Albert Einstein once described science as "the attempt of the human mind to find connections between the world of ideas and the world of phenomena." The St. Andrew's Science Department strives to bring Einstein's definition of science to life in the minds and work of its students. Courses in biology, chemistry and physics expose students to the crucial observations and theories that constitute our fundamental understanding of the natural world. A tandem goals is lead students learn and experience the process by which scientists create, validate, revise and, in some cases, completely restructure this understanding.
Laboratory work is integral to all courses. As we guide our students through experiments that introduce them to new phenomena, demonstrate key concepts and challenge them to solve problems, we seek to demystify scientific inquiry by stimulating curiosity and enabling students to satisfy this curiosity through discovery. Throughout our courses we strive to teach students how to think and act like scientists and to nurture in them an appreciation of the natural world and an inclination to use their abilities in science to solve problems and act responsibly in society.
Teacher-guided discussion forms the basis for our courses, emphasizing careful observation, hypothesizing, questioning and reasoning. Weekly laboratory double periods accompany every major course. Computer technology is integrated into the curriculum, primarily in the form of computer-interfaced measurement probes and data analysis programs. Biology classes make frequent use of Noxontown Pond and the extensive woodlands and marshlands that surround the campus. Field studies are also conducted at nearby natural sites such as the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.
Students are required to earn three yearlong course credits in a laboratory science.