Science Department

The mission of the TMI Science Department is to graduate scientifically literate students who embrace their civic responsibility and utilize their knowledge to serve as leaders in their communities and responsible stewards of the earth’s natural resources; we strive to prepare interested students for college science study and for careers in science and science-related fields.

We believe science is best learned by doing it, not simply by studying it. We believe it is vital to help students learn to appreciate the world from a scientific perspective and to help them learn the importance of preserving our environment and conserving the earth’s natural resources.

We strive to educate students who:
  • Utilize scientific methods/processes to solve problems
  • Develop into independent learners, capable of thinking critically, analytically, and creatively and working collaboratively with others
  • Are effective communicators, in both the spoken and written word, who are able to communicate effectively using the languages of English and Mathematics
  • Utilize technology to collect & analyze data, conduct research, communicate findings, and solve problems
  • Develop a sound fundamental knowledge base in biology, chemistry, physics, environmental, and earth/space science

Science

  • Advanced Topics in Biology (H)

    Advanced Topics in Biology is an accelerated course of study in the fundamental concepts of biology that prepares students for further work in advanced science courses, especially Advanced Placement Biology. It is a survey course. Topics include cellular and molecular biology, cellular energetics, heredity, gene expression and regulation, evolution, and ecology. Students will also practice the skills needed for any of the advanced placement classes in science. This class reinforces student knowledge of physics and chemistry while providing a greater depth of understanding in biology.  
  • Advanced Topics in Chemistry (H)

    Advanced Topics in Chemistry is an accelerated course of study in the fundamental concepts of chemistry that prepares students for further work in advanced science courses, especially Advanced Placement Chemistry. It is a survey course that explores the relationship between energy and matter through topics that include atomic structure, the periodic table, types of compounds, reaction types, stoichiometry, gas laws, solutions. Students will also practice the skills needed for any of the advanced placement classes in science. This class reinforces student knowledge of physics while providing a greater depth of understanding in chemistry. 
  • Advanced Topics in Physics (H)

    Advanced Topics in Physics is an accelerated course of study in the fundamental concepts and mathematical underpinnings of physics that prepares students for further work in advanced science courses--especially AP Physics (1 and C). Topics include motion, forces, energy, momentum, gravitation, sound, light, and electricity & magnetism. With a strong foundation in forces and energy, students will be ready to subsequently tackle chemistry and biology.   Algebra 1 is a Prerequisite.
  • Anatomy/Physiology

    This full year course covers the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology. Students will explore the connection between structure and function in the human body. This is a survey course which studies most of the varied and complex systems, including the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and reproductive systems. This course will feature laboratory work, projects, lectures, and activities. This course is available to students in grades 9-12.
  • AP Biology

    This Advanced Placement college-level, laboratory-oriented course covers a wide range of topics from simple biological chemistry to the details of vertebrate systems. Course work includes lectures, discussions, laboratory work and other activities. The course culminates in the nationally-administered AP Exam in May. Students who perform well on this exam may receive college credit and/or placement into advanced courses in college.  Prerequisites: Chemistry and Biology.  Placement is based on departmental approval.
  • AP Chemistry

    his Advanced Placement college-level, laboratory-oriented course covers atomic and kinetic-molecular theories; states of matter; chemical bonding; equilibria, kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical processes; solutions chemistry including acid-base theory, oxidation-reduction and electrochemistry; properties of selected elements and their compounds; and introduction to nuclear and organic chemistry. The course culminates in the nationally-administered AP Exam in May. Students who perform well on this exam may receive college credit and/or placement into advanced courses in college.  Prerequisite: Chemistry.  Placement is based on departmental approval
  • AP Computer Science A

    This Advanced Placement, two-semester elective is for students who have successfully completed Introduction to Programming. The course culminates in the nationally-administered AP Exam in May. Students who perform well on this exam may receive college credit and/or placement into advanced courses in college.  Prerequisite: Introduction to Programming.   Placement is based on departmental approval
  • AP Environmental Science

    Advanced Placement Environmental Science: "This year-long course is designed to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and man-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them." (College Board AP Environmental Science course description)

    While preparing students for the AP Environmental Science exam, the focus of the TMI AP Environmental Science course will be lab/field work designed to introduce students to the scientific methods, skills, and critical thinking utilized by environmental scientists.  Placement is based on departmental approval.
  • AP Physics 1

    Physics 1
    This Advanced Placement college-level course covers the principles of Newtonian mechanics, including the essential concepts of motion in two dimensions, vector and scalar analysis, work, energy, power, mechanical waves including sound and simple circuits. Critical thinking, analysis, problem solving and real-world applications are emphasized. The course culminates in the nationally-administered AP Exam in May. Students who perform well on this exam may receive college credit and/or placement into advanced courses in college.  Prerequisites: Chemistry I and completion of Pre-Calculus (or concurrent enrollment in the above with special approval).  Placement is based on departmental approval
  • AP Physics C

