Camden Hills Regional High School

Home of the Windjammers

Honors Biology

Honors level biology is taught by the molecular approach, where students strive to understand the interconnections of biological concepts. These concepts are divided into six units of study: Unity and Diversity, Structure and Function of Cells, Genetic Continuity, Evolution: Change Through Time, Life Process: Regulation and Homeostasis, and Organisms and Their Environment. Each unit of study also provides the student with lab inquiries linked to the concepts being taught. Lab inquiries require much organization, work outside the classroom, good writing skills, attention to detail, and analytical thinking.



 Individual Units:  Introduction to Scientific Principles

Unit 1: Intro to Scientific Principles                                                                           1 week

Learning Outcomes                                                                            

Students will describe the process of science

Student will be able to design/conduct a proper experiment

Description of Unit:


Unit Two: Biochemistry                                                                                            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


Unit Three:  Intro to cell structure                                                                             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


Unit Four: Metabolism                                                                                               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


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


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


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


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


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


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


  Unit 9                  Oscillations                                                     2 weeks

Learning Outcomes:

·      Students will describe the conditions of simple harmonic motion, including both graphical and mathematical representations.

·      Students will state the relationships between acceleration, velocity, and displacement of an object in simple harmonic motion, and will identify points in the motion where these values achieve their greatest positive and negative values.

·      Students will calculate the kinetic and potential energies of an oscillating system, will relate the amplitude of the motion to these values, and will derive the law of conservation of energy from them.·      Students will apply the principles of oscillation to problems involving a mass on a spring and a pendulum.

Description of Unit:

Students will use simulations and experiments to develop an understanding of simple harmonic motion, including motion of pendulums, mass-on-springs, and the repeated rotations of objects such as Ferris wheels.  Use of trig functions and calculus when deriving and manipulating these equations is emphasized. Real world application is required when all students attend the annual Physics Day at FunTown, where many rides exhibit motion that can be described by the simple harmonic motion equations; the work required for the FunTown trip also acts to fully integrate the concepts learned in all units of the course, as students fully analyze the motions (both linear and rotational), forces, and energy involved in amusement park rides.