Biology/Biology Honors (lab) - VLACS
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Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 segments/ 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 opportunities for students to work on hands-on lab activities and develop relationships through collaborative learning. Engaging in the study of biological science broadens the picture of the world around us.

This is a lab course.

Note: content varies depending on the course version. For currently enrolled students, please refer to the syllabus located in the course information area for curriculum specifics.

 

Major Topics and Concepts

Module 1

  • Exploring Life
  • Chemistry of Life
  • Chemistry of Life (Honors)
  • Earth’s Early Atmosphere
  • Earth’s Early Atmosphere (Honors)

Module 2

  • Properties of Water
  • Microscopes
  • Early Cells
  • Early Cells (Honors)
  • Cell Structure and Function
  • Cellular Energy
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Photosynthesis

Module 3

  • Cell Division
  • Cell Division (Honors)
  • Meiosis
  • Mendel
  • Heredity Patterns
  • DNA Replication
  • Mutations
  • Biotechnology
  • Health and Genetics

Module 4

  • Ecology
  • The Biosphere
  • Ecosystems
  • Impacts on our Ecosystem
  • Recovering Ecosystems
  • Recycling
  • Recycling Honors

Module 5

  • Evolution
  • Evolutionary Relationships
  • Evolutionary Relationships (Honors)
  • Primate Evolution
  • Primate Evolution (Honors)

Module 6

  • Classification of Living Organisms
  • Bacteria
  • Protists
  • Fungus
  • Plants
  • Plants (Honors)
  • Plant Cells and Tissues
  • Plant Growth, Reproductions, and Development
  • Animals

Module 7

  • Nervous and Endocrine Systems
  • Respiratory and Circulatory Systems
  • Digestive and Excretory Systems
  • Muscular, Skeletal, and Integumentary Systems
  • Reproductive System
  • Immune System

Career

Biochemist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 weeks

Competency

Foundations of Biology  – Students will demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of biology by evaluating the scientific method, explaining common theories on the origin of life on Earth and the early Earth’s atmosphere, describing and building macromolecules, and explaining the chemistry of living things.

Project

You are a biochemist working for a space travel and exploration company. One of their biggest goals for the future is to help create a biodome on Mars where humans could eventually live long-term. You have been hired to present a model of a biodome. Multiple biochemists will be submitting a design model and proposal, but only the best proposal for a biodome will be accepted. It will be important for you to have a strong understanding of the foundations of biology in order to make educated decisions about the biodome. The key to the success of your model will be making sure that everything is supplied for the biodome for early civilization to survive.

Career

Water Resource Specialist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 Weeks

Competency

Life’s Origins – Students will demonstrate an understanding of the physical, chemical, and cellular basis of life by investigating the properties of water, evaluating active and passive transport, describing the parts of a eukaryotic cell, including the structure and function of each organelle, describing cellular energy, and relating the structure and functions of various organelles to how they work together within a cell.

Project

You are a water resource specialist hired to provide a fact sheet for a water conservation group writing a grant for water resource protection. Scarcity of clean water, the need for more access, and inexpensive ways to filter water are among the top concerns for the group. Your task is to share the importance of protecting water by providing information on water’s properties, its effect on cells, and how it helps support an abundance of life. A large part of grants is providing the need for the grant; your fact sheet will help to show the need for water conservation.

Career

Patient Representative

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 weeks

Competency

Cell 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 DNA Replication and the production of protein molecules through transcription and translation.

Project

You are a Patient Representative for a skin cancer research hospital. Skin is continually forming new cells and skin cells make protein for skin cell protection. You have been asked to create a pamphlet to help patients read and understand visually, how new cell formation takes place, as well as the production of proteins in cells. The information will be vital in encouraging people to protect their skin.

Career

Master Beekeeper

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 weeks

Competency

Heredity and Genes – Students will demonstrate an understanding of heredity by interpreting and predicting patterns of inheritance, describing how mutations lead to genetic variations as well as analyzing and summarizing graphs that present information about a specific gene mutation.

Project

You are a Master Beekeeper for an apiary and beekeeping supply company. You provide the best beehives to purchasers of high quality honey bee colonies. Your job is to mate those bees with other bees that have the favorable genes to produce honey. The company proprietor has tasked you with writing an analysis of the bees with the best genes. Your analysis will be used in marketing media and outreach for the company.

Career

Environmental Specialist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 weeks

Competency

Earth’s Diversity –  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, birth rates, and death rates influence the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.

Project

You are an environmental specialist working for a land preservation trust. An architect is interested in buying and building a development on the land. The land is a habitat that is rich in species diversity. You have been asked to conduct research and provide an abstract for a species diversity and conservation report. You will provide this to the trust as evidence to why the land should be left undisturbed and conserved. In turn, the trust can provide this to anyone interested in developing the land. You will also provide details regarding the consequences if they don’t adhere to your report.

