Science, Engineering and Technology Course Descriptions

Science, Technology and Engineering, Computer Courses 

The Bedford High School Science, Technology and Engineering program offers a wide variety of courses from the core physics, chemistry, biology classes to a full range of Advanced Placement courses. Electives in Anatomy, Astronomy, Robotics, Forensics, and Marine Science allow students to explore areas of interest. Please click on the course below to see a full description of the offering in Science, Computer, and Technology offered at BHS. For a complete listing of all high school courses visit the BHS Course Offerings Program of Studies. 

Science Offerings  
Advanced PlacementSenior ElectivesScience and Enginnering Practices
Computer Offerings  
Tecnology Education  
RoboticsDraftingManufacturing and Production

Science Offerings

Science and Engineering Practices           College Prep                                   Course #3003
Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation.  
This course is designed to develop the science and engineering practices through a lab based program. Students will develop and apply their knowledge through the eight science and engineering practices. (Asking Questions and Defining Problems. Developing and Using Models. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Engaging in Argument from Evidence.) Students enrolled in this course will take the STE MCAS Exam in Grade 10.  
This course is designed to present topics in mechanics, electricity, magnetism, waves, and heat. It will be taught using a concept-based approach while simultaneously integrating the students’ mathematical background in order to develop a meaningful physics foundation. The program will be supported by an interactive laboratory environment where students will gain hands-on experience with the concepts being studied. This course is the first in the core science series.
PHYSICS  (Lab)                                             High Honors                                   Course # 3105
Prerequisite: Must take concurrently with Geometry
This course will include an intensive and in-depth study of the topics listed above as well as other topics that are not specifically listed in the Massachusetts state standards. Students selecting this course should have reading skills at grade level and be able to solve multi-step problems by applying algebraic methods. It will serve as an important component of college preparatory study.
PHYSICS  (Lab)                                             Honors                                               Course # 3104
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation  
This course will include an in-depth study of the topics listed above.  Students selecting this course should have reading and math skills at grade level.  It will serve as an important component of college preparatory study.
PHYSICS  (Lab)                                             College Prep                                   Course # 3103
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation  
This course will concentrate on the State Physics Standards. The program assumes that students are developing basic algebraic skills.  It will serve as an important component of college preparatory study.
CHEMISTRY (Lab)                                      High Honors                                                   Course# 3305
Prerequisite: Physics and Teacher recommendation.
This course will include a more intensive and in-depth study of the topics listed above. Students selecting this course should have reading skills at or above grade level and be able to solve problems by applying algebraic methods. For this reason, the instructor will assume that students will be able to solve quantitative problems independently. Students who work successfully in this course are encouraged to take the SAT II (Achievement) Test in Chemistry.
CHEMISTRY  (Lab)                                      Honors                                              Course # 3304
This course and laboratory component is designed to provide a survey of chemical principles for students who are interested in the subject. Students selecting this course should have reading skills at grade level and be able to solve problems by applying algebraic methods. For this reason, the instructor will assume that students will be able to solve problems independently.
CHEMISTRY   (Lab)                     College Prep                                                  Course # 3303
Prerequisite: Physics
The biology courses focus on the following concepts: chemical and cellular basis of life, energy transformations, genetics and biotechnology, evolution and biodiversity, and animal systems. Each topic will be supported by appropriate laboratory experiences. Skills that will be developed in biology include: note taking, collecting data, writing a lab report, reporting on outside reading or projects and test taking.
BIOLOGY (Lab)                             High Honors                                                   Course # 3205
Prerequisite: High Honors Chemistry and teacher recommendation.
Using an independent student centered approach of instruction; this course builds on student’s prior knowledge of basic biological concepts focusing on application and inquiry. Students selecting this course should have reading skills at or above grade level and be able to work independently.
