Science Department

Supervisor: Matthew Hall, Ed.D., 908-284-7134, matthew.hall@hcrhs.org

Dr. Hall holds an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, a Master of Science Degree in Educational Technology from Ramapo University, and a Doctorate Degree in K-12 Educational Leadership from Saint Peters University. He began his career in education as a Biology and Forensic Science teacher at Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ. He served in administrative positions in Readington Township Public Schools as K-8 Supervisor of Math, Science, and Technology and in Bernards Township Public Schools as K-12 Supervisor of Science and Technology. In 2016, he joined the administrative team at Hunterdon Central. Dr. Hall enjoys working with staff to ensure an engaging science learning experience for each and every student.

Click to view a video of Dr. Hall describing courses in the Science Department:


NEW FOR 2023-2024:

#484 BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES 4 - 5 CREDITS
Grade: 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #482 I Biomedical Sciences 3.

This course serves as the fourth course and culminating capstone experience in the Hunterdon Central Biomedical Science Academy sequence. In this course, students will engage in a personal exploration of a career of interest in the biomedical sciences. In doing so students will investigate the educational pathways to such a career, as well as discover what “a day in the life” of the career is like. Through a series of seminars and the development of a portfolio, students will engage in a structured reflection of how their career of interest connects to the concepts of individual health, community health and national and international healthcare systems relate to the work these practitioners do.

2023-2024 Science Course Descriptions

# 401 ENVIRONMENTAL & EARTH SCIENCE – 5 CREDITS
Grade 9

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Earth and Space Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course is designed for students who enjoy science yet may require additional support and reinforcement in order to be fully successful. Concepts emphasized include the Earth and its Place in the Universe, Earth Structure and Composition, Geologic Processes and Plate Tectonics, Weather, Climate and Global Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Natural Resources, and Human Impact on the Environment.


#402 - ENVIRONMENTAL & EARTH SCIENCE CP – 5 CREDITS
Grade: 9

This is a lab-based course that is designed to address the Earth and Space Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Earth and Space Science concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment. Concepts emphasized include the Earth and its Place in the Universe, Earth Structure and Composition, Geologic Processes and Plate Tectonics, Weather, Climate and Global Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Natural Resources, and Human Impact on the Environment.


# 403 HONORS ENVIRONMENTAL & EARTH SCIENCE – 5 CREDITS
Grade 9
Recommended: Successful completion of Algebra 1 in 7th or 8th Grade

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Earth and Space Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Earth Science concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Environmental & Earth Science. Concepts emphasized include the Earth and its Place in the Universe, Earth Structure and Composition, Geologic Processes and Plate Tectonics, Weather, Climate and Global Climate Change, Natural Hazards, Natural Resources, and Human Impact on the Environment.


#421 – BIOLOGY- 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Life Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course is designed for students who enjoy science yet may require additional support and reinforcement in order to be fully successful. Concepts emphasized include cell structure and function, basic molecular biology, growth and development, metabolic processes, ecosystems, energy and nutrient cycling in nature, biodiversity, heredity and genetics, and biological evolution.

#422 - BIOLOGY CP - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10
Prerequisites: Successful completion of #402 CP Environmental & Earth Science or departmental recommendation

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Life Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Life Science concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment. Concepts emphasized include cell structure and function, basic molecular biology, growth and development, metabolic processes, ecosystems, energy and nutrient cycling in nature, biodiversity, heredity and genetics, and biological evolution.


#423 – HONORS BIOLOGY - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 10
Prerequisites: Successful Completion of #403 Honors Environmental & Earth Science or departmental recommendation

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Life Science portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Life Science concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Biology. Concepts emphasized include cell structure and function, basic molecular biology, growth and development, metabolic processes, ecosystems, energy and nutrient cycling in nature, biodiversity, heredity and genetics, and biological evolution.


#431 – CHEMISTRY - 5 CREDITS
Grade: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra 1

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Chemistry portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course is designed for students who enjoy science yet may require additional reinforcement to be successful. Concepts emphasized include the structure and properties of matter, the Atomic Theory, the Periodic Table of Elements, chemical reactions, atomic interactions, and chemical nomenclature.


#432 - CHEMISTRY CP - 5 CREDITS
Grade: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #422 CP Biology or departmental recommendation
Additional prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra 1

This is a lab-based course designed to address the Chemistry portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Chemistry concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment. Students are introduced to theories and concepts of chemistry that include the study of matter, its properties and the changes it undergoes. Topics included are: chemical nomenclature, molar relationships, stoichiometry, gas laws, atomic theory, atomic structure, the periodic table, bonding, solutions, kinetics and acids and bases.


