Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brain Quiz!

You may use your notes for the Drugs, Brain and Behavior Quiz.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reading for Monday

This reading quiz will be your first grade of the spring semester.... So start the term off right!
Yes, it looks like a lot of reading, but it is the equivalent of reading about three pages in your textbook.

Drug addiction is a complex brain disease. Preventing drug abuse and addiction and treating the disease effectively require understanding the biological, genetic, social, psychological, and environmental factors that predispose individuals to drug addiction.

Background Information

Individuals make choices to begin using drugs. Some people begin using drugs to relieve a medical condition and then continue to use the drugs after the medical need is over. Children who are depressed or who have a psychiatric disorder sometimes begin using illicit drugs to self-medicate. Other people begin taking drugs to feel pleasure, to escape the pressures of life, or to alter their view of reality. This voluntary initiation into the world of addictive drugs has strongly influenced society's view of drug abuse and drug addiction and their treatment.

When does drug abuse become drug addiction? No one becomes addicted with the first use of a drug. Drug abuse and drug addiction can be thought of as points along a continuum. Any use of a mind-altering drug or the inappropriate use of medication (either prescription or over-the-counter drugs) is drug abuse, but the point when drug abuse becomes drug addiction is less clear. Different drug abusers may reach the point of addiction at different stages. Scientists continue to investigate the factors that cause the switch between the two points.

progression from no drug use to drug abuse and drug addiction
Figure 4.1: The continuum of drug abuse and addiction.

Currently, drug addiction is defined as the continued compulsive use of drugs in spite of adverse health or social consequences.1 Drug addicts have lost control of their drug use. Individuals who are addicted to drugs often become isolated from family or friends, have difficulty at work or school, and become involved with crime and the criminal justice system. For addicts, continuing their drug habit becomes their primary focus in life.

Certain drugs, including opiates and alcohol, cause strong physical reactions in the body when drug use stops. When a heroin addict stops taking heroin, he or she can experience a variety of symptoms ranging from watery eyes and a runny nose to irritability and loss of appetite and then diarrhea, shivering, sweating, abdominal cramps, increased sensitivity to pain, and sleep problems.2 In general, withdrawal from heroin makes the abuser feel miserable. Withdrawal from other drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, does not lead to strong physical reactions. For most drugs, physical withdrawal symptoms can usually be controlled effectively with medications. Even though withdrawal from some drugs does not cause the abuser to have physical reactions, stopping drug use is difficult because of the changes the drugs have caused in the brain. Once the drugs stop, the abuser will have cravings, or intense desire for the drugs.3 Craving arises from the brain's need to maintain a state of homeostasis that now includes the presence of the drug. A person may experience cravings at any stage of drug abuse or addiction, even early in the experimentation phase of drug abuse. Cravings have a physical basis in the brain. Using PET imaging, scientists have shown that just seeing images of drug paraphernalia can stimulate the amygdala (part of the brain that controls memory) in drug addicts.4

Drugs of addiction do not merely cause short-term changes in an individual's cognitive skill and behavior. A drug "high" lasts a short time, ranging from less than an hour to 12 hours, depending on the drug and dose. The changes in the brain that result from continued drug use, however, can last a long time. Scientists believe that some of these changes disappear when drug use stops; some disappear within a short time after drug use stops, and other changes are potentially permanent. One of the first changes in the brain that occurs in response to repeated drug abuse is tolerance. Tolerance develops when a person needs increasing doses of a drug to achieve the same "high" or "rush" that previously resulted from a lower dose of the drug. Two primary mechanisms underlie the development of tolerance.3 First, the body may become more efficient at metabolizing the drug, thereby reducing the amount that enters the bloodstream. Second, the cells of the body and brain may become more resistant to the effect of the drug. For example, after continued cocaine use, neurons decrease the number of dopamine receptors, which results in decreasing cocaine's stimulatory effect. Opiates, on the other hand, do not cause a change in the number of receptors. Instead the opiate receptors become less efficient in activating the second messenger system, thus reducing the effects of the opiates.

