AHA’s award-winning, nationally recognized STREAM curriculum allows Angels to attain the scientific knowledge, skills, and literacy that are essential to meaningfully interact with our ever-changing world. The Academy’s unique approach cultivates curiosity, fosters the development of rational thought processes, and empowers individuals to seek creative solutions to complicated questions. Students enjoy a high-degree of enthusiasm as they become familiar with our rich curriculum, experienced instructors, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and high-tech facilities.
- Four fully-equipped, modern laboratories provide students with hands-on resources. Our biology lab is outfitted with 30 compound light microscopes. The chemistry lab’s digital equipment includes pH meters and UV/visible spectrophotometers that collect data in real time from students’ computers.
- Historically, the success of AHA’s Advanced Placement Program in science has been outstanding, with a pass rate greater than 90% and an average of 700 on SAT II subject tests.
- Students can potentially graduate with up to three full-year college-level courses. While the graduation requirement is three years of science, AHA’s unique schedule enables science oriented students to “double up” during their junior and senior years, ultimately giving them six courses.
- The Honors Anatomy & Physiology and Honors Environmental Science courses are approved for college credit through the Fairleigh Dickinson Middle College Program.
AHA science organizations include:
Science National Honor Society
Forensics Club: Investigate criminal cases using science and technology to establish facts.
Angels in Anatomy: Explore the human body’s systems during this in-school activity.
MEDS Club: Explore careers in health care.
Robotics: Build functional robots and compete in tournaments.
Project Greenhouse: Grow produce in AHA’s on-campus greenhouse and garden, and donate the fresh vegetables and herbs to a local food bank.
Requirements: All students must take a minimum of three years of laboratory science courses for graduation. The three courses must include biology, chemistry, and physics.
As a freshman in this laboratory course, you will learn the fundamental unity in the diversity of life forms. Study life from the simplest biochemical process to the most complex level of biological organization. Topics include biochemistry, ecology, cell structure, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, genetics, protein synthesis, evolution, classification, and plant structures. (Grade 9) (Course # 4101)
Biology - Honors
Improve your knowledge of the inquiry method in this laboratory integrated course for academically qualified students. You will gain analytical and critical thinking skills through our in-depth approach. Develop an appreciation of all life forms through project work, laboratory investigations, and outside reading. Some of the areas covered are cell theory, biochemistry, genetics, DNA, RNA and protein synthesis, evolution, ecology, and plant and animal classification. (Grade 9) (Course # 4102)
Discover the traditional topics of chemistry through lectures and experimentation. Some topics include atomic structure, periodicity, chemical formulas, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, and the mole concept. (Grade 10) (Course # 4201)
Chemistry - Honors
Enjoy a thorough course in chemistry that covers a wide spectrum of interesting and challenging concepts. Topics include atomic theory and structure, the mole concept, periodicity, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, kinetic theory, gas laws, stoichiometry, and acid-base theory. This course requires a more rigorous mathematical application than the college prep course. An extensive lab program reinforces the principles learned. (Grade 10) (Course # 4202)
Chemistry - High Honors
Take an in-depth, lab-integrated course geared for the highly qualified student. Develop your problem-solving skills as you immerse yourself in a fast-paced study of the laws and principles of chemistry. Several areas that are covered comprehensively include atomic theory, ionic and covalent bonding, chemical reactions, molecular structure and geometry, periodicity, the mole concept, stoichiometry, kinetic theory, gas laws, acid-base theories, redox reactions, and thermochemistry. An extensive lab program reinforces the principles learned. (Grade 10) (Course # 4203)
Concentrate on the concepts of physics in this laboratory course and discover the connections between basic mathematical applications and force, motion, heat, light, and electricity. Develop concepts, relationships, and an appreciation of physics and the natural world. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 4301)
Physics - Honors
Explore force, motion, heat, light, and electricity in this laboratory integrated course for students who are proficient in mathematics. Problem-solving projects require an adequate preparation in algebra and geometry. Elementary trigonometry is necessary for some problem solving and will be introduced where required. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 4302)
Advanced Placement Courses
The Advanced Placement Program allows students to pursue college-level studies while they are attending high school. No transfers into an AP course will be permitted after June 30. Grades in course prerequisites must be maintained through final exams. Courses are fast-paced and rigorous, and all students take the AP exam in May.
