Science

The science department at EPCHS wants students to know what science is: that it is a process of discovering how the world works. Other fields may use logic on previous information, but science involves logical thinking and testing of a constant inflow of new, additional information.

Science is the best way humans have of understanding how the natural world works. With each new bit of information discovered, we have a sharper focus of the processes of the natural world. Science is descriptive, not prescriptive, ie, it does not show us how the natural world should be, but how it really is. Why is that important? Because using scientific knowledge, humans have been able to expand the lengths of our lives and better the physical qualities of our environment far beyond those of our ancestors. No other human endeavor produces technology, which results in these betterments of our lives, physically.

Courses Offered

Regular Biology 1-2

Level: Regular 10, 11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: MAP score of 219 or lower or unsuccessful completion of Biology 1-2 or Geology/Astronomy.

Type: Life Science

Course Description:

Biology Concepts will include concepts and principles of biology needed for a general understanding of living organisms. Introductory units to all major life forms including the bacteria, animals, and plants are stressed throughout the course. Laboratory activities are provided when appropriate to enhance classroom instruction.


Academic Biology 1-2

Level: Academic 9,10, 11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Type: Life science

Course Description:

Concepts and principles of biology applicable to all life are presented to emphasize that all living systems are similar and related. The environment and ecology are stressed throughout the course. Laboratory investigations are provided when appropriate to enhance classroom instruction.


Enriched Biology 1-2

Level: Enriched 9

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite : 8th grade MAP reading score of 237 or higher.

Science Type: Life science

Course Description:

This course is based on the unifying themes of biology: living systems, patterns and products of change, maintenance of dynamic equilibrium, relationships between energy and the organization of matter, reproduction and inheritance, growth and differentiation, and interaction and interdependence.


Academic Zoology & Botany

Level: Academic 10, 11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Academic or Enriched Biology 1-2 or an A- in Regular Biology.

Type: Life science

Course Description:

Zoology and Botany is an advanced biology class that studies the animal and plant kingdoms. All big 9 animal phyla are discussed from sponges to vertebrates. Particular attention is given to body structure, classification, and significance. Members of each phylum are examined and/or dissected in each unit. Plant anatomy, physiology, and classification are also studied.


Enriched Zoology & Botany

Level: Enriched 10, 11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Enriched Biology 1-2 or A- or higher in Academic Biology 1-2

Type: Life science

Course Description:

Zoology and Botany is an advanced biology class that studies the animal and plant kingdoms. All big 9 animal phyla are discussed from sponges to vertebrates. Particular attention is given to body structure, classification, and significance. Members of each phylum are examined and/or dissected in each unit. Plant anatomy, physiology, and classification are also studied.



Human Anatomy & Physiology 1-2

Level: Academic 10,11, 12

Length of course: One year

Type: Life Science

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Enriched Biology or Academic Biology 1-2 or an A- in Regular Biology.

Type: Life science

Course Description:

Human Anatomy and Physiology is an advanced biology class that studies how the human body is organized and how it functions. All organ systems are covered, along with various medical conditions and diseases for each system. Various large mammal organs are dissected throughout the course, as well as a final cumulative whole animal dissection.


Enriched Human Anatomy & Physiology 1-2

Level: Enriched 10,11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Enriched Biology or A- or higher in Academic Biology 1-2

Type: Life science

Course Description:

Human Anatomy and Physiology is an advanced biology class that studies how the human body is organized and how it functions. All organ systems are covered, along with various medical conditions and diseases for each system. Various large mammal organs are dissected throughout the course, as well as a final cumulative whole animal dissection.


Forensic Science

Level: Academic 11, 12

Length of Course: One year

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in an Enriched or Academic Bio 1-2 or an A- in Regular Biology and a C- or higher in Geometry.

Type:1 semester of Life Science and 1 semester of Physical Science

Course Description:

Forensic science is a lab based course that will study the application of basic biological, chemical and physical science principles and technological practices to the purposes of justice in the study of criminal and civil issues. Major themes of study in this course are the justice system, pathology, anthropology, toxicology, firearms, trace evidence, biological fluids, DNA, fingerprints, impression evidence, questioned documents and forensic psychiatry/psychology. Students will learn the basics of crime scene investigation, and will use information gained in class to examine and process mock crime scenes.


Enriched Forensic Science

Level: Enriched 11, 12

Length of Course: One year

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in an Enriched Bio 1-2 or A- or higher in Academic Bio 1-2 and a C- or higher in Geometry.