#433 – HONORS CHEMISTRY - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #423 Honors Biology or departmental recommendation
Additional prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra 1

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Chemistry portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Chemistry concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Chemistry. The emphasis in this course will be upon chemical structure and dynamics. Some of the concepts that will be treated are: significant digits and error in measurements, stoichiometry, electronic structure, chemical bonding, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases.


#442 - PHYSICS, CP – 5 CREDITS
Grades: 11, 12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of #422 CP Biology or #423 Honors Biology or departmental recommendation.
Additional prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra 2

Successful completion of #432 CP Chemistry or departmental recommendation. This is a lab-based course designed to address the Physics portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Physics concepts and is designed for students who excel in science and math and who enjoy a challenging learning environment. This is a traditional physics course that will include the study of motion, forces, energy, waves, electricity, and magnetism.


#443 – HONORS PHYSICS – 5 CREDITS
Grades: 11, 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #423 Honors Biology or departmental recommendation

Additional prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra 2

This is a weighted lab-based course designed to address the Physics portions of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science as well as the development of science practice skills. This course provides an in-depth study and analysis of Physics concepts and is designed for students who are able to learn and work independently at a faster pace and deeper level than is required in College Preparatory level Physics. Students will study one and two dimensional kinematics and dynamics. This will include such topics as displacement, velocity, acceleration, free fall, forces, Newton’s laws, circular motion, work, energy, power and momentum. Other topics include waves and vibrations, sound, and electricity and magnetism.


#450 - ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCI– 10 CREDITS
Grades: 9, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Open to high performing 9th graders; otherwise, successful completion of #423 Honors Biology; or #452 AP Biology; or #433 Honors Chemistry; or #454 AP Chemistry; or departmental recommendation

This is a weighted laboratory-oriented course that is designed to be the equivalent of a general environmental science college course. It will prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination. Successful completion of the course may enable students to gain advanced standing at many colleges. The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. The course is interdisciplinary and covers a wide variety of topics from different areas of study. Topics that will be studied include: environmental history, sustainability, basic ecological principles (ecosystems, energy flow, populations), biodiversity (aquatic, terrestrial, extinction), agriculture, natural resources (water, soil, geologic, atmospheric), energy (renewable, nonrenewable), pollution, climate change, and pest management. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.


#452 – ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY - 10 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12
Prerequisites: Open to high performing 10th graders by invitation; otherwise,successful completion of #403 Honors Environmental and Earth Science and departmental recommendation; or successful completion of #423 Honors Biology and departmental recommendation

This is a weighted laboratory oriented course that is equivalent to a general biology course usually taken during the first year of college. It is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination. Students will engage in inquiry-based laboratory investigations to explore the topics of evolution, cellular processes, energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology and interactions among organisms and their environments. Successful completion of the course may enable students to gain advanced standing at most colleges. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.

#454- ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY- 10 CREDITS

Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #423 Honors Biology and departmental recommendation; or successful completion of #433 Honors Chemistry and department recommendation; or successful completion of #452 AP Biology; or successful completion of #456 AP Physics 1

Additional prerequisite: Successful completion of #332 Algebra 2 STEM or #311 Honors Algebra 2 or equivalent

Recommended: Successful completion of #433 Honors Chemistry or equivalent.

This is a weighted laboratory oriented course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination. This course is equivalent to a first year college chemistry course. The content includes advanced concepts in atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and analytical techniques. There is a heavy emphasis on experimental work. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.


#456 – AP PHYSICS 1 - 10 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Co-requisite: Honors Pre-Calculus #341
Prerequisites: Successful completion of #423 Honors Biology and departmental recommendation; or successful completion of #433 Honors Chemistry and departmental recommendation; or successful completion of #452 AP Biology; or successful completion of #454 AP Chemistry

This weighted laboratory course is designed for students who are considering a science related career. Students will study one and two dimensional kinematics and dynamics. This will include such topics as displacement, velocity, acceleration, free fall, forces, Newton’s laws, rotational dynamics, work, energy, power and angular momentum. The course is designed to prepare students to take the Physics 1 Advanced Placement Examination. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.


#458 –AP PHYSICS (C) - 10 CREDITS
Grade: 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #456 AP Physics 1; or successful completion of #457 AP Environmental Science; or successful completion of #454 AP Chemistry; or successful completion of #452 AP Biology; or successful completion of #433 Honors Chemistry and departmental recommendation, or successful completion of #443 Honors Physics and departmental recommendation.
Additional Prerequisite/Co-requisite: Calculus #367, #347, #353 or # 352

This is a weighted course that is designed to be the equivalent of an engineering physics course usually taken during the first year of college. It is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination. The content includes the items specified in the CEEB Advanced Placement Course Description booklet. Specifically, the course involves an elaboration of the principles typically encountered in mechanics, electricity & magnetism. Successful completion of the course may enable students to gain advanced standing at most colleges. Students enrolled in an AP course are expected to take the AP Exam. In addition, students enrolled in an AP course who take the AP Exam will receive full AP weight for the course. Otherwise, Honors weight will apply.


