• Welcome to the Belle Vernon Area Science Curriculum Page
    Elementary Science Curriculum


    Kindergarten Science Curriculum Map                            First Grade Science Curriculum Map
    Second Grade Science Curriculum Map                           Third Grade Science Curriculum Map
    Middle School Science Curriculum

    Sixth Grade Science

    The sixth grade science program continues active investigations in physical science, life science, and environmental science.  The curriculum stresses an interdisciplinary approach and compares past, present, and future concepts of science and technology.

    Seventh Grade Science 

    The seventh grade general science course is designed to familiarize students with concepts in the realms of life science, earth science, technology, chemistry, and ecology.  The spectrum of concepts taught demands an interdisciplinary approach.  Multiple modes of presentation, motivation, and evaluation will be used.  Students will be expected to design experiments, synthesize hypotheses, collect, tabulate, and analyze data.  Students will be expected to decode, analyze, and paraphrase selected reading material.


    Eighth Grade Science

    Eighth grade is a general science intended to act as an introduction to chemistry, physics, earth, space, and ecology.  The course exposes students to properties of matter, laws of science, their worlds, and their place in the universe.  Course material could vary based upon time and student ability to grasp concepts.
    High School Science Curriculum


    This course is designed for students who have difficulty learning in the regular classroom, help students to understand basic biological principles and their applications to daily living. Areas of study will include microscopic investigation


    In this course, the student will become acquainted with many of the fundamental principles and ideas of biology. Questions such as: what is life; of what are living things composed; how do living things grow; and how do living things reproduce; will be investigated and discussed in this course. This information will bring the student to a closer and deeper understanding of life. Appropriate laboratory experiences will be integrated into the five (5) classes per week schedule.


    This course contains the same content as BIOLOGY 405 with selected topics to be covered in greater depth. ACCELERATED BIOLOGY 408 is offered to selected 9th grade students who have demonstrated exceptional performance in the middle school academic program. Enrollment is limited.


    Earth Science is the study of the earth and the universe around it. This branch of science is made up of four topics; geology (study of minerals, rocks and processes that shape the earth), oceanography, meteorology (study of the atmosphere), and astronomy (study of planets and space). Students will discover what forces shape the world around them. To achieve this goal, classes will investigate topics using their texts and computer activities. The students will also participate in group activities and research topics independently. A research project will be a required assignment for the class.


    General Chemistry is designed for the student who desires a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of chemistry. It is designed as a broad overview of many of the ideas, problems, and relationships in chemistry. It is not designed for a student intending to go into a four year program in science, engineering, or medicine. Note: A three-days-a-cycle lab accompanies this course.


    This course is for tenth grade students who have successfully completed biology and plan on entering a science, engineering, medical or health related field. The course will cover the structure of matter and how it affects the physical and chemical properties of matter. Emphasis will be on theoretical applications, equation writing and problem solving. Note: A three-days-a-cycle lab accompanies this course.


    This course is designed to serve as a solid foundation for the study of the Physical Sciences, specifically related to the fundamental concepts of Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, and Earth Science. Students will first be introduced to the history and nature of scientific study, as well as the ways in which to implement effective scientific methods. Major themes that will be investigated throughout the course include metric measurement, force and motion, simple machines, energy and waves, electricity and magnetism, properties and changes in matter, atomic composition, the universe and solar system composition, and ecology of the Biosphere. The overall purpose of this course is to develop inquiry and critical thinking skills within the context of authentic scientific study. Students will be asked to apply and analyze the information that they encounter as it relates to everyday situations. The course grade will be assessed based upon a combination of daily assignments, laboratory exercised, writing prompts, and quizzes and exams.


    Environmental Science is the study of the interactions of living organisms with each other and their environment. The main theme of the class is to discuss and debate the four main environmental problems that we now face: resource depletion, pollution/energy generation, overpopulation, and the loss of biodiversity/extinction. This course investigates through a multimedia/student-centered approach the environmental issues that challenge our society.


    This class is developed in two parts. The first semester is Microbiology, which is the study of microorganisms and other agents (bacteria, viruses, protista) that can be seen only with the aid of a microscope. During this semester the course will cover the various microscopic organisms, equipment, and techniques used by microbiologists. In addition, various diseases and uses (food and beverage) of microorganisms will be addressed. The second semester is Forensic Biology, a division of forensic science, which is the examination of biological evidence in the application to legal problems. Areas such as hair, fingerprints, blood, toxicology, and forensic anthropology will be covered. The content in class will be covered in a variety of ways ranging from traditional lecture, to web quests, lab activities, group activities, and diagnosing famous cases.


