The aim of the Overlake School Science Department is to capitalize on students’ curiosity in order to engage them in a rich exploration of the natural world. Through a rigorous journey of inquiry, the Science program guides students in their investigation of natural phenomena and scientific issues to lead them to become scrutinizing and ethical science practitioners. Embracing an openness to new ideas and a willingness to fully consider these in a scientific manner, students learn to pose and investigate scientific questions, engage in data analysis and interpretation, and communicate scientific reasoning to explain experimental results and observed phenomena.
During the required years of study, students encounter concepts, principles, laws, and practices of science across the three main disciplines of science at successively higher levels of abstraction. The required course of study is designed to immerse students in the investigation of the nature and behavior of matter, energy, and living organisms. The departmental requirements prepare students for more advanced study both at Overlake and at college, as well as helping them develop an appreciation for the important role of science in their everyday lives.
The department staff is committed to active learning experiences, engaging the students in the process of science via lecture, discussion, inquiry and laboratory work that serve to develop in students personal responsibility for their own learning and a recognition of the importance of approaching scholarship with the highest level of integrity. Honest effort and full engagement serve to enhance the students’ ability to think critically, communicate intelligently, and fully appreciate the full range of contributions that help us develop meaningful understanding of scientific problems and issues.
High school students are required to take three years of science: BioChem I, BioChem II must be taken in grade 9 and 10, respectively. The third-year requirement must be a Physics course, but this can be taken in either grades 11 or 12.