Science Department Courses - Biology

  • BIOLOGY

    Grade: 10 (9 with Departmental Recommendation)

    Duration: 2 Semesters

    Prerequisite: Geometry Concurrently

    Credit: 0.5 per Semester

    Biology is taught using the following ten themes: Biological Systems and Organization, The Cellular Basis of Life, Form and Function, Reproduction and Inheritance, Interaction with the Environment, Energy and Life, Regulation, Adaptation and Evolution, Biology and Society, and Scientific Inquiry.

    This course includes an extensive laboratory program that emphasizes the utilization of scientific instrumentation and exposes students to emerging technologies. Students are exposed to all of the required CAPT embedded tasks. Homework/reading is assigned daily. Tests are designed to assess students’ understanding of concepts and their ability to analyze and apply data.  Laboratory exercises and reports are an integral part of this course.

    Text: Exploring Life, Campbell, Williamson, Heyden

     

    HONORS BIOLOGY

    Grade: 9 - 10

    Duration: 2 Semesters

    Prerequisite: M3 Geometry concurrently; Department / Instructor Recommendation

    Credit: 0.5 per Semester

    This course provides a comprehensive survey of the major concepts in Biology through a molecular approach. Topics are presented through unifying themes such as evolution, diversity and unity, genetic continuity, organisms and their environment, structure and function of cells, regulation and homeostasis of life processes, science as inquiry, history of biological concepts, societal issues, bioethics, and biotechnology.

    An extensive laboratory program with students designing their own experiments and formal lab reports utilizing computer and probe technology are an integral part of the course. Homework is assigned daily. Assessments are designed to evaluate students’ understanding and application of biological concepts as well as their ability to interpret and analyze data. Students are expected to use high-level analytical reasoning skills throughout the course. The text is challenging and students are expected to possess advanced reading skills. If a student is interested in taking the Biology SAT II Subject test at the end of the year, additional independent preparation will be necessary, as the course does not cover all of the required material.

    Text:  Biology, Concepts and Connections, 8th Edition, Campbell and Reece, Pearson

     

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY

    (College Board Approved)

    Grade: 11 - 12

    Duration: 2 Semesters

    Prerequisite: Grades of 80 in honors-level science or 90 in Biology, Chemistry and Physics* (already taken or concurrent);

    Department Approval/ Instructor Recommendation

    Credit: 0.5 per Semester

    The Advanced Placement Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a first-year college biology course.  The following topics will be studied: molecules and cells; biochemistry; genetics and evolution; biotechnology; organisms and populations; taxonomy; limited topics involving anatomy and physiology of animals and plants; and ecology.  A unit of statistics is also taught including Chi squared analysis, Standard Deviation and Standard Error of the Mean.

    The curriculum follows the guidelines set forth by the College Board.  This college level course differs significantly from our first-year course in biology in that the text is much more complex, and topics are treated with greater range and depth.  The pace of the course is rigorous as the course covers over 1300 pages of reading and is designed to prepare students to take the A.P. Biology Exam in May.

    The laboratory work required by students is much more extensive and focuses on the following skills:

    • Generate questions for investigation
    • Choose which variables to investigate
    • Design and conduct experiments
    • Design their own experimental procedures
    • Collect, analyze, interpret, and display data
    • Determine how to present their conclusions

    Enrollment in this course involves mandatory summer reading assignment for this course, with a four chapter test administered the first week of school.

    Text: Biology, 9th edition, Campbell Reece, Pearson