Drugs can cause other long-term changes in the anatomy and physiology of the brain's neurons. Alcohol, methamphetamine, and MDMA (Ecstasy) can kill neurons.3 Unlike other types of cells in the body, neurons in many parts of the brain have little or no capability to regenerate. (Recent studies have shown that the adult human brain can generate new neurons in the hippocampus, a part of the brain important for learning and memory.5 Other parts of the brain do not show this ability.) Alcohol kills neurons in the part of the brain that helps create new memories. If those neurons die, the capability for learning decreases. Methamphetamine kills dopamine-containing neurons in animals and possibly in humans as well.6 MDMA kills neurons that produce another neurotransmitter called serotonin.7 In addition to neurotoxic effects, drugs can significantly alter the activity of the brain. PET scans of cocaine addicts show that the metabolism of glucose, the primary fuel for cells, is drastically reduced in the brain, and that this decrease in metabolism can last for many months following cessation of drug abuse.8

In addition to the functional and anatomical changes in the brain, drug abuse puts addicts at higher risk for other health problems. For example, inhalant abuse can lead to disruption of heart rhythms, and snorting cocaine can lead to ulcerations in the mucous membranes of the nose. In addition, drug addicts are at increased risk of contracting HIV or AIDS through shared needles. Similarly, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are much more common among drug addicts than the general population. Tuberculosis is another concern. Drug abuse and addiction also are contributing factors in motor vehicle accidents.

Animals as Research Models

Why do scientists study the brains of nonhuman animals? Scientists use animals in research studies because the use of humans is either impossible or unethical. For example, when scientists investigate the effects of drugs of abuse on brain function, either the question they are asking cannot be answered in a living human or it would be inappropriate to give drugs to them.

The use of animals as subjects in scientific research has contributed to many important advances in scientific and medical knowledge. Scientists must analyze the goals of their experiments in order to select an animal species that is appropriate. Scientists often use fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) when they want to learn more about genetics. However, fruit flies are not a very good model if a scientist is investigating muscle physiology; a mouse may be a better model for those experiments. Although scientists strive to develop nonanimal models for research, these models often do not duplicate the complex animal or human body. Continued progress toward a more complete understanding of human and animal health depends on the use of living animals.

Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Scientific Research

Scientists who use animals as research subjects must abide by federal policies that govern the use and care of vertebrate animals in research. The Public Health Service established a policy that dictates specific requirements for animal care and use in research. This policy conforms to the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-158) and applies to all research, research training, biological testing, and other activities that involve animals.14 The principles for using and caring for vertebrate animals in research and testing are as follows:

  • The transportation, care, and use of animals should be in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and other applicable federal laws, guidelines, and policies.
  • Procedures involving animals should be designed with consideration of their relevance to human or animal health, the advancement of knowledge, or the good of society.
  • The animals selected should be of an appropriate species and quality and the minimum number required to obtain valid results. Methods such as mathematical models, computer simulation, and in vitro biological systems should be considered.
  • Procedures should minimize discomfort, distress, and pain to the animals.
  • Procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain should be performed with appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia.
  • Animals that would suffer severe or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved should be painlessly killed.
  • The living conditions of animals should be appropriate for the species. The housing, feeding, and care of animals must be directed by a veterinarian or a trained, experienced scientist.
  • Investigators who work with animals must be appropriately qualified and trained for conducting procedures on living animals.
  • Exceptions to any of these principles must be reviewed and approved by an appropriate committee prior to the procedure.
  • An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees all animal use in each institution where animal research is conducted. The IACUC must give approval for the research plan and species to be used. IACUCs include both scientists and nonscientists from outside the institution. The nonscientists are often representatives of humane

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Drugs change the biology and chemistry of the brain

Here is a link to more detailed information on consequences of using meth. Think drug use is glamorous? Think again. Learn more about addiction with the award winning show Intervention.

