Inside Natures Giants- The Giraffe

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9Bio20141219giraffe

 

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.

If plants makes their own food, why do some eat insects?

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This week in CoBio we are studying Plant nutrition and how plants make their own food by photosynthesis. To follow up on our first lesson we discussed why do plants such as Venus Fly Traps catch insects. The trap itself is an adapted leaf so it does do photosynthesis and can make its own glucose (food). However, the soil it grows in is lacking nitrates and phosphates required to make amino acids. This plant has adapted to this soil by catching and digesting insects to obtain mineral ions.

Modeling the Digestive Process: DIY faeces

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9Bio20141126DIYpooThis week in coordinated science, we used every day lab apparatus to model the digestive process. The apparatus above was used to show the journey of an unbalanced breakfast of crisps, peanuts, bread, milk and coffee. Can you match the apparatus with part of the alimentary canal in this photo? Cam you spot the end product of digestion after egestion from the anus?

New Double Helix Club- Season 3 ASP

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Starting on Monday 24th November, the Double Helix Club returns. Watch the video above for a taste of what you have to look forward to.

The goal of the Double Helix Club is to draw on the science knowledge students learn in G7&8 and be able to apply it to more open ended investigations and experiments. Students will take an active role in investigating these key questions
• Can you hold fire in your hands?
• Have you ever heard a jelly baby scream?
• Do you know what an elephant uses to brush its teeth?
• How does Kiwi fruit hold the secret of life?
• How much energy is there is a packet of pocky?
• What does the inside of a Kermit the frog look like?
• Do we have money to burn?
• Have you seen an elephant, Crocodile, Whale, Giraffe, Shark, Tiger or Snake dissection?
• Do you know the science behind roller-coasters?
• Do you know how to make a zinc Christmas tree?
• Can you make a chemistry powered rocket?

Time to get DIRTy

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9Bio20141112DIRT

This week in G9 Biology and Coordinated Science we completed the last test of term one. When we review the test, the students are given dedicated improvement and reflection time (DIRT) to review their learning. Many students only focus on their grade instead of what they did well and what they did less well on. By using DIRT, students are encouraged to reflect on their learning and identify the next steps to address gaps in their understanding. Taking the next steps to improve what they got wrong is more important than the actual grade of the test at this stage. Students are also encouraged to set themselves challenging targets for the next topic and assessment. As we approach term two, the G9 students will continue to reflect on their learning and take the next steps towards mastery learning.

Meet Fred the FrankenFrog, he just can’t control his feet….

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9Bio20141106froglegs

Last week in G9 Biology we dissected Fred the Frankenstein Frog to review the functions of the alimentary canal in digestion and discuss comparative anatomy. We compared how the frogs digestive system as similar to our own and how it is different. For example, the frog’s teeth have a similar function to our own but a different structure due to the type of food a frog eats. We then discovered the frog’s last meal as we followed the frog’s digestive system. To extend the dissection, we then looked at the frogs nervous and muscular system. As the frog was still “fresh” we were able to stimulate the frog’s muscles by sprinkling salt on the exposed tissue. The muscles twitched as the salt simulated the muscles as activated nerve fibres would do when the frog was alive. The students were amazed and a little creeped out as the frog’s legs twitched (danced) on their own. We will refer back to this dissection when we study the nervous system next year.

My heart was broken……..

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9Bio20141029Heart

 

 

As G9 Coordinated Science (Biology) studied the circulatory system we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a sheep’s heart. Before we started the dissection, we examined the external anatomy of the heart and identified the important blood vessels. We discussed the factors that increase the risk of damage or blockage of the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood. The students enjoyed linking the theory of how the heart works with the opportunity to feel the heart (cardiac) muscle and put their fingers through each blood vessel to find out which chamber of the heart it connects to. We finished the lesson by watching part of a giraffe dissection to see how the wall of the left ventricle in this animal is even thicker to pump blood to the top of the giraffes head and back!

How does exercise affect your breathing rate?

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9Bio20141015exercise

 

This week in G9 Coordinated Science (Biology) we discussed the role of anaerobic respiration in yeast to make the useful human products of alcohol and carbon dioxide.as well as the interplay of aerobic and anaerobic respiration when we exercise. As it was a beautiful autumn day in Shanghai we took the opportunity to use the sports field to do star jumps for 4 minutes and then measure how long it took the students breathing rate to return to normal. We then discussed why the breathing rate did not return to normal straight away (oxygen needed to breakdown lactic acid produced in anaerobic respiration in muscles) and how strenuous exercise can lead to cramp. Before the spring excursion the students will also learn more about the respiratory and circulatory systems as we complete lung, and heart dissections.

Real Monstrosities- great blog looking at Natures Creepy Crawlies

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Massive Earthworm eating Leech

Follow this great new blog here to find out about natures overlooked and not so cute organisms!

 

Also check out the bbc websitee to see a video of 70cm Leech devouring it prey

How much energy is stored in food?

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9Bio20141008 foodenergy

 

This week in Coordinated Science (Biology) we prepared for the second test on plants and started the new Respiration topic. Students observed how much energy there is in a jelly baby by observing the screaming jelly baby demo (candy placed in warm potassium chlorate) and then investigated how much energy is in crisps, crackers and peanuts. This was also an opportunity to review food groups and balanced diets. The students concluded that the crackers stored the most energy although after their evaluated of the experiment there were a number of factors that meant this was not the a very valid and reliable investigation.

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