Life Sciences Innovation Pathways at Chelmsford High School

Environmental Technology and Biotechnology Coursework

The Life Sciences pathway at Chelmsford High School will only be offered to students entering 9th grade in the fall of 2022.

Massachusetts is a flourishing and growing hub for the life sciences with endless opportunities ranging from entry level to PHD. According to the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation’s (MassBioEd) 5th annual Life Sciences Employment Outlook, in 2020, state life sciences companies employed more than 89,000 — an employment base which has grown by 67% over the last decade.

Extrapolating from historical employment growth leads to an increase of approximately 5,000 new jobs each year through 2024, adding 20,000 employees for a total expected employment of over 109,000 by the end of 2024.

Life sciences includes a broad range of industries including biomedicine, pharmaceuticals, biophysics, neuroscience, cell biology, biotechnology, and environmental sciences.  Students at Chelmsford High School have the option of pursuing a designated “lane” within the Life Science Pathway, where they can choose Environmental Technology or Biotechnology. These two options will help students prepare for industry recognized credentials relevant to their senior internship.

Biology-H, CP (10 Credits, Grades 9, 10, Lab-based)

This first year Honors Biology course is designed to prepare students for the next generation of science standards and practices. The high school biology content standards build from middle school and allow grade 9 or 10 students to explain additional and more complex phenomena related to genetics, evolution, the functioning of organisms, and interrelationships between organisms, populations, and the environment. There is significantly higher academic expectations of students in honors level courses.

Students are required to complete daily homework assignments and are expected to be more independent and highly motivated. Frequent laboratory exercises, designed to correlate with text materials, provide students with opportunities to learn and use techniques and equipment associated with biological research. Independent reading, research and writing assignments extend learning beyond the classroom. Students are expected to take the MCAS Biology assessment in the spring.

Prerequisite for Honors: Recommendation of Physical Science teacher; incoming freshmen must have teacher recommendation, Term average of 93 or higher in 8th grade science, Benchmark average in the Exceeding Range, and one of the following:  placement into Honors Math or received an advanced score on the grade 7 ELA MCAS Exam.

Chemistry-H, CP (10 Credits, Grades 10, 11, Lab-based)

The major focus of chemistry is on matter and its interactions. Quantitative and qualitative methods can be used to explain how matter interacts. Fundamental basics of matter are determined by the structure of atoms and the compounds they compose. Reactivity and properties of compounds are explored through a variety of inquiry-based laboratory activities.

Topics covered include: atomic theory, stoichiometry, gas laws, bonding, solutions, and thermodynamics. Honors Chemistry is a full year course created for students who have demonstrated a sincere interest in the sciences with students independently using algebra skills in the context of the chemistry curriculum. Honors students should expect to have 1-2 hours of independent work per night. Chemistry CP provides a foundational understanding of chemistry and may be taken as a Dual Enrollment course with Middlesex Community College as a general science credit (CHE 121).

Prerequisite for Honors:  Successful performance in Honors Biology, successful performance in an Honors level Algebra-based Mathematics course or advanced performance in CP algebra-based mathematics course, teacher recommendation.

 

Biotechnology Coursework

Biotechnology I-CP (5 Credits, Grade 10, 11, 12)

This second year Biology elective provides students with basic biotechnology laboratory skills in order to introduce them to biotechnology concepts, in addition to the business aspect of the industry.   A “hands-on” laboratory course, it focuses on widely used biotechnological techniques and theoretical application in biotech industry standards including biological molecule manipulation, transformation and identification.  Students will learn techniques that apply to biological drug applications, bioinformatics, and Good Lab Practices (GLP), such as sterile technique and maintaining a lab notebook. 

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of a Biology course.

AP Biology (10 Credits, Grades 10, 11, 12, Lab-based)

This second-year Biology course will consist initially of a review and enrichment of the major concepts from first year Biology. This will be followed by a fast-paced, intensive study of selected topics in Biology as set forth by the College Board. Included among these are, but not limited to: plant and animal growth and development; embryology; cellular physiology; genetics; animal structure; biological systems and relationships. The course emphasizes the unifying themes in biology, showing the connections between the different areas of study. AP Biology is designed for highly motivated science students who intend to pursue a science related major in college.  Students in this course should be prepared for some independent learning due to the volume of material covered. In addition to in-class discussions, laboratory experimentation, and independent learning, students will have an opportunity for peer share learning. The course will also emphasize techniques in preparation for the AP Biology exam in May.  

Students will be required to complete summer homework prior to the beginning of the academic year. Homework Requirements:  Students are expected to read chapter material prior to in-class discussions.  Nightly homework will average 1 to 2 hours.

