Science

Science literacy helps us understand and shape our daily lives. It helps us as we interact with our environment, asking questions and seeking answers.

Literacy in science, however, is much more than just reading and writing. It involves understanding the impact science has on our world and provides an opportunity to debate issues through written, oral or visual presentations. This gives students opportunities to read, write, defend and communicate their findings in meaningful ways, while helping raise science awareness.

By doing labs every 8 days and combining active, hands-on/minds-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning experiences with research and problem-solving opportunities, we’re helping the students at Fairfield Prep build an understanding of what it means to know science and apply it to living. Doing science develops our ability to ask questions, collect information, organize and test our ideas, problem-solve and apply what we learn. Even more, science offers a powerful platform for building confidence, developing communication skills and making sense of the world around us – a world that is increasingly shaped by science and technology.

 

- Ms. Deborah Kiel
Science Department Chair

Three years of science is required for all students.

Mathematics Courses

Biology

This course fulfills the first year science requirement for all Prep students and the Connecticut state requirement for biology.

The objective of the course is to allow the student to grasp the fundamental principles which govern the various processes that are characteristic of living things. Major topical units include: the scientific method, classification of organisms, structure and function of cells, genetics, evolution and human biology. The laboratory component of the course includes investigations intended to provide hands-on experiences and reinforce the concepts learned in class. These include microscopy, bio­chemical tests and possibly some dissection.

Honors Biology

Honors Biology will explore the same topics included in Biology at a faster pace and in more depth and detail. Independent work will be required of the students.
 
Department Approval Required

Physics

Our beginning physics course is designed to provide students with the basic concepts and principles of physics. Topics for the first semester will typically include the fundamentals of motion, forces, energy and momentum. The second semester topics will typically include wave theory that leads to the understanding of sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Also included will be some modern physics leading to a basic understanding of nuclear reactions, radioactivity, lasers, quarks, superconductivity and other recent discoveries. Laboratory work is an integral part of the course and will provide hands-on understanding of the concepts.

Prerequisite: Biology

Honors Physics

Honors Physics will explore the same topics included in Physics (see above), but will examine the concepts and principles in more depth. The mathematical aspect of the course will be considerably more demanding than physics, particularly the derivation and use of mathematical formulas to describe and explain physical phenomena.

Prerequisite: Biology.
Course requires department approval.

Chemistry

This course will provide an introductory survey of the principles that govern chemical changes. Included will be an examination of atomic structure, chemical periodicity, bonding, molecular structure, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, solutions, equilibrium, thermochemistry, electrochemistry, nuclear reactions and organic chemistry. The lab component will provide hands-on experience with the concepts and principles studied.

Prerequisite: Physics or Honors Physics

Honors Chemistry

Honors Chemistry will cover the same topics as Chemistry (see above), but with a greater emphasis on integration of topics and problem solving as a means of demonstrating concepts. The course will require a deeper understanding of the principles, as well as more independent work than expected in chemistry.

Prerequisite: Physics or Honors Physics
Course requires department approval.

AP Biology

The AP Biology course is equivalent to a two-semester college introductory Biology course and has been endorsed enthusiastically by higher education officials. Students who earn high scores on the AP Biology exam may be able to earn university credit, placement in an Honors Program, or both. AP Biology is designed to enable students to develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills, such as designing a plan for collecting data, analyzing data, applying mathematical routines, and connecting concepts in and across domains. The result will be readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses — a goal of every AP course. Content, inquiry, and reasoning are equally important in AP Biology; therefore, each learning objective combines content with inquiry and reasoning skills described in the science practices.
 

Prerequisite Biology, Physics and Chemistry

AP Physics I

AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: kinematics; dynamics; circular motion and gravitation; energy; momentum; simple harmonic motion; torque and rotational motion; electric charge and electric force; DC circuits; and mechanical waves and sound.
 
Prerequisite Biology, Physics and Chemistry

AP Chemistry

This course is a university level laboratory science course designed for students who have an interest in a science related major. This inorganic chemistry course includes both the lecture and laboratory components of a two‐semester college program. Students will be prepared for the AP Chemistry exam in May. Students who earn high scores on the AP Chemistry exam may be able to earn university credit, placement in an Honors Program, or both. Topics covered in AP Chemistry (the study of matter and its changes) include: chemical change, energy, stoichiometry, quantum mechanics, periodicity, bonding, molecular structure, gas laws, nuclear physics, solutions, kinetics, thermodynamics, equilibrium, chemical reactions, and electrochemistry.

 

Prerequisite Biology, Physics and Chemistry

Environmental Science

Environmental Science provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems, to evaluate the relative risks of these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. The course will focus on the real science behind environmental problems and issues. There is a laboratory component of the course that requires off-campus travel to the sites of local field trips. There are also in-school laboratory activities.

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Our Science Faculty

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Mr. Anthony Dotolo

Mr. Anthony Dotolo

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Science
Mr. Robert Ford

Mr. Robert Ford

Titles: Teacher, Varsity Cross Country Coach, Varsity Cross Country Coach
Departments: Science
Mrs. Julie Fragnito

Mrs. Julie Fragnito

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Science
Mrs. Deborah Kiel

Mrs. Deborah Kiel

Titles: Department Chair, Teacher
Departments: Science
Mrs. Jane O'Reilly

Mrs. Jane O'Reilly

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Science