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Empowering girls to discover their distinct potential as learners and leaders.

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ScholarShop is CSG’s online apparel shop that benefits CSG scholarships, including the Alumnae Board Merit Scholarship.

Science

At CSG, the Science Department uses an inquiry approach to learning by using cooperative experiences to engage students in lab activities and experiments. When given a problem, students identify variables and develop procedures. They perform tests, collect and analyze data, and make charts and graphs to help formulate conclusions. Students experience guided inquiry where they are given a set of objectives, a set of safe websites for them to explore, and a rubric to clarify the expectations beyond the traditional laboratory experience. In advanced courses, students experience true inquiry approach: they are given a problem and resources to utilize to design and conduct experiments to test their hypothesis. As a summative assessment, students present their findings in post-inquiry sessions with peer review.

The Science Department strives to help students realize that science is fascinating, fun, and rewarding; understand that scientific discovery is an ongoing, ever broadening, self-correcting search for answers, and that any one discovery leads to further questions and experimentation rather than an absolute or ultimate truth; appreciate how the cooperative nature of the current scientific enterprise works; be able to make clear judgments regarding their roles in the today's technological and competitive world;­­­­ and learn the fundamental facts, concepts, laboratory and reasoning skills that are basic to further formal study in the individual scientific disciplines.

Astronomy

Astronomy is a descriptive introduction that explores our solar system and its place in the universe. Major areas of study include a study of the history of astronomy, the tools of astronomy, our planetary system, stars and stellar evolution, galaxies, and cosmology. The course also provides a review of basic biology, chemistry, and physics concepts. This course is not mathematically based, but math is incorporated where appropriate as a tool. Class work is supplemented by laboratory and research activities.

Biology

This course develops an understanding of the essentials of biology: diversity and unity through evolution, utilization of energy, synthesis, and reproduction. It also focuses on the interaction of living systems and the processes involving the storage, transmission, and response to information essential to life. Wet and dry laboratory exercises complement class work. This includes safe use of materials and appropriate laboratory techniques. Students develop study skills throughout the year by learning multiple study techniques in this course.

This course does not prepare the student for the College Board SAT II test in biology, but does fulfill the prerequisite for Advanced Placement Biology.

Honors Biology

This course develops an understanding and respect for the vast array of life processes by emphasizing investigation and interconnection. The course covers all major topics, including energy transfer, continuity and change, scientific method, evolution, structure to function relationships, regulation, ecology, and technology’s effect upon society. The course emphasizes the relation of biological concepts directly to the students' life experience, while developing the organization skills necessary to sort and assimilate concepts. Class work includes incorporating electronic textbooks, inquiry-based simulations, probes for data collections, spreadsheets for data analysis, and online assessments. Students are expected to learn both traditional laboratory skills and computer-based skills. This laboratory work includes safe use of materials and appropriate laboratory techniques.

Advanced Placement Biology

This is a college-level survey course that follows the Advanced Placement syllabus in preparation for the AP Biology examination. Major areas of study are centered on four big ideas:

  1. The process of evolution drives diversity and unity of life.
  2. Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, reproduce, and maintain homeostasis.
  3. Living systems receive, transmit, and respond to information.
  4. Biological systems interact.

Student use of laptop computers includes incorporating electronic textbooks, inquiry-based simulations, spreadsheets for data analysis, and online assessments. There is a significant inquiry laboratory component with long-term student designed activities. Students present their work in regular sessions and manage substantial information outside of class.

Chemistry

This course emphasizes the impact of chemistry on society and the environment. It helps students realize the important role that chemistry will play in their personal and professional lives, how it will allow them to make informed decisions about scientific issues, and therefore develop a lifelong awareness of the benefits and limitations of science and technology.

This class covers the major concepts of chemistry, placing more emphasis on biochemistry and organic, environmental, and nuclear chemistry and less emphasis on the mathematics of chemistry than is taught in Honors Chemistry. Each unit in Chemistry includes laboratory exercises, decision-making activities, and problem-solving exercises.

This course does not prepare the student for the College Board SAT II test in Chemistry, but does fulfill the prerequisite for AP Biology.

