The science department at Northfield Mount Hermon believes in putting first things first.

That's why, instead of starting your science education with biology as you would at most high schools, you'll start at NMH by studying energy, matter, and motion. In other words, physics. By starting with the principles that underlie everything else in science, you'll be better able to understand all the other science you learn, whether it's Observational Astronomy, Genetics and Ethics, or AP Biology or Chemistry.

Another way science instruction at NMH is different is the emphasis we put on learning by doing. For instance, NMH's farm offers incredible opportunities for all kinds of experimentation and observation. Instead of just reading about reproduction in biology, you can track the pregnancy of a cow; maybe even help with the delivery. Or you could do a project involving compost or lavender oil.

Some courses go even farther afield. Maybe your geology class will go to a local cemetery and observe how the grave stones have eroded. You could go to Six Flags with your physics class to study roller coasters. With our observatory, you can do more than just study astronomy—NMH students have even discovered and catalogued asteroids.

We also have an international program that can take you places like Costa Rica, New Zealand, or Uruguay. You might study humming bird feeding habits in the jungle or track growth patterns of plants in disturbed areas. In addition to doing environmental studies research, you'll also gain language skills, insight into literary and cultural traditions, and have a powerful personal experience living with a host family.

With all these opportunities, as well as faculty who constantly improve their skills and knowledge through professional development, science at NMH is innovative and interesting. It can prepare you for a career or just satisfy your curiosities.

For more information, and to see course descriptions, see the science section of the online Curriculum Guide.

Gretel Schatz

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Becca Malloy

Science isn't just talk, but it certainly helps.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.

Faculty Profiles

This past summer, I increased my awareness of my identity by reconnecting with my native country, Ethiopia.


“I don’t think I would be anywhere near the person I am today if it wasn’t for NMH. It’s enlightened me about so many different things, and I’ve met people from everywhere you can imagine.”


In my old school, I never saw myself as someone who could be a Division I player one day. Now I can.


"One of my biggest influences has been my math teacher. He built this love of math in me—specifically, the idea that math can be used to interpret the world." 


"The fact that everything is here at my fingertips has really helped me grow."


"Almost all of our classes are conversation-based, which means that you're totally engaged in classroom discussion."


"I enjoy helping my friends, and it's given me a new respect for teachers. I may even go into teaching myself one day."


"In VOTES, I learned how to prepare and present—skills I drew on in Washington."


 "This year, I'm field hockey captain. I enjoy giving advice and support."


“I like that you can start completely new things. You can reinvent yourself.”


Dance has taken this creative learner on an artistic journey. 

Xiaoxian (Lily)

 “My teachers told me to use my own voice, and they pushed me to think about what I really believed in.”


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."


“The academics are extremely rigorous, but because of the way teachers present things, it’s like, ‘I have school today!’”


“The learning you can do in a study-abroad program can outweigh anything else you can do even at a school like this.” 


“NMH encouraged me to explore new things, try everything, and see what’s best for me.”


“You’ll always find a place here as long as you just be yourself.”


“There is a community here that cares about you.”

Student Profiles