Frisch’s comprehensive, lab-based science program enables students to understand the fundamentals of natural systems and how they interact. In biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and scientific research courses, students gain the ability to use the methods of scientific inquiry to gain an appreciation for the complexity of the universe. In addition, as students develop scientific literacy, they will be prepared to make informed decisions in their future concerning societal issues.
The study of Biology in freshman year is intended as a survey course to lay the foundation for understanding biology in a conceptual way. The key to such an understanding is to recognize those unifying themes that pervade all of biology and frame our understanding of the living world. Those central themes include: the study of the process of evolution as it drives the unity and diversity of life, the use of energy and molecular building blocks to grow and reproduce, the ability of living things to store, retrieve, and transmit information essential to life, and the interactions of biological systems with each other. During the laboratory sessions, the students are exposed to science as a process, gathering and analyzing data and synthesizing concepts from the data collected.
In our comprehensive, laboratory-based sophomore year Chemistry course, students investigate an array of topics, including: the properties of matter, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, and bonding. Students are encouraged to compare, contrast, and synthesize useful models of the structure and properties of matter and the mechanism of its interactions. In addition, students in this course gain an understanding of the history of chemistry and investigate chemical questions related to societal issues. The course emphasizes mathematical problem-solving techniques, both in lecture and in lab.
In the junior year Physics course, students explore the fundamental laws that determine the workings of the universe. Topics include: motion, force, gravity, momentum, energy, heat, waves, light, optics, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of the atom. Focus is given to topics which are in the forefront of current research and which are relevant to contemporary uses of physics in the home and workplace. The course utilizes algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and graphical analysis.
Students in Scientific Engineering are offered an exciting, rigorous, accelerated curriculum rich in laboratory and work-based experiences, in addition to simulated laboratory experiments and multimedia activities. Topics such as electronics, robotics and medical engineering are studied in a unique and collaborative environment.
Engineering students are challenged to expand their intellects and to develop skills in the areas of inquiry, critical thinking, problem seeking, problem solving, research, and presentation. Students develop the ability to access and analyze information, to view the world through multiple perspectives and to make connections between the disciplines of science, technology, mathematics and engineering. Engineering students present their projects in Frisch’s Engineering Fair and participate in various competitions. (The Frisch School partners with the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education for this course). To view the Engineering Curriculum, click here.
Frisch students have the opportunity to participate in authentic research in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics under the support and guidance of Rutgers University. This exciting hands-on elective allows students to apply their previous study of science to cutting-edge DNA research.
In this full-year junior elective, students are given a genomic library of a plant, commonly known as duckweed. Students proceed to purify clones containing specific gene sequences, amplify DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and perform restriction digests on these clones. Gel electrophoresis is used to identify the size of the gene inserts. Once the DNA sequences have been determined, students analyze the DNA sequences using bioinformatics. Students become familiar with BLAST, Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, that compares this novel gene sequence to both DNA sequences and proteins sequences available on the national databases of the National Center of Bioinformatics (NCBI). The goal of the research is to identify novel proteins in this organism. Students’ analysis is then submitted to NCBI for publication on their databases, which is then made available to all researchers worldwide.
This class affords students the opportunity to participate in the community of scientific research and scholarship as part of their high school experience. During the school year, students will have the opportunity to choose and explore a topic of interest. The topic may come from mathematics, physical science, computer science, engineering, life science, social science, or psychology. This is in preparation to match the student to a research lab within the area for a summer internship. Students who sign up for this course have to be willing to commit to working in a lab for 5-7 consecutive weeks over the summer. In addition, some labs, if not all, may require that students are at least 16 years of age before beginning an internship.
The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college-level introductory biology course. The intent of the course is to expose students to higher-level biological principles, concepts, and skills and allow them the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-life applications. Students are expected to learn not by memorization of facts, but through content and concept application. Core concepts and their application are the basis of the curriculum and are organized around biological principles that focus on the following topics: evolution, the use of biological systems using energy to maintain homeostasis for survival, passing heritable information to provide continuity of life, and the interaction of biological systems with biotic and abiotic factors.
The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. Its goal is to provide the students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of chemistry. Its curriculum is built upon rigorous study in four major areas: structure of matter, states of matter, reaction, and descriptive chemistry. Students taking this course will be required to complete laboratory work outside of the regular class time.
This class is a calculus-based general physics class for students interested in science and engineering. Concurrent enrollment in calculus is a requirement, and students will learn how to apply differential and integral calculus to problem solving in mechanics and electricity and magnetism. Labs meet an additional period every week and cover topics in electricity and magnetism as well as optics and modern physics. The students will be expected to write complete, typed-up lab reports, with mathematical analysis of their data done in graphical analysis software. In addition, students will investigate numerical methods and quantitative data analysis in great depth using scientific software.
Using the AP Environmental Science curriculum, students will study the interrelationships of the natural world. The course will introduce students to the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies needed to understand both natural and human-made environmental problems and examine possible solutions. The course outline includes earth systems, ecosystems, population dynamics, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. Throughout each unit students will be given the opportunity to investigate the quality of our environment and think analytically to apply concepts.
This biology elective is an in-depth look at the human body and how society impacts different health issues. The course begins with an introduction in which the students consider how our society/government, in general, can impact research and how this may affect our health. The course is divided into several units. The units covered throughout the course will include the following systems: digestion, circulation, respiration, nervous, as well as others. Each unit is divided into two parts; the first covers the anatomy of that system, while the second part looks at newspapers, media, and scientific research to determine how different environmental factors may impact the health of that system. The final unit of the course will explore the history of the ethics involved in human experimentation.