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.
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.
This week in G9 Biology we started the second topic on Biological molecules, Enzymes and Animal Nutrition. The first biological molecule we discussed was Deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA). This is the ultimate information storage and retrieval molecule. DNA has the blueprint for making proteins and ultimately almost all life on Earth. We discussed the structure of DNA and the importance of complementary base pairing (A with T and C with G) by using pipe cleaners as a model. Finally we referred back to Topic 1 as we discussed how DNA barcoding is based on analyzing the sequence of DNA bases to identify and classify organisms based on how similar their sequences are.
This week in the Coordinated Science Biology class, we completed the first unit on Cells, Cell transport and Animal Nutrition. To put this unit in context and be a little more hands on we dissected a bullfrog called “Bill”. The frog’s anatomy and digestive system is very similar to humans so we could easily identify the organs of the digestive system. We used the dissection to review what occurs in each region of the alimentary canal in preparation for the end of unit test. The students were equally engrossed and disgusted all at the same time!.
This week in Coordinated Science (Biology) we are approaching the end of our first unit on cells, cell processes and animal digestion. To model how our digestive system works we used every day household objects to show what happens in each region of the alimentary canal. The students took on the roles of the teeth using pestle and mortar to crush food), the oesophagus (pushing food along a tube to show peristalsis), the stomach (churning food in a plastic ziplock bag), and the intestines (modelling absorption of food through woman’s tights and the absorption of water with paper towels). They enjoyed witnessing for themselves the final product of the model digestive system!
This week in G9 Biology we looked at specialized cells and how they are adapted to their function. To get the students thinking about the differences between specialized cells and also bacteria we looked at a selection of giant microbe/cell cuddly toys. Students described how each cells has a different shape related to their function and read the label to discover more specific information. We then went on to discuss the specialisations of red blood, white blood , sperm, egg, ciliated epithelial, root hair and palisade mesophyll cells in more detail. A key theme of biology is matching structure to function and we will return to this theme throughout the two year IGCSE Biology and Coordinated Science (Biology) courses.
In light of the new genetics IGCSE topic we have just started, there are exceptions to most rules in biology. The inheritance of lore or less chromosomes is not always a major problem and may have played a part in human evolution. Click here for more information.
First investigation in the Mystery Club will be looking at visual and auditory illusions.
Click here for 99 visual Illusions
More optical illusions here
Check out my youku page (MrGaynor) for more optical and auditory illusion videos