Science

Our young innovators eagerly anticipate the changing colors and states of matter inside their flasks. They discover secrets of life in microscopic worlds. They plunge into the enigma of electric motor engineering. Science does more than reveal our world to us. It reveals the questions that challenge us to reveal our world to each other.


Science Courses

(203) Physical Science (9- lab course)
Throughout this course, students discover the relationship between the physical sciences and daily life by exploring the fundamentals of chemistry, biology, and physics to prepare them for full year classes in these areas. Lab activities and individual and group projects will be more in-depth and complex than the middle school science experience. Fulfills lab course requirement.

(213) Biology (9-10 - lab course)
Biology is the larger umbrella under which the study of living things occurs. This course serves as a gateway to understanding scientific interactions throughout the living environment, and gives students the tools to make predictions about the natural world. By utilizing the scientific method, students investigate the natural world, both conceptually and through hands-on and in-the-field lab work. Throughout the course, students gain exposure to the many branches of biology, and work towards understanding the role and impact of humans on the natural world. The primary skill of scientific investigation is one of the most important and basic skills; this course serves to cultivate that, and teach students to purposefully engage with the world. Prerequisite: Physical Science or similar 9th grade science course; fulfills lab course requirement.

(216) Chemistry (11 - lab course)
Chemistry touches our lives almost everywhere and every day - in medicine, the clothes we wear, the games we play, as well as the industries that produce consumables used by people on a regular basis. In Chemistry, students design and conduct experiments using a variety of laboratory techniques and technology, apply stoichiometric concepts to chemical reactions, analyze atomic structure and how it relates to bonding and periodicity, and apply chemical concepts to reactions and apply gas laws to explain natural phenomena. Prerequisite: Biology; fulfills lab course requirement.
Note: Chemistry is strongly recommended for college-bound students and is a must for future study in any science or health-related field.

(218) Physics (11-12)
This course allows students to take a formal look at many of the physical aspects of our universe; from basic fundamentals all the way up through counter-intuitive (but experimentally verifiable) principles. Time is dedicated to the study of Modern Physics, including discoveries, theories, and current research. Students explore Newtonian Mechanics and the various aspects of matter in motion and energy, then delve into Waves and Light. The course concludes with a study of Electricity and Magnetism. Open to eleventh and twelfth grade students who have successfully completed a lab science and Algebra I.

(230/231) Health (9-12)
Upper School Health is designed to allow teens to discuss issues that affect them in a safe environment with trained educators and professionals. Units covered include physical fitness, psychological health, the dangers of drug and alcohol use, sexuality, and infectious diseases. Students examine contemporary public health problems through the news and media and will be encouraged to make positive lifestyle changes. This course is two terms and is required for graduation in New York State.

Science Electives

(190) Fundamentals of Equine Science (9-12)
This course allows students to explore equine history, breeds, identification, conformation, and judging. As the year progresses, students learn concepts in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, health, equine facilities and management and career opportunities. This course promotes the development of cross-curricular skills in Math, English and History. Students learn to communicate effectively through writing and language as well as develop and use critical thinking skills. Open to Upper School students who are equine enthusiasts, equestrians, or simply curious about horses.

(253) AP Biology (11-12)
AP Biology is an upper school elective offered for students who meet The Knox School AP criteria, and who have demonstrated a strong interest and dedication to life sciences. Students in AP Biology work towards successful completion of the College Board curriculum and sit for the AP Biology Exam. The class uses the framework laid out by the College Board in tandem with investigative labs. The goal of the course it to prepare students for a university-level Biology class, and if eligible, test results may be used as an exemption from introductory Biology in college.

(229) AP Chemistry (11-12)
This course will demonstrate how chemistry is related to our daily lives, develop problem solving skills, and also develop a student’s ability to think clearly and express their ideas. It is designed to be the equivalent of a general chemistry course which is normally taken during the first year of college. Depending on your AP exam score and choice of majors in college, you may or may not fulfill the laboratory science requirement at the higher education level.

