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The focus of Biology is to give students an understanding of the patterns that exist throughout living organisms. Students will experience scientific methodology utilizing an inquiry based approach.  Topics covered in this course include: characteristics of living things, basic biochemistry, the history of biological concepts; relationship of structure and function; diversity of type and unity of pattern; change of organisms through time; genetic continuity; relationship of the organism to its environment; regulation and homeostasis; and, the biological basis of behavior. All levels of biological organization are studied from molecules through cells, tissues, organs, species, populations, communities, ecosystems and biosphere.

Description of the Course: The first year of biology is designed to facilitate an understanding of the patterns and interrelationships of the natural world. During the first quarter, emphasis will be on scientific methodology, life’s role on the planet.  The second quarter focuses on the cell including cell parts, cellular reproduction, and the energy processes of life. The second semester starts with and exploration of DNA, a survey of genetics followed by the process of evolution. The rest of the year covers life’s organization and an in-depth study of human anatomy and physiology.  Topics are supported by related laboratory investigations or activities that illustrate the topic we are studying.  In addition to these core aspects of biology, the class will spend time developing lab skills, study skills, group work skills, technology skills and exploring the moral/ethical side of science. The  *biology class will infuse literacy and study skills that hopefully will be helpful across multiple courses. 

The focus of Honors Biology is to give students an understanding of the living world by concentrating on the molecular and cellular levels of organization and applying these fundamental structural and functional units to the diverse forms of life. Integrating life concepts such as cell structure and function; genetics; meeting energy requirements; maintenance of internal environment; mechanisms of support, growth, and development; and, continuity of form and function are mastered at the molecular level and then applied to the whole organism, plant or animal. Dynamic interrelationships among the varied forms of life are explored, with an emphasis on human interaction in the biological world. The honors course demands a more in-depth approach, a higher level of reading comprehension, and substantial outside reading and research. Current topics in biology, such as recombinant DNA, are investigated. Student placement is determined by the department chair and the Assistant Principal for Academics following a review of entrance scores, additional standardized testing and grade reports in math and reading.