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7.4 Matter Cycling & Photosynthesis - Unit Overview
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This unit on matter cycling and photosynthesis begins with students reflecting on what they ate for breakfast. Students are prompted to consider where their food comes from and consider which breakfast items might be from plants. Then students taste a common breakfast food, maple syrup, and see that according to the label, it is 100% from a tree.

Based on the preceding unit, students argue that they know what happens to the sugar in syrup when they consume it. It is absorbed into the circulatory system and transported to cells in their body to be used for fuel. Students explore what else is in food and discover that food from plants, like bananas, peanut butter, beans, avocado, and almonds, not only have sugars but proteins and fats as well. This discovery leads them to wonder how plants are getting these food molecules and where a plant’s food comes from.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
07/15/2021
ATP: The Fuel of Life
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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.

Subject:
Life Science
Biology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Christian Schubert
Date Added:
06/15/2021
ATP synthase
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ATP synthase and its role in mitochondria during respiration and chloroplasts during photosynthesis.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Khan Academy
Provider Set:
Khan Academy
Author:
Sal Khan
Date Added:
10/23/2018
Adaptation Intro-Live!
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Educational Use
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This activity is a brief introduction to adaptations as the group observes a live organism together. Adaptations are inheritable structures and behaviors that help a group of organisms survive in their habitat. Students start out observing an organisms’ structures, trying to figure which might help it survive in its habitat and which are inheritable. Then, they do the same with behaviors: attempting to figure out which ones are behavioral adaptations. To build understanding of a complex concept like adaptations, students need multiple exposures to it, which is why this activity should be followed by other adaptations-focused activities.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Beetles: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors
Date Added:
07/19/2021
Adaptations for Bird Flight – Inspiration for Aeronautical Engineering
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Advanced Animal Behavior, Spring 2000
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Reviews selected issues including learning, cognition, perception, foraging and feeding, migration and navigation, defense, and social activities including conflict, collaboration, courtship and reproduction, and communication. The interacting contributions of environment and heredity are examined and the approaches of psychology, ethology, and ecology to this area of study are treated. The relation of human behavior patterns to those of nonhuman animals is explored. Additional readings and a paper are required for graduate credit.

Subject:
Biology
Psychology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Schneider, Gerald
Date Added:
01/01/2000
Algae: Tiny Plants with Big Energy Potential
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Students are introduced to biofuels, biological engineers, algae and how they grow (photosynthesis), and what parts of algae can be used for biofuel (biomass from oils, starches, cell wall sugars). Through this lesson, plants—and specifically algae—are presented as an energy solution. Students learn that breaking apart algal cell walls enables access to oil, starch, and cell wall sugars for biofuel production. Students compare/contrast biofuels and fossil fuels. They learn about the field of biological engineering, including what biological engineers do. A 20-slide PowerPoint® presentation is provided that supports students taking notes in the Cornell format. Short pre- and post-quizzes are provided. This lesson prepares students to conduct the associated activity in which they make and then eat edible algal cell models.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Lessons
Author:
Lauren Jabusch
Date Added:
05/16/2017
Allele frequency
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Allele frequencies in populations and how they differ from genotype frequencies. Created by Sal Khan.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Khan Academy
Provider Set:
Khan Academy
Author:
Sal Khan
Date Added:
06/23/2014
The Amazing Buckyball: How to Track Nanomaterials in the Human Body
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Students learn how nanoparticles can be creatively used for medical diagnostic purposes. They learn about buckminsterfullerenes, more commonly known as buckyballs, and about the potential for these complex carbon molecules to deliver drugs and other treatments into the human body. They brainstorm methods to track buckyballs in the body, then build a buckyball from pipe cleaners with a fluorescent tag to model how nanoparticles might be labeled and detected for use in a living organism. As an extension, students research and select appropriate radioisotopes for different medical applications.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Diana Gano
Donna Tate
Date Added:
09/07/2018
Analysis of Biological Networks (BE.440), Fall 2004
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This class analyzes complex biological processes from the molecular, cellular, extracellular, and organ levels of hierarchy. Emphasis is placed on the basic biochemical and biophysical principles that govern these processes. Examples of processes to be studied include chemotaxis, the fixation of nitrogen into organic biological molecules, growth factor and hormone mediated signaling cascades, and signaling cascades leading to cell death in response to DNA damage. In each case, the availability of a resource, or the presence of a stimulus, results in some biochemical pathways being turned on while others are turned off. The course examines the dynamic aspects of these processes and details how biochemical mechanistic themes impinge on molecular/cellular/tissue/organ-level functions. Chemical and quantitative views of the interplay of multiple pathways as biological networks are emphasized. Student work will culminate in the preparation of a unique grant application in an area of biological networks.

Subject:
Biology
Chemistry
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Essigmann, John
Sasisekharan, Ram
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Anatomy of a neuron
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Neurons (or nerve cells) are specialized cells that transmit and receive electrical signals in the body. Neurons are composed of three main parts: dendrites, a cell body, and an axon. Signals are received through the dendrites, travel to the cell body, and continue down the axon until they reach the synapse (the communication point between two neurons).

Subject:
Anatomy/Physiology
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Khan Academy
Provider Set:
Khan Academy
Author:
Sal Khan
Date Added:
02/11/2010
Animal behavior: foraging
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Introduction to foraging (animal behavior). Add local animals to add culturally relevance. I suggest adding and discussing how iguanas forage for food.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Biology
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Khan Academy
Provider Set:
Association of American Medical Colleges
Author:
Brooke Miller
Date Added:
01/22/2015
Antiparallel structure of DNA strands
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DNA is composed of two strands of nucleotides held together by hydrogen bonding. The strands each run from 5' to 3' and run in antiparallel, or opposite, directions from one another.

Subject:
Biology
Genetics
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
Khan Academy
Provider Set:
Khan Academy
Author:
Sal Khan
Date Added:
07/16/2015