BIOLOGY  (Lab)                             Honors                                                               Course # 3204
Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry and teacher recommendation.
Using guided instruction this course reviews and deepen students’ prior knowledge of basic biological concepts focusing on understanding with some application and inquiry.
BIOLOGY                                           College Prep                                                   Course # 3203
Prerequisite: Chemistry
Using an activity-oriented approach this course will cover the basic biological concepts outlined by the state frameworks. Students selecting this course should have standard reading and writing skills.
ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY (Lab)         High Honors Summer Assignment             
High Honors                   Course # 3505
College Prep                   Course # 3503              
Prerequisite:  Biology & Chemistry and teacher recommendation
This course will concentrate on the anatomy, physiology, and histology of the human systems which include:  the skeletal, muscular, integumental, nervous, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, excretory, reproductive systems, as well as endocrinology, and immunology.  Students should have above average reading ability.  Skills that will be developed in this course include:  writing biological abstracts, doing independent research, making better observations, relating structure with function, improved techniques of dissection and microscopy. Students electing to take High Honors will explore the physiology of these body systems in depth and will be required to complete independent research topics for each unit of study. Students electing the High Honors have a summer assignment to review material that they are expected to know entering the course.
MARINE SCIENCE (Lab)                           Honors                                               Course # 3214
MARINE SCIENCE (Lab)                           College Prep                                  Course # 3213
Prerequisite: Grade 12 and Teacher Recommendation 
In marine science, students will learn about life in the ocean depths, at the polar extremes, in coral reefs, estuaries, and in the open sea. Marine organisms studied include poriferans, cnidarians, marine worms, mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, marine fishes, and marine mammals. Through studying marine life, students will connect characteristics and behaviors that help them thrive in various marine biomes, and investigate threats that face these ecosystems. Additionally, students will study oceanography (waves, tide, properties of seawater, etc.) concepts to support their understanding of these complex marine ecosystems.  Students should have reading skills at or above grade level. Skills that will be developed include: observation, dissection, interpretation and understanding of plant and animal behavior, critical analysis and synthesis of data, and seeking ways to solve problems relating to the marine environment.
FORENSIC SCIENCE (Lab)/FORENSICS IN MEDIA    Honors               Course  #3604
Prerequisite: Grade 12 and Teacher Recommendation 
Forensic science is a senior-level course rich in exploration and lab investigation which applies many disciplines of scientific study such as biology/anatomy, chemistry, and physics to solving crimes. The course examines the application of science to those criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system.  Major topics include processing a crime scene, collecting and preserving evidence, identifying types of physical evidence, organic and inorganic analysis of evidence, trace evidence, serology, DNA, fingerprints, firearms, anthropology, and document analysis. The second semester will focus on forensics in media. Students will analyze how forensics is presented various media outlets such as film and print and explore how forensics science plays a role in our world. 
ASTRONOMY AND SPACE EXPLORATION    Honors                               Course# 3804
ASTRONOMY AND SPACE EXPLORATIONS  College Prep                   Course # 3803
This first-year, introductory astronomy course will allow students to explore the cosmos beginning with their own naked-eye view of the night sky.  Beginning with the Sun-Earth-Moon system that governs our daily, monthly and yearly patterns, students will then learn to recognize constellations and the path of the planets in the sky.  After studying planetary science, the course will focus on the sun and other stars, including life cycles and classification of stars.  From there the course will examine galaxies and cosmology.  After examining this local-to-distant study of the universe, the focus will shift to a review of the history of space exploration, beginning with archaeoastronomy to the revolution of Copernicus and Galileo, the discovery of objects beyond the Milky Way by Edwin Hubble, up through the evidence for the expanding universe, dark matter and dark energy. The year will conclude with a study of the history of spaceflight, from the Mercury Astronauts to current space exploration and programs, culminating with an in-depth investigation into the future of spaceflight.


ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE                                     Honors                                                                                       Environmental Science is a year-long course designed to show thematic connections between a variety of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, and physics.  It provides students with a coherent and realistic picture of the applications of many scientific concepts as they interact with our planet and environment and help explain phenomena.  This year long survey course will focus on climate change, population growth, natural resources, and ecosystem dynamics. The aim of this course is to provide the knowledge and skills to assist in helping students understand and evaluate the environmental challenges of today and the future.

SCIENCE INTERN                                                                                                                         Course: 3701
Prerequisite: Program Administrator Approval and Grade 12
The science interns work with science staff to prepare labs, breakdown labs, clean equipment, help maintain tanks and the greenhouse, help with inventory, and assist with lab experiments when necessary. All interns must be approved by the Science Program Administrator and will be assigned to a science instructor based on need.
Students enrolling in AP must meet all prerequisites and be recommended by their teacher. All AP course syllabi have been approved by the College Board and are held to the standards and rigor set forth by the College Board. (For specific content expectations please visit: or contact Michael Griffin, Science Program Administrator). ALL AP Science courses are equivalent to a College Level Course. Please note, all AP courses have summer assignments to review material that they are expected to know upon entering the course.
A.P. PHYSICS 1 & 2                                      Advanced Placement               Course # 3405
Prerequisite: Physics and teacher recommendation.  
This course provides a systemic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of problem-solving ability.  Mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal physics, waves and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics are among the topics covered, including a laboratory component.  Completion of the course allows the student to take the Advanced Placement Physics 1 & 2 exams.
A.P. CHEMISTRY                                          Advanced Placement                Course # 3355
Prerequisite: Chemistry Honors/High Honors  and Algebra II and teacher recommendation.  
A.P. PHYSICS [C]                                          Advanced Placement                Course # 3415
Prerequisite: Physics and taking Calculus concurrently & teacher recommendation.  
Physics C covers mechanics, classical electricity and magnetism.  These topics are covered in great depth with analytical and mathematical sophistication, including calculus applications.  Laboratory experience is an integral part of this course.  This college level course is suitable for students planning to specialize in a physical science or in engineering.
A.P. ENVIRO. SCIENCE                              Advanced Placement                Course # 3605
Prerequisite:  Biology (May be taken simultaneously) & teacher recommendation
 The goal of the Advanced/AP Environmental Science is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, and to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.
A.P. BIOLOGY                                                 Advanced Placement                Course # 3255
Prerequisite:  Biology & teacher recommendation.  
AP biology is an advanced course that explores basic biology concepts in greater depth. Designed to cover the required course work prescribed by the College Board, this course is fast paced and requires students to be independent learners. Topics include cell biology, molecular genetics, organismal biology and behavior, evolution, ecology, and structure and function of plants. Related laboratory exercises are an integral component and are integrated throughout the course work. Students enrolling in AP Biology must have completed a year of introductory biology during an academic year.


Computer Science 

INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE   Heterogeneous            Course # 2623
This course is an introduction to computer science. Students learn about computer hardware, network behaviors and components, and the Internet, using HTML and CSS to develop web pages.  They are introduced to visual programming languages like Scratch to create animated simulations and design games.  The course introduces students to topics such as variables, conditionals, loops, and arrays using text-based programming languages such as Python, while building internet and mobile applications.  Programming .  In addition, students are exposed to an overview of computing and its influence on modern society.
INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING              Heterogeneous            Course # 2613
This course is a general introduction to programming The course covers basic syntax for terminal I/O, conditionals, loops, arrays, searching and sorting using C.  Students learn to write, compile, debug, and run C programs in a Windows PC environment.  The course also introduces binary, octal and hexadecimal number systems.
AP Computer Science A                                   High Honors                        Course # 2645
Prereq: Introduction to Computer Science, Introduction to Programming, or equivalent course, & teacher approval
AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college level course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. The AP Computer Science A course curriculum is compatible with CS1 courses in colleges and universities.
Advanced Topics in Programming                               Heterogeneous                    Course # 2630
Prereq: AP Computer Science
This course is designed for students who have completed the AP Computer Science A course or who demonstrate a firm knowledge in programming. Students will explore advanced topics on a UNIX platform. Areas of study will include Shell, Assembly Language, and Graphics programming, and, Data structures and Algorithms.  Students will also explore topics in Discrete Math, such as Computer Number Systems, Recursive Functions, Graph Theory, Digital Logic, and Boolean Algebra.
DRAFTING TECHNOLOGY I                                 Heterogeneous     Course # 6103
Prerequisite:  None
These courses introduce the student to the methods used by industry to communicate technical ideas.  The student will develop skills in visualization, multi view drawings, pictorial drawings, auxiliary and sectional views, measurement and dimensioning, and the proper use of drafting tools and equipment.  At this level, drawing will be done using drafting machines; some exposure to CAD drawings and such technology will be covered as well. The acquisition of these skills will enable the student to interpret industrial drawings and reinforce concepts learned in mathematics. This course provides an excellent background for any student interested in the fields of engineering, manufacturing, or construction.
DRAFTING TECHNOLOGY II                Hetrogeneous                 Course #6143  
Prerequisite:  Drafting Technology I 
Students will use research and development procedures to solve problems related to the fields of engineering and architecture.  Skills will be expanded to include computer applications - CAD/CAM/CNC- and practice in recording ideas, visualizing probable form, evaluating data, making decisions, and the presentation of workable solutions. The first half of this course will focus on drawing and practices while the second half will focus on an introduction to Solid Modeling and Computer Aided Design. After learning basic CAD techniques, students will design and develop part and assembly models and drawings common to the field in order to build actual working assemblies.
DRAFTING TECHNOLOGY III        Heterogeneous                                  Course #6133
Prerequisite: Drafting Technology I and II

In this course, students will learn advanced Solid Modeling Techniques common to Mechanical Engineering, beyond those developed in Drafting I and II. Students will design models, drawings, and pictorial/renderings commonly used in Mechanical Engineering. Students will also have the opportunity to perform Structural and Motion Analyses and Design Studies in order to optimize their designs.  Finally, they may have an opportunity to engineer and build solutions for problems or opportunities as presented by members of the Bedford School community using equipment both internal and external to the school.  By providing solutions to these customers, they will experience opportunities similar to those faced by engineers in various fields.

