High School Science

Our advanced science track is a three-year, rotating sequence for students in high school. Each major scientific subject is offered every three years. 


HIGH SCHOOL biology - 2016-2017 

COURSE OVERVIEW 

The Biology Sequence at QuantumCamp focuses on the basic concepts and theories in modern biology. Through a series of hypothesis-driven experiments, hands-on activities, and active independent studies, students are going to develop ideas on the following topics:

Plant and animal anatomy, Origin of life and the theory of evolution, Organism, population and ecosystem, Chemistry of carbon, Basic organic chemistry, Chemistry of macromolecules in life, Cellular structure, Cell activities and basic mechanisms, Classic genetics, Molecular genetics: DNA, RNA, protein and phenotype

FALL – MOLECULAR AND Cell Biology

Using optical microscopes with magnification up to 1600x, students are going to investigate major cell types and their cellular structure. They are expected to unveil the cell cycle themselves without any information given by the instructor, just like scientists did when making discoveries from the 1920s to 1950s! The class will also explore major cell activities including proliferation, photosynthesis and respiration, differentiation, and cell aging and death.

WINTER – ECOLOGY

From this course, students will find out why carbon is so unique in the chemistry of life. With a good understanding of carbon-centered chemical bonds, students will construct common macromolecules found in living things and explore the properties of these molecules.

SPRING – BIOMIMETICS  

In this course, students will follow Gregor Mendel and Thomas Morgan's discoveries in classic genetics into modern molecular genetics. Classic genetics studies Mendelian inheritance and the chromosome theory of inheritance developed by Morgan. DNA, RNA, protein and phenotype are the core concepts of molecular genetics, which studies the structure and function of genes at a molecular level.


High School chemistry - 2017-2018

COURSE OVERVIEW

Using history as our guide, students embark on a journey of discovery which illuminates the the major concepts of chemistry. It is on the level of an introductory high school chemistry course and is perfect as a preparation for an AP chemistry course. The whirlwind of ideas presented in most AP science courses will have meaning and context for your student. The AP material will become very digestible. 

FALL – Thermochemistry

Students answer the question "Why does chemistry happen?" Intensive explorations rooted in the technique of calorimetry lead students on a path of discovery which ultimately brings them to a concept called free energy and the means by which to answer such a fundamental question.

Topics: calorimetry, heat capacity, heat of fusion, heat of vaporization, bond energy, state functions, enthalpy change, Hess's law, heat of formation, 1st law of thermo, kinetic theory, entropy, 2nd law of thermo, Gibbs free energy

WINTER – Physical Chemistry

The plot of the story of chemistry thickens during this quarter as the students uncover and document various conditions that impact chemistry. Through these investigations one of the most profound ideas in chemistry is realized - there are different types of chemical bonds.

Topics:  molarity, molality, mole fraction, equilibrium constant, reaction quotient, Le Chatelier, reaction rate, rate law, activation energy, catalysts, reaction mechanism, boiling point elevation, freezing point depression, vapor pressure lowering, osmotic pressure, law of mass action

SPRING – The Chemical Bond

The ultimate question can now be addressed. What is the true nature of the chemical bond?

Topics: solubility product, solubility rules, common ion effect, Arrhenius acid and base, Bronsted-Lowry acid and base, Lewis acid and base, pH, weak acids, strong acids, Kw, buffers, titration, oxidation states, oxidation-reduction, reduction potentials, voltage and spontaneity, voltage and equilibrium, electron energy levels, atomic spectra, quantum numbers, atomic orbitals, atomic radii, ionization energy, electron affinity, electronegativity, Lewis structure, VSEPR, molecular geometry, nuclear chemistry


HIGH SCHOOL Physics - 2018-2019

Advanced Physics Expectations – Advanced Physics is designed with the following assumptions of student knowledge: 

  • Proficiency with Scientific Notation
  • Proficiency in solving for unknowns in equivalent ratios
  • Proficiency in solving for unknowns in algebraic equations
  • Proficiency in finding the equation of a line
  • Exposure to Algebra 2 topics
    • solving for unknowns in systems of equations
    • solving for unknowns in quadratic equations
  • Exposure to exponential and logarithmic functions (very minimal exposure assumed)

 

COURSE OVERVIEW 

Throughout these three courses, students will track three big, parallel ideas in physics. In the first session, Mechanics and Motion, the ideas of Galileo and Newton are the focus. While we approach the topic conceptually, the goal for high school students is to become comfortable with the mathematics of motion and energy. Thermal Physics is the topic of the second session. The analysis of pumps and engines amazingly leads to theories of atomic physics. Students follow this historical flow in Thermal Physics.  Lastly, in Electromagnetism students probe the nature of electricity, magnetism, and light and discover the unexpected commonality of these three phenomena.   

FALL – Mechanics and Motion

Students begin this journey by establishing the basic physical principles that define motion. They will be able to see and analyze first hand exactly the fundamental principles of motion.

Topics: 1-d motion, 2-d motion, Newton's Laws of Motion, work, energy, power, momentum, circular motion and rotation, oscillations, gravity

COURSE SYLLABUS

WINTER – OPtics and Waves

Waves phenomena form the foundation for the science of optics, lights, and electromagnetism. Students follow the experiments which lead to a complete theory of optics and waves.

Topics: mirrors, lens, ray diagrams, parts of a wave, mathematics of waves, applications of wave

COURSE SYLLABUS

SPRING – Electromagnetism

In perhaps one of the most interesting courses offered at our school, students will learn the inner workings of electricity and magnetism. Discovery ranges from charged objects to their bizarre interaction with magnetic fields.

Topics: Coulomb's law, electric field, potential, conductors, capacitance, parallel plate capacitor, current, resistance, power, DC circuits, capacitors, magnetic fields, induction.