Female high school student working on a robotics project.


Sara McGraw

Elementary STEM Instructional Supervisor

Amanda Powers

Secondary Science and STEM Initiatives Instructional Supervisor

Science is the ongoing study of natural phenomena in order to explain the living and nonliving world around us. Science education includes the practice of science and engineering skills and the understanding of the foundational concepts of scientific domains. The interdisciplinary study of chemical, physical, and life sciences integrates experiences from fields like mathematics and statistics; history, geography, and politics; sociology and culture; and technology.

The City School District of Albany's science curriculum provides a combination of hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning that supports both literacy and critical-thinking skills for all students beginning in prekindergarten. Throughout science studies at all levels, students engage in the process of science: questioning, investigating, and collecting and analyzing data. Students from elementary school through Albany High School also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of science- and technology-themed clubs and after-school activities, including award-winning robotics clubs.

Science, technology, engineering, and math comprise a distinct area of modern study known as STEM, in which learners are involved in multidimensional activities in order to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow’s world. STEM is also the theme of one of the district's three elementary magnet schools, Thomas O'Brien Academy of Science and Technology (TOAST).

Students will study the scientific method and measurement; explore human body systems and their functions; understand the effects of nutrients and microscopic pathogens on the human body; study waves, light and sound; explore the Earth’s surfaces and understand plate tectonics; and study minerals, rocks and fossils.

Units of study include:

  • Scientific Method and Measurement
  • Human Body Systems
  • Waves, Light and Sound
  • Earth Systems
  • Minerals, Rocks and the History of Earth
  • Plate Tectonics

Students will study the scientific method; explore astronomy; experiment with chemistry; learn the properties of energy; study cells; learn about genetics; get hands-on experience using microscopes, triple-beam balances and three-dimensional models; participate in lab work that creates chemical reactions; and improve measuring and graphing skills. Grade 7 Honors Science will cover the physical science units from both the Grade 7 and Grade 8 Science curriculum with greater depth and rigor to prepare students that may accelerate to Living Environment.

Units of study include:

  • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • Chemical Properties and Reactions
  • Energy
  • Structure and Function of Living Organisms
  • Growth, Development, and Reproduction
  • Space Systems

Students will engage in scientific inquiry; explore the forces acting on an object in motion; investigate the energy of machines, electricity, and magnetism; study weather and climate; learn about evolution; understand the biotic and abiotic factors of ecosystems; and analyze the impact that humans have on Earth’s resources. 

Units of study include:

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Forces in Motion
  • Energy: Machines, Electricity and Magnetism
  • Weather and Climate
  • Evolution
  • Ecology
  • Human Impact and Earth’s Resources

High school Science classes include the following. For a full list of what's offered at Albany High, please review our course offerings book.

Living Environment:  Biology Honors

Living Environment is a class designed to get a better understanding of the world around us and how we interact with the environment. We will be learning about topics that are as small as water molecules and as big as the Earth. This course requires students to document 1200 laboratory minutes in order to be eligible for the culminating Living Environment Regents Exam.

Physical Setting: Earth Science

An in-depth study of the earth, the constructive and destructive forces shaping it, including mountain building, earthquakes, volcanism, sea-floor spreading, erosion, weathering and rock formation. Other topics include astronomy, oceanography and meteorology. This course requires students to document 1200 laboratory minutes in order to be eligible for the culminating Earth Science Regents Exam.

Physical Setting:  Chemistry

An in-depth study of the atom, its structure, bonds that link atoms together to form molecules, chemical reactions in natural and manmade processes and the transfer of energy. In lab, the dynamics of chemical reactions will be studied to understand energy relationships. Data collection, analysis and a firm understanding of the scientific process are integral segments of the lab. This course requires students to document 1200 laboratory minutes in order to be eligible for the culminating Chemistry Regents Exam.