It’s hard to believe we are already three weeks into the school year. I now rarely feel like I can afford the time to blog; I should probably always be doing something else instead! That being said, a lot of really great things are happening and we need to celebrate!

This past week the students in Biology 12 explored the relationship between ambient temperature and two body response indicators: pulse rate and body temperature. I am not really sure why we never tried the lab with a body temperature twist before. The data is beautiful and it fully supports the idea of a negative feedback loop maintaining their body temperatures around a 37 C set point, something that pulse rate data alone could never do. My one regret from this lab: I didn’t take any pictures.

Data for LS-HS1-3, August 2015
Data for LS-HS1-3, August 2015

Meanwhile, the juniors and seniors in AP Biology spent some time observing and counting the stomata in the upper and lower leaf surfaces of their Impatiens plants. We now have data about their water loss over four days in four different environmental conditions, leaf counts, leaf surface areas, and stomata counts. We have officially gathered all the data we need for AP Biology Lab #11: Transpiration. Now we just have to find the time to do something about it. With this new mod-block schedule I feel like I am seeing these students far less than I need to in order to administer an AP course. They also undertook a great macromolecules collaborative sort activity and I was pleased to see that it went as well as it did when I participated in it as a student during the summer AP Summer Institute.

Week 3: AP Biology macromolecules sort and categorize activity, August 2015.
Week 3: AP Biology macromolecules sort and categorize activity, August 2015.

I haven’t even mentioned the sophomores and juniors in PAP Biology, and they are up to a lot of cool molecule modeling activities in order to understand the structure and function of biologically relevant macromolecules. We will be undertaking a lab in this class very soon.

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