    This Advanced Placement college-level, laboratory-oriented course uses introductory calculus as well as advanced algebra and trigonometry as the mathematical tools for solving physics problems. The first half of the course is devoted to Newtonian mechanics, to include kinematics, laws of motion, work and energy, systems of particles, momentum, circular motion, oscillations, and gravitation. The second half is devoted to electricity and magnetism, to include electrostatics, DC and AC circuits, the magnetic effects of currents, electromagnetic induction, and Maxwell’s equations. The course emphasizes problem solving using calculus where appropriate, and makes use of both real and simulated laboratory work. The course culminates in the nationally-administered AP Exam in May. Students who perform well on this exam may receive college credit and/or placement into advanced courses in college.  Prerequisites: Chemistry and Calculus (or concurrent enrollment in Calculus).  Placement is based on departmental approval.
  • Astronomy

    This one-semester course will make use of TMI’s observatory with its 14-inch telescope. It is designed to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of the study of the universe. We will explore observations, ideas, and modern theories concerning the nature and evolution of galaxies, quasars, stars, black holes, planets and the solar system.
  • Biology (CP)

    This is a student-centered, inquiry-based laboratory course for juniors. Students explore current biological concepts through laboratory and field investigations, out-of-class reading and reflection, Socratic dialogue (both written and oral), lecture, video, scientific presentations, review of literature, and computer-based laboratories. Topics include cellular biology, ecology, evolution, survey of kingdoms, and human biology.
  • Biotechnology

    This is a laboratory-focused course offering students the opportunity to explore current technologies used in the fields of genetic engineering, medicine, forensics, and agriculture, and their ethical implications. Through experiments, students will study topics such as gene sequencing, DNA forensic fingerprinting, genetic modification of organisms, detecting genetic diseases, and analyzing food for the presence of genetically modified organisms. This course will also provide an introduction to the foundations of ethics, and apply this to case studies in bioethics, investigating how these technologies intersect with privacy, law enforcement, race, and issues of justice.
  • Chemistry (CP)

    This sophomore course provides a foundation in the study of matter and the changes that matter undergoes. Students learn the fundamentals of chemical compounds and the general characteristics of chemical reactions. Opportunities are provided in the laboratory to observe and classify substances according to similarities and differences of properties, explore and manipulate chemical reactions, and predict the quantitative changes that chemical systems experience.
  • Earth Science

    The grade 6 science program serves as an introduction to the fundamental concepts of earth/space and environmental science. With an emphasis on earth /space science, this course also serves as a student’s introduction to the many interactions between living organisms and their environment. Emphasis is on developing a firm foundation of scientific problem solving skills, conceptual understanding of the “big ideas” in earth/space and environmental science, as well as on developing a foundation for critical, creative, and analytical thinking ability. This course will make use of TMIs Outdoor Education Center and Observatory.
  • Experimental Physics

    This freshman-level class is an inquiry-based science course utilizing student-designed experiments to study classical and modern physics. Students utilize experimental and observational skills to construct models of physical phenomena and then test those models. Topics include mechanics, thermodynamics, sound, optics, electromagnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics.
  • Functional Programming - Spring

    (Spring Semester)
    This spring semester course is a continuation of Introduction to Programming.  In this class, students will continue the study of functional programming,  delving further into C.  Topics covered will include Algorithmic Complexity and Effective Algorithms, Bitwise Operations, Stacks and storage management, Monte Carlo Simulation, and Pointer Arithmetic. At the end of the year, students will write their own large-scale projects, typically a simple video game or the equivalent.  This course is very strongly recommended for students who want to enroll in AP Computer Science A, which will assume familiarity with Pointer Arithmetic. The course is taught in C and Python.

    Prerequisite(s): Introduction to Programming
  • Innovation and Design Advanced

    Advanced Innovation and Design will take the core principals of Introduction to Innovation and Design (Innovation and Design I) and build upon them through project-based learning. Using the Stanford d.school philosophy of design thinking, Advanced Innovation and Design will use these principles along with technology to achieve design goals that impact TMI and the surrounding area.  
    Prerequisite: 1 semester of Innovation and Design I or Middle School Innovation and Design 
  • Innovation and Design Advanced - Fall

    Advanced Innovation and Design will take the core principals of Introduction to Innovation and Design (Innovation and Design I) and build upon them through project-based learning. Using the Stanford d.school philosophy of design thinking, Advanced Innovation and Design will use these principles along with technology to achieve design goals that impact TMI and the surrounding area.  
    Prerequisite: 1 semester of Innovation and Design I or Middle School Innovation and Design 
  • Innovation and Design Advanced - Spring

    Advanced Innovation and Design will take the core principals of Introduction to Innovation and Design (Innovation and Design I) and build upon them through project-based learning. Using the Stanford d.school philosophy of design thinking, Advanced Innovation and Design will use these principles along with technology to achieve design goals that impact TMI and the surrounding area.  
    Prerequisite: 1 semester of Innovation and Design I or Middle School Innovation and Design 
  • Introduction to Innovation and Design

