Our objective is to give students a better understanding of the natural world. We train students to think critically and communicate clearly about scientific topics, we encourage curiosity and experimentation, and we teach techniques and technologies that are most useful in scientific research.

JAN COOK, Department Head


Sample Courses:

Material Science

In this course, students examine materials from the nanoscale to the macroscopic as they learn about crystal lattice bonding, manufacturing techniques, and real-world applications. Students complete a variety of laboratory experiences and projects of their own design. An understanding of material properties is crucial to engineering and recommended for students going into STEM fields.

Cell and Molecular Biology

The bedrock of disciplines ranging from medicine to bioengineering, modern molecular biology is the study of how genes in a cell guide the production of biomolecules needed for life. In this laboratory-based course, students explore how molecular biology can be harnessed to understand the nature of disease, produce targeted therapies, and engineer new biotechnologies.

Chemistry of Food

Have you ever wondered why chili peppers burn your tongue or what the difference is between saturated and unsaturated fats? What happens when bread rises, when eggs cook, or when a banana ripens? All of these involve structural chemical changes or chemical reactions. Students who enjoyed chemistry the first time around will benefit from the chance to explore these real applications of chemistry that are centrally important to our daily lives. In this course students study the components of food, explore commercial and home processing of food, and learn how food is transformed by various cooking techniques. Readings, tastings, field trips, and lab activities will be used to enhance student understanding of this vitally important part of life.

Environmental Science

This laboratory course investigates major environmental issues, which may include global warming, recycling of materials, air pollution, acid rain, quality of drinking water, and various other environmental toxins. Supplementing class work are field studies and trips that emphasize a hands-on interdisciplinary approach to environmental assessment. Open to fifth and sixth form students who have completed one year of a laboratory science.

Topics in Engineering

This introductory course is designed to provide students with an overview of some of the major engineering principles and applications, as well as an opportunity to implement those principles through experimentation, design-based projects, and presentations. The course will introduce new mathematical concepts to improve their understanding of how real-world systems are designed, modeled, and fabricated.