Advanced Placement Chemistry provides a basis for the development of the fundamentals of chemistry with an emphasis on inquiry and critical thinking skills. Laboratory work is a vital portion of the course and uses a variety of different technology and lab ware. The technology will include graphing calculators, LabPro devices, graphing and data analysis software and various chemistry apparatus.

This course requires a working knowledge of chemistry and algebra II. The pace will be quicker than a typical high school chemistry course, uses a college level text and lab work, and also requires more time than the typical high school course. Home work completed for the class will be done using the WebAssign program.

(260) AP Environmental Science (11-12)
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 or preventing them. Prerequisite: Two years of high school laboratory science, specifically, one year of life science and one year of physical science.
Preferential enrollment will be given to Seniors. Prerequisite: Biology; Juniors and Seniors only.

*AP courses are offered based on student interest, enrollment and instructor availability and are subject to change at the discretion of Administration.

(265) AP Physics C: Mechanics
AP Physics C follows the most recent description as noted by the AP College Board and is equivalent to a first-year college Physics class for Science and Engineering students. It is intended to prepare students for the AP Physics C Exam and explores topics such as Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Waves and Fields, Optics, and Modern Physics, including discoveries, theories, and current research. The development of critical thinking skills is an integral part of Physics, therefore, most labs are open-ended and inquiry-based. In addition, students will be required to present solutions to problems during peer instruction activities. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed Physics and Pre-Calculus.

(236) AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
The Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism course is a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. The course explores topics such as electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields; and electromagnetism. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.

(266) Anatomy & Physiology
Anatomy and Physiology is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in fields related to the human biological system. This course covers the basics of human anatomy and physiology, including anatomical terminology, basic biochemical function, cells and tissues, and the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, excretory and reproductive systems. The course includes lab work, but does not fulfill a lab requirement. Students work individually and in groups to prepare themselves for college-level sciences. Preferential enrollment will be given to Seniors. Prerequisite: Biology; Juniors and Seniors only.

STEM Courses

(264) Introduction to Robotics
This course introduces students to the world of robotics and programming. Beginning with the history of robotics, students come to an understanding of how robots function as an integral part of today's society. Working in our STEM lab, students take a hands-on approach to the fundamentals of machine logic and automated problem solving with an emphasis on the basics of movement and physical interaction with the local environment. Open to Upper School students.

(262) Advanced Robotics
Advanced Robotics further explores robotic assembly, architecture, and capability, and careers available in the field. Through understanding the diversity and power of each area of robotics, students work collaboratively in a competitive proposal-solution environment. Learning will be fast-paced and hands-on, with real world problem solving at the center of the coursework. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed Introduction to Robotics.

(268) Theory of Everything
The Theory of Everything is a project and discussion based science course dedicated to finding a better understanding of our place in the universe. Students will explore an all encompassing view of the universe as we know it, from the big bang to the theoretical heat death, and everything in between. The course will give both a macro and micro level overview of the many fields of science, including Astronomy, Astrophysics, Engineering etc. as well as an exploration of humanity's story this far, and what the future might look like. With the lenses of the class covering so many fields of science, the discussion can be focused on the interests of the students.

(263) Engineering and Electronics
Students are introduced to mechanical, electrical, civil, and environmental engineering in this practical, innovative course designed to pique student interest in the field. Through investigation and exploration, students will complete basic engineering projects using hands-on training and real-life engineering solutions.

For additional information about our STEM program, please visit our STEM WEBPAGE



Our Faculty

Kaj Christianson

Kaj Christianson

Titles: STEM Teacher, STEM Coordinator
Matthew Frageau

Matthew Frageau

Titles: Chemistry Teacher
Samantha Kaznocha

Samantha Kaznocha

Titles: Middle School Science, AP Environmental Science, Anatomy & Physiology Teacher
Debbie Moore

Debbie Moore

Titles: Director of Equestrian Program, Equine Science Teacher
John Tracey

John Tracey

Titles: Chair, Science Department, Physics & Biology Teacher