    Introduction to Innovation and Design provides an overview of design thinking to help students develop a systemic approach to creative problem-solving. This highly interactive class will expand thinking and tap into student curiosity, allowing them to create, test and re-create innovative solutions to a vast array of real-world problems, ultimately sharing their creations with an authentic audience. Students will practice skills like creativity, adaptive thinking, decision making, new media literacy, and empathy. The principles of design thinking can be applied to the humanities and the sciences, and emphasize interdisciplinary connections. This project-based course is open to all students in grades 9-12. 
  • Introduction to Innovation and Design - Fall

    Introduction to Innovation and Design provides an overview of design thinking to help students develop a systemic approach to creative problem-solving. This highly interactive class will expand thinking and tap into student curiosity, allowing them to create, test and re-create innovative solutions to a vast array of real-world problems, ultimately sharing their creations with an authentic audience. Students will practice skills like creativity, adaptive thinking, decision making, new media literacy, and empathy. The principles of design thinking can be applied to the humanities and the sciences, and emphasize interdisciplinary connections. This project-based course is open to all students in grades 9-12. 
  • Introduction to Innovation and Design - MS - Fall

    Students deepen their understanding of human-centered problem-solving skills through Design Thinking. Through projects and explorations, they engage in ideating and prototyping solutions for real-world challenges that grow empathy for their users while strengthening project management skills. This interdisciplinary course incorporates elements of science, technology, engineering, arts and math, and contemporary and interdisciplinary learning.
     
  • Introduction to Innovation and Design - MS - Spring

    Students deepen their understanding of human-centered problem-solving skills through Design Thinking. Through projects and explorations, they engage in ideating and prototyping solutions for real-world challenges that grow empathy for their users while strengthening project management skills. This interdisciplinary course incorporates elements of science, technology, engineering, arts and math, and contemporary and interdisciplinary learning.
     
  • Introduction to Innovation and Design - Spring

    Introduction to Innovation and Design provides an overview of design thinking to help students develop a systemic approach to creative problem-solving. This highly interactive class will expand thinking and tap into student curiosity, allowing them to create, test and re-create innovative solutions to a vast array of real-world problems, ultimately sharing their creations with an authentic audience. Students will practice skills like creativity, adaptive thinking, decision making, new media literacy, and empathy. The principles of design thinking can be applied to the humanities and the sciences, and emphasize interdisciplinary connections. This project-based course is open to all students in grades 9-12. 
  • Introduction to Programming-Fall

    (Fall Semester)
    This fall semester course is an intensive introduction to programming.  No background knowledge is needed. Taught in Python and C, this course is appropriate to all levels, including those with a background in coding. The course is taught with an emphasis on effective coding. Most assignments will involve students writing their own original code to solve a problem. Topics covered will include Variables, Functions, VariableTypes, Control Flow, Input and Output, User Interfaces, and Computational Methods.  This course is a prerequisite for Functional Programming and for AP Computer Science A.  

    Prerequisite(s): Algebra 1
  • Life Science

    With an emphasis on life science, this course spirals and extends the student’s introduction to the many interactions between living organisms and their environment. The grade 7 science program is a continuation of the Earth/Space and environmental science sequence begun in grade 6. These concepts will be coordinated with continuing development of the earth science curriculum started in the 6th grade. Emphasis continues on developing student’s scientific problem solving skills, conceptual understanding of the “big ideas” in science, as well as on developing their critical thinking ability. This course will make extensive use of TMIs Outdoor Education Center.
  • Meteorology

    This one-semester course will make use of TMI’s weather station equipment. It will introduce students to a study of the composition, structure, and physical properties of the earth’s atmosphere along with study of the interaction of the earth’s atmosphere with the land, oceans, and life on earth.
  • Neuroscience

    Our thoughts, emotions, and reasoning are all made possible by a few pounds of tissue behind our eyes. Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the nervous system, and explores the question: how are cognitive processes explained by the brain? This course takes students on a tour of the brain & nervous system, and the physiology that runs them. Topics include nervous system anatomy, neuron signalling, the neural basis for behavior, the special and general senses, diseases of the nervous system, and the effects of drugs on the brain.
  • Physical Science

    This course is designed to serve as a solid foundation for the study of the physical sciences at the high school level. This inquiry-based, laboratory focused course will investigate phases of matter, force and motion, work, simple machines, conservation and transformation of heat, waves, sound, light, electricity, and magnetism. Emphasis will be on development of student inquiry and problem solving skills within the context of scientific investigation.

Departments

Department Faculty

MISSION: TMI provides an exceptional education with values based on the teachings of Jesus Christ that challenge motivated students to develop their full potential in service and leadership.

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS
Texas Military Institute (dba TMI Episcopal) admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
TMI Episcopal
20955 W. Tejas Trail
San Antonio TX 78257
phone (210) 698-7171
fax (210) 698-0715