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Welcome! Here you will find my general course outline and links to my lecture presentations.
Unit 1: Doing Science -- "The Scientific Method"
For the first few weeks of school, we start off with the scientific method. This is a skills review unit (observation, metric measurement, data tables, graphing) and then an introduction to hypothesis development and experimental design. This is a good time to complete the State Lab, "Making Connections" since it is about experimental design. Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 2: Chemistry of Life
In this unit, we concentrate on the organic macromolecules that make up all organisms: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. We also use this as a jumping off point to explore a short unit on nutrition. Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 3: Cells are the Foundation of Life
The cell is the building block of all living organisms. Whatever functions a whole organism performs must be performed at the cellular level. So we learn, in detail, this cast of characters that run the inner workings of a cell. This unit includes a review of the microscope and a lot of microscope use looking at cells and single-celled critters, like protists. We spend a lot of time learning about the function of the cell membrane. This unit includes the State Lab, "Diffusion Through A Membrane". Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 4: Enzymes and Metabolism
In this unit, we explore the ways that organisms make energy and the critical role that enzymes play in all of life's chemical reactions. Special attention is paid to how respiration and photosynthesis fit together in the "great circle of life". Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 5: How the Human Body Works
In this unit, we survey the different body systems, how they work and how they interact to maintain homeostasis. Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 6: Reproduction & Inheritance
In this unit, we explore continuity across generations, in both asexual and sexual reproduction. This includes mitosis, meiosis, genetics, and protein synthesis. Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 7: Biotechnology
In this unit we explore the cutting edge DNA technologies, like bacterial transformation and DNA sequencing. It is exciting that we have the technology now to complete bacterial transformation in the classroom now! We do the jellyfish glo gene transformation of E. coli. Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 8: Evolution
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Evolution should be the guiding principle of this whole course. We explore how life on Earth has changed over time and how evolution explains both the unity and diversity of life. Although many teachers include the State Lab, "Beaks of Finches" during this unit, I use an alternative lab ("Natural Selection of Butterflies") because of the many failings of the State lab. Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.
Unit 9: Ecology
We end the year with the biggest view of biology: how organisms interact with each other and with their environment. We also explore the impact that humans have on the environment. This unit includes the State Lab, "Relationships and Biodiversity". Click here for any PowerPoints that are used in this unit.