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Science Department

Science Department

Faculty Information

Ms. Julie Bennick

Ms. Bennick became an instructor in the Science Department in 2017. She earned three Bachelor of Arts degrees from West Virginia University in Anthropology, Criminology and Sociology. In 2015, she earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Central Lancashire in Forensic Anthropology. She is currently finishing her Master of Education in Secondary Education from Saint Joseph’s University. She teaches Anatomy and Physiology I.


Ms. Anne Buckwalter

Ms. Buckwalter has been a teacher for 13 years. She has taught 11 years at the high school level with certifications in General Science, Biology and Earth and Space Science and is currently teaching 7th grade Life Science.

Ms. Buckwalter has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also has a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois. She earned a Master of Education degree in Science Education from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 2004.


Mr. John Clauss

Mr. Clauss came to Conrad Weiser in 2014 after over 15 years experience is both private and public schools in Washington D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology Education at West Chester University in 1993. His Master Degree was completed in 2005 from George Mason University in Technology Integration.

Mr. Clauss holds certifications in Biology and Chemistry in Pennsylvania. He has taught various science courses over the years including Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Mr. Clauss is a faculty advisor of the Science Olympiad Team at Conrad Weiser High School and he is a Band Dad.


Mr. Ryan Moraski

Mr. Moraski became an instructor in the Science Department in 2018. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Biology with a focus on botany. In 2015 he completed his teaching licensure requirements in secondary science at the University of North Florida. He went on to earn a Master of Education degree in Science Education from the North Carolina State University in 2018.

Mr. Moraski has a Pennsylvania teaching certification in Biology. He teaches 7th grade life science at Conrad Weiser Middle School. Prior to coming back to Pennsylvania, he taught high school biology, chemistry, and earth science courses at various levels in Gainesville, Florida and Raleigh, North Carolina.


Mr. Matt Esser

Mr. Esser graduated from Millersville University in 2011 with a degree in Earth Science Education with minors in Geography and the Environment. He also received a master’s degree in middle level education at Kutztown University. Mr. Esser started teaching 8th grade physical science at Conrad Weiser Middle School in 2013 and has loved every second of it.

Mr. Esser enjoys teaching physical science and implementing hands on labs to show students that science is all around them at all times. Learning is a skill that everyone has the ability to master with enjoyment and practice.


Mrs. Sandy Grajewski

Mrs. Grajewski became an instructor in the Science Department in 1996. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Husbandry from Delaware Valley College and her Teaching Certification from Kutztown University. In 2004, she earned a Masters in Science Education from Lebanon Valley College. She is co-advisor of Science Olympiad and Yearbook Club.

Mrs. Grajewski has Pennsylvania teaching certifications in General Science, Biology, and Earth and Space Science and currently teaches Earth Science, Astronomy, and AP Biology at the high school. She is co-advisor of the high school yearbook and the high school Science Olympiad team.


Ms. Phleane Kissling

Ms. Kissling became an instructor in the Science Department in 1991. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ursinus College and her Teaching Certification from Alvernia University. In 1998, she earned a Master of Education from DeSales University.

Ms. Kissling has Pennsylvania teaching certifications in Biology and General Science. She teaches 8th grade physical science. Ms. Kissling is the co-advisor of the Conrad Weiser Middle School Science Olympiad Team.


Mr. Chris Koper

Mr. Koper became an instructor in the Science Department in 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Secondary Chemical Education. In 2015, he earned a Master of Science in Physics Education degree from the Montana State University.

Mr. Koper has Pennsylvania teaching certifications in Chemistry and Physics. He teaches AP Physics, College Prep Physics, and General Physics.


Mr. Jantzen Linn

Mr. Linn became an instructor in the Science Department in 2014. Previously, he taught Biology at Daniel Boone Area High School from 2011-14. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Albright College while playing collegiate football in 2010. He is currently completing his Masters of Education through Wilkes University.

Mr. Linn has Pennsylvania teaching certifications in Biology and General Science. He teaches all levels of Biology at Conrad Weiser. In addition, Mr. Linn is a varsity football coach at Governor Mifflin High School.


Mrs. Tabitha Meredith

Mrs. Meredith became an instructor in the Agriculture Department in 1999. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from The University of Delaware majoring in Animal Science and Agricultural Education. In 2003, she earned a Master of Science from Wilkes University in Education.

Mrs. Meredith has a Pennsylvania teaching certification in Agriculture Science and teaches all Middle School Agriculture courses for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. She is also the advisor of the Conrad Weiser Middle School FFA chapter and faculty advisor of the Jr. Envirothon Team.


