Science and Computer Science

Science courses at MCI support students in learning to inquire, understand and solve problems using scientific methods. Our courses integrate the processes of investigation and communication about the natural world with a scientific body of knowledge that includes concepts, principles, facts, laws, and theories about how our world and universe work. The Science Department offers students a variety of courses and levels from Earth and Space Science in freshman year through advanced placement courses. All students must complete four credits in science, including Earth and Space Science, Biology, and Chemistry or Physics.

MCI's Computer Science curriculum emphasizes the skills and knowledge that give our students confidence in an ever-changing field. Requiring our students to gain a solid foundation in science and mathematics fosters an environment that encourages strong problem-solving skills and abstract thinking. 

Earth and Space Science is the study of Earth and its place in space. Topics include Earth's materials, changes in the Earth's surface and interior, and the forces that bring about these changes. Earth science also examines the interaction among air, water and physical processes as they shape the physical world. Finally, a major division of Earth Science is astronomy: the study of our solar system, galaxies and the universe. (1 credit)

College Preparatory Earth and Space Science covers the same topics as General Earth Science, but with more emphasis on deep analysis and understanding. Topics will be explored in greater depth and detail. Students enrolling in this class must have good mathematical and strong critical thinking skills. (1 credit)

Biology is a systems approach to the important concepts and ideas of biology. This course is designed to lead students to an understanding and appreciation of the common characteristics of living systems. Topics include cells, genetics, organisms and ecosystems. This class includes many lab activities, which require analytical and communication skills. (1 credit)

College Preparatory Biology is an exploration of all life, from molecules to ecosystems. This course will study the structure and function and behavior of organisms on a changing planet. Students are required to solve problems using algebra, measure and compute accurately, research and write critically and design experiments. This class includes extensive lab work, which require math and reporting skills. (1 credit)

Chemistry is the study of matter and energy, and we examine the composition of substances and the changes they undergo in General Chemistry. We will also see how chemistry touches our lives every day and everywhere, in our food and medicine, and in the industries that make the things we use. The basic topics in General Chemistry include models of the atom; elements, compounds, and mixtures; states of matter; physical and chemical changes; the periodic table; atomic structure and chemical bonds; chemical formulas, reactions, and equations; acids and bases; carbon chemistry. The pace is slower than college prep and the understanding of concepts will be stressed. The metric system and basic math skills will routinely be used to problem solve. (1 credit)

College Prep Chemistry with lab is a standard high school chemistry course in which students perform a variety of activities, lab experiments and research in order to explore and explain matter. Topics include classification and measurement of matter, atomic theory, structure of atoms, use of the periodic table, chemical bonding and formulas, the mole concept, stoichiometry, gas laws, acids and bases, and the first law of thermodynamics. (1 credit) Prerequisites: Algebra II (may be taken concurrently)

Advanced Placement© Biology with lab is a college-level course designated as an official AP course by the College Board. This course addresses all areas of modern biology through extensive reading, writing, computation and lab work. All students are required to take the AP Biology exam in May. Summer work is required for all students. (1.5 credits) Prerequisites: Grades of 80 or above in Biology, Chemistry and Algebra

Advanced Placement© Chemistry with lab is designated by the College Board as equivalent to an introductory college chemistry course. The AP Chemistry course is very rigorous and challenging. Students will use a college textbook, cover a broad range of topics and perform extensive laboratory work and error analysis. Students are required to take the AP Chemistry exam in May. Summer work is required of all students. (1.5 credits) Prerequisites: Grades of 80 or above in College Prep Chemistry and Algebra II

Anatomy and Physiology focuses on the structure and function of the major human body systems. Semester 1 includes the introduction, histology, skeletal, muscular and part 1 of the nervous system. Semester 2 is part 2 of the nervous system, cardiovascular, digestive and reproductive system. Labs for this class are integrated throughout each unit. An emphasis is placed on learning proper terminology, as well as the integration of body systems. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Biology