Honors Chemistry

This course emphasizes an experimental approach to Chemistry and the development of unifying concepts. It focuses on the understanding and application of chemical principles while minimizing the memorization of factual material. Concepts discussed are generally related to laboratory experiences or to demonstrations. Topics include laboratory techniques, quantitative problem-solving strategies, chemical formulas and equations, stoichiometry and the mole concept, atomic structure, the periodic law, bond formation and molecular geometry, kinetic theory and gas laws, enthalpy and entropy, chemical kinetics, solutions, equilibria, acid-base theories, oxidation-reduction, electrochemistry, and the important role of chemistry in our society. Classroom methods include demonstrations, discussions, small group problem-solving exercises, and lectures. Online computer links are available for drill and enrichment. This course prepares students for the SAT II test in Chemistry.

Organic Chemistry

This course provides a concept-based treatment of the fundamentals of organic chemistry and serves as a good introduction to basic principles used in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. Students will cover concepts of naming compounds, basic molecular structure and geometry, organic functional groups, structural and stereoisomers, and basic organic chemical reactions. We will also discuss analysis of organic compounds by interpreting infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The laboratory component will look at separation and analysis of organic compounds in a mixture.

Advanced Placement Chemistry

This is a college-level course that follows the Advanced Placement curriculum set forth by the College Board. Major topics covered in the course are the electromagnetic spectrum, chemical bonding and geometries, intermolecular attraction, stoichiometric relationships, chemical reactions and trends, gas laws, solutions, chemical equilibria, solubility, chemical kinetics, acid-base chemistry, oxidation-reduction, electrochemistry, and organic chemistry. The class emphasizes critical analysis, laboratory procedures, and technology in science. Laboratory material reinforces the principles and concepts covered in the lecture class. Textbook and laboratory examples provide preparation for the Advanced Placement Chemistry examination.

Physics

This course provides a concept-based treatment of the fundamental principles and processes of the physical world. The class covers topics such as motion, forces, energy, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, and relativity by employing basic algebra. On completion of the course, students can describe the principles studied with the use of examples and applications. Laboratory investigations, films and computer-based models help students understand the concepts. In addition to providing students with a clearer understanding of their physical world, this course enhances their natural curiosity and strengthens their ability to reason clearly and effectively.

Honors Physics

Honors Physics challenges the student both to conceptualize and to resolve problems in kinematics, dynamics, waves and sound, optics, electromagnetism, and relativity. There is a strong laboratory component in which the student makes careful observations of physical phenomena. The course is supplemented with films, demonstrations, and computer drills. In addition to providing students with a clearer understanding of their physical world, this course enhances their natural curiosity and strengthens their ability to reason clearly and effectively.

Advanced Placement Physics C - Mechanics

This AP Physics C – Mechanics course is calculus-based and follows the Advanced Placement curriculum set forth by the College Board. This college-level physics course challenges the student both to conceptualize and to resolve problems in kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy and power, impulse and momentum, circular motion and rotation, oscillations and gravitation. If time permits, the class also covers some topics not included on the AP Physics C Mechanics test such as waves, sound, optics and electrostatics, and electric circuits. The laboratory component has a strong emphasis on “open-ended” labs in which the student makes careful observations of physical phenomena. The course is supplemented with films, demonstrations and computer modeling. In addition to providing students with a clearer understanding of their physical world, this course enhances their natural curiosity and strengthens their ability to reason clearly and effectively.

Robotics Team Leadership (Team Captains & CDT Leads)

This class will provide team leaders with the opportunity to build their leadership, planning, and management skills while developing Fall Labs, build-season activities, educational field trips, fund-raising and outreach activities, team policies, and competition strategies.

Robotics Team (Team Members)

The FIRST robotics program at CSG builds self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating girls to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. In addition to specific skill-sets, the students gain self-confidence, earn valuable experience in teamwork, and problem-solving. They must deal with open-ended design problems where systems thinking and a holistic approach are necessary.

Principles of Engineering & Design

This course exposes students to the engineering design process including team development, brainstorming, drawing and modeling, reverse engineering, research and analysis, communication methods, technical documentation, and manufacturing. A major component of this course will be learning the basics of state-of-the-art 3D solid modeling design software (Autodesk Inventor 2013) as well as an online CAD program (TinkerCAD). In addition, the students will be introduced to rapid prototyping via the use of a three-dimensional printer (Makerbot Replicator). The class emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of engineering and design through application to the worlds of robotics, visual arts, and product and theater set design. Additional activities in this course might include discussions, guest speakers, class exercises, case studies, labs, and student presentations. The final project will relate to the student’s own interests using the tools and techniques learned during the semester.

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