Mrs. Julie Mason


Ms. Adelle Schade

Ms. Schade became an instructor at Conrad Weiser High School in 1996. She earned a Bachelor of Science from West Chester University in Health and Physical Education. In 2006, she earned a Master of Education from Kutztown University in Biology Education. In 2015, Ms. Schade earned a Master of Science degree in Microbiology from the Jefferson Graduate School of Biomedical Science. Currently, Ms. Schade is pursuing her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Ms. Schade has Pennsylvania teaching certifications in Biology, Health and Physical Education. She teaches Anatomy and Physiology I and II which are dual enrollment courses with the Reading Area Community College. Additionally, she teaches a Biomedical Science Research course encouraging independent and innovative science research. She is a faculty advisor of the Conrad Weiser Science Research Institute.


Mr. Adam Serfass

Mr. Serfass became an instructor in the Agriculture Department in 2008. He earned a Bachelor of Science from The Pennsylvania State University in Agricultural and Extension Education. In 2015, he earned a Master of Education from North Carolina State University in Agricultural Education.

Mr. Serfass has Pennsylvania teaching certifications in Agriculture Science, Biology, and General Science and teaches a variety of courses, both in the Agriculture Department and Science Department. He primarily teaches Introduction to Agricultural Science, Current Topics in Agriculture, AP Environmental Science, Experiments in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, and oversees the Teaching/Laboratory Assistant (TLA) program. Mr. Serfass is also co-advisor of the Conrad Weiser FFA chapter and faculty advisor of the Conrad Weiser Science Research Initiative.


Mr. John Siefert

Mr. Siefert became an instructor in the Science Department in 2009. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University in Agricultural and Extension Education. In 2016, he earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Chemical and Life Sciences.

Mr. Siefert has Pennsylvania teaching certifications in Agriculture Science, Biology, General Science, and Environmental Science. He teaches Biology, Introduction to Agricultural Science, Biotechnology, Microbiology, and oversees the Landscape Laboratory Intern Program. In addition, Mr. Siefert is also co-advisor of the Conrad Weiser FFA chapter, Bioscience Research Club, and faculty advisor of the Conrad Weiser Science Research Initiative.



Course Offerings

The Science Department offers a wide range of core and elective courses to expose students to the diversity of scientific fields of study. The curriculum includes both traditional courses as well as independent study courses that allow for individualized exploration into topics of interest. Courses are designed to enhance students' knowledge of scientific concepts and also develop skills that can be transferred to many fields and careers.

For more detailed information about graduation requirements and course offerings, view the High School Program of Studies.


Science Department Courses

Agriculture Science


(8001) Introduction to Agriculture Science - 1.00 Credit

This course will introduce the student to the broad discipline of Agriculture Science, which has careers tied to the food, fiber, energy and natural resource industries. Topics investigated will include an introduction to animal and plant science, integrated pest management (IPM), soil science, microbiology, and agriculture and the environment. Leadership development and public speaking skills are taught to increase self-confidence and sharpen communication skills needed for success in a competitive society. Laboratory skills are developed through a series of investigations. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. This class is available to students in 9th &10th grades.


(8003) Current Topics in Agriculture Science - 1.00 Credit

This course offers comprehensive units in contemporary ideas in animal science, food science, tissue culture, aseptic laboratory technique, soil science & apiculture. Laboratory activities are included in each of the units of instruction. Dissection units include fetal pig and reproductive systems of bovine, porcine, ovine and avian species. The course places an emphasis on career skills including interview and resume preparation. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. This class is available to students in 10th & 11th grades.


(8005) Advanced Placement Environmental Science (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit AP

Environmental Science is designed to bring the student to the equivalent of a college introductory semester course. After qualifying on the AP examination, students as college freshmen are granted three or more credits at cooperating colleges. Because of the nature of the course, taking of the AP exam is required. The assigned reading for the course is rigorous and diverse. Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study, combining ideas and information from natural sciences (biology, chemistry and geology) and social sciences (economics, politics and ethics) to present a general idea of how nature works and how things are interconnected. Topics taught include matter and energy resources, ecosystems and how they work, human population dynamics, major global problems, resources and pollution, sustaining biodiversity and ecological integrity, and environment and society. This course serves as excellent preparation for the AP Biology course and examination. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. This class is available to students in 11th and 12th grade. AP Environmental Science will count as the fourth science credit for graduation. Note: There is a fee for this exam administered by The College Board.


