Science Frequently Asked Questions
Science Department Head, Grades 7-12
phone: 508-540-2200, extension 3065
If this FAQ sheet does not address your questions, please feel free to contact Chris Brothers.
Q. How many credits of Science do students need for graduation?
A. Students need 12 credits or three years of science for graduation. Most students take a full four years of science. All students must complete Biology by the end of grade 9, and it is highly recommended that all students complete chemistry by the end of grade 11.
Q. How many years of lab science does a student need? What constitutes a lab science course?
A. Most colleges want to see two years of lab science courses on a student’s transcript, and many, including the more competitive colleges, want three. All CP2 and Advanced Placement courses are designated as lab sciences. The Massachusetts High School Program of Studies, or MassCore, requires three years of lab sciences.
Q. Do students have to pass a science MCAS for graduation?
A. Yes, all students must pass a science MCAS for graduation. Most take a Biology MCAS at the end of their freshman year. A few students who transfer from other schools may take the Chemistry MCAS. Students who do not pass the Biology MCAS as freshmen will be enrolled in a Biology Workshop class to help them succeed when they retake the MCAS.
Q. My child will be a sophomore next year. What science should he/she take?
A. Sophomores take either Chemistry CP2 if they are also taking Algebra 2 CP2 as a sophomore or Environmental Science if they are enrolled in Geometry as a sophomore and then take Chemistry as a junior.
Q. My child will be a junior or senior next year. What science should he/she take?
A. Juniors and seniors have a lot of course choices. They can take Chemistry CP2 (if they have not already done so as a sophomore), Physics CP2, an AP Science course or an elective including Marine Ecology, Forensics, Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry CP1 or Natural History of Cape Cod.
Q. What AP Science courses do you offer and can students take more than one?
A. We offer AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, and AP Physics. Students may take more than one AP science course at a time but should realize this will create a very challenging course load, especially if they are enrolled in other AP courses as well. AP courses are considered the equivalent of a first year college course for science majors.
Q. Are students in AP courses required to take the AP exam?
A. Students are expected, but not required, to take the AP exam in their respective AP course. Students may receive college credit depending on their score, their college, and their intended major.
Q. How can my child participate in the science and engineering fair?
A. Any FHS student can participate in the science and engineering fair by conducting an independent science research or engineering project. They can earn independent credit on their transcripts for their project (up to 4 credits per year) by enrolling in the Science and Engineering Research course. Students can also be matched with a mentor to help them in their research.