Bioscience 2 Honors   (#2000510)

Version for Academic Year:

Course Standards

General Course Information and Notes

General Notes

Laboratory investigations that include the use of scientific inquiry, research, measurement, problem solving, laboratory apparatus and technologies, experimental procedures, and safety procedures are an integral part of this course. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends that at the high school level, all students should be in the science lab or field, collecting data every week. School laboratory investigations (labs) are defined by the National Research Council (NRC) as an experience in the laboratory, classroom, or the field that provides students with opportunities to interact directly with natural phenomena or with data collected by others using tools, materials, data collection techniques, and models (NRC, 2006, p. 3). Laboratory investigations in the high school classroom should help all students develop a growing understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work, as well as the skills to calibrate and troubleshoot equipment used to make observations. Learners should understand measurement error; and have the skills to aggregate, interpret, and present the resulting data (National Research Council, 2006, p.77; NSTA, 2007). Bioscience II is a rigorous laboratory based course that provides an advanced foundation in the concepts, theories, and pioneering methods involved in micro and molecular based research including medical research, functional genomics, gene discovery, agriculture and forensics. Students will learn how to design plasmids and primers for polymerase chain reactions (PCR). Course focus will be on proteomics (the study of protein expression), protein separation and analysis, protein chromatography purification, protein quantification through spectroscopy, cladistical analysis, immunology, stem cell research, gene sequencing, and bioinformatics using BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool.) Emphasis will be placed on training students in the means by which to design experiments in preparation for independent research. Students will learn the principles, methodologies, and applications of equipment such as thermocyclers, horizontal and vertical gel electrophoresis, micropipettes, spectrophotometers, centrifuges, and other advanced laboratory apparatus used in the bioscience industry.

Laboratory activities may include but not be limited to:

  • The preparation of buffer solutions and polyacrylamide gels for vertical electrophoresis;
  • Quantitative analysis of protein molecular weights by developing a standard curve;
  • Western blotting and ELISA testing;
  • The preparation of serial dilutions for spectroscopy to determine unknown concentrations;
  • Bacterial transformation and ligation using bacterial blue/white screening;
  • Extraction of DNA for chromatography purification to be used for electrophoresis;
  • Polymerase chain reactions using self designed primers;
  • Gene Sequencing and Bioinformatics.

Honors and Advanced Level Course Note: Advanced courses require a greater demand on students through increased academic rigor.  Academic rigor is obtained through the application, analysis, evaluation, and creation of complex ideas that are often abstract and multi-faceted.  Students are challenged to think and collaborate critically on the content they are learning. Honors level rigor will be achieved by increasing text complexity through text selection, focus on high-level qualitative measures, and complexity of task. Instruction will be structured to give students a deeper understanding of conceptual themes and organization within and across disciplines. Academic rigor is more than simply assigning to students a greater quantity of work.

Special Notes

Instructional Practices:
Teaching from a range of complex text is optimized when teachers in all subject areas implement the following strategies on a routine basis:

  1. Ensuring wide reading from complex text that varies in length.
  2. Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
  3. Emphasizing text-specific complex questions, and cognitively complex tasks, reinforce focus on the text and cultivate independence.
  4. Emphasizing students supporting answers based upon evidence from the text.
  5. Providing extensive research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).

Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry and Bioscience I/or AP Biology
Corequisite: Honors Physics

Science and Engineering Practices (NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education, 2010)

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).
  • Developing and using models.
  • Planning and carrying out investigations.
  • Analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking.
  • Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).
  • Engaging in argument from evidence.
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards

This course includes Florida’s B.E.S.T. ELA Expectations (EE) and Mathematical Thinking and Reasoning Standards (MTRs) for students. Florida educators should intentionally embed these standards within the content and their instruction as applicable. For guidance on the implementation of the EEs and MTRs, please visit https://www.cpalms.org/Standards/BEST_Standards.aspx and select the appropriate B.E.S.T. Standards package.

