The third course in a series of three integrated science courses, this course is focused on answering the question: “how can changes in the Earth and its systems be explained through universal laws?” To answer this question, students study the universal laws of nature, including gas laws, laws of conservation of momentum and energy, natural phenomena in the atmosphere, and processes such as photosynthesis and respiration that transfer and convert energy. The second semester focuses on understanding the universal laws to analyze processes in living systems, such as homeostasis in ecosystems and in organisms. Students study biochemical reactions and reactions rates, including the factors that affect those reactions. They study evolution and adaptation, and genetic engineering, both the biotechnical aspects and the ethical implications. Students learn and apply their learning in the lab, using sensors, probeware, and computer programs to collect and analyze data. In the honors course, students are expected to follow the scientific method more rigorously, have more independence in the lab, and write full lab reports. They also will read higher level scientific papers.
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