Science Department


The Hanal School provides a rigorous science curriculum that prepares students for university level courses, science-oriented careers, and AP courses for college credits.  There is a theoretical as well as laboratory component that ensures students will have a strong foundation and understanding of the scientific method, scientific inquiry, and lab report writing.  Students develop the necessary abstract and conceptual processing skills that allow them to grasp the various theoretical models that are the basis of the biological and physical sciences.

9th Grade


Units of study for biology include microscopy, cellular/molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, DNA technology, evolution, human physiology, plant structure & function, and ecology.  Biology is an unfolding of many mysteries in which students begin to see the interrelations not only on a cellular and physiological level of organisms, but also between organisms and their environment.  Students begin to understand and internalize the human impact on the biosphere, and the role their generation will play in dealing with these issues.  Students see first-hand that the Earth with its limited resources cannot forever sustain an ever-growing population.


Biology Honors

In addition to the units of study listed under the biology course, students will develop a more cellular and molecular approach to their understanding of biology.  Biochemistry students dive more deeply in their exploration of the content in biology, and begin to write formal laboratory reports applying the scientific method to their laboratory investigations.  This course is more abstract and challenging and addresses content in greater depth.

10th Grade


Units of study for chemistry include matter, atomic structure, nature of electrons, periodic table and periodic trends, elements, compounds, bonding theory, chemical reactions, the mole and stoichiometry, states of matter, gas laws, reaction rates and equilibrium, acids and bases, redox reactions, electrochemistry, and an introduction to organic chemistry (hydrocarbons).  The course emphasizes the rigorous and traditional approach to comprehending the foundational principles of physical science.  Students’ knowledge and understanding of the natural world is broadened, as students’ abstract and conceptual thinking  .  In addition, students develop a greater comprehension of the nature of scientific inquiry through laboratory work.

Chenistry Honors

This course is similar to the basic chemistry course, but will require a deeper analysis of the chemistry core curriculum.  It is also a preparatory course for students who wish to enroll in AP chemistry.  Students will benefit from the insights they receive in understanding natural phenomena, and the degree to which chemistry plays an important role in their lives.

11th Grade


Units of study for physics include motion (Newtonian physics), work and energy, momentum and collisions, gravitation, solids and fluids, thermodynamics, wave theory (modern physics), light and sound, electricity / magnetism, atomic theory, and nuclear physics.  This course emphasizes the laws governing the natural world and the mathematical reasoning supporting the laws.  Students are encouraged to question the validity of the laws, and why the realm of the atom and subatomic particles (micro / quantum world) deviates from the laws governing the macroscopic world of phenomena.  Laboratory work involving observations, predictions, data collection, and drawing conclusions enhances understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry.

AP Biology

The AP biology course prepares students for the AP Biology Examination to be taken in May.  The quantity of work, level of the content, laboratory requirements, and intellectual rigor of this course will definitely challenge students.  The complexities of the lab and content requirements make it essential for students to take extra care to study, review, and complete assignments.   Registration for this course requires completion of biology, chemistry, and physics courses, as well as the permission of the teacher.

12th Grade

AP Physics

Students use the information and knowledge learned in previous science courses to gain a unified understanding of the various scientific models prevalent today.  Students begin to learn to integrate theory with practical real-world problems and solutions.  In addition to the content in the Physics course, students explore the topics of special and general relativity, wave and particle physics, and quantum physics.  There will be an emphasis for students to inquire into the micro and macro nature of the universe, and the implications these theoretical principles have for shaping the future of humanity.  The prerequisites for this course offering include the completion of courses in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.

AP Physics

This course is designed to prepare students for college chemistry while also granting AP credit.  Its objective is to instill the theoretical principles and laboratory practices expected of introductory university chemistry courses.  This year long course will cover the relevant topics such as the periodic table, stochiometry, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, thermodynamics, gas laws, and much more.  This is a course for students who want to enter college ahead of the curve.  It therefore requires a considerable time commitment in terms of studying and working through chemical problems.  Thus, the math prerequisite is the successful completion of Algebra II.