Welcome to the Science Department

  • John Muir High School Early College Magnet core science classes include extensive laboratory work and are designed to meet university A-G entrance requirements for science ‘D’ credit. Two years of science ‘D’ credit courses are required for admission to a University of California campus, with a third year of science recommended. The subjects covered in each core science course are in alignment with the California State Standards for that course.

Courses Offered:

  • BIOLOGY: THE LIVING EARTH - GRADES 9-12 A-G Approved 10 CREDITS Prerequisite: Math 1 and/or concurrent enrollment Through the lens of the science and engineering practices and the crosscutting practices identified in the California NGSS, students will study the biological concepts of ecosystems, genetics, evolution and cells to organisms. Standards of Earth and Space Science, such as Earth’s History and Global Climate Change will be used to deepen students understanding of the Biology concepts that are being learned.

    AP BIOLOGY - GRADES 10-12 A-G Approved 10 CREDITS Recommended Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry with C or higher; student commitment to persist for entire school year in college-level course and take the AP examination in the spring.

    SCIENCE 15 The course covers biochemistry, heredity and evolution, and organisms and populations, following the College Board outline of topics in preparation for the AdvancedPlacement Biology Exam.

    BIOTECHNOLOGY 1 A. 1B – GRADES 10-12 A-G Approved 10 CREDITS These courses are designed to give students an introduction to the scientific concepts and laboratory research techniques currently used in the field of biotechnology. Students develop laboratory skills, critical thinking, and communication skills currently used in the fields of genetics, microbiology and biotechnology. Through extensive reading, laboratory work, and workplace experiences, students will gain workplace competency skills in the field of biotechnology. This course is only offered at specific schools.

    CHEMISTRY IN THE EARTH SYSTEM - GRADES 9-12 A-G Approved 10 CREDITS Prerequisite: Recommended: Math 1 and/or concurrent enrollment Through the lenses of the science and engineering practices and the crosscutting practices identified in the California NGSS, students will study the concepts of atoms, elements, molecules chemical reactions, bonding, and thermodynamics. Students will apply their knowledge of Chemistry by studying Earth’s systems, climate change, and ocean acidification.

    CHEMISTRY (*HONORS) A-G Approved 10 Credits This course is designed for students who have shown a proficiency in studying science and who have exhibited interest in and enthusiasm for science. This course is intended to help students realize the important role that chemistry will play in their personal and professional lives. It will help students use principles of chemistry to think more intelligently about current issues they will encounter involving science and technology. Topics to be studied include chemistry laboratory skills, the classification and structure of matter, ratio and proportion of chemical reactions, physical chemistry, acid-base chemistry, kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and organic chemistry. AP

    CHEMISTRY - GRADES 10-12 10 CREDITS A-G Approved Prerequisite: Chemistry in the Earth System with teacher approval This course covers the in-depth review of the first year of Chemistry as well as considerable content beyond Chemistry P. The student is given the preparation necessary to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Chemistry. .

    PHYSICS OF THE UNIVERSE- GRADES 9-12 A-G Approved 10 CREDITS Minimum co-requisite: Algebra 1 or Math 1 Physics of the Universe is a lab science class aligned to the three dimensions of the California NGSS. Students will learn Physics concepts as well as the Earth and Space Science Standards that support Physics ideas and concepts. Students will investigate and construct their 16 understanding of concepts such as forces and motion, energy conservation and renewable energy, nuclear process and Earth’s history, waves and electromagnetic radiation and the origin of the universe.

    AP PHYSICS 1 - GRADES 11-12 A-G Approved 10 CREDITS Prerequisite: Concurrently enrolled in Algebra 1 or Math 1 This course includes an in-depth review of the first year of physics as well as content beyond Physics 1A1B. The development of problem-solving skills is strongly emphasized, and the student is prepared to take the Advanced Placement Exam.

    AP ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE – 11TH GRADE A-G Approved 10 Credits Students will learn about the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships between humans and the world in which we live. Students will evaluate and analyze both natural and anthropocentric environmental issues, as well as examine alternative solutions for solving and/or preventing environmental problems. The course will encompass a wide variety of disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics, geology, climatology, and geography, to name a few.

Faculty

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Ms. Patricia Damaze

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Ms. Patricia Damaze

Ms. Alexandra Gonzales

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Ms. Alexandra Gonzales

Mr. Daniel Harris

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Mr. Daniel Harris

Ms. Susana Oliu

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Ms. Susana Oliu

Ms. Oliu is a Special Education Science teacher at John Muir High School.  She has been at Muir since 2008.  Ms. Oliu received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from San Francisco State University, her Master of Arts: Curriculum and Instruction from California State Polytechnic, Pomona, and her Education Specialist Teacher Credentials from California State Polytechnic, Pomona. Ms. Oliu enjoys traveling abroad to a different country every summer to learn about new cultures and traditions.  Ever since she started teaching at Muir in 2008, she felt like she belonged. The kids have always made her feel welcomed. It has been tough at times....but the laughs that she get out of them day in and day out in the classroom....are all worth the sacrifices we all make for our students each and every day. She loves being at Muir, our kids are wonderful...they rise against many odds and challenges in their lives.  Recent Awards:  Teacher Grant Award $ 60,000 (TIIP I and II). University of California at Los Angeles California Science Project/Teacher Initiated Inquiry Project/Center X-Professional Development Training— https://cxarchive.gseis.ucla.edu/partnerships-grants/tiip/showcase/john-muir-project-portfolio



Mr. John Smallenburg

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Mr. John Smallenburg

Mr. Smallenburg is the Science Department Chair.  He has been at John Muir since 2013.  Mr. Smallenburg received his BS in Biology CSU, Chico.  What Mr. Smallenburg loves most about John Muir - "the students".