Type: 1 semester of Life Science and 1 semester of Physical Science

Course Description:

Forensic science is a lab based course that will study the application of basic biological, chemical and physical science principles and technological practices to the purposes of justice in the study of criminal and civil issues. Major themes of study in this course are the justice system, pathology, anthropology, toxicology, firearms, trace evidence, biological fluids, DNA, fingerprints, impression evidence, questioned documents and forensic psychiatry/psychology. Students will learn the basics of crime scene investigation, and will use information gained in class to examine and process mock crime scenes.


Biology 111 / Concepts in Biology

(Dual Credit/Early College 4 college credits) ICC tuition and fees will apply

Level: Enriched 11, 12

Length of Course: One semester

Prerequisite: ACT reading 18, Accuplacer Reading 90 or 259 Next Generation, SAT reading 480, or equivalent

Type: 1 semester of Life Science

Course Description:

This course develops an understanding of the biological nature of various organisms including their reproduction, genetics, origin, and evolution.


Biology 140 / Human Anatomy and Physiology

(Dual Credit/Early College 4 College Credits) ICC Tuition and fees will apply

Level: Enriched 11, 12

Length of Course: One semester

Prerequisite: ACT reading 18, Accuplacer Reading 90 or 259 Next Generation, SAT reading 480, or equivalent.

Type: 1 semester of Life Science

Course Description:

This course presents an investigation of human organisms on the cellular, histological, and organ systems level of development. It is intended as a survey of basic anatomy and physiology principles and relationships appropriate for students in certain degree programs.


Geology

Level: Regular or Academic 10,11, 12

Length of course: One semester (1st only)

Department: Science

Type: Physical Science (Earth)

Prerequisite: None

Course Description:

Geology includes topics covering: minerals and rocks, nonrenewable resources and mining, plate tectonics, geologic time, earthquakes (if time permits).


Astronomy & Weather

Level: Regular or Academic 10, 11, 12

Length of course: One semester (2nd only)

Department: Science

Type: Physical Science (Earth)

Prerequisite: None

Course Description:

Astronomy and weather topics include: Earth systems, The Sun-Earth-Moon system, our solar system, objects in the universe, atmosphere basics, climate and climate change.


Earth Science 3-4

Level: Regular or Academic 11, 12

Length of course: Two semesters

Department: Science

Type: Physical Science (Earth)

Prerequisite: Freshman and Sophomore level science

Course Description:

Earth Science 3-4 includes topics covering: map reading, weathering, erosion, fresh water, oceanography, geologic time, earth history (geology and life of the past), earthquakes, and volcanoes.


Environmental Stewardship

Level: Academic, Regular 11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: Freshman and Sophomore level science

Type: ½ credit life science (first semester) and ½ credit physical science (2nd semester)

Course description:

This class will focus on topics associated with Environmental Sustainability - how we as humans can live in and create a healthier and more equitable world for all beings while not compromising the needs of future generations. Some key topics of study will include: Population growth, Earth systems, land management, food production, renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, alternative energy, energy conservation, water use and quality, air quality, and waste management.





Introduction to Physics & Chemistry 1-2

Level: Academic 11,12 (and 10th with teacher approval)

Length of course: 1 year (1 semester Physics/2 semester Chemistry)

Department: Science

Type: Physical Science

Prerequisite: Reading MAP score of 223 or higher and Math MAP score of 231 or higher.

Course Description:

This course will be an introduction into the topics of Physics and Chemistry. One semester will focus on Physics, while the other will focus on Chemistry. Students in this course will learn a wide variety of topics with a focus on concepts. Physics concepts: Motion, Inertia, Momentum, Heat. Chemistry concepts: Matter, Periodic Table of Elements, Nuclear Energy. Some mathematics will be used in this course.


Enriched Chemistry 1-2

Level: Enriched - 10, 11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Academic Chemistry & Physics 1-2 or previous year’s Enriched science or A- or higher in previous Academic Science and 2 semester average of C- or higher in Algebra 1.

Type: Physical science

Course Description:

This course provides the student with a basic background of college chemistry. It is developed to use the methods of logical thought to stimulate the student to begin to reason from known data to unknown results. It covers the elementary atomic structure, chemical bonding, some descriptive chemistry, concentrations and kinetics.


