All science courses at Portage High School have a laboratory requirement. Students taking science classes will experience a lab-based curriculum. Financial Note: In addition to normal book rental, students taking science classes may be required to purchase lab books and workbooks ranging from $1-$5. A scientific calculator may be recommended for Integrated Chemistry-Physics, chemistry and physics classes.
Anatomy and Physiology I, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 11, 12
Prerequisite: C or better in Biology and Health Wellness is required.
Students investigate concepts related to Health Science, with emphasis on interdependence of systems and contributions of each system to the maintenance of a healthy body. Students are introduced to the body systems, which include: Integumentary, Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic/Immune, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary, and Reproductive. Through laboratory investigation and hands-on activities, students will apply concepts associated with the structure and function of the human body. Dissection of animal specimens is a required part of this course.
Advanced Science, Special Topics: Anatomy and Physiology II, 2 semesters 2 credits
Prerequisite: C or better in Anatomy & Physiology I, Med-Term Anatomy, or AP Biology is required.
Students will explore the structure and function of the human body in greater depth and detail. Emphasis will be placed on the physiological aspects of certain body systems with an in-depth exploration of cytology, histology, and pathophysiology as it relates to health and disease. Students will have extended laboratory, field, and literature investigations (case studies), to gain an understanding of health and the methods for diagnosing, analyzing, and treating disease.
Advanced Science: Special Topics: Geology, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 11, 12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Biology & Physical Science (Chemistry, ICP, or Physics). Cumulative GPA 2.7 and be on a college pathway.
Beginning geology course designed to introduce basic principles of geology. The changing dynamics of Earth & geosphere will be a major focus. Class format will consist of lecture, discussion, field trips, and extensive laboratory work. Students will also be responsible for assigned readings, comprehension quizzes, & content tests. The ability to work in groups is essential. Although this class is taught in high school, this class will be taught with the rigor of a freshman-level college course. This course may fulfill a non-science majors degree requirement for science in college.
Dual Credit: May be awarded for G103 (3 credit hours) through Indiana University.
Biology I, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 9, 10
Prerequisite: An A or B in 8th grade science for 9th grade.
Biology I is a course based on the 8 state standards. 1. Organic molecules; 2. Cellular Processes; 3. Matter: Cycle and Energy Transfer; 4. Interdependence; 5. Molecules of heredity; 6. Cellular reproduction; 7. Genetics; 8. Evolution. The course is partial lab and inquiry based and requires application and critical thinking skills to be utilized. The course is designed to prepare the student to pass the Biology ECA at the end of the year.
Note: There is a Pre-AP Biology 1 available for 9th graders only with a requirement of an A or B in 8th grade Biology and Recommendation. This course is more rigorous and in-depth with emphasis on analysis and critical thinking skills for success in AP course work.
Biology II, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 11, 12
Prerequisite: Completion of Biology I and Chemistry or ICP with a C or better.
The first semester of Biology II focuses on a more in-depth understanding of the Biology Core Standards established by the State of Indiana. The second semester will be divided into Botany and Zoology. In this course, students refine their scientific inquiry skills as they collaboratively and independently apply their knowledge of the unifying themes of biology to biological questions and problems. Successful completion of this course will prepare students for the rigors of college biology.
Biology, Advanced Placement, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 11, 12
Prerequisite: Biology I and a grade of B or better in Biology 1 and Chemistry I are required. Students must meet Honors criteria and be willing to spend sufficient time outside of class to complete required work.
Biology, Advanced Placement is an inquiry-based course using the content established by the College Board. The major themes of the course include: a) The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life, b) Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce and to maintain dynamic homeostasis, c) Living systems store, retrieve, transmit and respond to information essential to life processes, and d) Biological systems interact,and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. PNC requires 50% of grade to be tests and 20% to be quizzes. A comprehensive description of this course can be found on the College Board AP Central Course Description web page at:
Dual Credit: Three credits available through Purdue North Central. Fees apply.
Chemistry I, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Algebra I with a C or higher.
Chemistry I is a course based on regular laboratory investigations of matter, chemical reaction, and the role of energy in those reactions. Students enrolled in Chemistry I compare, contrast, and synthesize useful models of the structure and properties of matter and the mechanisms of its interactions. In addition, students enrolled in this course are expected to: (1) gain an understanding of the history of chemistry, (2) explore the uses of chemistry in various careers, (3) investigate chemical questions and problems related to personal needs and societal issues, (4) learn and practice laboratory safety and (5) use of algebraic skills to problem solve.
Note: There is a Pre-AP Chemistry 1 available to 10th graders only, Algebra 1 with a "B" or higher all year.
Chemistry, Advanced Placement, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 11, 12
Prerequisite: Chemistry I with a grade of B or higher, Algebra 2 with a B or higher or Algebra 2 Pre AP Honors with a C or higher, Honors criteria.
AP Chemistry is an extended laboratory, field, and literature investigations-based course. Students enrolled in AP Chemistry examine the chemical reactions of matter in living and nonliving materials. Based on the unifying themes of chemistry and the application of physical and mathematical models of the interactions of matter, students use the methods of scientific inquiry to answer chemical questions and solve problems concerning personal needs and community issues related to chemistry.
