Science Courses

The Flow of Matter and Energy Through the Biosphere

This course examines the transfer of matter and energy through ecosystems, both in the field and in the laboratory. Students explore the ecological structure and composition of a nearby forest and pond ecosystem and delve into the complex dynamics of the biotic and abiotic world, including food webs, nutrient cycles, and species interactions. The physical […]

Physics: Waves, Light, Electricity, and Magnetism

A bobbing spring or swinging pendulum begins a study of waves, which leads to a study of sound, including the basics of music and musical instruments. Practical uses of light reflection and refraction leads to a study of mirrors and lenses. Finally, we study DC electric circuits, which usually involves some kind of group project. […]

Physics: Mechanics

If something moves, it is studied—falling objects, wind and water currents acting on ships and airplanes, and kids on a merry-go-round. What makes something start or stop moving? A force. Forces acting through distance and time lead to a study of energy. A good background in algebra and basic trigonometry is helpful, and students should […]

Introduction to Laboratory Science

This course introduces students to laboratory science through a variety of subjects. In physical science, students explore the properties of matter, with an emphasis on making accurate metric measurements. Study includes: designing experiments, collecting and recording data, interpreting results, and communicating findings using scientific writing. A meteorology unit builds upon this work and provides an […]


This is an introductory course in basic horticulture designed for the student who enjoys watching things grow. The course covers methods and principles of organic gardening, plant propagation, and greenhouse management. It will also instruct students in the proper use of fertilizer; biological control of plant pests; small fruit gardening; lawn and turf grass management; […]


In Forestry, students study the forest as a biological community, covering ecological concepts such as energy flow, forest nutrition, nutrient cycling and decompo-sition, and the interrelationships between trees and other organisms comprising the community. Students examine the concepts of disturbance, succession, population dynamics, biological and ecosystem diversity, and wildlife habitat management. Students also study ecologically […]

Essentials of Biology: An Introduction to the Science of Life

Are viruses alive? If human mass is mostly bacterial cells, who is running the show? If the mushroom on the forest floor is not a fungus organism, what is? This introductory course answers these and other questions and helps students relate modern biology to our ever-changing world. Topics of study include ecology, cell biology, biochemistry, […]

Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education

Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education is a half-day, interdisciplinary course covering a wide range of important environmental topics. The course takes advantage of Thetford Academy’s vast natural resources to engage students in hands-on, outdoor learning and scientific exploration. Students in the course will develop strong ecologic literacy and an understanding of their role in–and connection […]

Environmental Science: Global Concerns/Local Impacts

Environmental degradation on a local, state, and global level may be among the most serious crises of our times. This course on a nearby ecosystem—the Zebedee Wetland—broadens student understanding of limnology (fresh water aquatics), soil biology, air quality, biotic and abiotic factors in these ecosystems, as well as the impacts of human activity and development […]

Conceptual Physical Science

This course is a laboratory-based introduction to the physical sciences with an emphasis on proper laboratory safety and procedures. Topics in physics and chemistry include motion, energy, force, work, heat, and states of matter, as well as the structure of the atom, chemical bonding, and the periodic table of the elements. This course also includes […]

Chemistry I: The Study of Matter

Chemistry is the study of matter and its changes. In this class, students will learn how all matter in the known universe is simply a combination of 92 fundamental elements and how they themselves, and all that sustains them, are made of those elements. To understand this, students will study the building blocks of matter, […]


What makes a star shine? How long will the sun keep shining? What are black holes and how can they form? Astronomy is a general introduction to contemporary astronomy that includes how stars form and how they end their existence. The course gives special attention to the historical roots of astronomy and the exciting discoveries […]

Anatomy and Physiology

The human body is a finely tuned, resilient, and adaptive machine. Anatomy and Physiology is an exploration of the inner workings of the body in health and disease. By exploring the healthy function of organ systems, students learn how and why things go wrong—that is, when illness or injury occurs. This course covers organ systems […]

Advanced Chemistry – Honors Course

Students delve into the part of chemistry involving calculating amounts—how much solid is produced? How much heat is given off? Students learn to write chemical formulas and reactions, examine reactions of gases, analyze how fast reactions proceed and look at a special class of reactions that go forward and backward at the same time. Advanced […]

Advanced Biology: Human Physiology & Genetics – Honors Course

Advanced Biology immerses students in study of the biological processes that control and regulate all life. Looking at DNA as life’s “blueprint,” students explore DNA’s role and use as a delivery device for the biological information that drives evolution, as well as its role in medicine, industry, and forensic science. Students engage in a series […]