MANUFACTURING & PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY I        Heterogeneous                  Course #6402               
This course will emphasize the Engineering and Design strands and standards that fall under the Massachusetts Science and Technology Curriculum Frameworks. Students will be exposed to a broad background in the use of tools and machines, the design and engineering process and become familiar with modern manufacturing and production technologies. A major focus will be placed on the safe and proper use of many common machines (table saws, jointers, power miter saws, planers, lathes, and a wide assortment of portable power tools). The students will design, plan and manufacture products through a variety of manufacturing processes. Products will be designed and built as custom items, be mass-produced, and possibly constructed on an assembly line to simulate various production techniques used in industry today. In this course students will have the opportunity to design and build a product(s) of their own selection (furniture, baseball bats, etc.).  Attention will also be paid to the study of a variety of materials used in the manufacture of commonly owned and used products.
MANUFACTURING & PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY II            Heterogeneous                      Course # 6442
MANUFACTURING & PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY III           Heterogeneous                      Course # 6452
Prerequisite:  Manufacturing & Production Technology  I (#6402)
Students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to transform wood, metal, plastic and other materials into finished products such as furniture, cabinets, sports equipment and other common products.  At this level, students will build on prior knowledge and experience in the use of tools and machines to develop plans and designs for products they will build and manufacture. The size and complexity of these products may be substantial over what was done in Tech I and will depend on the individual student’s project preference(s). Consumer and career awareness will be developed in addition to reinforcing concepts learned in science and mathematics as students learn to design projects, select materials, and develop the skills needed to build a finished product using the correct tools, equipment and procedures. Hands-on skills in the application of design principles, and use of tools and machines will continue to be developed at these levels, giving students a solid foundation in the skill-areas of many careers currently experiencing a “critical need” of employees.


Engineering and 3-D Modeling        Honors                     Course # 6214

Today’s engineering is evolving and the skills needed from conception to implementation are requiring students to develop skills that allow them to learn and practice the process. There are radical changes in the way things are designed, made, analyzed, and communicated. This course is designed for students wishing to pursue an understanding of the engineering process from analyzing and interpreting engineering design challenges to designing and creating working models that meet specific requirements and parameters. Students will develop CAD, 3-D Modeling, Simple and Complex Design, and Computer Numeric Design skills. The goal is to provide students with a big picture of the Engineering process through development and implementation of skills. Students are expected to have a base knowledge of Geometry.  

ROBOTICS AND ENGINEERING I          Heterogeneous                                     Course #6303
Robotics is a hands-on building and demonstration course. Students design, build and program robots to perform specific tasks. The tasks start simple and progressively get more complicated throughout the course. Some of the topics that will be covered are: Simple machines, Gear and Pulley Systems, Transmission Systems, and Computer Programming. Students will use NXT-G programming software initially and build up to utilizing ROBOT-C.  The students will develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand and apply the concepts, the safe and appropriate use of common tools and equipment, troubleshooting and problem solving procedures, safety, consumer and career awareness.  Robotics II is a continuation of Robotics I. The projects will get more complicated with the addition of new challenges, new sensors, more advanced Tetrix Building kits, and additional advanced programming techniques.
ROBOTICS AND ENGINEERING II                                     Honors                            Course#6303
ROBOTICS AND ENGINEERING III & IV                           Honors                            Course #6334            Course #6344
Prerequisite- Students must have successfully passed Robotics I and II and have teacher recommendations.

Robotics II is a continuation of Robotics I. The projects will get more complicated with the addition of new challenges, new sensors, more advanced Tetrix Building kits, and additional advanced programming techniques. III and IV courses will teach the students a strong understanding of industrial robotic automation. The students will learn mechanical design, electrical circuit fabrication, electronic control systems, motor control systems and programming in ROBOT-C. They will be able to design, build, program, and troubleshoot custom made robotic systems.  Course requirements include participation in one robotic competition of a student’s choosing. Some of the current offerings at Bedford are the Tetrix Competition and Science Olympiad, or the annual B.U. robotics competition.