English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Science. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: http://www.cpalms.org/uploads/docs/standards/eld/SC.pdf

General Information

Course Number: 2000510
Course Path:
Abbreviated Title: BIOSCIENCE 2 HON
Number of Credits: One (1) credit
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Attributes:
  • Honors
Course Type: Core Academic Course
Course Level: 3
Course Status: State Board Approved
Grade Level(s): 9,10,11,12
Graduation Requirement: Equally Rigorous Science

Educator Certifications

One of these educator certification options is required to teach this course.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this course.

Original Student Tutorials

Turtles and Towns:

Explore the impacts on sea turtles, humans, and the economy when we live, work, and play at the beach with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Viral Disease Spreads:

Learn how scientists measure viral spread and use this information to make recommendations for the public in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Evaluating Sources of Information:

Learn how to identify different sources of scientific claims and to evaluate their reliability in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Testing Scientific Claims:

Learn how to test scientific claims and judge competing hypotheses by understanding how they can be tested against one another in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Genes and Health:

Genetic mutations can cause illness. Learn how genetic diseases can affect you and your communities in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Hidden Mutations:

Dive into genetic mutations and learn how they can alter the phenotypes of organisms.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

When the Immune System Isn't Enough:

Explores how vaccines and antibiotics provide an extra level of protection from infectious agents and pathogens. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Genes and Environment:

Learn how the expression of genes is affected our environment, including lifestyle choices. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore how a combination of genes and environmental factors can impact the risk of multifactorial disease.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Pathogens and Disease:

Pathogens of all sorts can make us sick. Learn the whats, whys, and hows of the process in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Challenges to Public Health :

Learn to distinguish between public health issues and individual health issues in this interactive tutorial. 

This is part 1 of 4 in a series of tutorials addressing this standard.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ecological Data Analysis:

See how data are interpreted to better understand the reproductive strategies taken by sea anemones with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ecology Sampling Strategies:

Examine field sampling strategies used to gather data and avoid bias in ecology research. This interactive tutorial features the CPALMS Perspectives video Sampling Strategies for Ecology Research in the Intertidal Zone.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

DNA to Genes to Proteins:

Learn about the first step of protein synthesis, transcription of DNA to RNA. In this interactive tutorial, you'll explore epigenetics as a mechanism to activate or inactivate gene expression. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Protein Synthesis: Your Personal Protein Factory:

Explore the basic processes of transcription and translation, and how they result in the expression of genes as you complete this interactive tutorial.

 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scientific Laws and Theories:

Learn what scientific laws and scientific theories are and how they are different from what we commonly call laws and theories outside of science with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Observation vs. Inference:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in a text and demonstrate how and why scientific inferences are drawn from scientific observation and be able to identify examples in biology.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Cool Case Files:

Learn that a scientific theory is the culmination of many experiments and supplies the most powerful explanation that scientists have to offer with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Defining Science:

Learn how to define what science is and what it is not. In this interactive tutorial, you will identify why certain ways of exploring the universe can and cannot be considered scientific practices.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Question Quest:

Learn to distinguish between questions that can be answered by science and questions that science cannot answer. This interactive tutorial will help you distinguish between science and other ways of knowing, including art, religion, and philosophy.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Universal Genetic Code:

Learn how to better understand the composition of DNA, the purpose of the information in DNA, why the DNA sequence is considered a universal code, and what might happen if mistakes appear in the code.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Impact of Biotechnology:

Learn how to identify and define types of biotechnology and consider the impacts of biotechnologies on the individual, society and the environment in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Immune System: Your Body’s Private Defense System:

Learn how to identify the basic functions of the immune system. You will also be able to distinguish between nonspecific and specific immune responses. 

