This course is designed to provide a survey of the basic concepts of biology. Students will be introduced to cells, heredity, DNA structure and function, classification, ecology, and many other topics including the anatomy and physiology of plants and animals. It is designed to provide an opportunity to explore various topics of biology with a focus on how these topics play an essential role in everyday life. Students will investigate the basic form and function of the vast number of organisms on earth and will consider the interactions among them. Biotechnology and how it impacts human health and daily life will also be explored.
Students will engage in investigations that incorporate scientific reasoning and analysis to understand and explain the behavior of living things. Beyond gaining fundamental knowledge about the facts, concepts, and theories of biology, the goal is for students to be able to effectively communicate and use their knowledge of biology to enrich their lives and the lives of others.
Classes meet live once a week on Tuesdays from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm for 55 minutes and are recorded. A recording of the class will be posted within 24 hours of the class meeting.
Each week an Assignments and Guided Notes document will be posted on the course website. Students will be required to read the text and complete and submit the guided notes. They may also, depending on the topic, be asked to complete a lab (virtual or hands-on or both) and/or activity. Separate postings and submission links will be posted for all additional activities and labs. See attached sample document.
Students should expect to spend 2-4 hours a week on this class. In general, students will complete one chapter/week. Students will write two formal lab reports. No formal papers are required.
Who should enroll?
The course is a first-year course in biology at the high school level. Students in grades 9 – 12 are welcome to enroll – no application is necessary. Enrollment of advanced 8th grade students will be considered – contact me via email. There are no prerequisites.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Scanner or a scan App such as Turbo Scan
Evaluation and Feedback
Student work will be evaluated and scored based on completeness, timeliness, accuracy and effort. Students will be given an opportunity to correct submitted work and improve their score as long as an initial reasonable attempt was made and it was submitted on time. Work will be graded within one week of submission. If students need help, a private recorded Zoom chat can be arranged for one-one assistance.
Student communication will be through Canvas – assignment feedback and email.
Parents may contact me before and/or after registration. However, during the school year I prefer that parents let their student handle communicating with me with regard to class work. The “art of communicating with the teacher” needs to be learned early and repeatedly reinforced prior to college. Parents, however, are welcome to contact me regarding all other topics.