MPSHome Alumni Calendar Contact
Biology Corse info 2018-2019


Mr Hamilton’s General Biology Course Information 2018-19

What is Science?

            Science is a process of asking questions and systematically seeking answers through experimentation and collaboration. The class reflects this process and helps students develop characteristics that good scientists share. Good scientists are curious, observant, persistent, inventive, logical, and organized. I hope you have fun in class and recognize the importance of science in your life.


What will we study?

General Biology is a year long course. During the year, students will be actively involved in studying these main units: introduction to study of life, ecology, biochemistry, cell structure and function, genetics, natural selection, evolution of populations, and homeostasis.



What will we do in class?

In class we will emphasize many aspects of being a good scientist including: the written analysis of experiments, use of problem solving and critical thinking skills, use and care of lab equipment, lab safety, and working as a research team.


Course work

Science notebook: Students are expected to use a science notebook for this class. It should be a bound composition style notebook. This notebook will be used to keep notes, various in-class assignments, science vocabulary and data for labs. The notebooks will be checked periodically and scored on completeness, organization and overall quality.


Tests: At the end of each major unit of study, students will take an in-class test that covers the material from that unit. For most tests/quizzes, students may elect to do test corrections, which will allow then to regain ½ credit on points lost. Students must make an appointment in order to do test corrections.


Science in the News: A few times a quarter, students will be asked to find and summarize an article about a science topic that is currently in the news.  


Laboratories: Students will conduct various types of investigations throughout the course. These investigations will introduce students to the skills needed to work like a scientist, establish effective research habits, and reinforce information learned in class. Some labs will just involve data collection and analysis while others will require full write-ups.


Class work: We will use a variety of tools to help gain knowledge and then assess that knowledge. Most of this work will be completed in the science notebook. Assignments not done in the notebook will receive individual grades. Each quarter, various projects will be assigned to allow students to investigate and demonstrate knowledge at a more in-depth level.





Course Policies and Expectations

Classroom expectations: Students are expected to arrive each day on time and ready to do science. Students should be ready and able to focus their class time on the science at hand. They are expected to control their own behavior and contribute to an orderly and safe learning environment. Students are expected to follow behavior guidelines outlined in the school handbook and the safety guidelines outlined in the lab safety contract. The ability to address the class expectations will be addressed in the class participation part of a student’s grade.


Homework policy: Students are expected to turn in assignments on the due date given. Late work will only receive partial credit, 20% will be deducted for each day late.


Extra Credit: Extra credit activities and assignments will be available to students who have no missing assignments.


Honesty: Cheating on any tests or assignments (this includes taking pictures of assignments and sending them to friends) will result in a grade of zero for all parties involved.


Electronic devices: Students are expected to follow school guidelines by keeping electronic devices, including the headphones for audio devices, put away while in class. Periodically we will use different devices to assist with our science work. Use of electronic devices in class should be discussed with Mr. Hamilton.


Final notes and thoughts


It is important that you review notes, homework and labs frequently. The study of science is and ongoing activity and it is more than just memorizing facts. If you are having difficulty understanding a topic or a process, see me as soon as possible. I will offer additional help if needed and will seek out other sources if more help is needed.


Active participation is critical to a complete understanding of science. To this end, it is your job to stay caught up with material and seek out answers if you are confused. This is a great subject that opens the door to many great lifetime pursuits. The more effort you put in, the more reward you get out.


We will be using Google Classroom as our online portal to our class. This will be a critical place to check in to when you are trying to fond missing work or to review topics we have discussed in class.



The best way to reach me is via email @