North Shore Hebrew Academy High School Where Dreams Become Accomplishments

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Click here to read about the North Shore Medalists at theYeshiva Science Olympiad! 


Every decision we make is based on the processes integral to science. In this light science is one of the most important areas of study, because it provides the structure and critical thinking skills necessary in every subject.  The challenge to our department is to provide a solid science foundation for students to build upon, and to convey to students that science is a process; a ‘way of knowing’ that is integral to what and who we are as humans. Our students must integrate scientific reasoning and methodology into other areas of their high school study so that they will come to view science in broad context with history, world events and global change.  The future depends on it.

There are three primary goals that are at the core of the department’s mission. First, it is imperative that NSHA HS students become scientifically literate. This involves learning a number of finite important general principles and theories that will serve as scaffolding on which they will be able to build further scientific knowledge. Second, students must develop skills in using these fundamental principles in a process of inquiry and discovery. This requires the rigorous application of the scientific method in investigating natural phenomena. Third, our students will learn critical thinking skills and become creative problem solvers as they apply their scientific understanding to real world situations in conjunction with both personal and societal ethical decision-making. 

All science courses include a laboratory component which underscores the idea that ‘science is a verb’. Science students are required to complete the lab sequence to earn course credit. Homework assignments include textbook readings for preview or review, reading articles on current topics, completing activity sheets for content reinforcement or data interpretation and gathering information through online resources. Preparation for standardized exams is integrated into our courses and we encourage our students to take Science SAT II achievement exams and AP Science exams.

Our science faculty are subject specialists steeped in enthusiasm and current in modern pedagogical practices. We invest heavily in materials for self-motivated study and test prep. We coordinate with science research, instructional technology and special services to optimize learning for our students. We make ourselves available for extra help.  We also help organize The Science Society, our extra-curricular science enrichment program which combines out trips, in-house workshops and lectures by famous scientists with student ideas for activities. We also mentor and encourage our students to participate in numerous science competitions and help place students into enriching science summer experiences, such as mentored lab research opportunities, internships and enrichment courses.


101 Intro to Biology
The Introduction to Biology course presents a comprehensive, modern view of life science and does not follow the NYS Living Environment course which we find limiting.  The main units covered include taxonomy, biochemistry, cell biology, homeostasis, adaptation with respect to physiological functions, perpetuation of life through reproduction and development, genetics, evolution as a unifying principle, and interactions between organisms and their environment. Additionally, students will become familiar with experimental research in biology through lab and lecture. This includes the application of the scientific method, research methods in biology, and the consideration of classical experiments that provide a historical context in which discoveries have been made, and an opportunity to both discover and apply biological concepts. The course meets 6 periods per week.

Biology Lab Demonstration (Pictured) – In the context of the Respiration/Gas Exchange Unit ninth grade students have the opportunity to witness how smoking can negatively affect lung function using an inflation device on an actual animal lung specimen treated to mimic a smoking/emphysemic lung.


201 Introduction to Chemistry

The Tenth Grade Chemistry course presents a modern view of chemistry with major emphasis on understanding matter, its transformations and interactions. Chemistry for many students is the first foray into abstract and predominantly theoretical science and once understood catalyzes incredible enthusiasm and momentum. The Intro Chemistry course covers the following units: physical behavior of matter, atomic theory, bonding and periodicity, chemical arithmetic, solution chemistry, kinetics and equilibria, atomic structure, acid-base reactions, reduction and oxidation and our favorite, organic chemistry.  Students are required to take and keep good notes, 

Become comfortable and proficient in conducting chemistry laboratory activities and complete required homework assignments that reinforce daily lessons. The course meets 6 periods per week. 

