High School Biology – Year-long Course
“I love helping gifted students foster their creativity and curiosity to keep them asking the big questions and seeking answers in all of life’s adventures.” ~ Prof. Katie
|Instructor||Prof. Katie Koessler|
|Content Levels||Grades 9-10 • Lower High School|
Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
|Course Length||32 Weeks - Year-long|
|Live Webinars Held On||Wednesdays, 3 PM Pacific - 50-75-minute webinars - 8/17/22 - 5/20/23|
Biochemical pathways, Mendelian genetics, evolutionary patterns, plant life cycles! These are some of the topics we will delve into in High School Biology. This class is for those students wishing to go deeper in their understanding of the processes that make up life.
Whether you are a high schooler wishing to fulfill your high school Biology requirement, or a younger learner who is ready to go past middle school understanding of biological topics, this class will engage, challenge, and excite the young scientist. This year-long class will build off middle school Biology and deepen understanding of the natural world.
We will start with atoms, build up to biomolecules, and continue through cells up to whole organisms. Each week students can ask questions and communicate with other young Biologists in our live webinar. Additionally, weekly labs and thought-provoking questions will facilitate students’ learning.
Through this class, students will become fluent in Biology terminology, concepts, and themes. This class will give students the confidence and background to delve deeper into their science studies.
Note to Parents:
- Although the textbook for this course is considered a standard high school curriculum, the webinar lectures and many supplemental assignments & activities, including labs, are Honors level. Families tailor the class to fit the student’s level and educational goals.
- This class is for high school-level students.
What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:
- Read one chapter from a standard ninth grade Biology text per week.
- Answer review questions, complete labs and hands on projects to enrich student learning.
What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:
- To excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter, curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided.
What to expect during the weekly webinar:
- Weekly webinars will last between 50-75 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
- Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars.
- Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
- Week 1: What is Biology
- Week 2: The Chemistry of Life
- Week 3: Cell Structure and Organelles
- Week 4: Cell Transport
- Week 5: Photosynthesis and Respiration: Cell Metabolism
- Week 6: The Cell Cycle and Mitosis
- Week 7: Meiosis
- Week 8: An Introduction to Mendel and Mendelian Genetics
- Week 9: Patterns of Inheritance and Mutations
- Week 10: DNA Structure and Replication
- Week 11: RNA and Protein Synthesis
- Week 12: History of Life on Earth
- Week 13: Introduction to Evolution
- Week 14: Evolution and the Classification of Organisms
- Week 15: Population and the Evolution of Populations
- Week 16: Ecosystems
- Week 17: Biological Communities
- Week 18: The Kingdoms of Life: An Overview of the Kingdoms That We Will Study
- Week 19: Viruses and Bacteria
- Week 20: Protists
- Week 21: Fungi
- Week 22: Plants: Adaptations and Evolution
- Week 23: Plant Structure and Function
- Week 24: Plant Life Cycles
- Week 25: Animal and Simple Invertebrates
- Week 26: Mollusks, Annelids, and Arthropods
- Week 27: Introduction to Invertebrates
- Week 28: Fish and Amphibians
- Week 29: Reptiles and Birds
- Week 30: Mammals
- Week 31: Human Systems*
- Week 32: Human Systems*
*There have been some questions about how the topic of human reproduction and sexuality will be addressed in the biology class. Sexual reproduction will be discussed in contrast to asexual reproduction, and the fact that some animals have separate male and female sexes and some are hermaphroditic. The mechanics of human reproduction will not be discussed. We will only talk about how the male sex cell (sperm) fertilizes the female sex cell (egg) but how that happens in different plants or animals will not be discussed in detail, and not brought up in terms of humans.
Before taking this course, students should be able to:
- Read non-fiction at a strong 8th-grade level.
- Students should have completed one or more of the following:
Students should be willing to:
- Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
- Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
- Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.
Required books & materials:
- OpenStax Biology Textbook – free – https://openstax.org/details/books/biology-2e
- Students are encouraged to keep a Biology notebook.
- A master list of materials needed for labs will be distributed during the first week of class.
Note to Parents:
- Although the textbook for this course is considered standard high school curriculum, the webinar lectures and many supplemental assignments & activities, including labs, are Honors level. Families tailor the class to fit the student’s level and educational goals.