This activity helps students to understand both alcoholic fermentation and the engineering design process. In the first two parts of this activity, students learn about alcoholic fermentation and test for alcoholic fermentation by assessing CO2 production by live yeast cells in sugar water vs. two controls. The third part of this activity presents the bioengineering design challenge where students work to find the optimum sucrose concentration and temperature to maximize rapid CO2 production. Structured questions guide the students through the basic engineering steps. This activity helps students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.
This activity includes two simple hands-on experiments and numerous analysis and discussion questions which will help students understand how the molecular composition and organization of a cell membrane result in its selective permeability. Specific topics covered include ions, polar molecules and nonpolar molecules; simple diffusion through the phospholipid bilayer; facilitated diffusion through ion channels or carrier proteins; active transport; exocytosis and endocytosis. This activity helps students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.
This game helps students to enjoy reviewing vocabulary related to cells, organelles, and the plasma membrane. Each card in the deck has a target vocabulary word and two related taboo words that the student may not use when giving clues so the other students in his or her small group can guess the target word. Many students have trouble learning the substantial new vocabulary required for biology, and this game lets students have fun while reinforcing their understanding of key terms.
In this activity, students extract DNA from Archaea or from their cheek cells. Students learn key concepts about DNA function during the intervals required for the extraction procedure. Student understanding of DNA structure, function and replication is further developed by additional analysis and discussion questions and hands-on modeling of DNA replication. This activity helps students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.
Students learn the principles of independent assortment and gene linkage in activities which analyze inheritance of multiple genes on the same or different chromosomes in hypothetical dragons. Students learn how these principles derive from the behavior of chromosomes during meiosis and fertilization.
Students learn about enzyme function, enzyme specificity, and the molecular basis of lactose intolerance through experiments with the enzyme lactase and analysis and discussion questions. Students engage in the scientific practices of designing and carrying out experiments and interpreting data. This activity is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
Students develop their understanding of natural selection by analyzing specific examples and carrying out a simulation. The questions in the first section introduce students to the basic process of natural selection, including key concepts and vocabulary. The second section includes a simulation activity, data analysis, and questions to deepen students' understanding of natural selection, including the conditions that are required for natural selection to occur. In the third section, students interpret evidence concerning natural selection in the peppered moth and answer questions to consolidate a scientifically accurate understanding of the process of natural selection, including the role of changes in allele frequency. This activity is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
In this hands-on activity students learn how a gene provides the instructions for making a protein, and how genes can cause albinism or sickle cell anemia. Simple paper models are used to simulate the molecular processes of transcription and translation. This activity can be used to introduce students to these topics or to reinforce student understanding. In addition, students evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different types of models included in this activity.
This activity begins with sections that help students to understand basic principles of genetics, including (1) how genotype influences phenotype via the effects of genes on protein structure and function and (2) how genes are transmitted from parents to offspring through the processes of meiosis and fertilization. Then, a coin flip activity models the probabilistic nature of inheritance and Punnett square predictions; this helps students understand why the characteristics of children in many real families deviate from Punnett square predictions. Additional concepts covered include polygenic inheritance, incomplete dominance, and how a new mutation can result in a genetic condition that was not inherited. This activity helps students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.
This Jeopardy game reviews genetics, with 25 questions of varying levels of difficulty.
This game helps students to enjoy reviewing genetics vocabulary. Each card in the deck has a target vocabulary word and two related taboo words that the student may not use when giving clues so the other students in his or her small group can guess the target word. Many students have trouble learning the substantial new vocabulary required for biology, and this game lets students have fun while reinforcing their understanding of key terms.
These hands-on, minds-on activities engage students in experiments or simulation activities and incorporate multiple questions designed to foster student understanding of important concepts in the life sciences. Topics covered include biological molecules, diffusion, metabolism, cell division, genetics, molecular biology, evolution, diversity, human physiology and design and interpretation of experiments. These activities were designed for teaching high school or middle school students, but many of these activities can also be used in non-major introductory college biology classes. To accommodate limited budgets, most of these activities can be carried out with minimum equipment and expense for supplies. Additional minds-on activities for teaching biology, including discussion activities, are available at http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/bioactivities. Most of the activities are described in student handouts and teacher notes; the student handouts are available as Word files for teachers to customize for their students.
This minds-on, hands-on activity begins with analysis and discussion questions that develop student understanding of homeostasis and negative feedback and the differences between negative and positive feedback. Next, students develop a model of negative feedback regulation of blood levels of CO2 and O2 as they learn or review basic information about cellular respiration and basic physiology of the respiratory and circulatory systems. Then, students carry out an experiment to test their negative feedback model and analyze the data. In a final optional section, students develop and carry out an independent investigation. This activity helps students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.
In this introduction to invertebrate diversity, students compare the external anatomy and locomotion of earthworms, mealworms, crickets and crayfish, all of which can be purchased at low cost from local pet stores. Discussion questions help students understand the evolutionary basis of observed similarities and differences. This activity can be used as an introduction to the Annelid and Arthropod phyla and the principle that form matches function.
Students evaluate whether the little brown grains of yeast obtained from the grocery store are alive by testing for metabolism and growth.
Students enjoy this Jeopardy game review of introductory chemistry, including organic compounds and chemical reactions.
The Student Handouts for these minds-on activities challenge students to actively develop their understanding of biological concepts and apply these concepts to the interpretation of scientific evidence and real-world situations. The Teacher Notes provide learning goals, instructional suggestions, relevant scientific background, and suggestions for preparatory and follow-up activities. Many of these activities are explicitly aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
This game helps students to enjoy reviewing vocabulary related to mitosis, meiosis and fertilization. Each card in the deck has a target vocabulary word and two related taboo words that the student may not use when giving clues so the other students in his or her small group can guess the target word. Many students have trouble learning the substantial new vocabulary required for biology, and this game lets students have fun while reinforcing their understanding of key terms.
In this hands-on, minds-on activity students use model chromosomes and answer analysis and discussion questions to learn how the cell cycle produces genetically identical daughter cells. Students learn how DNA replication and mitosis ensure that each new cell gets a complete set of chromosomes with a complete set of genes. Students learn why each cell needs a complete set of genes and how genes influence phenotypic characteristics. Finally, students analyze exponential growth to understand how a single cell develops into the trillions of cells in a human body. This activity helps students meet the Next Generation Science Standards.
Students design experiments to determine how substrate and environmental conditions influence growth of common molds. Students carry out their experiments, analyze and interpret their evidence, and prepare a report.