Earth Science is the science that considers the earth in space, its materials, processes, history and environment.  Astronomy, geology, oceanography, meteorology and earth history are components of earth science.  All current scientific evidence suggests that the Earth offers a rare, perhaps unique, environment within which humans thrive.  Stewardship is a necessary responsibility if earth is to continue to provide a safe, nurturing home for humankind.  The goal of this course is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will foster a continued interest in the Earth and environmental concerns.

    To reach this goal, the emphasis will be on laboratory work in which students in realistic situations develop and apply skills needed to solve problems.  The successful completion of at least 30 Mastery Level laboratory experiences is a prerequisite for admission to the Regents examination.  The Regents exam includes a performance test of laboratory skills and written responses that evaluate ability to apply knowledge in solving problems.




                It is the intent that this course provides students with an awareness of the natural world, basic scientific concepts, stimulation of inductive reasoning, and a basic understanding of biological processes and generali­zations.  This course contains eight core topics and five extended areas.  Core topics include:  Unity and Diversity among Living Things, Maintenance in Living Things, Evolution, Biochemistry, Human Physiology, Reproduction and Development, Genetics, and Ecology.  Eighty percent of total class time is spent on these areas.


                The successful completion of a laboratory program of at least 30 Mastery Level laboratory experiences including the 4 required NYS labs is a prerequisite for admission to the Regents examination.  All eligible students must take the Regents exam.




                Environmental Science is a junior/senior level performance-based curriculum designed to integrate the principles of science and human relationships to the environment using real-life, current situations. Field trips, short and long-term projects, use of technology, portfolios, and labs are the emphasis of this course. Some of the areas covered are: pollution, conservation, resource management, human population dynamics, laws and current issues, alternative energy sources, waste management, and natural cycles. This course stresses technological literacy. Students will work cooperatively in groups, as well as, individually. 

    Prerequisites are: a minimum final AV of 65 in both Regents Earth Science and Living Environment/Biology.
    A 65% on both the Regents Earth Science and Living Environment exam is recommended.



    In this course you will focus on understanding of concepts, relationships, processes, mechanisms, models and applications that relate to the study of matter.  The goal of this course is to obtain scientific literacy in generating explanations, in understanding and in creative problem solving.  The student will meet with the instructor five (5) times per week and be involved one (1) period every 4 days in laboratory activities.  Each student must successfully complete and have on file a minimum of 30 laboratory reports in order to be admitted to the Regents exam. 

    Prerequisites for being enrolled in chemistry include, 75% or higher on Math A Exam, or other equivalent math, and having passed a Regents Exam in Earth Science and Living Environment. It is strongly recommended that the student be enrolled in Math B, or higher to be taken concurrently with chemistry.
    All students must successfully complete 1200 minutes of laboratory performance.



                Physics is the study of the physical world.  Everything around us can be described and understood using the tools of physics.  The goal of physics is to use a small number of basic concepts, equations, and assumptions to describe the physical world.  Once the physical world has been described this way, the physics principles involved can be used to make predictions about a broad range of phenomena.  Many of the inventions, appliances, tools, and buildings we live with today are made possible by the application of physics principals.   


    Physics is divided in five major areas of study:


                    1.  Mechanics:  The study of motion and its causes.


      2.  Vibrations and Wave Phenomena:  The study of specific types of repetitive motions.


      3.  Electromagnetism:  The study of electricity and magnetism.


      4.  Standard Model.


      5.  Energy and work. 


    At Olean high School, the Physics course is based on the Physical Science:  Physics Core Curriculum, published by New York State Department of Education.  The laboratory work must be documented showing a minimum of 1200 minutes of laboratory investigation, most of it “hands-on” and a significant part must incorporate problem-solving applications.