Nature of Science: Critter Diagram

Today was a busy day!  We started off with a thorough review of the class Syllabus.  Students also received a copy of the class Safety Contract.  Both documents must be signed by the student and their legal guardian and returned tomorrow for credit.  Next, we checked out textbooks in the library.  Textbooks should be left at home or in a safe place where they can be easily accessed if needed.  If textbooks are needed in class, students will receive advanced notice.  We ended the day back in class completing the Entry Task for today.  Students must complete the writing portion and attempt to complete the critter diagram as homework.  Tomorrow we will use the critter diagrams as a tool both to meet each other and to begin the process of learning how to construct networks to model information flow.

Nature of Science: Milk Lab

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year!  What an exciting time to be a Highline Pirate! It was a pleasure meeting over 170 new students on Wednesday, and I appreciated the enthusiasm everyone showed playing the “This-or-That” game.  On Thursday and Friday, we reviewed the Pirate Way and then launched in to the Milk Lab.  On Thursday, students combined 2% milk, food coloring, and liquid soap.  After carefully documenting “before soap” and “after soap” observations, students worked with their lab partner to come up with a testable hypothesis about what caused the “after soap” reaction. Students were asked to write a new procedure, changing either the type of milk or soap used.  On Friday, students conducted the experiment again, following their new procedure.  Most groups had time to extend their learning by integrating the results from their new experiment, formulating a new hypothesis, and running a third experiment.  After carefully recording all observations, students assembled into larger lab groups, sharing results with other students who had tested similar experimental conditions (i.e. used the same procedure including the same type of milk).  Groups then reported their findings out to the class.  We created a class summary table each period which included the variable changed (type of milk or soap) and the outcome (compared with 2% milk).  We will revisit the summary tables and analyze the results across my five biology classes in the near future.