College Prep’s curriculum provides a firm foundation and an understanding of the interrelationships among the different branches of science.
Science courses help students think logically and creatively, strengthen problem-solving and observational skills, and hone analytical reasoning. The program emphasizes physical and biological environments and the specific processes of and approaches to the different scientific subject areas. All core courses require extensive laboratory work. Students also become adept in the use of technology for data collection and analysis.

Students are required to take three years of science classes, though many take more. Ninth graders take Physics, tenth graders take Chemistry, and eleventh graders take Biology. Juniors and seniors may continue their studies by taking a range of upper level electives such as Applied Studies: STEM Research Program, Astronomy, Forensic Science, Issues in Science, Molecular Genetics, and Developmental Biology Marine Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Physical Chemistry, Climate Change Science, Waves, Organic Chemistry, Mechanics, Electricity, and Magnetism.

List of 3 items.

  • Physics (9th grade)

    Why does a star shine? How does a television work? How do we generate electricity? This course focuses on how the principles of physics work in the real world. Students learn to design experiments in order to get meaningful results that further their knowledge. Hands-on challenges give students experience in applying their understanding and improving their iterative designs. Classes are a mix of lecture, discussion, demonstration, small-group work, and laboratory exploration. Physics lays the foundation for students to more thoroughly understand the concepts in the chemistry and biology classes that follow, and it prepares them to take upper level physics electives in the future.
  • Chemistry (10th grade)

    How we experience everything in the world—what we see, feel, and smell—is affected by microscopic particles and their interactions. In this course, students approach and solve new problems using the fundamentals of chemistry and rely on the careful and insightful application of logic to reveal why material behaves as it does. The course covers a wide range of topics, including:
    • Thermodynamics, to explain why some reactions happen while others do not
    • Kinetics, to understand the role of catalysts to speed important reactions
    • Quantum theory, to discover the special properties of water necessary for life
    • Organic chemistry, to study the biological molecules that are crucial for humans to exist
    Chemistry fosters a sense of excitement for discovery, which is supported by frequent laboratory experiments, activities, and demonstrations. Students wishing to dive more deeply into the subject have the opportunity to take semester-long advanced chemistry electives in later years.
  • Biology (11th grade)

    Biology is an introductory survey course structured around some of the most fundamental topics of the life sciences, including the molecular study of life, the function and workings of cells, the inheritance of traits, organismal biology, and the diversity of life. Recurring themes of the course are evolution, the relationship between structure and function, and interactions between living systems. Throughout the course, students study the structure of the scientific method through laboratory experiments, examine the ways in which scientific questions are formed and tested, and discuss how bias influences the methods and discoveries of scientific researchers. Students also delve into various genetic diseases and Bay Area ecosystems through case studies and presentations.
The labs give an opportunity to apply the skills and information that we have learned in class to solve a research question with real scientific implications.”

science electives

List of 13 items.

  • Applied Studies: STEM Research Program

    College Prep’s STEM program is for students interested in getting hands-on research experience in a broad array of STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The course begins with a spring semester seminar (STEM Research Part I) that provides foundational scientific knowledge and analytical skills. During discussion-based classes, students learn how to read primary scientific literature, analyze and critique raw data, and work as a productive member of a research team. The core of the program takes place during the summer when students are matched with research mentors for full-time, six-week internships. In the fall, the program concludes with a semester-long seminar (STEM Research Part II) during which students prepare a poster about their summer research and deliver a formal scientific talk. Most placements are in labs at UCSF or UC Berkeley. 
  • Anatomy & Physiology

    Using knowledge about genes, cells, and homeostasis learned in Biology, students expand their focus in this course to examine the structure and function of tissues, organs, and organ systems. Topics include the roles these systems play in supporting organismal function and survival and the diseases and disorders that can occur when things go awry. The course relates core concepts to physiological experiences, including the biological explanations for exercise-induced exhaustion, feeling full after a meal, and orienting while in motion. Students learn how their own bodies work, which provides a scientific foundation for understanding the impact of sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress, and more.
  • Astronomy

    This mind-expanding course investigates the universe, starting with the solar system—including planets, comets, and asteroids—followed by the birth, evolution, and death of stars, and ending with cosmology, the study of how the universe was created, its current state, and ultimately how it will end. Topics include supernovas, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes (including what would happen if you fell into one). Einstein’s theories of relativity, essential for the conception of time and space, are covered in depth, which leads to a discussion of time travel and its paradoxes. Other highlights include space travel, life on other planets, and dark matter.
  • Climate Change Science

    This course delves into the science behind what is creating climate change, how it is changing the global climate, and what mitigation strategies are currently being explored. Students learn how greenhouse gasses work, what human factors create the biggest carbon footprints, and how carbon offsets work.  Topics include the major climate issues facing our world such as drought, flooding, forest fires, storms and hurricanes, loss of wildlife species, and the spread of insect borne diseases.
  • Developmental Biology

    This course focuses on the major events of animal development, including genetic, cellular, and biochemical processes, the regulation of gene expression, cell-cell signaling, and cell shape change. Students learn to design and interpret experiments to answer questions about development and to discuss and analyze primary articles from the literature. Connections between developmental biology and related fields such as evolutionary biology and human disease recur in the curriculum.
  • Forensic Science

