Elementary Science: Reflections on Food Chemistry

My elementary class that is studying food chemistry is approaching the end of the unit.  The students learned to test foods for starch, glucose, protein, and fat.  They built paper molecules showing highly simplified structures for each of these types of molecule and they wrote short essays talking about what foods they would bring with … More Elementary Science: Reflections on Food Chemistry

Global Climate Change

This morning I got an email from NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) about how science teachers perceive and teach climate change.  They linked to a worthwhile article in Science that reports on how American teachers are addressing this topic. The short version is that science teachers are mostly pretty well informed about climate change and … More Global Climate Change

Biology: Taste Perception, Evolution, the Nervous System, and Fun

One of the ideas I introduce with middle school and (especially) high school biology students is that our sensory organs and brain work together to create our perception of the world around us… but our perceptions are limited by our equipment and may not always fully or accurately reflect reality.  Diving deep into this topic … More Biology: Taste Perception, Evolution, the Nervous System, and Fun

Ecology, Data Analysis, and Pen Pals

I’ve been poking around online looking for interesting projects involving data analysis, and I’ve come across some write ups of projects involving cemetery demography.  There’s a lot of potential here – it’s an interesting intersection of ecology, medical science, and social studies.  And, from a practical point of view, the appeal of a biology field … More Ecology, Data Analysis, and Pen Pals

High School Biology: Can Tissue Culture be Done in a Dining Room?

Can tissue culture be done successfully in a New York City dining room?  I don’t know yet, but I’m going to start working on an answer to this question next week.  My feelings about this upcoming lab can be summed up with two words – “excitement” and “trepidation.” The students I’ll be doing this lab … More High School Biology: Can Tissue Culture be Done in a Dining Room?

High School Biology: The Immune System

As part of my SAT-level high school biology classes study of the immune system, the students grew bacterial cultures taken from their bodies.  This was an extremely simple experiment and only took a small amount of class time. Each student got two commercially prepared petri dishes with bacterial growth medium, and divided each petri dish … More High School Biology: The Immune System