Dual Credit: Four credits available through Purdue North Central. Fees apply.
Integrated Chemistry/Physics, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 10, 11, 12
Integrated Chemistry/Physics is a laboratory-based course in which students explore fundamental chemistry and physics principles. Students enrolled in this course examine, through the process of scientific inquiry, the structure and properties of matter, chemical reactions, forces, motion, and the interactions between energy and matter. Working in a laboratory environment, students investigate the basics of chemistry and physics in solving real-world problems that may have personal or social consequences beyond the classroom.
Earth and Space Science I, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth and Space Science I is a course focusing on the study of the earths slithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and its celestial environment. Students enrolled in Earth and Space Science I analyze and describe Earths interconnected systems that may be changing or may be in equilibrium. Students examine energy at work in forming and modifying earth materials, landforms, and continents through geological time. Through regular laboratory and field investigations, students understand the history and development of the earth and space sciences, explore the uses of knowledge of the earth and its environment in various careers, and investigate earth and space science problems concerning personal needs and community issues related to science.
Physics I, 2 semesters 2 credits
Grades 11, 12
Prerequisites: Chemistry, Geometry, Algebra II, with a B or better in each course as well as PreCalculus taken concurrently. (If one of the required courses is concurrent, then math and science teacher recommendations are required.)
Physics I is a course in which students synthesize fundamental concepts and principles related to matter and energy, including mechanics, wave motion, heat, light, electricity, magnetism, and nuclear physics. Through problem solving, research, and laboratory analysis, while using such quantities as velocity, acceleration, force, energy, momentum, frequency, and charge; students (1) examine the nature and scope of physics, including its relationship to other sciences and its ability to describe phenomena using physical laws; (2) describe the history of physics and its role in the birth of technology; (3) explore the uses of its models, theories, and laws in various careers; and (4) investigate physics questions and problems related to personal needs and societal issues.
Note: Physics I Pre-AP: Available for honors level math and science 11th graders only and must meet all prerequisites, but at the Pre-AP honors level and with chemistry teacher recommendation (Must be concurrently enrolled in Pre-AP PreCalculus).
Physics C, Advanced Placement, 2 semesters 2 credits
Prerequisite: Pre-AP Physics I (teacher recommendation), Pre-AP Pre-Calculus with a "B" or better as well as AP Calculus or Calculus taken concurrently. Honors criteria.
The Advanced Placement Physics "C" course is designed as an elaboration on the concepts and principles studied in Pre-AP Physics I. It is intended to provide a rigorous introduction to college-level physics for students interested in pursuing the physical sciences, engineering and/or technology. The emphasis of the course will be on problem solving, with special attention paid to mathematical solutions. The course will be mainly theoretical in approach, although there will be a laboratory component intended to give the student experience with measurement, data analysis, writing college-level lab reports and physics concepts through inquiry. It is recommended that AP Physics students be extremely self-motivated and have a very strong background in mathematics, as calculus is used to develop concepts. The AP Physics"C": Mechanics College board Exam is required to be taken by all eligible AP Physics students as determined by the teacher.
PLTW (Project Lead the Way): Course Descriptions
Financial Note: In addition to normal book rental, students taking PLTW pre-engineering courses will be required to pay a lab fee of $15 for each course.
Note: The following courses are recommended for students who are interested in pursuing a post-secondary degree in an engineering or medical field of study. All courses count as Directed Electives or Electives for the General, Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors and Core 40 with Technical Honors diplomas. Students passing the college portion of the Nation End Course Exam are eligible for trans-scripted college credit through many national universities.
Dual Credit: Course qualifies for Dual College Credit through IVY Tech.
Principles of Biomedical Sciences, 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grades 9, 10, 11
Prerequisite for grade 9: Must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have a recommendation from your PreAP Biology teacher during the eighth grade year.
Prerequisite for grades 10 and 11: Must have a GPA of 2.67 or higher.
PLTW Principles of the Biomedical Sciences provides an introduction to this field through "hands-on" projects and problems. Student work involves the study of human medicine, research processes and an introduction to bioinformatics. Students investigate the human body systems and various health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and infectious diseases. A theme through the course is to determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person. After determining the factors responsible for the death, the students investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person's life. Key biological concepts included in the curriculum are: homeostasis, metabolism, inheritance of traits, feedback systems and defense against disease. Engineering principles such as the design process, feedback loops, fluid dynamics and the relationship of structure to function will be included where appropriate. The course is designed to provide an overview of all courses in the Biomedical Sciences program and to lay the scientific foundation necessary for student success in the subsequent courses.
Note: Use of the PLTW course number is limited to schools that have agreed to be part of the Project Lead the Way network and follow all training and data collection requirements.
Human Body System (HBS) #5216AB 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Principles of Biomedical Sciences
Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.
Medical Interventions (MI) #5217AB 2 semesters, 2 credits
Grade 11, 12
Prerequisite: Principles of Biomedical Sciences and Human Body Systems
Students follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Students explore how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; evaluate cancer treatment options; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real-world cases, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics.