- Grades 7-11
- Science and Engineering
From microscopic investigation to the basics of veterinary medicine, this course explores the principles of comparative animal anatomy, physiology, and genetics. You will learn key concepts of zoology such as characteristics of the animal cell, heredity, taxonomy, and evolution, including natural selection. Through laboratory dissections of animals ranging from perch to rats, you’ll explore the different systems of each species—digestive, nervous, immune, endocrine, reproductive, and circulatory. You and your classmates will research and discuss topics including animal behavior, environmental adaptation, husbandry and domestication, and the human impact on animal life—including environmental degradation and species extinction. Through lab work and in the field, you’ll put science into practice by learning to formulate research questions, gather and analyze data, and interpret results.
Typical Class Size: 18-20
- Justify that animals have evolved organ systems that sense and process external information that is used to facilitate and enhance survival, growth and reproduction
- Defend the statement that “Heritable information provides for continuity of life" by constructing a framework of hereditary concepts including that while some traits are determined by the actions of single genes, most traits result from the interactions of multiple genes or interactions between genes and the environment, and these traits often exhibit a spectrum of phenotypic properties that allow for a wider range of observable traits, including weight, height and coat color in animals
- Prove that the nervous system is evolutionarily conserved, relate the features of an organism’s nervous system to another body system to ensure homeostasis for the organism
- Produce a visual representation or model connecting external factors in the environment that impacts on heritability and lastly evolution
- Illustrate three examples of human activities impacting on ecosystems and populations of animals that can lead to biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, invasive species, bioaccumulation or biomagnification, and propose a possible solution to reverse such impacts on the environment
- Maintain a laboratory notebook of scientific observations and experiments including measurements and data collection and analysis; correctly label anatomical sketches of dissections; comparisons/contrasts of animal systems and adaptations to carry out life functions such as growing, reproducing, and obtaining energy
- Demonstrate awareness of the skills and tools necessary to complete a scientific dissection by observing and critiquing the dissection skills of co-researchers, based on a peer-developed set of criteria
Summer Dates & Locations
Testing and Prerequisites
|Required Level||CTY-Level||Not required|
Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.Sign up for Testing Learn More
Cost and Financial Aid
- Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
- Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)
Financial Aid is available
We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.
Please acquire all course materials by the course start date, unless noted as perishable. Items marked as “perishable” should not be acquired until the student needs them in the course. If you have questions about these materials or difficulty locating them, please contact [email protected].
Course Extras (Lab fee info, etc.): Lab fee: $145
These titles have been featured in past sessions of the course, and may be included this summer. CTY provides students with all texts; no purchase is required.
- Zoology, Stephen A. Miller and John Harley
About Science and Engineering at CTY
Explore space and our planet
In our Introduction to Astronomy course, we’ll visit a nearby observatory or planetarium, see what the cosmos looks like through various spectra, and immerse ourselves in the science and technology that bring the universe closer to home. In Marine Ecology, we’ll visit local wetlands and tidepools, observe flora and fauna, collect water samples and analyze them for clues about their health and humans’ impact. And in The Global Environment, we will explore the human impact on our environment and generate proposals for addressing climate change.
Bond over chemistry
Our chemistry courses help you see the world differently, starting at the atomic level. The Edible World gives budding chefs and science lovers a glimpse into the chemical reactions that happen when we make food, and the chemical makeup of meals and treats we eat every day. In our Crystals and Polymers course, we’ll synthesize slime, grow rock candy, and isolate strawberry DNA to learn about the molecular structure of naturally occurring gems and human-produced plastics. In Chemistry in Society, we’ll consider how the chemicals in products can both enhance and degrade the world around us; produce biodiesel in a lab to understand alternative fuels; and prepare aspirin to learn about the healing and toxic properties of pharmaceuticals.