Gould Academy’s Science Department 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 includes passionate scientists who are highly awarded individuals within their fields, and who help students succeed 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.

Check out the Science Department’s REMUS Project

Science Departmental Requirements:

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

Science Courses 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.


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.)


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)


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 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 departmental approval)

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 the 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 departmental approval)


Astronomy is a physical science elective, less mathematically intensive than physics, intended for interested seniors and juniors. There will be considerable out-of-class commitment in the form of readings, research, and naked eye, binocular, and telescopic observations. The year-long course will be divided into three major topics. Each trimester will be independent of the others and students may choose to take any one, two, or all three.   

  • Fall Trimester: The Changing Sky and Solar System
  • Winter Trimester:  The Dynamic Lives of Stars
  • Spring Trimester: The Evolving Universe
Ecology of the Androscoggin River

This course is a field study and will meet during the afternoon sports and co-curricular activity times. Students will participate in an extensive water monitoring study of the Androscoggin River and its free-flowing tributaries. Students will be building an understanding of the needs of different fish within their freshwater ecosystems. This course will also present a scientific approach to the sport of fly fishing. We will explore basic principles of hydrodynamics and the physics involved in presenting artificial lures within or upon the water column. Each student will be required to submit a final independent project based on the data collected throughout the trimester.

Anatomy & Physiology

Anatomy & Physiology is a trimester course that can be taken for one term or two in either order. During the winter term this course will cover topics relating to the science of nutrition and metabolism, while expanding upon the digestive, endocrine, and reproductive systems learned in biology. The spring term will focus on the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, and cardiovascular system, with a focus on exercise physiology, injuries to or breakdown of major body systems, and responses to training.  This course is designed for students who are especially interested in human biology and health and/or for students wishing to go to college for a health science, such as nutrition, pre-med, pre-dental, and the exercise sciences. This course will include practical and laboratory-based experiments that will allow students to generate and analyze data, as well as design their own research topics for the end of term evaluations.

Science Faculty

Peter Southam

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


Mr. Southam teaches Conceptual Physics, AP Chemistry, and started the Research Methods course in 2016. His teaching career began in 1987 with a one-year lower school science teaching internship at Princeton Day School, followed by two years at The Gunnery School, three years in graduate school at MIT, five years at Governor’s Academy, and then four years at Phillips Exeter Academy. Since coming to Gould in 2002, he has been a student favorite. His sense of humor helps him 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.

He served as a reader for the College Board AP Biology exam from 1999 until 2012. An active member of the Bethel community, he was elected to the Bethel Select Board in 2012 and currently serves as the board chair. He is also the founding president of Mahoosuc Pathways, an organization committed to the development of recreational trails in Western Maine.

Mr. Southam lives with his wife, Sarah. They have two children: Samantha ’11 and Max ’15.

Kristen Drew

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


Ms. Drew and her family moved to Bethel from upstate New York in 2002. After earning her B.S. in Biology at St. Lawrence University, she attended SUNY College at Cortland and earned a M.A.T. Secondary Science. Ms. Drew teaches Biology and AP Biology to 11th and 12th grade students. Growing up in the Adirondacks, she developed a love of the outdoors and particularly enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, and canoeing. She lives in Bethel with her husband, Ian, deputy refuge manager at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge. They have three children, John ’13, Kim ’17, and Lily ’20.

Nancy Eaton

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


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

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


Mr. Siekman began his teaching career at Cushing Academy and came to Gould in 1998. He has taught for more than 30 years, including chemistry, biology, physics, and marine science at Gould. He is a nearly lifelong coach and has coached basketball for girls and boys for over 20 years. 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, avid sailor, and long-distance swimmer, who keeps busy building a second home in Islesboro, Maine.