Introduction to Biology
This course will explore the evolutionary relationships of species on earth. It will focus on their form, function, and diversity. Students will have opportunities to explore many types of organisms from the cellular level up through their place in the biosphere. Survival and homeostasis are major challenges for organisms, and this course will explore the diverse mechanisms that have evolved to meet those challenges.
- Demonstrate proper laboratory procedures, safety, measurement, and equipment use.
- Understand the nature of science, and be able to research and design controlled experiments with a clear, testable hypothesis.
- Organize, interpret, analyze, and evaluate scientific data.
- Use the theory of evolution to make predictions about the origin of species, their anatomy, and physiology.
- Demonstrate an understanding of biological classification, the three domains of life, as well as characteristics and examples of organisms found in the kingdoms.
- Use information about the ecological roles of various species to predict their influence on the biosphere.
- Compare and contrast animal anatomy from various phyla.
- Investigate strategies that plants have evolved for survival on land. Investigate plant form, function and comparative anatomy.
- Complete work fully and on time unless previously collaboratively agreed upon between teacher and student.
- Participate actively and appropriately in both individual and group activities including lab work, and class discussions.
Unit 1: Science Skills
In this unit students will focus on the scientific method, metric measurements, microscope use, laboratory safety and procedures, and the definition of Biology. Students will design and carry out an investigation to demonstrate their understanding of the scientific method.
Unit 2: Evolution and Classification
Students will explore the history of the theory of evolution along with the many contributions Darwin made to the field of Biology’s understanding of evolution as a mechanism of natural selection. Students will analyze how species classification have changed as our knowledge of biology has improved over time, and students will also learn how to read and create cladograms and dichotomous keys.
Unit 3: Diversity, Form, Function and Ecology of Protists and Fungi
In this unit students will learn about the diverse phyla of protists and fungi. Students will hone their microscope skills in this unit as they observe, draw, and identify various types of protists. Students will grow, dissect and observe parts of fungi microscopically.
Unit 4: Invertebrate Animal Diversity
Students will learn about and compare the anatomy of various invertebrates including: flat, round, and segmented worms, echinoderms, and arthropods. Students will dissect a few species to observe and compare the internal and external anatomies as well as learn about the ecosystems in which each group resides.
Unit 5: Vertebrate Animal Diversity, Form, Function, and Ecology
Students will learn about and compare the anatomy of various vertebrates, the classification of vertebrates, and the evolutionary relationships of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Students will dissect a few species to observe and compare the internal and external anatomies as well as learn about the ecosystems in which each group resides.
Unit 6: Human Anatomy
In the final unit students will learn about the various human systems that maintain our homeostasis: tissue types, bones, muscles, nervous system, circulation, and respiration. Students will complete a research project on an eye or brain disease, as well as dissect a cow eye to observe the parts of an eye directly.