Honors Biology A

Course Description

Biology A explores the nature and organization of living things. In Honors Biology A, students will use the steps of the scientific method to design investigations that examine data in order to understand biological hypotheses, principles, and theories. Students will use visual representations and models to analyze the basic structure of living organisms, or the cell, and how it is constructed in ways to maintain homeostasis, maximize energy efficiency, reproduce, and carry out life processes. They will explore how these processes are directed by genetic information in the form of DNA with an emphasis on higher order thinking skills and student voice and choice. Students will also examine how systems above the cellular level interact to perform these processes.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  • use critical thinking to conduct and design safe and effective laboratory investigations using the scientific method, appropriate equipment, and communication devices.
  • describe and model cells in terms of their basic structure with specialized parts that perform specialized functions and how they are different from viruses.
  • analyze how an organism grows and the importance of cell differentiation.
  • describe and model the structure and function of DNA and the its role in protein synthesis and evaluate the effects of a change in DNA structure.
  • compare the significance of various molecules involved in metabolic processes and energy conversions that occur in living organisms.
  • describe the interactions that occur among systems in living organisms and their role in maintaining homeostasis.

Required Course Materials

  • Laboratory materials – Full list provided in course.
  • Interactive Notebook – In the form of a small composition notebook, a spiral notebook, or loose-leaf paper kept in a binder.
  • Pencil or Pen – In order to do well in the course, you must take notes, sketch diagrams and graphs, and solve problems when instructed to do so.
  • Internet Access

Note: This course does not require a textbook.

Course Organization

Each Unit contains:

  • 4 lessons. Each lesson includes some or all of the following components: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.
  • Self-assessments to help you check your own understanding of the material covered in each lesson. You must complete these assessments in order to advance in the course.
  • 2 graded assignments

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all 7 units. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better. You can take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.

Format: 50 multiple-choice questions

Time Allowed: 3 hours

Materials Allowed: none

Semester Topics

Topic 1: The Nature of Biological Science

Topic 2: Introduction to the Cell

Topic 3: Cell and Membrane Transport

Topic 4: Cellular Energy

Topic 5: Cell Reproduction and Differentiation

Topic 6: Protein Synthesis

Topic 7: Reproduction and Defense