• Human Body Systems  2015 – 2016              Ms. Kathleen Wilhelmy

    Course Objective

    This course will engage students in the study of the processes, structures and interactions of human body systems. Important biomedical concepts in the course include: communication, transport of substances, locomotion, metabolic processes, identity, and protection. The central theme will focus on how the body systems work together to maintain homeostasis and good health. The systems will be studied as “parts of a whole,” working together to keep the amazing human machine functioning at an optimal level. Students will design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of body systems, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary actions, and respiratory operation. Exploring science in action, students will work through interesting real world cases and often play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries. 



    Each marking period counts as 40% of a student’s final grade, with a comprehensive final exam and final project at the end of the Semester which will count as 20% of their final grade. Each marking period the grade will be determined according to the following chart.  

    PLTW Class Activities



    Major Projects / Tests






    Class Participation
























    Below 65

    Attendance, Lateness and Cutting

    All rules regarding attendance, lateness, and cutting will be followed as per the 2015 – 2016 Policy Edition Newsletter. All absences will be counted as unexcused unless the school receives proper notification. You must report to class on time or you will be marked late. If you are late three times it will be equivalent to one absence, which could affect your grade. If you cut a class or are late you will receive a “0” for any assigned work, quizzes or tests you miss during that period. 



    It is the student’s responsibility to make up any work missed due to an excused absence within 5 days of returning to school.  This includes absences in which the student was not in school and it includes missing a class due to participation in a sport, extracurricular activity and attending class trips or any other school event. Please consult with me in advance if you will be missing class for a test, quiz or major presentation so that arrangements can be made.

    Time will be given in class to complete the activities and projects but any assignments not completed in class must be completed for homework. The specific items that are due for each assignment will be specified by me during the lesson and posted on the board. It is the student’s responsibility to complete and hand in assignment on time.  Some activities and projects will be completed in groups and each person is responsible for taking their own notes and answering all conclusion questions. Failure to turn in assignments on time will result in a reduced grade or a zero.

    Quizzes and tests will be given throughout the course.  The material covered on each test will based on the essential questions, vocabulary and content covered in each activity.  



    School rules and regulations will be followed in my classroom as per the Student Handbook. Students should wear their school I.D. and dress appropriately. Inappropriate use of electronic devices will not be tolerated during class and are subject to confiscation and/or disciplinary action.


    Plagiarism will not be tolerated. It invalidates the work of the person who copied the words, and deprives the original author of credit.

    Students will be assigned seats, lab tables, books, and other equipment for use during class; it is his/her responsibility to insure their area and equipment is kept neat, clean, in good working order and free of any graffiti. The equipment and books are expensive and students will be held financially accountable for damages due to neglect.

    All Safety rules and regulations must be followed as per safety contract. Not following lab safety rules could result in the student’s removal from class and a reduced grade or a zero for that lab assignment. 

    Student Supplies Required

    Laboratory Journal

    Career Notebook

    3 Ring Binder


    Human Body Systems - Unit Summaries

    The Human Body Systems (HBS) course is divided into six units designed to introduce students to the way in which body systems work together to maintain homeostasis and good health. The following is a description of each unit in the HBS course.

    Unit One – Identity

    Unit one engages students in a discussion of what it means to be human. Students investigate the body systems and functions that all humans have in common, and then look at differences in tissues, such as bone and muscle, and in molecules, such as DNA, to pinpoint unique identity. Students play the role of forensic anthropologists as they unlock the clues of identity found in bone and use restriction analysis and gel electrophoresis to analyze differences in DNA. Students begin to study histology and build upon their knowledge of human tissue.


    Unit Two – Communication

    In unit two, students investigate modes of communication within the human body as well as the ways humans communicate with the outside world. Students create a model of the human brain and design a brain map that pinpoints specific areas of function. Students investigate the roles of electrical and chemical signals in communication and response in the human body. They explore the ways in which hormones and the endocrine system control body function in order to solve a medical mystery. Students compare response time to reflex and voluntary actions using data acquisition software, and design experiments to test factors that can impact this response. By investigating the anatomy and physiology of the human eye, students learn how the body receives and interprets stimuli from the outside world.

    Unit Three – Power

    In this unit, students investigate the human body systems that work to obtain, distribute, or process the body’s primary resources for energy and power—food, oxygen, and water. Students make a working model of the digestive system and design experiments to test the optimal conditions for chemical digestion. Students use probes and data acquisition software to monitor their own lung function and oxygen intake. Students investigate the anatomy and physiology of the urinary system and do a simulated urinalysis to identify health conditions and diagnosis disease. 

    Unit Four – Movement

    In unit four, students investigate the movement of the human body as well as of substances within the body. Students dissect a joint to visualize the connection between skeletal muscle and bone. By building muscle groups on a skeletal model, students learn how a muscle’s structure is directly related to its function and to the actions it can produce. Students design experiments to test the requirements for muscle contraction and create models to show relaxation and contraction of the sarcomere. A study of blood flow illustrates the roles smooth and cardiac muscles play in the transport of substances around the body. At the end of the unit, students combine information about power and movement to describe how the body fuels and responds to exercise. Playing the role of biomedical professionals in a combined medical practice that caters to athletes, the students design a comprehensive training plan for an athlete. The plan includes all aspects of training, from diet and exercise to hydration and injury prevention.

    Unit Five – Protection

    In this unit, students explore ways in which the human body protects itself from injury and disease. Before students investigate specific defense mechanisms and the immune system, they explore the protective functions of skin, bone and the feeling of pain. Antigen-antibody interactions are introduced as well as the structure of the lymphatic and immune system. Students analyze data from a fictional illness and relate antibody response to the action of specific white blood cells. Students design a game or a children’s book that illustrates the many ways in which body structures function in protection.
    Unit Six – Homeostasis

    This final unit focuses on the connection between all of the human body systems and examines how these systems work together to maintain health and homeostasis. Students explore how the body deals with extreme external environments as well as how the body reacts to and defends against injury and illness. Students begin to discuss and design medical interventions; the activities in this lesson are an engagement for the subsequent course, Medical Interventions.



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