It's good in class to spend some time talking...and walking. We had a circle discussion on stem cells and stem cell research. We shared ideas, debated the hot topics and asked questions.
We also get up and get moving. When learning about energy and the energy found in foods, we did a lab to see how many flights of stairs one would have to walk in order to "burn" off the Calories in a snack they just consumed. See...I told them their homework was to bring a snack to class. One they would get to eat. After they ate it, I told them were going to now "burn" it off :)
To reinforce the concept of Osmosis, we did an Osmosis Lab using potatoes. Students had to place cubes of potatoes in different salt concentrations overnight and observe what happened. They had to make guesses about whether or not water would leave the cells of the potatoes, enter the cells of the potatoes or do nothing at all. We applied this to how our cells act.
In order to model the arrangement of the cell membrane, we used candy. Candy is colorful, comes in a variety of shapes and is fun to eat. Students had to model the arrangement of the cell membrane using the candy provided for them. Once they were able to model it correctly and explain it to me, they could eat it - their favorite part.
This week we learned all about cells. We did a lab where we removed cheek cells (don't worry...it doesn't hurt) and looked at them under the microscope. Along with the cheek cells, we discovered that many of us need to brush and gargle more often - we also found food particles! We practiced using the microscope, staining cells, and drawing what we saw. Students could also take a picture of their cells with their cell phone cameras. One student's turned out so good I had to share it. Students were able to apply what we were learning in class to something real - THEM!
This year, the NHS Environmental Science Club has partnered with the York County Master Gardeners and ATC to get the greenhouse at ATC operational for the winter and spring. Currently, there are 2 greenhouses between NHS and ATC that are not being used as intended. The Environmental Science Club has been working since last spring to clean up the insides of these greenhouses as well as clean around the outside to make the space usable. In order to bring this gardening initiative into the biology classroom, the Honors Biology 1 classes will be working on a Technological Design Project to design the inside of the greenhouse. Their problem was simple : MAKE THE GREENHOUSE FUNCTIONAL! In class, we have been learning about scientific thinking and measurement. This week we took a trip over to the greenhouse to measure it's dimensions. We also measured the height and arm reach of students in order to design tables that would accommodate most students. We collaborated and then shared our data. We will begin analyzing this data and then move on to the second part of this project - come up with a design. Check out the students working gathering their measurements.