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Rising freshman - science question

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Would someone be willing to share their plans for high school science (in general terms) for 2 boys who are capable and interested in science, but don't plan to go into a medical field, etc.  One does plan to do something computer/engineering related.  The other is likely going into something business related.  If they were in PS, they would be doing the IB Program and I want them to have enough science/labs to appeal to colleges even thought that won't be their major.  Am I making sense -- LOL?!?!?

I am planning Biology for 9th and they will have a Chemistry and Physics in there.  I have options for outsourced local classes for regular or honors science classes and, of course, I can do on-line.

Should I be doing 3 credits of labs?  For a local Biology option, I can have them do just a lab course with them doing Apologia Biology at home.  I can do WTM Biology lab (should I do 1 or 2 semesters) and can do the textbook at home.  There is another local option for Biology (class and lab) that I will find out more about next Wednesday.

For 9th and 10th, I'm planning to outsource (I think) science and Spanish.  The rest will be at home.  I will outsource more/DE for 11th and 12th.


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Yes, to be prepared for college admission to most colleges, plan on 3 sciences with labs for each student. That will cover the admission requirements for any typical college. If planning on applying to top tier / competitive / selective schools then plan on a total of at least 4 science credits (4th does not necessarily need to be a lab science). The standards of Biology & Chemistry are the only 2 sciences I've seen a few colleges require for admission. Beyond that, you have great flexibility about choice of sciences, esp. for a non-STEM student.

For a student thinking about Computer/Engineering (or other STEM field), a 4th or even a 5th science credit would be a good idea -- and not too hard to do, if planning on using DE for 11th and 12th grades, as each 1-semester college science equals 1 YEAR (1 credit) of high school science.

For planning on a possible future degree in Computer/Engineering, the following is good prep in high school:
- Math credits up through at least Pre-Calculus, and Calculus I if possible
- Science credits such as Physics + Advanced Physics (Chemistry + Adv. Chemistry, if considering Chemical Engineering)
(DE Science credits may be able to be specialized Physics courses that are part of an Engineering degree -- Intro to Mechanics, or, Intro to Electricity & Magnetism, for example)
- Elective credits that would be useful include: CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), Engineering, Robotics, Computer Programming, and/or Logic

For planning on a possible future degree in Business, the following is good prep in high school:
- Math up through at least Algebra 2, plus Statistics, and possibly Accounting, Finance, or Business Math
- English credits that work on developing strong research and writing skills
- Public Speaking / Speech either as an elective or part of an English credit
- Foreign Language -- very useful to become proficient in a second language for Business, so as many credits as possible

Edited by Lori D.
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biology with lab

chemistry with lab lab

physics with a math lab (this was a physics lab, but it was mostly math oriented)


biology with lab

chemistry with lab

physics no lab (she did Conceptual Physics)

Equine Science with "lab" (barn work, riding lessons, barrel racing)

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We are in a scholarship program through our state that funds college tuition in state for students who make a certain ACT score and are under a certain income and who have transcripts that fall under their guidelines. Our program requires three lab science classes. 

My kids have: 

dd16: biology w/lab (at co-op) chemistry w/lab (at co-op) anatomy/physiology w/lab (at co-op) and astronomy w/lab (at home.) She didn't need the astronomy, but she joined an Astronomy club and we decided to do a full blown class out of it for credit since she is interested in it right now.  Since this one has doubled up on sciences, she could do physics but is choosing not to. She isn't going into sciences and has a full course load next year without it, so she has requested to be done with science.  This one will be going into classics and/or English, possible minor in dance, nothing science in college.

My next one will have: physical science w/lab (with co-op,) biology w/lab (at home,) chemistry w/lab (where?? we aren't there yet.)  and that will be all for her, leaving her senior year science free as well.  She is looking at fine arts or history or something related in college. 


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biology with lab

chem with lab

physics with lab

astronomy no lab 


chem with lab

bio with lab

next year: physics with lab (AP physics 1 exam)

senior year: something without lab

These two are humanities kids. I want them to do four years of science as they probably won’t do much in college. 

The next two are likely headed toward science careers. My next ds hits high school next year. I think he’ll do the same basic sciences with lab and then advanced physics with lab. If we go the CCroute for him senior year, I’d probably have him do a science each semester. I’d love for him to do something like robotics. I also want him to learn CAD. 

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