Science

CSW’s Science Department introduces students to best practices of scientific study through hands-on experiences in laboratory-based classes, with regular opportunities for in-depth research projects.

After completing required coursework in the 9th and 10th grade years, students are afforded curricular choice seen only at the college level, with program tracks in physics, biology, and chemistry that cover a diverse array of topics and material.

Students in Marine Biology get the opportunity to travel to Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine to study marine life with the Hurricane Island Foundation. 

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GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • "BioChemistry" and "BioConnections"
  • "STEAM: Physics" and "STEAM: Chemistry"
  • 3 science blocks beyond "STEAM

Sample Courses

List of 7 items.

  • BioConnections: Cells, Organisms, and Society

    In this required two-mod course, students will examine the structures and processes of the cell and human body. The course will investigate body functions from the micro to the macro level, examining how the activity of genes leads to cell specialization in organs and body systems. Our major themes, sickle cell anemia and diabetes, will provide depth and context to our work, emphasizing connections between biology and issues of social justice and equity. Students will experience the process and practice of scientific research through an in-depth, self directed research project, which will culminate in a public poster symposium. This course will expand on the content of BioChemistry to consider nested levels of organization and complexity in biology. Students will leave with the ability to anticipate the interplay between biology and the larger social context.
  • Electrochemistry and Battery Design

    Oxidation-Reduction reactions and electrochemistry are a very important field of applied chemistry. We will discuss some basic chemical principles and do a series of labs related to the topic. We will ultimately do research on the latest innovations in battery design and then design and build our own devices, considering power, battery life, and the potential for using sustainable materials. No previous chemistry required.
  • Genetic Engineering & Molecular Biology

    This course was previously called "Molecular Biology." The name was updated in 2020 to better represent the content) The rapid progress of biotechnology is raising questions and controversy in the new millennium. Should we clone humans? What is stem cell research? Is there truth behind fears of bio-terrorism? Are we determined by our genes, and does that raise the specter of eugenics? What is the real story behind genetically engineered foods? In this fast-paced, challenging lab and lecture course, learn the science behind the headlines. Try your own hand at isolating DNA, genetic fingerprinting, virus antibody tests, and genetically engineering bacteria to glow in the dark.
  • Issues in Global and National Public Health: Analysis and Action

    The goal of this class is for students to use the lens of global and national public health issues to understand how decisions can be made about complex problems with often incomplete data. In addition to these issues, students will learn to see patterns in data, analyze their significance and visualize them in a variety of ways. Case studies on infectious and chronic diseases and the role of social inequity in health outcomes will be examined through a variety of assessments, including research and opinion papers, and visual art pieces. Students may focus on topics such as the racial, socioeconomic, and political forces on access to health care, women’s health care and infant mortality, and consider the role of world health organizations. 
  • Marine Biology

    The goal of this class is to give students a field research experience in which they come to understand how to work as a team to conduct experimental studies in marine science. Students will be off campus on Hurricane Island off the coast of Maine, where they will be involved in a variety of new and ongoing projects. They will study the structure of intertidal communities, develop hypotheses, and then implement a research study that will provide baseline data for future work in the area. The students will also study lobster biology and the historic management of the fishery so they can start to look critically at the current state of the Maine lobster industry. In the larval settlement project, students will study organisms that recruit on docks and in the intertidal of Penobscot Bay, and consider the role of invasive species and climate change in affecting biodiversity. Finally, they will learn about the efforts on Hurricane Island to design a sustainable campus and to reduce the carbon footprint. They will help monitor energy use and also learn about various innovative solutions to the problem of living “off the grid.” There is a charge for the off‑campus portion of the course. This course awards credit toward the social justice requirement.
  • STEAM: Physics

    In this single module class, students will explore the concept of energy and energy transformations and examine foundational concepts in physics. Topics will include kinematics, types of energy, and conservation of energy. Students will hone their observational and analytical skills and consider important real-world applications. They will have several quantitative and qualitative design challenges that incorporate concepts from 3D design, programming, circuitry, and may include projects such as Rube Goldberg machines and wind turbines that demonstrate principles of physics and illustrate energy transformation. These challenges will require the students to practice their collaboration and analytical skills and show that creativity is an essential part of doing science.
  • Who Are We: Mapping the History and Science of Populations

    “Where are you from?”, “Where are you really from?” Have you ever had a conversation start with these two questions? To many, these sound all too familiar. Google the second question and you get 13,290,000,000 results. That is an impressive number for a simple feeler sent out to figure out who you are. If you have ever been stumped by these queries and not known how to respond or experienced an awkward silence because of it,  “Who Are You?” will give you the knowledge that lets you stump those who ask these questions.  The Science and History departments are collaborating on a course that unearths the ancient DNA of human beings and tracks their movements around the globe. The purpose: to discover who we are and where we are really from; to discover the scientific and historical origins of homo sapiens, and to dispel the superficial divide created by race. The purpose further is to show how genetics, competing groups of early humans, and the environment have influenced us more than we think. 

Science Faculty

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Kevin Smith

    Kevin Smith 

    Science Department Chair and Wilderness Trip Guide
    Education & Degrees
  • Photo of Claire Bagnani

    Claire Bagnani 

    Science Faculty
    Education & Degrees
  • Photo of Marilyn Del Donno

    Marilyn Del Donno 

    Science Faculty
    781-642-8683
    Education & Degrees
  • Photo of Liz Nee

    Liz Nee 

    Mathematics Faculty and Science Faculty
    781-398-8336
    Education & Degrees
  • Photo of Eline Rosenthal

    Eline Rosenthal 

    Science Faculty and Residential Faculty
    Education & Degrees

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.