Advanced Anatomy and Physiology focuses on the structure and function of the eleven human body systems. It is a faster paced, content focused class with a small lab section. An emphasis is placed on learning proper terminology, as well as the integration of body systems. For an additional fee, this course may be taken as a dual enrollment course in which students earn both high school and university credits. 4 college credits will be awarded by University of Maine at Fort Kent upon successful completion of each semester for a total of 8 college credits. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Biology

College Preparatory Physics is primarily a course in mechanics and teaches experimental design with graphical and numerical analysis. Experimental results are used to teach the fundamentals of linear motion and force and the analogous topics of rotational motion and torque. Students will also learn to solve problems using the conserved quantities of momentum and energy. Students must have good mathematical skills. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Algebra II or its equivalent (may be taken concurrently)

Advanced Placement© Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. The course is intended as a first year physics course for high school students who have a strong interest in physical science. Students will develop critical thinking and reasoning skills through inquiry-based lab investigations, along with traditional classroom work. There will be an emphasis on student led discussions about experimental observations, and applying those ideas to answer real world questions. Topics covered in this course are those that are typical of a first semester introductory college-level course. Topics include: kinematics; Newton's laws of motion; rotational motion; work, energy, and power; linear momentum; oscillations; mechanical waves and sound; and simple circuits. Students are required to take the AP Physics 1 exam in May. (1 credit) Prerequisites: Geometry and Algebra II (may be taken concurrently) 

Advanced Placement© Physics C Mechanics is a college-level course designated as an official AP course by the College Board. This course is calculus-based and mirrors the traditional focus of first semester introductory college physics classes: mechanics. Deep conceptual understanding and exceptional problem solving skills are expected outcomes. Students must have strong mathematical skills and high motivation. All students are required take the AP® Physics test, and analogous tests form the bulk of the graded material for this class. (1 credit) Prerequisite: CP Physics or equivalent; corequisite: Calculus

Advanced Placement© Physics C Electricity and Magnetism is a college-level course designated as an official AP course by the College Board. This course is calculus based and mirrors the traditional foci of second semester introductory college physics classes: Electricity and Magnetism. Deep conceptual understanding and exceptional problem solving skills are expected outcomes. Students must have strong mathematical skills and high motivation. All students are required to take the AP Physics test, and analogous tests form the bulk of the graded material for this class. (1 credit) Prerequisite: CP Physics or equivalent; Corequisite: Calculus.

Introduction to Engineering Design is a class for college preparatory students who wish to explore a career in engineering. This course will use project based learning and a team approach to develop the basic principles of engineering. Measurement and basic physics concepts, including force, mass, density, inertial moment, stress, tension, torsion, and torque will be taught. The class is open to any student with excellent math skills and a strong work ethic. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Algebra 1

Environmental Science provides students with a foundation in the principles and concepts of environmental science. Topic selection is based on current environmental science issues and includes: sustainability, population, recycling, waste management, alternative energies, agricultural practices, and human relationships with environmental change. Students are required to work in the student garden and participate in the campus recycling program and greenhouse. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Biology

Advanced Placement© Environmental Science is a college-level, introductory environmental science course devoted to integrating our understanding of biological, physical and social sciences through the study of environmental interactions. Students will examine the causes, consequences, and potential solutions for both natural and human created environmental problems along with the interrelationships that living things have with each other and with their environment. These concepts are explored through laboratory activities, environmental case studies, and student projects. Considerable emphasis is placed on field investigations as well as on laboratory study. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Earth/Space Science and Biology (grade point average of 85 or above)

Sustainable Living investigates the challenges of implementing sustainability in a variety of forms: home energy use, recycling/reusing/reducing/precycling, climate change and pollution, natural resource use, gardening and ecosystems/land use. This class is a hands-on approach to learning how to reduce the environmental impact of your living area, home, and here at MCI. Class size is limited, and enrollment is restricted to juniors and seniors. Prerequisites: Biology or equivalent and instructor permission

