High School Science Overview
Students at Radnor High School are required to take a minumum of 3 courses of science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). Radnor’s science curriculum follows a long tradition of engaging students in active learning. The science program provides students with depth and breadth of scientific knowledge and skills through a well‐defined sequence of studies. The sequence of classes in our science program is, in order, biology, chemistry, and physics. Each discipline has three levels of instruction, and each level has different expectations and requirements. Students are expected to select an appropriate level from biological and physical sciences as they progress through the core sequence of biology, chemistry, and physics. Students must complete the core sequence prior to taking Advanced Placement or higher level science courses. With teacher recommendation students can take AP courses concurrently with the appropriate core science course. The science electives, Bioethics and Genetics, are offered to juniors and seniors.
9th Grade: Biology Courses
Biology studies the living world in a multitude of ways. Students will explore this broad field through readings, lectures, research, and laboratory investigations. The topics covered in all levels of Biology will include, but not be exclusive to, Biochemistry, Taxonomy, Cytology, Microbiology, Genetics, Ecology, Comparative Anatomy, and Evolution. All biology courses will prepare students for the Biology Keystone Exams given in May.
- Biology Honors
- Biology Advanced
- Biology College Prep
10th Grade: Chemistry Courses
In chemistry courses students learn how current models of the submicroscopic world of atoms and molecules explain observable, real‐world phenomena. The course emphasizes the organization of the periodic table and its use in predicting the properties of matter. In labs students make observations and draw conclusions based on the current models they are studying. Throughout the course, students are exposed to the language of chemistry.
- Chemistry Honors
- Chemistry Advanced
- Chemistry College Prep
11th Grade: Physics Courses
Physics is the study of matter and energy and their interactions. The fields of physics covered in the core curriculum include mechanics (motion, forces, energy, and momentum), optics (lenses and mirrors) and electricity (current, voltage, resistance, and circuits). In physics, quantities are measured and mathematical relationships and laws are discovered to better understand the world. All levels of physics are lab‐based courses emphasizing the discovery of these laws and relationships. All courses emphasize problem solving and real life applications.
- AP Physics 1
- Physics Advanced
- Physics College Prep
- Science and the Environment
12th Grade: Science Options
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics 2
- AP Physics C
- AP Environmental Science
- Chemistry 2 Advanced
- Physics 2 Advanced
- Anatomy & Physiology Advanced
- Earth and Space Science
- Principals of Biomedical Science (PLTW)
AP Project Lead the Way Pathway Program
AP + PLTW: Partnering to Create More Opportunities for Students
To help prepare all students for the global workforce, the College Board and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) have partnered on a program to encourage student participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses and build their interest in STEM degrees and careers. The program leverages the success of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) and Project Lead The Way’s applied learning programs.
Get Students on the Path
The first element of the program is a set of college and career pathways in three fields — engineering, biomedical
science, and computer science — that incorporate both AP and PLTW courses. Each pathway emphasizes applied
learning and consists of three components:
- PLTW courses designed to introduce all students to the field
- AP courses and exams that provide an opportunity for advanced placement and/or college credit
- PLTW specialization courses that focus on knowledge and skills needed for rewarding careers
To earn this student recognition, students must complete three courses in a pathway ‐ one AP course; one PLTW course, and
a third course, either AP or PLTW ‐ and earn a qualifying score of 3 or higher on the AP Exam(s) and a score of Proficient
or higher on the PLTW End‐of‐Course (EoC) Assessment(s).
Earning college credit for PLTW courses:
Students can earn college credit for PLTW course work, just like the Advanced Placement courses by:
- Completion of one of the above listed courses
- Earning a minimum of 80% in the class
- Earning an 80% on the PLTW standardized final exam
If the above requirements are satisfied, students are eligible to apply for college credit at one of the Affiliate Universities. Different schools use PLTW credits in different ways. Some use them towards a 2‐year degree while other use them towards a 4‐year program.
AP + PLTW Pathways
- Engineering Pathway
- AP Course Options: AP Biology, AP Calculus BC, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics, AP Physics II, AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Statistics.
- PLTW Course Options: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Aerospace Engineering.
- Biomedical Science Pathway
- AP Course Options: AP Biology, AP Chemistry
- PLTW Course Options: Principles of Biomedical Science
- Computer Science Pathway
- AP Course Options: AP Computer Science
- PLTW Course Options: Introduction to Computer Science