This class is an exploration of the processes that create, maintain and support life on earth. Students will develop skills as scientists through the exploration of the complexities in biological systems. At times we will be exploring molecular processes and at other moments we will be discussing the functioning of entire ecosystems. Major topics include: Evolution: Patterns and Products of Change in Living Systems; Cellular Life: Cell Structure and Function, Chemical Foundations for Cells, Maintaining Dynamic Equilibrium in Living Systems; Principles of Inheritance: Cell Division and Mitosis, Meiosis, Genetics and DNA; Development: Growth and Differentiation; Ecology and Behavior: Populations, Social Interactions, Ecosystems and the Biosphere.
In the study of life, SL Biology introduces students to the key unifying themes that are shared among all of life as well as the diversity of strategies that are utilized for survival. The living world is explored from the micro to the macro scale using many different approaches, technologies, and techniques. The urgency of understanding and applying biological sciences is only increasing as the human population grows and exerts increasing pressure on the Earth’s limited resources. Key advances in cell culturing and genetic technology also place the biological sciences in a powerful place in the treatment of long-standing diseases. Students explore these and other topics as they become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other and apply the scientific method. Extensive laboratory research and an interdisciplinary project are key components of this course. This course is studied over a two year period.
HL Biology provides students with higher-order investigative experiences and activities to promote a deeper understanding of critical concepts in biology. Concepts include basic biochemistry, cell structure and function, genetic patterns of inheritance, plant form and function, evolution, ecology, animal physiology and the international nature of science. It emphasizes the development of inquiry skills and higher order thinking via experiential learning in both classroom and laboratory settings. Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge in experimental methodology, data collection, and the interpretation of experimental data. The classroom environment will stimulate student understanding and open-mindedness by providing authentic application to the biology content, thus enabling students to make broad connections to how these biological concepts are applicable to the global community. This course is studied over a two year period.