While the science department utilizes traditional teaching and assessment approaches (lecture, discussion, labs, quizzes, tests, lab reports, research papers, and oral presentations), it also employs innovative methods, centered on new technology and the rapidly changing information age in which we live. Current brain research informs our teaching and an increasing variety of methods is used to connect with the complex learning styles of students. Beliefs about teaching are necessarily tied to beliefs about learning. The wide range of student learning styles dictates the need for a variety of teaching methods, while we continue to acknowledge the importance of really knowing our students. Teachers maintain enduring personal relationships with students while having high expectations of their commitment to learning.
We ascribe to the belief that learning is active. Laboratory work, field work, research projects both on and off campus, independent projects, interdisciplinary projects, individual and team endeavors provide students in a science class experiences with active learning. The range of learning styles is acknowledged in all courses and is reflected in course offerings in all disciplines.
Because of small class size and ample resources, teachers can readily accommodate teaching styles and learning styles. Individually, each of our faculty remains mindful of the necessity to present and share in a variety of modes to make such information accessible to a wide range of students. Assignments are designed to provide all students, with their myriad of strengths and weaknesses, to both shine and struggle, understanding that both are valuable experiences to the personal growth of a student.
An appreciation of the beauty of the natural world, and the threats to these environments, is a central part of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to take courses in all three disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics) while we require three science courses, two year-long, one biological lab science and one physical lab science. Conceptual courses are offered for students who struggle with mathematical concepts. AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Physics are offered for students who desire the challenge of a college-level course and the opportunity to earn college credits by scoring high on the AP exam. Students can also pursue their interests in elective courses (Anatomy & Physiology, Marine Science, Environmental Science, and Forensics).