In essence, science is a perpetual search for an intelligent and integrated comprehension of the world we live in.
– Cornelius Van Neil, Microbiologist

Department Philosophy

Students work on dissection skills in the Science Lab.

The Science Department of Bishop McNamara High School believes that it is the mission to create and develop students that are knowledgeable, scientifically literate, and capable of solving problems. It is necessary that they become aware of the role that the science has in their lives. We believe that our courses can help teach our students to think rationally and logically, to communicate orally and in writing, to handle lab equipment with confidence, to design and conduct experiments, and to analyze data both graphically and statistically. We expect that our students will be able to apply what they are learning to their everyday problem-solving situations which are essential skills necessary for work and communication in today's globally competitive society. We hope to inspire those with interest and ability to think of future careers in science. We wish our students to understand and accept their responsibility to and for the Earth, to be challenged as individuals and as members of society to choose actions which will preserve and improve their global environment.

Students who successfully complete the science requirements at Bishop McNamara will have met the National Science Education Standards, and will be able to demonstrate understanding of the principles of the physical and life sciences. BMHS students will:

  • master scientific skills such as measurement, observation, and experimental design
  • use appropriate technology for collection, interpretation, and analysis of data
  • understand that science is much more than a body of knowledge - it is a way of thinking
  • apply what they have learned to read and evaluate newspaper and magazine articles about current research distinguishing valid scientific information from pseudoscience and opinions
  • make useful and informed scientific decisions about their own actions

Science Department Courses


Conceptual Physics

Honors Conceptual Physics

AP Physics I

AP Physics C


Honors Biology

AP Biology


Honors Chemistry

AP Chemistry

Anatomy & Physiology

Honors Anatomy & Physiology

Environmental Science

Forensic Science

For full descriptions of these courses and prerequisites, go to Course Bulletin .

Science National Honor Society

Dissection in BiologyScience National Honor Society encourages and recognizes student achievement in BMHS Science courses. The Science National Honor Society is a prominent scientific organization that engenders a new group of young thinkers who will be the future of industry, research, and scientific exploration for America.
The Science National Honor Society:
  • Encourages and recognizes scientific and intellectual thought
  • Advances the students' knowledge of classical and modern science
  • Communicates with the scientific community
  • Aids the civic community with its comprehension of science
  • Encourages students to participate in community service and in turn, encourages a dedication to the pursuit of scientific knowledge that benefits all humankind

Science Clubs and Organizations

ACE Mentor Program (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) - Student in Chemistry labMentoring high school students and inspiring them to pursue careers in design and construction

Aviation Club - Promotes interest in aviation as a vocation or hobby by introducing students to all aspects of aviation

Engineering and Technology Club - Specializes in robotics, rocketry, and LEGO building

Science and Ecology Explorers - Environmental and biological sciences club

SCUBA Club – Junior Scientists in the Sea - Engages students with a passion for diving research, engineering, and exciting hands-on activities to be able to learn what it takes to explore the ocean as well as what role they can play in maintaining it.

Science Department FAQs

In what courses are incoming 9th graders placed?

Students are placed in one of the following classes:

  • Conceptual Physics (standard freshman class into which a majority of students will be placed)
  • Honors Conceptual Physics (course for students who exhibit an above average aptitude for science and math)
  • Honors Biology (advanced freshman honors course for students who exhibit an above average aptitude for science and math and who are well disciplined, self motivated and able to work at a faster pace)

How is a student placed into a freshman science course?

Students are placed into one of the courses based on the following criteria:

  • Performance on the Bishop McNamara science placement test
  • Standardized test scores on the HSPT (or equivalent)
  • Freshman math course placement
  • Current science teacher's recommendation
  • Grades from 7th and 8th grade science and math courses

What clubs are associated with the science department?

  • Science National Honor Society - Encourages and recognizes student achievement in the sciences
  • ACE Mentor Program (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) - Mentoring high school students and inspiring them to pursue careers in design and construction
  • Aviation Club - Promotes interest in aviation as a vocation or hobby by introducing students to all aspects of aviation
  • Science and Ecology Explorers - An environmental and biological sciences club

Department Contacts

Ms. Denise Kazimer, M.S.
Chair, Science Department
Ms. Angela De Leonibus, B.S.
Ms. Saideh Khalili, M.S.
Mr. Nicholas Klimczak, B.S. | 2007
Dr. Kimberly Mason, Ph.D. |2000
Dr. Nancy Paltell, Ph.D.
Ms. Samantha Reich, M.Ed.
Mrs. Jan Steeger, M.S.
Mr. Paul Wicks, B.S.
Bishop McNamara High School
6800 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD 20747
Phone: 301.735.8401
Fax: 301.735.0934
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