The last real day of school of the first semester. Finals tomorrow!
The chemistry students completed their review of Acids and Bases and any objective they had questions on throughout the first semester.
The AP Biology students analyzed the results from the Transformation Lab. Some of them worked! We got some bacteria to turn green because they took in that gene from the jellyfish! Wow! We also reviewed for the Genetics Exam which will be given tomorrow!
The splotches in green are the transformed bacteria. That A+ isn't a grade. It signifies that the agar (the brown stuff the bacteria eat) has ampicillin in it. The bacteria that are transformed have resistance against ampicillin and they are producing the green fluorescent protein normally produced by jellyfish. The + means that these bacteria have the plasmid inserted into them. By us!! The white bacteria colonies are called satellite colonies because they are utilizing the excreted product by the transformed bacteria that inactivates the ampicillin.
Only 100 more days left of school! After today that is.
The chemistry students began reviewing for the Final Exam today. We were gonna start the titration lab but with the Transformation Lab going on in AP Biology and the need for real clean conditions at the lab tables, we thought it best to delay the titrations until we get back from the break. Also, that gave us more time to review.
The AP Biology students completed the Transformation Lab procedure today. Now we wait to see if the plasmid was taken in by the bacteria and they became either immune to ampicillin, kanamycin and if they turned green because of the presence of a gene taken from a jellyfish. Man, this is cool to control the genetic make-up of organisms.
Oh boy! The last week of school before the break. Hooray!
The chemistry students got a preview of a titration. A titration is a method by which you determine the concentration of an acid (or a base) by adding a base with a known concentration. There is other stuff involved but you get the idea. Or do you?
The AP Biology students went over the Transformation procedure in detail today. It is super important we get the steps right so that the bacteria can take in the plasmid and, hopefully, be "transformed" into a little genetic engineering machine that we will bend to our will! Hahahahahaha!
78. What a year. I graduated from high school in 1978. Is that a long time ago? To a tortoise it was pretty much yesterday but to a fruit fly it was like a billion years ago. Think about that for a minute which is like a microsecond to a tortoise.
The chemistry students completed the Acid and Base Lab today by completing the post-lab activities. We also discussed the difference between strong and weak acids (strong acids dissociate completely while weak acids do not) and the difference between concentrated and dilute acids or bases.
The AP Biology students completed the Gel Electrophoresis Lab and we discussed the next lab on Transformation which involves changing the genotype of an organism. Yes, we are fiddling with the very fabric of nature but it's all for science, so what the heck! Let's go for it! What's the worst that could happen?
My leg still hurts. No one cares.
The chemistry students continued with 2 things today: preparation for the Unit 4 Exam make up, which is during Achievement today, and the continuation of the Acid and Base Lab. Actually, most students completed the experimentation section of the lab and are now working on post-lab questions.
The AP Biology students worked on the data collection part of the Gel Electrophoresis Lab today. Something weird happened though. Did you see the pictures of the stained gel from yesterday? Looked great, didn't it? Well, overnight the fragments of DNA disappeared from the gels, probably from a bleaching effect that can occur by using tap water (and the chlorine within it) to rinse the gels. But we still got usable data from a couple of the gels.
I was running down one of the aisles of desks in my classroom today and hit my leg on the side of a desk and it really hurts. First student to say, "sorry about your leg" tomorrow wins a prize!
The AP Biology students ran the gels to separate fragments of DNA today. At the beginning of the experiment the gels looked like this:
That's tracking dye you see within the gel. After the run is over and the gel is stained, it looks like this:
Those individuals bands are fragments of DNA. We can tell if a child has cystic fibrosis by checking their DNA in this way.
The chemistry students continued with the Acid and Base Lab today hopefully finishing by exposing calcium carbonate to hydrochloric acid. We then got into groups to study for the make-up Unit 4 Exam which will be tomorrow during Achievement.
It's still cold! It was like 15 degrees below in my room this morning.
The chemistry students began the Acid and Base Lab today. It involves several tests on a variety of substances in order to determine whether the substances are acids and bases. We used litmus paper, universal indicator and phenolpthalein (try pronouncing that) on different stuff. It was fun!
