Course Descriptions


Biology deals with living systems. In each course, students consider basic concepts of biology, and how different biologists use their studies of living systems to try and answer questions. Students also look at how scientists describe the biological world; practice some of the thinking, observing, and communication skills that scientists use; and apply biological ideas to the world around them. Each course gives students the opportunity to participate in online discussions, conduct some biological investigations (labs and fieldwork) away from the computer, and complete unique assignments to help them develop the building blocks for further biology studies. Throughout both courses, assignments are designed to give students some freedom and creativity in the assignments that they complete, while engaging with important content. For example, in Biology A, students to write a newsletter on an ecosystem for possible publication; in Biology B, students to write a letter to Charles Darwin. Units covered in Biology A include: Scientific Process and Basic Chemistry, Ecology, Cells, Genetics, and Biotechnology and Bioethics. Topics covered in Biology B include the following: Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Evolution of Populations, The History of Life, Classification, Bacteria and Viruses, Protists, Fungi, Plants, Sponges and Cnidarians, Worms and Mollusks, Arthropods and Echinoderms, Nonvertebrate Chordates, Fishes and Amphibians, Reptiles and Birds, Mammals, and Human Systems.

Course materials: Online edition of Prentice Hall Biology (the Miller/Levine “dragonfly book”, 2006); other selected web sites. Each semester, students will need to provide some common household supplies including colored paper, yarn, markers, and several grocery supplies that are easily found—the list is available on the MNOHS web site and will be updated one week before the start of each semester. Click here for details. Before a student can enroll in a MNOHS science course, MNOHS must receive a permission form signed by a parent or guardian (if the student is under 18).

Standards met: These courses meet all standards and benchmarks in the following strands of the 2009nMinnesota Science Standards for Grades 9-12: The Nature of Science and Engineering; Life Science.

Credit: 1.0 (Semester A = 0.5 credit, Semester B = 0.5 credit.)

Honors Opportunity
: Yes

Prerequisites: None. Biology A and B can be taken independently of one another.

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