Franklin County Technical High School   82 Industrial Blvd.   Turners Falls, MA 413 . 863 . 9561

Science and Technology at Franklin County Technical School

The science department at FCTS has created courses that develop a deeper understanding of science principles through hands-on, skills-based instruction. We offer courses in engineering, physics, biology, and chemistry that compliment instruction in our 13 vocational programs. Science curriculum was developed from the 2015 Draft Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education’s Science Frameworks and the Common Core Frameworks. Our courses reinforce skills such as critical thinking and problem solving with professional career readiness as the goal for all of our students.

FCTS Science

9th Grade

FCTS 9th grade science

Freshman Human Biology/Health: This introductory course focuses on the concepts of human anatomy & physiology including the digestive, circulatory, nervous, respiratory, muscular, and skeletal systems, and health associated with human body systems. This course uses lecture, laboratory work, computer simulations, instructional activities, audio, and video in order to facilitate student learning. Students enrolled in this course would progress to sophomore biology for their next science course and take the Biology MCAS during their sophomore year.

Projects Include: dissection of simple organisms to learn about body composition, construction of a diet plan to meet student needs, microscopic analysis of tissue groups.

Introduction to Engineering: Introduction to Engineering is a rigorous, in-depth, hands-on program that is the foundation course for two or more years of engineering and technology at FCTS. This curriculum was developed from the Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education’s Science Frameworks and the Common Core Frameworks.

Through hands-on projects, students will explore the concepts of the Engineering Design Process (EDP), Engineering Design Sketching (on paper and through software like AutoDesk Inventor), Manufacturing Processes, Materials Testing, Structural Properties, Heat Transfer, Hydraulics and Pneumatics, Electricity and Circuits, and Communication Systems.

10th Grade

FCTS 10th grade science

Engineering Design: Engineering Design is a rigorous, in-depth, hands-on program that is second in a two-year sequence of engineering and technology at FCTS. This curriculum was developed from the Massachusetts Department of Secondary Education’s Science Frameworks and the Common Core Frameworks.

Through hands-on projects, students will explore the concepts of the Engineering Design Process (EDP), Engineering Design Sketching (on paper and through software like AutoDesk Inventor and Chief Architect), Prototyping, Building Structural Design and Testing, Heat Transfer Systems, Inputs and Outputs of Electronic Devices, The Forces of Lift, Drag, Friction, and Thrust as related to Flight.

Projects Include: Structural design and materials testing, designing and constructing a scale house, designing and building a heat transfer system, and building scale airplanes that fly.

Sophomore Biology: Content focus on the chemistry of life, cell biology, genetics, evolution & biodiversity, & ecology. This course uses lecture, laboratory work, computer simulations, instructional activities, audio, and video in order to facilitate student learning. Students enrolled in this course will take the Biology MCAS during the spring of their sophomore year.

Projects Include: evolution simulations, food web creation and ecosystem construction, college level genetics work regarding sex-linked traits and dihybrid crosses. DNA extraction, wet lab analysis.

11th Grade

FCTS 11th grade science

Applied Physics 1: Physics is the most basic science with over 2000 years in the making. Applied Physics 1 is an enriching course that focuses on classical mechanics and its connections to biomechanics, machinery, and astronomy. The course covers translational kinematics and dynamics along with rotational kinematics and dynamics. Topics are presented in such a way that learning concepts and making connections takes precedence to calculations. That said, mathematics is the language of science, therefore student’s mathematical skills will be stretched with an understanding of how upper-level mathematical concepts were discovered. Students will be expected to uphold a high standard for learning and personal morality in the classroom, and should be prepared to join a community of learners in the Franklin County Technical School Physics Program.

Projects Include: TBA

Chemistry: Seamus Roche. Description to come!

BioEthics: Dan Prasol. Description to come!

12th Grade

FCTS 12th grade science

Chemistry: Seamus Roche. Description to come!

Applied Physics 2: Applied Physics 2 is the second physics course offering at Franklin County Technical School and builds upon the skills and concepts from Applied Physics 1. This second year sequential course focuses on fluid dynamics, thermal physics, and electrical physics and it connections to boat hulls, alternative building design, and off-grid energy solutions. Project based learning is the theme song of this course and students will arrive at the end of the year having built and tested a canoe, a cob dwelling, and a generator. Students will be expected to uphold a high standard for learning and personal morality in the classroom, and should be prepared to join a community of learners in the Franklin County Technical School Physics Program.

Projects Include: TBA



ROBOTICS

FCTS Robotics

The new robotics program is technically under the direction of the math department, but due to its scientific nature, it seemed like this is the perfect place to spotlight the course. This course is designed to introduce students to the mechanical construction of robots and the associated computer programming necessary to make a robot operational. Using a version of the programming language "C", students learn to program their robots to draw shapes and even write letters of the alphabet. This is year one of the program and the students are fully engaged in the experimentation, struggles and victories of building and programming robots. Students work in pairs, with each pair provided a laptop computer and robot materials. Students can be found tooling around the halls, fine-tuning a wayward robot.

maintained by IdeamechaniX