Drugs alter the biology and chemistry of the brain

Today we learned how drugs such as nicotine, cocaine and meth interfere with the chemistry of the brain. Click the picture below to link to the animation that describes what happens when cocaine is present.
Homework: Complete the last page of the packet on various routes of drug administration.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Neurons & Neurotransmitters

Today we learned about the structure of a neuron as well as the basics of how chemical and electrical signals are transmitted from one neuron to the next. To test your understanding on how neurons send signals, complete cases A and D in the animation below. Write the completed correct sentences down and bring them to class. Click the picture below to link to the activity.

What is Dopamine?

Caption: Dopamine neurotransmitter, molecular model. Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain as a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It has been intensively studied as it plays a crucial role in the brain's reward and pleasure pathways. It is released when a pleasurable new stimulus is encountered, and directs the brain to find more of the stimulus. For this reason it plays a significant role in addiction, not only to drugs that release or mimic dopamine (such as cocaine) but also to gambling and other social addictions. Lack of dopamine is linked to numerous disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, depression and schizophrenia. In this model atoms are shown as balls and are colour coded: carbon (grey), oxygen (red), nitrogen (blue) and hydrogen (white). Information from The Science Photo Library

Monday, December 6, 2010

Drugs, Brain & Behavior - Parts of the Brain

Today we started our last unit of the fall semester: Drugs, Brain and Behavior (The Science of Addiction).

Below is the video we watched in class on how a PET scanner works.

For homework you need to finish the online activity interpreting PET scans and answer the questions. Click on the picture to link to the activity.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Homework for Monday

Today we finished adding muscles to the skeletons and played "Ben Tony Says" to review the muscles.

On Monday we will be starting our last unit of the fall term: The NIH's Drugs, Brain & Behavior Curriculum.

Please read section 35.3 and take notes for a reading quiz.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Friend - Ben Tony The Skeleton

Olymar brought up a skeleton from another classroom to help us better see how the joints fit together. Below is a picture of F period with "Ben Tony."

Homework: Study the muscles in the post below and please remember to bring a device with internet to class tomorrow to complete course evaluations.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Muscular System

Homework for Friday:
Read a general overview of muscles here and study the major muscles below. We'll be playing a game to see how well you know which muscles are located where.

Putting Together the Skeleton

Today and tomorrow we will be assembling the skeletons and learning about the specific types of joints and bone composition. If time, we will start to add some of the major muscles.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Today we started to learn about the bones. Students will be making a scale model of a skeleton based on the drawing on their handout. Homework: finish the scaled measurements so tomorrow in class you can cut out the bones.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cancer Info

Today (or tomorrow) students have a choice on how they would like to learn about Cancer.

Option A:
Go to The A-Z List of Cancers and choose a cancer to research. You should create a public service announcement or flyer on one type of cancer. You have been emailed a template that contains all of the information you need. You may either create your flyer on the computer or by hand.

Option B:
There are two readings and discussion questions. The first reading is general information on cancer and the second reading is a case study that asks you to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is having genetic testing for breast cancer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mitosis & The Cell Cycle

Today students had a reading quiz on Chapter 10 and practiced using the microscopes again.

For homework: Play the cell cycle game here and answer the questions on the worksheet.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mitosis & Microscopes

Today in class we used microscopes to look at the stages of mitosis.

Homework: Bring your book to class tomorrow. You will be taking notes on Chapter 10. On Monday in class, you will have a reading quiz on all of Chapter 10.

Monday, November 15, 2010

ATP & A Techno Beat

Sure, it's not "we no speak americano" but this video will be much more helpful when it comes to studying for your test tomorrow. Thanks Claudia for sharing this!

Cellular Respiration Review

Today students made cellular respiration review posters. Below is a photo of the diagram from the board. Click the picture to make it larger. You have a test tomorrow on cellular respiration (Ch. 9).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Elodea & Snails Wrap Up & Cellular Respiration Review

Today we wrapped up the Elodea & Snails lab as well as used student generated questions to play trivia.

Below are the resources we used to help us learn about cellular respiration.