 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Chemistry With a Conscience:

Explore green chemistry and what it means to be benign by design in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Educational Games

Stop Disasters Before They Happen:

Students attempt to save towns from damage prior to the arrival of several different natural disasters. Students will learn the importance of early prevention and actions to protect others, themselves and their property when faced with a natural disaster. Certain disasters are more appropriate for particular grade levels. Each scenario takes between 20 and 45 minutes to play, depending on the disaster for which your students are trying to prepare. There are five scenarios available, hurricane, tsunami, flood, earthquake, and wildfire. Each scenario can be played on easy, medium or hard difficulty levels. As with life, there are no "perfect solutions" to each scenario and no "perfect score", so students can play multiple times and the scenarios will still be slightly different.These simulation are part of a larger website that provides multiple links for natural disasters.

Type: Educational Game

Transcribe and Translate a Gene:

See how cells "read" the information in a DNA sequence to build a protein, then build one yourself!

Type: Educational Game

Lesson Plans

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Using DNA to Identify People:

 Learning objectives:  Students will learn what DNA fingerprinting is, what it is used for, and how it is used in paternity testing and forensics.  Students will see how this technique actually works in lab.  Students will learn how to analyze the gels used in this technique to match babies to parents, and crime scene evidence to suspects.

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Proteins and Secretory Pathways:

A cell has made a protein; now what? Learn more about protein secretion!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Biochemistry and Medicine:

Advances in "big data" are leading to rapid developments in personalized medicine. Learn more!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Prokaryotic vs. Eukaryotic Gene Expression:

Check this out and learn about how prokaryotes and eukaryotes regulate gene expression.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Transcription and Translation:

How do you know what genes are thinking? By their expression. Learn more from a plant geneticist.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

pH Scale:

Keep an eye on pH as you learn about what makes acids and bases.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mutations and Genetic Diversity:

Mutations don't just happen to comic book heroes and villains. Learn more about this natural biological phenomenon!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protein Structure and Function:

Don't get twisted in a knot about proteins; learn about their structure!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protein Factories:

What's in a molecular biologist's toolbox? Very small tools for working with cellular machines and molecules!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Fingerprinting:

Humans aren't the only ones who get their fingerprints taken. Learn how this scientist is like a crime scene investigator using oil "fingerprints" to explain the orgins of spilled oil.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Viticulture and Biotechnology:

A viticulture scientist explains grape expectations for medicine and society.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Managing Waste Disposal with Landfills and Recycling:

Landfills have a come a long way! Explore modern techniques for managing our environmental impact through responsible waste disposal.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Presentation/Slideshows

What Killed the Dinosaurs?:

It is often difficult, sometimes impossible, to get a definitive answer to some of life's most enduring questions. Scientific processes provide alternative explanations for a wide variety of phenomena by piecing together all the available information. This interactive activity on the Evolution website explores four possible hypotheses to explain what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, inviting the viewer to consider the evidence and come to their own decision.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Introduction to Infectious Diseases:

A PowerPoint with speaker notes covering infectious diseases, causes, transmission, and control.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Tutorials

Post Stroke Inflammation:

Learn about post-stroke inflammation.

Type: Tutorial

Vaccine and Active Immunity:


A vaccine allows a person to develop acquired immunity against an illness without actually getting the disease. This interactive tutorial will help the learners to understand the process by which vaccines work in the human body.

Type: Tutorial

Chromosomes, Chromatids, and Chromatin:

This Khan Academy video reviews the basic processes of DNA replication and protein synthesis. It then goes on to explain how the terms chromosome, chromatin, and chromatid, relate to each other.

Type: Tutorial

Embryonic Stem Cells:

This Khan Academy video describes what happens to a zygote as it becomes an embyro. It further explains what a stem cell is and discusses why there are questions concerning the use of stem cells.

Type: Tutorial

Variation in a Species:

This Khan Academy video explains how variation can be introduced into a species and the importance of sexual reproduction in this process.

Type: Tutorial

Cytotoxic T Cells:

This Khan Academy video explains how cytotoxic t cells get activated by MHC-I antigen complexes and then proceed to kill infected cells. This video addresses the concept at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Helper T Cells:

This Khan Academy video discusses helper t cells in the immune system. The role of helper t cells in activating b cells is detailed. This challenging tutorial addresses the concept at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Transcription and Translation:

This Khan Academy video briefly describes DNA replication and then goes into a thorough explanation of both transcription and translation.

