Science is a methodology to gain an increasingly refined understanding of the natural world. It is a dynamic process based on empirical evidence, logical argument, and skeptical review. We strive to instill in our students a sense of adventure in the exploration of the natural world, as well as the scientific literacy and critical thinking skills to prepare them for science courses they will see in college.

science department mission statement

Sample Courses

Physics Nine

This lab course introduces all incoming ninth grade students to the physical world through exposure to a year of physics, discussing topics such as kinematics in one dimension, Newton’s Laws of Motion, equilibrium, conservation laws, circular motion, machines, work and energy, electricity, magnetism, waves and sound, light and color, and matter and energy.


Topics covered include fundamental engineering principles such as static equilibrium, load testing, basic circuitry, and computer programming in the greater context of how technology has shaped the history of the modern world in which we live and work. Students practice hands-on engineering skills such as 3D printing, computer modeling, data analysis, report writing, and professional-style presentations, all performed in a project-based team setting. This course inspires students to hone their skills in math and science through their application to real-world design situations.


This course is designed for 9th grade students with a special interest in science. Through the use of educational robots, students will learn basic principles of robotics, programming and engineering, as well as reinforcing other math and science concepts. The course seeks to develop problem-solving skills by overcoming challenges through group cooperation, brainstorming and project management. The emphasis of the course will be to develop a strong foundation of coding in Python. Note: the first semester may include 9th, 11th and 12th grade students. Since the FTC challenge is different every year, upper classmen may return and participate in the competition again under the course named Robotics II or Robotics III.

AP Biology

This college level course stresses four major ideas:

1. Evolution drives the diversity of life.
2. Biological systems utilize energy and molecular building blocks to grow, reproduce, and maintain homeostasis.
3. Living systems store, retrieve, and transmit information in the form of DNA.
4. Biological systems interact via feedback loops in complex ways.

The course has an emphasis on molecular and cellular biology, including the biochemistry of respiration, photosynthesis, DNA replication, protein synthesis, and genetics. It also emphasizes the process of evolution in the development of the different forms of life and the relationships among them.

AP Chemistry

This college level course covers theoretical topics of atomic theory and atomic structure, chemical bonding, study of the behavior of gases, liquids, solids and solutions, reaction types, stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, and thermodynamics. The descriptive facts surrounding these topics (chemical reactivity and products of chemical reactions, relationships in the periodic table, percentage composition, empirical formulas, stoichiometric relations, electrolysis, equilibrium constants, standard electrode potentials, thermochemical calculations, kinetic calculations and acid/base relationships) are taught throughout the course to illustrate and illuminate the theoretical concepts.

Sample Coordinate Courses

AP Environmental Science

Offered at The Bryn Mawr School, this college level course is designed 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 man-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Field and laboratory studies, experimental design and data analysis are essential components of the course.

Civil Engineering

Offered at Roland Park Country School, in this course students will explore one of the great challenges of modern urban planning: maintaining a safe and healthy watershed. Topics covered will include providing safe drinking water, developing infrastructure for water transport, and other ways humans impact the hydrology cycle. An emphasis will be on materials design, and major projects may include developing effective water delivery systems and manufacturing materials to improve water quality.