About Science Department

The science curriculum is directed toward investigative processes designed to meet the individual needs and abilities of New Trier students. The value of an experience for a student is not exclusively linked to a specific content or process, but also to the quality of the experience. Enthusiastic teachers instilling vitality for learning is a most important guiding principle.

New Trier cherishes individual differences and the particular strengths that the science faculty brings to the classes at New Trier. Students are respected for their individual differences. The Science Department believes that it should work with students to realize their potentials, and must encourage students to respect the uniqueness of each individual.


Students will:

  • develop an understanding of the fundamental laws of our universe and how these laws govern the phenomena they encounter everyday;
  • develop an understanding of how science and technology affect the quality of their lives;
  • acquire a foundation of knowledge necessary to make informed decisions on issues involving science and technology;
  • develop the skills and attitudes that will enable them to improve and protect the environment.

Students engage in scientific inquiry in the laboratory to:

  • see how scientific principles are established through careful observation;
  • weigh facts and arrive at valid conclusions;
  • appreciate the historical contributions of scientists; and
  • recognize that science does not consist merely of facts and dogma, but that it is an exciting, dynamic process.

Course Offerings

All students are required to take one year of a biological science and one year of a physical science. The PCB courses are an interconnected sequence of Physics > Chemistry > Biology that builds on concepts learned in previous courses.

Introductory Courses

  • Biology and Biology PCB
  • Chemistry and Chemistry PCB
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Physics and Physics PCB

Elective Courses

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Marine Biology
  • Integrated Principles of History & Science
  • Forensic Science
  • Biomechanics & Sports Medicine
  • Astronomy
  • IGSS-Science

Advanced Placement

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Physics B (non-calculus)
  • Physics C (calculus)

Courses for Students with Special Needs

  • Biology (ESL or ELL)
  • Survey of Biology
  • Survey of Physical Science
  • Introduction to Science (ESL or ELL)

Clubs and Activities
Competition and Recognition

  • American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA)
  • Astronomy Club
  • Biology Club
  • Herpetology Club
  • Intel Talent Search
  • International Chemistry Olympiad
  • International Physics Olympiad
  • New Trier Science Research Competition
  • Science Olympiad
  • SEED (Students Eliminating Environmental Destruction)
  • Siemens-Westinghouse Competition
  • Society of Women Engineer
  • Tandy Technology Scholar


Professional Memberships

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Physics Teachers
  • American Chemical Society
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum
  • Geological Society of America
  • Golden Apple Academy
  • Illinois Association of Biology Teachers
  • Illinois Association of Chemistry Teachers
  • Illinois Science Education Leadership Association
  • Illinois Science Teachers Association
  • Illinois State Physics Project
  • National Association of Biology Teachers
  • National Association of Geology Teachers
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • PHI DELTA KAPPA International