New Bedford / Dartmouth / Fairhaven

(508) 998-3321

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Course & Program of Studies

Science Department

The science curriculum at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School provides students with an understanding and appreciation of physical, chemical and biological sciences. The study of science has an integral relationship with mathematics and incorporates other curriculum areas through writing and understanding the historical aspects of science. Investigation and problem solving are central to the understanding of all areas in the science curriculum and will be incorporated through laboratory experiences. Science students will be involved in course specific laboratory investigations designed to instill critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students will learn to employ lab safety principles as they conduct investigations that further their understanding of the curriculum. As our students progress through four years of science courses they will develop greater independence in designing and carrying out laboratory investigations while working alone or in groups. 

Our goal is for students to not only understand the science disciplines but to use these  disciplines when participating in intellectual, democratic, and vocational activities during  their four years of high school and beyond into post-secondary education and the work place.  

Freshman Science


Honors Biology I (Lab) – 3 Credits

Students in the honors biology course will cover several biological topics including biochemistry, biological processes such as cellular transport, respiration, photosynthesis, and body systems.  Students will master laboratory techniques and safety through investigations that involve critical thinking, problem solving and written lab reports. Following this course, students will be enrolled in Honors Biology II (Lab) in the tenth grade and will be eligible to take the biology MCAS in June of the tenth grade.

Note:  A student earning an average of 70 or below at the end of the year will be required to meet with the Science Department Head in order to discuss a possible course level change for the following year.   Students who have difficulty in this class are encouraged to work after school with the teacher or request further support from the science department head
Advanced College Prep Biology I (Lab) – 3 Credits

Ninth grade students in this rigorous college preparatory course will be introduced to several biological topics including biochemistry, biological processes such as cellular transport, respiration, photosynthesis, and body systems. In addition, students will develop scientific inquiry skills through participation in hands-on laboratory activities and projects.  Following this course, students will be enrolled in  ACP Biology II (Lab) in the tenth grade and will be eligible to take the biology MCAS in June of the tenth grade.

College Prep Biology I (Lab) – 3 Credits

Ninth grade students in this college preparatory course will be introduced to several biological topics including biochemistry, biological processes such as cellular transport, respiration, photosynthesis, and body systems. In addition, students will develop scientific inquiry skills through participation in hands-on laboratory activities and projects.   Following this course, students will be enrolled in CP Biology II (Lab) in the tenth grade and will be eligible to take the biology MCAS in June of the tenth grade.

Biology 1 Strategies – 1 Credit

The Biology I strategies course prepares students for the Biology MCAS test.  The course will begin with an understanding of the scientific method and test taking skills.  Students will encounter standards in the areas of The Chemistry of Life, Anatomy and Physiology, and Cell Biology.   Students will apply test-taking strategies to sample multiple choice and open response items. 

Sophomore Science


Honors Biology II (Lab) – 3 Credits

This course is a continuation of Honors Biology I that will complete the high school biology curriculum. Students will be challenged to develop scientific inquiry skills through participation in hands-on laboratory activities and projects.  Tenth grade students will be introduced to the topics of ecology, protein synthesis, meiosis, genetics and evolution. The course will feature projects specific to these topics that provide students with opportunities to participate in experimental design, data collection, analysis, and reporting conclusions.  Students will participate in the biology MCAS test at the end of this course.

Note:  A student earning an average of 70 or below at the end of the year will be required to meet with the Science Department Head in order to discuss a possible course level change for the following year.   Students who have difficulty in this class are encouraged to work after school with the teacher or request further support from the science department head.
Advanced College Prep Biology II (Lab) – 3 Credits

This rigorous college prep course is a continuation of Biology I that will complete the high school biology curriculum. Students will develop scientific inquiry skills through participation in hands-on laboratory activities and projects.   Tenth grade students will be introduced to the topics of ecology, protein synthesis, meiosis, genetics and evolution. The course will feature projects specific to these topics that provide students with opportunities to participate in experimental design, data collection, analysis, and reporting conclusions.  Students will participate in the biology MCAS test at the end of this course.

College Prep Biology II (Lab) – 3 Credits

This course is a continuation of college prep Biology I that will complete the high school biology curriculum. Students will develop scientific inquiry skills through participation in hands-on laboratory activities and projects.   Tenth grade students will be introduced to the topics of ecology, protein synthesis, meiosis, genetics and evolution. The course will feature projects specific to these topics that provide students with opportunities to participate in experimental design, data collection, analysis, and reporting conclusions.  Students will participate in the biology MCAS test at the end of this course.

Biology 2 Strategies – 1 Credit

The Biology II strategies course is a continuation of the Biology I strategies course that prepares students for the Biology MCAS test. Students will encounter standards in the areas of Cell Biology, Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity, and Ecology. Students will apply test-taking strategies to sample multiple choice and open response items. The Biology MCAS will be taken at the end of this course.

Junior Science


Honors Chemistry (Lab) – 3 Credits

Students in this honors chemistry course will cover concepts including atomic structure, chemical equations, the periodic table, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, gases, solutions, kinetics, thermodynamics and nuclear chemistry with an understanding of algebra.  This is a course for students who complete Honors Biology I and II. 

Note:  A student earning an average of 70 or below at the end of the year will be required to meet with the Science Department Head in order to discuss a possible course level change for the following year.   Students who have difficulty in this class are encouraged to work after school with the teacher or request further support from the science department head.
Advanced College Prep Chemistry (Lab) – 3 Credits

This rigorous college preparatory course will cover concepts including atomic structure, chemical equations, the periodic table, chemical bonds, stoichiometry and gases.  An understanding of algebra is necessary to be successful in this course.  This is a course for students who have completed Advanced College Prep Biology I and II. 

