Philosophy Department Chair - David Salce

The aim of the science program is to help the student prepare to question, understand and participate in a technologically advancing world. Science enables a student to develop a sense of personal responsibility toward the environment and the community around them. It allows them to appreciate their worth and potential contribution to our scientific world. Thinking independently, rewarding critical analysis, writing clearly and speaking intelligently are all skills cultivated in the science program.

Course Descriptions

Integrated Science

This course focuses on the development of critical thinking and study skills for freshmen. The goal of this course is to impart the necessary skills for students to compete and excel in high school and college. This course begins with how to be a good listener and take efficient class notes; then it emphasizes skills which will help students develop a more comprehensive and useful understanding of essential concepts in science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics. It will integrate logic, qualitative and quantitative analysis into the study of each area.


This course is designed to provide students an holistic understanding of how living things function in the natural world. Study units include: Scientific Methodology and Analysis, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, The Chemistry of Life, Genetics, Botany, Zoology, Structure of the Human Body, and Ecology. Integrated into each study area are related laboratory exercises and current topics.


This course will provide an introduction to the principles that govern chemical changes. Included will be an examination of matter, energy, atomic structure, chemical periodicity, bonding, molecular structure, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, solutions, equilibrium, thermochemistry, electrochemistry, nuclear reactions and organic chemistry. The lab component will provide hands-on experience with the concepts and principles studied.

This course describes the natural world using concepts and equations derived from laws of energy, motion, momentum, force, thermodynamics, and optics. Students are expected to develop their own approach to problem solving while testing the physical laws and theories studied in the classroom and the laboratory. Laboratory work will further emphasize technique and accuracy in the acquisition and analysis of data.

AP Biology

The Advanced Placement course inBiology is equivalent to a full-year Freshman Biology course taught at any major University. Students will be reading the same text that is used at many major colleges and universities, and will be working at a rigorous pace to cover the material and in preparation for the Advanced Placement Examination in May.Upon successful completion of the exam, students may receive college credit and will certainly be well-prepared for any Biology course in the future. This class will build upon prior knowledge of Biology (Biology and Chemistry are prerequisites). The course will discuss topics such as molecular genetics,biochemistry, human anatomy and physiology, cell biology, plant biology and ecology. Using a text, the Internet, class discussions, and projects, students will cover a tremendous amount of material in order to give a complete understanding of the study of biology. Biweekly examinations will test knowledge of the material as well as prepare students for the AP examination. Due to the volume and level of the material, this course is designed to challenge extremely motivated students who have a strong interest in the BiologicalSciences. All students taking this course are required to take the AP exam inMay. This is a full year, on-line course.

The Human Body

Did you ever wonder how your body works?Take a journey through the major systems of the human body with us! This class provides a comprehensive overview of the workings of the human body. The course uses many online readings and animations, as well as field trips to selected web sites. Students will join fellow classmates as they investigate how the human body functions. Critical reading and organizational skills,the ability to communicate, and most of all, curiosity will help students succeed in this course. You will never watch CSI with the same eyes again! The HumanBody is a course designed to familiarize you with the key systems of the human body and how they function. The course studies the structures and basic functions of organs involved in the body systems. This is a half year, on-line course.

Forensic Science

Forensic Science will introduce the student to the scientific application of physical evidence collected at a crime scene. The course integrates biology, chemistry, physical science and physics into crime scene investigations. Students develop skills in fingerprinting, toxicology, serology, digital photography, plaster casting and microscopy. Labs will include the collection, documentation and analysis of evidence along with crime-scene reconstruction.
Environmental Science

This high honors course is offered through Notre Dame's partnership with the University of Connecticut and the UConn Early College Experience program. The course will provide an introduction to basic concepts and areas of environmental concern and how these problems can be effectively addressed. Topics will include the human population; ecological principles; conservation of biological resources; biodiversity; croplands, rangelands, forestlands; soil and water conservation; pollution and water management; and wildlife and fisheries conservation. Students who successfully complete this course will receive both Notre Dame and UConn credit.
Aerospace Engineering (High Honors)

Aerospace Engineering explores the evolution of flight, navigation and control, flight fundamentals, aerospace materials, propulsion, space travel, and orbital mechanics. In addition, this course presents alternative applications for aerospace engineering concepts. Students analyze, design, and
build aerospace systems. They apply knowledge gained throughout the course in a final presentation about the future of the industry and their professional goals.

Animal Behavior/Zoology

Have you always been interested in animals and their behavior? Do you love to spend time at zoos and aquariums, and find animals (and their interactions) fascinating? This course explores the tremendous diversity of animal life and the interconnectedness of different animal species with each other and with humans. The first part of the course explores the classification and characteristics of all the animal phyla, with an emphasis on
the evolution of animals and the adaptations that have allowed such diversity to flourish. The second part of the course focuses on many different animal behaviors (including human behavior). We will learn about different types of behaviors – from innate (genetic) behaviors to learned behaviors. The social interactions between animals will be covered in depth as we study courtship, aggression, altruism, and parental behaviors in animals. We will also discuss different careers in the animal sciences as a culminating activity, which should be of great interest to students who wish to pursue their love of animals as their professions. The course will utilize a number of interesting articles, discussions, virtual field trips, activities, videos, and projects to give a wider perspective of the animal kingdom and animal behavior. This is a half year, on-line course.


Earth’s weather and climates have influenced and continues to influence daily human events as well as human history. We are inundated daily with accounts of weather, both good and bad. Our daily activities depend, a great deal, on the weather. Weather phenomenon, such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes have caused loss of life and damage of property. Loss of food crops has resulted from drought or extremes of temperature.
We cannot fly a plane, have soldiers jump out of planes, or, for that matter, fight a war without consulting meteorologists to see what the weather is supposed to be on any given day. The Persian Gulf War and the Iraqi Freedom War were all planned according to the weather. The weather helped bring Allied victory on the Russian front during World War II. This class is designed to introduce you to the basic factors of weather/meteorology and to engage your natural curiosity in it. I hope you will find this course interesting as well as challenging. This class was
designed around the Internet like our daily activities are designed around the weather. Simple meteorological observations are interwoven with online based assignments, mapping activities, data gathering and graphing activities, and writing assignments to introduce students to the many facets of weather. This is a half year, on-line course.

Psychology of Crime

Students will learn how psychology applies to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. The course will include all aspects of the legal system including police, the trial and corrections. Topics will include: recovered memories, children as victims and offenders, violence and murder, strategies for interviewing witnesses, expert testimony, and factors influencing the credibility of witnesses, victims and offenders and insanity. Students will also examine the relationship of psychology and law in the educational and work settings. This is a half year, on-line course.

Notre Dame High School | 220 Jefferson Street | Fairfield, Connecticut 06825 | 203.372.6521