Science not only studies the natural world but it also adds to and changes that world. It will continue to change the world in the future. Therefore we believe that the study and understanding of Science is an important component in the education of every student at Rutgers Prep. Some students will directly create our future world as working scientists. Other students will enter different occupations, but as world citizens, they will participate in the political and economic processes that encourage or limit scientific exploration. The products of scientific research will affect everyone and everyone will affect scientific research.
We believe all students need to understand what scientists do, how they work, and how they communicate and resolve disagreements. To understand the life of scientists, students need to read about science, they need to perform science, and they need to think about science.
Science courses should expose students to the history of scientific progress in order to appreciate the effort and time that created the knowledge base we enjoy today. The courses should expose all students to a part of the massive amount of knowledge and skills available to us today as a result of that history. Courses should excite all students about the future of scientific research and foster discussions about how best to use the new information and technologies that are being discovered.
Familiarity with science is a result of work in several areas:
- Students must practice direct observation of their world. They should ask questions, design experiments, analyze data and evaluate hypotheses.
- Students must practice reading, understanding, and evaluating scientific literature.
- Students must practice searching through information sources, challenging ideas and engaging in discussion and debate.
- They must practice creating and interpreting quantitative data (for example—graphs).
- They must read about the past, examine the present and imagine the future.
Two years of a lab science are required. One year must be a life science (Biology) and one year must be a physical science (Chemistry or Physics). Advanced study is strongly advised.
- Environmental Science
- Honors Biology
- AP Biology
- Honors Chemistry
- AP Chemistry
- Honors Physics
- AP Physics C: Mechanics
- AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism
- Student Research in Molecular Biology
- Advanced Student Research in Molecular Biology
- Material Science Honors
- Topics in Organic Chemistry
- Topics in Microbiology
- Topics in Astronomy
- Topics in Meteorology
- Topics in Forensic Science
- Topics in Human Diseases
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Topics in Biotechnology
- Topics in Immunology
- An Introduction to Pharmaceutical Science
- AP Environmental Science
Our classes have recently been visited by:
- Penelope Moore of the NJ State Crime Lab
- John Osborne, a Forensics Document examiner
- Dr. Patricia Wright, an international authority on Madagascan lemurs
- Dr. Michael Metzger, Interventional Cardiologist
- Dr. Nidhi Kumar , General Cardiologist
- Dr. Megan Urban, PT
In recent years, our classes have visited:
- Morris County Crime Lab
- Somerset County Investigative Services Lab
- Liberty Science Center
- American Museum of Natural History
- Great Adventure (Physics Day)
- NJ Chemistry Olympics
- Caldwell College CSI Forensics Competition
- Block Island Conservancy
- Harbor Branch Oceanic Institute
- Mutter Museum
- NJ Star Ledger Mort Pye Scholar
- NJ Governor’s School in Math and Science
- NJ Governor’s School on the Environment
- NJ Governor’s School in Engineering and Technology
- Liberty Science Center Partner’s in Science
- Original DNA research on Artemia at the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University
- Original DNA research on duckweed at the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University
- NJ Chemistry Olympics (Section winner)
- NJ Physics Olympics -we came in first place (in one event) three years in a row
- Internship in human development at Rutgers University
- Environmental Club-the club has planted a Monarch Butterfly Way Station on campus with more biodiversity and land-use projects in development
- National Youth Leadership Forum for Medicine
- 2017 US GLOBE Student Research Symposium Award was presented at a symposium with US GLOBE at Palmyra Cove
Faculty Professional Development Activities and Achievements:
Ralph Avella (Co-Department Chair) has been part of the Rutgers Prep faculty since 1979. He has earned four “best teacher” awards as voted by Rutgers Prep seniors and faculty. He is a member of the: National Science Teachers’ Association, N.J. Science Teachers’ Association, NJ Earth Science Teachers’ Association, American Chemical Society and American Association of Chemistry Teachers. He has attended the NSTA Area Conference- Philadelphia, Pa and annually participates in the N.J. Science Teachers’ Convention-Princeton. He has been participating in online weather briefings and Webinars conducted by Earth Networks. He has taught Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy and Meteorology. He has served as a long time advisor to Rutgers Prep’s School Council. He serves on the Cum Laude Committee. He coordinates our annual Baseball Senior Exploration.
Dr. Valerie Pierce (Co-Department Chair) has presented many Professional Development workshops: “AP Biology Roundtable: Discussion of Strategies for the new AP Biology Exam” - New Jersey Science Teachers Association annual convention; “I know How to Use Technology – But How Do I Teach With It?, National Science Teachers Association annual conference, Indianapolis, IN ; “Candy Cladograms: A Hands-On, Fun Approach to Understanding Species Diversity and Evolution”, New Jersey Science Teachers Association annual convention; “Open-Ended Experiences in Biology”, the Independent Curriculum Group Conference on Creative and Critical Thinking, Scarsdale, NY; “Small Pieces of Technology With Big Impacts On Learning”, co-presenter, New York State Association of Independent Schools, Teaching with Technology Conference; “Student Science Writing Projects on the Web”, New Jersey Science Teachers Association annual convention; “What College Professors Really Wish Students Knew”, New Jersey Association of Independent School biennial meeting, Lawrenceville, NJ.
