AP Program: Science
The Science Department is proud to offer AP-level courses in three subjects:
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics
In addition, high-performing students in Honors Physics are prepared for and encouraged to take the AP Physics B exam.
The Department concurs with the recommendation of the College Board that AP Science courses be offered as second-year courses, after a student has completed a broad introduction to the subject in a first-year course. Students who wish to take several AP Science or elective courses are encouraged to enroll in summer introductory courses in Chemistry and/or Physics. The Department also concurs with the recommendation of the College Board that we open up AP Science enrollment to a larger body of students -- even if doing so means a lower overall pass rate -- in order to expose more students to the rigors of college-level work.
The goals of the Science Department with regards to AP courses are twofold: to increase student comprehension and AP pass rate, but also to bring as many students as possible into the AP and science elective program who might not otherwise take a 4th year science course. With this in mind, the department set a target goal for pass rates:
- minimum equal to the national pass rate. Average scores 20% above the national pass rate would represent an exceptional program.
At the same time, the department aims for year-to-year growth in the numbers of students taking AP or non-AP elective courses in science. A growth rate sufficient to achieve student enrollment for two sections of each AP or non-AP science elective course would represent an exceptional program. The data and analysis of this goal are ongoing and, since they involve non-AP courses, will be presented elsewhere. )
Physics 1 (formerly Physics B)
Physics B is a voluntary exam. The Honors Physics class uses the Physics B curriculum but does not do in-class test preparation.
Between 2003 and 2009, Physics C students took two exams--Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism. Prior to 2003 and starting again in 2010, they only took the Mechanics exam.