Students begin this course with a study of genetics and cells, exploring the elements shaping the characteristics of our features and how cells function. Students visit the Bio Base Laboratory to collaborate in small groups with scientists and examine different types of cells under high-powered microscopes. At the end of the unit, students consider cutting-edge applications of biotechnology, such as genetic engineering, stem cell research, genetically modified foods, and the Human Genome Project.
Students investigate the organization of the human body and its systems. Students spend two trimesters exploring 11 human systems and the ways they interact, including two dissections (brain and heart). As part of this program, students spend two months working with neuroscientists from Columbia University on a study of the brain. The program emphasizes careers in science and makes connections to real applications of lessons, such as genetic engineering and stem cell research.