Camden Hills Regional High School

Home of the Windjammers

Lab Biology

Lab Biology is a “hands-on” course investigating the natural world found around us.  Units of Study include: (1) The Study of Life-what is life, the living cell, energy and life, (2) Continuity of Life-genetics and inheritance, evolution and natural selection, (3) The Environment-ecosystems, (4) Diversity of Life - classification, viruses, protists, fungi and plants, (5) The Animal Kingdom - a study of simple to complex animals, and (6) Human Life - the human body and its various systems. 

This course does qualify as a “lab science” for those wishing to go on to higher education.




Individual Units:  Name, Outcomes, and Descriptions


Unit 1: Intro to Scientific Principles                                                                                 1 week

Students will:                                                                         

-describe the process of science as a discipline

-design/conduct a proper experiment

Description of Unit:  Students will be presented with examples of studies that are considered both science and pseudoscience.  Through class discussion, we will examine the properties of the scientific method, and students will apply this information in analyzing advertisements for scientific validity. We will use the scientific method to design and implement an experiment to demonstrate the need for proper experimental design, including the consideration of replicates and a control.


Unit Two: Biochemistry

Students will understand:                                                                                                   2 weeks

The different types of chemical bonds

The different types of chemical reactions

The chemical/physical properties of water

The chemical/physical properties of the major macromolecules

Description of Unit:  Students will be given lecture, demonstrations and Hands-On lab experiments in efforts to make connections between the lineage of Atoms, Elements, Molecules and Macromolecules. Students will use this understanding to develop sound lab reports and appropriately apply concepts to the hierarchy of elemental and molecular reactions with respect to the role they play in living organisms. 


Unit Three:  Intro to cell structure

Students will be able to show an understanding of:                                                        4 weeks

The prevailing hypothesis to explain the origins of life on the planet

The concept of Cell Theory

The structure and function of eukaryotic organelles

The structure and function of phospholipids

The different mechanisms through which cells transport materials

The relationship between cell size/shape and transport efficiency

Description of unit:  Students will be engaged in lecture, demonstrations, laboratory experiments and group projects to synthesize material, construct lab reports and make conceptual connection with regards to cellular history, development, constituancy, function and type.


Unit Four: Metabolism

Students will understand:                                                                                                   4 weeks

The reason photosynthesis is the central metabolic process to all ecosystems

The reactants and products of the photosynthetic process

The reactants and products of the individual stages of the photosynthetic process

The interdependency of both photosynthesis and cellular respiration

The necessity for all organisms to perform cellular respiration

The reactants and products of the cellular respiration process

The reactants and products of the individual stages of the cell respiration process

Description of unit:  Students will be exposed to a wide variety of lecture material, demonstrations and lab activities and an individual project throughout this unit.  Special attention will be given to the correlation between photosynthesis and cellular respiration in terms of reactants and products of both reactions. 


Unit Five: Cell Replication                                                                                                 4 weeks

The goal and process of cellular replication (mitosis)

The consequence of failing to regulate cell replication

The ability for cells to recognize self and non-self

The necessity of the meiotic process in producing sex cells

The similarities/differences between mitosis and meiosis

Description of unit:  Students will be exposed to a wide variety of lecture, demonstration and lab activities.  Special attention will be given to the interrelationships between the major components of a Cell Cycle and a cells overall ability to function and duplicate.  A detailed study of the similarities and differences between Mitosis and Meiosis will be highlighted as well.


Unit 6: Mendelian genetics                                                                                                 2 weeks

The use of Punnett squares to predict genotypes and phenotypes

The connection between meiosis and the genetic predictions of Mendel

Description of Unit:  The student will be exposed to power point presentations, hands on lab activities and project – based work.  Students will be focused on the over-arching theme of genetics in that they will relate Mendelian Genetics concepts to that of Meiosis and gene variations in animals, in particular the human.


Unit 7: Molecular genetics                                                                                                  4 weeks

The basic structure of DNA

The replication process of DNA

The process of protein synthesis

The connections between DNA, proteins, and traits

The means by which gene expression is regulated

The potential consequences of gene and chromosomal mutations

Description of Unit:  Students will be exposed to a varying degree of lecture, power points, projects and lab activities.  With respect to DNA, students will come to understand the connections between the three parts of the Central Dogma (Replication-Transcription and Translation) to the ultimate synthesis of proteins and their functions.


Unit 8: Biotechnology                                                                                                          2 weeks

The process and applications of recombinant DNA

The process and applications of electrophoresis

The process and applications of cloning and stems cells

The potential social and ethical issues associated with bioengineering

Description of Unit:  Students will be exposed to power points and hands on lab activities to demonstrate the overall importance of Lab techniques that led and lead to discoveries in human genetics.  Special attention will given to the potential “Ethical” implications of such techniques and the information that is provided.   In addition, students will actually separate human DNA in a process called Electrophoresis in efforts to show cause and affect between the human genetic code and medical products.






Unit 9: Evolution                                                                                                                  5 weeks

The process through which natural selection can create change within a species

The use of the Hardy-Weinberg equation in providing evidence of evolution

The process of speciation

The speciation of Homo sapien and our hominid ancestors

The evidence and historical record supporting our understanding of hominid evolution

The way science organizes biological groups through the study of taxonomy

The types of evidence available for making decisions about taxonomic groupings

Description of Unit:  Students will be given power point introduction as well as lab and project based activities.  The major theme is understand the degree and rate of genetic variation in a given species in order to connect the patterns of biological change.  Special attention will be given to the study of Natural Selection process and it’s connection to human advancement in terns of taxonomy and evolution


Unit 10: Systems Biology                                                                                                    2 weeks

The basic structure and function of the circulatory system

The basic physiology of the mammalian heart

The basic goals of a digestive system

The interaction of enzymes and macromolecules in the digestive process

The process through which molecules are absorbed and distributed after digestion

Description of Unit:  The students will be provided with brief video demonstrations and power points to introduce the topic of Dissection.  The major focus of this unit is to allow students to participate in a series of well-delineated and controlled dissection techniques of the Fetal Pig.  The major theme will be to study various organ systems in detail via dissection and make summative connections of those individual systems to that of a complete and functioning Organism.