WHS Science Course Design

WHS Science courses are designed using the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) which means that students will develop an in-depth understanding of both content and skills that will serve them throughout their educational and professional lives. This is a three-dimensional approach:

The content is tied to Science Concepts that help students develop a coherent and scientifically-based view of the world around them.

Core Ideas in science are the key ideas that have broad importance within or across multiple science or engineering disciplines.

Science Practices are used to describe what scientists do to investigate the natural world and what engineers do to design and build systems. These practices to help build, deepen, and apply their knowledge of Core Ideas and Science Concepts.

Text taken from NGSS (https://www.nextgenscience.org/)

Courses & Graduation Requirements

The Westerly High School Science Department offers a wide variety of courses.

Students are required to complete three courses, a Physical Science or Physics course, a Biology 1 course, and Chemistry 1 course, in order to graduate.*  In these core courses, students are given the opportunity to engage with the content through laboratory activities that emphasize the Science Content, Practices, and Core Ideas outlined by the NGSS. 

Though not required, students are strongly encouraged to continue enrollment in science elective courses throughout high school to use what was learned in the core courses to explore more specific areas of the natural world.  For those students interested in pursuing a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) field, it is imperative to enroll in at least one science course during each of the students' four years of high school so that they will be positioned well to succeed in their post-secondary endeavors.

*Ninth grade students will enroll in a Physical Science course (CP or Honors) OR Honors Biology 1. For Tenth and Eleventh grade students, Chemistry 1, Biology 1, and Physics 1 courses are offered at two levels (CP or Honors). Physics, Advanced Placement course, is offered as first year course while the Advanced Placement courses in Chemistry and Biology are available as second year electives.

Clubs have started!!

check out SMILE, Enviro, and Science Olympiad pages below

Course Selection 

Things to consider when selecting a science course:

Consider planning your science route for 9-12 to leave space for electives or other coursework or pathways (check out the link below).

There are many ways to continue your required course work through the many elective offerings. Be sure to check them all out!