This week in grade 10 and grade 12 we are reviewing the IGCSE and IBDP Mock exam papers. In many respects, the review of the exam papers is more important than the grades the students were awarded. This is the ideal time to reflect on why students got certain questions incorrect, identify misconceptions and take steps to ensure the mistake is not repeated in the final IGCSE and IBDP examinations. In Science, we call this review phase DIRTy time. DIRT is short for dedicated improvement and reflection time. It’s where students have to reflect on their learning and dig deep to identify the gaps in their understanding. Only by getting DIRTy now will the students be able to successfully sail through the final IGCSE and IBDP examinations.
In grade 12 Biology we studied the structure of chromosomes and how they can be aligned into homologous pairs based on their size, banding pattern and position of the centromere (karyotyping).
Alligning the homologous pairs to form a karyogram then allows us to determine the sex of the individual the chromosomes came from and look for any chromosomal abnormalities like 3 copies of chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21) which is the cause of Downs Syndrome.
The students modeled the process of karyotyping by using an online simulation and a “technical” cut and stick activity.
The G10 coordinated Science (Biology) class have been studying how the nervous system detects changes in the environment and coordinates an appropriate response. We broke down the steps required to catch a pen or football and identified the sensory, relay and effector neurons involved in this process. We then investigated reaction time but timing how long it would take the left and right hands to catch a ruler. Finally we looked at the central nervous system in more depth as we dissected a sheep’s brain and sense organs/receptors in more depth by dissecting a sheep’s eyeball. The students had a hands on experience as they passed the lens of the eye between them and could see for themselves as it changed shape in their hands.
This week in G9 Coordinated Science Biology the students used a cartoon strip template to storyboard an animation explaining how the immune system protects us from pathogens (disease causing microorganisms). They were inspired by a video that turned the body’s defense against disease into a cinematic role playing game.
They used their MacBook’s and camera phones to record a mixture of stop motion animation and video. All of the students produced amazing videos that will be used by other coordinated science classes to aid revision.
This week in G9 Coordinated Science the students used a number of everyday science objects such as a toy car, a plant, a “factory box”, crude oil, soil, animal organ models and a bottle containing carbon dioxide to model the carbon cycle. The students worked in small groups and made links to how each object is linked to each other by the recycling of carbon. They were then able to recall the word and balanced symbol equation for photosynthesis and respiration from previous topics studied this year.
This final week before Christmas in G9 Biology, we observed a lung dissection and watched an extended giraffe dissection video. The dissection focused on the evolutionary adaptations of the circulatory and muscular system that permitted the giraffe’s neck and legs to increase in length. This comparative biology lesson complemented the current Respiration and Human Transport unit. Students may borrow the complete Inside Natures Giants and Autopsy for Beginners dissection series if they desire to become an anatomy expert over the Christmas break.