Overview of a student performing at the given level
A biology student performing at the Basic Level describes a simplified biological system in terms of boundaries, subsystems, flows, and the larger encompassing system; plans scientific investigations in the context of biology with appropriate independent and dependent variables and uses some supporting evidence to describe a relationship between variables; describes potential solutions to a technological design problem and the consequences of solutions in the context of biology and society; demonstrates emerging understanding of processes within cells, maintenance and stability of populations in ecosystems, and mechanisms of evolution.
A biology student performing at the Proficient Level describes limitations in a model of a biological system and uses a model to make predictions; plans an appropriate and valid scientific investigation in the context of biology and includes evidence from a scientific investigation to explain a relationship between variables; describes a method for testing alternative solutions to a technological design problem in the context of biology with respect to a criterion for success; demonstrates understanding of processes within cells, maintenance and stability of populations in ecosystems, and mechanisms of evolution.
A biology student performing at the Advanced Level describes feedback processes that regulate a complex biological system; evaluates a scientific investigation in terms of validity and reliability and describes explanations for the results of a scientific investigation in the context of biology that are consistent with scientific knowledge; proposes a method for evaluating solutions to technological design problems in the context of biology with respect to multiple criteria for success; demonstrates strong understanding of processes within cells, maintenance and stability of populations in ecosystems, and mechanisms of evolution.
Describe subsystems, boundaries, inputs/outputs and the encompassing system of a simplified biological system.
Describe the limitations of a model for a biological system and use the model to make predictions about the biological system.
Describe the regulatory effect of positive or negative feedback processes in a complex biological system.
Inquiry: Plan and Analyze an Investigation
Plan a scientific investigation of a biological system including appropriate independent and dependent variables with some guidance.
Plan a valid scientific investigation for a testable question about a biological system choosing an appropriate method.
Evaluate the validity and reliability of a given scientific investigation of a biological system.
Inquiry: Evidence to Support Explanations
Describe a relationship between variables with some supporting evidence using data from a scientific investigation of a biological system.
Explain a relationship between variables including supporting evidence and using data from a scientific investigation of a biological system.
Explain how a relationship between variables in a scientific investigation of a biological system is consistent with established scientific knowledge.
Application: Choosing a Solution
Describe research that could lead to solutions; and identify potential solutions to technological design problems in the context of biology.
Describe a method for testing a given solution to a technological design problem in the context of biology.
Apply multiple criteria to evaluate alternative solutions suggested by a technological design process in the context of biology and describe constraints of those solutions.
Application: Trade-Offs and Constraints
Identify tradeoffs and unintended consequences of given solutions to technological design problems in the context of biology.
Evaluate alternative solutions suggested by a technological design process in terms of a criterion for success in the context of biology.
Photosynthesis and Respiration
Identify the role of photosynthesis in the lives of plants and in the lives of animals.
Describe the inputs and outputs of matter and energy in photosynthesis, cellular respiration and combustion.
Describe cellular respiration as the process that transfers the energy of glucose into energy in the form of special molecules (e.g., ATP).
Identify the essential functions of some cell structures.
Describe the essential functions of cell structures.
Explain how cell structures interact to maintain the internal environment of a cell.
DNA, Genes, and Protein Synthesis
Identify typical animal cells as containing two sets of chromosomes, one from each biological parent; and identify egg or sperm cells as containing one set of chromosomes from a single biological parent.
Identify the product of mitosis as two new cells with identical copies and the same number of chromosomes as the original cell; and identify the product of meiosis as cells with a unique combination of genetic information and half the chromosomes of the original cell.
Describe the processes and outputs of mitosis, meiosis and fertilization.
Describe how the processes of recombination and fertilization allow for variation.
Identify the subunits and base pairs in DNA; and identify that DNA determines the traits of an
Describe how the structure of DNA allows the nucleus to regulate cell activity.
Describe the processes of DNA replication and protein synthesis; and describe how mutations can occur during these processes.
Transfers and Cycles of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems
Identify examples of matter cycling and energy flowing through an ecosystem.
Describe some transfers and transformation of matter and energy in ecosystems.
Describe carbon and nitrogen cycles in ecosystems.
Population Density and Limiting Factors
Identify living and nonliving factors that affect populations in an ecosystem with some guidance.
Identify living and nonliving factors that promote or limit population growth.
Analyze the impact of changes in the environment on the biodiversity and stability of ecosystems.
Identify an environmental change that could affect the survival of a population in an ecosystem.
Predict changes in populations due to natural selection caused by differences in genetic variability or environmental pressures.
Predict changes in population size given quantitative information about an ecosystem (e.g., graphs).
Identify mutations as random changes or mistakes in genetic material; and identify that some can be inherited.
Identify that mutations can be neutral, harmful or helpful to the survival of offspring.
Describe the processes that create mutations; and describe how those mutations provide genetic variation for natural selection.
Relatedness of Organisms
Identify evidence that can show the development of species over time.
Infer relationships among organisms given physical characteristics, functional characteristics and/or genetic information.
Describe how biological evolution can account for similarities and differences of features in given organisms.
Explain how biological evolution is the result of interactions among populations, inherited variability, resources available and/or natural selection.