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Cate Hibbitt, Department Head

A graduate of Lincoln School is expected to have a strong background in the major branches of science: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, as well as the ability to use technology effectively. The courses offered place a special emphasis on logical reasoning, problem-solving, and critical thinking, as well as laboratory competency.

Department Requirements

Three science laboratory courses: Physics, Chemistry, and Biology or AP Biology are the minimum requirements for graduation.



Course Descriptions



Grade Nine - Laboratory Course

The Physics First program helps students build a strong foundation for their scientific career at Lincoln School and beyond. In this course students investigate how matter behaves and interacts with its surroundings - answering such questions as “how do objects move?” and “how does electricity work?” The topics covered in the course are applicable to and directly evident in everyday life and include: motion, energy, momentum, electricity and magnetism, sound, and optics. Students will investigate these topics through project-based units that will include laboratory experiments, demonstrations, independent design challenges, interactive computer simulations, and discussions involving applicable current events. Throughout the course, students will enhance their algebra, problem solving, and scientific reasoning skills. The concepts and skills learned in this course lay the critical groundwork for applications in future science courses. 


Section 1 Co-requisite: (taken concurrently with Physics)

  • Algebra 2 Honors or Algebra 2
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Established independent work habits and well-developed problem solving skills


Section 2 Co-requisite: (taken concurrently with Physics)

Algebra 1 or Algebra 2


Grade Ten - Laboratory Course

The study of Chemistry allows us to understand the nature of matter on both observable and atomic levels. We will explore the following concepts: atomic interactions through study of the periodic table, chemical bonding, and chemical reactions conceptually and mathematically. We will then apply these basic theories in the quantitative examination of thermochemistry, equilibrium, introductory kinetics, solutions, electrochemistry, and acid base chemistry to see how atomic interactions lead to observable phenomena. Additional topics in chemistry may include nuclear and organic chemistry. Students will refine their understanding through laboratory work, with an emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking.


Section 1 Prerequisite:

  • Physics
  • Algebra 2 Honors or Algebra 2
  • Established independent work habits and well-developed problem solving skills
  • Teacher recommendation


Section 2 Prerequisite:

  • Physics
  • Algebra 1 or Algebra 2


Grades Eleven - Laboratory Course

Study of Biology unlocks the wonders of life on earth ranging from the delicate intricacies of genetic coding to the enormous powers of environmental interactions. In this course we will examine cell structure, function and reproduction, biological energy requirements, genetics, the five kingdoms of life, Darwin’s theory of evolution, and the ecological interactions between biotic (living) organisms and abiotic (nonliving) factors.  As students explore these biological principles, emphasis is placed on developing laboratory skills and the scientific thought process.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Physics and Chemistry


AP Biology
Grades Eleven or Twelve - Laboratory Course

This course may be taken as an alternative to eleventh-grade Biology, or as an elective second-year biology course.  This class offers an advanced, intensive examination of the structures and functions of living organisms, with emphasis on evolution and diversity, biological energetics, biological transmission of information, and interactions of biological systems. Concepts are addresses through laboratory, lecture, reading, problem based case studies, projects, and discussion. Emphasis is placed on integration of biological principles, independent work, and experimental design, as well as preparation for the Advanced Placement Biology Exam in May. Students taking this course should expect a preparatory summer assignment.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Physics and Chemistry, with the recommendation of the department     


AP Chemistry
Grades Eleven or Twelve - Laboratory Course

This intensive, college-level course expands upon and delves deeper into the fundamental chemical concepts learned in introductory Chemistry. The curriculum provides a challenging classroom as well as laboratory experience. Our emphasis will be on independent learning, chemical calculations, and mathematical formulations of principles, as well as preparation for the Advanced Placement Chemistry Exam in May. Students taking this course should expect a preparatory summer assignment.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry, and the recommendation of the department based on demonstrated skills and motivation            

AP Physics C
Grades Eleven and Twelve - Laboratory Course

AP Physics C is a calculus-based college-level physics course designed for the student who plans to study science or engineering. This course follows the syllabus of Advanced Placement Physics C Mechanics, and prepares the student for the Advanced Placement Physics C Exam in May.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Physics, and current enrollment in Calculus or Advanced Placement Calculus               

AP Environmental Science
Grade Twelve - Laboratory Course

AP Environmental Science examines the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. We will identify, analyze, evaluate risks, and examine solutions of both natural and man-made environmental problems.  We will emphasize foundations of understanding the Earth’s ecology such as energy conversions, biogeochemical processes as interconnected systems, historical and current human alteration of natural systems, as well as the social and cultural context of environmental issues and solutions. The student prepares for the Advanced Placement Exam Environmental Science in May.

Prerequisite: Physics/Conceptual Physics, Chemistry/Conceptual Chemistry, and Biology 


Introduction to Marine Science
Grades Eleven or Twelve
a year-long course that meets four times a week  

Alternate year course offered 2014-2015

This class is a survey course.  Units will focus on physical (geology, climate, and water movement), chemical (water properties), and biological aspects (Survey of life in the marine environment), of the marine environment, as well as human impacts (fisheries, aquaculture, pollution, climate change, etc.).  Lessons will be delivered through lecture, laboratories, projects, case studies, and discussions.   Laboratory fieldwork will allow students to experience the marine environment through experiment, surveys, and visits to local industry, conservation groups, etc.

Prerequisite: completion of physics and chemistry; completion or concurrent work in biology      

Comparative Anatomy and Physiology
Grades Eleven or Twelve
a year-long course that meets four times a week  

Alternate year course offered 2015-2016

This upper level elective explores mammalian anatomy (structure) and physiology (function). Study of the human body will be emphasized along with the examination of comparative vertebrate structure and function as a reflection of evolutionary adaptation. We will study body systems in health and disease through lecture, projects, dissections, “you are the doctor” case studies, and other activities.

Prerequisite: Biology          

Explorations in Science:  Humans and History
Grades Ten, Eleven, or Twelve
Alternate year course offered 2013-2014

This interdisciplinary elective examines the role of science throughout human history. We will examine how science and human culture have progressed hand-in-hand over the course of time through the study of Marine Science, Microbiology (life under the microscope), and Science of the Arts. Our topics will include basic oceanography and deep sea exploration, microbes in both food and disease, and the scientific principles underlying what we know of as “the arts” – physics of music, chemistry of painting, and biology of illustration - to name a few. We will use hands-on observation and experiment (using equipment ranging from digital microscopes to spectrophotometers), research, discussion, and development of independent projects to examine these science/humanities connections. Come explore!

Prerequisite: none 


© 2014 Lincoln School | 301 Butler Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 | Ph: (401) 331 9696 | Fax: (401) 751 6670 
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