NC Essential Science Standards: Biology


  1. Structures and Functions of Living Organisms

    Bio.1.1 — Understand the relationship between the structures and functions of cells and their organelles. 

    Bio.1.1.1 — Summarize the structure and function of organelles in eukaryotic cells (including the nucleus, plasma membrane, cell wall, mitochondria, vacuoles, chloroplasts, and ribosomes) and ways that these organelles interact with each other to perform the function of the cell. 

    Bio.1.1.2 — Compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in terms of their general structures (plasma membrane and genetic material) and degree of complexity. 

    Bio.1.1.3 — Explain how instructions in DNA lead to cell differentiation and result in cells specialized to perform specific functions in multicellular organisms.

    Bio.1.2 — Analyze the cell as a living system. 

    Bio.1.2.1 — Explain how homeostasis is maintained in a cell and within an organism in various environments (including temperature and pH). 

    Bio.1.2.2 — Analyze how cells grow and reproduce in terms of interphase, mitosis and cytokinesis.

    Bio.1.2.3 — Explain how specific cell adaptations help cells survive in particular environments (focus on unicellular organisms). 

  2. Ecosystems

    Bio.2.1 — Analyze the interdependence of living organisms within their environments. 

    Bio.2.1.1 — Analyze the flow of energy and cycling of matter (such as water, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen) through ecosystems relating the significance of each to maintaining the health and sustainability of an ecosystem. 

    Bio.2.1.2 — Analyze the survival and reproductive success of organisms in terms of behavioral, structural and reproductive adaptations.

    Bio 2.1.3 — Explain various ways organisms interact with each other (including predation, competition, parasitism, mutualism) and with their environments resulting in stability within ecosystems.
       New Hope for Hemlocks

    Bio.2.1.4 — Explain why ecosystems can be relatively stable over hundreds or thousands of years, even though populations may fluctuate (emphasizing availability of food, availability of shelter, number of predators and disease).

    Summarize how humans modify ecosystems through population growth, technology, consumption of resources and production of waste.
    — Interpret data regarding the historical and predicted impact on ecosystems and global climate.
    — Explain factors that impact North Carolina ecosystems. (Examples: acid rain effects in mountains, beach erosion, urban development in the Piedmont leading to habitat destruction and water runoff, waste lagoons on hog farms, Kudzu as an invasive plant, etc.)
     •  Lionfish

    Bio.2.2.1 — Infer how human activities (including population growth, pollution, global warming, burning of fossil fuels, habitat destruction and introduction of nonnative species) may impact the environment. 
     •  Greening the Golf Course
     •  A Library of Plants
     •  Gray Seal Tracking
     •  A Drone's Eye View of the Ocean

    Bio.2.2.2 — Explain how the use, protection and conservation of natural resources by humans impact the environment from one generation to the next. 
     •  Greening the Golf Course
     •  A Library of Plants


  3. Evolution and Genetics

    Bio.3.1 — Explain how traits are determined by the structure and function of DNA. 

    Bio.3.1.1 — Explain the double-stranded, complementary nature of DNA as related to its function in the cell.

    Bio.3.1.2 — Explain how DNA and RNA code for proteins and determine traits.

    Bio.3.1.3 — Explain how mutations in DNA that result from interactions with the environment (i.e. radiation and chemicals) or new combinations in existing genes lead to changes in function and phenotype. 

    Bio.3.2 — Understand how the environment, and/or the interaction of alleles, influences the expression of genetic traits. 

    Bio.3.2.1 — Explain the role of meiosis in sexual reproduction and genetic variation.

    Bio.3.2.2 — Predict offspring ratios based on a variety of inheritance patterns (including dominance, co-dominance, incomplete dominance, multiple alleles, and sex-linked traits).

    Bio.3.2.3 — Explain how the environment can influence the expression of genetic traits. 
     •  Exposure Science/The 99% Solution 

    Bio.3.3 —
    Understand the application of DNA technology. 

    Bio.3.3.1 — Interpret how DNA is used for comparison and identification of organisms.
     •  Precision Medicine

    Bio.3.3.2 — Summarize how transgenic organisms are engineered to benefit society.
     •  Just a Spoonful of Soybeans  
    •  Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

    Bio.3.3.3 — Evaluate some of the ethical issues surrounding the use of DNA technology (including cloning, genetically modified organisms, stem cell research, and Human Genome Project).
     •  Precision Medicine
     •  Just a Spoonful of Soybeans
     •  New Fields for Food
     •  50 Shades of Green

    Bio.3.4 —
    Explain the theory of evolution by natural selection as a mechanism for how species change over time. 

    Bio.3.4.1 —
    Explain how fossil, biochemical, and anatomical evidence support the theory of evolution. 

    Bio.3.4.2 —
    Explain how natural selection influences the changes in species over time.

    Bio.3.4.3 — Explain how various disease agents (bacteria, viruses, chemicals) can influence natural selection.

    Bio.3.5 —
    Analyze how classification systems are developed upon speciation. 

    Bio.3.5.1 — Explain the historical development and changing nature of classification systems.

    Bio.3.5.2 — Analyze the classification of organisms according to their evolutionary relationships (including dichotomous keys and phylogenetic trees). 

  4. Molecular Biology

    Bio.4.1 — Understand how biological molecules are essential to the survival of living organisms. 

    Bio.4.1.1 — Compare the structures and functions of the major biological molecules (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids) as related to the survival of living organisms.
     •  Molecular Biology: DNA   

    Bio.4.1.2 — Summarize the relationship among DNA, proteins and amino acids in carrying out the work of cells and how this is similar in all organisms. 
     •  Molecular Biology: DNA

    Bio.4.1.3 — Explain how enzymes act as catalysts for biological reactions.

    Bio.4.2 —
    Analyze the relationships between biochemical processes and energy use in the cell. 

    Bio.4.2.1 — Analyze photosynthesis and cellular respiration in terms of how energy is stored, released, and transferred within and between these systems. 

    Bio 4.2.2 —
    Explain ways that organisms use released energy for maintaining homeostasis (active transport).