(8045) Biotechnology (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit

Biotechnology is the science of using living cells, their components, and their enzymes to produce useful commercial products. Students will conduct advanced laboratory protocols as they work with DNA fingerprinting and barcoding, genetic modification of bacteria and plants, plant tissue culture, and analysis of immunological proteins. Additionally, students will consider the ethical and economic consequences of these technologies as their use in agricultural and medical fields expands. This course counts for science credit. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. This class is open to students in 11th and 12th grade.


(8040) Experiments in the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit

Experiments in agricultural and environmental sciences introduces students to the foundation of science: experimentation. Students will work in small groups to acquire proficiency in problem solving, statistical analysis, experimental design, literature search, in-depth reading, technical writing and oral presentation. As skills are mastered throughout the course, students will explore scientific topics of their choosing through extensive reading, development of experiments, and construction of a research presentation. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. This class is open to students in 11th and 12th grade.


(8048) Seminars in Agricultural Sciences - 1.00 Credit
(8047) Seminars in Agricultural Science - .50 Credit

A student needs approval from an agricultural science teacher to take this course. It is designed to accommodate a Teaching/Laboratory Assistant (TLA). The course requirements include managing a laboratory area and conducting demonstrations in an area of agricultural science specialty. This course is designed to allow a student to be an attractive candidate for a “lab assistant” job at the university level. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. These classes are open to students in 12th grade.


(4134) Microbiology – 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite – Consent of Instructor)

Microbiology is designed for a detailed look at the invisible empire of microbes. Students will be required to read college materials and take on-line tests, conduct investigations, demonstrate mastery of technical writing and make professional contacts. This is an excellent option for a junior or senior who is considering a career in medicine or Ag. Science. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. This class is open to students in 11th and 12th grade.


(4133) Independent Study in Microbiology - .50 Credits

(Prerequisite – Consent of Instructor)

Offered as a Senior Seminar, Independent Study in Microbiology is an independent study designed for a detailed look at the invisible empire of microbes. Students will be required to read college materials and take on-line tests, conduct investigations, demonstrate mastery of technical writing and make professional contacts. This is an excellent option for a senior who is considering a career in medicine or Ag. Science. FFA membership is open to any student in this class. This class is available to students in 12th grade.


(8160) Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) - Grade 9 - 1.00 Credit
(8162) Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) -Grade 10 - 1.00 Credit
(8164) Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) - Grade 11 - 1.00 Credit
(8166) Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) - Grade 12 - 1.00 Credit

The SAE courses are available to any student who is taking an agriculture course in grades 9-12. Each student is required to conduct a project that involves reading in scientific journals, conducting experiments of a scientific nature, raising plants or animals or involving work experiences in an area of agriculture/agribusiness. A detailed record book must be kept. A minimum of 120 hours of work outside class time is mandatory. Supervisory visits will be made by agriculture teachers who involve parents/employers in the student projects as needed. Students are encouraged to invest their own money, learn first-hand how to keep records, buy and sell and to make real life decisions that affect the project. The student's career plans and educational interests are an important part of the SAE topic selection and development. These courses will be graded A-F on a straight % basis.

Students must sign up in the Agriculture Department for this course.

FFA membership is open to any student in these classes.

Biology

(4100) Biology - Grade 10 - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite - Earth Science or Introduction to Agriculture)

This course presents Biology as it relates to everyday life. Using the State Keystone Standards as a guide the major topics covered include Scientific Method, Ecology, Cells and Cellular Function, Photosynthesis, Genetics, both Mendelian and Molecular, and Evolution. This course is designed to guide students to successful completion of the Keystone exam in Biology which is required for graduation.


(4101) Biology College Prep - 9 and 10 - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite - Earth Science CP or Introduction to Agriculture)

The college prep Biology course stresses scientific skills and writing as well as the content of a typical Biology course. Major topics covered include Scientific Method, Ecology, Cells and Cellular Function, Photosynthesis, Genetics, both Mendelian and Molecular, and Evolution. Successful completion of the Keystone Exam at the end of the course is required for graduation.


(4201) Biology Honors - 9 and 10 - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite - Earth Science Honors or Earth Science CP with teacher recommendation or Introduction to Agriculture Science)

The Biology Honors course features academic rigor and more in depth coverage of Biological concepts. Laboratory exercises will be more inquiry based and student driven. Students will be required to complete outside reading as well as attend scientific seminars. Major topics covered include Scientific Method, Ecology, Cells and Cellular Function, Photosynthesis, Genetics, both Mendelian and Molecular, and Evolution. Successful completion of the Keystone Exam at the end of the course is required for graduation.