The Oxidative Phosphorylation Song (mp3 file).
The Oxidative Phosphorylation Song Lyrics
Citric Acid/Krebs Cycle Animation
The Electron Transport Chain Video (click "The Movie")

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elodea & Snails

Today we set up the elodea and snails lab. Homework: Read section 9.1 and take notes for a reading quiz.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cellular Respiration Intro

Today we introduced cellular respiration by playing trivia to take notes. Tomorrow we will do a lab to see the connection between photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

Homework: Click on the here. It will take you to a screen that looks like the one below. Click on the second title "Carbon Transfer Through Elodea & Snails."Read the problem statement. Once you have read this, click the X in the top right corner of the box, to close this screen. Follow the directions to explore the lab. Once you have clicked on all of the items, you will be able to click on the procedure button. Follow the instructions and answer the "lab notebook questions." You can either type your answers into the boxes and print your responses or you can write your answers on a sheet of paper.

You do not need to conduct the experiment. You only need to write down your hypothesis, the independent variable, the dependent variable, the set up for your control and an outline of your experimental design.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Photosynthesis Review

Today students made review posters for photosynthesis that included the details from a photon of light hitting photosystem II all the way through the production of 2 G3P molecules which get turned into glucose.

Tomorrow/Thursday we will be starting chapter 9 - cellular respiration.

Friday is your test on chapter 8.

Monday, November 1, 2010

ETC recap and intro to the details of the Calvin Cycle

Today we reviewed the light dependent reactions before moving on to the details of the Calvin Cycle. Click the picture below to link to the Calvin Cycle animation we watched in class.
Homework: bring markers, colored pencils and any other art supplies you'd like to use for a mini project in class tomorrow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Light Depedent Reaction

Today we spent the bulk of class learning about the light dependent reactions. Click on the picture below to link to the video clip we watched in class.

You have no homework over academic travel. It would be ideal if you reviewed your photosynthesis notes before coming to class on Monday.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photosynthesis Overview

Today we did an overview of photosynthesis. Homework: Read section 8.3 and take notes for a reading quiz.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

F Block Lab Data

Above is your data table, it was also emailed to you after class. Please make a graph, include the labels and write a two paragraph discussion.

D Block Lab Data

D Block Lab Data:

You need to make a line graph for the data above. Make sure to label the graph. You also need to write a two paragraph discussion INTERPRETING your data and discussing sources of error.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

G Block Lab Data

Today we used the pH probes to examine the effect of various concentrations on the rate of diffusion. Homework: Use the data below and create a graph of what happened over the course of three minutes to the pH of the water (outside the dialysis tubing). Click the picture to make it larger. You can make your graph on paper or in Excel. Make sure to label the x and y axis properly and make a title.

You also need to write a two paragraph discussion. This is due on Friday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dialysis Tubing Lab Procedure

Today students learned how to work with the dialysis tubing and set up their experiments to examine the relationship between concentration and the rate of diffusion.

Write a detailed procedure for the lab you did in class today. You will be giving your procedure to another group to use tomorrow. You will be graded on how successfully the other group can follow your procedure.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Test Today

Today students had a test on Chapter 7: Parts of the cell, osmosis and diffusion.

The big news is: the dialysis tubing has now arrived! Instead of pushing ahead with photosynthesis, we're going to do a lab tomorrow using the Vernier probes we learned how to use last week.

In this lab, you will look at how concentration effects the rate of diffusion.

Make a prediction for how you think concentration effects the rate of diffusion. In your prediction make sure to include a definition of diffusion and an explanation of the principle.

In addition, you will need to write a procedure to use in class tomorrow for this experiment. Below are some experimental guidelines:

Each pair will have:
a Vernier pH Probe and lab base
Three unknown samples to test
You should set your probe to follow the guidelines we did in class (3 minutes, 20 samples per minute).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today we started chapter 8: Photosynthesis. To get us started, we watched this video:

While some of you might call it lame or childish, it's catchy and has some helpful hints about photosynthesis. Click here to see the video of the Earth breathing that we watched.

Homework: Study for your test on Monday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Learning to use Vernier Labquest Probes

Today we learned how to use the Vernier Labquest Probes. We will be doing an experiment using dialysis tubing to examine the rate of diffusion in relationship to the molarity of a solution. As soon as the dialysis tubing arrives we'll go back to osmosis and diffusion and do the lab. In the meantime, we'll move forward to chapter 8: Photosynthesis.
Homework: Study for your test on Monday.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Osmosis and Diffusion

Today students had a different type of reading quiz, where they needed to used Bloom's Taxonomy to write their own reading quiz questions.

