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Connecting the Concepts

A Program of the Los Angeles Unified School District

High School Integrated/Coordinated Science


Integrated/Coordinated Science (ICS) is a program that weaves principles of Biology, Chemistry and Physics together into one class sequence in order to relate science more clearly to the world in which we live. Instead of separate years of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, students learn the relationships between each of the disciplines, as well as the content that is unique to each. Integrated/Coordinated Science is a program designed to gain a deeper understanding of science through a hands-on approach, and it also meets University of California entrance requirements.

What follows is what occurs in a typical integrated/coordinated science program.

"Our lab today will combine a few principles of physics, chemistry and biology that we've recently studied in the classroom. Our goal is to understand more clearly the electromagnetic spectrum and its relationship to photosynthesis.

"In this lesson, the students will take a test tube, add a sprig of Elodia plant and some water, which has been enriched with baking soda. The baking soda creates a carbon dioxide source so that the plant will be able to make sugar and release oxygen as a by-product. The students will then observe this oxygen production by noticing the amount of bubbles produced by the plant, reflecting the rate of photosynthesis.

"Next, the students will shine a light on the test tube using several different light bulbs with different wattages and different colors and watch the results. The students will count the number of bubbles produced in a certain amount of time and analyze their information. Which light bulb will produce which result? The goal is to find patterns which will help determine if, and how, the different light intensities and colors change the rate of photosynthesis.

"If you can really engage the students in the learning, they become as eager to analyze the results as they were to do the manipulatives. In this lab, the students will examine their own data, the classroom data, and data a similar class will take later in the day.

"The overriding principles of science are the same in all the sciences. For example, electrons behave the same whether you are talking about physics, biology, chemistry or earth-based science. In Integrated/Coordinated Science, we pick core concepts from the science disciplines called for in the standards and tie them together so that it forces students to think critically about many things, and see the connections and patterns that are abundant in all areas of science."


For more information, contact
Myrna Estrada

(213) 241-6875

Los Angeles Unified School District, Division of Educational Services - Mathematics and Science

333 S. Beaudry, 25th Floor, 151-9 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phone (213) 241-6420 Fax (213) 241-8469