Loch Raven High School's science students are required to meet the State of Maryland and Baltimore County graduation requirements. Therefore, all science students earn at least three credits in science. Recognizing a diverse population, instruction is provided that meets the needs of the special education students as well as the standard, honors, and gifted and talented populations of our school community.
All ninth grade students begin their science studies by enrolling in biology. Students, after articulation with and based on recommendations from our feeder middle schools, will be enrolled in either a standard, honors, or gifted and talented biology class. Several standard level classes may include students with special needs. Biology teachers of these classes will team plan and team teach with a special educator to ensure that program adaptations are consistent with the needs of all students. Offering a variety of levels of instruction within the same course allows for flexible movement of students during the school year and before they move to their next science course.
The course sequence chosen by many students would include standard biology in grade nine, earth/space science in grade ten, and an elective such as standard chemistry, physics, environmental science, horticulture, zoology or paramedical biology in grades eleven or twelve.
College bound students often follow a course sequence of honors or gifted and talented biology, honors or gifted and talented chemistry and honors or gifted and talented physics. Students will participate in many lab experiences in all of these courses. The science department maintains a series of prerequisites to ensure proper preparation before enrolling in upper level courses.
Because of the intense utilization of math skills, close attention is paid to the proper math preparation for students in honors and gifted and talented course sequences. The use of calculator-based labs and computers for word processing, data manipulation, and gathering research information becomes an important part of students' study. Increasingly, performance-based assessments are being utilized to develop real-world connections within the classroom.
All biology students participate in a student service learning project that identifies and addresses a local environmental concern through a preparation, action, and reflection phase. This provides a unique opportunity for students to accumulate service learning hours towards the Maryland graduation requirement of seventy-five student service learning hours.
Students in paramedical biology complete a First Responder course and become CPR certified. Physics students compete in the county Physics Olympics and in regional Science Bowl competitions. Another highly successful feature of Loch Raven High's science curriculum is the offering of Advance Placement courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. These multiple credit courses prepare advanced students to take the advance placement exams. Loch Raven science students have maintained an exceptional record of advanced placement performance! In addition to the traditional biology, chemistry, earth science and physics courses, the science department offers elective courses in Human Physiology, Forensics Science, Horticulture, Zoology, and Paramedical Biology. We also offer an Advanced Placement Environmental Science.
The science curriculum offered at Loch Raven was designed to conform to local, state and national standards. These standards are Benchmarks for Science Literacy, American Association for the Advancement of Science, A High School Framework for National Science Education Standards, National Science Teachers Association, Maryland State Department of Education, Core Learning Goals, and Baltimore County Public School Essential Curriculum Indicators.