The primary goal of the GMVS science department is to spark our students’ curiosity and challenge them to participate actively in doing science. Our curriculum teaches students to think critically, solve problems, collaborate, and communicate effectively, by emphasizing serious study and social responsibility. All of our classes are grounded in hands-on participation in the process of science, where students are guided to analyze data, compare and contrast, design their own experiments, and seek alternative explanations. In this inquiry-based learning approach we allow students daily opportunity to engage, design and collaborate.  In all of our courses, students begin to understand organizing principles as they use them. Through asking questions, based on observation, and designing experiments to test hypotheses, students become scientists by doing the work of science.  We want every student to experience the joy of discovery. Our hope is that GMVS graduates not only develop a life-long love of science, but a social awareness supported by individual action.


Integrated Science

Integrated Science is the entry level science course offered that focuses on students using various scientific methods to explore the chemical properties of matter and the elemental fundamentals of physiology of the human body. There is an emphasis on mathematical application and self-directed exploration. With numerous laboratory experiments and investigations, projects, and activities students will become familiar with basic empirical scientific skills and become comfortable writing up such experiments in a deliberate lab report format. Throughout the year students will explore how chemistry, physics and physiology manifests themselves. The emphasis on conceptual understanding of fundamental principles and practice in basic “lab methodology,” as well as the mathematical application of concepts will provide students with a robust foundation for more advanced science courses.


Biology, is a provocative journey into the world of life. During this course students, will learn many experimental skills and techniques used by current biologists. Direct instruction will occur through YouTube videos so that class time may be spent in the lab, designing experiments or working in groups. The rationale for this is clear: A biologist is a scientist that through creative experimentation discovers new data, and works with others through collaboration. To that end, this course includes a substantial laboratory component. These labs will provide direct experience with the processes, organisms, and experimental apparatus, which will be studied. Students will develop a lasting impression of the unity of life and the interweaving relationships of all the individual subject areas of biology. The course will take an in-depth molecular approach to the studies of: Ecology, Biochemistry, Cells, Molecular Genetics, Human Genetics, and Evolution.


Students will explore the evolution of the structure of the atom and the theories that govern them. They will study the fundamental concepts of chemistry through an active and challenging perspective that requires critical problem solving, collaboration, and basic laboratory skills and techniques. Students will uncover formal lab report writing techniques and studying strategies through self-directed learning. The course will focus on understanding chemical reactions through performing them, leading to the identification and comprehension of linked concepts such as: bonding, electron configuration, the periodic table, kinetic theory, the mole, and reaction rates.


Physics provides an understanding of the basic physical laws, which govern the world around us, emphasizing the practical applications of physics. Through labs, discussion and directed problem solving, this course investigates fundamental Newtonian physics, including the concepts of kinematics, dynamics, energy, waves, sound, light, gravity, electricity, magnetism and atomic physics.

Advanced Biology

Advanced Biology is designed to allow highly motivated students with the challenge of completing the equivalent of a university course for majors in Biological Science. Traditional lectures or direct instruction will occur through YouTube videos so that in class time can be spent in the lab, or working in groups. The focus of the class is to emphasize the process skills such as critical thinking that will benefit students throughout their college careers as well as the rest of your live. Such skills include the ability to analyze, use and construct scientific knowledge; to draw conclusions; to make predictions about future events and to design experiments. The hope is that students will develop reasoning abilities as well as seek out additional knowledge from other sources. Advanced Biology is very interesting because of its in-depth coverage and hands-on approach to the rapidly changing living world.

This course covers such topics as: Behavioral Adaptations, Conservation Biology, Biochemistry, Respiration, Photosynthesis,Microbial Life, Evolution and Botany.

Physiology I: Nutrition & Energy

This half-year physiology course covers nutrition and energy: macronutrients and micronutrients, optimum nutrition for exercise. It also covers energy transfer: the fundamentals, during exercise, measuring and evaluating energy capacities.

Physiology II: Physical Adaptations

This half-year physiology course reviews the principles and applications of physiological support systems and biomechanics, emphasizing the structures and functions of the circulatory and respiratory systems. It also covers exercise training and its adaptations in reference to the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems.

Engineering: Electrical and Computer

Engineers use electric circuits and software to solve problems and make useful products. In this class, students learn how to design, calculate and build DC circuits. Fundamental skills such as using multimeters, prototyping on a breadboard and soldering are introduced. Students also learn the basics of programming and computer coding. All skills are introduced through projects, experiments and computer simulations. Projects may include designing a lighting product, robotics challenges, coding games and Arduino programming. Students are expected to use math skills and have independent work habits in order to complete projects. No prior programming background is needed.

Engineering: Mechanical

What makes structures strong? What’s so hard about making a plug-in electric car? How do you design a product that meets customers’ needs? Engineers solve these problems using technology. This Mechanical Engineering course is for students interested in pursuing a career in Engineering or another technology field. The course will use hands-on projects, experiments and the underlying science to introduce the process of solving problems with technology. Students will be expected to use math skills and have independent work habits in order to complete projects. Mechanics topics may include: structure/strength challenges, cardboard furniture and bridge design. Power and energy subtopics may include: alternative energy sources, gears and efficiency, electric motors and energy storage. Students will use CAD technology and the 3D printer to build prototypes and learn how to design products.


Through discussions, lectures, readings of primary and secondary sources, and laboratory experiences, students will learn the basis of what makes us human—the brain. Students will be able to compare and contrast the state of a healthy brain with one which is affected by disease and, in so doing, learn the anatomy of the human brain and how the brain orchestrates human interaction with the world. Work in this course will include human brain tours, guest lectures by neuroscientists, and culminate in an analysis paper comparing the work presented in a pop-science book and actual scientific research. The goal of this course is that students walk away with an appreciation for both the power and vulnerability of the brain, and use that perspective to make scientifically literate decisions about the health of their own nervous system.

Our Science Faculty

Dave Beningson

Science and Math Teacher

Sarah Despres

U19 Girls' Coach, Soccer Coach, Science Teacher