    Astronomy is the study of the physical universe. It deals with the structure, motions, and changes in the universe. This course is an introduction to astronomy. Topics to be covered include: the apparent motion of the stars; observing the skies; types of stars; the nuclear reactions that power stars; the life cycles of stars; the structure, properties, and motions of the bodies in the solar system, including the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc; and the structure of the universe; and cosmological theory. Emphasis will be placed on developing mathematical skills needed in the sciences, such as unit conversions, solving equations, and using scientific notation.


    This is an introductory physics course for those who are not planning to major in a scientific or technical subject in college, but are still interested in studying the patterns of nature. Topics will be selected from mechanics (the study of motion), optics (the study of light), wave theory, as well as other topics. Emphasis in this course is on both theoretical concepts and problem-solving. Some algebra will be used throughout the year as well as basic geometry and trigonometry to help explain theoretical concepts. Each subject area will include theory problems, demonstrations, and laboratory experiments. In addition, the students may be required to complete a project in which they apply the concepts learned in class. Note: A three-days-a-cycle lab accompanies this course.


    This particular aspect of Biology deals with Human Anatomy (the study of the human body structures) and Physiology (how the human body structures work). Throughout the year we will progress through the 12 organ systems by discussing their location, parts and functions and conclude with harm done to these systems due to the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs. The course includes dissection laboratory time that examines the 12 organ systems. This course is intended for juniors & seniors who plan to enter a health or medical related field.


    Organic chemistry introduces students to the chemistry of carbon compounds. Emphasis is on reactions of hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and natural organic compounds. Also covered are biochemistry, coordination chemistry and nuclear chemistry. The reactions, techniques, and procedures learned will be applied in lab exercises integrated into the 5 classes per week schedule at various points during the course. This course is recommended for anyone considering a career in chemistry, biology, medicine, pharmacy, or any health related field.


    This is an introductory physics course for those students planning to pursue a technical major in college such as chemistry, physics, engineering, or medicine. It will cover various topics in physics such as motion, heat, waves, optics, nuclear physics, or relativity with strong emphasis on both theoretical concepts and problem-solving. Extensive use of mathematics is made, including the quadratic formula, interpreting graphs, simultaneous equations, the Pythagorean theorem, trig, scientific notation, and other math skills. Each subject area will include theory, demonstrations, and laboratory experiments. In addition, each nine weeks the students may be required to complete a project in which they apply the concepts learned in class. Note: A three-days-a-cycle lab accompanies this course.


    Advanced Placement Biology provides an advanced science course taught on a college entry level. The basic text is a college freshman text. Course topics include: Biological chemistry; Cell structure and function; Molecular genetics; Heredity; Evolution; Plants; Animals; and Ecology. Laboratory activities include: Mitosis and Meiosis; Plant Pigments and Photosynthesis; Cell Respiration; Transpiration; Colony Transformation, Electrophoresis, Insect & Leaf collection, 4 independent studies - students design and conduct their own experiments. Requirement: Students enrolled in this course must take the AP Exam in May. The benefits of this exam are listed in the “PROGRAM OF STUDIES” section of this selection guide. A written & oral report on current event issue in Biology will also be done by the student in the second semester. Note: A three-days-a-cycle lab accompanies this course.


    This course is intended for students who will need chemistry in college. It covers in more depth the basic chemical principles learned in Honors Chemistry and introduces students to more advanced chemical concepts. Emphasis is on atomic structure, molecular structure, chemical equilibrium, solutions, acids and bases, kinetics, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. In the laboratory, emphasis is on qualitative and quantitative analysis. Laboratory reports are required for every experiment. Advanced placement college credit may be obtained from this course for those qualifying through the advanced placement testing program. Requirement: Students enrolled in this course must take the AP Exam in May, listed in the “PROGRAM OF STUDIES” section of this selection guide. Note: A three-days-a-cycle lab accompanies this course.


    This is the second year of mathematical physics for those who will be taking a technical major in college and want to prepare as thoroughly as possible. The emphasis in this course will be on classical electromagnetic field theory, including the behavior of charges and magnets, electric and magnetic fields, Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism, and electromagnetic waves. Advanced mathematical methods such as calculus, matrices, vector multiplication, and unit vectors will be used. Strong emphasis is placed on solving a variety of challenging problems. A two-days-a-week lab accompanies this course, and students will have the opportunity to carry out laboratory investigations such as measuring the charge and mass of the electron, as well as learning basic electronics, soldering, and circuit assembly. Note: A three-days-a-cycle lab accompanies this course. Note: PHYSICS 470 cannot be substituted as a prerequisite for PHYSICS II 492