Science & Engineering Department

Science is concerned with the facts, concepts and processes at work in the physical and biological worlds. Science instruction in Niskayuna emphasizes inquiry, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, informed science attitudes, and connections to real-world applications through area partners in industry and higher education. Students in grades 4 and 8 take New York State assessments in science. 

Niskayuna High School Science Program

The goal of the comprehensive program at Niskayuna High School is to provide a broad, relevant and meaningful science experience to all students. Students build an excellent foundation in the scientific process and, through hands-on lab experiences, they have the opportunity to reinforce theory and develop essential skills. Several pathways are available for students to explore their interests and pursue in-depth and study in areas such as biology, chemistry, physics, research, and environmental, medical, and nanoscale science. Students are introduced to real-world applications and innovations through coursework, interdisciplinary offerings, and partnerships with industry and higher education leaders such as GE Global and RPI.

See a listing and descriptions of all high school science courses

General Information and Graduation Requirements

All science courses that end in a Regents Examination are scheduled for 78 minute blocks every other day, and 37 minutes on the remaining days, this includes Science Topics. These are full-year courses and one credit is earned. Science elective courses are scheduled for 78-minute blocks every other day and do not end in a Regents Examination. There are many possible course sequences. Students may move from one science course to another as their interests and abilities develop in accordance with NYS graduation requirements. All students are required to earn a minimum of three credits in science as follows:

  • One course in a Living Environment Core (Biology)
  • One course in a Physical Setting Core (Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Students must pass one Regents Examination for a Regents Diploma or two Regents exams (one from the Living Environment and one from the Physical Setting) for an Advanced Regents Diploma.

To sit for a Regents Examination in Science, students must have completed a minimum of 1,200 minutes of hands-on laboratory ­experience, with documentation of satisfactorily completed write ups.

The third year of science must be based on the NYS Math/Science/Technology Standards. Students must be enrolled in a science course from grades 9-11. No student may drop a science course altogether (without enrolling in another) unless they have successfully completed the minimum graduation requirement of 3 years/3 credits.