The goal of this lesson is to introduce students who are interested in human biology and biochemistry to the subtleties of energy metabolism (typically not presented in standard biology and biochemistry textbooks) through the lens of ATP as the primary energy currency of the cell. Avoiding the details of the major pathways of energy production (such as glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation), this lesson is focused exclusively on ATP, which is truly the fuel of life. Starting with the discovery and history of ATP, this lesson will walk the students through 8 segments (outlined below) interspersed by 7 in-class challenge questions and activities, to the final step of ATP production by the ATP synthase, an amazing molecular machine. A basic understanding of the components and subcellular organization (e.g. organelles, membranes, etc.) and chemical foundation (e.g. biomolecules, chemical equilibrium, biochemical energetics, etc.) of a eukaryotic cell is a desired prerequisite, but it is not a must. Through interactive in-class activities, this lesson is designed to spark the students’ interest in biochemistry and human biology as a whole, but could serve as an introductory lesson to teaching advanced concepts of metabolism and bioenergetics in high school depending on the local science curriculum. No supplies or materials are needed.
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This activity first asks the students to study the patterns of bird flight and understand that four main forces affect the flight abilities of a bird. They will study the shape, feather structure, and resulting differences in the pattern of flight. They will then look at several articles that feature newly designed planes and the birds that they are modeled after. The final component of this activity is to watch the Nature documentary, "Raptor Force" which chronicles the flight patterns of birds, how researchers study these animals, and what interests our military and aeronautical engineers about these natural adaptations. This activity serves as an extension to the biomimetics lesson. Although students will not be using this information in the design process for their desert resort, it provides interesting information pertaining to the current use of biomimetics in the field of aviation. Students may extend their design process by using this information to create a means of transportation to and from the resort if they chose to.
Students are introduced to the concept of engineering biological organisms and studying their growth to be able to identify periods of fast and slow growth. They learn that bacteria are found everywhere, including on the surfaces of our hands. Student groups study three different conditions under which bacteria are found and compare the growth of the individual bacteria from each source. In addition to monitoring the quantity of bacteria from differ conditions, they record the growth of bacteria over time, which is an excellent tool to study binary fission and the reproduction of unicellular organisms.
Hunt for prey and discover the meaning of evolutionary “fitness” in this physically active group game. In this simulation game, teams of predators equipped with genetically different “mouths” (utensils) hunt for “prey” (assorted beans). Over several “generations” of play, the fittest among the predators and prey dominate the population, modeling the evolutionary process of natural selection.
An introduction to biology intended for non-science majors. Focus areas include chemical foundations, cell structure and division, genetics, and evolution.
This template course was developed from generally available open educational resources (OER) in use at multiple institutions, drawing mostly from a primary work published by OpenStax College Concepts of Biology, but also including additional open works from various sources as noted in attributions on each page of materials.
Students learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of innovative new products. They demonstrate their knowledge of biomimicry by practicing brainstorming and designing a new product based on what they know about animals and nature.
The purpose of this lesson is to teach students about blood and its components while instilling an appreciation of its importance for survival. The lesson takes a step-by-step approach to determining the recipe for blood while introducing students to important laboratory techniques like centrifugation and microscopy, as well as some diseases of cell types found in blood. It also highlights the importance of donating blood by explaining basic physiological concepts and the blood donation procedure.
Students will create a terrarium, make observations of the terrarium, then develop a model to explain how matter transfers within the ecosystem. This resource describes the process of creating a terrarium (which will serve as the phenomena that the students observe), but does not include specific lesson details or instructional strategies.
Construct a protein through cereal additions. Model the central dogma of molecular biology by constructing a colorful chain using a simple code (and some delicious cereal).
Bug Hunt uses NetLogo software and simulates an insect population that is preyed on by birds. There are six speeds of bugs from slow to fast and the bird tries to catch as many insects as possible in a certain amount of time. Students are able to see the results graphed as the average insect speed over time, the current bug population and the number of insects caught. There are two variations to try for the predator, one where the predator pursues the prey and one where the predator stays still and captures insects that pass nearby. In the first case the bird catches the slow insects and the faster ones survive, reproduce and pass genes on. The average speed of bug should increase over time. In the second case the faster bugs come near to the bird more often than the slow ones. The slow ones survive more, reproduce and pass their genes on.
Submitted as part of the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) Phase 3 Digital Textbook Initiative (CA DTI3), CK-12 Foundation’s high school Biology FlexBook covers cell biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, botany, zoology, and physiology. This digital textbook was reviewed for its alignment with California content standards.
CK-12’s Life Science delivers a full course of study in the life sciences for the middle school student, relating an understanding of the history, disciplines, tools, and modern techniques of science to the exploration of cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, evolution, prokaryotes, protists,fungi, plants, animals, invertebrates, vertebrates, human biology, and ecology. This digital textbook was reviewed for its alignment with California content standards.
CK-12’s Life Science delivers a full course of study in the life sciences for the middle school student, relating an understanding of the history, disciplines, tools, and modern techniques of science to the exploration of cell biology, genetics, evolution, prokaryotes, protists, fungi, plants, the animal kingdom, the human body, and ecology. This digital textbook was reviewed for its alignment with California content standards.
This lesson is a tool to demonstrate how various technological advances have changed the tomato and the tomato industry over the years. The technology includes both selective breeding and genetic engineering.