After the reading quiz we finished the chapter 7 packet by wrapping up osmosis and diffusion.

Homework: Click the picture below to be taken to the website you'll use to complete your homework.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cell Membranes

Today we recapped the parts of the cell and learned about the structure of a cell membrane.
Homework: Read section 7.3 and take notes for a reading quiz.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cell Part Want Ads

Today we finished the overview of the cell parts and students worked on making want ads for the cell.
Homework: Finish your want and complete the test corrections. You can find instructions for test corrections here or read the post below this one.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Test Corrections Due Monday

On Monday your test corrections are due. What does this mean?

You need to rewrite each question you got wrong AND write the correct answer.

For example if you got Question #6 wrong, you would write:

#6. When a protein becomes denatured it changes from the _____ structure to the _____ structure.

d. tertiary to primary.

The more questions you got wrong, the more work you have to do.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Test Today

Today students had a test on Chapter 2. Some people did really well, other people not so much. Tomorrow we will be starting a new unit on cells with Chapter 7.

There is no homework tonight.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Catalase Lab Analysis & Review

Today students answered the following questions about the lab we did on Friday. Once they finished analyzing the lab, they were able to start on a review packet for the test.

1. Based on what you know about the guidelines for writing a scientifically accurate title, write a title for this lab.

Below is a table of raw data from all three classes for the Potato Catalase Lab. Note: all units are in cm. Be sure to include units in your answers for all the questions.



Room Temp


















































2. What is raw data?

3. True or False: you should include raw data in your discussion section of your lab reports? (circle one answer).

4. What is the average height of the bubbles for the hot group _______________?

5. What is the average height of the bubbles for the room temperature group _____________?

6. What is the average height of the bubbles for the cold group ______________?

7. What do you suppose could be an explanation for the anomaly in sample 4?

8. What biological concept did this lab illustrate? Write your answer in at least three complete sentences.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Test on Tuesday

For your test on Tuesday you are responsible for all of chapter 2. You should also review the handout on enzymes, as this information is not in your book. The test will have multiple choice questions, true/false and open response questions. Approximately 80% of the points will be for questions from chapter 2 and the other 20% of points will relate to the lab work you have done so far.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Potato Catalase Lab

Today students examined the effect of temperature on potato catalase, which is an enzyme. Using hydrogen peroxide which reacts with catalase to create bubbles, students were able to see that when catalase is denatured by a heat source, no bubbles are formed.

On Monday we will be analyzing the data on the height of the bubbles from all three sections. We will also be reviewing for the chapter 2 test, which has now been moved to Tuesday.

Homework: study for your test.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Plan for the rest of the week

Today we will be finishing the macromolecules lab and starting to learn about enzymes. On Friday we will do a mini lab looking at the effects of temperature on enzyme function. On TUESDAY you will have a test on Chapter 2.

Homework: Click through the PowerPoint below. Write the procedure for Friday's lab in your notebook.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Testing for Macromolecules

Today we started testing various foods for macromolecules. Tomorrow (or Thursday) we will continue testing and wrap up the experiment.

Homework: none.

Click the picture to read about what we did in class and for more information on macromolecules in food.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You will need to check your TASIS email for the class ID and password to join

You can read a sample lab report here. NOTE: The discussion in that sample lab report is not long enough. It's only a little bit more than half a page, with 1.5 spacing. Your discussion needs to be an entire page.

In case you forgot to read what a discussion should include, read the excerpt from the Colby College Guide to Writing Scientific Papers, below.

Here, the researcher interprets the data in terms of any patterns that were observed, any relationships among experimental variables that are important and any correlations between variables that are discernible. The author should include any explanations of how the results differed from those hypothesized, or how the results were either different from or similar to those of any related experiments performed by other researchers. Remember that experiments do not always need to show major differences or trends to be important. "Negative" results also need to be explained and may represent something important--perhaps a new or changed focus for your research.

