Honors Biology

Course Description

Semester A

The science of biology must begin with cell theory, including the structure, function, and chemistry of the cell. Cells form the primary level of organization of all living things. The chemistry and function of each cell shapes the lifestyle of the organism, from feeding to reproductive patterns. This first course in biology focuses on the life of the cell, dealing with issues of structure, transport, genetics, protein synthesis, energy production, and usage. The tools of science are explained and then focused on the living systems in the cell. In the case of genetics, the molecular behavior of DNA is elaborated to show how it determines the visible traits of the organism and population. Thus, students are led on a tour of living systems from the tiniest to the broadest levels of organization. During this tour, students will employ text, computer simulations, and hands-on investigation to verify each concept and make them relevant to what they see each day. The aim of this course is to guide the student to see the world in biological terms and then to expand their vision to contemplate current topics in biological research and application.

Students work through and complete several self-check activities and quizzes for practice, and they participate in self-reflection. In each unit, students complete the unit exam. Teacher feedback is provided throughout the course.

Honors students are expected to complete additional assignments throughout the course that build on the content provided. These assignments allow students to go above and beyond the curriculum content in creativity and application.

Semester B

Biology B is a continuation of the basic course in biology, Biology A. The major concepts covered are population dynamics and evolution. Students explore population dynamics through the study of mutualism, predation, parasitism, and competition. The theory of evolution is presented, along with the many evidences and details that make evolution the backbone of modern biology. From biochemistry to evolution, biology fascinates people. Biochemists first astounded the world by showing that life obeys the same chemical principles as all creation, but that life engineers chemistry to its own needs. Decades later, Darwin shocked the world by suggesting that life evolves according to the conditions of the environment it inhabits. Evolution, often debated and derided, has survived to become a key concept of biology. This second course in biology examines the wonder of life and its mechanisms.

Students work through and complete several self-check activities and quizzes for practice and participate in self-reflection. In each unit, students complete the unit exam. Teacher feedback is provided throughout the course.

Honors students are expected to complete additional assignments throughout the course that build on the content provided. These assignments, like evaluating population density or assessing their cardiovascular health, make these students go above and beyond the curriculum content in creativity and application.

Course Requirements

Grade Level

9

Duration

2 Semesters

Credit Value

1.0

Prerequisites

Algebra 1

Semester A

Major Concepts

  • Cellular Processes
  • Molecular Basis of Heredity
  • Interdependence of Organisms
  • Contagious Diseases-Causes and Cures
  • Human Populations and Their Impact on the Environment

Semester B

Major Concepts

  • Biochemistry of Nutrition
  • Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration
  • Genetic Adaptability
  • Taxonomy and Speciation
  • Nutrient Cycles and Adaptations to the Environment
  • Energy Flow and Ecosystems