Academics
Curriculum

Science

Department: Science

Milken’s Science Department equips students with fundamental concepts and skills and then gives them an opportunity to study specialized topics. From chemistry, to medicine, to engineering, students are prepared for successful careers in the sciences.

Courses in the department encourage critical thinking and problem solving by empowering students to form hypotheses and plan experiments to test them. We teach them that failure and iteration are parts of the process that help us grow. Our goal is to develop innovative learners who will improve the world.

Course Listings

List of 14 items.

  • Science 6: Integrated Earth Science

    This course integrates fundamental concepts in chemistry, physics, biology, earth science, and engineering through a problem-based learning approach. During the year, students will explore four key topics: water, fire, land, and air, which align with their English, Social Science, and Jewish Studies classes. In science, students will learn how to ask questions, define problems, plan investigations, collect and analyze data, write clear explanations, and summarize their findings. By thinking and working as scientists, students will gain an understanding of major scientific concepts while developing their scientific reasoning skills.
  • Science 7: Life Science

    In this course, students will study the organization of matter, the difference between living and non-living things, the structure and function of plant and animal cells, how cells transport materials, what makes a trait heritable, the importance of evolution, the difference between biotic and abiotic factors of ecosystems, and key cycles of matter like nitrogen, carbon, water, and phosphorus. In addition students will build skills of investigation and learn to ask questions like, What is a testable question, and how can you design a repeatable experiment to gather relevant and accurate data? Students will also learn about current topics in science and medicine.
  • Science 8: Physical Science

    In this course, students will take a deep dive into exploring matter. This journey begins with understanding the periodic table of elements and the structure of an atom. Students will discover trends and patterns in physical and chemical properties of elements on the periodic table; understand the difference between physical and chemical changes; compare and contrast covalent, ionic, and metallic bonds and compounds; write and balance chemical equations, and investigate one-dimensional kinematics (speed, velocity, acceleration and force) to understand how and why objects move in certain ways. Through their experiences, students will ask questions like, When chemicals react, how do I predict what will happen? How can I predict the motion of an object and describe that motion in words and with diagrams?
  • Grade 9: Biology (College Prep and Honors)

    Biology is a contemporary life science inquiry-based course designed to facilitate students’ self-discovery and thought processing. Students learn to collect, record, and analyze scientific data through studying living things within the science of biology. Major topics include ecology, the cell, energetics, genetics, and evolution. Emphasis is placed on developing logical and creative solutions to real world problems.
  • Anatomy & Physiology of Sports Medicine (College Prep)

    Students learn the many systems of the body (circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, etc.), how these systems interact with each other, and can be affected through injury in sports. Students receive hands- on experience relating to anatomy and how physiological statuses can be measured and monitored. Sports injuries and treatments are addressed. Prerequisite: Biology
  • Anatomy & Physiology: College Prep

    Anatomy and Physiology is a second year biology course focused on the structures and functions of the human body. Students learn the systems of the body, how they work, and how they interact with each other. Through laboratories, case studies, projects and group work, students explore medical issues and collaborate to understand their origins and potential treatments. Prerequisite: Biology.
  • AP Biology

    AP Biology is a rigorous and demanding introductory college biology course. Content is covered in depth and great expectations are placed on interpretation and analysis of information than previous biology courses. In addition, students perform statistical analysis of data and modeling of concepts. Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry.
  • AP Chemistry

    The AP Chemistry course is the equivalent of the General Chemistry course students often take during their first year of college. Building upon topics that were introduced in Chemistry or Honors Chemistry, this second-year course is designed to expand a student’s understanding of the subject. It is an extremely fast-paced and rigorous course with an emphasis on laboratory experience. By the end of this course students gain the perspective required to become engaged and informed citizens and be able to carry reasoning and problem solving skills to other subjects. Prerequisite: Algebra II and Chemistry.
  • AP Physics 1

