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Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

Key Idea 1:

Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

Key Idea 2:

Beyond the use of reasoning and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually requiring considerable ingenuity.

Key Idea 3:

The observations made while testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented methods, provide new insights into natural phenomena.


Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science 

Key Idea 1:

Living things are both similar to and different from each other and from nonliving things.

Key Idea 2:

Organisms inherit genetic information in a variety of ways that result in continuity of structure and function between parents and offspring.

Key Idea 3: 

Individual organisms and species change over time.

Key Idea 4:

The continuity of life is sustained through reproduction and development.

Key Idea 5:

Organisms maintain a dynamic equilibrium that sustains life.

Key Idea 6:

Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment.

Key Idea 7: 

Human decisions and activities have had a profound impact on the physical and living environment.


In addition to demonstrating the performance indicators relating to scientific inquiry described in Standard 1, biology students need to develop proficiency in certain laboratory or technical skills in order to successfully conduct investigations in biological science. During the school year, teachers should ensure that students develop the capacity to successfully perform each of the laboratory skills listed below. Proficiency in performing these laboratory skills may also be evaluated by items found on certain parts of the State’s Living Environment assessment.

    • Follows safety rules in the laboratory
    • Selects and uses correct instruments
        • Uses graduated cylinders to measure volume
        • Uses metric ruler to measure length
        • Uses thermometer to measure temperature
        • Uses triple-beam or electronic balance to measure mass
    • Uses a compound microscope/stereoscope effectively to see specimens clearly, using different magnifications
        • Identifies and compares parts of a variety of cells
        • Compares relative sizes of cells and organelles
        • Prepares wet-mount slides and uses appropriate staining techniques
    •        Designs and uses dichotomous keys to identify specimens
    •        Makes observations of biological processes
    •        Dissects plant and/or animal specimens to expose and identify internal structures
    •        Follows directions to correctly use and interpret chemical indicators
    •        Uses chromatography and/or electrophoresis to separate molecules
    •        Designs and carries out a controlled, scientific experiment based on biological processes
    •        States an appropriate hypothesis
    •        Differentiates between independent and dependent variables
    •        Identifies the control group and/or controlled variables
    •        Collects, organizes, and analyzes data, using a computer and/or other laboratory equipment
    •        Organizes data through the use of data tables and graphs
    •        Analyzes results from observations/expressed data
    •        Formulates an appropriate conclusion or generalization from the results of an experiment
    •        Recognizes assumptions and limitations of the experiment

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