Laboratory Science: Watershed Investigations (fall semester) explores how healthy water is by investigating local watershed by land use, field work at the Sebasticook River and performing lab tests. The course also includes a survey of clean water laws, how cities and towns clean their water and careers in municipal water management. (1/2 credit each semester) Prerequisite: Biology

Laboratory Science: Wildlife Forensics (spring semester) covers the multi-billion dollar world of illegal wildlife trade and the efforts of wildlife forensic specialists to police it. You will learn how to conduct investigations using real-life cases of poaching and illegal trade. The course includes training in forensic lab techniques and a survey of current laws and job opportunities. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Biology

Botany is an introduction to the science of plants. This course examines the vital role of plants on Earth along with plant anatomy, growth and development and the characteristics of major groups of plants. (1 credit)

Private Pilot Ground School is a ten-week course is designed to prepare students to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot knowledge test (the written examination) as well as provide the necessary foundation to begin formal flight training. In this one-semester course, students examine aviation topics such as: principles of flight, aircraft systems, airplane performance, flight operations, radio communication, FAA regulations, human factors associated with aviation, aviation weather, navigational charts and calculations, and cross country flying. Upon successful completion of this course students will receive a Certified Flight Instructor’s endorsement to take the FAA private pilot knowledge test. The FAA knowledge test not included in this course. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Students should have taken Physics or be currently enrolled

Introduction to Medical Concepts acquaints students with orthopedic and general medical concepts including, but not limited to, general medical illnesses and care, orthopedic injury and rehabilitation, as well as first aid, CPR and the use of an AED. Students have the opportunity to earn First Aid/CPR/AED certification from the American Red Cross. (1 credit) Prerequisite: PE II and Health

Computer Science

Introduction to Python is an introductory course on the basics of coding using Python, a powerful language known for its ease of use. This project-based class will explore writing code to solve everyday problems. Students also learn how to build simple games with Python and explore the vast library of Python games and apps available online. While this course is introductory, it is designed for students of all abilities and can be adapted for students to work at different paces. (1/2 credit) Prerequisite: Algebra I

Introduction to HTML5/CSS covers the basics of setting up a website using current style guides. Starting with the essential HTML skeleton, students manipulate HTML with CSS, creating complex websites with a focus on form, function, and finesse. Students learn to construct websites with the end-user in mind by applying principles of Design Thinking. (1/2 credit)

Video Game Design uses a team-based approach to allow students to each contribute talents needed to construct a quality video game. From the narrative storyline to sound design to voice-over acting to concept art to coding, each unit is designed to help students find their niche in the technical world. The class will begin by dissecting quality games to understand their value, and then apply their findings to their own games. At the end of the semester, each team will complete their own complex game to share with the world. This course is designed for any student interested in art, music, drama, creative writing, and of course coding! (1/2 credit)

Computer Science Discoveries introduces students to the basic concepts of computational thinking. This course will take students on an adventure examining the concepts of abstraction, algorithms, and basic programming. Along the way students will create games in Javascript, design functioning apps, learn the basics of web design, and build programs to control circuit boards. This course is designed for anyone who has ever wanted to peek inside a computer to understand just how it works. (1/2 credit)

Advanced Placement© Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. The year-long course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts. AP Computer Science Principles will give students the opportunity to use technology to address real-world problems and build relevant solutions. Together, these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum that aims to broaden participation in computer science. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Algebra I

Advanced Placement© Computer Science A instructs students to design and implement computer programs that solve problems relevant to today’s society, including art, media, and engineering. AP Computer Science A teaches object-oriented programming using the Java language and is meant to be the equivalent of a first semester, college-level course in computer science. It will emphasize problem solving and algorithm development, and use hands-on experiences and examples so that students can apply programming tools and solve complex problems. This course prepares students for the end-of-course AP Exam. (1 credit)

Computer Science Lab is open for students to design their own course of study with the guidance of a mentor. This lab period is to be used to further explore programming languages taught in the introductory classes, or learn new languages not currently offered. This class is also suited for those who wish to further their studies in Video Game Design, working on graphics, modeling, and programming. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Any Computer Science courses