Science Department

The Science Department guides our students to view the world in a critical manner using scientific inquiry methods to analyze information and apply it to decisions they make about their immediate and global community.
A graduate of the Woodward School Science Department will be able to

  1. use the scientific method to solve problems in their daily life.
  2. use instruments, the proper techniques of science, and analyze data.
  3. research, read, interpret and write about science literature.
  4. be aware of and sensitive to environmental problems.
  5. understand that all science findings are tentative and subject to change, as evidence accumulates.
  6. understand the interrelationships and impact that science has upon other facets of society.
  7. recognize the role of science as an integral part of education.
  8. have a positive attitude toward science.
  9. effectively use 21st century skills to gather and present their ideas

Middle School Science

Young students are naturally curious about themselves and the world around them. The Woodward science program encourages this curiosity and enthusiasm with a three year program that will develop an understanding of their planet, their body system, and the chemical and physical forces that underpin the world around them.
Through hands on learning, the students will develop the scientific skills needed for success in high school science courses as well as the critical thinking skills they can use throughout their lives. These skills include observation, experimentation and information analysis. Through participation in the science fair and class experimentation, students learn the skills of hypothesizing, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and formulating conclusions. Students are required to take Earth Science, Life Science and Physical Science and to participate in the Science Fair each year. 

Upper School Science

High school students are expected to practice more abstract and critical thinking in their study of science. They learn to use data from their experiments to develop graphs and then answer analytical questions concerning the data. They present their findings in formal lab reports and powerpoint presentations. In testing, they are asked to use concepts learned in class to answer critical or abstract questions. Students read articles and research from scientific journals in order to expand their scientific literacy. In grades 9 and 10, they use the experimental design method to formulate a hypothesis, experiment, collect data, make conclusions and then present their findings to judges the day of the science fair. Four years of science are required of all students, three of which must be lab sciences, including biology and chemistry.

Middle School Science Classes

+ Grade 6 - Earth Science

Students will study the basic structure of the Earth as well as Earth’s fresh water, oceans, and atmosphere. Weather, climate and climate change are also covered. Emphasis will be placed on the process of science by studying the various tools scientists use to measure, graph, and model. The scientific method is studied using a variety of projects, including the Science Fair. This is a laboratory based science course.

+ Grade 7 - Life Science

Students study all aspects of life from the tiniest cells to the most complex functions of the human body. During the academic year the following topics are covered: the scientific method, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, the cell cycle and human body systems such as the digestive, skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, immune, nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems. This is a laboratory based science course.

+ Grade 8 - Physical Science

Physical Science is the study of matter and energy, substances, and how they combine and change. Topics will include: the scientific method, properties of matter, phase changes, the periodic table, atoms and bonding, chemical reactions, acids and bases, energy, electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism. This is a laboratory based science course.

Upper School Science Classes

+ Biology

Biology is a laboratory based science course that begins with the study of molecular biology and progresses to ecology, cell biology, genetics, evolution, microorganisms, plants, invertebrate animals, and vertebrate animals. The goal of this course is to give students a deeper understanding of biological principles and processes to prepare them for further study in the field.

+ Chemistry

Chemistry is a laboratory based science course that begins with review of the metric system, unit conversions, nature of matter, chemical symbols, formation and naming of compounds, percent composition, mass-mass problems, chemical equations, stoichiometry, atomic structure, the periodic table, ideal gas laws, pH, acids, bases, and salts. Students discuss current events in chemistry such as chemical disasters and the effect of toxins in the environment.

+ Environmental Science

This is a laboratory-based science course that studies ecology and how people’s actions can affect the environment. Topics studied include earth systems and resources; soil and soil dynamics; ecosystem structure, diversity and change; human population dynamics and impacts of population growth on the environment; land and water use; energy consumption; pollution and global change. Students will be involved in recycling and Earth Day projects.

+ Anatomy & Physiology

Anatomy & Physiology is the study of the structure and function of the human body with an emphasis on homeostasis. Topics include the following systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, endocrine, urinary and reproductive. Physiology labs and virtual dissection of the fetal pig accompany the systems of the human body.

+ AP Biology

This full-year course prepares students for the new AP Biology exam through advanced study of topics in biochemistry, cell structure and function, cellular energy, genetics, molecular biology, evolution, and taxonomic classification. Students investigate these topics through the lens of four Big Ideas, developing skills in science practices such as graphical modeling, data collection and analysis, and the evaluation of evidence.

+ Physics

Physics is a laboratory based science class. Classical Newtonian physics is studied. Topics include laws of motion, work and energy, momentum, gravitation, fluid mechanics, heat, thermodynamics, vibrations, sound, light and electricity.