    AP Physics 1 is structured around the big ideas of physics, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes of the discipline. The framework allows students to make connections across domains through a broad way of thinking about the physical world. Students learn basic concepts and principles of physics and apply these concepts and principles to the solution of physical problems. Students cultivate their understanding of physics and science practices as they explore objects and systems and the interactions between them. Other key topics include: change, momentum, energy and probability. Corequisite: Precalculus.
  • AP Physics 2

    AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course that explores topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. Through inquiry-based learning, students develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills. Co-requisite: Precalculus. Note: AP Physics 1 is not required as a prerequisite, but if it has been taken, a student must earn a score of 3 or higher to take this course.
  • Chemistry: College Prep and Honors

    Students gain a fundamental understanding of chemistry, as it relates to their daily lives. Students learn to collect, record, and analyze scientific data in order to propose solutions to problems. Projects allow students to research and synthesize information and present findings to an audience in a variety of modalities. By engaging in hands-on laboratory experiments and projects, students increase their scientific reasoning skills and gain a greater understanding of the world around them. Honors students must be enrolled in Algebra II or higher.
  • Marine & Environmental Science (College Prep)

    Students explore the environmental challenges of our expanding global society. Students examine the sources, consequences, and potential solutions for both natural- and human-created environmental problems. Students integrate aspects of biology, chemistry, earth science and government policy. Although this course will have a global approach, an emphasis will be placed on environmental concerns for Southern California and Los Angeles, in particular. Students learn about how the properties of our ocean support a variety of marine life, and how human activity can affect the balance of these ecosystems. Students explore how fishing, land use, chemicals, recreation, trash, wastewater, and more can change the world and our local oceans. Students study current events to deepen understanding of course topics. Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry.
  • Neuroscience (College Prep)

    The human brain controls everything from the rhythm of our breath, to every sensation, emotion, and memory, making it one of the most complex and fascinating subjects of study. Students study the mammalian nervous system, emphasizing the structural and functional organization of the human brain. Students explore neurons and the cells that make up the nervous system, and how information is encoded within and between neuronal networks and sensory and motor systems. Building on these fundamentals, students examine the neurochemical basis of a variety of behaviors, such as cognition, learning and memory, motivation (hunger and sex), and disorders of the brain. Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry.
  • Physics: College Prep and Honors

    Physics is all around us. Any problem that deals with temperature, motion, force, position, shape or color involves physics. Students explore the physics behind everyday situations by building on their conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. In Honors Physics, students explore complex problems using simple equations and fundamental theories, while examining the basic principles of the universe: matter, interaction, and change. Physics students must be enrolled in Algebra II or higher.

Honors Science Research

Science Department Faculty

List of 12 members.

  • Photo of Damon Scoville

    Dr. Damon Scoville 

    Science Instructional Leader
    310.440.3500 x3002
  • Photo of Renee Crane

    Renee Crane 

    Science Teacher & Faculty Mentor
  • Photo of Leigh Fauber

    Dr. Leigh Fauber 

    Division Head, Grades 6-8
    310-903-4800
  • Photo of Harrison Gallway

    Harrison Gallway 

    Science Teacher
    310.440.3500 x3055
  • Photo of Marvin Huynhle

    Marvin Huynhle 

    Science Teacher
  • Photo of Maria Liran

    Maria Liran 

    Science Teacher & Faculty Mentor
    310.440.3500 x3056
  • Photo of Philip Rainer

    Philip Rainer 

    Science Teacher, Division 11-12 Dean & House Leader
  • Photo of Allison Saranow

    Allison Saranow 

    Science Teacher
  • Photo of Rachel Schlosser

    Rachel Schlosser 

    Science Teacher
  • Photo of Kathy Shenassa

    Dr. Kathy Shenassa 

    Science Teacher
    310.440.3500 x3043
  • Photo of Usha Stewart

    Usha Stewart 

    Science Teacher
  • Photo of David Thomas

    David Thomas 

    Science Teacher

Connect With Us

At Milken Community School, we think education is more than what you know. Our School, founded on Jewish values, is about who our children can become and how they can help others become who they might be. Because the world our children will create tomorrow is born in the School we build today, our mission is to educate our children so they can surpass us.