Friday, May 8, 2015

The Genetics of the Bot-Family

Our study of the inheritance of genes concludes with the creation of the "Bot-Family" photos.  The creation of your Bot family was an exercise in gene transfer and the expression of genetic traits.  Your task is to give a bit of family history on your "Bot Family" based on their geno- and phenotypes.  Discuss mutations that may have been expressed by the parents and possiblly inherited by the children.  Include your opinion on how this activity has helped to reinforce our learning and understanding of genetics and inheritance.   

Friday, May 1, 2015

Innovators 6/7/8 May Nature Connections

The month of May in the Northern Hemisphere is a time of growth and continual change.  Spring is now in full bloom and green has now become the unofficial color of the outdoors.  The pollen from the various flowers and trees is continuing to swirl and causing the occasional sneeze.  The baby birds are hatched and learning the various skills of life before they leave the nest for the final time.  Many of the pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies and even humming birds are busy tending to the flowers to help the pollination process move along.  May is a fantastic month to view nature and be in the outdoors!

May Nature Connection Assignments

  • My Nature Notes (2 a week, 8 a month), pg 153
  • Go on a Nature Quest pg 154
  • Picture of the Month pg 155
  • Learning your Local Birds pg 160-161
  • Spring Hay Fever (Read for information) pg 162-163  

My Nature Notes worksheet download  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Innovators/6 Static Electricity



Static electricity is something you have all experienced - maybe by accident or maybe on purpose. Watch the following video and visit the following websites to find out more information on this topic. You will be given a worksheet on which you will need to record your answers to the questions proposed.



Monday, April 13, 2015

STEM/7 Fruit Flies and Heredity

Our study of genetics and heredity has lead us to discover the importance of how genes and traits are passed on from one generation to the next.  Eukaroytic organisms use DNA as the blueprint to pass on these genes which are expressed as traits that we can identify by looking at the physical characteristics of that particular organism.  The use of the fruit fly has enabled scientists to study the passing of genes from one generation to the next through selective breeding.  the simplicity of this procedure has allowed us to do the same type of genetic experiments in the class with our own population of fruit flies.  This experience will allow us to see first hand the importance of genetic inheritance and the affects of mutation on the genome.  An article entitled "The Fly People Make History With The Fruitful Fruit Fly", addresses the use of the fruit fly and the importance of it in the scientific realm of genetics.  Based on the reading, comment on the following questions;


  • What claims does the author make for using the fruit fly for genetic studies?
  • Why do scientists use these "model organisms" to help understand human genetics?
  • Describe the fruit fly's attractive characteristics that makes it suitable for genetic study?
  • What is the "Homebox"?  What is its importance in the realm of genetics?
  • How does your study of the transferring of genes through selective breeding help you better understand who you are as a human and as part of your family?

Innovators/8 Metals, Halogens, Noble Gases... Oh my!

Due to testing, I won't be seeing you in class for two days. Here is the link to the assignment I would like you to complete by Wednesday class time.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Innovators/6 Amazing Magnets



Yesterday we learned about how the Earth is one giant, amazing magnet. You saw how compasses work and why it is that we have Aurora Borealis. It's time to take magnets one step further and see just how they affected technology in the past and present.

You have been assigned one of the following:
  • cell phone
  • early television (cathode ray tube)
  • MRI machine
  • ATM/credit card
Your challenge is to gather information on:
  • the history of this magnetic technology (founder; how it has changed; how it affected economy, culture, and society; etc.),
  • the uses of your technology, and
  • the science behind it (what type(s) of magnets are used; how the magnets make the technology work; etc.).
You will need to compile this information into a 10 minute presentation that you will share with the class. It is your responsibility to teach us all about your technology, so make sure your information is accurate and your presentation is engaging! A rubric will be passed out Monday so you know what I'm looking for. Be prepared to begin presenting next Wednesday, April 15.

Innovators/8 Trendy Foods



Our study of periodic trends has left us with a lot of trends about things we can barely see. This assignment will help you understand these trends on the macroscopic scale using something you consciously interact with every day... (surprise surprise) food.