Connected Biology

Curriculum Overview

In high school biology, students should explore the relationships between small molecules and large populations to make sense of complex phenomena. Connected Biology provides a sequence of technology-enhanced three-dimensional lessons for high school biology that fosters integrated learning of genetics and evolution. This novel curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) performance expectations and supports students’ development of a network of connected biological concepts that they can use to develop a model of the relationships between molecules, cells, organisms, and populations, and analyze and interpret data to construct scientific explanations to explain these phenomena. The content for all curriculum development is based on cases for evolution education developed by Michigan State University, Evo-Ed, and enhanced by the technological frameworks of the Concord Consortium. Learn more »

ConnectedBio students using the deer mice simulation

Performance Expectations

The simulations along with the ConnectedBio curriculum moves students towards achieving the following Next Generation Science Standards.

HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.

HS-LS1-2. Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

HS-LS3-1. Ask questions to clarify relationships about the role of DNA and chromosomes/genes/alleles in coding the instructions for characteristic traits passed from parents to offspring.

HS-LS3-2. Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from:(1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.

HS-LS3-3. Apply concepts of statistics and probability to explain the variation and distribution of expressed traits in a population.

HS-LS4-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.

HS-LS4-4. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.

HS-LS4-5. Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.



The Concord Consortium Michigan State University