Belmont High School Program of Studies
The scientific and technological revolution occurring today requires the average person to understand and use a wide variety of scientific concepts to assess the value and implications of the developments of the revolution. The science department intends to aid students in their ability to access, analyze and use these developments in the following ways:
- Develop within students a broad base of knowledge in the sciences by providing science related information.
- Develop within students the ability to think independently and critically, problem-solve creatively, work cooperatively and communicate effectively and clearly concerning matters of a scientific nature.
- Develop within students the ability to "find the answer" among the ever growing volumes of scientific information.
The high school science department has undergone major curriculum revisions during the past several years and is continuing to revise its curriculum and develop new courses. The curriculum development and revision occurring at the high school is designed to reflect changes suggested by the American Association of the Advancement of Science, the National Science Teachers Associations, the National Science Education Standards and the Massachusetts Science, Technology and Engineering Frameworks.
A core curriculum of biology, physics, and chemistry is offered at a variety of levels along with an integrated science approach to science that uses thematic units that connect the various science disciplines. Along with the core courses, the department also offers many advanced placement courses and electives that provide for advanced areas of science to be studied. These courses include advanced placement environmental science, advanced placement psychology and neuroanatomy, advanced placement chemistry, physics and biology.
- disease and medicine, and
- anatomy and physiology
that are open to students regardless of level or ability.
Science courses are designed to emphasize the interrelationships of biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. Classes also require an active involvement on the part of the student to develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving techniques, experimentation, observation and analyzation skills and the ability to communicate these ideas clearly.
Technology education classes are currently being developed to provide the student with opportunities to enhance problem solving techniques and critical thinking skills. The intent of these courses is to aid students with rapidly emerging technologies that are available as problem solving, communication and research tools. Currently, the department offers a computer assisted design (CAD) class.
A comprehensive health curriculum is offered at the high school. This curriculum provides students an opportunity to investigate, discuss, role-play topics of concern to them. Issues involving self-esteem, drugs, alcohol and tobacco and their affects, dating, peer pressure, eating disorders and human physical growth are discussed.
It is hoped that the science, health, technology and engineering department will be able to redirect the focus of student learning from memorization of facts to inquiry and application of acquired information. Curricular activities are designed to provide opportunities for this shift in learning to occur. Course revisions have already produced some improvements along these lines and it is anticipated that these improvements will continue to increase students understanding of the highly scientific and technological literate society in which they live.