Your high schooler and science
Science for life: Students in high school traverse the college track
More science resources
Intern: Many universities offer summer science and math internships for high school students — and some are paid. Check here for a comprehensive list.
Get involved: The National Science Teachers Association's Action Guide offers tip for supporting and promoting better science instruction.
By GreatSchools Staff
Science isn’t just a body of knowledge — it's a way of acquiring scientific concepts and principles, and the best high school programs get students interested in investigating the world around them. As teens learn facts and vocabulary, they develop the ability to ask scientific questions, plan experiments to answer these questions, and develop reasonable explanations based on their observations.
Science standards vary widely from state to state and school to school, but the thinking skills taught by science are universal. The topics below are examples taken from several states and therefore merely guidelines. To see how your child's schoolwork compares, check out your state's science standards.
Is your teen studying the right stuff?
It’s not all test tubes: Science teaches analytical thinking, creative problem-solving, and logic. Whatever their plans, graduating high school seniors should have a solid grasp of science and its relevance in their lives.
The makers of the nation's two college admissions tests have specific recommendations for the science courses needed to prepare students for college. The College Board recommends the following coursework:
- Two semesters in biology
- Two semesters in chemistry and/or physics
- Two semesters in earth/space sciences, advanced chemistry, or physics
ACT recommends three or more years of laboratory science, as do most competitive universities
Because science also requires math skills, students’ course load should also include four years of mathematics, including advanced algebra and two- and three-dimensional geometry.