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Photo by Maxwell Chung ('17)

The Stanford OHS laboratory sciences curriculum is designed to provide all students with the scientific knowledge and critical-thinking skills necessary to engage with science outside of the classroom and beyond high school, but also to afford flexibility to allow interested students to explore a particular scientific discipline more deeply. Middle-school courses set the foundation for scientific reasoning through an inquiry-based approach and introduce students to the fundamentals of physical and life sciences. Earth, Environment, and Energy introduces students to the rigors of high-school level science through exploration of global scientific issues and experimentation. Honors-level courses explore the concepts necessary to scientific literacy in chemistry and physics and strengthen students’ ability to apply concepts through experimentation. These courses prepare students for AP-level studies which offer in-depth exploration of each of the three fundamental disciplines of science (physics, chemistry, and biology). All middle-school and high-school level courses contain an at-home lab component during the year. In addition, students in Honors- and AP-level courses have the option of attending the corresponding summer lab course to further experience the techniques used to investigate questions within the discipline. Our advanced offerings in biology and university-level physics allow students to progress beyond the AP level.

Students can follow a variety of paths through the science curriculum, although it is recommended that students take at least one course in each of the three fundamental disciplines (physics, chemistry, and biology). Students are placed in courses based on interest and fulfillment of pre- and co-requisites. Students wishing to accelerate in the sciences have the option of satisfying Honors-level prerequisites on the basis of placement exam results.

Division Head of Science: Kim Failor, Ph.D.

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