The AP biology students did practice injections of material on gels to prepare for injecting actual DNA on gels tomorrow. We also reviewed the process and procedure for tomorrow's important lab activity. As lab technicians, we hold the fate of 2 children in our capable hands. And we will prevail!!
This was the view over my back fence on Saturday morning. Crazy, isn't it? This is the most snow I have seen in Redding since I moved here in 1992.
The chemistry students got back the Unit 4 Exam that they took on Friday. So here is the deal: there were 8 students who got perfect scores on the stoichiometry problem on the exam. 7 students did OK. 16 students need help. I divided the class into groups that have successful students with students that need some extra help. Any student can re-take the exam on Wednesday during the Achievement Period. If the students improve, the successful students that helped them will get "extra" points toward their grades. Get it?
The AP Biology students got a preview of the next lab on Gel Electrophoresis. Remember Gel Electrophoresis? That technique you can use to separate strands or fragments of DNA based on the number of base pairs in the fragment? No? Well, you better pay attention in class!!
Yayy! Another Friday! Man, it's cold. It's supposed to be 18 degrees tomorrow night in Redding. BRRRRRRRRRRRR!
The chemistry students spent the period hunched over the Unit 4 Exam. Hope everybody did okay.
The AP Biology students extended their review of DNA by looking at protein synthesis. You know, the central dogma of biology is DNA give rise to RNA which gives rise to proteins. That's important to know. We also looked at glow-in-the-dark pigs and cats and pondered their creation as an application of our knowledge of genetic transformation. Chew on that for a while.
I donated blood today and so did Natalia and a bunch of other students. Doesn't that make you feel good? No? Well it should!
The chemistry students reviewed every Learning Objective for Unit 4 in preparation of the Unit 4 Exam tomorrow. It's gonna be tough because stoichiometry is tough. At least for most people it is. I'm pretty sure less than 1% of the world's population even know what it is.
The AP Biology students were treated to a lecture about DNA replicaton. For most students, this is a review of some fundamental stuff they learned during their freshmen year. DNA replication was easy back then. Now there is DNA polymerase, replication forks and Okazaki fragments which, by the way, are awesome for obvious reasons.
Today was a Collaboration Day! Hooray! Anywho, we got out of school around 12:45 which is awesome. You know what else happened today? It was super cold in my room. 58 degrees! I can't feel my thumbs.
We talked about college today. We talked about CSU Stanislaus and Brown University. Both of these schools appear in the 2014 Edition of the Best 378 Colleges by Princeton Review. That's saying something!
The chemistry students also squeezed in a little stoichiometry review. I moved the Unit 4 exam to Friday to give us another day to review.
The year is 7/18ths of the way done. I know that is a significant date for most of you so happy 7/18ths days everyone!
The chemistry students reviewed stoichiometry problems today in preparation for the Unit 4 Exam on Thursday. We will continue this review tomorrow. I think a lot of kids are getting it. I hope.
The AP Biology students worked on Activity B within the Fly Lab. Basically, the students are assigned some flies to cross (which I did last Sunday - long story) and the students should be able to predict the phenotypes and genotypes of the F2 generation. It takes awhile for the flies to mate, have eggs hatch, metamorphosis of the maggots into adults, blah, blah, blah. The lab lasts awhile. That's the point I'm trying to make.
We're baaaaacccckkkkk! Cool week off. I saw the volleyball team win a section championship and the football team do the same. Awesome job, Eagles!
And speaking of birds..............
There's your &*^%$*!!# turkey!
The chemistry students finished the Stoichiometry Lab today by weighing the solid that they produced in the beginning of the lab. A lot of groups got really close to 2.00 grams and that's great. We also reviewed a stoichiometry problem and we will continue that tomorrow in preparation of the Unit 4 Exam, which will be on Thursday, December 5th.
The AP Biology students go their first look at the fruit flies today; remember they were delivered late on Friday! We will begin the all important Part B activity tomorrow where the students will predict the phenotypes of the F2 generation of flies.