Evolve your bio knowledge.
To life, to life, biology! In this course, we lift our soda bottles to biology, the study of life.
In this course, you'll learn how life rolls. Chances are, you've heard of cells, genetics, and evolution. After all, you can't watch the news or any show on Hulu without about stem cells, DNA evidence, or the controversy over evolution. But can you tell us how plants manage to get energy from the sun, how a blond-haired kid can be born to a brown-haired family, and why exactly carbs are not the evil enemy the media has made them out to be, but the one molecule essential to human survival? Sounds like we could help you out there.
Get ready to get the details on all that stuff you think you already know. This course is all about understanding the processes behind life as we know it. You know the Circle of Life? Well, it turns out that's not just a catchy tune that Disney made up, but a real thing. We'll start at the "bottom" of the biological pyramid with molecules and cells, work through genetics and evolution, and emerge victorious at the top of the pyramid with plants, animals, and ecology.
P.S. Biology is a two-semester course. You're looking at Semester B, but you can check out Semester A here.
- Microsoft Office, Google Docs, or another word processing program
- A scanner (or access to one)
- A camera (a camera phone is sufficient)
- All other work can be done via the Shmoop website.
Knowledge of basic pre-algebra concepts
Course BreakdownPurchase units individually
Unit 7. Evolution
This unit starts by saluting the father of evolution, Mr. Charles Darwin. From there we'll move on to the golden topic of the unit: natural selection. After that, the mechanisms of evolution, and finally, how an entirely new species can arise. Once students recover from the speciation revelation, we'll geek out by looking at evidence of evolution like fossils.
Unit 8. Population Genetics
What do you get when you cross Mendel and Darwin? Population genetics. This unit takes the study of both fields further, looking at how populations evolve, the role of mutations in evolution, what the deal is with lethal alleles, and the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium principle.
Unit 9. Ecology
This unit moves beyond the individual organisms studied in the previous units and explores how organisms interact with their environments. Starting with biodiversity, we'll learn about species interactions, population ecology, energy cycles, and how energy gets from plants into us.
Unit 10. Microorganisms
In this unit, Shmoop's got the scoop on all (living) things microscopic. Students will learn about the structures and functions of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and show off their newfound knowledge by creating a CDC brochure.
Unit 11. Plants
Shmoop thinks that plants are seriously underrated. They can make their own food from light and they reproduce without even moving. In this unit, we'll get intimately familiar with plants, focusing on plant evolution, physiology, and ecology.
Unit 12. Animals
To round out this course, we'll learn the ins and outs (literally!) of animals, including one we're all intimately familiar with: human beings. After a brief foray into different classifications of animals, we'll focus on physiology, including everyone's favorite systems, the circulatory, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.