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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Environmental and Earth/Space Science Courses

Astronomy

  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of one year of math and two years of science
  • Course Number: 04040102

This course explores our understanding of the basic features in the observable universe. Topics include the development of modern astronomy, basic telescope design, the celestial sphere, human spaceflight, the solar system, properties of stars, and galaxy structure. Occasional short projects, sky simulation programs, current events in astronomy, and home-based observations are used throughout the course. When feasible, voluntary evening observations at school are conducted. Basic calculations using sky angles are necessary throughout the course.

Astronomy H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of two years of math and two years of science
  • Course Number: 04040203

This course explores our understanding of the features in the observable universe. Topics include historical astronomers and the development of modern astronomical thought, modern telescopes design and operation, celestial coordinates, human spaceflight and technology, the solar system, electromagnetic radiation, star evolution, galaxy evolution, and cosmology. Several short projects, sky simulation programs, real-time data, current events in astronomy, and home-based observations are used throughout the course. When feasible, voluntary evening observations at school are conducted. Calculations in navigation, sky angles, planet motion, and star distances are used in various parts of the course.

Geology

  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of one year of math and two years of science
  • Course Number: 04040302

This course studies the earth as a dynamic system in which numerous forces are at work both internally and on the surface of the planet. Topics include the basic composition and structure of the earth, geologic history, reading topographic maps, rock and mineral identification, destructive/constructive processes, and plate tectonics. Projects and presentations are used in parts of the course. Opportunities to pursue topics of individual interest are available. When possible, an all day field trip allows students to directly study the geology of our region. Basic knowledge of solid geometry is needed for parts of this course.

Geology H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of two years of math and two years of science
  • Course Number: 04040403

This course studies the earth as a dynamic system in which numerous forces are at work both internally and on the surface of the planet. Topics include the composition and structure of the earth, geologic history, paleontology, topographic map interpretation and design, geologic map interpretation, rock and mineral identification, destructive/constructive processes, and plate tectonics. When possible, an all day field trip allows students to directly study the geology of our region. Knowledge of solid geometry, angular measurement, and unit conversion are needed for parts of the course.

Meteorology (offered 2020-2021)

  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of one year of math and two years of science
  • Course Number: 04040702

Topics studied include basic weather map analysis, atmospheric structure, heat transfer, the water cycle, cloud identification, severe weather, and global warming. Daily weather summaries or presentations, readings, working with basic online data, short projects, and various experiments are all part of the course. Working with numbers, interpreting graphs and maps, and basic arithmetic are necessary components of this course. H

Meteorology H (offered 2020-2021)

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of two years of math and two years of science
  • Course Number: 04040803

This course is designed for those interested in gaining in-depth knowledge about the atmosphere in which we live. Topics studied include detailed weather map analysis, atmospheric structure, heat transfer and applied calculations, moisture measurements and calculations, cloud dynamics, jet-stream analysis, basic forecasting models, severe weather, and global warming. Daily weather summaries or presentations, readings, online data collection and analysis, short projects, and various experiments are all part of this course. Interpretation of data tables, charts, graphs, maps, and various applied calculations are necessary components of this course.

Oceanography (offered 2020-2021)

  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of one year of math and two years of science
  • Course Number: 04040502

This course is designed for those interested in learning more about the physical, chemical, and biological components of the world’s oceans. Topics studied include the history of ocean exploration and deep-diving technology, basic nautical chart interpretation, barrier island ecology, beach sand composition, basic water temperature patterns, large-scale water motion, ocean pollution, and marine life in various life zones. Online data sources, nautical charts, readings, short projects, a trip to the NJ Aquarium, and, when possible, a trip to the Wetlands Institute at the NJ shore are included in this course. Basic map and graph interpretation, basic knowledge of biology and chemistry, and working with numbers are necessary for parts of this course.

Oceanography H (offered 2020-2021)

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Completion of two years of math and two years of science.
  • Course Number: 04040603

This course is designed for those interested in a more detailed understanding about the physical, chemical, and biological components of the world’s oceans. Topics studied include the history of ocean exploration and deep-diving technology, nautical chart interpretation, barrier island ecology, beach sand analysis and composition, temperature and salinity patterns, remote sensing technology, large-scale water motion analysis, ocean pollution, and marine life in various life zones. Online data sources, nautical charts, online maps, readings, short projects, a trip to the NJ Aquarium, and, when possible, a trip to the Wetlands Institute at the NJ shore are included in this course. Map and graph interpretation, knowledge of biology and chemistry, and working with numbers are necessary for parts of this course.

Landscape Architecture/Horticulture (offered at Harriton High School only)

  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology
  • Course Number: 04041002

Landscape Architecture is the art of planning the appropriate use of land and designing the built environment based on an understanding of natural and cultural site characteristics, human need, and sound artistic and technical competence. Horticulture deals with the creation, production, distribution and use of fruit, vegetable, ornamental, greenhouse, turf and specialty crops. Students studying Landscape Architecture/Horticulture will concentrate on two major themes: (1) identification of trees, shrubs, evergreens, and groundcovers, propagation and culture of ornamental nursery stock, planting and establishment of aesthetically pleasing landscapes, management and care of urban landscape trees and shrubs, diagnosis and treatment of pests and diseases affecting landscape plants, and (2) site design, land use, and urban planning. Students will utilize the greenhouse for “hands on” lab activities as well as complete garden designs with detailed plant lists.

Landscape Architecture/Horticulture H (offered at Harriton High School only)

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that interested students have grades of “A” or “B” in Biology or Biology H
  • Course Number: 04041103

In Landscape Architecture students plan the appropriate use of land and designing the built environment based on an understanding of natural and cultural site characteristics, human need, and sound aesthetic and technical competence. Horticulture deals with the creation, production, distribution and use of specialty crops. Students studying Landscape Architecture/Horticulture will concentrate on two major themes: (1) botany and soil science, and (2) site design, land use, and residential planning. The greenhouse will be the laboratory setting for students’ investigations and projects. Projects will be developed to align to the District’s emphasis on sustainability.
Students will be required to do independent research while completing total property designs with plant lists and detailed bids/proposals.

AP Environmental Science

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade(s): 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that students have a grade of “A” or “B” in Biology and
  • Chemistry; and Mathematics through Algebra 2
  • Course Number: 04040904

The goal of the Advanced Placement Program is to prepare students to successfully complete an AP exam. This course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester introductory college-level course in environmental science. It utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, combining elements of earth sciences, biology, and chemistry, to understand the interrelationships within the natural world. Students use scientific and quantitative methodologies to analyze and identify naturally occurring and man-made environmental problems, evaluate environmental and health risks, and explore solutions to minimize or prevent such risks. This rigorous course includes assigned
readings, classroom lectures and discussions, a laboratory and field component, and outside research.