We continued our work from yesterday, with students re-grouping to share the data from the lab (and creating T-charts of the data) and using it to create graphs using graph paper. Students then analyzed the graphs to answer questions about what the data demonstrated. The analysis questions were intended to help prepare students for the types of questions they might see on the Biology End Of Course Exam in May, as well as deeper questions that better reflect the thinking of highly capable high school students. For example, students were pushed to describe the enzyme’s rate of activity (the rate of change in their graph). Students have learned how to calculate the slope of a line in algebra, but it is not necessarily a concept students readily apply to biology. Students who finished continued working on their lab reports using the Chromebook, creating digital versions of their data tables and a few even created graphs in Google Sheets and copied them over to their Google Doc lab report. Students will finish the lab reports tomorrow.
After three days of conducting field study work outside, students spent the class period analyzing their samples and then organizing and analyzing their data. Using the field study analysis worksheet, students made tables and graphs, and then shared their results with other students before completing the summary questions.
With 4 of our 6 classroom computers suddenly out of commission, there has been a backlog of students wanting to analyze pictures taken during the field study. For students with Internet access and a computer available outside of school, histogram analysis can be conducted with software like GIMP 2.8 (available for free) or Adobe Photoshop (sign up for a free 30 day trial).
We concluded the Milk Lab with an analysis of the summaries prepared by my five classes on Day 2 of the Milk Lab. Students worked in groups of 4 and analyzed the consistency (and inconsistency) of results reported in 5 summary tables. By working in teams and analyzing results from similar experiments performed by students in other classes, we simulated a scenario scientists practice routinely when evaluating how their own results compare with what is reported in the scientific literature. We then discussed the results of the analysis in the context of the Milk Lab Explanation document. We ended class with a quick unit conversion problem. We worked through the question: how many seconds are in one day? The answer:
24 hours / 1 day x 60 minutes / 1 hour x 60 second / 1 minute = 86,400 seconds / day