The vision for this course is to create a rich learning environment where students learn to appreciate Biology for itself wonder and beauty. While students will leave with a strong framework for understanding parts of classic AP-biology aligned biology curriculum, the real takeaway is the unique bridging of lab experiences, the development of biotech lab skills, design-thinking, and creativity. Through direct-instruction, small group discussions and activities, and project-based learning events, students learn and apply their understanding of molecular and cellular biology to living agar-based art pieces. Finally, the bridge between art and biology is intended to give a desirable entry-point to students who may not necessarily see themselves as the "science-type"and convince them otherwise!
Beautiful and Grotesque Biology is intended for rising 9th or 10th graders with a middle school understanding of science. This course may also be considered a primer for AP/honors level high school biology or a good review for students who recently took high school biology and plan to go deeper. The course also provides context for learning more traditional biology courses.