Academic standards list

Biology II — Science (2009-2018)


Academic standards define the expectations for knowledge and skills that students are to learn in a subject by a certain age or at the end of a school grade level. This page contains a list of standards for a specific content area, grade level, and/or course. The list of standards may be structured using categories and sub-categories.

Embedded Inquiry

Standard INQ — Embedded Inquiry
Science is a relentless quest for understanding how the natural world works. All of science is driven by the premise that the world is capable of being understood. Yet, scientists believe that currently accepted explanations of natural phenomena or events are never perfect or fully complete and are always amenable to revision in light of new scientific evidence. Each scientific discipline uses its distinctive tools and techniques to investigate phenomena associated with the physical, geological, or living worlds. All rely upon theories from which the development of hypotheses emerge, the collection of data, and the interpretation of evidence as the foundation for reaching logical conclusions and making reasoned predictions.Conceptual StrandUnderstandings about scientific inquiry and the ability to conduct inquiry are essential for living in the 21st century.Guiding QuestionWhat tools, skills, knowledge, and dispositions are needed to conduct scientific inquiry?
Course Level Expectation
Recognize that science is a progressive endeavor that reevaluates and extends what is already accepted.
Design and conduct scientific investigations to explore new phenomena, verify previous results, test how well a theory predicts, and compare opposing theories.
Use appropriate tools and technology to collect precise and accurate data.
Apply qualitative and quantitative measures to analyze data and draw conclusions that are free of bias.
Compare experimental evidence and conclusions with those drawn by others about the same testable question.
Communicate and defend scientific findings.

Embedded Mathematics

Standard MATH — Embedded Mathematics
Conceptual StrandScience applies mathematics to investigate questions, solve problems, and communicate findings.Guiding QuestionWhat mathematical skills and understandings are needed to successfully investigate biological topics?
Course Level Expectation
Understand the mathematical principles associated with the science of biology.
Utilize appropriate mathematical equations and processes to understand biological concepts.

Embedded Technology/Engineering

Standard T/E — Embedded Technology/Engineering
Scientific inquiry is fueled by the desire to understand the natural world; technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. Technology exerts a more direct effect on society than science because it is focused on solving human problems, helping humans to adapt to changes, and fulfilling goals and aspirations. The engineering design cycle describes the worklives of practicing engineers. The design cycle describes a series of activities that includes a background research, problem identification, feasibility analysis, selection of design criteria, prototype development, planning and design, production and product evaluation. Because there are as many variations of this model, practicing engineers do not adhere to a rigid step-by-step interpretation of this design cycle.Conceptual StrandSociety benefits when engineers apply scientific discoveries to design materials and processes that develop into enabling technologies.Guiding QuestionHow do science concepts, engineering skills, and applications of technology improve the quality of life?
Course Level Expectation
Explore the impact of technology on social, political, and economic systems.
Differentiate among elements of the engineering design cycle: design constraints, model building, testing, evaluating, modifying, and retesting.
Explain the relationship between the properties of a material and the use of the material in the application of a technology.
Describe the dynamic interplay among science, technology, and engineering within living, earth-space, and physical systems.


Standard 1 — Cells
...I could exceedingly plainly perceive it to be all perforated and porous, much like a honey-comb, but that the pores of it were not regular...these pores, or cells,...were indeed the first microscopical pores I ever saw. With these simple words, Robert Hooke announced his startling finding about cork cells to the world in the mid 17th century. Hooke continued to notice cells in whatever living matter he studied. Today, the fundamental theory that cells are the building blocks of all living things is universally accepted. Increasingly sophisticated experimental procedures and investigatory technologies have enabled scientists to probe deeper and deeper into cells where they continue to make astonishing discoveries about these amazing pieces of living machinery.Conceptual StrandAll living things are made of cells that perform functions necessary for life.Guiding QuestionHow are plant and animals cells organized to carry on the processes of life?
Course Level Expectation
Compare the characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
Describe how fundamental life processes depend on chemical reactions that occur in specialized parts of the cell.
Explain how materials move into and out of cells.
Describe the enzyme-substrate relationship.
Investigate how proteins regulate the internal environment of a cell through communication and transport.
Describe the relationship between viruses and their host cells.


