deal with the interactions between man and the earth. Special focus is given to those problems that tend to disrupt previously established global processes.

S877 Environmental Science

Prerequisites: One Year Of Hs Science
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

Environmental Science is designed to study the field of environmental problems. Topics covered in the course include ecology, energy, conservation, pollution, waste disposal, and other problems that deal with the interactions between man and the earth. Special focus is given to those problems that tend to disrupt previously established global processes.
Modifications and adaptations to the course materials are created based on student need.

S874 Earth Science

Prerequisites: Any Science Grade Of “C” Or Physical Science Grade Of “C”
Open To: 9, 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

Earth Science is a study of the history, processes and forces that shape our earth. Information on mapping, mountain building, fossils, and weather forecasting are covered. Other investigations involve erosion, oceanography, floods, and earthquakes as well as studies of rocks, minerals, archeology, and paleontology. Studying and understanding problems faced in the past prepare students for the challenge of solving the problems confronting us today.
Modifications and adaptations to the course materials are created based on student need.

S417 Earth Science

Prerequisites: Any Science Grade Of “C” Or Physical Science Grade Of “C”
Open To: 11, 12
1 Credit

This laboratory course covers all of the Earth and space sciences: astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography. The curriculum explores some of the most profound questions in science such as the origin and evolution of planet Earth, our place in the universe, and whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. Special focus is given to each of our planet’s subsystems – water, air, land, and ice – and to the dynamic processes by which they interact. This course investigates the processes of nature that create valuable resources and produce natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes. This course also explores some of the most pressing issues in science today such as the impact of anthropogenic activities on our planet, particularly in our atmosphere and oceans, and what steps can be taken to remedy the problems that have been created. The integration of scientific principles with technology and engineering concepts occurs throughout the course in the form of design challenges. Through the study of geoscience, students will learn and apply basic chemistry, physics, and biology concepts to explain and understand natural phenomena.

S419 Environmental Science AP

Prerequisites: One Year Of Hs Science
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

The purpose of this 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, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Themes covered include: science is a process, energy conversions underlie all ecological processes, the earth itself is one interconnected system, humans alter natural systems, environmental problems have a cultural and social context, human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainable systems.

S421 Astronomy

Prerequisites: Any Science Course With A Grade Of “C”
Open To: 10, 11, 12
.5 Credit

Astronomy is an introductory course that covers the constellations, planets, stellar evolution, galaxies, our sun, the moon, life in the universe, UFO’s, and cosmology. This course is recommended for those students who do not take physics, but desire to learn some fundamental concepts of physics in a course that does not require the advanced math skill of the physics course.

S875 Physical Science

Prerequisites: Biology I (S879) With Grade Of “C”
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

This course covers topics of Physical Science, including Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science. Physical Science is a skill-based course that uses scientific inquiry and laboratory investigations to teach the skills necessary for success in science. This course is designed with the emphasis in reading and math skills.
Modifications and adaptations to the course materials are created based on student need.

S427 Physical Science

Prerequisites: Biology (S401) – With Grade Of “C”
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

This course covers topics of Physical Science, including Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science. Physical Science is a skill-based course that uses scientific inquiry and laboratory investigations to teach the skills necessary for success in science. This course is designed with the emphasis in reading and math skills.

S425 Physical Science – Honors

Prerequisites: Biology (S401) With Grade Of “B”
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

This course covers topics of Physical Science, including Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science. Physical Science is a skill-based course that uses scientific inquiry and laboratory investigations to teach the skills necessary for success in science. This course emphasizes science literacy through applied math as well as applied writing and research skills used in science. This is an intense course designed for highly motivated students with accelerated math, science, and reading skills.

S443 Biology II

Prerequisites: Biology I (S401) And Physical Science (S427) With A Grade Of “C” Or Better In Both
Open To: 11, 12
1 Credit

Biology II is a course designed for the student who has an interest in life science that extends beyond Biology I. The goal of this course is to foster this interest through application of conceptual ideas to many advanced laboratory exercises to provide a thorough coverage of living things. Biology II will guide the student from the simplest unicellular organisms to those that are multi-cellular and more complex. By taking this course, the student will gain a true understanding and appreciation for the diversity of living organisms on Earth.

