Science 2018-09-21T09:23:54-05:00

Science Department

At Pius XI, students experience hands-on scientific inquiry, through which they study the natural world and propose explanations based on real evidence. Through labs and activities that both integrate and connect the major areas of science, students learn to understand that science is an on-going process of inquiry rather than merely an accumulation of unrelated facts.
The Science Department focuses on the use of technology to give students real world experiences in collecting and analyzing data to come to conclusions and solve problems.

The Science Program is Designed to:

  • Enable students to practice and use scientific inquiry, creativity and knowledge to ask testable questions, predict outcomes, design and perform experiments and draw conclusions.
  • Give students the tools to apply new knowledge to generate and assess problems, solving them with increasing frequency and complexity.
  • Perform experiments by gathering, analyzing, and communicating data – using modern technology and other methods – thus developing problem solving skills that they can apply to other areas of their lives.
  • Provide students with various experiences to use technology for the acquisition, analysis and presentation of data.
  • Enable students to use their knowledge and understanding on the natural world to serve as scientifically, socially and environmentally responsible citizens.
  • Be taken for three years at a minimum. Students may decide to pursue a core science curriculum or may customize the science curriculum in consultation with their current science teacher.
    • The three years must consist of Biology and two additional science credits.
  • Biology, Environmental Science and Physics are offered at the Advanced Placement level for college credit. 

Course Offerings:

  • Biology
  • AP Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • AP Physics
  • Physical Science
  • PLTW: Principles of Biomedical Science
  • PLTW: Human Body Systems
  • Astronomy
  • Processes of Planet Earth (POPE)
  • Environmental Science
  • AP Environmental Science
  • Special Projects in Science

Science Faculty

Catherine Zurawski (Department Chair):
Mark Baitinger:
Emily Brown:
Patty Hupfer Riedel:
Devone Smith:
Zorcia Zivkovic:

Pius XI offers an exceptional educational experience grounded in four core pillars of excellence

• Living the Faith
• College-Ready Academics
• Renowned Arts Program
• Winning Athletics

Award-winning faculty are scholars in their own right and committed to student success

• 100+ courses
• 12 Advanced Placement classes
• Customized Tailored Curriculum
• Engage students in intellectual dialogue
• Cultivating lifelong learning

Pius XI is a warm and welcoming community of global learners

• Diverse, International Community
• Broad World Perspective
• Academic Prowess
• Respect and Dignity of Others
• Deep Appreciation of Peers

Upon graduation, our students are prepared with life skills to succeed

• 93% of Pius XI graduates continue their education at a four-year university or college
• After attaining a Bachelors degree, 32% of grads will pursue an advanced degree
• Pius XI grads have been chosen by every Ivy League and Big 10 School