Biology - Advanced Placement
Take a college-level biology course that will prepare you for the Advanced Placement Biology Examination. Your studies will include in-depth looks at cellular and molecular biology, genetics, evolution, biotechnology, plant and animal systems, and ecology. Focus on the inquiry-based learning of essential concepts and the content that supports them. Develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills through laboratory investigations. Graphing calculators are required. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 4704)
Chemistry - Advanced Placement
Prepare for the Advanced Placement Chemistry Examination in this college-level course. Enjoy an in-depth study of the structure of matter, mass spectrometry, states of matter, intermolecular forces, ionic and covalent bonding, molecular structure, gas laws, redox reactions, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, equilibrium, kinetics, organic chemistry, nuclear chemistry, acid-base theory, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. You will also explore descriptive and quantitative chemistry. Focus on the inquiry-based learning of essential concepts and the content that supports them. Develop your advanced inquiry and reasoning skills through laboratory investigations. Scientific or graphing calculators are required. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 4714)
Physics I - Advanced Placement
Experience the equivalent of a first-semester college class in general physics as you take this fast-paced, inquiry-based laboratory course. This is an excellent opportunity for students who plan to major in engineering or the sciences. A thorough background in algebra and knowledge of trigonometry are required. AP Physics I emphasizes conceptual understanding and mathematical problem solving. Topics include Newtonian mechanics (including linear and rotational kinematics, dynamics, and momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. Students also receive an introduction to electrical circuits. Scientific or graphing calculators are required. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 4504)
Physics 2 - Advanced Placement
Take an algebra-based course that is equivalent to a second-semester college course in general physics. Students who plan to major in engineering or the sciences benefit from this fast-paced, inquiry-based laboratory course, which emphasizes conceptual understanding and mathematical problem-solving. Areas of study include fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. Students in this course must have a thorough background in algebra and knowledge of trigonometry. Scientific or graphing calculators are required. (Grade 12) (Course # 4414)
Anatomy & Physiology
Gain an introduction to anatomy and physiology, including the essentials of the structure and functions of the human body, with an emphasis on homeostasis. Real-world issues (e.g. cancer prevention, stress management, healthy diet, etc.) add relevance and promote understanding of concepts. Various teaching aids are used. An active lab component, which includes dissections, is an integral part of this course. (Grade 12) (Course # 4401)
Anatomy & Physiology - Honors
Qualified seniors are invited to participate in this in-depth introduction to the human body from anatomical and physiological perspectives with emphasis on understanding the relationships between structure and function. As a student in this course, you will examine the integration of current health care topics, medical technology, and health related social issues. Laboratory sessions are designed to correlate with lecture topics to increase understanding. (Grade 12) (Course # 4402)
Engineering - Innovation and Design - Honors
This is a hands-on, project based course, with a laboratory component. It is for students who are willing to take on the challenge of utilizing their creative skills to design solutions to solve current global issues. Students will work independently and in teams. Through activities and projects, students will have the opportunity to develop and understand the problem-solving and decision-making processes of an engineering project. Students will also explore various disciplines and options of an engineering career. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course #4732)
Engineering: Models and Toolkits
Develop your design and engineering skills through engaging, hands-on activities in this one semester, project-based introduction to engineering. Improve your knowledge of the engineering design process, research and analysis, teamwork, communication methods, engineering standards, and technical documentation. (Grade 10, 11, 12) (Course # 4801)
This introductory course explores the field of criminalistics and introduces students to investigations behind crime scenes. Students will use their knowledge of biology, chemistry, and physics to analyze forensic science and to problem-solve case studies. Hands-on activities will provide students with the experience of forensic investigating and anthropology. Assessments include a variety of analytical exercise including case studies, virtual labs, projects, and formative assessment questions. (Grade 12) (Course #4411)
Prerequisites: Successful completion of biology, chemistry, and physics.
