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9th Grade Biology Course Syllabus                                                                                           2018-2019 School Year 

Mr. Tanner Diebold                                                                                                                                    

Schrodinger High School

Email: TeacherDiebold@gmail.com

                                                                         Image result for welcome to high school biology


Students, Parents, and Guardians,

Welcome to Biology at Shrodinger High School! I am Mr. Diebold and I am very excited to engage my students in "the study of life." This course will help us all better understand and appreciate the creatures around us, the wonders of the human body, and to realize the astounding process of life. It is my hope to connect points between content and current issues in society today ranging from diseases to global conservation, so that students may leave my class with a more informed scope of the world around them.  


 Course Description  

Students will investigate biological systems at the molecular, cellular, and macrobiological level. Hands-on laboratory and in class exercises incorporating cellular biology, genetics, DNA technology, evolution, and ecology will be provided to assist students in their understanding of biological themes.  Projects, assessments, and reading assignments may be required with each unit of instruction. 




1 - Nature of Science

  • Essential Question: How do we know if something is alive?
  • Big Idea: Organisms share common characteristics of life 
  • Students will explore the characterisitcs of life shared by all prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms 


2 - Organic Chemistry 

  • Essential Question: How do you study the unobservable?
  • Big Idea: Life emerges based on the microscopic organization of matter within the cell 
  • Students will explore both the structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids 


3 - Cell Cycle 

  • Essential Question: If you were a cell with no mouth, how might you find and "eat" sources of "food"?
  • Big Idea: Through various mechanisms organisms seek to maintain a balance between internal and external environments
  • Students will explore how membrane bound cellular organelles facilitate the transport of material into/out of the cell   


4 - DNA/Protein Synthesis 

  • Essential Question: Who knows if they inhertied their moms, dads, or grandparents genetic makeup? How can you prove it?
  • Big Idea: Hereditary information is passed down through genes that are randomly expressed 
  • Students will explore the process of DNA replication, and how it rresults in the transmission of genetic information 


5 - Photosynthesis 

  • Essential Question: Are plants really alive? Can animals use sunlight as an energy source like plants do?
  • Big Idea: Eukaryotic cells can differentiate and organize making it possible for multicellularity 
  • Students will explore the roles of chlorooplasts/mitochondria in energy transformation 


6 - Cellular Respiration 

  • Essential Question: What is energy? Where does it comes from? What does it look like? 
  • Big Idea: Organisms obtain and use energy in different ways to carry out life processes 
  • Students will explore the roll of ATP in biochemical reactions 


7 - Genetics

  • Essential Question: Are you a mutant? Can you alter your appearance through genetic modification? 
  • Big Idea: DNA segments contain genetic information for production of proteins neccessary for growth and function of cells 
  • Students will explore genetic mutation/modification and how it has affected the fields of medicine, forensics, and agriculture


8 - Ecology 

  • Essential Question: How do organism's interact AND depend on eachother and their environment for survival?
  • Big Idea: Organisms interact in a myriad of ways, relying on both living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) environmental factors
  • Students will explore how energy flows through an ecosystem, as well as how ecosystems change in response to natural and human disturbances 


 Items Needed for Class 

  • "Biology of the World" textbook
  • Three ring binder with divider and/or tabs
  • Pen, pencil, paper
  • Energy and an open mind 


 Required Assignments 

There will be approximately 8 units tests during the course of the year as well as other assessments that require research, writing, and creativity. The number of alternative grades inclduing quizzes, labs, and extra credit will be determined throughout the semester. Students should expect a homework assigment regularly and should look over notes and new material before each class. 


 Classroom Rules & Expectations 

  • Be courteous and respectful to your teacher and classmates
  • Come to class on time and ready to work
  • Follow ALL safety rules and procedures
  • Participate and ask questions!
  • Listen while others are talking
  • Turn in assgnments on time


 Homework Policy 

Homework must be completed and turned in on the day it is due. Long term projects will be turned in on the agreed-upon date. Each day the assignment is late will result in a 10% deduction from the overall possible score. If a student is absent the day his/her homework or project is due it will be their responsibility to turn it in the next day they are in class as well as a note excusing the student from class. 


 Grading Calculation 

Course Average = 40% (1st semester work) + 40% (2nd semester work) + 10% (midterm) + 10% (final) 

1st semester course work = homework, class work, 4 labs, 6 quizzes, and assigned portions of projects/research 

2nd semester course work = homework, class work, 3 labs, 6 quizzes, and assigned final project/research 

A = 94-100

A- = 90-93

B+ = 87-90

B = 84-87

B- = 80-83

C+ = 76-79

C = 70-75

Below a 70 will result in a grade of an F for the course 


 Extra Help 

I will be available for extra help 2 days a week after school, or by appointment if neccessary. This is a great time for small group work and to ask any questions you may have from the material we covered that week in class. Every time a student comes to my extra help they will receive a ticket. At the end of each month students can use their tickets to enter a classroom raffle which includes different prizes, and even extra credit opportunities! 


A little bit about me....

I attended the University of New England from 2010-2014 where I attained my Bachelor's Degree in Marine Science. I love the outdoors, catching up with friends, going fishing, and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl's. One of the most important things I believe I learned by attending college was how to question the world around me. At the end of the day everything comes down to biology and how "everything" interacts, from the smallest cell to the largest of animals. I want my students to keep this is mind throughout the course, constantly questioning why and how processes occur as well as how what they're learning may have real world implications. I look forward to meeting everyone, and doing my best to answer any and all questions you will undoubtedly have throughout the year! :)   


Link to my syllabus