Type: Tutorial

DNA:

This Khan Academy video describes the structure of the molecule DNA in great detail. It also discuses the role DNA plays in the process of protein synthesis, explaining transcription and translation. The video discusses the relationship between DNA and chromosomes as well.

Type: Tutorial

B Lymphocytes:

This Khan Academy video describes B lymphocyte cells, and how they are activated and produce antibodies within the immune system.

Type: Tutorial

Role of Phagocytosis in Nonspecific Immunity:

This Khan Academy video describes non specific immunity, and the specific role of phagocytes. The tutorial explains how phagocytes engulf pathogens that enter the body as a line of defense.

Type: Tutorial

Types of Immune Responses:

This Khan Academy video contains an overview of the types of immune responses in the body. The differences between humoral adaptive immunity and cell mediated immunity are discussed in detail.

Type: Tutorial

How Intracellular Receptors Regulate Gene Transcription:

Gene transcription is controlled by multiple factors. Some proteins bind to DNA sequences and start the process of gene transcription. RNA synthesis can only occur when these activators are bound to specific DNA sequences. This tutorial will help you to understand the process of gene transcription.

Type: Tutorial

DNA Three Letter Words:

You will see how the genetic code, using the DNA alphabet A,T,C, and G, produces codons to specify the 20 known amino acids. Each codon consists of a three letter code producing 64 possible words which specify the amino acids and stop signals.

Type: Tutorial

The Immune Response:

This tutorial will help students understand how the immune system of vertebrates is characterized by acquired responses that are highly specific to particular antigens. This system has the advantage of having a cellular memory for previous infections.

Type: Tutorial

Polymerase Chain Reaction:

This tutorial will help you to understand the procedure of amplifying a single copy of DNA into millions of copies. Polymerase chain reaction is a molecular prototyping technique which helps in copying small segments of DNA into significant amounts required for molecular and genetic analyses.

Type: Tutorial

Allergy Immune Response:

This tutorial will help you to understand how allergies develop. Allergies are exaggerated immune responses caused by B cells producing excess IgE antibodies. An allergen (food, dust) is a foreign substance, which binds to the antibodies and triggers a reaction that includes the production of histamine.

This challenging tutorial addresses the concept at a very high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Cytotoxic T-Cell Activity Against Target Cells:

One of the functions of the T-Cells in the immune system is to attack and destroy infected cells. Target cells are cells that have been attacked by a virus. When the target cells have been taken over by a virus and they do not have a good chance of surviving, they trigger their own death. This action reduces the chance that other nearby cells will become infected.

This challenging tutorial addresses the concept at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Phagocytosis:

This tutorial will help you to understand the function of phagocytes. Phagocytes are specialized cells that ingest and break down foreign material including bacteria and viruses.

This challenging tutorial addresses the concept at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

T-Cell Dependent Antigens:

T-cells perform a wide variety of functions in the immune system. In this tutorial you will understand the structure and function of the T-cells.

Type: Tutorial

DNA Fingerprinting:

This tutorial will help you to visualize how DNA fingerprinting uses the pattern of DNA fragments caused by specific enzymes to identify individual organisms including humans, animals, plants or any other organism with DNA.

Type: Tutorial

Protein Synthesis:

This tutorial is a full lesson on the process of protein synthesis. Transcription and translation are both explained in detail.

Type: Tutorial

Virus:


This tutorial will help the student understand about viruses which are small infectious agents that replicate only inside the living cells of other organisms.

Type: Tutorial

Polymerase Chain Reaction:

This tutorial introduces the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is a technique used in molecular biology to make multiple copies of a gene even when only small amounts of DNA are available.