Robotics and Automation
Construct, control, and program simple and complex robotic devices with a team in this semester-long elective course. This is your introduction to robotics and the engineering design process. Learn to use the VEX IQ and Lego MindStorms EV3 as you program basic robotic behaviors using motors with rotation, sound, light, touch, and ultrasonic sensors. Develop skills in mechanical design and construction, and participate in exploratory and investigative activities. You will also examine how robotic devices are being used in business and industry, and how robotic devices affect our lives and shape our culture. (Grade 10, 11, 12) (Course # 4811)
Environmental Science (Middle College Program)
Investigate the interactions between humans and our global environment. In this course, you will examine the scientific, social, political, and economic aspects of contemporary environmental issues. As you locate information, you will be challenged to evaluate its quality and veracity. Utilize technology to experience diverse learning environments including independent study and discussion board. You will understand how scientific investigations are done and how results and conclusions are reported in order to make informed decisions. Current events, global warming, carbon foot printing, and water pollution are highlighted. Hands-on laboratory activities (including field work) raise global awareness and appreciation of our biosphere. Assessments include a variety of critical thinking exercises including, but not limited to, case studies, formative assessment questions, active reading, virtual labs, etc. (Grade 11 or 12) (Course # 4722)
Organic Chemistry - Honors (Middle College Program)
Seniors: If you are interested in majoring in biology, chemistry, or pre-med in college, this course offers you a distinct advantage. Study carbon and its compounds and learn to predict structure-function relationships. You will learn nomenclature, stereochemistry, compound classification, syntheses, and reactions of organic molecules. Apply your advanced laboratory techniques by conducting spectrometric analyses of molecules you synthesize. (Grade 12) (Course # 4412)
Science National Honor Society
SNHS cultivates a new group of young thinkers who will be the future of industry, research, and scientific exploration for America. The honor society pledges to:
Encourage and recognize scientific and intellectual thought
Advance students’ knowledge of classical and modern science
Communicate with the scientific community
Aid the civic community with its comprehension of science
Encourage students to participate in community service, and encourage a dedication to the pursuit of scientific knowledge that benefits all humankind
The Academy of the Holy Angels offers a Surgical Research Course in partnership with Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. Each semester, four seniors participate in a surgical science laboratory course working with a student coordinator at Englewood Hospital and science faculty at AHA. Students enjoy this unique opportunity to gain experience in a research setting beyond AHA’s classrooms and learn the fundamentals of in vivo surgical methods. Topics include micro-suturing, tissue collection, renal vessel isolation, bioethics, and aseptic surgery. Students are also introduced to advanced analytical methodology such as enzyme linked immunosorbent (ELISA) assays and make use of specialized equipment like UV/visible spectrophotometers and photomicroscopes.
AHA students accepted into this competitive program typically have a high level of enthusiasm for pursuing a STEM career, particularly one in medicine. The course is held after school one day per week for 22 weeks. Selected students attend a two-hour orientation seminar at Englewood Hospital prior to beginning the course. AHA covers the costs for students through generous donations from benefactors.
Project Greenhouse began as a school-wide STREAM project in which Angels constructed a functional greenhouse near the science classrooms. Each year, students plant seeds and later transplant the seedlings in the school garden. When the crops are harvested, the fresh produce is donated to local food banks.
Project Greenhouse volunteers gain experience in budgeting, safety, planning and design, construction, accessorizing, planting, harvesting, and disbursing products. This is a hands-on opportunity to carry out cross-curricular studies in biology, environmental science, physics, mathematics, engineering, and technology, stressing the importance of the interaction among the sciences and the simultaneous expression of humanistic values.
Angel volunteers prepare the garden beds, plant the seedlings, care for the plants, harvest the crops, and deliver the produce. A team of adult moderators/teachers provides guidance.
3-D Printer and Scanner
Model, visualize, and create your own 3-D designs. AHA’s STREAM program includes state-of-the-art 3-D printing and 3-D scanning capabilities. Use Google Sketch-Up to provide detailed project specifications and create intricate productions. Access to this sophisticated technology is already improving students’ understanding of various subject areas, including engineering, medicine, and architecture.
Discover the iterative process and trial and error cycles that allow engineering teams to solve problems. As a member of the Angelbots or Anjoules, you will collaborate to plan, design, build, and program a fully functional robot and field test it at the FIRST Tech® Challenge. Teams are evaluated on robotic controls and functions, and the engineering notebook and planning process that led to the completed robot. As you build your robot, you and your team will develop key engineering skills:
Define the problem based on the competition scenario.
Brainstorm possible solutions.
Develop strategy to maximize output (competition points).
Define team approach to execute. This project involves planning, allocation of team resources and work, the design of the robot, testing and evaluation of a prototype that validates the design, computer programming, documentation of the engineering process, team communication, and communication of the results through documentation and presentation.