Enriched Chemistry 3-4

Level: Enriched 11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Enriched Chemistry 1-2

Type: Physical science

Course Description:

The course will be a continuation of Chemistry topics learned in Academic Chemistry 1-2 including: thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, nuclear chemistry, and electrochemistry.


Enriched Physics 1-2

Level: Enriched 10,11, 12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Academic Chemistry & Physics 1-2 or previous year’s Enriched science or A- or higher in previous Academic Science. 2 semester average of C- or higher in both Algebra 1 and Geometry

Type: Physical science

Course Description:

Physics is the study of matter and energy. The topics covered include acceleration, inertia, work, gas laws, light, sound, electricity, atomic structure, and potential, kinetic and nuclear energy. Experiments are designed to have meaning to the student. Original thinking is encouraged with the student doing as much of the planning as possible and often inventing and constructing equipment to serve his needs. The accelerated class goes into greater depth in the same areas of study.


Enriched Physics 3-4

Level: Enriched 11,12

Length of course: One year

Department: Science

Prerequisite: 2 semester average of C- or higher in Enriched Physics 1-2

Type: Physical science

Course Description:

Topics will include Electricity, Magnetism, and Thermodynamics as well as some Engineering based topics. A major component of this class will include laboratory and hands on activities that will assist the students attain a deep understanding of the scientific laws and theories relating to the above topics. This class will include a culminating project that will incorporate topics learned from both Physics 1-2 and Physics 3-4.


Science Staff

Megan Beecham - 309-698-7562 - mbeecham@ep309.org

Mrs. Beecham is a long time resident of Central Illinois, graduating from PCHS in 1994. She attended Bradley University, graduating in 2001 with her Bachelor’s degree in Geology-Secondary Education. In 2008, she graduated from Olivet Nazarene University with a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction. Mrs. Beecham currently teaches in the Science Department and is a member of the Freshman Academy Team, and also serves as a Link Crew advisor. In her spare time, Mrs. Beecham loves to spend time with her husband and her daughter.


Brian Disney - 309-698-7551 - bdisney@ep309.org

I graduated from PCHS in 1985 and I graduated from the University of Houston in 1990 with a BS in Biology/History. I have been working at EPCHS since 2005.


Martin Hobbs - 309-698-7558 - mhobbs@ep309.org

Martin Hobbs has taught Earth Science and Environmental Science at East Peoria Community High School since 1995. He also has served as the Lead Teacher of the Science Department since 2005. Mr. Hobbs received his Bachelor’s Degree in Geography Education in 1995, and Master’s Degree in Educational Administration in 1999, both from Illinois State University. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Geoscience Education from Mississippi State University in 2003. Mr. Hobbs created the district paper recycling program in 1996 and added plastic, tin, and aluminum to the program in 2006. Mr. Hobbs co-sponsors HOPE Club, an environmental themed club. In addition to environmental issues, Mr. Hobbs has a passion for weather and traveling. Mr. Hobbs is an avid gardener, and cook and enjoys playing and watching sports, reading fiction, and spending time with his wife and three daughters.


Sean Poindexter - 309-698-7535 - spoindexter@ep309.org


Camron Stanley - 309-698-7559 - cstanley@ep309.org - Website

Mr. Stanley is a long-time resident of East Peoria, graduating from EPCHS himself in 2002. He attended Bradley University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2006 with his Bachelor’s degree in Biology-Secondary Education. In 2014, he graduated from Aurora University with a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Mr. Stanley currently teaches Biology, Human Anatomy/Physiology, and Zoology/Botany. Mr. Stanley loves teaching about nature and in the past has served as a naturalist at Wildlife Prairie Park and an educator at the Peoria Zoo. In his spare time, Mr. Stanley loves to spend time with his wife and his two daughters and enjoys traveling, the outdoors, camping, and hiking with his family. He is also a volunteer firefighter and licensed EMT for the Marquette Heights Fire Department.


Jennifer Wrigley - 309-698-7597 - jwrigley@ep309.org

Mrs. Wrigley joined the EPCHS staff in 2012 and teaches forensic science, biology, human anatomy & physiology, and is our dual credit biology instructor. She earned her Bachelors degree in Biology from Illinois State University in 2012, her Master's degree in Education from Illinois State in 2017, and Post-master's Biology certification from the University of Illinois in 2018. Her passions in the life sciences include molecular biology, genetics, and microbiology! In her free time she enjoys traveling with her husband, cooking, singing, and spending time with her family & friends.

Science Resources

Resources coming soon!