Major Units of Study

Methods of Science : Students will realize that only through development of conceptual understanding and mastery of scientific skills will they become informed decision-makers.

Topics include : The Scientific Method, Measurement and Levels of Organization.

Evolution and Biodiversity : Evolution is the result of genetic changes that occur in constantly changing environments. Over many generations, changes in the genetic make-up of populations may affect biodiversity through speciation and extinction.

Topics Include : Classification Systems, Comparative Anatomy, Theories of Evolution, Human Evolution
(Level 1 extensions include the history of life on Earth, additional classification exercises, fossil studies, and analysis of amino acid sequences to determine evolutionary relationships.)

Chemistry of Life : Chemical elements form organic molecules that interact to perform the basic functions of life.

Topics Include : Atomic Structure, Chemical Interactions, and Organic Compounds.
(Level 1 extensions include catalase laboratory investigations and nutrient testing in fast foods.)

Cell Biology : Cells have specific structures and functions that make them distinctive. Processes in a cell can be classified broadly as growth, maintenance, and reproduction.

Topics Include : Microscope Use, Cell Structures and Their Functions, Viruses and Bacteria, Osmosis and Diffusion, Cell Reproduction, and Human Fetal Development.
(Level 1 extensions include cell size limitations, cellular transport activities and turgor pressure in plant cells.)

Genetics : Genes allow for the storage and transmission of genetic information. They are a set of instructions encoded in the nucleotide sequence of each organism. Genes code for the specific sequences of amino acids that comprise the proteins that are characteristic of that organism.

Topics Include : Heredity, Genetic Crosses/Punnett Squares, Genetic Expression, Human Inheritance, and DNA Models.
(Level 1 extensions include chromosome mapping, recombinant DNA and genetic engineering.)

Ecology : Ecology is the interaction among organisms and between organisms and their environment.

Topics Include : Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Water Cycles, Relationships and Energy in Living Communities, Humans in the Environment, and Ecological Succession and Changes in Ecosystems.

Anatomy and Physiology : There is a relationship between the organization of cells into tissues, and tissues into organs. The structure and function of organs determine their relationships within body systems of an organism. Homeostasis allows the body to perform its normal functions.

Topics Include : Digestive, Circulatory, Respiratory, Nervous, Muscular/Skeletal, and Reproductive Systems, Cell Communication, and Homeostasis.