Honors Science Courses


The Honors guidelines committee for high school science has included course descriptions for each of the following high school science courses:  Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry, Honors Earth/Environmental Science, Honors Physical Science and Honors Physics.    LEAs may develop local honors versions of such courses as Anatomy and Physiology or Molecular Genetics. All of the honors science courses share the following characteristics and assumptions:

1        Students enrolled in honors courses will learn the material in the standard course of study for the course at greater depth than in the standard level version of the course.   The support documents for the course include appropriate honors extensions by objective. 

2        Students enrolled in the honors version of the course will take the same EOC as students enrolled in the standard level version of the course.

3        Students who choose an honors science course are expected to work more independently than students in standard level courses.

4        Because students can be expected to cover the standard level material more independently there will be time for more enrichment topics as specified in the course descriptions for specific honors courses. 

5        Students who choose an honors science course will be expected to complete more independent in-depth scientific investigations and to report on them using a more formal scientific laboratory report format.

6        Students who choose an honors science course will be expected to read and present orally and in writing recent scientific findings. 


Many of the materials and activities suggested for honors courses will also be appropriate for some students enrolled in standard level versions of the course.  The difference may be in the level of independence expected of students and the amount of time activities may take.  All students, not just those in honors courses, should experience challenging work and some level of independent inquiry in their science courses.   Teachers should include some of the enrichment topics for all students.



Honors Chemistry


Honors Chemistry is an accelerated comprehensive laboratory course designed to give the students a more conceptual and in-depth understanding of the concepts in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study in Chemistry.  In Honors Chemistry students are expected to work independently on a variety of assignments and accept greater responsibility for their learning. The course will include the additional Honors objectives and an in-depth study of at least two of the listed enrichment topics.  Students will design and complete at least one in depth independent study of chemistry directed questions.  The curriculum will integrate inquiry and technology to explore the world of chemistry.


Honors Chemistry is intended to be a tenth or eleventh grade course for students accelerated in mathematics.  Success in Honors Chemistry will require the student to: 1) operate with algebraic expressions to solve problems using direct inverse, combined and joint variation, 2) use logarithms and exponents to solve problems, and 3) describe graphically, algebraically and verbally real-world phenomena as functions and identify the independent and dependent variables.   The Chemistry EOC exam is required to receive credit for this class. Students may not take Honors Chemistry in addition to SCS Chemistry.



Enrichment topics: (In depth study of at least two is required) 


1.  Crystal structure                  

2.  Environmental Chemistry

3.  Organic Chemistry

4.  Nuclear medicine

5.  Textile chemicals

6.  Polymers

7.  Forensics

8.  Chemistry of computers


Honors Objectives:  The following objectives are in addition to those in the 2004 revision of the Standard Course of Study for Chemistry.  The numbers are to show placement in the SCS.



1.02-1 H     Design, conduct and evaluate independent scientific investigations.

1        Evaluate student-generated hypotheses related to questions in chemistry by designing and carrying out independent investigations.

2        Relate the investigation(s) to current issues in chemistry (or research)

3        Prepare formal written lab reports with extensive analysis of data and sources of error.

4        Present findings to members of the community.

5        Develop creative approaches to chemistry topics.


2.01-1 H     Apply quantum numbers to electron configurations.


2.02-1 H     Analyze (calculate) average atomic mass from relative abundance and actual isotopic mass.


3.03-1 H     Evaluate reactions to determine limiting reactant and percent yield.


4.02-1 H     Summarize energy changes within a reaction to determine heats of reaction.


4.03-1-H     Predict spontaneity by the use of Gibbs Free Energy.


5.05-1-H     Analyze redox reactions by balancing via half reaction method or electron transfer method.



Link to the Competency Goals Descriptions


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