Type: Tutorial

Not All Scientific Studies are Created Equal:

Every day, we are bombarded by attention grabbing headlines that promise miracle cures to all of our ailments -- often backed up by a "scientific study." But what are these studies, and how do we know if they are reliable? David H. Schwartz dissects two types of studies that scientists use, illuminating why you should always approach the claims with a critical eye.

Type: Tutorial

Cells vs. Virus: A Battle for Health:

All living things are made of cells. In the human body, these highly efficient units are protected by layer upon layer of defense against icky invaders like the cold virus. Shannon Stiles takes a journey into the cell, introducing the microscopic arsenal of weapons and warriors that play a role in the battle for your health.

Type: Tutorial

What Causes Antibiotic Resistance?:

This short video describes the process of antibiotic resistance. Right now, you are inhabited by trillions of micro organisms. Many of these bacteria are harmless (or even helpful!), but there are a few strains of ‘super bacteria' that are pretty nasty -- and they're growing resistant to our antibiotics. Why is this happening? Kevin Wu details the evolution of this problem that presents a big challenge for the future of medicine.

Type: Tutorial

Regulating Genes:

This tutorial uses animation and practice opportunities to explore how mutations in DNA can impact the expression of a gene. Get a close up view of the nucleus of a fertilized egg and observe how mutations in different locations of a DNA strand influence the traits that are expressed during development.

Type: Tutorial

RNA Translation:

This tutorial will demonstrates the process of RNA translation through an interactive animation.

Type: Tutorial

Amino Acids and Proteins:

This tutorial will help the learners to review the formation and 3D structures of amino acids with proteins.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Will an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Freshwater or Saltwater?:

With an often unexpected outcome from a simple experiment, students can discover the factors that cause and influence thermohaline circulation in our oceans. In two 45-minute class periods, students complete activities where they observe the melting of ice cubes in saltwater and freshwater, using basic materials: clear plastic cups, ice cubes, water, salt, food coloring, and thermometers. There are no prerequisites for this lesson but it is helpful if students are familiar with the concepts of density and buoyancy as well as the salinity of seawater. It is also helpful if students understand that dissolving salt in water will lower the freezing point of water. There are additional follow up investigations that help students appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean's influence on Earth's climate.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

HIV Life Cycle:


This video presentation will help you to understand how HIV infects a cell and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase and the host's cellular machinery.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Inquiry and Ocean Exploration:

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard gives a TED Talk relating to the mysteries of the ocean, and the importance of its continued exploration.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Exploring Mutant Organisms:

  • Interviews with expert scientists about the genome and mutant organisms
  • Examples on model organisms used in genome research
  • Animation explaining how mutations occur

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Lab: Bacterial Transformation:

  • This activity provides a historical background about research related to bacterial analysis
  • Contains an animation that shows how enzymes work on cutting DNA strands

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Lab: DNA Fingerprint: Alu:

  • Background on tracking human ancestry using the alu marker
  • Animation on polymerase chain reaction, PCR
  • Interactive activity for performing PCR

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Proteins:

Paul Anderson explains the structure and importance of proteins. He describes how proteins are created from amino acids connected by dehydration synthesis. He shows the importance of chemical properties in the R-groups of individual amino acids in the polypeptide.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Evolving Ideas: Isn't evolution just a theory?:

This video examines the vocabulary essential for understanding the nature of science and evolution and illustrates how evolution is a powerful, well-supported scientific explanation for the relatedness of all life. A clear definition and description of scientific theory is given.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Viruses:

This videos discusses how viruses work.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Bacteria:

This video discusses how bacteria spread and the pros and cons of bacteria.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Citizen Science:

In this National Science Foundation video and reading selection lab ecologist Janis Dickinson explains how she depends on citizen scientists to help her track the effects of disease, land-use change and environmental contaminants on the nesting success of birds.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis animation and other cell processes in animation:

This site has fantastic short Flash animations of intricate cell processes, including photosynthesis and the electron transport chain.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Variation Is Essential: How Does Variation Within a Population Affect the Survival of a Species?:

This is a lesson about phenotypical variation within populations and how these differences are essential for biological evolution. Students will use a model organism (in this case, kidney beans) to explore variation patterns and subsequently connect these differences to artificial & natural selection. The NGSS’ CrossCutting Concepts and Science & Engineering Practices are embedded throughout the lesson.

