Wilburworld of Science

Biology
Unit 1:  Intro to Biology, The Biology Lab & Scientific Methods
UNIT SUMMARY 

In general, biology is the study of life, but there are many different fields within biology. Most scientists specialize in one specific field, because biology is such a broad category of science which includes so much information. Living things can be analyzed down to their smallest building blocks (atoms), individual organisms can be classified and compared, and their interactions with each other and the non-living environment can be studied within small or large scale ecosystems. Scientists organize this hierarchy of life into levels. While learning about each level of this hierarchy, you will notice a number of reoccurring themes throughout this course. As a biologist, you can use a set of common characteristics to determine whether or not a specimen is a living thing. While scientific terminology can seem overwhelming at first but, once you begin to learn the meaning of common scientific prefixes, root words and suffixes, it becomes much easier to understand the language of biology.  
Biologists use microscopes to visualize small organisms and cells (the basic units of life). There are many other important tools that a biologist uses to learn about living things, as well. To become a proficient biologist in this classroom, you will need to recognize basic scientific equipment, operate a microscope, carry out safe lab procedures, and use basic scientific measurement. The metric system is a worldwide system of measurement that is used by all scientists. This allows scientists from any country to replicate and build off the work of other scientists.
Curiosity leads us to ask questions about life (biology). Science provides a way of answering such questions. The scientific method is a systematic approach to learning something new. It relies on evidence. Scientists work together, sharing their results so that others can build on their work. They publish their findings in scientific journals. As a scientific researcher, it is important to know how to discern credible information sources. 

PPT w/ Diagrams: Hierarchy of Biological Organization - Brainstorm examples at each level. 

HW Reading/Worksheet: Themes of Biology Reading w/ Crossword Puzzle & Clues - Summary of the main themes that will reoccur throughout this course. 
Lab: Is it Alive? - Students analyze 10 specimens and decide whether or not they are alive and which characteristics helped them to make that determination.    

Trivia Challenge:  Themes of Biology - A review of common biology terms.  


After completing these activities, students will: 
  • know levels of hierarchy of biological organization
  • understand relationship between hierarchy, reoccurring themes and units to be covered


After completing these activities, students will: 
  • be able to determine whether a specimen is living or non-living
Reading/Activity: Scavenger Hunt - Safety Equipment, Lab Tools & Techniques / D103 Sketch - Students learn to recognize important scientific tools, supplies and safety equipment in the lab, determine the locations of each in this classroom and read about about the function and proper handling of each. 

Brief Lecture/Notes: Metric Review - A brief review of base units and conversion. 
Lab: Using a Compound Light Microscope & Making Wet Mounts - Students learn how to properly and efficiently use light microscopes in order to view, analyze and compare microscopic specimens. 
 Complete conclusions

After completing these activities, students will

  • be able to identify safety equipment and lab tools and consistently practice lab safety
After completing these activities, students will

  • be able to identify safety equipment and lab tools and consistently practice lab safety
  • be able to measure objects and substances with accuracy and precision and convert between units of measurement
  • understand the relative size of metric units
After completing these activities, students will

  • understand the relative size of metric units

Lab/Partner Challenge: Basic Lab Skills - Students learn the importance of pre-reading and carefully following lab procedures while gaining practical experience in choosing and utilizing the correct scientific tools for different measurements (length, mass, volume) of substances/items in the classroom and then practice reading and converting precise metric measurements. 
After completing these activities, students will

  • know all parts of a light microscope and the functions of each
  • be able to demonstrate proper use and care of a light microscope, and prepare a wet mount slide
Mini-Project:   Reading/Research: Science on the Internet/ Website Evaluation - Students assess the reliability of information resources found on the internet. 
Brief Lecture: Variables in experiments. PPT1 PPT2 PPT3

HW Worksheet: Bart Simpson-Identifyling Controls & Variables - 
Students practice identifying control and experimental groups, independent & dependant variables, as well as analyzing the outcome of an experiment.  
Lab: Using the Scientific Method ( How much water is in fruits and vegetables? ) - Students work in groups and each group brainstorms a different question or problem to solve. Groups design and implement their own experiment with variables to learn something new, then present their hypothesis, procedure results and conclusions to the class
After completing these activities, students will
  • be able to examine and evaluate the credibility of different sources of scientific information
HW Reading & Worksheet: The Scientific Method & Hidden Clue Review - A review puzzle of the reading.
After completing these activities, students will
  • be able to utilize the main steps in the scientific method, design an experiment, analyze data and draw conclusions
  • be able to identify experimental controls & variables
  • be able to communicate results through a lab report and/or a presentation
After completing these activities, students will
  • be able to utilize the main steps in the scientific method, design an experiment, analyze data and draw conclusions
  • be able to identify experimental controls & variables
  • be able to communicate results through a lab report and/or a presentation
Related Websites:  



Course Intro 
Overview of course style, objectives & topics, as well as Grading policies & Classroom procedures &  lab safety. The more efficiently this classroom runs...the more fun things we get to do this year. The importance of maintaining a detailed, organized Lab Notebook, adhering to proper classroom/lab procedures and the ability to work as a team are stressed as essential components of this course.  

After this brief overview students will
  • Know the expectations for this course.  
Video: Flinn Scientific Lab Safety &  Quiz

Basic lab safety procedures are explained in this 20 minute Flinn Scientific Safety Video. However, in case of absence, the following video covers much of the same information.  

After watching this video students will 
  • understand the importance of adhering to lab safety protocols at all times in this classroom.