The simplest life forms exhibiting cellular structure are the prokaryotes. Earth’s first cells were prokaryotes. Prokaryotic cells exist in two major forms: eubacteria and archaebacteria. Prokaryotes are Earth’s most abundant inhabitants. They can survive in a wide range of environments and obtain energy in a variety of ways.
The student will investigate and understand relationships between cell structure and function. Key concepts include a) evidence supporting the cell theory; b) characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; c) similarities between the activities of the organelles in a single cell and a whole organism; d) the cell membrane model; and e) the impact of surface area to volume ratio on cell division, material transport, and other life processes.