A useful strategy in discussing your experiment is to relate your specific results back to the broad theoretical context presented in the Introduction. Since your Introduction went from the general to a specific question, going from the specific back to the general will help to tie your ideas and arguments together.

Remember that your discussion should have a title that follows the guidelines we talked about in class. I don't want to read anything titled "Salty Pea Lab."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Properties of Water

Today we learned about many of the properties of water. For homework, you need to read section 2.3 and take notes for a reading quiz.

Just a reminder that your discussion is due on Friday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Seeds and Salt Wrap Up

Today we wrapped up the seeds and salt experiment. We talked about how to present data and interpret it. One Friday you will need to turn in a one page discussion of your results. Read about what is included in a scientific discussion here.

Guidelines for writing your discussion:
It should be typed, using size 12 Time New Roman Font, with 1.5 spacing.
It should only be one full page.
You must bring a printed copy to class AND submit a copy to (we will go over this in class on Tuesday).
Late work will NOT be accepted.

Homework Due Tomorrow:
Read section 2-2 and take notes for a reading quiz.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Nature of Matter (starting chapter 2)

NOTE: This post is for Thursday and Friday because on Friday we are running a Wednesday schedule.

Today students collected data from their pea experiments. Some of the peas have started to germinate! After collecting the data and talking about the feasibility of collecting data everyday, we moved on to start chapter 2: The Nature of Matter.

Students were given a guided notes sheet to help organize their notes. We watched a short video clip on carbon dating. Click here to see it.


Watch the video clip below and use the information to complete the table in your notes packet that compares ionic and covalent bonding.

After watching the video, finish reading section 2-1 in your book to complete the questions on Van der Waals forces etc. You also need to finish the check-in questions for homework. You should use all of section 2-1 (pages 35-39) in your book to help you review.

This is due on Monday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Designing an Experiment

Today students had a pop quiz on the reading assigned for homework as well as the controls and variables material they learned last week.

After the quiz, we looked at the blog (see post below) to look back at what was required to properly complete the homework. Many students then realized that they did not follow the directions properly, especially where they needed to have five test groups and five samples. In this one instance, that's actually OK, as it is a helpful teaching tool to understand what it means to follow directions and have a strong experimental design.

We worked as a class to come up with the following set up.

Hypothesis: If seeds are placed in various concentrations of NaCl then there will be variation in the rate of growth.

Independent Variable: [NaCl]

Dependent Variable: change in mass of seed

Set up:Figure 1: The red dots represent seeds, which were placed in the center of a 9cm Petri Dish (in F block, a 5.2cm Petri dish was suggested).

Group 1: The control group. 20ml of distilled water is added to the petri dish.

Experimental Groups (* the salt concentrations were different in each class * make sure you write the correct concentration for your class).

Group 2:
Group 3:
Group 4:
Group 5:

Homework, due tomorrow, 2 parts:

PART 1: Complete the rest of the experimental set up. Important questions to think about are:
* What will your light source be? How close will the plants be to the light? How can do make sure all the plants receive equal light?

* How often will you collect data?

* Water evaporates. What will you do to compensate for this?

PART 2: Make a data table that you could use to record your data from this experiment. You do not need to create data, just make the table.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Controls and Variables & Designing an Experiment

Today, with the help of the Simpsons, we learned about controls, variables and better ways to design an experiment.

On Monday you will need to turn in your experimental design planning sheet.

First read about the experimental method here.

Second complete the planning sheet. BE DETAILED! One experimental design will be chosen from each period for us to do in class. What's your incentive for having a good design? Aside from bragging rights, you will receive a rare homework pass which will excuse you from a homework.

A few reminders about your experiments:

1. We must be able to do the experiment in class.

2. The experiment should not take more than 3 class periods, including data analysis.

3. Look at the class schedule and remember that we have class hikes next week, so the schedule is:
Monday- Tuesday-Hikes- Thursday-Wednesday.

