Science

Gould Academy’s Science Course consists of classes that equip students with important skills (measurement, metric system, experiment design and writing, and physical principles) before opening up the world of possibilities for scientific research available on campus.

Our faculty include passionate scientists who are highly awarded individuals within their fields, and who help students exceed in the classroom and beyond.

Tour our campus to see one of the nation’s only biohazard level two safety hoods found at a high school, and speak with our network of students and alumni who have taken their work and independent studies to state and national competitions.

See what’s new in the Science Department at Gould

Departmental Requirements:

Three years of science, to include one year of a biological laboratory science and one year of a physical laboratory science.

Science Course Classes Include:

Research Methods in Science

This course available to students in any grade with an interest in pursuing independent laboratory research at Gould Academy. The course will follow a blended curriculum with students spending the majority of their class time in the laboratory, Laboratory spaces will also be available to students during evenings, weekends and potentially some afternoon activity time. Full class meetings will usually focus on individual research reports to the class, and a reporting out of findings from the science literature. Lab safety and protocol seminars will be scheduled multiple times throughout the year so that students can work through and “check off” these requirements as they progress through the course and before they undertake lab assignments that require these skills. Students may take Research Methods for more than one year with the expectation that more experienced students will take more responsibility for developing an environment of collegiality and mentorship for newer students and will build on past experience to develop more sophisticated projects. Students will be expected to enter a project at the Maine State science fair in March and to meet all of the safety and paperwork requirements of an ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) affiliated event.

Conceptual Physics

This year-long class is designed to prepare students for more advanced studies of science at Gould and beyond. This is achieved by developing important scientific skills such as measurement, metric system, experiment design, and scientific writing, as well as an understanding of the physical principles that form the foundation of chemistry, biology, and modern physics.

Chemistry

This class is designed as an introduction to the principles of Chemistry. It is aimed towards developing an ability to interpret the world on an atomic and molecular level. Significant time will be spent completing laboratory experiments and interpreting the results. While basic algebra skills are necessary, the class will be primarily conceptual in nature.

Honors Chemistry

Honors Chemistry is designed for the math/science oriented student with honors grades in previous math and science courses. There is heavy emphasis on the mathematics of chemistry with considerable independent effort required. (Prerequisite: By departmental approval. Algebra ll concurrently.)

Biology

This class is designed for those with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and is designed to develop an understanding of the biological system focusing at the molecular level. The class will include significant laboratory projects and will progress from the cellular level through animal physiology. (Prerequisite: Chemistry)

Physics

Students in physics will engage in a brief survey of Newtonian mechanics before moving on to a variety of topics in classical and modern physics including waves and optics, relativity, electrostatics, and other topics as time permits. Because many of the topics will involve quantitative (mathematical) analysis, students should be comfortable solving problems using Algebra II. (Prerequisite: Algebra 2 with a grade of 85 or higher or departmental approval)

AP Physics: Electricity and Magnetism

A year-long study of electrostatics and electrodynamics including charge, electric and magnetic fields, Maxwell’s laws and other topics as time permits. Significant effort outside of class time is expected, particularly for laboratory work. A spring independent research project is required. This calculus-based class is designed for the student who desires a more rigorous mathematical treatment of physics. Students are expected to take the AP Physics: Electricity and Magnetism exam at the end of the year. (Prerequisite: Calculus concurrently. Students may enroll in the course only with departmental approval.)

AP Biology

This is a class designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course usually taken by college biology majors during their first year. A curriculum designed to prepare students for success on the advanced placement exam in biology will be followed closely and will entail significant background reading, active participation in class discussions and demonstrations, and a sincere commitment on the part of the student. Students are expected to take the AP exam. (Students may enroll in the course only with departmental approval.)

AP Chemistry

This is a class designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory Chemistry course. A curriculum designed to prepare students for success on the advanced placement exam in chemistry will be followed closely. The students need to be highly motivated and be willing to complete extra laboratory work outside of class in order to succeed in this class. Students are expected to take the AP exam. (Students may enroll in the course only with departmental approval.)

Environmental Science

Environmental science is the study of how humans interact with their environment. The focus of this senior/junior science elective lies in learning the basic ecological concepts that function in the natural world, understanding environmental problems created by human interactions with the natural world, and identifying means of mitigating or solving these problems. Laboratory and fieldwork are an integral part of the curriculum. This class is designed as a three-trimester sequence that can be taken for one, two, or all three terms. (Prerequisite: Biology or Permission of teacher)

Marine Science - Explorations of the Gulf of Maine

Marine Science is a fall trimester elective for eleventh and twelfth grade students that studies major topics in Marine Science through looking at the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. The Gulf of Maine extends from Cape Cod in the South to Bay of Fundy and Nova Scotia in the north. It Is bordered on the south-east and east by large underwater banks which create a partially enclosed body of water, which is one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. (Prerequisite: Biology or permission of the teacher)

Astronomy

Astronomy is a physical science elective, less mathematically intensive than physics, intended for interested eleventh and twelfth grade students. The two-trimester course will be divided into two major topics: Exploring the Night Sky and the Solar System (winter trimester), and Exploring Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe (spring trimester). Each trimester will be independent of the others and students may choose to take either or both. There will be considerable out-of-class commitments in the form of readings, research, and naked eye, binocular, and telescopic observations. (Prerequisite: Algebra 2 concurrent, Chemistry (75 average or better)

Introduction to Sports Medicine

Introduction to Sports Medicine is a trimester science elective that will introduce students to the extensive multidisciplinary field of sports medicine. Students will build their knowledge of the background of athletic training, the role of the athletic trainer and the sports medicine team, physiology and anatomy, prevention, care, and treatment of orthopedic injuries, nutrition, ergogenic aids, and other general health related topics. (Prerequisite: Biology, completed or taken concurrently.)

