Burke science teachers are dedicated to providing all students with hands-on experiences in science. The science department deploys a curriculum based upon students being actively involved in the learning process. Students make observations, do critical thinking, solve problems and communicate their findings. The use of technology is an integral part of their experiences. 

A minimum of 6 science credits (3 years) are required for graduation.  All students are required to take Physical Science and Biology. Remaining credits can be earned through science electives.

All science electives are listed and described below:

Advanced Placement(AP) Courses

All AP science courses meet for one block every day.  This extended time allows for more in-depth laboratory experiences. Each course is designed to be equivalent to a first year college introductory course and will prepare students for the AP exam. 

AP Biology topics include biochemistry, cellular metabolism, ecology, genetics & DNA technology.  *Dual enrollment option with UNO.
AP Environmental Science topics include the interrelationships of the natural world, environmental problems both natural and human-made.  *Dual enrollment option with UNO.

AP Chemistry topics include atomic structure, periodicity, kinetics, thermodynamics and equilibrium.  

AP Physics topics include kinematics, particle dynamics, optics, wave motion and DC circuits.  *Dual enrollment option with UNO.
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 2
AP Physics C

Chemistry & Honors Chemistry

The chemistry course provides students with a foundation in the basic principles of inorganic chemistry.  Atomic structure and bonding are examined in some detail as are the laws governing chemical reactions.  Extensive laboratory experience is intended to help acquaint students with the process of scientific inquiry.  Students enrolled in the honors course have additional experiences that require a more rigorous program of study.  *Recommended for students planning to attend a 4 year college or university.


The physics course is designed to cover classical topics in physics, integrate the use of mathematics with observations, and develop problem-solving skills.  Students enrolled in the honors course hae additional experiences that require a more rigorous program of study. *Recommended for students planning to attend a 4 year college or university.

Astronomy (1 semester) & Honors Astronomy(year long) 
Astronomy topics include objects in the solar system, the life cycle of stars, constellations, and current events in astronomy and space. The honors couse is a more in-depth study of the topics in astronomy and students will be required to complete and present independent research based projects.  Classes are held in the Thomas P. Gehringer Planetarium.

Earth Science & Honors Earth Science

Students will use scientific inquiry to explore the concepts of geology, meteorology, hydrology, and astronomy.  The honors course is taught as a college preparatory science experience and includes projects and scientific journal reading and writing assignments.

Anatomy and Physiology & Honors Anatomy and Physiology
This course enables students to understand the workings of the human body. Through the use of both traditional methods (lecture and laboratory) and up-to-date technology, the student will develop an understanding of the structure and functions of human organ systems.  The honors course studies the same topics, but in more depth and at a faster pace.  Students will also explore career opportunities in medical and related fields.  *Laboratory dissections are required.

Energy and Nuclear Science & Honors Energy and Nuclear Science

This course introduces the historical developments of atomic and nuclear theories. Nuclear structure, nuclear reactions, radioactivity, radioactivity detection, nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, and energy resources will be examined.  Students enrolled in the honors course have additional experiences that require a more rigorous program of study.

Environmental Science & Honors
Environmental Science will allow the student to develop insights and skills needed to make decisions regarding the environment. The class will provide the student basic knowledge on ecosystems and how they work. In addition, the student will learn how they affect the environment, what they can do to use the environment wisely, and preserve what is left. This course will include hands-on experience, simulations, and outside activities. In the end, the students will learn about the world they live in. 

Forensic Science

Forensic science topics include trace evidence handling, fingerprints, blood and blood splatter examination, DNA, toxicology testing, ballistics, and forensic anthropology.  This course emphasizes the application and integration of math, chemistry, biology, physics, and earth science.