Aquinas offers seven courses for upperclassmen that have been certified to prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Examination. The AP Exams are administered each May and are graded by The College Board.
The Advanced Placement courses offered at Aquinas are:
The purpose of this one-year AP course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:
- Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns.
- Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting study.
- Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation.
- Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses.
Topics to be covered will include: I. Functions, Graphs and Limits - Analysis of graphs, Limits of functions (including one-sided limits), Asymptotic and unbounded behavior, Continuity as a property of functions II, Derivatives- Concept of the derivative, Derivative at a point, Derivative as a function, Second derivatives, Applications of derivatives, Computation of derivatives III. Integrals–Interpretations and properties of definite integrals, Applications of integrals, Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, Techniques of anti-differentiation, Applications of anti-differentiation, Numerical approximations to definite integrals and slope fields. Students are required to have a graphing calculator. Students may apply for Saint Mary’s Calculus I credit and/or may opt to take the Advanced Placement Exam for possibly attaining college credit for this course.
AP Biology is a challenging, introductory college level course. AP Biology is a laboratory component class, which covers all aspects of biology in great detail with a strong emphasis on problem solving, laboratory investigation and writing. Concepts to be explored include: Chemistry of Life; Cells; Heredity; Molecular Genetics; Diversity of Organisms; Structure and Function of Plants and Animals; and Ecology. This course offers an opportunity to take the National AP Biology Exam in which the student may earn college credit.
AP Chemistry is a challenging college level presentation of Chemistry flowing at a college pace with college rigor. This course overviews all aspects of beginning Chemistry with a strong emphasis on organic and biochemistry examples and applications within the confines of Chemistry. Concepts include: periodic table modeling, nomenclature, reaction, prediction, organic chemistry, organic reaction, acid/base chemistry, equilibrium and catalyst, and nuclear chemistry. AP Chemistry focuses on strong problem-solving skills and offers an opportunity to take the National AP Chemistry Exam in which the student may earn college credit.
AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
AP Environmental Science (AP ES) is the equivalent of an introductory college course in environmental science. The goal of the course is to provide students with the conceptual foundation necessary to understand complex relationships in the natural world, to develop the skills required to identify and analyze environmental problems, and to examine alternate solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study that draws from the biological, physical, chemical, earth sciences, and economics. Critical thinking and problem solving application are emphasized.
This course is a challenging college level presentation of Physics which flows at a college pace, with college rigor. All aspects of Physics, from motion to energy, from waves to electricity will be studied. A strong emphasis is placed on problem solving and math skills. This course offers the opportunity for student to take the National AP Physics Exam in which the student may earn college credit.
AP U.S. HISTORY
AP U.S. History is a survey of the history of this country and will cover events beginning with pre-Columbian America to modern events of the 21st century. The course will culminate with the AP national exam. Students will focus on historical themes including: American diversity, American identity, culture, demographic changes, economic transformation, the environment, globalization, politics and citizenship, reform, religion, slavery and its legacies in North America, and war and diplomacy. The course will continually examine these themes throughout the year, and focus on how these themes have helped shape the history of the United States.