SCIENCE DEPARTMENT ELECTIVES:

Please note that Science elective courses do not count toward fulfillment of the 15 credit science graduation requirement. Science elective courses are intended to allow students to pursue their interests into specific areas of scientific endeavor.


#460 - ASTRONOMY - 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12

The basis of this course will be found in the works of our earliest astronomers. During the course students study such topics as lunar motions, optics, spectroscopy, telescope design, planetary exploration, stellar classification and evolution, cosmology, and the future of space travel. Students will also become familiar with identifying common constellations and stars within the appropriate seasons.


#461 - OCEANOGRAPHY – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12

The field of oceanography is an important tool for exploring major world systems. This course will focus on the interdisciplinary nature of oceanography through an examination of the geological, physical, chemical and biological aspects of the ocean. Topics include: origin of oceans, ocean composition, ocean wave processes, ocean tides, ocean currents, coastal oceanographic processes, ocean seafloor geology, marine communities and ecosystems, marine fisheries, marine resources, ocean pollution, as well as the ocean's role in climatic changes (i.e. El Nino, global warming, carbon dioxide cycles, glacial periods etc.).

#462 - METEOROLOGY – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12

Meteorology is a relevant area of science and affects all people in their everyday lives. Students will apply scientific inquiry skills with an emphasis on real world applications and interpretation of data on weather maps. Students will be expected to construct, interpret, analyze, interpolate and extrapolate data on maps. Meteorology topics will include: a broad overview of the basics of meteorology, including temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, cloud formation, and atmospheric stability, and the role the sun plays in driving the weather. Additional topics will include tornadoes, hurricanes, El Nino, climate change, winter weather, numerical weather prediction, and urban heat islands.

463 - AVIATION SCIENCE – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior CP- or Honors-level science course; or departmental recommendation

Students will learn about the broad field of aviation from the scientific principles underlying flight, air traffic control, flight planning as well as engineering through a developmental hands-on approach that includes building and testing your own designs of glider airplanes, parachutes, straw rockets, etc. Apply the scientific method to testing your designs to study how changes in design impact flight performance. This is a hands-on course that also includes using flight simulator software. See how meteorology impacts flight planning. Learn how the aviation industry responds to changing market demands in building planes as well as designing routes. Know the difference between different classes of airspace, the FAA’s role in controlling aircraft and protecting our airways. It will change your perception of what goes on behind the scenes the next time you fly!


#466 - HUMAN IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT-2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 10-12

This inquiry-based course examines the interrelationships between living organisms and their surroundings. Emphasis is placed upon the global impact that humans have on the environment, both living and non-living. Current events will be explored and discussed as they occur within the context of what is being learned in class. The students will explore, in depth, all sides of environmental issues. An emphasis will be placed on problem solving and action research giving personal meaning to the phrase, "Think globally, and act locally".

#467 - AQUATIC BIOLOGY – 2.5 CREDITS
Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior CP- or Honors-level Biology; or departmental recommendation

This lab-centered course utilizes aquatic resources on campus as well as the Jersey Shore to compare and contrast adaptations of organisms in both the freshwater and saltwater environments. Students will conduct behavioral studies with living organisms with an emphasis on environmental stresses and human impact on New Jersey aquatic wildlife. Species studied will include plankton, micro and macro-invertebrates i.e., snails, crabs and copepods and vertebrates such as fish, turtles, seals and dolphins. When possible, a field trip to Barnegat Bay will be planned as a field experience to enhance the topics learned in this course.


#470 – ANATOMY/PHYSIOLOGY - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of prior CP- or Honors-level science course; or departmental recommendation

This is a laboratory-oriented course designed for students who are considering health and laboratory related careers. It consists of the study of the human body and the related areas of health and disease. Laboratory work is a major part of the course, and the students will perform various physiological experiments that include the dissection of a representative animal for human anatomy, blood count, urine analysis, hearing and visual perception, computerized EKG and EEG and biofeedback. This course has a dual enrollment agreement with Raritan Valley Community College. Eligible students can earn 4 credits for RVCC’s course, BIOL 120, Human Biology. Visit the HCRHS dual enrollment webpage for more information.