301/401 Physics
First-year Physics considers topics related to energy and matter, the principles that govern motion of particles and waves, and the interaction of particles. The use of mathematics as a "language" for describing physical phenomena and solving problems is emphasized throughout the course. For this reason, we delay the course until the students have achieved a high level of skills in mathematics (algebra and trigonometry). The laboratory is used to derive and illustrate major concepts of physics. Students need to become skilled at performing laboratories and at analyzing data and formulating broad principles that account for the physical phenomena being studied. Students will be taught how to use spreadsheets and sensors for taking lab data electronically. The major topics covered in this course include: mechanics, electricity and magnetism, wave phenomena, and nuclear physics. The course meets 6 periods per week for juniors, 4 periods per week for seniors.
501 Environmental Science
The Environmental Science course is intended to cover the principles and methodologies used to study the interrelationships between organisms and their physical surrounding and the impact of humans on our natural surroundings. This course is necessarily interdisciplinary and depends on the successful integration of science with political, sociological, and economic issues. There are several underlying themes developed in the course including: energy conversions are involved in all ecological processes; matter must be recycled in ecological systems, ecological systems are all interconnected; humans alter ecological systems; ecological problems occur in a political, cultural, and economic context; and human survival depends on developing practices that allow for sustainable ecosystems. This course includes a laboratory component that allows students to apply and reinforce course concepts. The course meets 4 periods per week.
Environmental Field Trip April 2018:
Ms. Hennelly's Environmental Class (35 students strong) visited Covanta - an alternative energy plant located in Westbury that incinerates garbage and provides electricity. Click HERE to check out the pics!
Some interesting moments from Ms. Hennelly's Environmental Science class:
February 20, 2019 - The Annual Animal Workshop - "Bio-Diversity":
502 Genetics and Forensics
The Fall Semester of Genetics and Forensics presents a survey of classical and modern genetics, with an emphasis on humans. Careful consideration is given to important upcoming social implications of modern genetics, such as human cloning, genome-individualized medicine, and genetically modified food. With a major focus being the relevance of genetics and its allied lab skills to CSI work, this first semester lays the groundwork for the second half of the year. During the spring semester of Genetics and Forensics, CSI techniques based upon modern genetics—but also spanning the scientific disciplines of anatomy, chemistry and physics—will be surveyed, modeled and student-performed.  Forensics simulations will involve classic crime cases as well as reports from newsworthy current events. The course is open to seniors and meets 4 periods per week.
The Fingerprint Wall:
601 AP Biology
AP Biology meets the objectives of a general biology course at the college level. Throughout this fast-paced, work-intense course, strong consideration is given to the proper application of the scientific method of inquiry to the biological sciences. Students also learn that advances in biology have far-reaching biomedical, social, and political implications. Major areas of focus of the course are: molecular biology, the cell, genetics; mechanisms of evolution and the evolutionary history of biological diversity; plant form and function; animal form and function; and ecology. AP Biology includes twelve crucial laboratory exercises suggested by the College Board as well as several other labs deemed both important and helpful. After-school laboratory sessions are mandatory. In addition to work using the assigned textbook, students are required to study and master many forms of text supplementation, including current scientific literature. All students are expected to take the AP Biology Exam. The course, open to juniors and seniors, meets 7 periods per week. Prerequisites: SC101 and SC201
602 AP Chemistry
AP Chemistry is designed to offer a rigorous and challenging course that covers the chemical principles typical of college and university general chemistry courses. All students are expected to take the AP Chemistry Exam and maintain a laboratory notebook. The topics covered in this course are: matter and energy, molecular orbital theory, nuclear energy, electrochemistry, stoichiometry, atomic structure, electron energy transitions, kinetics and equilibria, and acid-base theories. There are twelve required laboratories, and students must submit detailed, college-level reports for each. After school laboratory sessions are a required part of the course. The course is open to juniors and seniors and meets 7 periods per week. Prerequisites: SC201
603 AP Physics B
AP Physics B is a college level physics course that covers a very wide range of topics, including mechanics, thermodynamics, waves and optics, electricity and magnetism, atomic/nuclear physics, hydrostatic pressure, buoyant force, and modern physics. This is a non-calculus level physics course, but it does demand a strong mathematics background. The laboratory is used to derive and illustrate major concepts of physics. Students need to develop skills in performing laboratories and in analyzing data and formulating broad principles that account for the physical phenomena being studied. Problem solving is an important part of the class. After school laboratory sessions are a required part of the course. The course meets 7 periods per week.   
NEW! Anatomy and Physiology

Taught by a medical doctor, this new course will focus on the structures and functions of the human body. The course will be taught via organ system approach and will integrate anatomical and fundamental concepts of each organ and how they affect the functioning of body as a whole. Organ systems will include cardiovascular system, respiratory system, renal system, gastrointestinal system, lymphatic and immune system, endocrine system, integumentary system and reproductive system. 


Gerard Wykes
Chairperson of Science Department, Instructor of Chemistry
Lawrence Anderson
Instructor of Chemistry and AP Chemistry
Maria Bock
Science Lab Technician
Samrita Chandhok, M.D.
Instructor Anatomy and Physiology, AP Physics
Traci Collier
Instructor AP Biology
Lea Hennelly
Instructor of Environmental Science and Forensics
Candice Holdsworth
Instructor of Biology