The main learning objectives are:

  • Using a model (kidney beans) to explore the natural variations within a population.
  • Measuring differences between individuals in a population (population of beans).
  • Describing how genetic/phenotypic variation is a key part of biological evolution because it is a prerequisite for natural selection.
  • Demonstrating in which ways genetic variation is advantageous to a population because it enables some individuals to adapt to the environment while maintaining the survival of the population.

The NGSS Performance Expectations covered are HS-LS4-2. & HS-LS4-4.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

Mechanisms of Evolution:

Evolution is the process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient ancestors. There are five processes that can lead to evolution within a population. These are Genetic drift, Gene flow, Mutation, Natural selection and Sexual selection. This tutorial will help the learners understand and visualize the way by which these processes affect evolution.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Gel electrophoresis Virtual Lab:

This virtual lab provides an excellent resource to show how biotechnology can be incorporated into an actual situation. The student will be walked through the gel electrophoresis process and then apply the results to solve a crime.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Split Brain Experiments:

The split brain experiments revealed that the right and the left hemisphere in the brain are good at different things. For instance, the right hemisphere is good at space perception tasks and music while the left is good at verbal and analytic tasks. This game guides students through some examples of the split-brain phenomenon and how the differences are understood.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Enzyme-Substrate Docking:

This virtual manipulative will help the students learn about enzyme-substrate docking. Students will observe that the shapes of these surfaces and electrostatic forces are the major factors that govern docking.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Translation: Making a protein from a messenger RNA:


The genes in DNA encode protein molecules. Expressing a gene means manufacturing its corresponding protein.Translation is the key process of making a protein from the genetic code expresses in the DNA. In translation, messenger RNA is read according to the genetic code, which relates the DNA sequence to the amino acid sequence in proteins. This virtual manipulative will allow the students to understand the process of translation. Students will also get a chance to observe, what happens when a new random mutation generates stop codons.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Acid-Base Solutions:

How do strong and weak acids differ? Use lab tools on your computer to find out! Dip the paper or the probe into solution to measure the pH, or put in the electrodes to measure the conductivity. Then see how concentration and strength affect pH. Can a weak acid solution have the same pH as a strong acid solution.
Some of the topics to investigate:

  • Given acids or bases at the same concentration, demonstrate understanding of acid and base strength by 1. Relating the strength of an acid or base to the extent to which it dissociates in water. 2. Identifying all the molecules and ions that are present in a given acid or base solution. 3. Comparing the relative concentrations of molecules and ions in weak versus strong acid (or base) solutions. 4. Describing the similarities and differences between strong acids and weak acids or strong bases and weak bases.
  • Demonstrate understanding of solution concentrated by: 1. Describing the similarities and differences between concentrated and dilute solutions. 2. Comparing the concentrations of all molecules and ions in concentrated versus dilute solutions of a particular acid or base.
  • Describe how common tools (pH meter, conductivity, pH paper) help identify whether a solution is an acid or base and strong or weak and concentrated or dilute.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Build a GeneNetwork:


The lac operon is a set of genes which are responsible for the metabolism of lactose in some bacterial cells. Students will explore the effects of mutation within the lac operon by adding or removing genes from the DNA.

  • Predicts the effects on lactose metabolism when the various genes and DNA control elements are mutated (added or removed).
  • Predicts the effects on lactose metabolism when the concentration of lactose is changed.
  • Explain the roles of Lacl, LacZ, and LacY in lactose regulation.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

pH Scale:

Students can test the pH of several substances and visualize hydronium, hydroxide, and water molecules in solution by concentration or the number of molecules. Students can add water to a given substance to see the effects it will have on the pH of that substance; or they can create their own custom substance.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this course.