(4115) Advanced Placement Biology -10 through 12 - (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit

Prerequisite - (Biology CP, Biology Honors or Earth Science Honors/Introduction to Agriculture Science with consent of Instructor)

This course is designed to be the equivalent to a two-semester college introductory biology course. The AP Biology curriculum framework is structured around the four Big Ideas of Evolution, Energy, Information and Interactions. This course focuses on enduring, conceptual understandings and the content that supports these understandings (College Board). Topics of study include: The Chemistry of Life, The Cell, The Energy of Life, Mendelian Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Mechanisms of Evolution, Plant Form and Function, Animal Form and Function and Ecology. All students in AP Biology are required to take the College Board AP Biology exam.

Note: There is a fee for this exam administered by The College Board. The exceptional student may choose to take AP Biology to fulfill their required biology credit. In this situation a student would be required to take the Keystone Exam and the AP Biology Exam.

Biomedical Science

(4150) Anatomy and Physiology I - (weighted 1.1) - 1.00 Credit

This course is designed for students who plan to enter careers that require extensive knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. Focus will be centered upon the orientation and organization of the human body, the support and movement of the human body, regulation and maintenance of the human body, and the integration and control systems of the human body. This course will include labs to physically demonstrate the mechanical properties. Students will also learn the basic injury evaluation techniques, efficient taping and wrapping for injuries, and initial injury care. Anatomy and Physiology I will count as the fourth science credit required for graduation.

This course is available for dual enrollment college credit through the Reading Area Community College. This class is open to students in 10th-12th grade.


(4151) Anatomy and Physiology II - (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite – Anatomy and Physiology I, taken as dual enrollment at RACC)

Building on the knowledge acquired in Anatomy and Physiology I, you will further study the structure and function of the human body. The course focuses on the studies of systems involved with integration, control, absorption, excretion and metabolism. Students will also learn advanced injury evaluation techniques, manual resistance techniques, therapeutic exercises, and therapeutic modalities.

This course is available for dual enrollment college credit through the Reading Area Community College. This class is open to students in 11th and 12th grade.


(4153) Biomedical Science Research - (weighted 1.2) 1.00 Credit

This course is an introduction to the principles of biomedical and clinical science research with an emphasis on critical analysis of the current literature. The course provides an overview of experimental design, laboratory technology, statistical analysis, and publication preparation. The course is specifically designed to improve student presentation skills and potential for collaborative work in biomedical science. Students will learn how to design and write a realistic research proposal and will gain a general understanding of how different techniques can be used to address a wide range of scientific research questions. This STEM experience provides students with an inquiry-based learning opportunity and engages them as active learners in a research setting. This class is open to students in 11th and 12th grade.

Chemistry

(4109) Chemistry - 10 through 12 - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite - Biology)

The Chemistry course is intended to provide students the beginning understanding of Chemical concepts using more of a conceptual approach. The fundamental principles and theories will be presented with the emphasis on the following major topics: measurement, classification of matter, atomic theories, electron configuration, elements, periodic table, ionic and covalent bonding, chemical reactions, mole concepts, stoichiometry, states of matter, mixtures and solutions. Laboratory work is included in this course to correlate with the above topics and to develop basic laboratory skills. Projects will be completed to develop a deeper understanding of the above topics. Students will need to have a scientific calculator.


(4110) Chemistry College Prep - 10 through 12 - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite - Biology CP and Algebra I; can be taken concurrently with Algebra II)

The College Preparatory Chemistry course is intended to prepare the student for a first year college chemistry class. The fundamental principles and theories of chemistry will be presented with the emphasis on the following major topics: measurement, classification of matter, atomic theories, electron configuration, elements, periodic table, ionic and covalent bonding, chemical reactions, mole concepts, stoichiometry, states of matter, mixtures and solutions. Laboratory work is included in this course to correlate with the above topics and to develop basic laboratory skills. Projects will be completed to develop a deeper understanding of the above topics. A strong background in mathematics, especially algebra, is recommended. Students will need to have a scientific calculator.


(4202) Chemistry Honors - 10 through 12 - (weighted 1.1) - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite - Biology CP or Honors and Algebra I; can be taken concurrently with Algebra II)

Chemistry Honors is designed for college-bound students who are interested in a science related major to prepare them for a first year College Chemistry course. The fundamental principles and theories of chemistry will be presented with the emphasis on the following major topics: measurement, classification of matter, atomic theories, electron configuration, elements, periodic table, ionic and covalent bonding, chemical reactions, mole concepts, stoichiometry, states of matter, mixtures and solutions. Laboratory work is included in this course to correlate with the above topics and to develop basic laboratory skills. Projects will be completed to develop a deeper understanding of the above topics. Students will be required to read a Chemistry related book to enhance Chemistry knowledge. A strong background in mathematics, especially algebra, is recommended. Students will need to have a scientific calculator.