College Prep Chemistry (Lab) – 3 Credits

This college preparatory course will cover concepts including atomic structure, chemical equations, the periodic table, chemical bonds, stoichiometry and gases.  An understanding of algebra is necessary to be successful in this course. This course is for students who have completed college prep Biology I and II.

College Prep Physical Science (Lab) – 3 Credits

This college preparatory course will cover concepts including  the study of motion, electricity, magnetism, the periodic table, states of matter and chemical reactions. An understanding of Algebra is necessary to be successful in this course. This course is designed for students who plan to attend college or technical school after graduation.  Students will learn to apply algebraic concepts to scientific principles to better understand the physical world.

College Prep Integrated Science (Lab) – 3 Credits

This course is designed for students who have not yet met competency determination in Biology.  Focus is on remediation of specific areas of difficulty that students experienced with the previous Biology MCAS exam. Concentration on the Mass state standards  will be explored along with test taking strategies.

Senior Science


Honors Physics (Lab)– 3 Credits

This is the next college preparatory course in the science honors program designed to challenge outstanding science students who wish to prepare themselves for college.  A strong background in Algebra is required. The course will be a math intensive introduction to the study of motion, electricity, magnetism, fluid dynamics, sound, light and quantum physics.  The skills required for an understanding of these principles and concepts are developed through laboratory investigations, problem solving, and other student-centered activities.  Students are expected to complete longer and more complex assignments nightly as well as outside of class.  Strong organizational skills including time-management are required.  The prerequisite for this course is a 70 or higher in Honors Chemistry and Honors Algebra II.  Students who have difficulty in this class are encouraged to work after school with the teacher or request further support from the science department head.

Advanced College Prep Physics (Lab) – 3 Credits

This challenging college preparatory course is designed to prepare students to be successful in college.  A strong background in Algebra is required.  The course will be a math intensive introduction to the study of motion, electricity, magnetism, fluid dynamics, sound and light. The skills required for an understanding of these principles and concepts are developed through laboratory investigations, written lab reports, problem solving, frequent homework and other student-centered activities.  The prerequisites for this course are grades of 70 or better in ACP Chemistry and ACP Algebra II.   Students who have difficulty in this class are encouraged to work after school with the teacher or request further support from the science department head.

Honors Biotechnology (Lab) – 3 Credits

Honors Biotechnology is a laboratory based course in which students will acquire a detailed understanding of the study of biotechnology. The major topics will include in-depth studies of DNA as a diagnostic tool, basic microbiology, DNA analysis in forensic science, genetic engineering, cloning, and ethical conduct in biotechnology. The zebrafish Danio rerio will be used as a model organism to investigate the influence of the environment on gene expression.  Students will construct simple circuits and employ basic C ++ coding using Arduinos in order to construct a model thermocycler. The course will also emphasize the basic laboratory skills needed in modern biotechnology laboratories. The prerequisite for this course is a 70 or higher in Honors Chemistry. 

Advanced College Prep Biotechnology (Lab) – 3 Credits

Biotechnology is a laboratory based course in which students will acquire a basic understanding of the study of biotechnology. The major topics will include the study of the DNA as a diagnostic tool, basic microbiology, DNA analysis in forensic science, genetic engineering, cloning, and ethical conduct in biotechnology. The zebrafish Danio rerio will be used as a model organism to investigate the influence of the environment on gene expression.  Students will construct simple circuits and employ basic C ++ coding using Arduinos in order to construct a model thermocycler. The course will also emphasize the basic laboratory skills needed in modern biotechnology laboratories. The prerequisite for this course is successful completion of Advanced College Prep Chemistry.

College Prep Environmental Science (Lab) – 3 Credits

 This college preparatory course will further develop students’ understanding of environmental issues pertaining to ecological interactions and ecosystem structure.  Through a series of outdoor investigations and laboratory exercises, students will become familiar with issues facing the flora and fauna of New England.  A variety of environmental topics will be examined including energy systems, air, water, and land pollution, natural resource management, pest control, and land use.  Also considered are the economic, political, and sociological factors influencing resource management and environmental policy.

College Prep Human Body Systems (Lab) – 3 Credits

In this course, students will be introduced to the anatomy (structures) and physiology (functions) of the major human body systems. Students will gain knowledge of the functioning of the human body through a variety of laboratory exercises and they will study comparative anatomy by dissection of both invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Additionally, pathology of the human body will be discussed, along with prevention strategies.

College Prep Botany (Lab) – 3 Credits

The scientific study of plants and their relationship to the environment. This course will provide instruction related to the broad fields of botany with emphasis on the scientific and technical knowledge related to the discipline. Special emphasis will be in the practice of gene technology, laboratory and inquiry based genetic and hormonal experiments . The student will discover and understand the modern perspective of plant genetics as it relates to crop production and environmental issues. Topics in this course include information on plant anatomy and physiology, plant growth, plant diversity, general botany, soil analysis, crop gene modification detection, hormonal regulation of plant growth and its implications, phylogenetic and taxonomic classification, burgeoning concepts of plant social and intellectual structure, cellular energetics, gardening and land use, etc. Time will be spent in the classroom and in the greenhouse.

College Prep Applied Science (Lab) – 3 Credits

This is a college preparatory course designed to introduce students to electronics and microprocessors by applying concepts of physics and chemistry.  Students will learn to write basic code that allows Arduino based microprocessors to perform a large array of functions.  In this project based course students will design and build systems to investigate concepts such as electricity, motion, energy, waves and chemical reactions.  These projects are designed to promote and develop appropriate skills in science inquiry, engineering and coding.  Students will conclude the year with a capstone project that will allow students to demonstrate command of their newly learned skills.