Course Descriptions

  • Astronomy - #S402301 ( .5 Yr )

    This one semester course covers both astronomy - the study of the universe beyond the earth - and meteorology - the study of the earth’s atmosphere and weather.Topics in astronomy include stars, galaxies, the sun, and the planets and their moons.Topics in meteorology include the earth’s atmosphere, humidity, weather fronts, climate, and the issue of global warming.The course includes several visits to the Como Elementary School Planetarium.


    Biology - #S406111

    In this class we will explore living things from bacteria to tulips to whales. We will look at life from a molecular level, to cells, to whole organisms, and interactions between organisms. We will do lots of comparing and connecting to ourselves and to other living things. Units include scientific method, safety, biochemistry, cells, energy processes, genetics, DNA, evolution, ecology, and some human biology. Students will learn through labs, lectures, discussions, activities, and group and individual projects. Organization and record keeping will be stressed. This year-long course covers the Minnesota State Life Science Standards 9-12 and the successful completion of this course fulfills the state graduation requirement for biology.


    Accelerated Biology - #S436111

    Honors level credit - Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation. 

    Pre-AP Biology is recommended for those students who want a more challenging, face-paced course. It goes into more depth and requires more aggressive study habits than general biology. The class is designed to guide students through investigations of all aspects of living organisms and prepare them for AP Biology and other higher level biology classes. Studies include cell biology, cell energy, biochemistry, genetics, evolution, ecology and animal systems. Students will gain an appreciation of diversity and unity in the living world, and they will build process skills in labs, lectures, projects, activities, presentations and discussions.This year-long class covers the Minnesota State Life Science Standards 9-12 and the successful completion of this course fulfills the state graduation requirement for biology.


    AP Biology - #S456121

    Honors level credit - Prerequisite: One year of biology and teacher recommendation.

    The two main goals of AP Biology are to help students develop a higher-level conceptual framework for modern biology and to prepare them to pass the AP Biology exam given by the College Board. AP Biology is designed for students who were successful in the first year of biology and really enjoy a challenge! Students will both broaden and deepen their understanding of the topics covered in Pre-AP Biology.The course covers: Molecules and Cells (25%), Heredity and Evolution (25%), and Organisms and Populations (50%) and includes 12 required labs.This is a demanding course requiring an average of approximately 8-10 hours of reading, study, and lab work each week. Students will take the College Board’s AP exam in May.


    Chemistry - #S404111

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of one year of Biology. Recommended: Successful completion or concurrently enrolled in Algebra II.

    This course is a study of the basic principles and concepts of chemistry. Students will learn through class discussions, hands on lab activities, and group projects. The areas of study include chemical measurement, atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, the liquid, solid, and gaseous states, and solution chemistry.


    Accelerated Chemistry - #S434111

    Honors level credit - Prerequisite: Successful completion (or concurrently enrolled in) Algebra II and teacher recommendation.

    This is a comprehensive course in chemistry, designed to prepare students for the rigors of Chemistry AP. This course will cover such topics as measurement, atomic structure, the periodic table, chemical bonds, molecular shapes, writing and balancing chemical equations, the mole, stoichiometry, gas laws and thermo-chemistry. Both quantitative and qualitative aspects of chemical behavior are studied in-depth. Laboratory work is an integral part of the course. Critical thinking and problem solving skills often involving mathematic applications are addressed on a daily basis. A scientific calculator is required.


    AP Chemistry - #S454121

    Honors level credit - Prerequisite: The successful completion of first year chemistry and a teacher recommendation.

    This course is a second year course and is the equivalent to an introductory college chemistry course. Students must be self-motivated because a lot of work outside of the classroom is required.Students will work on advance topics such as acids and bases, electrochemistry, kinetics, equilibriums, and thermodynamics. Laboratory work is central to the course and many experiments will be performed.Students will prepare to take the College Board's AP exam in May.A scientific calculator is required, although a graphing calculator is highly recommended.


    Environmental Science - #S403111

    Students in Environmental Science explore our natural world and how humans fit into it. We begin by investigating important questions about global ecosystems. How does nature work? What do organisms need to survive and reproduce? We continue our investigation by adding the “human element”. How do humans use or abuse land, water and air? What does this mean for our quality of life today and for our future? Students will tackle the major environmental issues of our time such as; habitat destruction and species extinction, global warming, air and water pollution, land use, over population and energy use. Students will strive to create positive solutions to improve the natural environment that humans depend on for our quality of life. Recycling and other service learning projects are a major component of this class.


    AP Environmental Science - #S453111

    Honors level credit - Prerequisites: Successful completion of both Biology and Chemistry and teacher recommendation.

    The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study including the interconnections of Earth, energy, natural systems and technology. As with all AP courses, the work is college level. An integral part of the course is laboratory work in the classroom and field work in the Como Woodlands area. Students prepare to take the College Board's AP exam in May.


    Physical Science 9 - #S401111

    In this course, we will cover the basic principles of physics and chemistry. The concepts and skills learned in Fundamentals of Science are essential for doing well in future science courses at Como Park.Topics include the following physics concepts motion, forces, buoyancy, pressure, electricity, and energy ; the following chemistry concepts will also be covered: the nature of matter, the structure of the atom, elements, compounds, and chemical reactions. Applicable earth science standards are also covered.Students will learn important science skills such as the use and interpretation of graphs, conversion of scientific units, the use of equations to solve problems and the application of scientific concepts to everyday problems.


    Geology - #S402201 ( .5 Yr )

    This course will investigate the structure and history of the solid earth and the processes that shape it. Topics include earth chemistry, minerals, rocks, resources, plate tectonics, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Students will learn through classroom discussions, hands-on experiments and activities, and group projects.


    Physics - #S405111

    Prerequisite: Successful completion or concurrent enrollment in Algebra II. 

    This course examines the fundamental concepts of physics, focusing on the early development and progress of science, the nature of the scientific method, and the significance of scientific understanding in every day situations. Topics include Newton’s Laws of Motion, wave properties of sound and light, heat, and the structure of matter. The study is quantitative in nature, with the use of the metric system and laboratory exercises that parallel the subject matter.


    CIS Physics (PHYS 1101W Introduction to College Physics at the University of Minnesota)

    Honors level credit - Prerequisite: Grades of A or B in Algebra II.
    Physics 1101 is the first semester of a two-semester introduction to physics. The main emphasis will be on the branch of physics known as mechanics. This is the study of motion and the causes of motion through the applications of fundamental principles of physics. We will study motion, forces, and energy concepts, and become incredible problem solvers. By the end of this semester, you should have a deeper understanding of the phenomena occurring in your surrounding physical world. In addition, you should be more competent at measurement and quantitative reasoning concerning physical processes.  This class also serves as writing-enriched course at the U of MN.


    AP Physics C - #S455131

    Honors level credit - Prerequisites: Successful completion or concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus AB or higher and teacher recommendation.

    AP Physics C is a calculus-based course, which is equivalent to the first two semesters of introductory college physics that is required for students wishing to major in the physical sciences or engineering. It covers mechanics, kinematics, Newton’s laws, work and energy, rotation, gravitation, harmonic motion, and electricity and magnetism, including Maxwell’s equations and time-dependent circuits. Laboratory investigation is an important component in AP Physics C. Upon successful completion of AP Physics C, students will be prepared to take the two national exams in May.