Learning Catalog

Biology/Biology Honors (lab)

Biology/Biology Honors (lab)

Credits 1

Competency Group Overview

Meets Biology graduation requirement

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

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.

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 an 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.

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

 

Segment 1:

 

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

 

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 2:

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

 

Human Body Systems

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

 

Career

Quality Analyst

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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.

Project

You are a Water Quality Analyst for the New England Aquarium. As part of your job, you will be designing and conducting an experiment about the properties of water that can be done when schools groups visit the Aquarium.

Career

Medical Scientist

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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.

Project

You are a Medical Scientist working at a pharmaceutical company and the company is working to secure funding to find a cure for Mitochondrial Disease. The research team believes exploring how the eukaryotic cell and all of its organelles work together will assist them in finding this cure.

Your task is to write “reader friendly” information sheet for the research team grant proposal. Your information sheet will provide details on active or passive transport in and out of the cell, describing the structure and function of each organelle, and relating the structure and function to how those organelles work together within the cell.

Career

Patient Advocate

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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.

Project

You are a Patient Advocate for a skin cancer research hospital. Skin is continually forming new cells and skin cells are creating protein for 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.

 

Career

Environmental Specialist

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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, birth rates, and death rates influence the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.

Project

You are a 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 a report to inform the architect as to why the land should be left undisturbed and conserved.

Your investigation will yield opportunities for educational materials as well as useful data to help evaluate the health of the local nature site to preserve its ecology.

Career

Conservation Ecologist

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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.

Project

You are a Conservation Ecologist 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.

The lead curator has specifically asked you to identify various scientific contributions to the theory of evolution and how natural selection helps to explain evolution.

Career

Content Developer

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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.

Project

You are a Content Developer with a new client that operates as an ecological protection group. The group wants you to put together a web site 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 20 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

Public Health Advisor

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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.

Project

You are a Public Health Advisor working for the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Due to recent health concerns, the CDC needs you to prepare a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to educate the public regarding a rapidly spreading viral infection. In the PSA you will explain how the virus is transmitted, how it travels through the human system, and how the illness affects everyday bodily functions and movement.

Career

Master Beekeeper

Status:

Open

Estimated Completion Time

3-4 weeks

Competency

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.

Project

You are a Master Beekeeper for an apiary and beekeeping supply company. You provide the best beehives to sellers for purchase 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 just assigned you to write a pedigree analysis to identify the bees with good genes that make a lot of honey.

Status:

Open

The Experiences Pathway allows students to demonstrate mastery of competencies and earn credit through experiences, such as internships, travel, service learning, entrepreneurship, or independent study. Students may elect to meet all competencies in a particular competency group (i.e., English 1 or Economics) or they can master  competencies in multiple discipline areas. Once a student enrolls, a VLACS instructor will work with the student to refine the Experience, identify the competencies that will be met, and determine products that will demonstrate mastery of each competency.

In Experiences students will:

  1. Use google drive.
  2. Meet weekly or every two weeks with their instructor.
  3. Secure an outside expert.
  4. Plan the experience prior to completing it. (Credit is not awarded for experiences completed prior to enrollment and completion of the planning process.)

Here is how to enroll in an Experience.

  1. Identify the course(s) that matches most closely with your Experience.
  2. Click “Enroll Now” from www.vlacs.org or from our learning catalog.
  3. From the enrollment page, navigate to the course that matches your Experience.
  4. Select all competencies that you hope to meet through your Experience. Do not worry if you are unsure of the exact competencies, they can be adjusted.
  5. Select the Experience bubble.
  6. If there are additional competencies from other discipline areas you hope to meet, enroll in these in the same manner.
  7. Your parent/guardian will receive an email asking for approval of your enrollment. This must be completed before we can assign you an instructor.
  8. You will receive a welcome email from your instructor within five days, given that space is available.

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 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 takes 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.

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