Standard 2 — Interdependence
The biosphere includes the narrow layer of Earth inhabited by living things. Elements of the biosphere interact with the lithosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), and atmosphere (air) to result in the conditions that we find on earth. The biosphere includes all of the different ecosystems in which life is found from the tundra of the Arctic to the African savannah. Many of the macroscopic interactions, such as predation and competition for limited resources are well understood. Other interactions such as the spread of disease, the impact of invasive species, and human influenced depletion of natural resources are less understood and remain the topics of active investigation.Conceptual StrandAll life is interdependent and interacts with the environment.Guiding QuestionHow do living things interact with one another and with the non-living elements of their environment?
Course Level Expectation
Describe how the stability of an ecosystem is maintained.
Investigate the major factors that influence population size and age distribution.
Describe the varying degrees to which individual organisms are able to accommodate changes in the environment.
Distinguish between the accommodation of individual organisms and the adaptation of a population to environmental change.

Flow of Matter and Energy

Standard 3 — Flow of Matter and Energy
Matter and energy move freely between and among living things and the physical environment in which they live. Life ultimately depends on the suns energy that is transformed by plants into energy-bearing food through the process of photosynthesis. Energy flows among living things through the food web and is used by all living things for energy, growth, and repair. Molecules of the substances found in living things are continually recycled between organisms themselves and the natural world. In the earth system, the total amount of matter and energy remains constant, even though their forms, availability, and where they are found in any moment are continually changing.Conceptual StrandMatter and energy flow through the biosphere.Guiding QuestionWhat scientific information explains how matter and energy flow through the biosphere?
Course Level Expectation
Describe the role of biotic and abiotic factors in the cycling of matter in the ecosystem.
Explain how sunlight is captured by plant cells and converted into usable energy.
Describe how mitochondria make stored chemical energy available to cells.
Examine how macromolecules are synthesized from simple precursor molecules.
Analyze the role of ATP in the storage and release of cellular energy.


Standard 4 — Heredity
Offspring are similar to, but somewhat different than their parents. Gregor Mendel noticed this phenomenon and through a series of experiments with pea plants discovered the general principles by which traits are transmitted between generations. The laws of probability govern how instructions for development are passed from parents to offspring in thousands of discrete genes, each of which is a segment of a molecule of DNA. The discovery of the structure of DNA was one of the crowning achievements of molecular biology and set the stage for a dramatic reconceptualization of Medelian inheritance.Conceptual StrandPlants and animals reproduce and transmit hereditary information between generations.Guiding QuestionWhat are the principal mechanisms by which living things reproduce and transmit information between parents and offspring?
Course Level Expectation
Describe how mutation and sexual reproduction contribute to the amount of genetic variation in a population.
Describe the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
Describe the relationship among genes, the DNA code, production of protein molecules, and the characteristics of an organism.
Predict the probable outcome of genetic crosses based on Mendels laws of segregation and independent assortment.
Explain how the different shapes and properties of proteins are determined by the type, number, and sequence of amino acids.
Explain how the genetic makeup of cells can be engineered.

Biodiversity and Change

Standard 5 — Biodiversity and Change
Current day life demonstrates a staggering number of forms. Yet, when viewed through the lens of the fossil record, what appears on earth today is a mere smidgen of the variety of life that one time or another wandered this planet. Contemporary science has discovered that within this amazing array of living things there are many structural and biochemical similarities that argue for the existence of ancestral relationships. The fossil record also provides evidence for the connection between present and ancestral species. These lines of evidence support a unifying principle for understanding the history of life on earth, relationships among all living things, and the dependence of life on the physical environment.Conceptual StrandA rich variety of complex organisms have developed in response to a continually changing environment.Guiding QuestionHow does natural selection explain how organisms have changed over time?
Course Level Expectation
Identify factors that determine the frequency of an allele in the gene pool of a population.
Determine how mutation, gene flow, and migration influence population structure.

Comparative Anatomy and Physiology

Standard 6 — Comparative Anatomy and Physiology
Conceptual StrandAll living organisms are both alike and different.Guiding QuestionIn what ways are all living organisms similar and what makes a species unique?
Course Level Expectation
Investigate the unity and the diversity among living things.
Describe the events associated with reproduction from gamete production through birth.
Compare organ systems of representative animal phyla that: regulate gas exchange, process and distribute nutrients, remove wastes, transmit chemical and


Standard 7 — Botany
Conceptual StrandPlants are essential for life to exist.Guiding QuestionWhat conditions are needed for plants to grow and reproduce?
Course Level Expectation
Describe different plant types plants based on their anatomy and physiology.
Investigate the relationship between form and function for the major plant structures.
Examine the anatomical and physiological differences between plants and their growth, reproduction, survival, and co-evolution.
Describe the difference between plants and fungi.
Investigate the impact of plants on humans.
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