List of 8 members.

  • Brian Palm 

    Science Department Chair & Director of Operations
  • Shawn Cusson 

  • Patrick Murray 

    Director of Innovation - Teacher
  • Nora McGauley 

  • Bradford O'Brien 06

  • Du Park 

  • Kirk Phelps 

  • Claire Solman 


The Science Department at Catholic Memorial is structured to encourage students to observe, be creative, play, test, communicate, and defend their thinking. At each grade level the curriculum is infused with hands-on labs and projects that provide opportunities for students to develop critical scientific skills. Our students are actively learning how to ask good questions and investigating ways of answering those questions. After a lab at CM, students will reflect on questions such as: “What do I now know?”; “How does it connect to what I already know?”; and “Why does it matter to others?”

Our program is intentionally designed to connect students to the larger world. Courses build proficiency with a range of fundamental themes in science while also encouraging students to think systematically. The Department works to instill an understanding that the scientific method is messy and that grit is required for success. We believe that the attributes learned in science classes will serve students well in any pursuit well beyond their time at Catholic Memorial. In addition to offering core classes in Biology, Physics, and Chemistry, we also offer an AP program for each of these disciplines as well as an innovative set of electives including Crime Scene Investigation, Design Thinking and Engineering, Environmental Science, Sports Science, and Biotechnology.

Course Offerings

List of 12 items.

  • Life Science 7

    Life science is a foundation for Biology in High School. The course deals with three major areas: Cells & Heredity, Diversity of Life and Ecology and Environment. Part of the science experience is work in the laboratory, so students are regularly exposed to lab work and reports. General projects and STEM projects are used as a major part of the course. STEM projects included a trip to Acadia National Park and a study of artificial limbs.
  • Physical Science 8

    Physical science is a foundation for both Physics and Chemistry in the High School. The course focuses on three areas: Forces and Energy; Sound and Light and Chemistry. As in the 7th grade, lab is a regular experience. Additional projects and a major STEM project on roller coasters is also included in the course of the year.
  • Biology

    Knowledge of Biological function is an important facet in adolescent development. This college preparatory level course presents a survey of fundamental life processes in both the lecture and lab format. The function and adaptation of single and multi-cellular organisms is followed along a phylogenic scheme with a focus on Darwin and evolution. The seven human body systems are explored via dissections and are presented with an emphasis on development, structure, and its relation to function.
  • Biology (Honors)

    This course follows the outline of Biology (442) in a more rigorous and intensive way. Material is developed in lecture, virtual labs and actual hands-on labs. The seven areas of concentration include biochemistry; cell biology; phylogeny; ecology; evolution; genetics and anatomy & physiology. Formal lab reports and projects are used to emphasize certain topics.
  • Advanced Placement Biology

    This course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course as prescribed and outlined by the College Board. Through both lecture and laboratory work, AP Biology aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the Advanced Placement Biology Exam in May.
  • Anatomy and Physiology

    Anatomy and Physiology is an elective course for seniors who have an interest in science, medicine, physical and occupational therapy, athletic training, exercise physiology, or nursing. This regular level course will expose students to the study, research, writing, and test-taking skills needed in a college-level science course. The following topics are included: structure and function, micro and macro anatomy of the major body systems, cellular biology and metabolism, pathology, biomechanics, and exercise physiology.
  • Chemistry

    The fundamental topics of chemistry are covered in this survey course. Applications and the use of technology are incorporated into the curriculum to supplement the lectures. Laboratory experiments reinforce what is learned in the classroom; students learn to obtain and interpret the observations and the data from these experiments and incorporate these in written reports.
  • Chemistry (Honors)

    Central to this course is the development of the modern atomic theory and chemical reactions based on electron configuration. In the laboratory, students will conduct experiments and chemical reactions that complement what they are learning in the classroom, followed by required written lab reports. Research papers on selected topics in chemistry are also assigned. This is a rigorous course that combines lecture, use of modern applications of technology and research, and laboratory experiments.
  • Chemistry II (Honors)

    Based on the A.P. curriculum, this is a rigorous first-year college-level chemistry course. Topics include an advanced in-depth study of electron configuration, periodic properties of the elements, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, properties and modern applications of gases, liquids, and solids, solutions, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry. This course provides a strong preparation for further studies in chemical or the medical fields in college.
  • Physics

    This college preparatory course is designed for the average college-bound senior. A conceptual approach is used to cover the standard physics topics of mechanics, light and waves, electromagnetic theory and modern atomic theory. In the lab, students further develop their skills in collecting, organizing, interpreting and presenting data.
  • Physics (Honors)

    Physics Honors completes the science trilogy for those interested in a solid science background for college. The course works off a mathematical base to improve the students' problem-solving techniques. Lab work and projects augment the classroom. Topics include mechanics, waves and light, electricity, magnetism and modern atomic theory.
  • Physics II (Honors)

    This course concentrates on the areas of mechanics and electronics paralleling the A.P. “C” level curriculum. It is designed to develop the problem-solving skills of the student who sees himself as an engineering or science major in college. Lab and group projects are used to familiarize the student with the material and prepare them for similar college experiences.

About Us

Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.


235 Baker Street
West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132
Phone: 617-469-8000
Fax: 617-325-0888