This course focuses on both the large and small: the smallest structures – the atoms and cells that make up the living and nonliving world around us; and the largest systems – the cycles of the natural world, the interaction of energy and matter, classical mechanics, and the celestial objects throughout the universe. Beginning with classification systems, students learn about the elements and the structure of atoms. Students apply what they learn about temperature scales, the difference between temperature and heat, and chemical reactions to the study of energy and ways matter can change. This understanding of chemistry helps students in their next phase of study: cell function, the life-giving functions of photosynthesis and respiration, the biology of their own bodies, and the genetics that make each living being unique. The focus widens again as students explore classical mechanics: Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and the Law of Universal Gravitation. Students then apply classical mechanics to planetary motion, the effects of the Moon, travel beyond Earth, and the most up-to-date discoveries about the universe.
Water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles
Prokaryotes and eukaryotes
The structures and functions of cells
Asexual and sexual reproduction
Genetics Newton’s laws of motion
The solar system’s planets and moons
The galaxy and stars
Investigate the processes of the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles.
Differentiate between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and organisms.
Compare protist, fungus, plant, and animal cells.
Summarize the structures and functions of the organelles in the cell.
Relate the processes of mitosis and meiosis. Differentiate between mass and weight.
Investigate the motions and characteristics of Earth that cause the four seasons.
Explain the lunar cycle and how it affects the tides.
Summarize the characteristics of stars, including the Sun.
Compare the objects that make up the solar system and the Milky Way galaxy.