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California Biology Standards for High School

Instructor: Shelby Golden
California's high school biology standards are covered by this article. Find out what students are expected to learn and access study resources that can help kids master this information.

High School Biology Standards in California

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are used by the state of California. These standards do not specifically provide learning goals for biology. However, there are life science standards that relate to biology concepts and many school districts set up their biology curriculum to match up with these standards.

Life Science Core Ideas

While studying life science in high school, students can expect to study specialized cells, DNA, genes and the structure of multicellular organisms. Students will also learn about the feedback mechanisms of living creatures. In this grade, students could learn more about mitosis, meiosis and cellular division, along with sexual reproduction and the role of chromosomes in the expression of traits. Traits that are affected by the environment will also be considered.

Photosynthesis, solar energy, cellular respiration, the uses of sugar and the movement of energy and matter in living systems will also be examined. Students may have a chance to focus on the parts of a food web, as well as the carbon cycle. The carrying capacity of various ecosystems could be covered, in addition to ecosystem stability and various changes to the environment.

Students could also find out more about the group behavior of living creatures. They might consider how species react to changes, speciation, extinction and the impact of humanity on the natural world. Evidence related to evolution will be studied, along with the factors that drive natural selection and evolution. Students could learn about the effects of adaptation and what happens when environments change.

Science and Engineering Practices

The NGSS also includes science and engineering practices that detail what scientific skills students should develop throughout the schoolyear. High schoolers should learn to ask questions, use models, work with data, argue logically, communicate and complete scientific investigations. Students should be prepared to use their mathematical knowledge. They will also need to develop explanations and solutions to different problems.

Different scientific methods will be discussed, along with the process for revising scientific understanding. Students will learn about the role of science in studying natural phenomena.

Crosscutting Concepts

Certain concepts are used throughout the NGSS to help students develop their understanding of the sciences. While studying life science in high school, students will need to work with:

  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect
  • Energy and matter
  • Stability and changes
  • Structure and function
  • Systems and system models
  • Scale, quantity and proportion

The role of humanity in science will also be covered, along with science's connection to natural systems.

High School Biology Study Resources

Students can check out this online high school biology course to reinforce the biology concepts they're learning in the classroom. This resource can be accessed anywhere, allowing students to personalize their study time. Short video lessons make it easy for students to understand complex scientific subjects. Students can complete interactive quizzes as they work through the lessons to check their progress. Additionally, this course is supported by biology experts who are available to answer any questions that students might have.

These biology flashcards can serve as great study tools for students who have quizzes or tests coming up. Going through these flashcards can help students memorize important terms and information about biological systems.

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