(4108) Advanced Placement Chemistry - 10 through 12 - (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite - Chemistry Honors or Chemistry CP with teacher recommendation; can be taken concurrently with Algebra II)

The AP Chemistry course is intended to prepare the dedicated science student for the first year College Chemistry course. The fundamental principles and theories of chemistry will be presented with the emphasis on the following major topics: measurement, classification of matter, atomic theories, electron configuration, elements, periodic table, ionic and covalent bonding, chemical reactions, mole concepts, stoichiometry, states of matter, mixtures and solutions. Laboratory work is included in this course to correlate with the above topics and to develop basic laboratory skills. Projects will be completed to develop a deeper understanding of the above topics. Students will be required to read a Chemistry related book to enhance Chemical knowledge. A strong background in mathematics, especially algebra, is recommended. Students will be required to take the AP Chemistry Exam. Students will need to have a scientific calculator. Note: There is a fee for this exam administered by The College Board.

Earth Science

(4090) Earth Science - Grade 9 - 1.00 Credit

This course engages students in the study of the Earth and its place in space. Earth Science introduces students to our universe, our planet earth and the processes and changes that continually occur in the natural world. Students are exposed to concepts in astronomy, geology, meteorology and physical oceanography.


(4091) Earth Science College Prep - Grade 9 - 1.00 Credit

This course engages students in the study of the Earth and the universe around it. Earth Science CP provides a detailed look at the universe, our planet earth and the processes and changes that continually occur in the natural world. Students investigate concepts in astronomy, geology, meteorology and physical oceanography.


(4200) Earth Science Honors - Grade 9 - 1.00 Credit

Earth Science Honors is intended for the motivated science student to study Earth Science topics at a faster pace and more in depth. Students will study additional topics beyond the CP curriculum as they explore the universe, our planet earth and the processes and changes that continually occur in the natural world. Students investigate concepts in astronomy, geology, meteorology and physical oceanography. Honors students will be required to complete additional readings, additional writing and projects.


(4205) Astronomy - 10 through 12 - 1.00 Credit

This course provides an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding about the solar system, galaxy and universe in which we live. Focus will be on the tools used, both past and present, to obtain what we know about the universe. Specific topics of study will include planets and our solar system, stellar astronomy and how stars change over time, galaxies, deep space objects and astrobiology.


Physics

(4123) Physics - 11 through 12 - 1.00 Credit

Physics is a science course in which the lecture and laboratory elements of the course are integrated so that your understanding of physics is enhanced by class discussions, personal reflections, observations, and experiments. Your ability to perform observations, take data, and analyze results rapidly and accurately will be enhanced by the use of microcomputers equipped with sensors for data collection and software for data display, mathematical calculations, graphing, drawing, the simulation of physical events and word processing. Topics covered in the course include: Newtonian Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Waves and Optics, Electricity and Magnetism. Students will need to have a scientific calculator.


(4122) Physics College Prep - 11 and 12 - 1.00 Credit

(Prerequisite: Algebra II and Geometry)

CP Physics is a lab course designed for the college-bound student. Students are introduced to the study of kinematics, dynamics/statics, fluid mechanics, energy and heat. A scientific calculator, such as the TI 34, is highly useful. CP Physics is a problem-solving course with a great deal of emphasis on concepts in Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry. Therefore, a grade of C or better in Algebra II and Geometry CP is highly recommended. Students will need to have a scientific calculator.


(4120) Advanced Placement Physics 1 - 11 and 12 - (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit

Prerequisite - (Geometry and Algebra II)

AP Physics is an algebra-based introductory college-level physics course that explores topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound, and introductory, simple circuits. Through inquiry based learning, students will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills. No prior course work in physics is necessary. Students should have completed geometry and be concurrently taking Algebra II or an equivalent course. Students will be required to take the AP Physics Exam. Note: There is a fee for this exam administered by The College Board.


(4121) Advanced Placement Physics 2 – 11 and 12 - (weighted 1.2) - 1.00 Credit

Prerequisite - (AP Physics or CP Physics and Pre-Calculus)

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 will develop scientific critical thinking and reasoning skills. Students should have taken AP Physics 1 or CP Physics. Students should have taken or be concurrently taking pre-calculus or an equivalent course. Students will be required to take the AP Physics 2 Exam. Note: There is a fee for this exam administered by The College Board.

Clubs/Activities