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Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 segments/ 32-36 weeks

Overview

The Biology course guides students through the study of living and non-living systems and how they interact with one another. Students explore the world they live in by posing questions and seeking answers through scientific inquiry. Discovery takes place through observation and data collection. The students will be introduced to the structure, function, diversity, and evolution of living matter. This is a course with real relevance. It encourages curiosity and provides opportunity for students to work on hands on lab activities and develop relationships through collaboratively learning. Engaging in the study of biological science broadens the picture of the world around us.

Major Topics and Concepts

Foundations of Biology

  • Science processes
  • Observations and inferences
  • Historical frame of reference- scientists and explorers
  • Theory vs. law, science vs. pseudoscience
  • Technology/ Microscopes
  • Properties of water
  • The origin of life on Earth
  • Universal genetic code
  • Anaerobic respiration (Honors)
  • Discovery of cells

Segment I
Life’s Origin

  • Properties of Carbon Atoms
  • Carbohydrates/Proteins/Lipids/Nucleic Acids
  • Cell Theory
  • Theory of Endosymbiosis (Honors)
  • Cell Membrane
  • Osmosis/Diffusion
  • Active Transport
  • Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
  • Comparison of plant and animal cells
  • Energy and ATP
  • Cell Respiration
  • Fermentation
  • Glycolysis
  • Krebs cycle/Calvin cycle
  • Stages of Photosynthesis
  • Light Dependent/Independent Reactions

Cell Reproduction

  • Cell Cycle
  • Mitosis
  • Meiosis
  • Binary Fission (Honors)
  • Cancer
  • History of Genetics
  • Discovery of DNA and its role in genetics and heredity
  • Principles of Genetics and Heredity
  • Mutations
  • Biotechnology

Earth’s Diversity

  • Levels of Organization
  • Biotic and Abiotic Factors
  • Energy in the Ecosystem
  • Food Chains and Food Webs
  • Climate/Climate Zones
  • Biomes
  • Marine Ecosystems
  • Habitat/Niche
  • Successions
  • Populations
  • Threats to Biodiversity
  • Air/Water Quality
  • Human Population growth
  • Cycling Matter
  • Making Informed Decisions
  • Earth’s Hydrologic and Biogeochemical cycles (Honors)

Segment II
Scientific Connections

  • Theories on Evolution
  • Catastrophism/Gradualism/ Uniformitarianism
  • Evidence of Evolution
  • Artificial Selection
  • Natural Selection
  • Patterns of Evolution
  • Primate Evolution
  • Molecular Evolution (Honors)

Classification and Diversity

  • Classification Systems
  • Introduction to the kingdoms of life
  • Taxonomy of bacteria
  • Viruses vs. bacteria
  • Taxonomy of protists
  • General characteristics of protists
  • Taxonomy of Fungi
  • General characteristics of fungi
  • Taxonomy of plants
  • Adaptations of plants
  • Structure and function in plants
  • Importance of plants
  • Plant reproduction, pollination
  • Fruits, seeds, seed dispersal
  • Taxonomy of animals
  • Characteristics of invertebrates
  • Characteristics of vertebrates

Credits 1

Competencies

  • Scientific Skills
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the skills essential to the study of science and biology by examining the scientific process and designing and conducting an experiment to investigate the properties of a substance such as water.
  • Cell Functioning
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the physical, chemical, and cellular basis of life by examining active and passive transport, defining and recognizing the parts of a eukaryotic cell, describing the structure and function of each organelle, and relating the structure and functions of various organelles to how they work together within a cell.
  • Cellular Reproduction
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of cellular reproduction by comparing and contrasting mitosis and meiosis, explaining the process of mitosis and its role in the formation of new cells, and describing the production of protein molecules through transcription and translation.
  • Heredity
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of heredity by interpreting and predicting patterns of inheritance and describing how mutations lead to genetic variations as well as analyzing and summarizing graphs that present information about a specific gene mutation.
  • Ecology
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of factors that affect climate, population size, and growth within an ecosystem by analyzing the interactions of organisms within an ecosystem and investigating how predation, birthrates, and death rates influence the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.
  • Evolution
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of evolution through natural selection by researching and examining various contributions to the scientific theory of evolution and examining the process of natural selection.
  • Classification of Organisms
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the interrelatedness of living organisms by examining the five kingdoms, identifying the defining characteristics and roles members of each kingdom play, and creating a taxonomy chart and cladogram.
  • Human Systems
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the functions of human body systems and how those systems work together by examining the various systems and analyzing how systems interact to complete various actions such as an everyday movement.

Pre-Requisites

None

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We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.