She has been involved in the following Professional Development Activities: AP Biology Reader for College Board; AP Biology New Teacher Mentor; Life Discovery Conference, Society for the Study of Evolution; NJSTA & NSTA annual conventions; Advanced Placement Summer Institute, Middlesex County College; College Board one-day Workshop in AP Biology Lab Redesign, Edison, NJ; Gardner-Carney Leadership Institute; NJAIS Leadership Institute and Teaching Forensic Science, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME.
She has taught Biology, Honors Biology, AP Biology and Forensic Science.
Dr. Allan Furtek is a long-time member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the NJ Association of Physics Teachers (NJAAPT). He has been teaching AP Physics for almost 20 years at RPS. He brings and shares freely with his students almost 30 years of industrial R&D experiences with ExxonMobil.
To keep current and fresh, he has taken several on-line advanced AP Physics courses offered by MIT and other institutions.
He is the faculty advisor and mentor for the RPS physics and chemistry teams, which successfully participates in the NJ Physics Olympics (finishing first place for several years in a row) and the NJ Chemistry Olympics (finishing near the top in several recent events).
Nishita Desai began her career in scientific research. She conducted research at the Cancer Institute and UMDNJ (now Rutgers) on topics including prostate cancer and organogenesis. Before that, she worked in a neurobiology lab studying the effects of supplements on memory and recovery and brain injuries. The professors, students, and other researchers she interacted with in those environments inspired her to become a teacher full-time. She gives back to the community she calls home by volunteering at the Food Bank Farm Program, working at the Sunday Can Collection at our local Stop & Shop, lending a hand with the Stage Crew for Sampson G. Smith Drama productions, organizing a semi-annual Blood Drive at RPS, participating in NASA GLOBE stem activities, is a advisor for American Cancer society, active participant in Environmental club, and as a Girl Scout Troop leader.
Joan Zanfardino is a member of the ACS, AACT, NSTA NJSTA, and AMTA. She is the facilitator of the Chemistry Club for the Upper School. Joan has served as a moderator for the Chemistry Olympics team that competes against other New Jersey high schools and is organized by the Northern New Jersey ACS chapter. Besides her science responsibilities, she is a member of the School Council. She is a PLG leader and a member of the AID group on campus. She has participated in training through the Mindful Schools. She organizes the trip to a local cooking studio as part of the Seniors Explorations Program. She has taught AP Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology and Physics at RPS.
Peter Gange is a member of the NJSTA and ASM. He has taught Material Science Honors, C.P. Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Honors Physics and C.P. Physics, Biology and Earth Science. Peter is a Master Teacher. He was involved in the Rutgers University Research program for experience for teachers in Engineering, helping math and science teachers integrate their research experiences into their classrooms. He was also the lead teacher for the Princeton University Material Academy. There he developed and taught modules in Material Science and also ran teacher workshops in Material Science education. He has earned the following awards: E.T.T.C. Technology Teacher of the Year, Middlesex High School Teacher of the Year, NHR Outstanding American Teacher, PBS Teacher Innovation Award, Sigma Xi Achievement in Science Award, The College of New Jersey Outstanding Teaching Award & Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He has also been awarded research grants from ASM & NJBISEC. Besides being a teacher at Rutgers Prep, he serves as an Advisor to MS4SSA, a World Bank initiative to improve students’ foundation in mathematics and science in Africa.
Carole Glantzow Zboray is a member of NJAIS, NAIS, NSTA, ASCD and USLacrosse. She has presented workshops for RPS faculty on Executive Functioning Skills in the Classroom and at OESIS Conference in Boston. Carole has attended multiple summer sessions with Learning and the Brain, and has been a Science Fair judge at The Cambridge School in Pennington. In the Upper School, she has taught Human Anatomy and Physiology, 9th grade and 11th grade Health. Carole has coached Varsity Soccer and Lacrosse, and is the Middle School Science Dept. Head and 8th Grade Level Coordinator. Carole is a past winner of the McGinn Award which is given each year to a faculty member who has distinguished himself/herself by the quality of his/her teaching and overall contribution to the School. She was also named Courier News Lacrosse Coach of the Year, and received the Somerset Patriots Positive Coaches Award.
Dr. Samantha Schwab is a member of NSTA and the Ecological Society of America. At Rutgers Prep, she has taught AP Environmental Science, Environmental Science, and Biology. Aside from her teaching responsibilities, she is the faculty advisor for the Environmental Club, a member of the AID faculty and staff group, and on the directing team for Upper School Drama productions. Before joining the Rutgers Prep community, she facilitated biology workshops at Rutgers University while earning her doctorate and subsequently taught the General Biology summer course. Recent professional development experiences have included a Learning and the Brain one-day seminar, online courses through Global Online Academy, and a course through the AP Summer Institute.