All freshmen take physics. The Physics First Program was developed in 2003 in coordination with Project ARISE with the goal to integrate the learning of science and math to develop confidence and passion to pursue careers in STEM fields. Basic Physics principles (concepts such as force and acceleration) are easily understood when related to real world activities. It is the job of the Physics teacher to translate this innate understanding into mathematical concepts (which is reinforced by most students taking Algebra concurrently). Following Physics, students continue to follow the PCB science sequence. The department views this as the most effective way to impart an understanding of science and naturally build upon the knowledge learned from the previous year. As sophomores, students are now confident in the manipulation of algebraic formulas and are ready to use those skills in Chemistry. This mathematical assurance allows them to focus on understanding the more abstract concepts in Chemistry, such as atomic structure, electronegativity, and chemical reactivity. As juniors, they are well versed in chemical reactions and can understand the true basis of Biology –that everything in life is a complex and tightly controlled series of chemical reactions. Students can genuinely understand modern biology and current research, which focuses on a combination of fields including Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Biostatistics. Science builds upon itself and every discipline interweaves with every other, with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology forming the foundation of all other iterations.

All of our students develop their creativity by designing labs as we move away from the recipe-like procedures. They move from making hypotheses to proof through experimentation, data collection, and analysis. Post-lab probing questions require application to new and unique situations. Finally, each student exercises her writing skills as she composes her formal lab report for submission.

Taking physics as a freshmen fosters a love of science in young women who so often hear that science will be difficult for them because they are “girls”  -- this is the paradigm we aim to obliterate.