S433 Chemistry

Prerequisites: Physical Science (S427) With A “C”
Open To: 11, 12
1 Credit

This course meets all the requirements of a first-year study of Chemistry. Emphasis is placed on mastery of the language, math skills and fundamental concepts of Chemistry that are necessary for any continued study in this field. Topics covered are: matter and energy, phases of matter, atomic structure, chemical bonding, formulas and equations and solutions. Kinetics and equilibrium, acids and bases and oxidation-reduction are optional topics covered as time permits. Laboratories and demonstrations are provided to aid the student in acquiring skills in making observations of chemical substance and reactions, recording data, and calculating and interpreting results. This course is designed to fully meet the needs of most college-bound students.

S431 Chemistry – Honors

Prerequisites: Physical Science Honors (S425) With A Grade Of “B”
Open To: 10, 11, 12
1 Credit

Chemistry – Honors covers the same material as Chemistry. However, this course is specifically designed for students with a strong math background who are capable of accelerated study in their initial course in chemistry.

S445 Physics CP

Prerequisites: Physical Science (S427) With A Grade Of “C”
Open To: 11, 12
1 Credit

Physics involves the continuing study of natural phenomena, primarily concerned with moving bodies, inertia, momentum, projectile motion, circular motion, kinetic and potential energy, dynamics (forces), sound, light, as well as modern theories. This course is designed as a first physics course for the student who may or may not want to continue in the scientific discipline.

S449 Biology – AP

Prerequisites: Biology I (S401) With A Grade Of “A” And Chemistry I With A Grade Of “B”-Or Better Biology I – Honors And Chemistry I Both With A Grade Of “B” Or Better
Open To: 11, 12
2 Credits

Advanced Placement Biology is an in-depth study into the chemistry, processes, cell structures and the functions of the cell and their effects on the cellular and organism levels. Investigations explore the areas of cell biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution. Advanced techniques in gel electrophoresis, microscopy, colorimetry, and biochemistry are included. Students interested in careers in the sciences, nursing, medicine, health, dentistry, and biology would find this course very helpful. This course also prepares students for the College Placement Test in Biology. Students are required to attend four field trips, which they choose from among the trips offered. Field trips are scheduled on weekend days rather than during the school day. This class will be scheduled for two periods – five days a week. Only students with a B- or better in the prerequisite science and math courses should consider enrolling in this class. Contact the teacher or Science Department Chair for further information.

S455 Chemistry – AP

Prerequisites: Chemistry – Honors (S431) With A Grade Of B-Or Better
Open To: 11, 12
2 Credits

Advanced Placement Chemistry is designed to prepare the student to take the Advanced Placement Examination (offered each May) for earning advanced placement status and/or credit in the freshman year of college. The Advanced Placement chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of a first-year college-level general chemistry course. The topics covered include: atomic theory and structure, chemical bonding, nuclear chemistry, kinetic-molecular theory, states of matter, solutions, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, thermochemistry, and electrochemistry. The laboratory enables the student to acquire experience with glass working, filtration, titration, collection and handling of gases, colorimetry, potentiometric measurements, synthesis of compounds and analysis of unknown mixtures or compounds, acids, bases, and salts. On average, one double period per week will be spent in the laboratory setting doing experiments. Emphasis is placed on quantitative experimentation requiring a high degree of precision. Successful completion of the exam enables the student to receive college credit for general chemistry or advanced placement in chemistry upon enrollment at a participating college or university. The course syllabus for LZHS AP Chemistry has been approved by the College Board. Therefore, AP Chemistry at Lake Zurich is included on the College Board of approved course list (meets or exceeds College Board requirements) which is sent to colleges and universities.
This class will be scheduled for two periods – five days a week. Only students with a “B”- or better in the prerequisite science and math courses should consider enrolling in this class. Contact the teacher or Science Department Chair for further information.

S448 AP Physics 1

Prerequisites: Physical Science Honors (S425) With A Grade Of “B”
Open To: 11, 12
1 Credit

Advanced Placement Physics 1 is 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 also introduces electric circuits.

S461 Physics – AP – Calculus

Prerequisites: Physics I – Honors And Pre-Calculus Both With A Grade Of “B”-Or Better Corequisites: Calculus
Open To: 12
2 Credits

This Calculus-based course is designed for students who wish to pursue a college degree in a science or engineering field. The course will prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Physics – C Examination (offered each May) for earning advanced placement status and/or credit in their freshman year of college. An in-depth study of mechanics, electricity and magnetism is the primary focus of the course. This class will be scheduled for two periods – five days a week. Only students with a “B” or better in the prerequisite science and math courses should consider enrolling in this class. Contact the teacher or Science Department Chair for further information.