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Biology

GENERAL BIOLOGY
Full Year
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12         

This course is designed to provide a foundational understanding to biological principles and concepts that govern our world.  The course examines the following:  evolution, biochemistry, cellular organization and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell reproduction, genetics, protein synthesis, plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates (which includes dissections of sample invertebrates/vertebrates).  The outline for units covered in this course is the same in all three freshmen biology classes, however the General Biology course is adjusted for depth of content and pace of material taught.  Students may take Biology 1 the following year, but no additional science graduation credit will be given for that decision.

An introduction to the basic biological concepts is essential for students to use and understand for the rest of their lives.  Practical applications of biology to daily living are stressed.  The curriculum mode will focus on five units: Ecology, Biochemistry, Cellular Biology, Genetics and Human Systems.  Upon completion of this course, students will gain insight into the world of life around them and how humans fit into the global picture of life, as it exists on this planet.  Laboratories, classroom activities, audio-visual, computer-Internet use and concepts mapping are just some of the instructional strategies.

BIOLOGY I         
Full Year
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12   

Designed for the college-bound student, this course will build upon the fundamental chemistry and life science concepts that should have been mastered in previous science courses.  This course begins with a unit on Evolution and Classification which sets the overreaching theme.  We then move to an in-depth unit on biochemistry.   Students will then apply this biochemistry to the understanding of cellular structure and function.  The processes of cellular transport, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, DNA replication/protein synthesis, and cell reproduction will be covered in detail as they relate to structure and function.  Also covered will be the structure and function of multi-cellular organisms, which include plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates.  Lab options will include model manipulation, computer simulations, microscope use, dissection, and more.  While there is no official prerequisite for this course, it is demanding and challenges

BIOLOGY I - HONORS                          
Full Year           
Grades 9, 10        

Honors Biology 1 is for the student who is intrigued by the sciences and is considering going on to college as a science major.  Since this is an honors course, the topics taught will be in more depth and the exams/assessments will reflect the need for higher-level thinking, comprehension, and application.  The core topics of the course will be similar to Biology 1, yet the activities used to supplement the content will reflect the honors rigor.  Please read the course description for Biology 1.  

BIOLOGY II - HONORS - Fundamentals of Molecular Biology   
Full Year                                                                                                                    
Grades 10, 11, 12 

Biology II Honors - Fundamentals of Molecular Biology is geared for students who plan to pursue a career in the biological sciences or for those who are extremely interested in the field of molecular biology.  The course aims to build on the concepts taught in Biology I and I-Honors and prepares the student for the AP Biology course.  The overall focus will be:  1) Scientific Process; 2) Biochemistry/Cellular processes with in-depth genetic engineering labs done in association with the University of Pittsburgh; 3) Viruses and Micro-organisms in respect to their structure, function and role in human disease; and 4) Embryology/stem cells with a sea urchin lab.  This course is taught from a college-level textbook and will be supplemented with in-class activities, demonstrations, computer simulations, lecture, lab work and possible field experiences.  This course does include a portion of the AP Biology curriculum and is considered a pre-requisite for the AP Biology course.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY    
Full Year         
Grades 11, 12      

AP Biology is designed to be the equivalent of the general biology course usually taken during the first college year.  The focus will be on organisms and populations, ecology, and evolution. Several animal dissections will occur during the organism and population unit.  Twelve required labs are also completed throughout the year.  A review of molecules, cells, and heredity is also included in this course.  A portion of the AP Biology curriculum will have been taught in the Biology II-Honors prerequisite; therefore, students are expected to know that information.  The course is taught from a college text and is geared for students who are interested in pursuing biology as a major or minor in college.

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