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Biology Full Year Course

Major biological concepts for student focus include the diversity of organisms; the cell; heredity; matter, energy, and organization of living systems; evolution of living systems; physiology; the biosphere and interdependence of abiotic and biotic factors. 

This rigorous, comprehensive course will engage students as they develop a deeper understanding of biology. Students will be challenged to apply their knowledge and skills to a variety of hands-on activities in class and outside of class. The class will focus on active student participation, hands-on laboratory assignments, and the development of critical thinking skills. 

Students will not only be learning science, they will be DOING science. 

Class will meet live on Zoom weekly for one hour to discuss and learn about that week’s biology topics. The live class times will consist of a review of the previous week's labs and activities, a demonstration of the microscopy lab, a lecture and discussion based on the week's readings from the chapter, and a look at the next week's activities, with time for questions and discussion. The class is interactive and allows for active participation and cooperative learning. Outside of class, students will use hands-on investigation and scientific modeling to learn about the wonderful world of biology, from cells to ecosystems.

This course is open to middle school and high school students. When used for High School Biology, this meets the Grades 9-12 life science graduation requirement. Middle school students who are not taking this for high school credit will have less assignments to turn in as a part of their evaluations.

All assignments will receive specific, individualized feedback and from the instructor. Grades will be provided upon request. 

Please contact Alison Blanco at [email protected] with any questions about this course.

Live Classes

Classes will meet via Zoom on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm EST. The class will meet for approximately one hour.

Time Commitment

Students will need to allocate approximately 3-5 hours of time for work outside of live class times. Assignments each week include readings, lesson activities, laboratory work, microscopy lab, chapter review problem sets, and some on some weeks, there are unit tests. 


Semester 1: 14 weeks: Every Tuesday from 9/6/22 to 12/13/22 (excluding 11/22/22)

Semester 2: 18 weeks: Every Tuesday from 1/10/23 to 5/16/23 (excluding 3/7/23)

Skills Needed

The RSO Biology 2 curriculum is geared toward students 12 and up (7th through 10th grade), so all participants should be able to read, write, and complete assignments at this level, or if needed, with the help of a parent.

Students should be able to compute basic math skills, such as multiplication, division, decimals, and rounding.

Skills Gained

Students in this class will obtain a deeper understanding of the living world through readings, lecture, activities, and laboratory work. We will also work to develop the following skills:

  • Writing a high quality lab report
  • Research of non-fiction scientific topics
  • Evaluation of sources and materials
  • Proper lab technique and skills
  • Analyzing current events in biology and recognizing bias


To participate in this class, learners will need the following:

  • R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Biology 2 student text and workbook (purchased separately)
  • Internet access
  • A computer with microphone and camera for in-class participation
  • Lab materials: most are commonly found items. A few items such as dissection specimens are easily obtained from science supply vendors. A complete list is available on curriculum page once enrolled, or available upon request. 
  • Microscope (optional, will need to participate in microscopy labs)
  • Zoom (free account)
  • Google account (free) for use with Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Jamboard. 

Included with this course:

  • Live online classes
  • Office hours
  • Specific feedback on all assignments

This course is open to middle school and high school students. When used for high school Biology, this course meets the Grades 9-12 life science graduation requirement.

Assignments: There will be assignments and activities for each week. These will include readings, videos and chapter review sets. Hands-on activities and labs are an integral part of science. Students will conduct laboratory experiments using items commonly available in the home. There is an optional animal dissection, with alternate activities available. Lab reports will be written using the scientific method, and students will receive detailed instructions and feedback on how to write a high quality lab report. High school students will need to type lab reports. There is a microscopy component to this curriculum, which adds a deeper level of understanding to biology, but due to the cost of microscopes, it is optional. If students wish to participate, they will need a microscope and basic microscopy materials. The microscopy will also be shown during live class times, or shared in a pre-recorded video.

Student Support: There are live office hours for this class for students to discuss assignments or content one-on-one (or in a small group) with the instructor. The instructor is always available to students by email at [email protected]

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