Career

Wildlife Biologist

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 weeks

Competency

Scientific Connections – Students will demonstrate an understanding of evolution through natural selection by evaluating and describing various contributions to the scientific theory of evolution and evaluating the process of natural selection and evolutionary relationships and evidence.

Project

You are a wildlife biologist working for a museum that wants to create an exhibit focusing on evolution and natural selection. The lead curator has asked you to be a subject- matter expert and to develop a proposal that identifies important items that they should include in the exhibit.

Career

Content Developer

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 weeks

Competency

Classification and Diversity – Students will demonstrate an understanding of the interrelatedness of living organisms by describing the five kingdoms, identifying the defining characteristics and roles members of each kingdom play, and creating a taxonomy chart and cladogram.

Project

You work as a content developer and editor for an ecological protection group. The group wants to put together a website and they are not sure if they want to use a taxonomy chart or cladogram to present their information.

They have asked you to select a place to observe and identify 10 species of plants in the area. You will design a taxonomy chart and cladogram and add your findings into each so they can decide which they like better.

Career

Community Health Worker

Status

Open

Estimated Completion Time

2 to 3 weeks

Competency

Human Systems – Students will demonstrate an understanding of the functions of the human body systems and how those systems work together by describing the various systems and analyzing how systems interact to complete various actions such as an everyday movement.

Project

You are a community health worker, working for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Due to recent health concerns, the CDC needs you to prepare a Public Service Announcement (PSA). The PSA will be used to educate the public about a rapidly spreading viral infection that you will choose to study.

In the PSA, you will explain how the virus is transmitted. You will also include how it travels through the human systems, and how the illness affects everyday bodily functions and movement.

Status

Open

Experiences allow students to demonstrate mastery of competencies through various real-world or hands-on learning opportunities, such as travel, service learning, independent study, internships or entrepreneurship. During an experience, students elect to meet all or some of the competencies in a particular competency group (ie. English 1, Economics, Biology, …), as an alternative to taking the course. Each experience is customized to the student’s opportunity. The student works with a VLACS instructor to determine deliverables that demonstrate mastery of the competencies and secures an outside expert to enrich the experience.

In Experiences students will:

  1. Meet weekly with their instructor.
  2. Secure an outside expert.
  3. Plan the experience prior to completing it. Credit is not awarded for experiences completed prior to enrollment and completion of the planning process.
  4. For many experiences, spend time at a business or other location.

Types of Experiences:

Independent Study

By signing up for an independent study, you will be able to direct your own learning, identifying what you want to learn and how you will demonstrate that you have mastered your learning objectives.

Internship

Internships allow you to gain professional experience, make connections, and become familiar with a career while working on site with mentors and professionals in a career of your interest.

Travel

While travel can be a great experience for learning life lessons, it is also an excellent way to acquire the knowledge and skills that allow you to demonstrate mastery in a variety of competencies. The world is a classroom and travel experiences will connect your real-world experiences to the learning that you seek.

Service Learning

In-Service Learning, you collaborate with members of your community to address issues to improve your community. You will connect your service with discipline-specific content so that learning can take place through problem solving and collaboration.

Entrepreneurship

Starting your own business is a great way to learn. This type of experience allows you to engage in an entrepreneurial experience and receive credit for competencies you master through this experience.

Credits 1

Competency Group Overview

Meets Biology graduation requirement

Competencies

  • Foundations of Biology
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of biology by evaluating the scientific method, explaining common theories on the origin of life on Earth and the early Earth’s atmosphere, describing and building macromolecules, and explaining the chemistry of living things.
  • Life's Origins
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the physical, chemical, and cellular basis of life by investigating the properties of water, evaluating active and passive transport, describing the parts of a eukaryotic cell, including the structure and function of each organelle, describing cellular energy, and relating the structure and functions of various organelles to how they work together within a cell.
  • Cell 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 DNA Replication and the production of protein molecules through transcription and translation.
  • Heredity and Genetics
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of heredity by interpreting and predicting patterns of inheritance, describing how mutations lead to genetic variations as well as analyzing and summarizing graphs that present information about a specific gene mutation.
  • Earth's Diversity
    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, birth rates, and death rates influence the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.
  • Scientific Connections
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of evolution through natural selection by evaluating and describing various contributions to the scientific theory of evolution and evaluating the process of natural selection and evolutionary relationships and evidence.
  • Classification and Diversity
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the interrelatedness of living organisms by describing 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 the human body systems and how those systems work together by describing the various systems and analyzing how systems interact to complete various actions such as an everyday movement.

Pre-Requisites

None

Honors

Course: To take the Honors version, please select the course from the"Advance/Honors/AP" drop down during registration.

Project/Experience: Honors is awarded by earning "Exceeds" on all rubric assessments.

Attend an open house

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.