Biology, High School
Learning Standards for a Full First-Year Course
I . C
O N T E N T
T A N D A R D S
1. The Chemistry of Life
Chemical elements form organic molecules that interact to perform the basic functions of life.
Recognize that biological organisms are composed primarily of very few elements.
The six most common are C,
H, N, O, P, and S.
Describe the basic molecular structures and primary functions of the four major categories of organic molecules
(carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids).
Explain the role of enzymes as catalysts that lower the activation energy of biochemical reactions. Identify
factors, such as pH and temperature, that have an effect on enzymes.
2. Cell Biology
Cells have specific structures and functions that make them distinctive. Processes in a cell can be
classified broadly as growth, maintenance, and reproduction.
Relate cell parts/organelles (plasma membrane, nuclear envelope, nucleus, nucleolus, cytoplasm, mitochondrion,
endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosome, ribosome, vacuole, cell wall, chloroplast, cytoskeleton,
centriole, cilium, flagellum, pseudopod) to their functions. Explain the role of cell membranes as a highly
selective barrier (diffusion, osmosis, facilitated diffusion, active transport).
Compare and contrast, at the cellular level, the general structures and degrees of complexity of prokaryotes and
Use cellular evidence (e.g., cell structure, cell number, cell reproduction) and modes of nutrition to describe the
six kingdoms (Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia).
Identify the reactants, products, and basic purposes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Explain the
interrelated nature of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cells of photosynthetic organisms.
Explain the important role that ATP serves in metabolism.
Describe the cell cycle and the process of mitosis.
Explain the role of mitosis in the formation of new cells, and
its importance in maintaining chromosome number during asexual reproduction.
Describe how the process of meiosis results in the formation of haploid cells.
Explain the importance of this
process in sexual reproduction, and how gametes form diploid zygotes in the process of fertilization.
Compare and contrast a virus and a cell in terms of genetic material and reproduction.
Genes allow for the storage and transmission of genetic information. They are a set of instructions
encoded in the nucleotide sequence of each organism. Genes code for the specific sequences of amino acids that
comprise the proteins characteristic to that organism.