    This course covers the tools, techniques, and protocols used in investigating crime scenes. Topics include the history of forensics, crime scene analysis, physical and chemical analysis of evidence, toxicology, blood and DNA, entomology and time of death, fingerprinting, blood spatter, and ballistics. There is detailed study of the protocols for collecting evidence to eliminate contamination and misinterpretation and how forensic scientists evaluate evidence to avoid bias. The course includes hands-on labs, simulations, case studies, and a mock crime scene to develop practical and theoretical frameworks of forensics.
  • Issues in Science

    To find rational, ethical answers to questions that arise at the interface between scientific technology and society’s values systems, bioethicists employ the four principles of bioethics: autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Using this powerful toolkit, this course seeks to answer questions of all kinds: Who should get access to limited respirators or vaccines when the need exceeds supply? Is it ethical for physicians to provide lethal doses of medication to the terminally ill? Should parents be allowed to withhold medical treatment from children on religious grounds? Students use the formal principles of bioethics to refine their arguments. The course draws upon a wide variety of academic and media sources to examine how scientific research is changing our understanding of the world, and how society, in turn, is being transformed by scientific tools.
  • Marine Biology

    Over 70 percent of earth’s surface is covered by oceans. This ecology class voyages from the shallow coastal seas down more than three miles to the abyssal zone, meeting many intriguing ocean organisms along the way. After a brief introduction to oceanography, the course considers the organisms, environment, and human impact on five of the major ocean ecosystems; tidal seas, coastal seas, coral reefs, open ocean, and the deep abyssal ocean. This class includes hands-on labs, simulations, and field experience. 
  • Molecular Genetics

    This course examines the biochemistry of gene expression and its application to technologies such as vaccine design, genome editing, and personalized medicine. Students dive into the molecular structure of DNA, the mechanics of DNA replication, and the regulation of protein synthesis. More recent discoveries in molecular genetics are introduced, including non-coding DNA, RNA interference, and epigenetics. On lab days, students learn how information moves from the nucleic acid-based genome to the amino acid-based proteome that conducts the cellular work of the body.
  • Organic Chemistry

    This course covers the properties and reactivities of organic molecules: carbon-containing compounds that are the building blocks of life. Through a mix of lectures and laboratory experiments, students develop a theoretical and practical understanding of organic chemistry. Building on a foundation of organic nomenclature, the basics of molecular structure, and chemical bonding, students explore how stereochemistry and functional groups determine a molecule’s properties and reactivity. Students survey organic reactions and understand them mechanistically through electron-pushing diagrams. By engaging with current research, students discover the interdisciplinary nature of organic chemistry and the molecular underpinnings of biochemistry.
  • Physical Chemistry

    Students in this course apply physical principles towards developing an understanding of chemistry from an atomic and molecular perspective. Starting with quantum chemistry, the course focuses on molecular structure and how spectroscopy is used as a tool for identifying compounds. Through hands-on experiments and computational exercises, students learn how thermodynamics dictate which reactions and physical transformations can occur. The course finishes with kinetics, covering the mechanisms behind chemical reactions and examining factors that influence their rates.
  • Physics: Mechanics, Electricity, and Magnetism

    This course covers mechanics, motion, electricity, magnetism, and the study of charged particles and the fields they create. From particles to planets, motion in the physical world is predicated on forces, energy, rotation, and gravitation. Students apply their understanding of charges and electromagnetic fields to topics such as polarity, nerve transmission, weather, electrosensing animals, semiconductors, and metal detectors. Major topics include electric forces, Gauss’s Law, electric potential, circuits, capacitors, resistors, inductors, currents, magnetic fields, and induction. 
  • Waves

    Waves carry information from one place to another. Whether for light, sound, matter, or gravity, the basic idea of the wave is the same regardless of the medium. This course explores sound waves and music, light waves and color, matter waves and earthquakes, and quantum waves and reality. In this hands-on class, students build musical instruments, radios, and telescopes, focusing
    on conceptually understanding the physics principles behind waves.
It gives me pleasure that these extraordinarily smart kids—who are going to be decision makers, movers and shakers, and perhaps go into science and medicine—will have thought deeply about these topics as young adults and will hopefully continue to be informed thinkers throughout their lives and careers.

List of 8 members.

  • Photo of Jennifer Tetler

    Jennifer Tetler 

    Profesor de ciencias
    510-652-0111 x223
  • Photo of Eva Campodonico

    Eva Campodonico 95

    Profesor de ciencias
    510-652-0111 x223
  • Photo of Cameron Exner

    Cameron Exner 

    Profesor de ciencias
    510.652.0111 x223
  • Photo of Alex Quinn

    Alex Quinn 15

    Profesor de ciencias
    510.652.0111 x223
  • Photo of Sara Rusché

    Sara Rusché 

    Profesor de ciencias
    510-652-0111 x223
  • Photo of Jeff Sensabaugh

    Jeff Sensabaugh 87

    Profesor de ciencias
    510-652-0111 x223
  • Photo of Carol Stanton

    Carol Stanton 

    Profesor de ciencias
    510-652-0111 x223
  • Photo of Paul Wrona

    Paul Wrona 

    Profesor de ciencias
    510-652-0111 x223

La Escuela Preparatoria de la Universidad

mens conscia recti

una mente consciente de lo que es correcto