Prerequisite: Success in Honors Biology, and concurrent enrollment or credit in an Honors Chemistry Course

Introduction to Statistics (10 Credits (#15423), Grades 11, 12)

This full-year course is designed for students who have successfully completed Algebra II.  The course will introduce students to statistical reasoning and methods that are relevant in the fields of medicine, business, education, political science, psychology and entertainment. Topics will include design of experiments and sampling techniques, data analysis and displays, probability and counting principles, discrete probability distributions, normal probability distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing.  Students will be required to keep an organized notebook, read and interpret the textbook, and do independent work.  Emphasis will be placed on investigating and solving real world problems that will include open response questions for a variety of applications.

Prerequisite: Algebra II H or CP

AP Statistics (10 Credits (#15413), Grades 11, 21 with special exceptions for Grade 10)

Advanced Placement Statistics is a yearlong course for students who are interested in studying statistics in depth. The AP Statistics course will prepare students to take the AP Statistics exam. Emphasis will be given to real-world applications in a variety of disciplines, including medicine, business, education, political science, psychology, sports, and entertainment. Major topics will include:

  • Exploring Data – observing patterns and departures from patterns
  • Sampling and Experimentation – planning and conducting a study
  • Anticipating Patterns – producing models using probability theory and simulation
  • Statistical Inference – estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

Students will be required to keep an organized notebook, read and interpret the textbook, and do independent work. Homework will require students to identify appropriate methods for solving problems, show detailed work to support their answers, and provide thorough explanations of their results. In communicating results to problems, particular attention will be given to the proper use of statistical vocabulary and accurate explanations of statistical concepts and methods.

The TI Nspire CX CAS graphing calculator is used for this course. Students will also use statistical software to practice and strengthen their understanding of statistical concepts. In addition to frequent assessments that include both multiple choice and open response type questions, there will be 1-2 projects per term. Projects will provide students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and make connections between different parts of the course.  

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation and completion of summer work is required for all students.  Additionally, Algebra I H and Algebra II H students must have a grade of 80% or higher, and Algebra II CP students must have a grade of 90% or higher.

Environmental Technology Coursework

Environmental Studies-CP (10 Credits, Grades 11, 12, Lab-based)

This is a full year lab based elective course designed for students who intend to go to college as non-science majors, and replaces last year’s Environmental Science course. The course focuses on local, national and world sustainability of resources, such as conservation of material cycling, human and environmental influences, succession, and environmental problems. Students will demonstrate mastery of the concepts by addressing authentic issues that affect the world today through completion of a variety of group and individual projects, presentations, and other collaborative exercises. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology or Chemistry

AP Environmental Science (10 Credits, Grade 12, Lab-based)

The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Coursework is designed to prepare students for the AP Environmental Science Exam in May. Students in this course should be prepared for some independent learning due to the volume of material covered. 

Homework Requirements: Students are expected to read chapter material prior to in-class discussions, complete study guides, practice exams, and complete lab reports.  Nightly homework can average 1 to 2 hours.  Summer homework will be required; see the instructor for resources before the end of the school year. 

Prerequisite:  Advanced performance in CP or H  Biology & CP or H Chemistry; Algebra proficiency, including scientific notation and dimensional analysis.

Introduction to Statistics-CP (10 Credits, Grades 11, 12)

This full-year course is designed for students who have successfully completed Algebra II.  The course will introduce students to statistical reasoning and methods that are relevant in the fields of medicine, business, education, political science, psychology and entertainment. Topics will include design of experiments and sampling techniques, data analysis and displays, probability and counting principles, discrete probability distributions, normal probability distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing.  Students will be required to keep an organized notebook, read and interpret the textbook, and do independent work.  Emphasis will be placed on investigating and solving real world problems that will include open response questions for a variety of applications.

Prerequisite: Algebra II H or CP

AP Statistics (10 Credits, Grades 11-12, with special exceptions for Grade 10)

Advanced Placement Statistics is a yearlong course for students who are interested in studying statistics in depth. The AP Statistics course will prepare students to take the AP Statistics exam. Emphasis will be given to real-world applications in a variety of disciplines, including medicine, business, education, political science, psychology, sports, and entertainment. Major topics will include:

  • Exploring Data – observing patterns and departures from patterns
  • Sampling and Experimentation – planning and conducting a study
  • Anticipating Patterns – producing models using probability theory and simulation
  • Statistical Inference – estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

Students will be required to keep an organized notebook, read and interpret the textbook, and do independent work. Homework will require students to identify appropriate methods for solving problems, show detailed work to support their answers, and provide thorough explanations of their results. In communicating results to problems, particular attention will be given to the proper use of statistical vocabulary and accurate explanations of statistical concepts and methods.

The TI Nspire CX CAS graphing calculator is used for this course. Students will also use statistical software to practice and strengthen their understanding of statistical concepts. In addition to frequent assessments that include both multiple choice and open response type questions, there will be 1-2 projects per term. Projects will provide students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and make connections between different parts of the course.  

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation and completion of summer work is required for all students.  Additionally, Algebra I H and Algebra II H students must have a grade of 80% or higher, and Algebra II CP students must have a grade of 90% or higher.