Mercy High School


Ag & Soil Chemistry 

Agriculture Soil Chemistry is a one-year science course with a laboratory. It is designed to meet the needs of a college bound student, with a career interest in agriculture. Using agriculture as a means to teach this course emphasizes the principles and practices of Chemistry, while also showing the relevance of chemistry in agriculture to each student’s life and environment. This course will establish an expanded learning environment including technological access to data (Ipads), traditional classroom work, Laboratory exercises, and fieldwork. The laboratory aspect of this class is included to connected the main ideas of chemistry to agriculture applications. It will also incorporate the learning of oral and written response skills.

Agricultural Biology 

Agricultural Biology is a laboratory science course designed for the college-bound student with career interests in agriculture. It meets the life science portion of the two-year laboratory requirement for high school graduation and for the California State Universities (CSU) and the University of California (UC) systems-D Lab Science. Using agriculture as the learning vehicle, this course emphasizes the principles, concepts and relationships among living organisms. The course is centered around an extensive laboratory component in order to connect the big ideas of life science with agricultural applications, which will help students acquire a broad understanding of a variety of agricultural areas, develop an awareness of the many career opportunities in agriculture, participate in occupationally relevant experiences, and work cooperatively with a group to develop and expand leadership abilities.

Agricultural Systems Management 

This integrated class combines an interdisciplinary approach to laboratory science and research with agricultural management principles. Using skills and principles learned in the course, including the chemical and biological principles that govern plant science and crop production, students design systems and experiments to solve agricultural management issues currently facing the industry. Additionally, students connect the products created in this class with industry activities to link real world encounters and implement skills demanded by both colleges and careers. The course culminates with an agriscience experimental research project in which students design and conduct an experiment to solve a relevant agricultural issue. Final projects will be eligible for Career Development Event competition at FFA events. Throughout the course, students will be graded on participation in intracurricular FFA activities as well as the development and maintenance of an ongoing Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program.

Biology10 credits/year

Biology is a lab science course. There will be a minimum of one lab for every chapter. Additional activities will include problem solvers, mini-labs, demonstrations, and small group activities. Field trips may be included when they can assist in developing the concept being studied. The course will examine the cell as the center of activity for life processes. The class also examines the scientific theories surrounding evolution, natural selection, and the origin of life. Heredity and genetics are also covered in the course. Meets the University of California “d” requirement and the California State University subject requirements. Fulfills ninth grade science requirement.

Chemistry10 credits/year

College Preparatory Chemistry is a lab science course. This class will focus on the nature of matter and its interactions. Organization, observation and analysis are emphasized. Students will explore topics conceptually and mathematically. Areas of study include organization of matter, language of chemistry, phases of chemistry, solutions and their behavior, chemical reactions, and organic and nuclear chemistry. Fulfills the University of California “d” and California State University subject requirements. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Prerequisite: Algebra 2 or approval of teacher.

Advanced Placement Chemistry10 credits/year

This is an advanced placement course designed to prepare the student for the AP Chemistry exam. The course covers the equivalent of one full year of college level General Chemistry, comparable to a first year course at a college or university. The course is a rigorous math-based course, with a strong laboratory component. It is intended for students who have demonstrated a willingness to commit considerable time to studying and completing assignments outside of class, and who have successfully completed a prior course in chemistry during high school. The course will develop the student's ability to incorporate mathematical skills in the solution of chemistry problems, both through the use of textbook problems and laboratory activities. Significant emphasis will be placed on developing the student's ability to solve problems through dimensional analysis and estimation. Students will be required to do extensive writing, and to keep a thorough and accurate ongoing laboratory notebook. Since passing the AP exam may qualify the student to by-pass a first-year college chemistry course, AP Chemistry should not be considered "college prep." Rather, this is a college class, with college level expectations for behavior, participation and effort.

Prerequisites: Chemistry or Ag Soil Chemistry, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus preferred.

Physics10 credits/year

Physics is a college preparatory lab science class emphasizing quantitative measurement as a means of better understanding principles in physics. Topics include motion, work, energy, thermodynamics, sounds, optics, electricity, magnetism, and subatomic physics. Students will be challenged to visualize concepts and utilize math skills in solving “real world” problems. Fulfills the University of California “d” and California State University subject requirements.

Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in or completion of Pre-Calculus or approval of teacher.

Advanced Placement Biology10 credits/year

This is a laboratory lecture class taught at the college level. All students are required to take the Advanced Placement Biology Examination in May. Topics covered include molecules and cells, heredity and evolution, organisms and populations, and ecology. All AP labs will be offered, along with other labs deemed useful. Fulfills the University of California “d” and California State University subject requirements. Open to juniors and seniors.

Prerequisite: A grade of “B” or better in Biology and Chemistry or currently enrolled in Chemistry with approval of the AP Biology instructor.

Physical Science10 credits/year

Physical Science is an introductory science class designed to provide students with an entry-level exposure to chemistry and physics topics, as well as an introduction to science skills that will serve in any science course. Laboratory work will cover each of the areas studied in this class. This class will enable students to understand phenomena in their lives. It will be strongly associated with mathematics and students will learn to find mathematical relationships and graph outcomes of experiments. Meets the University of California “g” requirement. Fulfills ninth grade science requirement.

Introduction to Engineering Design10 credits/year

In Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) students are introduced to the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to identify and design solutions to a variety of real problems. They work both individually and in collaborative teams to develop and document design solutions using engineering notebooks and 3D modeling software


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