News from the Science Department
The science and technology program is designed to educate scientifically literate students who will understand the scientific method and the tentative nature of scientific truth. They will learn some of the major concepts, laws, and theories of the various sciences. The majority of students follow the sequence: Introductory Physics, Biology, Chemistry, electives or AP electives. For students who are ready for greater rigor, the department offers honors courses each year. Students who excel in any science class will be invited to take an honors course the following year. Eighth grade students are recommended for either CP Physics or Honors Physics in the ninth grade based on four factors: 1) science grades earned in the 8th grade; 2) results of AMC-8 math testing; 3) results of a test of abstract reasoning administered in the spring (GALT test); and 4) specific recommendation from the 8th grade teacher based on the student’s performance in class throughout the year.
For a full list download the High School Program of Studies
Meet the Department Head
Erica Cole, Grade 6-12 Department Head
Ms. Cole holds a BA in Neuroscience from Smith College, a Masters in Teaching Science from Simmons College, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from UMass Amherst. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Simmons College. Ms. Cole began teaching at Weston High School in 2008 after previously teaching in Western Massachusetts for five years. From 2010 to February 2014, she served as Assistant Principal at Weston High School.
10th Grade Biology Mentor Program
Every year, scientists from the Weston community come to Weston High School to help 10th grade honors biology students design and carry out an independent research project (IRP). This annual assignment for the 10th grade honors biology students requires them to formulate a question, design an experiment(s) to answer that question and follow up with a full lab write up and poster. The scientists lent expertise to help students ask a more eloquent question, design a more thorough experiment, or take an approach to research they would never have realized.
All Weston 10th grade honors biology students design and carry out an independent research project (IRP) and we hope you would like to be a part of it. This is an annual assignment for the 10th grade biology students that requires them to formulate a question, design an experiment(s) to answer that question and follow up with a full lab write up and poster. Your expertise in science would help students ask a more eloquent question, design a more thorough experiment, or take an approach to research they would never have realized.
Students are at the beginning stages choosing their topics and getting background information in the area of study. The PTO Science and Math Council has been asked to recruit community members to help the students design their projects. Teachers are not asking you to give thestudents a question to research; rather, to make their questions better. Students work alone or ingroups of two.Time commitments can be as short as 1.5 hours and as long as 2 days.
Advisors will meet with students during regular class blocks during the school year (dates TBD each year) and will talk with individual students to help them clarify their experiment and research project. The students will have a preliminary proposal and some background research prepared. Advisor background should be in science, research, medicine,or other health backgrounds. Volunteers can contact 10th grade honors bio teachers Janet KreslMoffat or Chris Chiodo for more information.
– 80%-90% of the research is done at home, unless there is a reason to do it at school (using the greenhouse, growing bacteria, or piece of equipment the school owns like the following sensors :
02, pH, CO2, temperature, blood pressure, reaction time, sound level meter, respirometer, infraredthermometer, UV light, light meter.)
– Data records must be kept in a journal – The best projects are ones experimenting on a topic the student is already interested in – a sports activity, an extracurricular interest, a favorite topic in biology or in school
Information students will have prepared when researchers come to class.
– How is the project connected to biology?
– Why is the information valuable?
– Can someone make money on this research?
– Who would want this research to be done?
– Why should we give you a million dollars (Hypothetically) to research this topic?
– Research from 3 sources.
Units covered in the biology curriculum: