Biology/Life Sciences - Grades Nine Through Twelve

Biology/Life Sciences - Grades Nine Through Twelve

Science Content Standards.
Standards that all students are expected to achieve in the course of their studies are unmarked.
Standards that all students should have the opportunity to learn are marked with an asterisk (*).
Cell Biology
1.    The fundamental life processes of plants and animals depend on a variety of chemical reactions that occur in specialized areas of the organism's cells. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know cells are enclosed within semi permeable membranes that regulate their interaction with their surroundings.
b.    Students know enzymes are proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions without altering the reaction equilibrium and the activities of enzymes depend on the temperature, ionic conditions, and the pH of the surroundings.
c.    Students know how prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells (including those from plants and animals), and viruses differ in complexity and general structure.
d.    Students know the central dogma of molecular biology outlines the flow of information from transcription of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the nucleus to translation of proteins on ribosomes in the cytoplasm.
e.    Students know the role of the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus in the secretion of proteins.
f.    Students know usable energy is captured from sunlight by chloroplasts and is stored through the synthesis of sugar from carbon dioxide.
g.    Students know the role of the mitochondria in making stored chemical-bond energy available to cells by completing the breakdown of glucose to carbon dioxide.
h.    Students know most macromolecules (polysaccharides, nucleic acids, proteins, lipids) in cells and organisms are synthesized from a small collection of simple precursors.
i.    * Students know how chemiosmotic gradients in the mitochondria and chloroplast store energy for ATP production.
j.    * Students know how eukaryotic cells are given shape and internal organization by a cytoskeleton or cell wall or both.
2.    Mutation and sexual reproduction lead to genetic variation in a population. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know meiosis is an early step in sexual reproduction in which the pairs of chromosomes separate and segregate randomly during cell division to produce gametes containing one chromosome of each type.
b.    Students know only certain cells in a multi cellular organism undergo meiosis.
c.    Students know how random chromosome segregation explains the probability that a particular allele will be in a gamete.
d.    Students know new combinations of alleles may be generated in a zygote through the fusion of male and female gametes (fertilization).
e.    Students know why approximately half of an individual's DNA sequence comes from each parent.
f.    Students know the role of chromosomes in determining an individual's sex.
g.    Students know how to predict possible combinations of alleles in a zygote from the genetic makeup of the parents.
3.    A multi cellular organism develops from a single zygote, and its phenotype depends on its genotype, which is established at fertilization. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know how to predict the probable outcome of phenotypes in a genetic cross from the genotypes of the parents and mode of inheritance (autosomal or X-linked, dominant or recessive).
b.    Students know the genetic basis for Mendel's laws of segregation and independent assortment.
c.    * Students know how to predict the probable mode of inheritance from a pedigree diagram showing phenotypes.
d.    * Students know how to use data on frequency of recombination at meiosis to estimate genetic distances between loci and to interpret genetic maps of chromosomes.
4.    Genes are a set of instructions encoded in the DNA sequence of each organism that specify the sequence of amino acids in proteins characteristic of that organism. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know the general pathway by which ribosomes synthesize proteins, using tRNAs to translate genetic information in mRNA.
b.    Students know how to apply the genetic coding rules to predict the sequence of amino acids from a sequence of codons in RNA.
c.    Students know how mutations in the DNA sequence of a gene may or may not affect the expression of the gene or the sequence of amino acids in an encoded protein.
d.    Students know specialization of cells in multi cellular organisms is usually due to different patterns of gene expression rather than to differences of the genes themselves.
e.    Students know proteins can differ from one another in the number and sequence of amino acids.
f.    * Students know why proteins having different amino acid sequences typically have different shapes and chemical properties.
5.    The genetic composition of cells can be altered by incorporation of exogenous DNA into the cells. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know the general structures and functions of DNA, RNA, and protein.
b.    Students know how to apply base-pairing rules to explain precise copying of DNA during semi conservative replication and transcription of information from DNA into mRNA.
c.    Students know how genetic engineering (biotechnology) is used to produce novel biomedical and agricultural products.
d.    * Students know how basic DNA technology (restriction digestion by endonucleases, gel electrophoresis, ligation, and transformation) is used to construct recombinant DNA molecules.
e.    * Students know how exogenous DNA can be inserted into bacterial cells to alter their genetic makeup and support expression of new protein products.
6.    Stability in an ecosystem is a balance between competing effects. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know bio diversity is the sum total of different kinds of organisms and is affected by alterations of habitats.
b.    Students know how to analyze changes in an ecosystem resulting from changes in climate, human activity, introduction of nonnative species, or changes in population size.
c.    Students know how fluctuations in population size in an ecosystem are determined by the relative rates of birth, immigration, emigration, and death.
d.    Students know how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle between abiotic resources and organic matter in the ecosystem and how oxygen cycles through photosynthesis and respiration.
e.    Students know a vital part of an ecosystem is the stability of its producers and decomposers.
f.    Students know at each link in a food web some energy is stored in newly made structures but much energy is dissipated into the environment as heat. This dissipation may be represented in an energy pyramid.
g.    * Students know how to distinguish between the accommodation of an individual organism to its environment and the gradual adaptation of a lineage of organisms through genetic change.
7.    The frequency of an allele in a gene pool of a population depends on many factors and may be stable or unstable over time. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know why natural selection acts on the phenotype rather than the genotype of an organism.
b.    Students know why alleles that are lethal in a homozygous individual may be carried in a heterozygote and thus maintained in a gene pool.
c.    Students know new mutations are constantly being generated in a gene pool.
d.    Students know variation within a species increases the likelihood that at least some members of a species will survive under changed environmental conditions.
e.    * Students know the conditions for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in a population and why these conditions are not likely to appear in nature.
f.    * Students know how to solve the Hardy-Weinberg equation to predict the frequency of genotypes in a population, given the frequency of phenotypes.
8.    Evolution is the result of genetic changes that occur in constantly changing environments. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know how natural selection determines the differential survival of groups of organisms.
b.    Students know a great diversity of species increases the chance that at least some organisms survive major changes in the environment.
c.    Students know the effects of genetic drift on the diversity of organisms in a population.
d.    Students know reproductive or geographic isolation affects speciation.
e.    Students know how to analyze fossil evidence with regard to biological diversity, episodic speciation, and mass extinction.
f.    * Students know how to use comparative embryology, DNA or protein sequence comparisons, and other independent sources of data to create a branching diagram (cladogram) that shows probable evolutionary relationships.
g.    * Students know how several independent molecular clocks, calibrated against each other and combined with evidence from the fossil record, can help to estimate how long ago various groups of organisms diverged evolutionarily from one another.
9.    As a result of the coordinated structures and functions of organ systems, the internal environment of the human body remains relatively stable (homeostatic) despite changes in the outside environment. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know how the complementary activity of major body systems provides cells with oxygen and nutrients and removes toxic waste products such as carbon dioxide.
b.    Students know how the nervous system mediates communication between different parts of the body and the body's interactions with the environment.
c.    Students know how feedback loops in the nervous and endocrine systems regulate conditions in the body.
d.    Students know the functions of the nervous system and the role of neurons in transmitting electrochemical impulses.
e.    Students know the roles of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons in sensation, thought, and response.
f.    * Students know the individual functions and sites of secretion of digestive enzymes (amylases, proteases, nucleases, lipases), stomach acid, and bile salts.
g.    * Students know the homeostatic role of the kidneys in the removal of nitrogenous wastes and the role of the liver in blood detoxification and glucose balance.
h.    * Students know the cellular and molecular basis of muscle contraction, including the roles of actin, myosin, Ca+2 , and ATP.
i.    * Students know how hormones (including digestive, reproductive, osmoregulatory) provide internal feedback mechanisms for homeostasis at the cellular level and in whole organisms.
10.    Organisms have a variety of mechanisms to combat disease. As a basis for under-standing the human immune response:
a.    Students know the role of the skin in providing nonspecific defenses against infection.
b.    Students know the role of antibodies in the body's response to infection.
c.    Students know how vaccination protects an individual from infectious diseases.
d.    Students know there are important differences between bacteria and viruses with respect to their requirements for growth and replication, the body's primary defenses against bacterial and viral infections, and effective treatments of these infections.
e.    Students know why an individual with a compromised immune system (for example, a person with AIDS) may be unable to fight off and survive infections by microorganisms that are usually benign.
f.    * Students know the roles of phagocytes, B-lymphocytes, and T-lymphocytes in the immune system.

