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Biology with Lab (Novare), Part One

Using Classical Academic Press’s General Biology (Novare Series), we will combine up-to-date science with a Catholic worldview. The textbook starts at the atomic level and progresses to ever larger scales: cells, genes, microorganisms, plants, animals, and human organ systems. The final chapters survey ecology and the theory of evolution.

Total classes: 14

Prerequisite: None

Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th grade

Suggested credit: One full semester Biology with LAB or Science


This course will fulfill your high school science credit and prepare you for future science studies. Part One begins with the tools we use to talk about biology, and continues with the nature of molecular structure, increasing by scale to the cellular processes, DNA, classical genetics, and population genetics. The Novare method—learn, master, retain—is the goal of this course for the study of Biology. This course prepares students for ACT/SAT science exams. Students are expected to take notes during class and ask questions. Notes will help with weekly quizzes, as quizzes are open book. Labs are an integral (and required) part of the course; materials are common household items.


Week 1: Biology as a quantitative science—measure!

Week 2: What on Earth is life?

Week 3: Too small to see? History of biogenic science and the atom

Week 4: Organic chemistry, from water to DNA

Week 5: Cell theory

Week 6: Energy and membranes

Week 7: Oxygen, cellular respiration, and energy

Week 8: Photosynthesis

Week 9: Molecular biology

Week 10: The cell cycle through mitosis

Week 11: Meiosis

Week 12: Chromosomes and human genetics

Week 13: Gregor Mendel and Classical Genetics

Week 14: Population genetics

Lab Sequence:

1. Osmosis Lab – In this investigation, we will use a hen’s fresh egg to determine what happens during osmosis and diffusion across membranes.

2. Fermentation – We will set up a fermentation in a closed system and capture the generated carbon dioxide to carbonate root beer.

3. Mitosis Flip Book – We are drawing our own moving cell division!

4. Punnett Square – Applying our knowledge of phenotypes and genotypes to complete a worksheet.

5. Genetic Match – Students will determine the presence of certain high-frequency traits in themselves and their family members.

6. DNA Extraction – We will be creating a mixture to extract DNA from a strawberry!

7 M&M Lab – Activity to simulate the process of radioactive decay and to illustrate the concept of half-life.

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: General Biology 1st ed. by Rogstad and Ayala from Novare ISBN: 9781732638433

LAB booklet for purchase at Amazon. (<–click link)

Homework: Expect to spend approximately two-plus hours each week outside of the classroom on vocabulary study, reading, and quizzes. Vocabulary is assigned alongside the weekly reading for a better understanding of the material and to prepare the student for the live lecture. Most of the computer-graded quiz material is based on vocabulary and what is presented in class. The sequence of events for each week is as follows:

1. Read the assigned chapter(s)

2. Write the provided vocabulary words in your notebook

3. Come to class

4. Take the weekly computer-graded quiz

Lab Homework: Students will perform labs at home after class. Labs require ½-1 hours on alternate weeks.

Important Dates

Class Dates and Starting Times:

Wednesdays, September 4 to December 11, 2024 (No class Nov. 27)

10:00 AM Eastern (9:00 Central, 8:00 Mountain, 7:00 Pacific)


4:00 PM Eastern (3:00 Central, 2:00 Mountain, 1:00 Pacific)

Duration Per Class: 70 minutes

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