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

Physical Science students discover the relationship between the physical sciences and daily life by exploring the fundamentals of chemistry, biology, physics and earth science. Lab activities and individual and group projects will be more in-depth and complex than the middle school science experience. Open to ninth grade students.

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 will examine contemporary public health problems through the news and media and will be encouraged to make positive lifestyle changes. This course is required for graduation in New York State. Tenth graders enroll in this 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. Open to tenth grade students who have successfully completed Physical Science or equivalent ninth grade science.

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.

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, apply chemical concepts to reactions and apply gas laws to explain natural phenomena. Open to eleventh grade students who have successfully completed Biology.

Physics 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.

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.

AP 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 both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed two years of laboratory science, specifically one year of life science and one year of physical science.

Science Electives

Anatomy and Physiology 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. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed Biology and are interested in pursuing a career in fields related to the human biological system. Preferential enrollment will be given to Seniors.

Exploration of the Universe asks students, "Have you ever wondered about the place of humans in the universe?" By investigating the Earth and Space on a macro scale, students will explore a variety of topics through a focus on the Theory of Everything, including the history of scientific advancement of the universe. They will gain an understanding of astrophysics through research and real-world, project-based learning. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed at least one laboratory science.

Introduction to Robotics 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.

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.

Fundamentals of Equine Science 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.



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
Kelly Townes

Kelly Townes

Titles: Upper & Middle School Health, Physical Education Teacher
John Tracey

John Tracey

Titles: Chair, Science Department, Physics & Biology Teacher