Course Description

This conceptual physics course will incorporate real life applications with basic algebra. Many of the scientific concepts that students were previously exposed to will be explored in greater depth using cooperative learning, inquiry, research, and discovery methods. Over time students will begin to understand how physics principles can be used to explain the world around them. Laboratory experiences will use everyday objects and simple equipment that students can easily recognize and understand. This course enables students to acquire useful laboratory, communication, and reasoning skills that will be of great use to them in future science programs. The course also provides multiple opportunities for integration with math and technology, and will make use of various resources including audio visual and text. This physics course is supported by the Next generation state standards and the Common Core standards.


Course Description

Biology is a natural science with a focus on life and living organisms. Students will be learning how to think like a scientist, understand what it means to be living, and appreciate the interdependence of living thing and their environments. They will begin their study by reviewing basic laboratory and data analysis skills, and then shift their attention to five life science topics:

1) Structure and Function,

2) Inheritance and Variation of Traits,

3) Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems,

4) Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, and

5) Natural Selection and Evolution.


The performance expectations for high school life science blend core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing useable knowledge that can be applied across the science disciplines and application to real world life.


Course Description

This course will cover concepts and theories relating to the scientific field of Chemistry. Students will develop a clear understanding of matter and the elements, atoms, bonding, chemical reactions, and nuclear chemistry, among other concepts, and of how these principles affect our society and the world as a whole. Knowledge will be gained through reading, homework, in-class instruction, models, and internet research. The students will apply their understanding of scientific theories to laboratory experiments and projects to demonstrate higher-level thinking.


Course Description

This course is typically taken after Biology, and is designed to provide students with an opportunity to explore biological topics at a more advanced level. The Neotropical Ecology course is designed to introduce students to the world of the tropical wet forest and several other ecosystems that are classified based on moisture and altitude. Students will build on this knowledge to explore ecosystems here in New Mexico, which are classified based on altitude and lack of moisture. Lectures and discussions will be held on topics such as: the diversity of life zones, ecosystems, and species in the tropics, as well as deforestation and the responsibilities of private reserves and private citizens. Students will also complete research projects.

Ethnobotany and ethnobotany lab (co-requisites)

Course Description

Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships that exist between Indigenous cultures and local plants. The interaction of plants and people, including the influence of plants on Native culture, is the focus of the interdisciplinary field of ethnobotany. This introductory course will focus on plant species of the Southwestern U.S. with major economic, medicinal and ceremonial uses. The course begins with a study of botanical terms, plant names, plant reproduction, and basic plant anatomy. A required lab component will include identifying and preparing botanicals which have aided human populations in this region.

ETHNOBOTANY OF THE SOUTHWEST LAB – The Ethnobotany Lab will consist of hands-on activities, including seed staining, flower, fruit and root dissections, preparation of herbal salves, corn preparation (nixtamalization), tree identification, herbarium sheet preparation, and field trips to natural areas in central and northern New Mexico.