#472 - INTRODUCTION TO FORENSIC INVESTIGATIONS–2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior CP- or Honors-level science course; or departmental recommendation

Co-requisite: #432 Chemistry CP; or #433 Honors Chemistry; or #454 AP Chemistry

Recommended: Successful completion of #432 Chemistry CP; or #433 Honors Chemistry; or equivalent.

The goal of the course is to have students integrate prior knowledge obtained in Biology AND Chemistry courses through the scientific processes of analysis, interpretation, measurement, technology, design, and collaboration. The course is interdisciplinary and covers a range of topics and fields associated with scientific and forensic applications, procedures, and analysis. It is designed around students solving crime scene scenarios through the use of several skills including but not limited to, skin and tissue analysis, DNA evidence, animal and insect (entomology) evidence, hair and nail evidence, ballistics, and serology


#474 - HONORS ORGANIC CHEMISTRY - 2.5 CREDITS
Grades: 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of prior Honors-level science course; or departmental recommendation

Recommended: Successful completion of #433 Honors Chemistry or equivalent.

This course is designed for students interested in continuing their studies in chemistry. This course focuses on the chemistry of carbon compounds. The content includes nomenclature, structural formulas, alkanes, aldehydes, alcohols, carboxylic acids, carbonyl compounds. Labs include synthesis and analysis of organic compounds. This course is designed to give students background for future science courses, such as AP Biology, and for students interested in medicine, pharmacy and nutrition science.

#475 - HONORS GENETICS - 5 CREDITS
Grades: 11-12

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior Honors-level Biology course; or departmental recommendation

Co-requisite: #432 Chemistry CP; or #433 Honors Chemistry; or #454 AP Chemistry

Honors Genetics is a year-long laboratory-oriented course intended for highly motivated students interested in the field of genetics. Topics covered include: molecular genetics (DNA structure, DNA replication, protein synthesis, bacterial transformation) cancer genetics, pharmacogenetics, and the genetics of addiction. Students will perform basic molecular techniques including bacterial transformation and gel electrophoresis. The ethical, legal and social implications of genetic research will be discussed. Each student is responsible for the design, implementation, analysis and completion of an independent research project under the direct supervision of the instructor.


#481 INTRODUCTION TO THE BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES - 5 CREDITS

Grade: 9

This course serves as the introductory course of the Hunterdon Central Biomedical Science Academy. Students will explore concepts of biology and medicine as they relate to a medical case study of a fictitious person. While investigating the case, students examine medical reports, review medical history, become familiar with medical terminology and different fields of medicine and to explore medical treatments that might have improved the patient’s state of health. The activities and projects introduce students to the US healthcare system, medical professions, human physiology, basic biology, medicine, public health issues and research processes while allowing them to investigate realistic medical case studies.


#482 BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES 2 - 5 CREDITS
Grade: 10
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #481 Introduction to the Biomedical Sciences 1.

This course serves as the second course in the Hunterdon Central Biomedical Science Academy sequence. Students will continue their exploration of medical professions while further developing their familiarity with medical terminology. The first part of this course will focus on the role of medical research in healthcare, as well as methods of medical research and experimentation. During the second part of the course students will engage in hands-on investigation of human body systems with a focus on the muscular, skeletal and integumentary systems.


#483 BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES 3 - 5 CREDITS
Grade: 11
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #482 I Biomedical Sciences 2.

This course serves as the third course in the Hunterdon Central Biomedical Science Academy sequence. Students will continue an exploration of basic medical terminology as well as engage in hands-on investigation of the digestive, excretory system (including urinary and respiratory), circulatory (including lymphatic, immune, and cardiovascular), nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems using realistic anatomical models, case studies, as well as dissection. In each unit, students will explore pathophysiology and medical career pathways to make connections in the community preparation of the year 4 seminar. This course has dual enrollment agreements with Raritan Valley Community College and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Eligible students can earn 4 credits for RVCC’s course, BIOL 120, Human Biology, and 3 credits for FDU’s course, BI 112, Medical Terminology. Visit the HCRHS dual enrollment webpage for more information.


#484 BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES 4 - 5 CREDITS
Grade: 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of #482 I Biomedical Sciences 3.

This course serves as the fourth course and culminating capstone experience in the Hunterdon Central Biomedical Science Academy sequence. In this course, students will engage in a personal exploration of a career of interest in the biomedical sciences. In doing so students will investigate the educational pathways to such a career, as well as discover what “a day in the life” of the career is like. Through a series of seminars and the development of a portfolio, students will engage in a structured reflection of how their career of interest connects to the concepts of individual health, community health and national and international healthcare systems relate to the work these practitioners do. Click on the link to view Mr. Hall discussing course selections in the program.