Week 7

Monday, October 14, 2019 (HS-LS1-4): Mid-unit 1 quizzes are due at the beginning of class for full credit.  Late quizzes will receive a maximum score of 60%.

Having learned about DNA last week, it is time to focus on the process of cell division.  Mitosis, or somatic cell division, involves the division of one cell into two after all of the components of the original cell (including the DNA!) divide into two sets.  We began by watching a Crash Course video about mitosis:

After the video, students were assigned to read pages 46-51 of chapter 4 (Cellular Reproduction: Multiplication By Division) of Inside the Cell.   Students then answered the following questions in their lab notebooks:

  1. Explain the purpose of mitosis.
  2. Which cells undergo mitosis?
  3. Describe the phases of mitosis in detail (words and/or drawings).
  4. Explain what happens when cells divide uncontrollably.  List the known causes of uncontrolled cell division.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019: Class began with a brief discussion of questions 1 and 2 from yesterday’s reading assignment.  After the discussion, students had the remainder of the class period to complete the reading and questions, and then to work in teams to create a time-laps video of mitosis modeled with Play-Doh.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019: PSAT


Thursday, October 17, 2019: As we continue our study of mitosis, students will invest the next two days researching what happens when cells divide uncontrollably.  Students will use The Eukaryotic Cell Cycle and Cancer Interactive tool from HHMI BioInteractive to explore how errors in DNA copying during mitosis can lead to cancer.

Students may choose between the overview worksheet (beginner) and the in-depth worksheet (advanced).


Friday, October 18, 2019: Students have the short Friday class period to complete The Eukaryotic Cell Cycle and Cancer worksheet activity from yesterday.  Students who finish early should extend their understanding of cancer treatments by watching the Ted-Ed video below about biohacking cells to fight cancer.  After watching the video, students may earn up to +5 bonus for writing a summary of how scientists are creating CAR-T cells to upgrade the human immune system to fight cancer.

Need a break from the study of cancer?  Learn about the amazing process of regeneration in planaria!  After watching the video below, students may earn +5 bonus for writing a summary of the RNAi experiments (blocking the activity of beta-catenin and APC) in planaria.

Unit 1 Project

Unit 1 Project

Background: With the end of our first unit of chemistry in sight, consider all you have learned thus far.  Our initial review of matter (including mass, volume, and density) led to an introduction of the periodic table.  We learned about the history of atomic models, explored how atoms are constructed (protons, neutrons, and electrons) and how changing those particles impact an atom.  We learned that the elements are born in stars, with heavier elements forged in the explosive forces of supernovae, while unstable atoms experience decay over time.  We learned that neutrons decay into protons, protons decay into neutrons, and atoms can gain or lose electrons according to well-defined rules (main-group elements) and less-well-defined rules (transition metals).  We learned how to assemble ions into compounds, how to identify the metals in ionic compounds using the flame test, and how to write electron configurations of elements according to the number of electrons in subshells.

“The cosmos is within us.  We are made of star stuff.  We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

What does this quote mean to you?  Your assignment for this project is to unpack Carl Sagan’s famous quote, applying what you have learned during chemistry in unit 1 to your own effort to know yourself.

Deliverable: A well-written essay shared with Mr. Swart as a Google Doc.  Incorporate as many Unit 1 vocabulary words as possible (highlight in bold red font if you want them to count toward your total!), in a manner that isn’t forced, to demonstrate mastery of the unit and a deep understanding of yourself.  I look forward to learning more about you!

Due Date: Friday, November 8, 2019

  • Chapter 1: What are your intensive and extensive properties? What makes you who you are and you don’t see changing over time (intensive properties)?  How have you changed over time, and what changes do you anticipate for yourself in the future (extensive properties)?
  • Chapter 2: Where does your name come from? What does your name mean to you?  What does your name mean to others?  What symbols best represent who you are and why?  Consider your reactivity: what gets you excited?
  • Chapter 3: Models of the atom have changed over time – just like people!  Think about how well your teacher and classmates know the real you.  How well do you know the real you?  What are your most important parts (your metaphorical protons, neutrons, and electrons).  Share insights about yourself that are not obvious to someone who doesn’t know you well and would like to know you better.  What are your needs (fusion)?  What are your gifts to the world (particles shared through decay – let’s make decay a good thing!)?  What are your hopes and dreams, and how will they positively impact others (fission)?
  • Chapter 4: Electrons are the way atoms interact with each other?  We can predict how an atom will interact with other atoms based on its electron structure.  What about you?  Are you that predictable?  What do you intend to accomplish this year, five years from now, ten years from now?  What do you see as your most likely path when you look to the future?  How about your path if you were an ion, able to clear out or add a few extra electrons and make life really interesting for yourself – if there were no constraints on your future, what would you want to accomplish?

Grading: Your essay will be evaluated as a unit exam, a category that comprises 25% of your semester grade.

Grading Rubric:

A B C D
Vocab Words (from chapter 1-4 notes) 20 or more 15-19 10-14 Less than 10
Content Self-reflection from all 4 chapters thoroughly explored Self-reflection from 3 chapters thoroughly explored Self-reflection from 2-3 chapters moderately explored Self-reflection surface-level or more than two chapters missing

List of Unit 1 Vocabulary Words


Unit 1 Project – Example Introduction

The Story of David Swart

My name is Dave, a name I inherited from my father.  My story began 41 years ago in Burien, Washington, at a hospital known today as Highline Hospital.  My intrinsic properties, the things that haven’t changed for as long as I can remember, are that I am an inquisitive person and I have a very strong sense of fairness.  Some of my earliest memories are of playing with Legos and building spaceships, dreaming of a future with endless possibilities for exploring the unknown.  I would always look forward to visiting with my grandfather.  He served in World War II (something he never talked about), and lived in Port Orchard on the Kitsap Peninsula.  Because he lived so far away, we wouldn’t see him often, but when we did I would explore his garden, his garage, and the beach below his house overlooking Seattle.  I thought it was so neat that someone could literally grow food, something my family didn’t do.  I loved being in his garage and watching him work with wood, turning it into so many different amazing projects.  And I really loved walking the beach, looking for treasures, trying not to step on rocks covered with barnacles or slip on the seaweed, often looking up at the big buildings of downtown Seattle and hoping one day to have a job where I could work there.


Unit 1 Project – Example Introduction

The Story of Johnny

My name is Johnny. I am currently attending Highline College in hoping to transfer to a four year university to get a degree in communications. If I were to make a hypothesis on what my future career would look like, I would say I would be in broadcasting. I am my own element. I am unique, and there is nobody who is exactly like me. I guess you can say my identical brother is pretty close though. In that case he is an isotope. We have the same genetic makeup, but different characteristics.


List of Unit 1 Vocabulary Words