FOCUS: Life science: cells and body systems, reproduction and heredity, natural selection, populations and ecosystems. PROCESS & SKILLS: The central focus of the year is how we use our understanding of living things–from the smallest scale (cells and microbes) to the largest (marine mammals and ecosystems)–to construct evidence-based explanations of the natural world. Students ask questions and define problems, examining how human behaviors and decisions impact life around us. Project-based lab experiences and research projects are incorporated heavily throughout the year, as well as off-campus experiences that put students into the role of scientist-in-the-field. Student understanding is evaluated through project presentations, visual displays, model building, and design challenges. HIGHLIGHT: Ocean Ambassador’s Marine Conservation Project.