Girls learning, leading, succeeding
Upper School Classes

Science

Given the underrepresentation of women in many science-related careers, a strong high school education in the sciences is especially important for young women. Development of the students’ understanding of the natural world and their role in it, their ability to apply the methodology of science, and their awareness of societal concerns relating to science are fostered in Dana Hall’s science program.
Courses are designed to be challenging and encourage student responsibility, independence, and precision. The sequence of Dana Hall’s courses highlights the interconnectedness of the natural sciences and allows students to apply the knowledge they have gained in previous years.

Science Classes

List of 11 items.

  • Conceptual Physics / Physics 9

    These laboratory courses provide a strong foundation for upper-level science courses. They familiarize students with the tools, skills, and language of the physical sciences as well as the thorough integration of mathematics and science. Through experimentation, class discussion, and projects, students learn the concepts of Newtonian mechanics, work, energy, electricity, and magnetism. Students also gain an understanding of the processes of scientific inquiry, experimental design, and data analysis. Together, the skills and knowledge taught in these courses prepare students for the study of all aspects of natural science. The Science Department assigns students to Conceptual Physics or Physics 9 based on a placement test as well as on the basis of previous mathematics and science background.
  • Chemistry

    Chemistry is a fundamental introductory course that focuses on the conceptual aspects of general chemistry and supports them with basic analytical methods and mathematical calculations. Major topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, phase changes, solutions, chemical reactions, thermodynamics, kinetics, general equilibrium, and acid-base equilibrium. This course aims to work through a student's conceptual understanding of the material while using problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to support her understanding. Laboratory work is used to reinforce the concepts covered in class and provide exposure to specific laboratory techniques.
  • Mathematical Chemistry

    Mathematical Chemistry is a rigorous introductory course that covers both conceptual and analytical aspects of general chemistry. Major topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, phase changes, solutions, chemical reactions, thermodynamics, kinetics, general equilibrium, acid-base equilibrium, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Emphasis is placed on developing problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, particularly in quantitative analysis. Laboratory work is an integral part of the course and is designed to both reinforce the concepts covered in class and provide experience with specific laboratory techniques. This course prepares students for the SAT Subject Test in Chemistry.
  • Chemistry Honors

    Designed for the strong math/science student, this course covers the content of Mathematical Chemistry more rigorously and extensively. It provides a strong foundation for further study in the sciences. This course prepares students for the SAT Subject Test in Chemistry.
  • Biology (Molecular or Ecological)

    These courses present a thorough survey of our living world through scientific inquiry. Major biological topics are presented in this comprehensive program that incorporates projects, field trips, technology-based research, and laboratory activities that enhance individualized learning. Building on the students’ prior knowledge of chemistry, both the Molecular and Ecological Biology courses provide students with a broad and detailed understanding of modern Biology. Molecular Biology stresses molecular and biochemical concepts while Ecological Biology places greater emphasis on ecological and environmental topics.
  • Physics and Engineering

    This course provides students with an opportunity to both immerse themselves in the study of classical physics while also applying these concepts to engineering design challenges. In addition to a traditionally mathematical approach, students are charged with developing their scientific writing, communication, and logical problem-solving skills. There is a heavy focus both on the testing of scientific laws to understand how they function and on the iterative design process followed by engineers. Students are evaluated on their problem-solving skills, performance on long term projects, and traditional written assessments.
  • Astronomy and Natural Science

    This course helps students understand and appreciate the physical phenomena of the everyday world that surrounds them, including constellations in the night sky, moon phases, eclipses, comets, composition of the Earth, glaciers, and tornadoes and hurricanes. The curriculum contains aspects of meteorology, paleontology, oceanography, and physical geography, with the main focus on geology and astronomy. Astronomy and Natural Science is taught in a lab/lecture format.
  • Current Topics in Science: Science and Society

    This course explores the central role of science and technology in shaping human life, human civilizations, and human thought from the agricultural revolution to the present day. Students explore two topics per trimester through reading, laboratory investigation, research papers, and student presentations. Specific units vary from year to year but include medicine and disease, forensic science, agricultural biotechnology and food science, mass production, archaeology, transportation technology, evolutionary theory, neuroscience, and psychology. In addition to course work, students engage in a year-long collaborative project designed to benefit the community through the development and implementation of new technology. Previous examples of these projects include planning and organizing the construction of a solar array on campus, and developing a self-guided QR code-based tour of campus facilities and history.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Biology

    This course is the equivalent of a general college biology course and is designed to be taken only after successful completion of a year-long introductory high school chemistry course. It follows the AP Laboratory Curriculum and covers a broad range of topics, including cellular and molecular biology, heredity and evolution, organisms, and populations. All students are required to take the AP exam in May.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry

    This course is the equivalent of a general college chemistry course and is designed to be taken only after successful completion of a year-long introductory high school chemistry course. A demanding laboratory program is an important part of this course and students must make an additional time commitment to it. All students are required to take the AP exam in May.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Physics C (Mechanics)

    This course is the equivalent of a semester-long, general college physics course and is designed to be taken only after successful completion of a year-long introductory high school physics course. AP Physics C uses calculus to examine Newtonian Mechanics. Topics include linear kinematics and dynamics, rotational kinematics and dynamics, energy, gravitation, and periodic motion. All students are required to take the AP Physics C (Mechanics) exam in May.

Upper School Classes

FACULTY

List of 8 members.

  • Photo of Angela Macedo

    Angela Macedo 

    US Science Teacher/Director of Community Service Program
    781-489-1741
  • Photo of Patrick Ahn

    Patrick Ahn 

    US Science Teacher
    781-489-1745
  • Photo of Gary Fadden

    Gary Fadden 

    US Science Teacher
    781-489-1743
  • Photo of Mary Frances Hanover

    Mary Frances Hanover 

    US Science Teacher/Sustainability Coordinator
    781-489-1742
  • Photo of Sarah Jacobs

    Sarah Jacobs 

    US Science Teacher
    781-489-1747
  • Photo of Tara Jennings

    Tara Jennings 

    Department Head
    781-489-1744
  • Photo of Joel Sweetser

    Joel Sweetser 

    US Science Teacher
    781-489-1748
  • Photo of Cynthia Welch

    Cynthia Welch 

    Assistant Director of the Upper School/US Science Teacher/Class Dean
    781-489-1316

List of 3 items.

  • Area Studies Symposium

    Favorite Assignment
  • Blue Key Club

    Favorite Activity
  • Middle Eastern Studies

    Favorite Class

List of 1 items.

  • Caroline

    "Middle Eastern Studies has been my favorite Dana Hall class because both the teacher and the discussions always kept me engaged and excited to learn more."
    -Caroline