The SHS Science Program consists of courses and experiences designed to allow students to develop scientific literacy and to experience empirical inquiry as a method of investigation. Emphasis is placed on the process of science so that students can discover and interpret scientific knowledge and develop attitudes and interests that can be applied in making decisions in an age influenced by science and technology. Laboratory-based science courses provide students with opportunities to develop scientific reasoning and inquiry skills while mastering rigorous content. Laboratory-based experiences provide opportunities for students to formulate testable questions, design investigations, safely use instruments, tools and materials to collect and analyze data, and discuss findings.
Successful completion of one Science MCAS exam is a graduation requirement. Students who have not yet fulfilled this requirement must be enrolled in a full-year MCAS testable science course, which includes the biology, chemistry, and physics courses. Students who have fulfilled their science graduation requirement may take a one semester MCAS Prep class in lieu of a full-year science course. It may be necessary to adjust the course sequence and to provide remediation for students who have not passed an MCAS Science exam.
The Science Department offers a wide range of classes not only in the traditional subject areas of physics, chemistry and biology but also in the areas of engineering, biotechnology, and the environment. For more detailed descriptions of the classes below consult the Somerville High School Program of Studies.