Food Science and Systems

In Food Science and Systems students will gain a basic understanding of global food systems and resilient local food systems. We’ll examine how global systems affect local systems, and vice versa. We’ll examine how small scale and global trade affects how we eat. We’ll examine how culture shapes food and how food shapes culture. We’ll look at the environmental impact of human food production, and examine the pressures applied by our growing population. We’ll explore the future of food, of biodiversity, and of species extinction. This course will dig deep for an understanding of soil science, and reach broad for an understanding of government regulation and global trade. Practical hands-on experience will be gained with local farms, in kitchens, in the laboratory, and with community groups.

Science Faculty

Peter Southam

Science Department Chair
Science Teacher
B.A. Dartmouth College
M.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mountain Biking Coach
Road Cycling Coach

Bio

Mr. Southam teaches General Biology, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry.His teaching career began in 1988 at The Gunnery School; he later taught at Phillips Exeter Academy. Since coming to Gould in 2002, he has been a student favorite. His mad scientist personality paired with his witty sense of humor create engaging labs and lectures. In 2013 he was chosen the Outstanding Biology Teacher in the state of Maine by the National Association of Biology Teachers.

Mr. Southam has served as a reader for the College Board AP exam in Biology since 1999, is an active member of the Bethel community who began been building a house in Bethel in 1990, was elected to the Bethel Board of Selectmen in 2012, is a member of the Mahoosuc Pathways board, an organization committed to the development of recreational trails in the Bethel area, and is treasurer of the Bethel Outing Club.

The Head Cycling Coach for both the mountain and road teams, he has a Category 2 license from USA cycling and personally placed third at USA Nationals for category 3 mountain biking in 2013. Mr. Southam lives off campus in the home he built with his wife, Sarah Southam, a Chemistry and Physics teacher at Telstar High School. They have two children: a daughter, Sam ’12, and son, Max ’16.

Kristen Drew

Science Teacher
B.S. St. Lawrence University
M.S. SUNY College, Cortland
Prep Alpine Coach
Equestrian Program Director

Bio

Ms. Drew and her family moved to Bethel from upstate New York in 2002. After undergraduate work in biology, she earned a M.S. in Teaching Secondary Science. Ms. Drew teaches Biology and Conceptual Physics to 9th and 11th grade students. She brings to campus a love of skiing, hiking, canoeing and camping with her family: her husband, Ian, and their three children: John ’13, Kim ’17 and Lily.

Nancy Eaton

Science Teacher
B.S. University of Massachusetts
M.S. Wesleyan University

Bio

Ms. Eaton attended the University of Massachusetts where she received a B.S. in Astronomy. After graduation she worked as a telescope operator for the Computer Sciences Corporation at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and spent a year as a research assistant at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. She went on to continue her education at Wesleyan University earning a M.A. in Astronomy and Physics. Before coming to Gould, Ms. Eaton taught Physics at Dirigo High School in Dixfield, Maine. At Gould Ms. Eaton teaches all upper level and AP physics and astronomy courses. An avid outdoors person, Ms. Eaton has hiked the Long Trail in Vermont and completed the John Muir Trail in California (twice). She has also participated in the Trek Across Maine. She and her partner, Kevin, live locally in Bethel.

Todd Siekman

Science Teacher
B.A. Bowdoin College
M.S. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Fall Outing Club
Girls’ Varsity Basketball Head Coach

Bio

Mr. Siekman has taught for over 25 years, including more than 15 at Gould where he teaches chemistry, biology, physics, and marine science. Coach Siekman is a near lifelong coach and has coached basketball for girls and boys for over 20 years. Currently he leads the Fall Outing Club and is the Head Girls Basketball Coach. Mr. Siekman and his wife, Kara, live on campus and have three children, Gould classes of ’07, ’09, ’22. In his spare time he is a licensed boat captain, SCUBA diver, an avid sailor, and an avid long distance swimmer and is busy building a second home in Islesboro, Maine.

Thomas Whittington

Dean of Academics
Science Teacher
B.A. Dartmouth College
M.A. Stanford University
Girls’ Varsity Soccer Head Coach

Bio

Mr. Whittington has over 30 years’ experience in boarding schools, where he has served as an administrator, science teacher, and coach. “I understand that adolescence is a time of profound developmental change and I am dedicated to helping students learn to use their minds well, as they develop an understanding of who they are and who they may become.” As Dean of Academics and a science teacher, Mr. Whittington cares greatly about the environment and is passionate about helping his students find ways to appreciate and preserve the natural habitat and the resources upon which we all depend. A varsity soccer player at Dartmouth College, he remains a dedicated fan of both the sport and those who participate.

Aramy Cho

B.S. Cornell University
Science Teacher
Mountain Biking co-Head Coach
Road Cycling Coach

Bio

Aramy teaches chemistry and physics and coaches the road and mountain biking teams. He found his way to Gould in 2016 through a circuitous path. After earning his chemistry degree from Cornell University, he promptly spent the better portion of the following decade leading wilderness expeditions, working as a climbing guide, and chasing winter while migrating seasonally between Minnesota, Colorado, California, and Vermont. Later, Aramy explored classroom teaching at a therapeutic school and a ski academy before finding a home at Gould. He loves the natural beauty of western Maine and appreciates the school’s emphasis on learning through experience. Outside of the classroom, you can find Aramy on the single-track trails around Bethel, volunteering with the Mt Washington Ski Patrol in Tuckerman Ravine, or buried in a book.