Earth Sciences - Grades Nine Through Twelve
Science Content Standards.

Standards that all students are expected to achieve in the course of their studies are unmarked.
Standards that all students should have the opportunity to learn are marked with an asterisk (*).
Earth's Place in the Universe
1.    Dynamic Earth Astronomy and planetary exploration reveal the solar system's structure, scale, and change over time. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know how the differences and similarities among the sun, the terrestrial planets, and the gas planets may have been established during the formation of the solar system.
b.    Students know the evidence from Earth and moon rocks indicates that the solar system was formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas approximately 4.6 billion years ago.
c.    Students know the evidence from geological studies of Earth and other planets suggest that the early Earth was very different from Earth today.
d.    Students know the evidence indicating that the planets are much closer to Earth than the stars are.
e.    Students know the Sun is a typical star and is powered by nuclear reactions, primarily the fusion of hydrogen to form helium.
f.    Students know the evidence for the dramatic effects that asteroid impacts have had in shaping the surface of planets and their moons and in mass extinctions of life on Earth.
g.    * Students know the evidence for the existence of planets orbiting other stars.
2.    Earth-based and space-based astronomy reveal the structure, scale, and changes in stars, galaxies, and the universe over time. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know the solar system is located in an outer edge of the disc-shaped Milky Way galaxy, which spans 100,000 light years.
b.    Students know galaxies are made of billions of stars and comprise most of the visible mass of the universe.
c.    Students know the evidence indicating that all elements with an atomic number greater than that of lithium have been formed by nuclear fusion in stars.
d.    Students know that stars differ in their life cycles and that visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes may be used to collect data that reveal those differences.
e.    * Students know accelerators boost subatomic particles to energy levels that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.
f.    * Students know the evidence indicating that the color, brightness, and evolution of a star are determined by a balance between gravitational collapse and nuclear fusion.
g.    * Students know how the red-shift from distant galaxies and the cosmic background radiation provide evidence for the "big bang" model that suggests that the universe has been expanding for 10 to 20 billion years.
3.    Plate tectonics operating over geologic time has changed the patterns of land, sea, and mountains on Earth's surface. As the basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know features of the ocean floor (magnetic patterns, age, and sea-floor topography) provide evidence of plate tectonics.
b.    Students know the principal structures that form at the three different kinds of plate boundaries.
c.    Students know how to explain the properties of rocks based on the physical and chemical conditions in which they formed, including plate tectonic processes.
d.    Students know why and how earthquakes occur and the scales used to measure their intensity and magnitude.
e.    Students know there are two kinds of volcanoes: one kind with violent eruptions producing steep slopes and the other kind with voluminous lava flows producing gentle slopes.
f.    * Students know the explanation for the location and properties of volcanoes that are due to hot spots and the explanation for those that are due to subduction.
Energy in the Earth System
4.    Energy enters the Earth system primarily as solar radiation and eventually escapes as heat. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know the relative amount of incoming solar energy compared with Earth's internal energy and the energy used by society.
b.    Students know the fate of incoming solar radiation in terms of reflection, absorption, and photosynthesis.
c.    Students know the different atmospheric gases that absorb the Earth's thermal radiation and the mechanism and significance of the greenhouse effect.
d.    * Students know the differing greenhouse conditions on Earth, Mars, and Venus; the origins of those conditions; and the climatic consequences of each.
5.    Heating of Earth's surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, producing winds and ocean currents. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know how differential heating of Earth results in circulation patterns in the atmosphere and oceans that globally distribute the heat.
b.    Students know the relationship between the rotation of Earth and the circular motions of ocean currents and air in pressure centers.
c.    Students know the origin and effects of temperature inversions.
d.    Students know properties of ocean water, such as temperature and salinity, can be used to explain the layered structure of the oceans, the generation of horizontal and vertical ocean currents, and the geographic distribution of marine organisms.
e.    Students know rain forests and deserts on Earth are distributed in bands at specific latitudes.
f.    * Students know the interaction of wind patterns, ocean currents, and mountain ranges results in the global pattern of latitudinal bands of rain forests and deserts.
g.    * Students know features of the ENSO (El NiƱo southern oscillation) cycle in terms of sea-surface and air temperature variations across the Pacific and some climatic results of this cycle.
6.    Climate is the long-term average of a region's weather and depends on many factors. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know weather (in the short run) and climate (in the long run) involve the transfer of energy into and out of the atmosphere.
b.    Students know the effects on climate of latitude, elevation, topography, and proximity to large bodies of water and cold or warm ocean currents.
c.    Students know how Earth's climate has changed over time, corresponding to changes in Earth's geography, atmospheric composition, and other factors, such as solar radiation and plate movement.
d.    * Students know how computer models are used to predict the effects of the increase in greenhouse gases on climate for the planet as a whole and for specific regions.
Biogeochemical Cycles
7.    Each element on Earth moves among reservoirs, which exist in the solid earth, in oceans, in the atmosphere, and within and among organisms as part of biogeochemical cycles. As a basis for understanding this concept
a.    Students know the carbon cycle of photosynthesis and respiration and the nitrogen cycle.
b.    Students know the global carbon cycle: the different physical and chemical forms of carbon in the atmosphere, oceans, biomass, fossil fuels, and the movement of carbon among these reservoirs.
c.    Students know the movement of matter among reservoirs is driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy.
d.    * Students know the relative residence times and flow characteristics of carbon in and out of its different reservoirs.
Structure and Composition of the Atmosphere
8.    Life has changed Earth's atmosphere, and changes in the atmosphere affect conditions for life. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know the thermal structure and chemical composition of the atmosphere.
b.    Students know how the composition of Earth's atmosphere has evolved over geologic time and know the effect of outgassing, the variations of carbon dioxide concentration, and the origin of atmospheric oxygen.
c.    Students know the location of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, its role in absorbing ultraviolet radiation, and the way in which this layer varies both naturally and in response to human activities.
California Geology
9.    The geology of California underlies the state's wealth of natural resources as well as its natural hazards. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a.    Students know the resources of major economic importance in California and their relation to California's geology.
b.    Students know the principal natural hazards in different California regions and the geologic basis of those hazards.
c.    Students know the importance of water to society, the origins of California 's fresh water, and the relationship between supply and need.
d.    * Students know how to analyze published geologic hazard maps of California and know how to use the map's information to identify evidence of geologic events of the past and predict geologic changes in the future.

Investigation & Experimentation - Grades 9 To 12
Science Content Standards.
1.    Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other four strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
a.    Select and use appropriate tools and technology (such as computer-linked probes, spreadsheets, and graphing calculators) to perform tests, collect data, analyze relationships, and display data.
b.    Identify and communicate sources of unavoidable experimental error.
c.    Identify possible reasons for inconsistent results, such as sources of error or uncontrolled conditions.
d.    Formulate explanations by using logic and evidence.
e.    Solve scientific problems by using quadratic equations and simple trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions.
f.    Distinguish between hypothesis and theory as scientific terms.
g.    Recognize the usefulness and limitations of models and theories as scientific representations of reality.
h.    Read and interpret topographic and geologic maps.
i.    Analyze the locations, sequences, or time intervals that are characteristic of natural phenomena (e.g., relative ages of rocks, locations of planets over time, and succession of species in an ecosystem).
j.    Recognize the issues of statistical variability and the need for controlled tests.
k.    Recognize the cumulative nature of scientific evidence.
l.    Analyze situations and solve problems that require combining and applying concepts from more than one area of science.
m.    Investigate a science-based societal issue by researching the literature, analyzing data, and communicating the findings. Examples of issues include irradiation of food, cloning of animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer, choice of energy sources, and land and water use decisions in California.
n.    Know that when an observation does not agree with an accepted scientific theory, the observation is sometimes mistaken or fraudulent (e.g., the Piltdown Man fossil or unidentified flying objects) and that the theory is sometimes wrong (e.g., the Ptolemaic model of the movement of the Sun, Moon, and planets).

1998 Science Content Standards

Adopted by the California State Board of Education      
© California Department of Education
October 1998