4. No organism with a spinal cord may be used.

5. We are not finding a cure for a disease, the purpose of this is to practice experimental design.

6. It must be a controlled experiment

7. You should have four test groups (and a control group) and each test should be done at least five times.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today we started working with microscopes. After reviewing the parts of the microscope, students practiced looking at different tissue samples, drawing them and viewing the samples under various powers.

Homework: none.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Characteristics of living things & Graphing

What are the characteristics of living things? We all know that a computer isn't alive, but what about viruses? Why aren't viruses considered by many scientists to be 'non-living.'

After tackling the characteristics of living things, we moved on to another important science skill: the ability to interpret data. This is something we will be doing all year long.

Homework: Finish the graphing practice.

Monday, September 6, 2010

First Day of School Homework

So that I know that YOU know where the blog is and that you can check it,
click on your name. Your only homework for tonight is to write down
the website that your name links to.

D Block


F block

G Block

Welcome to Biology

Hopefully you have gotten over your initial confusion of being asked, "what sound does a raisin make."

This blog will be a place for you to find out about homework, connect with other websites that can help you prepare for tests and keep you on track in class.

Please check it nightly.

Biology is the branch of science devoted to the study of life. The course starts with building an understanding of the scientific method before moving on to investigating the cell and energy processes at the cellular and system levels. Moving forward we will delve into cellular reproduction, genetics and cancer. At last we will focus on evolution, populations and the environment. Throughout this course students will work on the following four sets of scientific inquiry skills:

A. Make observations, raise questions, and formulate hypotheses.

B. Design and conduct scientific investigations.

C. Analyze and interpret results of scientific investigations.

D. Communicate and apply the results of scientific investigations.

Office Hours: By appointment only. The best way to set up a time for extra help is by email, I can be reached at


Homework 15% Tests/Projects 30%

Quizzes 15% Lab work 15%

Semester grade: Coursework…..75% Final Exam……25%

Year grade: 1st semester…..45% 2nd semester...…55%


Homework: Homework will be assigned almost every night and be incorporated into the following day’s class. A late assignment defeats the purpose of completing it. Therefore, late homework will not be accepted and will be graded as a zero. Assignments include, but are not limited to: worksheets; problem sets; readings; preparing for a discussion/presentation etc.

Make-up Work: You are responsible for obtaining missed assignments. If you know in advance you will be missing class for co-curriculars, an appointment etc. you should notify me in advance at least 2 days in advance.

Late Work Policy: As previously stated, late homework is not accepted. Late projects will be accepted up to three calendar days after the due date. However, each day that the project is late, 10% of the grade will be lost. After the third day the project will no longer be accepted.

Extensions: Extensions will not be given except in the event of extenuating circumstances, so plan your time wisely.

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory at all class meetings. You are expected to arrive on time in be in your seat with your homework and your notebook on your desk. A pattern of tardiness will be regarded as not meeting the expectations of the class and will affect your effort grade.

Class participation: In order to make the most progress in this class you will need to participate actively. Participating in class not only means sharing your ideas but also coming prepared and on time.

Notebook: Must be divided into two sections and have a table of contents:

You must keep a detailed table of contents for your notebook.

Class Rules:


· BE PREPARED! Bring the textbook, your notebook, highlighters and pens/pencils each day.

· BE PRESENT! Both in mind and body. Showing up for class doesn’t mean much if you are daydreaming.

· If you have an unexcused absence from class on the day of a test or quiz you will receive a zero.

· As soon as you need extra help, come find me. Don’t wait!

· NO eating or chewing gum in class. You may bring water.

Outline of topics to be covered in the Fall Term:

N.B. The instructor reserves the right to amend the syllabus at anytime.


The science of biology, scientific inquiry and methods

Measurements and microscopes

Basic chemistry for biology, properties of water, pH

Macromolecules & Enzymes

Cell structure and function, membranes & osmosis


Cellular Respiration

Academic Travel

Cell Growth and Division (Mitosis & Cancer)

Homeostasis and the nervous system

Muscular & Skeletal systems

Homeostasis and the circulatory/respiratory systems

How our bodies use energy, Human nutrition/digestion

The immune system & disease

Thursday, May 27, 2010

D block award winners & Plan for Friday

Congratulations to Anna and Jean-Mark for winning the peer science award for D block.

The F block winner will be announced soon....

At D block's request, you will have a quiz on Friday on Chapters 3 and 4, but it will NOT be graded. Please bring any questions you have and you can use the time to prepare you essays.

Our final exam is on Monday May 31st at 1:00PM in M1.

You should arrive no later than 12:55PM. Bring extra pens and pencils.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Awards and Work

Today we gave the class awards to Blair & German in G Block. Students had a quiz on chapters 15, 16, 17.

Workbook work:
p. 27, all
p. 28, all
p. 29, 1-6, 9-10
p. 30, all
p. 31, all
p. 32, 5, 6, 11
p. 33, 12-14
p. 37, all
p. 39, all
p. 40, 10, 12, 13, 16-20
p. 41, 1

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chapters 12 and 13 quiz

Today students took a quiz on chapters 12 and 13.
Today's workbook review:

p. 169, #1-2
p. 172, #7
p. 173, #7-10
p. 179, #4-7
p. 180, #10-12p. 182, # 4-9
p. 184, all
p. 185, #15
p. 186, all

NOTE: You were already assigned work for chapter 17 as homework a while ago. This doesn't mean this information isn't on your next quiz. You should still look over the work you completed for this section.

And now.... Don't be Ed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chapter 11 Quiz

Today students took a review quiz on chapter 11, voted for a class award and reviewed multiple choice test taking tips. To see the test taking tips, click here and under Test Taking, select "Test Taking Strategies for Multiple Choice Tests."

Below is the workbook assignment students started in class today. Homework: finish this assignment and review for tomorrow's quiz. Focus more on chapter 12 than chapter 13 when studying for the quiz.

Chapter 12
p. 130, # 17-19
p. 131, #22, 23, 24, 28
p. 132, #1-4
p. 133 - all, except for the reading skills box
p. 134, all
p. 135, all
p. 136, all
p. 137, just the table

Chapter 13
p. 147, all
p. 148, #9

Friday, May 21, 2010

Human Population Growth

The past few days we have been watching selected clips from The 11th Hour and sections of Design e2 (posted below). How can we build for a sustainable future? What is our addiction to oil doing to the environment? How is population growth related to environmental problems?

Today students worked with population growth data to see how populations are growing (or declining) in certain countries. We also looked at the World Health Organization's Life Tables. Want to see how quickly the world population is increasing? Check out the population clock here.
For homework, finish the population data packet and study for your chapter 11 quiz on Monday.

China: From Red to Green?

The Green Apple

Green for All

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flower Dissection Cont.

Today we finished the light microscope work from Friday's flower dissection. Since it seemed that most people enjoyed it, we have some more flowers from around campus to examine with the dissecting scope.

Advanced Notice
You have the following quizzes scheduled. You should also bring your workbook to class all of next week.

Monday May 24: Chapter 11
Tuesday May 25: Chapters 12 & 13
Wednesday/Thursday May 26/27: Chapters 15, 16, 17
Friday May 28: Chapters 18, 3 & 4

Final Exam May 31st @ 13:00

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flower Dissection

Today students completed a flower dissection. So see a virtual version of what we did, click here.

Photo Credit: Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Homework: Review for the final exam.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tree ID

Yesterday students practiced making and using dichotomous keys. Today (and tomorrow) we will be in the computer lab using a virtual tree ID activity.

Below are the instructions for what you will be doing in class today.

Part 1:
1. Go to the Tree ID website here.
2. Do the dichotomous key activity worksheet.

Part 2:
On Friday we will be dissecting flowers. To prepare for class watch the animation here and fill out the worksheet on the flower parts.

If you finish both of these activities, choose one of the activities below to review for the final exam:

a. Evolution Multiple Choice Quiz (note: there are some topics in the quiz that we have not covered. This quiz does not come from our textbook).

b. Ecosystems Quiz (note: there are some topics in the quiz that we have not covered. This quiz does not come from our textbook).